Bush appoints Mr Pastry as UN envoy
White House officials are reported to be scrambling today to find a way to undo an appointment made in error by President "Boy" George W. Bush.
Mr Bush had been pushing the US Senate to ratify the appointment of arch-neocon John Bolton as US ambassador to the United Nations. However, given Mr Bolton's many criticisms of the UN, even some Republican Senators have been uneasy about the appointment, as a result of which it has been delayed for several months.
It appears that President Bush had finally decided to take matters into his own hands and use the terms of a so-called "recess appointment" under which he has the power to fill vacancies without Senate approval while Congress is in recess. The idea seems to have come to the President while he was jogging outside the White House and spotted a man whom he thought was Mr Bolton. According to witnesses, he made the appointment on the spot, using somewhat unorthodox but apparently legally binding wording: "I, the President of the US of A, do hereby and hereonunder, appointify you as America's ambassador to the U of N, and may God have mercy on your soul and all who sail in her."
Unfortunately the appointee was not Mr Bolton but children's entertainer Mr Pastry, who bears a close resemblance to Mr Bolton, and who happened to be on holiday in Washington. Startled aides were unable to intercede in time to stop the President, with the result that unless a way can be found to rescind the appointment, Mr Pastry will now serve as the USA's ambassador to the UN until at least 2007.
A bemused Mr Pastry told reporters that he was quite prepared to take on the new challenge.
Dr Douglas Ramsbottom, Dimbleby Professor of Origami and American Studies at the University of Bootle, told our reporter that as far as he could tell there is no precedent in American political history or legislation for undoing such an appointment, and so it appears that it will have to stand. Mr Bush, meanwhile, is reported to be delighted with his new ambassador, with whom he has already had a custard pie fight, and he has already learned most of the words to Mr Pastry's theme tune, "Pop Goes the Weasel".
A spokesman for UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was unable to provide a comment as he was rolling on the floor laughing uncontrollably.
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Oi, down here!