WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a Jan. 17 press conference, President George W. Bush announced he is no longer obliged to obey the laws of physics.
“Surprise is essential to any military campaign,” Bush said, leaning forward on the podium and furrowing his brow thoughtfully. “Terrorists expect an apple dropped by the president will fall at a constant rate of acceleration. They don’t expect that the president will be able to transform himself in a split second into a titanium-plated battle lizard capable of shooting heat rays out of its eyes and teleporting instantaneously through a mountain range with a single thought.”
Bush demonstrated his new executive powers by turning New York Times reporter Maureen Dowd into a lemur.
Reactions in the U.S. physics community were generally unfavorable.
“Many of these laws have been in effect for centuries,” said Denise Stober of Stanford University. “We tend to take these laws for granted, but they’re quite important. The principle of conservation of mass, for instance, guarantees that when we put our pants on in the morning, they won’t spontaneously dematerialize in the middle of an important conference. If people didn’t have a fundamental trust in physics, they might stop wearing pants altogether. President Bush should have thought this through before arbitrarily bypassing these laws.”
This is only the latest in a series of novel interpretations of the extent of executive power on Bush’s part. It started last month when Bush announced he no longer needed a court order to authorize wiretaps on U.S. citizens making international phone calls. This stance was met with significant grumbling from Washington politicians, but it was only the beginning.
Soon Bush declared that, due to “emergency conditions,” the traditional laws of fashion no longer applied to him.
As early as this month he began appearing at political fundraisers and diplomatic events clad in tight-fitting plaid leisure suits, polka-dot ties and a corduroy Polo shirt that Cosmopolitan called “the biggest abuse of presidential fashion authority since James Monroe wore socks with sandals.”
Bush then announced he was also exempt from basic rules of etiquette.
“Folks tell me I should be using a spoon,” Bush said shortly after plunging his entire face into a piping hot bowl of tomato soup. “We could afford to live by those rules before Sept. 11, but now it’s a different world.” He then belched loudly and wiped his mouth on Vice President Dick Cheney’s tie.
The following day, Bush announced that he would only wash his hands after using the restroom “some of the time.”
“Terrorists expect me to spend those extra few minutes in the john washing up, especially after I just did a number two,” Bush explained smilingly to Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, during a handshake. “I’m no longer playing into those expectations.”
Shortly thereafter, DeLay requested that an aide bring him a Kleenex.
Tensions peaked last week when Bush announced that, until the war on terror had been won, Americans will have to change the way they play the popular board game Monopoly.
“Keep playing the way you usually do, America,” said the president in a meeting with Congress on Capitol Hill. “Except don’t buy Boardwalk or Park Place, which are reserved for me under the new Doctrine of Presidential Dibbs.”
This decision was challenged by an infuriated Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.,who fired back quickly, “This is ridiculous! The office of the president is never once referred to in the Monopoly rule book.”
“Oh, yeah?” Bush said. “Well what say you and me do a round of rock-paper-scissors, and if you win, you can keep criticizing me. But if I win, I can make up any rules I want forever.”
After a brief hubbub, McCain accepted the challenge. McCain and Bush counted together to three as they tapped their fists against their palms. A hushed silence fell over the room as everyone saw McCain had extended two fingers, representing scissors, against Bush’s flattened hand, representing paper.
“Scissors cut paper, Mr. President,” McCain said. “I win.”
“Nuh-uh,” grinned President Bush, wiggling his fingers. “Because this isn’t paper. It’s a killer squid that eats scissors for breakfast and was only pretending to be paper. Ha ha, you lose.”
Bush then dissolved the legislative and judicial branches of the United States, leaving himself as sole governmental authority.
“It’s a massive responsibility,” Bush said at today’s press conference. “But I’m keeping the terrorists on their toes. I’m not sure what my next move is, but I’m thinking about creating a rock so heavy even God can’t lift it.”
Although the President’s actions mark a considerable break with tradition, the American public remains largely unconcerned.
“If the president wants to get rid of Congress and give himself the ability to breathe fire and read minds, I guess that’s up to him,” said Elise Baxter, an interior designer from Ohio. “I mean, he’s the president, and I’m just a citizen, so it’s really none of my business.”