Washington – In a nationally televised address tonight, President Bush attempted to distract a country concerned with the war in Iraq by performing a one-man puppet show.
“My fellow Americans, tonight I bring you good news,” Bush said. He then reached under his desk and pulled out two puppets, one red, one blue. He put one puppet on each hand and said, “For tonight you are to be blessed with a performance by Mr. Zippy and Miss Doo.”
The president then began acting the part of each puppet, with the red puppet presumably being Mr. Zippy, and the blue puppet Miss Doo. The president gave Mr. Zippy a gruff, gravelly, low-octave voice, and Miss Doo a falsetto-range higher voice. The president seemed to be very committed to his performance.
“‘Hey, Mr. Zippy, do you know why today is a good day?'” the president asked, playing the part of Miss Doo. “‘No, Miss Doo. Why is it a good day?’ ‘Because, Mr. Zippy, today we get to announce that we’re bringing 5700 troops home. Yay!'”
That remark, in the high-pitched voice of Miss Doo, was the only reference the president made to the war in Iraq. He, through the two hand puppets, discussed topics as diverse as spaghetti, the wish to fly, and why dogs are so much better than cats.
After a particularly high-energy exchange between the two puppets, President Bush, giggling and red-faced, seemed to remember that he was live on television in front of millions of viewers. He put the two hand puppets under the desk as he said, “Hope you enjoyed. God bless you. And God bless America.” He then lifted up Miss Doo, and in her voice, yelled, “‘Bye bye! See ya next time!'”
Stunned news anchors like Charles Gibson and Brian Williams were at a complete loss for how to follow the president’s performance/statement.
The White House released a statement shortly following the president’s appearance, which said, in part, “The president thought the nation could use a lift tonight. And what better way to lift the spirits of the nation than with a good, old-fashioned puppet show?”
Contrary to the report’s implications that the performance was somehow planned or intentional, however, witnesses say they observed the president being taken out of the White House and into a waiting ambulance. It was assumed he was being taken to a facility for psychiatric evaluation. One witness said he overheard the president muttering to himself, with a wide, giddy smile, “Mr. Zippy secretly loves Miss Doo. But he’ll never tell her that. No. Never tell her.”