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A lesson in protocol

Posted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:56 am
by Erik_Kowal
President G W Bush is representing the United States of America on a highly formal and impeccably planned state visit to Great Britain. At the airport, a 100-foot red carpet leads the President from Air Force One towards Queen Elizabeth II, who graciously bestows a warm but dignified handshake upon him.

Now the two heads of state ride in a black 1934 Bentley limousine to the edge of central London. Here, they board a 17th-century open coach hitched to six magnificent white horses.

As they ride along the Mall toward Buckingham Palace, each waving to the thousands of Britons lining the streets, all seems to be going well. But then the right rear horse unexpectedly lets fly the most extraordinary, earth-rending, eye-popping blast of flatulence ever witnessed in the British Empire, including Bermuda, Tortola and the Falkland Islands. As a consequence, the coach shudders from the shock wave, and a stench of rotten eggs and dung envelops its occupants.

Maintaining their composure despite this most embarrassing event, the two VIPs attempt to pretend that nothing has happened. But then the Queen decides it is impossible to ignore such a stupefying outburst. She turns to Mr. Bush and tells him: "Mr. President, please accept my apologies... You must understand, there are some things even a Queen cannot control".

Ever the epitome of good manners, George W Bush replies: "Your Majesty, please don't give the matter another thought... You know, if you hadn't said something, I would have assumed it was one of the horses".