Vol. 3, Issue 1, January 4, 2005
Think Difference (Engine).
Perplexing Times

President Pledges $10 Thousand to Teach Proper Spelling Of "Tsunami"

President George W. Bush, who called on Americans this week to make a donation to help victims of the Asian tsunami, has contributed $10,000 himself, the White House said today, for one of the most serious challenges posed by the crisis.

"Two weeks ago, most people didn't know what a tsunami was, or at least that that's what you call a really big tidal wave-type event," the president told assembled reporters at a press conference. "Now, with so many affected so deeply, millions of Americans are being forced to discuss something they can't pronounce or spell. I'm an education president, and I knew this was one area where I couldn't afford not to make a difference."

Bush, whose wealth is estimated at some $13 million, on Tuesday asked "every American to contribute as they are able to do so," particularly in the desperately needed areas of map production and educational materials on proper spelling and pronunciation.

"It's a challenge because so many people in so many countries have been affected," said the president. "Now when we invaded Iraq, American children only had to learn one new word, and I'm proud to say it was only a few months before they were spelling it correctly at least 75% of the time. But this is much worse. Who even knows how many countries border the Indian ocean? It's a question our scientists are working on nonstop."

The president was criticized for his initial reaction to the catastrophe when he pledged $15 million from the United States, with some critics pointing out that this was less than half what will be spent on his own inauguration.

"Hey, do you have any idea what those fancy little napkins cost? And balloons! We're going to have to do something about this balloon monopoly that's driving prices up," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. "But that's down the road."

The US government's pledge for tsunami relief funds has since risen to $350 million. It is not clear how much of this is earmarked for grammatical or orthographical assistance to Americans versus actual aid to victims of the tsunami.

"Hey, I think they'll do okay. I've heard great stories, great survival stories about people not getting killed by the giant wave, great stories about elephants saving lives," said Bush. "I think our real concern right now needs to be making sure people remember to write that silent T at the beginning. Or is it not silent? See, that's why America needs my help."


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