Message to the New President

    Photo: Illustration by Steve Brodner

DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT: Congratulations on winning the election. I always knew you would win, and not that other guy. I told all my friends that. You can ask them.

Mister President, let's get down to business. One of your first jobs, and most important jobs, will be to appoint ambassadors to other countries. I am pleased to inform you that I am available to become your ambassador to any of the following countries:

HAWAII—This is one of my favorite countries. But there is a problem here: The people worship volcanoes. One of my first actions, Mister President, would be to outlaw this practice. At first the people might resist, but later they would get down on their knees and thank their lucky stars.

BRAZIL—The name of this country gave us the words "bra" and "zillion." Also, it is home to the Brazil nut. My goal, Mister President, would be to eat as many Brazil nuts as I could, day in and day out. Then I would invite my friend Don to come visit me. He is deathly allergic to Brazil nuts. The hope is that just by shaking his hand, I could make him pass out. Some people say this is a long shot. But what's the alternative? Unfortunately, I believe, it's global warming.

FRANCE—As you are probably aware, Mister President, there is a place in France where the women wear no pants. This is a disgrace. Also, there is a region of France called "Champagne." The idea of women with no pants drinking Champagne is one which I would make my top priority.

VATICAN CITY—I'll be honest, Mister President: I would love to ride in the Popemobile. Riding behind that protective glass, making obscene, taunting gestures at my friends while they fired bullets at me, would be the spiritual highlight of my life.

IRAQ—I know what you're thinking, Mister President: Why would anyone want to be ambassador to Iraq? First of all, I would require extra danger pay. But here's the best part: It wouldn't really be me waving from the balcony or the back of the convertible. It would be a dummy! That's right, a dummy. And guess where I'd actually be. Hawaii. Pretty good, huh?

GREENLAND—I'm not really sure where this is, but the name sounds lush and inviting, and makes me want to resettle there.

INDONESIA—The main reason I want to be ambassador to this country is for the joke possibilities. I could be at a party and someone might ask me what country I'm ambassador to. And I'd say, "I can't remember, I must have Indonesia." No, wait. I guess it's amnesia, not Indonesia. Anyway, I think the joke still works.

BEERSTEIN—Quite frankly, Mister President, I'm not sure there is such a country. But I wanted to put it down just in case.

PORNOGRAFICO—(See "Beerstein.")

NORTH KOREA—This might seem like an odd choice. But go with me on this, Mister President: First, North Korea is our enemy, right? Second, an ambassador cannot be arrested. With your permission, sir, I would go on a crime spree the likes of which North Korea has never seen. I would rob banks. I would vandalize everything I could get my hands on. I would draw cross-eyes on pictures of their "glorious leader," whoever he is. I would shoplift and then just throw the stuff away (after I broke it). I would walk around drunk in public, wearing nothing but my underpants, and shoot blowdarts at people going by. If a policeman confronted me, I would just mimic what he was saying while I made the hand-flapping motion. Then I would pull my ambassador ID out of my underpants and show him. He would stamp his foot and storm off—but without his policeman's hat, because I would take that. My favorite thing, Mister President, would be to go into a fancy North Korean restaurant and order everything on the menu, then not pay. "Won't you at least pay with some of your bank-robbery money?" they would plead. I would just laugh, then go outside and hijack a car and drive to my fancy hotel room. I know what you're thinking, Mister President: What if the hotel locks me out of my room? I will just go to the nearest hardware store, shoplift a sledgehammer, and bash in the door. They won't try that again. This seems like a win-win situation.

ENGLAND—I know England is not our enemy, but I would go on a crime spree here too. What the heck.

TAHITI—It's no Hawaii, but I would be willing to give it a try.

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