Yesterday, in a White House ceremony, the president awarded a Medal of Accomplishment to the interceptor missile that failed to launch last week. The missile, some 14 feet long, had been transported to Washington the night before via airplane. Its passage to the White House was marked by an impromptu parade that erupted on the streets as the missile made its journey. "Way to go, little guy," one passerby was said to have yelled, accompanied by two thumbs up.
At the White House, with the missile beside him cocked at a rakish angle and gleaming in the lights, the president extolled the missile's "can-do-it-ness," adding that "This is one of the finest interceptor missiles that ever served in the Missile Defense Agency. We are proud to award this medal to the missile that is keeping us safe and making the world a better place."
The ceremony was interrupted when the president could not find the Medal of Accomplishment. When it was learned that the person responsible for providing the medal had left it in his car outside, Bush asked for yet another medal so he could award two that day.
The aide who had failed to provide the medal blushed, asking who the other medal was for.
Bush smiled and replied, "Why for you, little turd."
The assembled press corps and dignitaries were moved by what one unnamed White House official called "Bush's spontanecious action."
Bush overheard that remark and when he learned that spontanecious is not a recognized word he gave yet a third Medal of Accomplishment to the official for what he called "creative communication in the line of duty."
In all, three medals were awarded yesterday, though Bush promised to have a "box of the babies just standing by" during the next award ceremony, scheduled for tomorrow.