[this is satire]

Pundits, commentators and the American people were in agreement that the third and final debate last week was closer to a draw than the previous two. Most people — even Kerry supporters — complimented the president on being able to reign in his sometimes feral facial expressions. During the first debate especially, Bush’s face seemed to be inhabited by a handful of small mammals or perhaps large worms run amuck just beneath the surface of his skin.

By contrast, in the third debate, Bush’s face was much more under control, albeit pitched at an angle with his right eye socket sloping downward as the right corner of his mouth ascended toward the aforementioned eye. In addition the right corner of Bush’s mouth seemed perpetually moistened and, strangely, his lips appeared thick and almost lush.

These small mysteries were possibly solved when a Bush handler mistakenly dropped one of the president’s bags, spilling its contents. Before the eyes of reporters, backstage at the third debate, lay a number of incriminating items. Most notably, there was a can of SMIRK-AWAY, an aerosol spray product that, according to the can, is guaranteed to “wipe that shit-eatin’ grin right offa your face!” It seemed a natural conclusion that the president had indeed utilized this product, especially when in the fine print the makers warn that a “temporary sheen of moisture may persist in crevices and indentations of the face such as eye sockets and lip corners.”

Another can, this one labeled SNEER-AWAY, was found to be un-used, leading reporters to ascertain the president had decided he didn’t need to apply this product to eliminate his characteristic sneers.

However, a roll-on product called NO MO’ DEFENSIVE GUFFAWS carried a warning that “The use of this product may result in the temporary swelling of the lips.”

The White House issued a statement, denying that the president had used any of these products. “It’s hard work,” said a presidential spokesperson, “to run but you cannot hide.”

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