Welcome Back, Mr. Pretzeldent

All it took was a pretzel. After he choked on one and fainted early last week, President George W. Bush gave the world its first chance to laugh at him since September 11. He even joined in the fun, handing out pretzels labeled with chew slowly warnings to journalists on Air Force One. Some of the world's better reactions to Pretzel-gate:

"Now a military tribunal is convicting a pretzel," joked American comedian David Letterman. Unable to believe the official line, The Independent of London asked whether Bush got his bruise in a "family tiff." Madame Tussaud's in London even touched up Bush's wax replica, adding a bruise and putting some appropriate snacks in his hands. One Mexican cartoon depicted a giggling Osama bin Laden surrounded by boxes of pretzels; German journalists speculated that Bush, a born-again tee- totaler, may once again have taken up the devil's drink. Some even pointed to political implications. Saudi Arabia's ArabNews, for instance, contended that if Bush's "unusual collapse" implies more serious health problems, "a troubled White House will click back on its traditional Zionist track." PERI's favorite? The Scotsman, an Edinburgh daily, revealed that "the CIA is also checking the theory of another pretzel being in the room at the same time... It was seen near the grassy knoll." Lest one be confused over what really happened, the truth (according to the White House) is that the president "fainted due to a temporary decrease in heart rate brought on by swallowing a pretzel," suffering an abrasion on his left cheek and a bruise on his lower lip when he collapsed. OK, enough jokes. What really happened?

Welcome Back, Mr. Pretzeldent | News