Tuesday, 18 Dec 2018
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Scented armpits, nap aids, nerdy duck jokes: George H.W. Bush's wonderful humor

President George HW Bush laughs as he attends the White House Correspondents Association Annual Awards Dinner in 1988. (Stelios Varias / Reuters) When George HW Bush was Vice President, he sat one night for a quiet dinner in Boise, Idaho. What he ordered that night is less related to this anecdote than the fish-bowl-shaped setting in which he ate-a restaurant whose facade was entirely made of glass. Suddenly, secret service agents were alerted by someone with a sawed-off shotgun on the outside. "So, very quickly, the agents took the vice president and put it under the table, the tablecloth falling next," said John Magaw, Bush's security officer, recalled in a Netflix documentary. Listen to this story on "Retropod": for more stories forgotten history, subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Amazon Echo | The agents then piled on him, a circumstance that inevitably left the Vice President of the United States an undesirable source of oxygen – the sweaty armpit of an officer pressing Bush's face until the threat diminishes. The next day, Bush walked to the back of the plane, found the agent whose armpit had nested his face and handed him a can of deodorant spray. "Yours was not bad," he says, as Magaw remembers this episode. "But I think it's better. Please, use this from now. The moment was pure, George H.W. Bush, according to his son George W. Bush, the 43rd president of the nation. "When he has needled, he never needs to be referred to hurt or hurt," said the young Bush in the documentary. "He pointed to enliven and improve the spirit." [How Barbara fell in love with George H.W. Bush, ‘the most beautiful creature I had ever laid eyes on’] His gift to make people laugh will be comforting when the 41st President, who died last week at age 94, is celebrated Wednesday in front of Washington's National Cathedral. And Bush knew how to make fun of himself. After being defeated by Bill Clinton, Bush called Dana Carvey, his imitator of Saturday Night Live, and invited him to the White House to invite the president to attend a staff Christmas party. Together, they killed. [‘Wouldn’t be prudent’: George H.W. Bush’s unlikely friendship with Dana Carvey] Bush has always given as much as he has had. The target could be anyone – one of his children, a trusted aide, an ally, an enemy. Could his joke be racy? Yes. Could he be nerdy? Absolutely. "What other commander-in-chief wore a bunny tie at Easter and a pumpkin tie on Halloween?", Wrote this week columnist Maureen Dowd of The New York Times, reminiscing the time she's been had gone to Bush as a reporter for the White House. "Who else would go to the magic shop near the White House and fill his desk with objects like a red rope that turned white, a calculator that threw water and water? money on a string to be able to bring it back when someone was trying to pick it up? "The jokes have sometimes been lost to his audience. Chicago Tribune journalist Ellen Warren recalled the days of her presidential campaign when Bush told the puzzled audience to a Waffle House in South Carolina: "Do you heard about the one about the duck that went into the bar? The bartender looked at the duck and said, "Your pants are down." It's okay if you do not have it. Potential voters of Waffle House no longer. Warren wrote, "When they looked at him, perplexed, the most powerful man on Earth explained without pretense: Ducks? Covered downstairs? Get it? "Ohhhhhhhhh, sometimes Bush's humor was unintentional – it was a result of distorted metaphors and sometimes the English language, and here are some examples:" It's no exaggeration to say that undecided people can go 'One way or another.' And, 'If a frog had wings, he would not hit his tail on the ground. Too Hypothetical. "Another:" I've been working with President Reagan for seven and a half years, we've had triumphs made mistakes, we've had sex – uh, setbacks. "Finally and with authority "Mastery of English is something I am not often accused of."
Laugh together: former President George HW Bush with his son, former President George W. Bush, at a grand opening ceremony at the George W. Bush Library and Museum in Dallas. (Brendan Smialowski / AFP) Bush was a competitive guy – and even that was a source of hilarity for him. For example, "The Scowcroft Award", named after Brent Scowcroft, Bush's National Security Advisor. The purpose of the award is to honor the help of the White House, which has fallen asleep most often at important meetings. Scowcroft was a legendary meeting sleeper – "almost a narcoleptic," according to James Baker, Bush's chief of staff. Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense of President Barack Obama and a member of the Bush administration, recalled during the
Netflix documentary that the contest had three criteria: Duration. "How long have they slept?" Says Gates. The depth of sleep. "Snoring and whistling have always earned you extra points," said Gates. And finally, the quality of recovery. Is the sleeper awake slowly, completely rested and ready to participate? Or, to quote Gates, were they "one of those people who woke up with a reflex and spilled the coffee?" Winners (and losers) are not known to the general public, but it does not matter. Now, after Bush's death, the world is learning more about what it's like to live with him. "Let me give you a little serious and inside political advice," he said once at a fundraiser. "One word: puppies. Believe me, it's worth 10 points. Read more Retropolis: For George H. W. Bush, Pearl Harbor has changed everything. World War II makes him a hero. George H. W. Bush left a note to Bill Clinton. It is an artefact of political humility. "One last time": Barbara Bush had already faced a more painful death than his own. Why Melania Trump, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton attended the funeral of Barbara Bush.

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