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Hard to swallow

George and I were poisoned in Germany, claims Laura Bush. Too much bratwurst and sauerkraut?
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON MAY 02, 2010 11:35 PM IST

Ah, the perils of being in high office, in fact, the highest office. One has to drink from the poisoned chalice, or so says former first spouse Laura Bush. The then prez and the dear lady were on a visit to Germany when they seem to have been felled by what she feels may have been some sort of poison but others feel may have been just a humdrum virus. Now imagine Chancellor Angela Merkel, in MacBethian fashion, ordering her intelligence agencies to throw the equivalent of eye of newt and tongue of frog into the Bushes’ soup. Could it be that she wanted revenge for Bush massaging her shoulders in a spontaneous gesture at a G-8 summit?

But perfect wife that she is, Laura kept a lid on this as she did with many other things, including the fact that old Bush was fond of a drop or two before he was born again. It couldn’t be anything to do with the fact that her memoirs Spoken from Heart has hit the shelves? Nah, what an ungenerous thought about so gracious a lady. It could well have been that the notoriously insular Bush and his lady could not stomach the bratwurst and sauerkraut, or perhaps had a bit too much of Germany’s famous beers. But, we are shocked that if Laura thought that Arsenic and Old Lace was being re-enacted, her trigger-happy husband didn’t immediately go to war with Germany.

A far more charismatic President John F. Kennedy, in order to impress the Germans, went across there and declared Ich bin ein Berliner which was meant to mean I am a Berliner. The crowds were amused because what Kennedy said also meant I am a jelly doughnut. In the case of Bush, while we would not have wanted him to move to the great ranch in the sky from a room in Hotel Heiligendamn, we do wish he had not made us drink of the hemlock of his wonky policies.

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