Vice President Cheney Briefly Hospitalized
Vice President Cheney was taken to George Washington Hospital for treatment last night following the president's State of the Union message, when his hands unexpectedly swelled up like two giant pink beaver tales. At first, the staff was worried about internal bleeding, but after examination, Dr. Bill Peterson stated that Cheney was suffering from a case of congenital hand failure.
"We tend to see this sort of case following a particularly rousing public event such as a Neil Diamond concert or a performance of 'Cats'," explained Dr. Peterson. "It occurs when an individual beats their hands into a bloody pulp while demonstrating their adulation for the performance. The vice president should be okay after a couple of days rest, but don't expect to see him playing the bongos anytime soon."
As it is considered impolite for the president to initiate applause during his own speech, this duty traditionally falls to the Vice President, although in emergencies the Speaker of the House may serve as a substitute. "It was tough on Mr. Cheney," said Dr. Peterson, "all that standing up and sitting down and standing right back up again. He almost made it through the speech, but eventually the old clappers went out on him. It had to be hell. I understand that this was the first State of the Union speech in modern history to be composed entirely out of applause lines."
©2006, Mark Hoback