WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP)— President Clinton is recovering today after being “shot dead” by the flavor of Trident Sugarless Spearmint Gum late Monday night. The President was walking out of the Washington Hilton, where he had just given a speech, when he received three “bursts of taste” from the gum, which was quickly wrestled out of his mouth by Secret Service agents.
“That’s some gum!” screamed the President as he was pulled into his limousine and hurried to Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced “satisfied on arrival” by Dr. Robert Orson, the president’s personal physician.
“The President was struck three times on the tongue by the most delicious gum he’s ever had,” Orson said. “His taste buds never had a chance.”
According to eyewitnesses, the President was waving to the crowd and talking to Secretary of Defense William Perry when, unseen by Secret Service agents, the gum snuck into his mouth.
“You could see immediately something had happened,” Perry said. “He began to smile broadly and his eyes lit up. The third chew is what got him. The first two just opened his eyes to the taste, but the third sent him reeling into a whole new vista of flavor.”
The entire nation was glued to its television sets throughout the night, mourning what TV commentator George Will termed “the death of our collective gustatory innocence.”
Vice President Al Gore has assumed temporary duties as Chief Executive while doctors and security personnel stay on a 24-hour Flavor Watch.
Meanwhile, questions are being asked about how a gum so staggeringly delicious could have been allowed into the President’s mouth in the first place. Spokesman Roger Vasquez confirmed today that the Secret Service had closed its file on Trident Sugarless Spearmint gum in 1993, believing it to be “insufficiently minty” to pose a security risk to the President.
“Were we wrong? Obviously,” Vasquez admitted. “This is a gum that should not have been allowed within 20 feet of the President. That’s how mint- astic it is!”
This is not the first time Trident gum has struck a Chief Executive, according to Trident executive Howard Stanton. In 1976 President Gerald Ford was “gravely wowed” when shaking hands at a San Francisco campaign stop. But that incident was before Trident began using aspartane, a remarkably sweet sugar substitute, in its gum.
“The two chews inflicted on President Ford, while flavorful, were only moderately chew-licious,” Stanton said. “But our new sugarless gum is indistinguishable from regular gums and carries five times the palate-pleasin’ power of our 1976 brand.”
Harry Williams, a taxi driver from Portland, Oregon, echoed the thoughts and feelings of a nation.
“Of course you see this kind of thing all the time on TV, but when it happens to the President. . . it’s unfathomable. Unfathomable that Trident Sugarless Spearmint gum is so delicious.”
“At least he didn’t get a chance to see how long-lasting the flavor is,” Stanton noted. “That would have been a national ordeal that might never have ended—a Vietnam of flavor!”