WASHINGTON, DC—President Clinton, in a bold move toward economic restructuring, announced the financial agenda for his second term Monday: economic stimulation through application of the "Fabulous Financiamalizer," a fanciful steam-powered contraption of his own devising.
"My fellow Americans, I come before you today to flaunt a very miracle of modern science," Clinton said at a press conference Monday, sporting a plum-colored velvet tuxedo and top hat, as well as a newly grown black handlebar mustache.
Clinton spoke while standing next to the prototype Financiamalizer, a 20-foot-high maze of tubing and whirling discs painted in spiral patterns, connected to a simmering steam boiler. "Girls, grab onto your boyfriends," Clinton continued, "lest you become faint of heart at the magnificent machinations of Professor W. Jefferson Clinton's Fabulous Financiamalizer."
He then began his demonstration by spinning a large valve wheel at the base of the contraption, funneling steam into a bellows-like component which emitted wheezing sounds as it distended and shrank alternately.
This motion caused a large brass pendulum to swing, turning a central ratchet wheel around in short increments. Within seconds the entire machine was a twirling, puffing mass of pumping pistons, brightly colored fluids racing through clear glass tubing, and a mechanical cuckoo bird which popped in and out of a tiny hatch near the top of the machine.
Moments later, an electronic stock ticker Clinton brought to the demonstration began reflecting massive upswings in the Dow and NASDAQ averages.
As the assembled crowd gasped in amazement, a young reporter shouted, "Will it make the dollar strong in the world economy?" An amused Clinton tweaked his mustache and retorted, "My good sir, this machine will double your dollar and give you four bits change." Clinton then adjusted several levers and brass dials on the machine, bringing the U.S. dollar to a strength against the yen unseen in this decade.
In addition to the device's demonstrated functions, Clinton said it will raise the U.S. Gross National Product, lower lending rates at the nation's financial institutions and hush colicky babies.
"There you have it, my good people," beamed Clinton at the end of the demonstration. "Now who's gonna be the first on their street to show off the Fabulous Financiamalizer to their amazed neighbors? You, sir, show the little wife she didn't marry a cheapskate." The president then began collecting fistfuls of cash from citizens eager to reap the machine's benefits.
Countering the crowd's enthusiastic response was an angry tirade by Willard Klumpf, 88, of Arlington, Virginia, who elbowed to the front of the crowd and condemned Clinton's invention as "a new-fangled gadget that ain't fit to peel 'taters." The bony, shriveled, retired telegraph operator then whacked at the machine several times with his cane before being removed by Secret Service agents.
Despite Klumpf's display of pessimism, the majority of those at the press conference were wowed by the Financiamalizer.
"This ingenious device guarantees a new era of fiscal well-being for the U.S.," declared Wall Street Journal reporter Mel Sansweet. "While I haven't yet fully comprehended the principles on which the Finaciamalizer operates, it is obvious that Clinton is a learned man and his intentions are honorable."
Sansweet purchased two Financiamalizers from Clinton, one for each floor of his home. "I wanted to make sure the upstairs of my house was just as economically prosperous as the downstairs," he explained.
Having stuffed his leather satchel with cash, Clinton bid the press conference farewell, hopped into a horse-drawn wagon and caught the 2:15 train to Philadelphia.