WASHINGTON, DC—In an event unprecedented in American history, Brandon Myers, a relatively obscure Iowa 10-year-old with no previous experience in domestic politics, took advantage of a clear leadership void and seized control of the United States Tuesday after he slipped away from his White House tour group and locked himself in the Oval Office.

Federal officers assess the damage to the seat of American power.

The bloodless coup occurred when Myers, a fifth-grader at Mulberry Elementary School, stormed into the empty office and seated himself at the president's desk, thereby toppling the world's longest-running democracy. Myers spent much of his reign, which lasted from approximately 2:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., spinning in circles in the president's chair before proclaiming that he was "President Brandon" with a handwritten decree scrawled in cursive on White House stationery.

"Earlier this afternoon, sometime between a description of the James Buchanan portrait in the Main Hall and the question-and-answer session, a pre- adolescent boy overthrew the president and gained executive authority over the United States of America," White House press secretary Dana Perino said at a news conference Tuesday. "Several minutes ago, our nation's new leader made his first statement: 'Brandon rules.'"

Shortly after forcing former president George W. Bush out of office, Myers issued an executive order for pizza using the intercom in the Oval Office. Congress immediately passed emergency funding for 1,200 stuffed-crust pepperoni pizzas from Pizza Hut.

While the sudden change in government came as a shock to millions, a number of Washington insiders claimed that Bush's low poll numbers and lame-duck status created the perfect environment for an ambitious individual to fill the nation's leadership vacuum. But, though Myers was put through the same level of security as anyone wishing to take a tour of the White House, there was no initial indication that he had ever before attempted to overthrow a sovereign nation. Further investigation, however, revealed that Myers possessed specific knowledge of the inner workings of the U.S. government.

"He knew about the three branches of government, and he understood how a bill becomes a law—that's when I knew he was serious," said the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, who claimed Myers called the Pentagon more than 40 times on the president's direct line, using different voices before hanging up. "While it was certainly unorthodox when he ordered us to use our most awesome tanks to invade 'someplace' but would not say specifically where, the military functions by following orders."

Added Mullen: "That boy is the commander in chief, after all."

Pentagon sources also confirmed rumors that the Brandon administration mobilized the Iowa National Guard for deployment to Myers' school, where they received instructions to lower their pants and moon the principal.

Minutes after the coup began, Secret Service agents still loyal to President Bush snuck the ousted leader out of the White House's back door, and rushed him into an unmarked vehicle bound for Dulles International Airport. Denied access to Air Force One, Bush and his family then fled the nation on Lufthansa flight 687 bound for Zurich.

Though Myers appeared to have the support of top military leaders, opposition figures claim that his most heinous acts while in the office—including emptying out desk drawers, knocking over a priceless bust of Thomas Jefferson, and ripping down drapery and wearing it as a cape—are punishable by the harshest forms of spanking in the land. Others have questioned the 10-year-old's legitimacy altogether.

"While the Constitution does not explicitly address this situation, standards set forth in the Federalist Papers and other writings indicate that, by using the president's official pen on the president's official paper while sitting in the president's official chair, Myers became de facto ruler of the United States," said Georgetown University law professor Steven Fuller, adding that Myers' appointment of his friend Hal as vice president was equally binding. "The fact that [Myers] spelled 'president' wrong, however, does make it a bit of a legal gray area."

At press time, the nation remained in a state of flux, and it was unclear who would take over the Oval Office after Myers finally resigned out of boredom and left to rejoin the members of his tour.

Though his reign was brief and tumultuous, Myers could boast of several accomplishments during his 15-minute term, such as balancing the budget, pulling the troops out of Iraq, and establishing universal health care.