Buttle's World

10 March, 2009

Dear Barry

Filed under: Posts — Tags: — clgood @ 20:16

Barry on selecting just the right gift.

With my busy schedule of entertaining foreign dignitaries and celebrities at the White House, I know how important a well chosen gift can be. Two weeks ago, for example, we received a visit from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The Prime Minister brought a few housewarming gag gifts including a pen set made from a boat, a framed paper thing from another boat, and some old books by Churchill (not Ward, but that English guy). Obviously we wanted to return the nice gesture so I sent my interns out on a scavenger hunt for an appropriate present. They couldn’t find anything in the West Wing, but luckily Costco was open and was running a 25-for-the-price-of-10 clearance sale in the DVD department. You should have seen Mr. Brown light up when he opened that sack of classic titles like “Wizard of Oz” and “Baby Geniuses 2.” I like to think those DVDs helped cement our Anglo-American “special relationship” even if, as he mentioned to me, they probably wouldn’t work in his European player. Thinking quickly, I told the PM I would send him an American DVD player as soon as I earned enough cash-back points on my Costco card. Crisis averted, but that episode taught me a valuable lesson: always keep a stock of gifts handy in case some foreign poobah or supreme religious figure or failing industry leader pops by for coffee. As a result, I make sure the Oval Office closet is filled with pre-wrapped Sham-Wows and Snuggle blankets and trillion dollar bailout packages for whatever gift emergency might arise.

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