In a surprising and unexpected development, President-elect Barack Obama flubbed the oath of office on Tuesday and has now inadvertently become the Prime Minister of Canada.
"I thought I knew that darned thing by heart," said Obama. "But then Chief Justice Roberts started playing around with the words and I just got confused.
Justice Roberts not only transposed the word "faithfully" to follow the words "the United States", he also referred to the office of the President "to" the United States rather than "of" the United States.
"All that to say," said Obama. "I wasn’t sure where he was going with the oath and I have to admit that I mixed up some of the words."
The video of the ceremony clearly shows the putative 44th president of the United States actually swearing to execute the office of president of "the number two country next to the United States."
"In all fairness, I guess that does make me President or Prime Minister or something of Canada," said Obama. "Either that or I’m now the Emperor of Mexico. I’m not quite sure which."
Unconfirmed sources report that Chief Justice Roberts’s miscues in administering the oath were not accidental. Apparently outgoing President George W. Bush put him up to it.
Reached at his new home in Dallas, former President Bush initially denied the reports but couldn’t stop himself from laughing.
"OK, OK," said Bush. "I admit it. That Barry guy was so full of himself, I figured it would do him some good if we took him down a peg or two and played a practical joke on him."
Bush and Roberts cooked up their scheme just before last week’s rehearsal. Bush convinced the Chief Justice to go along with the joke and reminded him that no matter what happened, he couldn’t get fired.
"It’s not like he could get sent to the principal’s office or anything," said Bush. "I told Justy that this one was a slam dunk."
Asked why he decided to execute such an elaborate prank, Bush said that it was a matter of tradition.
"I think if you look back in history," said Bush. "You’ll see that every outgoing president does something funny to the new guy. For example, that hound dog Bill Clinton left a stained dress in the Oval Office closet and I hear that Herbert Hoover jimmied the hand brake on Franklin Roosevelt’s wheelchair. "
"It’s all in good fun," said Bush. "Plus, I wanted Barry to see how easy it is to make a mistake when you’re the President. Now he’ll see it’s not so easy being me. Mind you, he still has a way to go to top my record."