Today's Moment In Odd
This list is just strange:
The inventory of official gifts from 2004, published this week by the state department reads like the wish list of the sort of paranoid survivalist who holes up in his log cabin to await Armageddon, having long ago severed all ties with the rest of the world.
The president received a startling array of weapons, including assorted daggers, and a machete from Gabon. He got the braided whip with a wooden handle from the Hungarian prime minister. The "Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook", a gift from the Sultan of Brunei, has some tips on how to use some of these implements in a tight spot.
The paperback also explains how to wrestle with an alligator, escape from a mountain lion, and take a punch to the body. But the small arsenal of guns presented by Jordan-s King Abdullah, including a $10,000 sniper rifle, would presumably render much of that advice unnecessary.
The king also gave President Bush six jars of "various fertilisers", on a rotating wooden stand. It sounds like the sort of present likely to cause offence when coming from a mother-in-law or sibling. But according to the Jordanian embassy, the jars contained neither manure nor the sort of chemicals that can be turned into home made bombs, but rather an array of fertile volcanic soils found around the country.
That was for 2004. I wonder what this year's gifts are like?