Saturday, September 22, 2007

Alice Ghostley Dead; Nelson Mandela Still Very Much Alive

The actress Alice Ghostley, best known for playing the witch Esmeralda on TV's "Bewitched," died the other day at age 81. That we know for sure.

Former South African president Nelson Mandela, however, is very much alive, despite a public pronouncement to the contrary by U.S. president George Bush. Bush is famous for his word-mangling and verbal gaffes, but saying that a revered world figure is dead is at the top of the list of public relations no-no's.

"I heard somebody say, 'Where's Mandela?'," Bush said in a speech defending his Iraq policy. "Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas." News outlets were flooded with calls about the health of Mandela, but Mandela himself issued an announcement reassuring folks that he is indeed still alive.

At a summit in Australia a couple of weeks ago, Bush mistakenly called the country Austria. Hmmm, maybe the president hasn't been getting his afternoon naps lately... or maybe Bush's mouth is truly Bewitched. He's been making these gaffes so long I don't know if Esmerelda could fix things.

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