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Bush Going Overboard With Ultimatums

WASHINGTON (DPI): Fresh from his speech giving Saddam Hussein a 48-hour deadline to leave Iraq, President Bush has become emboldened to create deadlines for every facet of his life.

The new approach is not receiving universal acceptance. "It's one thing to set an ultimatum for tyrants like Saddam or Castro or North Korea's Kim Jong Il, but when he tells me I've got 48 seconds to get in bed and get naked, then he's gone too far," said first lady Laura Bush.

Others who have fallen in his path include the Domino's Pizza delivery guy who was given 48 minutes to "get that pizza here and past security or I ain't paying" and a waitress who was sternly warned not to put any mayonnaise on his chicken sandwich.

As the conflict with Iraq progresses, Bush plans to expand his use of the ultimatum to other world leaders. He has given Mexican leaders two weeks to make their water drinkable for American tourists without fear of diarrhea. Switzerland must supply the Bush family with Godiva chocolates and those "cool little knives" and Scotland has one week to destroy all those "damn annoying bagpipes." Countries around the globe have also been seriously warned about taking back their native hockey players for the next Olympic team. "Once they start playing in the NHL, they're ours," said White House spokesman Ari Fleisher. "NATIONAL Hockey League."

Even American leaders are beginning to fall prey to what psychologists call "orelseitis," an uncontrolled urge to demand certain actions from others "or else." Sen. Ted Kennedy has 24 hours to stop speaking in gibberish and start articulating without a Boston accent. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota has six months to add Bush's head to Mount Rushmore, and Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura has been required to wear his old pro wrestling outfits whenever he speaks in public. "That last one I just threw in for the fun of it," said Bush.

(Reported by Buddy Fisher)

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