Barack Obama used a handshake with Pope Francis to rid the White House of a cooties infection that has plagued every US president since the Johnson administration.
“They’re the Vatican’s problem now,” said an elated POTUS as the pontiff left the grounds of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue without touching anyone else and passing the germs back into circulation. “I remember George W Bush whispering “you’ve got cooties, no tagging back” after shaking my hand when he and Laura handed over the keys to the White House back in 2009, then running away giggling before I knew what had hit me.”
Cooties, a disease whose symptoms include that include temporary social ostracization and general stinkiness, is passed on through touching an infected carrier or by standing for an extended period of time on the same patch of grass as a carrier without leaping onto an adjoining footpath.
“Cooties has been rife in the white house since Lyndon Johnson brought a particularly virulent strain with him from Texas,” said former US Surgeon General Bryson Spatula. “It’s a little known fact that the driving force behind Richard Nixon’s opening up of diplomatic ties with China in 1972 was to pass on the cooties to a nation a long way away and unlikely to send them back.
Unfortunately for Nixon a wily Chairman Mao rolled up his sleeve to reveal a tetanus cross drawn on his arm with a biro and the cooties returned from Peking on Air Force One still in the President’s possession.”
Pope Francis has indicated that he may journey to Lourdes in the hope of finding a miracle cure to the cooties.