At a funeral service in Washington earlier this month, Gerald Ford, the 38th and indisputably most goofy president of the United States, was honored by several members of his former cabinet with a tribute to the former Commander-in-Chief’s exemplary leadership in the face of Ritz Brothersesque adversity. The tribute to Ford, or “Turbo,” as his college friends called him, centered on his presidential career, athletic prowess, and Rooseveltian struggle with buffoonery.
Allen Byer, a reporter who covered the Ford administration closely, remarked on Ford’s strong character and ability to bring indignity to every decision made. “He’d look at you, and you’d just be in awe. And then he would do something like close the limo door on his pants, only to have them rip off as the limo drove away. He was really something, like Clemenceau and Clouseau put into one, slightly simian package.”
Henry Kissinger, part of the Nixon cabinet responsible for Ford’s characteristically bumbling pratfall into office, recalled his propensity for slapstick fundamentals even before being named president. “We were working with the Chinese ambassadors at a lunch meeting, on the day after Halloween. Mr. Ford had apparently dressed as a beaver of some variety but gotten the buck teeth of the costume stuck, and after being slightly blinded by staring at his lamp too long, stumbled into our meeting, eyes squinted and faux-teeth garbling his cries for assistance.” Kissinger added, with a smile, “Needless to say, that took us weeks to smooth over, and Mr. Ford was sent to his room to think about what he had done. I will go on the record as saying it was worth it, however.”
In a statement from his ranch, President Bush asserted that Ford had always been a direct political inspiration, particularly in such crises as PretzelGate and the countless times Bush has dropped his dog in front of a camera. “I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Ford in 1976. Actually, I can’t guarantee that I did, but I’m fairly confident I could tell from the echoed mumbling and dejected slurping sounds from underneath that honey pot stuck on his head that it was him.”
In a final, somber tribute, the pallbearers at Ford’s funeral tripped ceremoniously while carrying the flag-strewn casket, sending Ford’s corpse flying gloriously for several feet until falling sharply and lodging the president’s lifeless head in a nearby horse’s rectum.
Ford’s Greatest Presidential Moments
August 9th, 1974 – Ford falls into tuba at inaugural ball, only saved when very fat man is able to blow him out.
October 5th, 1974 – Attacked by swarm of bees during live address to nation.
January 19th, 1975 – Falls down escalator for several hours.
April 22nd, 1975 – Accidentally marries bear.
April 25th, 1975 – Marriage to bear annulled at request of bear’s handlers.
December 7th, 1975 – Puts foot through floor of Oval Office, revealing trove of at-then undiscovered Kennedys.
July 4th, 1976 – In honor of bicentennial hosts fireworks display at White House, misfired bottle rocket hits self on forehead, resulting in crossed eyes for duration of presidency.
January 20th, 1977 – Leaves office same way he came; by not getting elected.