I am not sure I should be writing this post (for several reasons). However, I think the "unintentional comedy" appeal of this story is too good to ignore.
The event took place in Washington,DC at the Annual National Prayer Breakfast (sic) on Feb 3, 2005. The one and only president of the US of A.,G.W, was addressing the attendance; here is a passage from the speech that day:
"THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. (Applause.) Thank you for the warm welcome [...]I want to thank His Excellency Marc Ravalomanana, from the -- Madagascar, the President of that great country. And welcome to our country, Mr. President. (Applause.) Tambien, mi amigo, the President of Honduras, Ricardo Maduro -- welcome, glad you're here[...]"
This speech convinced me that the Prez holds Madagascar in higher regards than any other countries. We are his #1 favorite, if you will.
1st evidence: he refers to Madagascar as THE Madagascar, not just any Madagascar mind you but THE Madagascar ;) (not to be confused with the movie I guess) What other one name country can claim the same title ? The Canada ? The France ? Nope. Maybe the Kazakhstan (I would have to check with Borat...I digress.)
2nd evidence: "President of that GREAT country": he probably was not referring to the size of Madagascar, which is still smaller than Texas.
3rd evidence: "His Excellency Marc..." In the meantime Ricardo Maduro only gets "mi amigo". Take that, Honduras !
4th evidence: listen carefully as he is about to pronounce the name of our leader. (need real player to listen)
That's right, Ladies and Gents, I present to you the Malagasy President : "Marc RavaloMAN !"
How geeky-cool is that ? Our president is a superhero ! How can that be possibly topped ? Other countries may have Leader Maximo, commander in chief or Chairman, we have Superman's archrival: RavaloMAN ! My life is now officially complete.
Now If we could only figure out his superpowers...Hum... Maybe X-men's professor Xavier mind-reading power ? Or Harry Potter's invisible cloak ?....
To G.W's credit, one is not supposed to pronounce the last vowel of a Malagasy name...Sure he dropped the last 3 letters, but it's just a small mistake, no big deal, like nucular for nuclear so it could have been worse. Really, it could have, can you imagine if Madagascar was still a kingdom and he had to introduce king Andrianampoinimerina ? Now that would have been fun ! I can totally hear it:
"Let me welcome my good pal, King APM, in the (white ) house,...Holla !"
Anyway, I am just glad that Madagascar is finally getting recognized properly in the high sphere of power. Hey neither Jacques, Angela or even Vlad were there but our Marc got (supehero) VIP treatment. World, get ready for "SuperMarc and G-Dubb": the next take over !
PS: breaking news: Apparently, GW also took a liking of Google calling it "The Google": here is his take on Google:
"Maria Bartiromo: "I'm curious, have you ever googled anybody? Do you use Google?"
President Bush: "Occasionally. One of the things I've used on the Google is to pull up maps. It's very interesting to see -- I've forgot the name of the program -- but you get the satellite, and you can -- like, I kinda like to look at the ranch. It remind me of where I wanna be sometimes.""
I am speechless.