SCRANTON, PA (CAP) - Sporting a stunning gray Versace suit combo and surrounded by men wearing guns, Laura Bush on Tuesday launched her "Help An Illiterate Find A Book!" initiative before a packed Scranton Public Library gathering.
It's the First Lady's first public initiative since her 2002 "My Pet Goat: So Good You Can't Put It Down!" campaign.
"Pity the poor illiterate," Mrs. Bush, a former librarian, told the gathered reporters, dignitaries and loyal Republican illiterates. "It's one thing to not be able to read a book, but imagine not even being able to pick one out to try? No more," Mrs. Bush said, gently pounding the podium.
The "Help An Illiterate Find A Book!" campaign, popularly known as "Leave No Illiterate Behind," would place volunteers in many of the nation's libraries with the expressed purpose of picking out books for those who can't read. The volunteers would be specially trained to select books based primarily on keywords, with occasional emphasis given to the pretty book covers.
"For example," Mrs. Bush said, "if a non-reader said the word 'pornography,' a reader-helper might fetch them a Henry Miller book. 'Booze'? Perhaps an F. Scott Fitzgerald tome. And 'orange'? Well, any book that was orange - what does it matter? It's not like they can read anyway!"
When asked by a reporter if the emphasis on book color meant that the colorblind wouldn't be able to volunteer for such positions, Mrs. Bush admitted that such a handicap would disqualify them. "If they only see in black and white, though, I'm sure George could fit them into the Cabinet somewhere," the First Lady said. A light lunch of chicken, watercress salad and Chardonnay immediately followed the question and answer session.
The "Help An Illiterate Find A Book!" campaign next heads to Missipis. Missosip. Misassipp. The South.
- Rich Gray