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April 20, 2006

A Grim Anniversary: Twenty-Seven Years Ago Today, Jimmy Carter Was Threatened By A Deadly Rabbit

I don't think we'll ever forget where we were when we first heard the news that a President had just barely survived a crazed lepine assassination attempt.

Today in Odd History, President Jimmy Carter was attacked by a rabbit during a fishing trip in Plains, Georgia. The rabbit, which may have been fleeing a predator, swam toward his boat, "hissing menacingly, its teeth flashing and nostrils flared." President Carter was forced to swat at the vicious beast with a canoe paddle, which apparently scared it off.

Upon his return to the White House, Carter told his staff about the furry amphibian's assault. Most of them refused to believe him, insisting that rabbits can't swim (although since most mammals can swim, there's no reason to believe that rabbits cannot), and that even if they could, they certainly wouldn't attack humans, and certainly not presidents. Fortunately, a White House photographer had been on the scene, and had recorded the bizarre attack. The photograph showed Carter with his paddle raised, warding off a small creature which might, or might not, have been a rabbit. One staffer was quoted as saying, "You couldn't tell what it was." Undaunted by their skepticism, Carter had the image enlarged, and there it was--a killer bunny rabbit, apparently bent on assassinating the president.

It's the breathless, you-are-there style of this piece that really puts you in the middle of the action. I can almost see myself there, confronted by a swimming rabbit, fiendish nostrils a-flare, big teeth ready to nibble on your bum...

And I wonder, as men often do: Would I have risen to the occasion, like Jimmy Carter did? Or would I have cowered in the boat like a, umm, coward?

It's a question I'm glad I don't know the answer to.

Thanks to Allah.

Mistakes, Mistakes: Carter was already president in 1979. Duh, me.

"Lupine" means having to do with wolves, not rabbits. I meant "lepine," I guess, if that's a word, and even if it's not, it's the non-word I meant.

Thanks for proving that I'm such a moron, guys. I don't ever want to feel separated from my audience, as Dave Chapelle did.

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posted by Ace at 12:42 PM

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