Throwback Thursday Comedy: The Time George Bush Sr. Tossed His Lunch On A World Leader

TBT Comedy: The Time George Bush Sr. Tossed His Lunch On A World Leader

Throwback Thursday Comedy: George Bush Sr. Couldn’t Contain Himself And Threw Up In The Lap Of Japan’s Prime Minister

It was perhaps the first news story to ever make me keel over due to hysterical laughter. I was only a child when then-president George Bush Sr. vomited on a foreign leader, but I still remember how the hilarity of it hit me in waves. first, there was the terror of seeing someone throw up, and the fear that it may set off a chain of events similar to the one seen in the movie Stand By Me. Next came the gut-wrenching laughter. And that was of course followed by my genuinely feeling sorry for President Bush… only to then giggle about it again each time it crossed through my mind for the rest of time.

On January 8th of 1992, while George Bush Sr. was visiting Japan, the President decided to play a game of doubles tennis with Japanese Emperor Akihito and Crown Prince Naruhito, with Bush himself accompanied by a US Diplomat. But that evening, Bush was reportedly feeling ill. You’d think he might have reconsidered his dinner plans, but nope!

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That evening, Bush was sitting next to Japan’s then-Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa. The State dinner was going well… right up to the moment Bush started keeling over and collapsed in Miyazawa’s lap. After Barbara Bush and a group of Secret Service agents sat Bush upright again, Bush was seemingly unconscious. And that’s when  the story gets hilarious.

Barbara, apparently predicting her husband might get sick, tried to cover Bush Sr.’s mouth with a napkin. But that wasn’t the best idea, of course, as anyone whose ever stuck their thumb over the spout of a garden hose will delightedly inform you.

What came next was a mass exodus from the belly of Bush Sr., who hosed down Prime Minister Miyazawa like a dam breaking over a small rustic town. Bush’s puke sprayed out of him as if the napkin weren’t even there. And you know Barbara Bush surely got some stomach chowder all over her, too, all while keeping her composure and grace. If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is.

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Maybe extending himself physically with a tennis match while enduring a tummy ache wasn’t the best idea? Just throwing that up out there.

The story naturally made the rounds through late night comedy circuits, getting the royal treatment on Saturday Night Live and the Simpsons. But perhaps the event’s best legacy is that of a phrase in Japan: Bushu-suru. It quite literally means “to do the Bush thing” and is still used as a verb today to describe someone blowing chunks.

Trivia for the comments section below: If someone were to coin the phrase “Trumpu-Suru,” or “to do the Trump thing,” what would it mean?

Featured image courtesy of Ronald Martinez/ Getty Images

Matt Terzi is a political satirist and essayist from Binghamton, New York, who has written for some of the most prominent satire publications in the country. He’s now moving into more “serious” subject matter, without losing touch with his comedic roots