Jan. 23, 2001 -- Aides to President Bush are working on a mystery: the case of the missing W's.
Many aides in the new administration assigned to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, adjacent to the White House, discovered Monday that their computer keyboards were missing the "W" key — a critical problem given their boss' name is George W. Bush, and he is often referred to simply as "W," to distinguish him from his presidential dad.
Some keyboards did have W keys, but they lacked a working springbeneath them or were otherwise broken. In what was clearly aprank, some W keys were located atop extremely high door frames.
Official Word: 'Oh,' Not 'Wow'
When asked his reaction, White House spokesman Ari Fleischerreplied, "It would have been 'Wow.' But the W was removed, so nowit's just, 'Oh.'"
Fleischer noted from a glance at his own keyboard that the prankdid not extend to the West Wing, where the key members of the administration work. "I have my W," he said.
He declined to speculate on suspects, although ex-Clintoniteswere high on the list. Even though he acknowledges the key problemas a joke, Fleischer also said, "If they're not found and thecomputer doesn't work, that's government property that now is goingto have to be replaced or fixed."
After this development, White House aides were on the lookoutfor further pranks.
"Any more jokes played on me? Anybody in this room want toanswer that?" Fleischer asked reporters gathered in his office.
"Give us time," a reporter replied dryly.