Most Ameicans are relieved that President Carter has postponed his trip abroad to nine countries in 11 days. Not only has it saved the American taxpayer millions of dollars but there was a feeling that the President would not be able to accomplish much in that short time.
Yet when the word was announced, it caused great disappointment in the countries President Carter had planned to visit. Preparations had been in full swing and excitement was building up for Mr. Carter's short stay.
When one head of state's wife was informed that the President was not coming she broke into tears.
"But I've been cleaning the palace all week," she told her husband.
"I don't want to hear about your troubles," he said. "i've been painting all the buildings from the airport into town."
The wife asked, "What do I tell the caterer?"
"Tell him the dinner has been cancelled. I'm sure he'll understand."
"That's easy enough for you to say. But he turned down three parties to do our dinner. You know this is his busy season."
"Listen, I'm not responsible for Carter canceling his trip. Why are you bothering me with your problem?"
"You think it's easy to get the palace ready for an American President? Do you know we bought new draperies and slipovers for his visit? And I had all the rugs shampooed. I think he has a lot of nerve telling us he's decided not to come at this late date."
"Woman, will you shut up? I gave all the schoolchildren in the capital the day off so they could cheer for the President. Now I have to go on television and tell them I was only fooling. How does that make me look?"
"Do you realize we invited 800 generals and their wives and two members of the opposition party to a reception before the dinner? We're going to be the laughingstock of the town."
"So well uninvite them, I had to get the air force in shape for a flyover. Only two out of the 400 planes the United States sold us can still get off the ground."
"I never should have sent to Paris for a new evening dress."
"I don't want to hear anymore. I've hung American flags on every lampost in the city. What am I going to do with 130,000 American flags?"
"Won't the American exporters take them back?"
"I don't get them from America, I got them from Japan. They've been dumping American flags in ever country Carter was supposed to visit."
"I think you should send a formal not of protest to the White House telling them we have been personally unsulted."
"I've done that already."
"What did they say?"
"I got a note from their daughter, Amy, telling me she was studying our country in her geography class and asking me to sent her any information we had on our raw materials."
"You know our children are furious with us because I made them clean up their rooms?"
"That's just too bad. Do you realize how shaky my regime has been in the last six month? I was counting on Carter's visit to solidify my position with the military junta. The army military band had been practicing. 'Dixie' for three months. What do you think they're going to say when I tell them they can forget it?"
"I think if the President of the United States had any feeling at all he would at least have sent his brother, Billy Crater, in his place."
"They offered us Billy Carter, but he charges $10,000 an appearance, and no one in my cabinet thinks he's worth it."