Goodwill Diplomacy


Did you know that the largest Goodwill store in America is located just a few blocks from the White House. Yup, that’s because the US government receives so much unwanted junk from other countries.

The Boston Globe recently reported on the State Department’s annual listing of gifts received from foreign dignitaries. The biggest loser this year appears to be John Kerry, who received from Russia a “framed enamel painting depicting a church, a bridge, and various buildings.”

You can just picture Kerry’s wife standing with her hands on her hips and saying “We are NOT putting that in the living room!”

Given all the traveling Kerry does, the Russians should’ve skipped the painting and bought him an EZ Pass to cover the cost of bridge and tunnel tolls. Perhaps they’re still stinging from last year, when Kerry gifted the Russians with a velvet painting of Elvis.

President Obama got stuck with a porcelain espresso cup set from Russia. Five bucks says those cups will end up in Sasha and Malia’s bedrooms filled with pennies.

Yes, Obama and Kerry could refuse these gifts. But according to the report, “Non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to the donor and the US alike.” So it’s just like dealing with your Mother-In-Law. You store the junk you receive in the garage and wait for a time to sneak it off to Goodwill, unnoticed. That’s the diplomatic approach to dealing with junk.

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5 thoughts on “Goodwill Diplomacy”

  1. I would be more than happy to take some of the better, more elegant gifts off their hands. I’d even send a U-Haul to pick them up. 😉

  2. I wonder if that framed enamel painting from Russia had any little holes in it where you stick Christmas lights to make it more realistic. Cause that’d be great!

  3. When I was in college in NYC we used to go to the Goodwill store that was in the Village right by Mexico by the Texaco – wonderful Mexican cuisine. I thought they had great stuff, but I would think the DC one rules!

  4. If I was given a present of a velvet painting of Elvis, I definitely wouldn’t return it.
    Jill Y takes care of that end of the business!

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