How does the President order flowers?

I don't post much about the President, so this puzzle caught my eye:

Asked if he has a hard time ordering flowers – as the Michael Douglas character did in "The American President" – Obama said, "The truth is, actually, I get to keep my credit cards, and if I want to go to the florist, I could order some flowers and pay for it." (He did add that if he tried to order the flowers by phone, "they might not believe me.")

What could you say to prove, over the phone, that you are the President of the United States?  If you assume the florist is at a working computer terminal and can access Google, you could promise to answer questions about your life, and to answer them so quickly the florist would not think you are googling to those answers.  Plus you are dialing from a 202 area code and you sound like President Obama (because you are President Obama), whose voice is well-known and distinct.  I would think he would have an especially easy time establishing his identity over the phone.  Furthermore the audience, wondering that maybe you are the President of the United States, would fall into the deference mode, even if some residual doubt remained.

Impersonating the President of the United States might draw interest from the law, or at least an inquiry, and that would discourage potential pranksters and make your claim more credible.

Who would have a tougher time establishing a credible identity over the telephone?  How about Lady Gaga?  Her speaking voice is not well known, fans will know the details of her life on the web and thus pass the Google test, she does not command deference from many florists, and if you impersonate her the Secret Service won't come knocking on your door.

Somewhere in here is a lesson for evolutionary biology…


Comments for this post are closed