The chief of protocol said, "Mr. Hudson of -- ah -- Mastodonia."
The secretary of state held out his hand. "I'm glad to see you, Mr. Hudson. I understand you've been here several times."
"That's right," said Hudson. "I had a hard time making your people believe I was in earnest."
"And this Mastodonia," said the secretary, reaching down to tap the document upon the desk. "You will pardon me, but I've never heard of it."
"It's a new nation," Hudson explained, "but quite legitimate. We have a constitution, a democratic form of government, duly elected officials, and a code of laws. We are a free, peace-loving people and we are possessed of a vast amount of natural resources and --"
"Please tell me, sir," interrupted the secretary, "just where are you located?"
"Technically, you are our nearest neighbors."
"That's ridiculous!" exploded Protocol.
He shooed Hudson off. But it was a terrible mistake -- a mistake with the worst consequences anyone could imagine. . . .