House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, was rushed to a Washington, D.C., hospital after an ill-fated attempt to smile, congressional sources said.
Although there were conflicting reports as to what provoked the usually dour Boehner to attempt such a spontaneous display of gaiety, one legislative aide said Boehner was under the mistaken belief that he had worked out a budget proposal acceptable to both Democrats and Republicans.
“The Speaker has a long road of physical therapy ahead of him before he regains full use of all of his facial expressions.”
“Of course this belief later turned out to be false,” the aide said. “The Speaker was just beginning to break out into a smile when we heard this popping sound. The next thing we knew, he was rolling around on the floor, clutching his face.”
One doctor on the team treating the Speaker for his injuries commented that they were “the worst facial muscle tears I’ve seen in my 30 years of practice.”
“Both the zygomaticus major and minor muscles were literally hanging by a thread,” the physician said. “The facial muscles are normally very elastic, but like any other muscle, if not used on a regular basis, they become rigid and prone to injury.
“We tied them back together as best we could, but the Speaker has a long road of physical therapy ahead of him before he regains full use of all of his facial expressions.”
In a statement released to the press, Boehner said he hoped to be back on Capitol Hill in two to three weeks.
“There is a lot of work to do, and I look forward to getting back and not doing it,” the statement said.