Mark Pauline, the legendary founder of Survival Research Labs known for his pyrotechnic robot performance art, isn't the first person you'd expect to see in the same photo as Barack and Michelle Obama. But that's exactly what happened recently when Pauline and his wife Amy Critchett attended a ball at the White House.


We asked Pauline how he managed to get an invite, and he gave us the following response:

"Easy, my mother in law was in Congress for 20 years and I passed the background check due to my spotless record!"

Critchett's mother, Lynn Woolsey, was indeed a US Representative of California between 1993 and 2013. As for Pauline's record, we're not sure he's being entirely serious — after all, last year he told The Verge "When I grew up I wanted to be a terrorist." Still, here's hoping it's the start of a long and fruitful relationship anyway. We can't think of many better ornaments for the White House gardens than a fire-breathing robot.