By John Breneman
Warning that America has turned into a
nation of "flabby lard-asses," President George
W. Bush unveiled a national fitness initiative on Saturday
after leading White House staffers through a grueling "Abs
of Steel" video workout.
An estimated 60 percent of U.S. adults
are overweight, said the president, who challenged Americans
to get 30 minutes of exercise each day, whether it's running,
walking the dog or just spanking the monkey.
"Either you're with us,
or you're with the terrorists," said Bush, noting that
our national appetite for nachos and fried food contributes
to the country's dependence on foreign grease.
"Our nation's health depends
on every American doing his or her part," said the president,
who also cautioned citizens to avoid "risky behaviors"
like smoking cancer sticks and crack, shooting heroin or getting
so drunk that you choke on your own vomit.
America's obesity also impacts
her astronomical health care costs. For example, the nation
now spends an annual $183 billion to fight heart disease alone,
almost as much as we spend on Chicken McNuggets each year.
The president's high-profile
fitness extravaganza also featured a 3-mile run on Saturday.
After clocking in at 20:09, the president issued a bold challenge,
daring other world leaders to race him.
"Forget the nuclear arms
race," he said. "Hussein, Arafat, Pervez Musharraf
... I'll leave all of 'em in the dust."
The president, a self-described
gym rat who likes to spend up to four hours a day playing T-Ball,
plans to give a major speech on Wednesday encouraging Americans
to eat more spinach and yams.
Bush is also expected to announce
new federal funding for liposuction during Wednesday's first-ever
presidential "Weight of the Union" address.
in Washington tree-gnawing ring
Mad cows sent to anger management
To protect American consumers from a possible recurrence
of a deadly public health crisis, hundreds of mad cows are
being herded into anger management counseling.
"These cows must seek professional help to confront
their inner rage," said Dr. Milton Shepherd of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture. "Otherwise, millions of Americans
will never feel safe eating a hamburger or a juicy, steaming
bowl of Beef-a-Roni."
As health officials scramble to pinpoint the source of tainted
beef found in the Northwest, they are also quarantining all
pissed-off or angry-looking cows to make sure the disease
does not spread to other animals.
"If this mad cow situation is not contained quickly,
before we know it we could have a mad pony epidemic on our
hands," said Dr. Shepherd. "Not to mention mad chickens
and mad pigs. They say mad kittens are the worst."
Health officials are also busy separating fact from myth.
"Humans cannot contract crabs or camel toe by eating
tainted meat," said Dr. Fester N. Carcass of the Centers
for Disease Control. "And there is absolutely no connection
between mad cow and the monkeypox scare that swept the nation
earlier this year."
Nevertheless, the public is being urged to remain vigilant
about animal-related medical conditions. "Just use common
sense," said Dr. Carcass. "Consult a physician if
you are feeling mousy, bird-brained or dog tired. And don't
eat anything called Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy casserole."
Back to PAGE ONE
Power outage linked to squirrel terrorists
By John Breneman
A rogue squirrel knocked out power across much of the city
early Thursday in an act of sabotage that police are calling
"a heinous and cowardly act of rodent terrorism."
The squirrel leaped into an electrical transformer at a downtown
substation shortly after 9 a.m., just as the business day
economic impact of the brazen daylight suicide mission is
estimated at $1.2 killion as hundreds of downtown workers
were left literally powerless to do their jobs. Employees
at one local dot-com were startled to find the company no
longer existed when the electricity came back on. And several
firms provided counseling to help workers deal with the emotional
trauma of not being able to get onto their computers.
The squirrel was killed instantly and so could not be questioned
regarding his motive. But police say a group identifying itself
as the Bushy Tail Liberation Army is claiming responsibility
for the attack. The BTLA, which exploded onto the international
rodent terrorism scene when it sizzled a power transformer
outside the White House last November, scratched the following
statement into the bark of a giant oak tree near City Hall:
"We demand an immediate end to the vehicular genocide
being perpetrated against the squirrel community by our human
oppressors in their noxious SUVs."
Citing the "needless slaughter" of millions of
squirrels on our nation's roadways, the BTLA vowed that more
serious power outages would follow unless authorities complied
with their demands. These include:
-- Legislation imposing stiff fines and jail time for squashing
a squirrel in an automobile.
-- Erection of "Squirrel Crossing" signs and overpasses
at specified locations.
-- Immediate repeal of heavy tariffs on the import of exotic
European and Asian acorns.
-- Federal subsidies to stimulate trade with acorn-producing
-- And sweeping oak tree preservation measures, including
a nationwide ban on the use of oak in furniture manufacturing.
Lt. James Nutt of the police department's elite anti-rodent
terrorism unit said there is no cause for the public to be
alarmed. But he did offer several tips for homeowners concerned
that the squirrels chattering and foraging out in their yard
might be aligned with the BTLA rebels. Tell-tale signs include:
-- Squirrels congregating in groups and chattering in hushed
-- Shifty eyes.
-- Handguns and ammunition missing from your closet.
-- Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons appearing mysteriously on
If you suspect an ordinary household squirrel of engaging
in subversive activity, Nutt warned, do not attempt to subdue
the rodent yourself. They are often trained in martial arts
like Tae Akorn Do. Instead, police urge you to scamper inside
and whimper like a baby until help arrives.