All the news that's fit to abuse, desecrate, adulterate, skew, twist, embellish, warp, humorize, fictionalize, satirize ... and print.


Monkeypox threat level
is lowered

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.



Beavers busted
in Washington tree-gnawing ring

Mad cows sent to anger management

By John Breneman

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."


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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 began.

The 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 nations.

-- 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 tones.

-- Shifty eyes.

-- Handguns and ammunition missing from your closet.

-- Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons appearing mysteriously on your TV.

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.


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