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Volume 14, Issue 2: The Cretan Times

Muslim Extremists Fess Up to Culture

Douglas Jones

Kunduz, AFGHANISTAN—Last week, while in pursuit of Taliban operatives in the Pamir mountain range, a reconnaissance patrol of U.S. Marines stumbled upon a vast and sophisticated Muslim city. This city of New Beatisso "had slick monorail transportation, art museums, a nuanced cuisine, and a high-tech sewage system like nothing I've never seen back home," said Lt. Ray Peterson, leader of the patrol. "They tried to distract us away from it by faking Al Quaeda radio transmissions from a nearby pit of a village. But we knew something was up when our radios picked up a live broadcast of what at first sounded like a Mahler symphony, then we realized it was completely new music, a sort of Shostakovich, neo-Baroque blend with a bit of an Eastern flair."

The Marines called in air and ground support before approaching the laser wall surrounding the city. After several hours of waiting, the initial Marine patrol and two divisions of backup were greeted sheepishly by a council of twelve Mullahs dressed in brightly colored Italian suits.
U.S. intelligence sources report that the first words spoken by the lead Mullah were "Oh Jeez (Praise Be Upon Him), I can't believe the Great Satan finally found us."
The Mullah explained that all of the lame Muslim culture that the West sees is a front. Muslim nations merely pretend to be soulless, dull, and conformist, all the while veiling their true cultural riches in hidden cities like New Beatisso. "We didn't want Westerners aping our arts ham-fistedly and turning us into a weekly TV series—`Mullah's Place'— or something. We let you pine away thinking that only Trinitarians could produce a culture. But here at New Beatisso you finally see the wonderful depths of Unitarian culture—interdependence, free speech, empathy, love of body, humane technology, and subtle irony. Now leave us alone, you Trinitarian trash."
Sergeant Brad Willis, one of the first supporting soldiers at the city, said he now better understood the Muslim strategy of using terrorism to keep the West away from finding great cities like New Beatisso. Willis conceded, "We sat in on several of their stage plays, and I have to honestly say that their Mr. Kafeel made Shakespeare look like a fool's boy. The textured layers of contrasting Muslim emotions brought me up short. All these years they tricked us into believing they only had one-and-a-third emotions."


Cat Owners Protest Ban from Iditarod

Douglas Jones

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA—The annual Iditarod sled race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska, will face a legal challenge this year from the National Cat Fanciers Association. "The Iditarod race has no right to discriminate against sleds pulled by a team of cats. The Iditarod committee still seems to be blinded by the old prejudice that assumes dogs are stronger and more competent at sledding," says Mary Davis, vice president of the NCFA. "If you say `sled' they automatically picture a dog. They need to join the twenty-first century."

The race trail extends between 1,049 and 1,150 miles and the current race record held by Doug Swingley is 9 days, 2 hours. In 2002, the prize money total of $550,000 was split between 30 mushers.
The Iditarod rules state that "the maximum number of dogs a musher may start the race with is sixteen." The NCFA will argue that the rule only constrains a maximum number of dogs and does not explicitly exclude any other mammals. "Only dogs are limited," says Davis. "A cat musher can enter as many cats as she likes. We have three teams ready to go. They've been training for years as part of various Snow Rescue Teams in the Yukon."
The Iditarod Trail Committee went public last month with statistics showing the low-performance record of the cat rescue teams. "People were dying left and right, for Pete's sake. The cat teams would start off strong but after a few yards they would become totally indifferent to the plight of those trapped. Other times they would start to dig through the snow but give up after a few inches and cover-up the hole again."
The NCFA disputes the statistics, claiming that they are "from early in the cats' training" and that the methods assume "the same feline stereotypes that have held cats back from team sports for centuries. Cats may not have the same leg strength as dogs, but they have trail smarts. For example, they never chase their own tails like retards."
The three planned cat teams are made up of Persian, Himalayan, and Siberian breeds whose genes have been thoroughly acclimated to Alaskan conditions. Each team is to be made up of eighty to ninety cats each. Mary Davis added that "the teams will feature some of our strongest cats, especially Brighty, Samantha, Mr. Moomoo, and Snuggles."
In response, Frank Durry, chairman of the Iditarod Trail Committee, asked, "Mr. Moomoo and Snuggles? I'm worried that the Huskies will laugh their dog sort of laugh, and some cat is bound to get squished, and then the whining will really start." Mary Davis appeared to hiss slightly and replied, "It sounds like someone's a little afraid of real competition."


Book of Church Order Causes Epidemic of Reconciliations

Douglas Jones

Atlanta, PA—Conservative presbyterians around the nation were found pumping their fists in the air over growing reports that their various Books of Church Order have spurred widespread spiritual revivals and reconciliations. "Critics have always whined that spending hours of committee time perfecting super-precise constitutional language was pointless, but now we see the payoff," said Archie Alexander, a midwest clerk of presbytery. "Legal prose actually appears to prompt the Holy Spirit's work."

One southern presbytery that had faced a rash of church splits decided to go after the problems by making pastors and church members sit through public readings of the Book of Church Order and Robert's Rules of Order. "The results have been beyond our wildest expectations," said stated clerk Henley Vos. "Not only have the church divisions been totally healed, we have documentation showing 457 healed marriages and 904 apostate children turning back to their parents. We're taking the BCO on a nationwide road show."
Other conservative presbyterians quickly caught on and duplicated the results across the country. After a month of twenty-four hour readings from the BCO, the entire town of Radish, NM, population 45,000, converted to presbyterianism. Pastor Jade Maloney of First Providential Covenant Church said, "The people were drawn by the sheer mathematical orderliness of our church government. Then when we read to them from our presbytery minutes, they told us that they had not known life before such careful procedural policies. Some grateful teens started chanting `Necessary and Sufficient Conditions Forever' to a Britney Spears' tune." Several towns in New England are demanding sermons and even Bible translations that match the stirring precision of General Assembly minutes. Zondervan wouldn't comment on rumors about a "Robert's Rules Bible" that fills in the all those embarrassing procedural gaps in Jerusalem Council types of passages.
Presbyterian theologian, Calvin Turret of ETA seminary of the RPS under the auspices of the CPR, explained that "We're realizing that the entire eschatological thrust of the New Testament is toward increasing bureaucratic precision and order. The kingdom starts off as a little unseconded motion, but it grows into an amended overture that might get a 2/3 vote." The moderator of the RAF added that "Presbyterians are really on the cutting edge. The White House has ordered a special printing of the BCO for use in the Arab-Israeli conflict. When we heard this at presbytery, we got so excited we broke out in quiet handshakes."


Face Piercings Make Others Stare

Douglas Jones

SANTA MONICA, CA—A fierce division has arisen within the body- piercing community between those who want to be stared at and those offended by all the staring. "I didn't spend all that money for a lip ring and five eyebrow rings just so people would look at me like some freak," says Suzi Ricky, a WalMart greeter. Tracy Zachary, fourteen, explains, "I like did it to express my individuality, to show like control over my life. People just don't get it; it's as if they're staring at my breasts. It's such an invasion."

Jake "The Spike" Theodore, president of the newly formed Piercers in Desperate Need of Attention (PIDNA), says that piercers who complain about people staring are simply bringing shame upon the project. "Staring opponents are just morons," he says. "Body piercings are supposed to be uniforms for those of us who never got enough attention as children. Our group is proud of that symbolism, and we're trying to recoup that attention denied to us as kids. If people stopped staring at my tongue stud, then I'd have to become an actor or a politician."
Dr. Cynthia Newman of Southern Coast Community College, herself a double-nose ring bearer, has found sociological support for the PIDNA, reading through recent field studies. "The face piercers we interviewed didn't directly invoke parental neglect, but they did speak of their deep need to conform with other nonconformists. Some mentioned duplicating the symbolism of piracy, and historical research on pirates suggests that pirate parents rarely read aloud to them."
More research from the Vermont Institute of Semiotic Studies suggests a link between face piercings and the longing for a primitive state, somewhat akin to those tribes who put tea saucers in their lips. The study suggests that face piercings empower people with a primitive spirituality that raises them above technological impersonalism. "But they still want to work the high-tech deep fryers at McDonalds," says one Fresno employer who wished to remain nameless. "They don't have the courage of their convictions." Another employer comments that "I am crippled by trying to avert my gaze all the time; it gives them an aura of holiness that makes me weak in the knees."
Suzi Ricky remains unconvinced. "Look, I pierce my face to prove that I have no long-term vision for the future. I pierce to prove my dominion over my own face. Self-centeredness is sexy."
After a three-day PIDNA roundtable-discussion evaluated various proposals and research projects, the panelists could only agree that face piercings actually do cause little kids to stare an awful lot.

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