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Volume 14, Issue 6: The Cretan Times

Bush Sends Weapons Inspectors to Canada

Douglas Jones

WASHINGTON, D.C.—President Bush denied reports that the U.N. heeded his order to send weapons inspectors to Canada in retaliation for being called a "moron" by an aide to Prime Minister Chretien. "The two have absolutely no connectionaries," said president Bush. "We have intelligence information showing that Canada is either building a long-range missile or a new hockey rink, and we want the U.N. to check it out."

In response to questions as to why the inspectors would begin their work at the insulting aide's—Francoise Ducros'—apartment, President Bush explained, "That was a U.N. decision, out of my jurisdiction. I my own self certainly hold no hostile intents toward anyone who uses the M-word."
Ducros called Bush a moron under her breath during a November NATO briefing meeting, and the resulting public controversy led Prime Minister Chretien to seek her resignation. The scandal grew as polls showed Canadians preferring Ducros be given a promotion.
Prime Minister Chretien said, "President Bush is not a moron; he's my friend." Chretien explained he himself would welcome the weapons inspectors into his palace and would share the Canadian delicacy with them. Chretien qualified his statements by explaining, "I don't necessarily disagree with Lord Bush, but the photos he showed me seemed, maybe, like photos of Toronto's CN Tower and not a long-range missile. But I don't know Canada as well as my dear, dear friend George Bush does."


 

Carter Offers to Mediate L.A. Laker Dispute

Douglas Jones

UPPSALA, Sweden—Former President Jimmy Carter said Thursday he was willing to mediate peace talks between Laker center Shaquille O'Neal and the remainder of the L.A. Laker basketball team, but only if the U.S. government asked him to.

With the World Champion Lakers continuing to struggle with a severe losing record this season, Shaquille O'Neal is deriding his teammates' play. After a recent loss, O'Neal told reporters on Tuesday, "Talk to the guys that ain't doing nothing. Don't talk to me." Laker teammate Derek Fisher responded, "He's bigger than me, but he has to be careful not to pass the blame on to other guys. We need to stick together."
Two weeks ago, teammates faced similar criticisms from superstar Kobe Bryant. Robert Horry said, "If the two big dogs were up to me, I'd trade them both."
Jimmy Carter helped broker the 1978 Camp David accords that turned the Middle East into the peaceful region it is today. During a speech to students at the University of Uppsala, Carter said, "Until President Bush, every president has played a balancing role as a trusted mediator between Lakers. Now it seems that President Bush can only side with the Israelis in favor of the Laker superstars."
Carter added that he would be willing to "go immediately and with great alacrity to help sort out this conflict between the oppressed players and the two big dogs."


 

Marines Apologize for Special Ops Toys for Tots Christmas Distribution

Douglas Jones

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Lt. Gen. Matthew T. Cooper, USMC (Ret.) publicly apologized Friday for the 55th annual Toys for Tots Campaign that involved Special Operation forces on leave from the Middle East. "Though we are regularly pleased with our Toys for Tots annual campaign to help every child throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas, we do concede that things got a little out of hand this year. We are truly sorry for the collateral damage, especially to our Jewish, Muslim, and agnostic friends."

Toys for Tots has long been the U.S. Marine Corps' premier community action program and the only endeavor within the Department of Defense which reaches outside the military establishment to make a difference in communities nationwide.
Cooper explained that Toys for Tots collected 7.1 million toys in the fall of 2002. "We wanted our mission this year to achieve its tactical objectives far beyond any other year. We wanted no child to be toyless." But Special Ops soldiers who had been recruited to help while on leave had apparently not been back in civilian life long enough and were undertrained for toy distribution.
Forces infiltrated houses at night, damaging property and panicking neighborhoods. When given toy supplies ran out, they subdivided toys and threatened objecting children. Their field intelligence revealed entire neighborhoods that lacked both Christmas trees and toys. Cooper explained, "We have agreed to repair all damaged property in countless Hassidic and Muslim neighborhoods, and we will gladly take back the offending toys."


 

Carnival Cruise Lines Bans Food on Voyages

Douglas Jones

NEW ORLEANS, LA—The recent rash of viral outbreaks on various cruise lines led Carnival Cruise lines, yesterday, to announce that it was banning all food on its Caribbean cruises. "We want to be proactive in winning passenger confidence back, and this decision removes customer doubts immediately," said Carnival CEO Micky Arneson.

Arneson explained that this move
fits in with numerous "survival" marketing themes that Carnival had already planned. "Passengers were already tiring of our 24-hour gourmet buffets. They would return from cruises weighing ten or twelve pounds heavier, and this created negative feedback to customer service."
Carnival is pitching its new seven-day to 28-day "all-fast" survival cruises to the 18-38 year-old dieting market. "These folks can lose weight, exercise, and enjoy watching movies of past cruise feasts in order to strengthen their personal resolve."
Alcoholic beverages will continue to be served as usual. Arneson added that all-fast passengers will find that Caribbean sunsets take on delightful and unexpected colors when one hasn't eaten in six days. Senior citizens will be allowed to bring limited sack lunches, but they "may not taunt other passengers."


 

Vatican Announces Wireless Magisterium

Douglas Wilson

VATICAN CITY, Italy—Faced with the challenge of competing in the ecclesiastical marketplace of the 21st century, the Vatican today announced a bold new move that left some church observers unsettled.

Fr. Johannes Verdi announced the development at a press conference late Tuesday. "After some serious internal review, which we then compared to the results of a three-year demographic survey, we decided that we had to market our distinctives and up-grade those distinctives where we could. After much debate, we decided this meant wireless hook-up for the magisterium."
"Under the older set-up, when we went to download ex cathedra pronouncments from heaven, the wait-time was simply unacceptable. Not only that, but we also had to deal with a possible garble factor. When official church dogma rides on ones and zeros, you can't have too clean a connection. One time we almost canonized Jerry Falwell, and he's not even dead yet. That, and he's not Catholic."
Fr. Verdi estimated that the transition to the new system should take around six months.


 

Cop Chicks United

Douglas Wilson

LOS ANGELES—A class action lawsuit was filed in district court today on behalf of all women in law enforcement. Lt. Cheryl Buckley, the spokesperson for the National Association of Copchicks (NAC), fielded questions on the courthouse steps afterwards.

Asked for a summary of the complaint, she said that it amounted to a request for a summary judgment on the basis of a climate of discrimination. "People on the street simply do not respect our authority. I have had friends break into tears over it. I have heard it is even worse over in South Central, but I can't speak to that firsthand. The guys on the force don't let us go over there anymore."


 

Wal-Mart Enforces Full Body Scans

Douglas Jones

BENTONVILLE, AR—In an effort to continue to lead the nation as "America's store," the Wal-Mart corporation announced Wednesday that it would be requiring full body scans of customers for every purchase. "You never know where terrorism might show up," said Wal-Mart president, Lee Scott. "We're doing our part in the war against terror and to ensure that our customers remain healthy buyers for a long, long time."

These increasingly popular scans supply doctors with a view into the body from the neck to ankles, giving a complete three-dimensional tour of a person's interior organs and their functioning. Promoted as a way to give peace of mind, the scans can spot any abnormality that may require follow-up tests and invasive surgery.
"The plan is to have television monitors next to the cash-registers so customers, not just clerks, can enjoy a look at their liver, lungs, and kneecaps," said Scott. "It's quite painless. The vision of a full body interior might even add some much needed levity to the check-out wait."
Scott closed the press conference by explaining, "body scans will surely cut down on shoplifting in a grand way, but more importantly, our in-store budgets can be adjusted automatically via computer network if we know we'll be losing a long-time customer to some life-threatening disease. We don't want to over order on any product."

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