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Volume 15, Issue 2: Cretan Times

Pope Declares Crusade Against Bush for Disobedience on Iraq

Douglas Jones

VATICAN CITY—Pope John Paul II on Saturday declared a military crusade against President Bush and the U.S. for waging war against Iraq. In the General Audience declaration, the pope reminded the gathered crowd he had openly warned President Bush not to go to war and that there would consequences.

"He chose to ignore us," said the pope. "When war, as in these days in Iraq, threatens the fate of humanity, it is ever more urgent to proclaim, with a strong and decisive voice, that only obedience to the Holy See can lead to a more peaceful and just society."
A few hours after the war began, the Vatican expressed "deep pain"
and faulted both sides for failing to get along, but until Saturday, the pope himself had not spoken about the attacks. Before the war, the pope had sent a cardinal to plead with President Bush but was rebuffed when Bush explained he was a Methodist. Another cardinal had been sent to Baghdad to press Saddam Hussein to ease up a bit on prisoner torture in exchange for beatifying an Iraqi saint.
On Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard observed several dozen Vatican special forces troops in flowing red capes disembarking near Lady Bird Johnson Memorial Park. Coast Guardsmen turned them around and directed them
toward the White House. The White House security guards declined their demand to enter, and when the Vatican troops surrounded the White House, threatening a lengthy siege, the security guards took their guns away.
In response, the Holy See Press Office explained that this incursion was only the first of many stages in the crusade and predicted that "the pope won't relent until President Bush comes to the Vatican and begs the Holy Father for forgiveness, while standing in the specially provided footbox of ice."


Satellite News Coverage Reveals Iraq to be a Deeply Pixelated Country

Douglas Jones

ATLANTA—CNN polls show that U.S. support for the war skyrocketed when viewers realized how pixelated Saddam Hussein had made his country. Unobservable by standard TV cameras, the widespread pixelation of Iraq was picked up only by the latest high-tech, mobile satellite cameras of embedded reporters. They revealed an Iraqi terrain of stuttered, unfocused boxes, jagged lines, and delayed speech.

"We expected to be surprised but
nothing prepared us for this," noted Gregg Rodgers, a CNN reporter embedded with the Third Infantry. "The cameras with the U.N. inspectors completely missed the pervasive pixelation. Who knew the depths to which Saddam would go? I was often moved to tears by pixelated children with jagged little smiles."
Troops most affected by the pixelation complained that it interfered with navigation, targeting, and putting on uniforms. "Trying to get a pixelated
arm into pixelated sleeve is a nightmare, especially at the elbows," said Capt. Ray Lodge, Marine 3rd Battalion. "But it greatly helped tank track grip."
The boxy effect seemed to have been limited to the main thrust of the campaign and resolved when troops stormed a key Baghdad communication center and rebooted Iraq to the more standard 1024 x 768 resolution.


New World Trade Center Visionaries Deny Language Confusion

Douglas Jones

NEW YORK—Joseph Whitehead, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, who recently announced the winning design for the World Trade Center site will include "a spire that reaches to heaven," denied today that his offices have been thrown into linguistic confusion.

"It's just a temporary software problem," he explained through his Swahili translator. "Our offices, as well as those of the Port Authorityand the Mayor's office, have chosen to be highly multicultural, and we're waiting for online translation technology to catch up." He also denied rumors that busloads of translators had been seen arriving throughout the night.
When asked why he was not giving the press conference in English, Whitehead switched to his Icelandic translator and explained it was a personal hobby of his.
In response to questions about the winning design from architect Daniel Libeskind, Whitehead explained the design "should really make a name for America, lest we be scattered over over the face—I mean, the 1,776 ft. spire will be taller than any other tower in the world." Whitehead noted that the bulk of the tower construction will be a team effort by the noted construction companies Tarbell and Gitaud. "So for short, we'll temporarily call the tower the Tar-Git."


Mormon Church Closing Doors in Coffee Capital Seattle

Douglas Jones

SEATTLE—After sixty-five years of missionary activity in Seattle, the Church of the Latter-Day Saints has finally given up. Seattle Temple President Gordon Conger announced the LDS withdrawal plans recently handed down by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

"It was as if our pearls of great price just couldn't shake the mocha stain," he said. "For two decades we tried to work for change within the Seattle coffee hierarchy, even placing top executives within Starbucks, Seattle's Best Coffee, and Tully's. We had hoped companies like these could be peacefully urged away from coffee toward emergency preparedness supplies."
Publicly, Starbucks executive vice president Lorraine Hunter expressed sadness for the LDS move. "We continue to strive for diversity. The loss of the LDS market will certainly cut into our decaf Tazo citrus smoothie sales." Unnamed sources at Starbucks explained, "It's all about domination. Mormons boast of great growth numbers worldwide, but Starbucks is actually growing much faster."
Temple President Conger conceded that the Bellevue Temple, dedicated in 1980, has been purchased by Tully's as a storage facility. "I love Seattle," Conger said, "but there comes a point where you just have to shake the dust off your white shirts."


Michael Jackson Foundation Issues Recommendations for Future NASA Shuttles

Douglas Jones

NEW YORK—In response to the Columbia shuttle disaster, Michael Jackson's Heal the Kids foundation sent recommendations to NASA to help it improve safety in space. A foundation spokesperson noted Michael Jackson was deeply wounded by the Columbia disaster and called upon his foundation to respond. The foundation is dedicated to fostering programs that help children gain the love, attention, and quality time they need to flourish and stop the cycle of neglect.

Michael Jackson's recommendations included the following:
• NASA should ensure that its astronauts work in a balloon-friendly environment.
• Nothing on the shuttle should get hotter than a Barbie oven.
• A system of space cables should replace rocket fuel.
• While developing proposals, NASA engineers should be required to hold hands.
• Each time the shuttle circles the earth, Houston should read bedtime stories to the astronauts.
• Astronaut training should be open to ostriches and zebras.
• Preflight inspections of the 22 reinforced wing panels should be performed by children's hands.
• Guarding against debris travelling at 17,500 mph is just too horrible to think about.
• All curved surfaces of the shuttle make the protective carbon too brittle; they should be flattened.
• Engineers should have the right to be listened to without having to be interesting or attractive.


Modern Canaanites Call on God to Apologize for Annihilating Precious Artifacts

Douglas Jones

JERICHO—At the conclusion of the annual Can-Again conference for descendants of Canaanite peoples, including Libnahites, Eglonites, Debirites, Hebronites, Makkedites, and Aians, conference moderator Yaser Awartani denounced God for destroying what would have been precious Canaanite museum pieces.

"These artifacts didn't even have an opportunity to show up on the black market. God just shattered to pieces priceless vases, bowls, and strainers, not to mention torching ancient goat rugs that would have now hung beautifully in collectors' villas." God's destruction of figurines of powerful goddesses drew repeated comment from feminist speakers, though a committee did offer to extend forgiveness to God if He would offer a place at the Godhead table to Asherah.
A large part of the conference was dedicated to prescribing the proper restitution that God might make to the Canaanites. "God should have protected these artifacts," said Eglonite representative Paebel Dagon. "They were worth billions of dollars. Restitution is certainly in order."
British Archaeological Trust observer Adrian Sheldon concurred with the results of the conference. "A country's identity and civilization resides in its history, just like our identity is grounded in reality TV and Austin Powers. If a country's artifacts are destroyed, as has the Canaanites', its history ends. What a tragedy."
Sheldon added that Canaanite artifacts didn't belong to God alone. "They were part of the heritage of the whole world. Wouldn't it have been wonderful if each person in the world could have a Canaanite artifact in his or her house?"

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