BUSH GETS TOUGH WITH THE POPE
(FIRE ISLAND, NEW YEARNING) - In a sternly worded announcement Resident Bush came out for new laws on gay marriage and said he's seeking a new mandate with the Pope on this issue.
"I just love it when you're so forceful," said Pope John Paul, accepting the man date, set for sometime in September around Labor Day in a lovely Italian villa overlooking the Adriatic Sea, decorated in a neo-Grecian style with hand painted statues and a stunning baroque curving balustrade, rising three stories over a floor of Corinthian marble. A lesser known group of Catholic monks, the Order Of Onan, which is made up entirely of yanks, maintains the villa for the Pope for his most private encounters.
When he heard the Pope had set a date to discuss gay marriage, Resident Bush said, "Look I'm glad we can finally agree on something after we disagreed about killing a bunch of Iraqis this spring, but I said 'mandate' not 'man date'." Bush went on to wonder if the Pope was really against gay marriage because he really likes it in the closet with all the other priests. [Homer Fobik, 13 O'Clock Rear Guard]
RELEASE OF DEATH PICS A 'PHOTAUX-PAS'
(OUIHAYTCHUBAD, AFGHANISTAN) - Top U.S. military officials are meeting in an undisclosed location in this hostile city to talk over strategy in Iraq. "It's safer here, where they want to roast us on spits until our bowels implode, than it is in Iraq," said Gen. Guhner "Checkpoint" Charles, "especially since Big Spill went and released those awful pictures." The "Big Spill" he refers to is the official code name for President Bush, or it was until we just now released that information, and the pictures in question are the death photos of Uday and Qusay Hussein, killed by U.S. troops in a fire fight in Mosul, Iraq. "None of us minded the idea of death photos, especially since they were supposed to calm the fears of the Iraqis who are still afraid of those guys," explained Charles. "We just wish they'd been more tasteful photographs of horrible, bloody death, and that... that certain one hadn't been included at all." The photograph of Bush in hunting clothes, rifle in hand, standing next to the stuffed and wall-mounted heads of the Hussein brothers has drawn criticism from all over the globe. A baffled Bush could not form a coherent thought for comment. Meanwhile, more and more military personnel jam into this cave across the street from the 7-11 in Ouihaytchubad to hide. We probably shouldn't have said that. [Shirley May Hurrell, 13 O'Clock temp, already reassigned]
CIA HAS TROUBLE STAFFING NEW DEPARTMENT
(HIDDEN BUNKER, VA) - Responding to the need for new and better images of possible disguises of Saddam Hussein, the CIA is trying to hire experts in Photoshop from all over the country, but the candidates who apply are finding it hard to meet the agency's tough standards. "Most of the applicants are wimpy liberal artistic geeks," said Warren Moorewar of the CIA's human resources department. "Sure, they are patriotic, but very few of them believe in Original Sin, The Rapture, or even staying a virgin until they are married, which are all requirements for admission into Fist Of God, sorry, I mean the CIA." The agency hopes to fill both positions by the end of the year. [Will Disevrend, 13 O'Clock Wimpy Liberal Artistic Geek]
BUSH TOURS AFRICA
(JU-JU, ZIMBABWEORZEHIWE) Never one to be called a sitting president, George Bush traveled to Africa recently. As he got on Air Force One he said, "It’s a bout time we went on a friccan tour, so where are we going again?"
Once in Nigeria Dubya personally checked on the rumors that the Nigerian-Iraqi uranium connection was based on forged documents. Presented with the original papers that fooled British Intelligence, the Resident said "These look just like the ones that Karl Rove printed out for me last fall." He went on to wonder aloud if the administration could blame the forgery fiasco on Jayson Blair, noting that Blair’s ancestors came from the continent, "from somewhere between Casablanca and Capetown, so there’s definitely a connection."
When reached for comment Jayson Blair was incredulous. "First they said affirmative action was a failure because of me and now this!" he fumed, "Doesn't he know the difference between a forger and a plagiarist?"
Bush had no reply as he was off on safari to hunt the rare white rhino thinking its horn would stiffen his manhood enough to do some good in trouble spots like the Congo or Liberia, where people are dying every day but there’s no oil and there’s no connection to terrorism and he might actually have to participate in a UN mandated peacekeeping mission which might involve working with the French again. Sorry, the Freedom again. [Lance Boyle, 13 O’Clock Not Our Concern Bureau]
TROOPS RECALLED FROM IRAQ: RUMSFELD "PISSED"
(STAFF STRATEGY ROOM, WHITE HOUSE) - Damage control is underway after Resident Bush held another in what are being called his "solo press conferences" today. Before his sitters could react, the Resident had already assembled the press in the rose garden and informed them that he had just recalled the troops from Iraq. "I've been listening to NPR, like all us thinkers do," said Bush, "and that's where I heard things that made me realize I can solve our energy crisis without the help of those ungrateful Iraqi bastards." Secret Service men appeared on the fringe and attempted to grasp the Resident by one of his flailing limbs as he spoke, but they failed to reach him before he finished his big announcement. "I have learned that it is possible to get two million barrels of crude oil PER DAY out of a rock. I don't know yet how big a rock we need for that," admitted the smiling dictator, "but I'll tell you what, Texas is just stinkin' with rocks!" Within the hour, a furious Donald Rumsfeld ordered the troops back into Iraq and canceled all of Resident Bush's "solo press conferences" for the rest of his term. The producers of the NPR segment Bush had been listening to, "Two Million Barrels Per Day From Iraq," could not be reached for comment. [Chip Rockafeller, 13 O'Clock Around The Block Tonight]
SCHWARZENEGGER STARTS SHORT DISTANCE RUN
(GREENLIGHT, CA) Announcing his candidacy for Governor of California by appearing on the influential political talk program, The Tonight Show, Arnold Schwarzenegger answered as few questions as possible on his plans as Governor. The celebrity occasionally lapsed into German when stumped by Jay Leno’s probing political questions like "Is the weight room in the Governor’s mansion well equipped enough for you?" With the old Beatles tune, "All You Need Is Notoriety," playing in the background, The Terminator said, "People must already know what I will do as Governor," in spite of the fact that nobody knows what he will do aside from scaring Dick Riordan and Daryl Issa out of the race.
"He's certainly not a Republican even though he's a card carrying Republican," quipped Rush Limbaugh, who's critical of Arnold's pro-choice, pro-gun control and pro-gay rights positions. "We don't even know how he got into the party. We never invite immigrants to our meetings. The $500,000 initiation fee was probably no problem for him though, and usually that's the only test we use for a right winger."
Polls taken immediately after the announcement indicate that the public is already tired of any joke involving the words "Terminator," "Governator," "Hibernator," "Ruminator," "Initiator," "Fumigator," "Vacillator," "Alligator," "Litigator," or "Total Recall." [Millie Regretti, 13 O’Clock State Official and Product Recall Desk]
GOD AVOIDING PAT ROBERTSON'S PRAYER CALLS AGAIN
(ETERNITY CITY, HEAVEN) - Annoyed by the sudden deluge of prayers from misguided followers of televangelist Pat Robertson, God has been driven the point of screening prayers. "They're just bombarding me with all these awful requests regarding the United States Supreme Court Justices, wanting me to kill 'em off, stuff like that. Nasty business," said the Almighty in a recent Barbara Walters interview. "It's not that I'm against vicious treatment of people, it's simply that I'm not sure I understand the motive here." God attempted to add his prayer reception frequency to the telemarketer blocking website, but couldn't find categories that fit his situation. Asked whether or not he'd answer any of the prayers, he chuckled and said "Yeah, by getting an unlisted number and giving Robertson a sudden irresistible attraction to Jesse Jackson, that's how I'll answer these buggers. Bother me at dinner time with a million mean spirited prayers, will they?" [Rose Tinhell, 13 O'Clock cinder]
ARI FLIESCHER SETS WORLD RECORD
(TINKWACHUWANT, AMERICAN MYOPIA) Ari Fleischer, on vacation in the South Pacific after leaving his White House Press Secretary position more than a month ago, has inadvertently gotten into the Guinness Book Of Records for the World’s Longest Bath. "One of the main reasons I left is because people started to complain about this terrible smell whenever I came into a room to make announcements," said Fleischer, carefully lathering with mechanic grade grease remover. The presidential mouthpiece soon realized it wasn't regular body odor or halitosis, "it was the stench of hypocrisy and guile from all the crap that they used to make me read and defend."
Fleischer remains confident that he will eventually be free of the smell, even though he’s been washing constantly for six weeks. "I'm trying everything, Persian bath oil, dish washing liquid, Hawaiian papaya scrub, Windex, beer shampoo, Chanel Number 5, kerosene, so far nothing’s helped, but I won't give up."
The former Bush spokesperson, who now looks rather like a waterlogged white prune, hopes to soon land a job selling unused Internet stock options after finally he comes out clean. [Izzy Kleinyet, 13 O’Clock Fragrance Consultant]
JUROR SLEEPS THROUGH BEST PARTS
(CINCINNATI, OHIO) - The obscenity trial of Tip Top Magazines store owner Shawn Jenkins took a turn for the bizarre recently when the videotape at the center of the case caused a juror to fall asleep. "How can they expect a fair trial at this point, when one juror was so bored he zonked out completely," asked defense attorney Dirk E. Sanchez, "and the rest of them were distracted by all that annoying giggling from the judge?" Sheriff's deputies in the back of the courtroom also provided distractions as they continuously forgot where they were and absent-mindedly attempted to push quarters through nonexistent slots. The jingling caused jurors to look away during some of the parts the prosecution had counted on them finding particularly disgusting, especially when fully engorged. After two hours of deliberation it was announced the result was a hung jury, which sent Jenkins into fits of giggles, which set the judge off again. "It was like a scene from Porky's in there," complained County Prosecutor Chastity Lynch. "I mean, fer sure! It's so gross. Grow up already!" [Dexter "The Wad" Rabinowicz, 13 O'Clock Porn Watch]
SIR PAUL DOESN'T DO WINGS ANYMORE
(LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY) - Former Beatle and current animal rights activist Sir Paul McCartney has joined the battle between PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and Kentucky Fried Chicken. The group opposes the way the company treats the chickens it will eventually fry and hand out a small window to the waiting arms of people in cars. McCartney simply wrote a letter saying even chickens deserved a little respect, but it seems to have rubbed company executives the wrong way. "We realize Mr. McCartney's a legend," said company vice president Barbara 'Barbie' Q. Pitts, "and I, myself, own many Rolling Stones albums, so I'm a fan, but we feel he doesn't understand the situation because let's face it, the man eats rabbit food. He wouldn't know a chicken if it crossed the road to ask for his effin' autograph, right?" Pitts compounded her error when she took on a sarcastic tone and said "I mean, Mr. McCartney should remember his own words and realize 'You Can't Always Get What You Want,' am I right?"
Pitts was quickly replaced at the podium by newly promoted vice president Louis Lipps, who immediately endeared himself to no one by remarking that "McCartney should take the advice of one of his own songs and 'Go Now!'" Informed that "Go Now" was a Moody Blues song written by Denny Laine, Lipps quickly left the podium and resigned, only to be replaced by newly promoted vice president Ted Nugent. "Hell, we just kill 'em with arrows, man, what's the dude's problem?" asked a sarcastic Nugent, resplendent in camouflage loin cloth and mink slippers. "Personally, I think he should heed the advice of one of his own songs and seek 'Help.'" After being informed that "Help" was written by John Lennon, Nugent defiantly remained at the podium until noticing a small animal nearby, which he chased down, caught and ate.
At this hour, Yum Brands, Inc., which owns KFC, is out of vice presidents and nobody has volunteered for the job. The general feeling is that no one can beat the much-loved Sir Paul McCartney, although this morning brought the surprise announcement that the company has just been purchased by Yoko Ono. This could get very ugly indeed. [Rocky Cornish, 13 O'Cluck Poultry Advisor]
BOSOX GEAR UP FOR USUAL HEARTBREAK
(BOSTON, MASS.) - As the pennant races heat up in the world of baseball, a familiar theme begins to creep into the collective consciousness of east coast fans, particularly those in Boston. Their beloved yet beleaguered Redsox have climbed up in the standings and are now duking it out toe to toe with the New York Yankees for the title in the American League East. What would be a cause for celebration in any other city brings out black arm bands in Beantown, for the curse of the Babe is due to break hearts once again.
"We don't know how it'll happen," says shortstop NoMas Graciousplaya. "We just know we'll get within an eyelash of winning the series, and then one of us will !#$& up a gimme. We practice it."
Surprisingly, it seems to be true, as we discovered at a recent team workout at which one of the drills involved second basemen throwing the ball in the dirt at first, outfielders being conked on the heads by routine fly balls and baserunners being caught off the bags because they were adjusting their crotches and not paying attention to game. But why would any team practice losing in any situation, let alone on bizarre plays?
"Look, it's going to happen, so why not be ready for it," asks manager Hap Lester. "The curse of the Babe is real. I cut myself shaving today," he said, speaking about the supposed curse unleashed on the team when owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for 15 dollars and some Cracker Jacks. The Redsox haven't won a world series since. They've lost 7th games due to booted grounders, tripping, throws in the dirt, a catcher's mask getting stuck halfway off, covering his eyes on what should have been a series ending foul ball, an earthquake that opened a gap in the field and swallowed a bunt, the spontaneous combustion of an outfielder waiting for a fly ball, a Japanese bomber attack that left the 1943 Bosox dugout in splinters and all pinch hitters dead AFTER the pitcher had been pulled, forcing a forfeit, and the disqualification of the entire team in 1993 when it was learned that the batters were corking their hands to avoid detection when the league x-rayed their bats.
Even the fans are preparing, including Father Christopher J. O'Malley, who is working on prayers to try to break the curse of the Babe. "Jesus may have suffered for our sins, but apparently he didn't suffer enough to cover the Redsox," whispered the priest, as if to keep The Lord from hearing him, "so I've got to cover some of this crap myself."
All this preparation and yet the outcome is preordained. With 2 outs in the 9th, protecting a 1 run lead, some Redsox pitcher will get a hot shot back into the box that will nail him in the crotch. He'll keel over, unable to breathe, while two men score. Why play the Goddamn game? [W. Buckner, 13 O'Clock Department of Deja Vu]
SCIENCE FICTION NEWS
ASTRONOMERS IN OZ ON SHROOMS
(SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA) - Astronomers attempting to count the stars in the known universe have finally come up with a number: 70 sextillion. That would be 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or roughly three times the dollar amount of Michael Jordan's shoe contract. When pressed for details on their counting methods, the astronomers admitted they simply counted the stars in a portion of the sky and then multiplied that number.
"Yeah, well, crikey, if we tried to count 'em all we'd be there for about 32,000,000,000,007 years," says team member Cyril "Night Eyes" Owlsly. Asked how many stars they did count, he flatly stated "The ones in the 'little dipper,' mainly, but one of those might have been a spot on the binocular lens."
Once we realized talking to this man was pointless, we turned our attention to team leader Skip Mostli, who explained that this discovery meant there were more stars in the known universe than grains of sand on all the beaches and in all the deserts of the world, and that the team had counted stars in one thin strip of the sky, then multiplied that number to get an estimate on the big picture, making us realize that this is a silly story and we've been had. Sorry. Michael Jordan, however, is renegotiating his contract, and we'll have details on that story as they are made available. [Galileo Jones, 13 O'Clock Dept. of Astronomy & fast food gopher]
THE IT'S NO JOKE SECTION
THE SCHWARZENEGGER PROPHECY
Once again we at the 13 O’Clock News are obligated to bring you an amazingly bizarre true item.
You may have heard Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah has proposed a constitutional amendment to allow naturalized citizens to hold high office in the US, even the Presidency. The hidden agenda here is that if passed, this will make a certain Austrian now running for Governor of California eligible to become President.
Maybe that’s bizarre enough for you, but there’s more: THIS WAS PREDICTED IN 1993!
In an exceedingly banal film called Demolition Man, Sylvester Stallone starred as John Spartan, a tough rogue cop who had been frozen and reawakened in 2032. He was thrust into a world where police had become wimpishly polite, where all cursing was outlawed and Taco Bell was considered high cuisine. So far so good. At one point fellow officer Sandra Bullock fondly remembers "PRESIDENT SCHWARZENEGGER." When Spartan asks, she replies matter-of-factly that the "Sixty-First Amendment" was passed just so he could run.
"God told me to strike at al-Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East."
George Bush, speaking to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in June, as reported in the Israeli newspaper Harretz.
That's the news, if you can believe everything you read. Only the "It's No Joke" section and the signposts on the road to Armageddon are true.We'll have more news for you in the next issue of Cosmik Debris. Thank you.