News Flash: Mickey Mouse Elected As US President

La Satira News Service

NOVEMBER 8, 2016–Come January, Michael K. “Mickey” Mouse (pronounced “MOWZ”) will have a new job:  President of the United States of America.

It’s not a job he campaigned or even asked for.  Instead, the 53-year-old plumber from Punxsutawney Springs rode a tidal wave of political discontent and name recognition to rise to the highest office in the land, winning on the strength of millions of voters who, dissatisfied with the choices offered by the major parties, chose to write in the name of Disney’s famous cartoon creation…a name which Mr. Mouse happens to share.

While Mr. Mouse is not the only real person to have a such a name, he is the only one whose practical-joking friends went so far as to submit paperwork at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to make him a bona fide candidate and therefore eligible to receive credit for any write-in votes with his name on them.

“Any big election will have a few ‘Mickey Mouse’ ballots cast by snarky voters,” said Dr. Adam Jefferson of the University of Punxsutawney’s College of Political Science and Herpetology.  “It’s just that this time around, there were so many people fed up with the major candidates–and, for once, there was a candidate legally qualified to receive these particular votes.  In terms of the sheer improbability of his manner of arriving at the Presidency, John Tyler and Gerald Ford have nothing on this guy.”

If Mr. Mouse himself is pleased by the prospect of his new career, he is so far being modest about it.

“What do I know about politics?” he wailed upon being informed of his successful candidacy.  “I’m a plumber, for crying out loud.”

So far, Mr. Mouse has been assigned a Secret Service detail.  He has also been deluged with phone calls and e-mail from well-wishers and others in search of one of the hundreds of diplomatic assignments or other political jobs at his disposal.  Almost lost in the shuffle have been several bitter tirades from a few minor party candidates and a series of increasingly desperate call-me-back messages from White House staffers trying to set up situation briefings.

Mr. Mouse’s friends, who filed the initial paperwork on his behalf, were not available for comment, having fled to Canada for reasons of personal safety.

Public opinion about Mr. Mouse’s sudden election has been decidedly mixed.  Some members of the public express nervousness about his lack of political experience and potentially insular worldview.  Others have expressed enthusiasm for Mr. Mouse based on those same attributes, some adding that his background as a plumber may make him uniquely qualified to drain the cesspool of Washington corruption.

Meanwhile, political analysts and governments around the world are combing through Mr. Mouse’s statements and other records, searching for clues about the direction his presidency is likely to take.  The best guess at this point is that Mr. Mouse will push to lower middle-class taxes while increasing spending on urban infrastructure such as water and sewer lines.  While Mr. Mouse is a member of a local union–a virtual job requirement in Pennsylvania–he has not been a particularly active one, and his presidency is likely to hold to a middle ground on labor issues.  His widely-quoted statement on foreign policy (“How should I know?  Let them sort it out by themselves”)  suggests a trend toward isolationism.

Still, there may be a broad difference between his stated policy goals (if any) and the actual direction taken by his administration (if any).  “In a curious irony, Mr. Mouse in many respects is the ideal candidate for the voter who detests the political insider-ism of one candidate and the wealthy chauvinism of the other,” said the University of Punxsutawney’s Dr. Jefferson.  “However, when he gets in office, he may suffer from Ventura’s Syndrome:  being elected on his own, without a party to back him up and introduce his legislation, he may have a difficult job actually doing anything.”

The election, of course, is not official until the Electoral College meets and the electoral votes are counted in Congress, but a drastic change is unexpected, thanks to state laws requiring members of the electoral college to vote according to the results of the election.

However, the Electoral College does have one degree of freedom that it can exercise:  selecting a Vice President, since Mr. Mouse’s campaign–what there was of it–did not propose a candidate for that office.  Some pundits are said to be pushing for the job to be given to one Donald L. Duck, a media research specialist at the University of Pomme de Terre in Idaho, presumably on the basis that his background in the media will help give depth to Mr. Mouse’s policy team.

“I understand both parties are appealing to the FEC to try to get the results overturned,” said Dr. Washington.  “It’s a pity–if the parties had done a better job appealing to the electorate as a whole, rather than individual constituencies, maybe we wouldn’t be in this pickle.”

Copyright 2016


News Flash: CDC to Join Fight Against ‘Iowacoccus’ Outbreak

La Satira News Service

Sources at the Centers for Disease Control have indicated that, contrary to normal practice, resources will be deployed in an attempt to mitigate the effects of the ongoing Iowacoccus plague that has been affecting 10-20 people across the country.

“Normally this wouldn’t be a problem,” said Dr. Germaine Flew of the Office of High-Consequence Pathogens.  “Every few years we have a small outbreak, and apart from a few weird symptoms, the cases typically resolve themselves in a few months.  However, over the past decade the trend is for the outbreaks to start sooner and resolve later.  This is of course worrisome, and we feel it needs further investigation.”

The current outbreak has been active for most of the last two years, though Dr. Flew suggests the contagion may have been active much earlier.

Fortunately, the indications of the disease are not especially severe.  The main symptom is usually an irresistible urge to wander around the countryside shaking hands, kissing babies, eating terrible food in a terrible hurry, and making outlandish promises that the victim has no credible means of fulfilling.  The disease may also manifest itself as an incipient or fully-developed narcissism.

The Iowacoccus disease has only been observed to be fatal to presidential aspirations.

While many people see CDC involvement as a welcome intervention, questions remain about what can actually be done to help the sufferers.  “That’s part of what we need to find out to combat the disease,” admitted Dr. Flew.  “There’s some reason to think that a series of lectures on basic economic principles might be helpful, along with a course of demotivational therapy.  Until we identify the primary source of the infection, this may be the best we can do for now.”

Copyright 2016

News Flash: Warwick Commission Pins Blame on ‘Lone Henchman’

La Satira News Service

WESTMINSTER–In a tumultuous session of Parliament today, the Warwick Commission presented its final report on the disappearance of the young King Edward V and his brother, Richard Duke of York, from the Tower of London in A.D. 1483.

The Commission, headed by Edward, 17th Earl of Warwick, was appointed by Henry VII to investigate the disappearances and comment on its relationship, if any, to the usurpation of the throne by Edward V’s uncle, Richard Duke of Gloucester.

According to the report:

“So make it known to those assembled here,
The fate that met our royal cousins dear,
And all that appertains thereto, anon
You shall perceive: It was a henchman lone
Who carried out this foul, unlawful deed.
Hence let us not on silly rumors feed.”

The report concludes that the princes were abducted and probably murdered by one Sir James Tyrrell, acting on his own initiative.  Further, the Commission supported the hypothesis that it would have been possible for Sir James to make his way into the princes’ quarters and carry out his operation without the aid of the two men-at-arms, Dighton and Forrest–the so-called “single bully” theory.

On the other hand, the Commission declined to look into evidence that suggested the vanished princes were ineligible for the throne.  Sir James is believed to be currently at large in France.

The Commission also declined to explain why it chose to deliver its report in iambic pentameter.  “Probably just showing off,” suggested William Long, MP for Old Sarum.  “Still, it might make good dramatic material, once all the furor has died down a bit.  But there’s no way iambic pentameter is going to become the dominant form of literature in England–not in a hundred years.”

Throughout the inquiry, the Commission heard from a number of witnesses who claim to have been in or around the Tower during the period of the Princes’ confinement.  The inquiry was complicated, though, by the fact that many sources whose testimony would have been invaluable, such as Robert Brackenbury, the erstwhile Constable of the Tower, perished during the Battle of Bosworth in A. D. 1485.

Critics of the Commission’s report claim–very quietly–that the young Earl of Warwick is not competent to chair such an important body.  “For one thing,” said one dissenter who referred to himself as Lambert the Unready, “he’s very young, and even if he were older, his upbringing can’t have prepared him for this kind of responsibility.  And then there’s the little detail that he’s related to most of the people involved.  This has conflict-of-interest written all over it.”

“This is a whitewash job if ever I’ve seen one,” said villager Martin Foote of Lower Phalanges, Bucks.  “It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if the Ancient Brotherhood of Cement-Mixers weren’t involved.  I mean, who do you think built the staircase that the princes were supposedly buried under?  Of course they’d be involved!”

Depending on whom one asks, suspicion may also rest upon the late Duke of Buckingham, King Louis XII of France, the Pope, and the drivers of the flying carriages occasionally reported in the vicinity of Salisbury Plain.

Others, however, found reason to defend the report as it stands.  “It has the benefit of simplicity,” said clerk  Thomas Occam of Bickingford.  “It doesn’t rely on silly conspiracy theories.  Perhaps surprisingly, it doesn’t automatically cast blame on that convenient bogeyman, Richard III.  That may be telling.”

A spokesman for the Earl of Warwick brushed off the dissent.  “It is hard to understate the upheaval that these events have caused in the history of our country,” said Sir John Poole of Middleham.  “However, I’m confident that, upon study and reflection, this report will finally close the book on the whole unhappy episode and allow the country to get on with things.  It’s a comfort to know that we won’t have to spend the next five hundred years arguing over it.”

Parliament is expected to consider the full report and vote to accept it later on this month.

Copyright 2014–only 531 years late….

News Flash: Senator Quits McCarthyism Committee Over McCarthyism Allegations

La Satira News Service

Senator Lucius H. Quaggmeyer announced today that he would step down from his position as chairman of the Senate McCarthyism Investigation Committee after his fellow committee members accused him of engaging in McCarthyian tactics.

The McCarthyism Investigation Committee (MIC) exists to eliminate political witch-hunts of the sort conducted by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s, ostensibly for the purpose of removing Communist sympathizers from government positions.  McCarthy’s efforts quickly evolved such that anyone who opposed McCarthy could have their careers ruined, whether they were Communist sympathizers or not.  The MIC investigates charges of such abuses of power among members of Congress and reprimands those found guilty of employing McCarthyian tactics.

The committee’s reprimands lead to public disgrace for the recipients, and almost inevitably spell the effective end of their political careers.

“I’ll gladly offer comments on today’s events,” said Sen. Quaggmeyer as he departed from his final meeting with the committee, “as soon as I figure out exactly what happened.  We were about to recommend a reprimand for Congressman Edward M. Broglio due to his failure to condemn the McCarthyian tactics of former Congresswoman Imogene Bickerstaff.  Then someone accused me–me!–of engaging in political witch hunts.”

“Was I aggressively investigating people?” the Senator continued.  “Of course I was.  We’ve got to get these McCarthyists out of government.”

The resignation of Senator Quaggmeyer leaves the way clear for Senator Austen Sibley to step up to the chairmanship.  However, internal rumblings suggest that his tenure may not last very long.

“There’s a feeling on the committee that Sibley might be a little soft on McCarthyism, and that he might even have sympathies towards those who engage in such tactics,” said one source who chose to remain anonymous.  “If there’s anything we will not tolerate in politics, it’s someone who has sympathies for people who engage in McCarthian tactics.  So expect him to be denounced and crushed almost as soon as he becomes chairman.”

Some insiders have suggested that the MIC ought to be done away with, as its actions only lead to embarrassment and instability; however, none have gone so far as to submit a bill to disband it.  “That would be political suicide,” said one insider.

Meanwhile, Senator Quaggmeyer has indicated that he expects to leave the Senate at the end of his current term.

Copyright 2014


News Flash: Court to Decide Truth-in-Advertising Claim Against Newfoundland

La Satira News Service

The Province of Newfoundland and Labrador finds itself the plaintiff in a curious case going before the Supreme Court of Canada/Cour suprême du Canada this week that may change the way world sees the province–or at least half of it.

At issue is the name “Newfoundland,” which the Canadian Society for Truth in Advertising/Société canadienne de vérité dans la publicité, which suggests that the name is misleading.  “It isn’t newfound land, is it?” said Jacques Smith, the lead attorney for the Society.  “Europeans have known about the place for a thousand years, if you admit the Viking claim.  Europeans have been aware of this place longer than anywhere else in the Americas.  And of course the aboriginal population has known about the place for maybe ten thousand years.”

The Society/Société has filed a truth-in-advertising suit against the province with the goal of changing the name.  “We’re not too particular,” said Mr. Smith. “Even Relativelynewfoundland might be an adequate description, since it was new at some point, at least to the Vikings.  Perhaps we should call it ‘Tiltöluleganýfannlandið.'”

Representatives of the province declined to answer specific questions about the suit.  “This suit is drawing off vital government resources that could be much better used to serve the people of Newfoundland and Labrador,” said one unnamed spokesman, “to say nothing of wasting the time of the Supreme Court/Cour suprême.  The most astonishing thing about this situation is that such a frivolous suit has made it so far.”

The decision made by the Supreme Court/Cour suprême this week may also determine the fate of a separate suit by the Maritime Grammar Police/Police de grammaire Maritime, who are seeking to have the province renamed “Newlyfoundland and Labrador.”

Copyright 2013

News Flash: Greece Taps Yogurt Craze For New Revenues

La Satira News Service

Faced with a stagnating economy, crushing national debt, and a population unwilling to put up with new taxes, the Greek government today announced new and unusual measures to boost the country’s finances.

The source of this new financial lifeline? Yogurt. Or more specifically, the western world’s sudden fixation on “Greek-style” yogurts.

Announcing the government’s intent to file an international trademark on Greek-style yogurt, finance minister Leptos Paradaki praised the increasing market share of yogurt with “Greek” or other Greek-sounding words in their name.

“We are pleased that after all these centuries the rest of the world recognizes the superior health benefits of our style of yogurt,” said Mr. Paradaki. “My associates around the world assure me that Greek yogurt is slowly taking over the shelves of grocery stores. But if the rest of the world is going to derive the benefits of our culture–so to speak–and if these enormous companies can use our name to sell superior products at superior prices, isn’t it only fair that we derive some of the benefit, too?”

By filing for trademark protection under the Madrid Protocol, the Greek government seeks to gain control over the use of the word “Greek” as a marketing term, as well as a variety of existing Greek-sounding yogurt labels. The move is similar to that used by France to ensure that wine labeled as champagne actually grew in the Champagne region of France. However, rather than seeking to limit spurious products, Greece is seeking to capitalize by licensing the names to international yogurt producers.

“This application is ridiculous,” said Elsie Morden of the International Congress for the Culture of Yogurt (ICCY). “If this application is approved, it could have a chilling effect on the entire yogurt industry. I mean, I know yogurt is supposed to be kept cool, but this could really sour relations… I mean, incubate hostilities… I mean… oh, forget it.” Ms. Morden suggested the industry might engage in a tit-for-tat war of words, with new yogurt brands coming out under the label “Hellenized.”

If trademark protection is achieved, the new measure could cause a slight increase in the price of Greek-themed yogurt. “We don’t think we’re asking too much,” said Mr. Paradaki. “If people can pay a dollar or more for six measly fluid-ounces of product, I don’t think anyone will get upset over another nickel or so. After all, it was our idea in the first place.”

Copyright 2013

News Flash: UK MoD Boosts Recruitment; Shining Armour Not Included

La Satira News Service

In Shakespeare, it is not uncommon to see groups of knights rushing off into battle.  That, of course, was part of being a knight in the first place.  And under a draft proposal leaked from the UK’s Ministry of Defence, it might be again.

Confronted by ongoing military commitments overseas and shrinking budgets at home, the MoD has developed a plan to activate the class who were historically entrusted with the defence of the realm:  the knighthood.

“While we certainly condemn the leaking of the memo, it must be said that the plan really does make sense from a certain point of view,” said Peter Faux-Pasteur, a spokesman for the MoD.  “Ever since the development of chivalry, the position of knight has had a military element to it.  Nobody ever heard of King Arthur and the Economists of the Round Table, have they?  We’re talking about a vast number of people who have accepted the honour of their country; now it’s time for them to takes some responsibility as well.”

Under the plan, all members of the Order of the British Empire would be required to perform one year of military service in every decade.  Participants would receive a nominal stipend, though most costs would be borne by the knights themselves.  Those knights not having already received military training would do so prior to the commencement of their first year of service.

The plan met with immediate criticism from a variety of quarters, most of which centers on the current concept of knighthood as an honor for past achievement–and the ability of knights in general to demonstrate competence in military matters if they are required to serve.

“It’s an absolutely ridiculous idea,” said Sir Hampton Applebury, a prominent financier.  “Granted, the knighthood started out as a military class, but that’s hardly been the standard over the last two hundred years.   These days the knighthood is granted to people, usually at a late stage of their career, who have already made great accomplishments, or else who have been involved in the entertainment industry.  Will Sir Richard Branson be pulled out of his transportation empire to build bridges with an engineering company?  Do we expect Sir Paul McCartney to start beetling around in Afghanistan or the Falklands?  Sir Ian MacKellan may be adept at wielding a wizard’s staff, but how would he do with a submachine gun?”

Others have expressed concern that this is merely a new strategem for squeezing money out of the wealthy, despite assertions from the MoD that wealthy knights would not be eligible to pay a fee in lieu of service.  In accordance with centuries-old custom, though, a knight in poor health may send a descendant in his place.  In acknowledgement of changing times, the descendant may be a son or a daughter.

“Of course many MBE recipients tend to be older persons who have already led a full life,” countered  spokesman Faux-Pasteur.  “But it is not the policy of the MoD to subscribe to age-based discrimination.”

Still, not everyone is put off by the proposal.  “They say this may make a lot of people refuse or give back their knighthoods,” said Sir Aethelred Godwinson, master of arms of one of the more obscure knighthood orders.  “Well, that’s fine.  It’s high time the knighthood stopped being a tool of political patronage or reward for success in the entertainment business.  Like they say, if everybody’s somebody, nobody’s anybody.”

If the plan is approved, the first “recruits” could be expected to appear for duty as soon as 1 April.

Copyright 2012

News Flash: Trial Begins in “Bismuth Awareness” Charity Fraud Case

La Satira News Service

Millions of people every day consume a product known to contain a radioactive heavy metal.  Most of them don’t even know they’re doing so.  And it’s all perfectly legal.

Moreover, the decay product of that substance is an even more dangerous material.

Or such was the claim of Fred Lavoisier, the chairman and chief fundraiser of the grass-roots advocacy group “Taking Care of Bismuth,” which purports to lobby for increased public awareness of the use of bismuth, the chief component of the “pink bismuth” family of digestive health products.

Mr. Lavoisier’s organization is the subject of a lawsuit from the Bandwagon Society, which claims the group is giving a bad name to legitimate charity and advocacy groups. and raising money for uncharitable purposes.

The move is an unusual one for the Bandwagon Society, which bills itself as an advocacy group for advocacy groups in general.  “If they want to advocate for something, they ought to advocate for something meaningful,” said Ms. Kelpie Berger-Picard, president of the Bandwagon Society, “like maybe awareness of frivolous advocacy groups.”

Much of the testimony in the trial is likely to center on the actual risk posed by bismuth in the context of bismuth subsalicylate, the active ingredient in the digestive medicine, as well as bismuth per se.

“Bismuth occupies a curious place in the periodic table,” said Dr. Haas Avogadro, professor of chemistry at the University of Punxsutawney, in a preliminary hearing.  “It’s in a neighborhood full of rougher elements like mercury, lead, thallium, polonium, and radon.  It’s in the same family as antimony and arsenic.  And yet it’s pretty much harmless.  It’s like running into the one genuinely nice kid in an otherwise disagreeable group, or a politician with genuine moral scruples.”

“Nobody’s suggesting it as a vitamin supplement, of course,” added Dr. Avogadro, “and you can make nasty chemical compounds out of almost any element; but as heavy metals go, it’s not so bad.”

Even the radioactivity claim is absurdly overstated, Dr. Avogadro said.  “Sure, it decays into thallium–but with a half-life of roughly 19 quintillion years, it’s not going to do much in the average human life span, much less in the few days it’s active in the body.  For the average dose of pink bismuth, we’re talking about maybe 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms of bismuth, of which maybe two or three atoms per day might decay into thallium.  There’s no way you’re going to get a meaningful dose–you’d get very, very sick from the other ingredients long before that.  As for radiation, you could get more of that by going out and planting petunias.”

The National Association of Commercial Petunia Growers immediately decried the comparison.  “How dare Dr. Avogadro make this irresponsible statement,” said Hyacinth Gardner, this year’s association president.  “There’s absolutely no evidence to suggest that petunias are any more radioactive than any other gardening plant.”  Ms. Gardner suggested that any rise in employee health insurance premiums resulting from Dr. Avogadro’s comments would be paid for with the proceeds of a defamation lawsuit against the University of Punxsutawney.

Meanwhile, back at the courthouse, Mr. Lavoisier pled innocent to charity fraud on the grounds that the charity fulfilled the purpose expressed in the fundraising materials.

“Strictly speaking,” said attorney Henry Schlumpf, who is defending Mr. Lavoisier in the case, “the charity only solicited funds to help raise bismuth awareness.  After this trial, I don’t think anyone will dispute that my client has done exactly that.  He never promised to do anything about it.”

When asked how his client had spent the money raised in the campaign, the attorney replied, “I really don’t think it’s any of the court’s bismuth…. business, I mean.”

The bismuth subsalicylate producers’ trade association is also considering filing a lawsuit for defamation against Mr. Lavoisier and his organization.  There is no word as yet whether the increased legal scrutiny is inducing in Mr. Lavoisier any symptoms such as heartburn or indigestion, or whether, if such symptoms did manifest themselves, he would seek to relieve them using bismuth subsalicylate.

Copyright 2012.

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News Flash: Study Attempts to Define Value of Public Art

La Satira News Service

How much is public art really worth?  Researchers at the University of Punxsutawney’s College of Economics and Arts want to know, and they’re undertaking a project to determine exactly that.

Unlike previous research, which typically looks at the amount of money spent by various levels of government and private donors for such things as murals, outdoor sculptures, and street theater performances, the Punxsutawney research will attempt to nail down the actual benefit received by the viewing public.

“The arts community expects the government to subsidize their work,” said Dr. M. C. Friedman, Professor of Economics, “and they talk about the value of art, but what does it really mean?  It generally doesn’t have a direction contribution to the production of goods and services, apart from the production of the art itself.  Does it boost productivity?  If so, by how much?  Does it boost tourism?  If so, who gets to decide whose tourism gets boosted?  If they expect the public to pay for it, the public needs to know what they’re buying.  Otherwise, how do we know it’s a good deal?”

The study will attempt to quantify the social value of art by tracking several measures in areas where new public art is installed, such as property values, work productivity, and the amount per capita spent on psychiatric care.  The study will consider several different types of art, such as sculptures (indoor and outdoor), murals, street theater, and framed art.

“Of course it’s oversimplistic to say that all art is completely devoid of practical function,” Dr. Friedman said.  “We found one example of a neighborhood that put up an intricately detailed, profoundly abstract sculpture.  It was so thought-provoking that visitors to the area would often spend several minutes in awed contemplation of it, giving the locals ample time to mug them.”

The discussion of the value of art is, of course, hardly confined to academia.  “People say things about a great nation deserving great art,” said Ed Smith, a visitor in the sculpture garden in Antimasonic Park, “but what terrible thing did we do to wind up with Jackson Pollock?”

“Even bad art can have some value,” argued Milton Escher, another park visitor.  “Who hasn’t walked by some absolutely hideous sculpture or painting and thought, ‘Even I could do better than that’?  That little ego-boost ought to be worth something to the general public.”

“Art who?” asked Phil Stein, a visitor in another part of the park.

The research came about almost by accident following the merger of the university’s art and economics programs.  “It started with a conversation in the student lounge about the value of art,” explained the Dean of the College, Dr. Pablo Keynes.  “It just sort of grew from there.  We feel that the synergy from this study could revolutionize both fields.”

The unlikely merger between the School of Modern Art and the School of Economics was also a surprise.  “It wasn’t our first choice,” admitted Dr. Vincent Hayek, the University’s Vice President for Periodic Reshuffling.  “The economics school had some space available in its building, and the School of Modern Art was the perfect size to fit into it.  Naturally we were curious to see what sort of synergies would develop.”

Dr. Hayek vigorously denied rumors that the merger was done for the purpose of isolating the University’s two most depressing fields.

Copyright 2012

Wondering what else is developing at the University of Punxsutawney?  Check out these items…

Archaeological Find Sheds New Light on Beaker Culture

Philosophical Trend Irks Scientists

News Flash: Greece Proposes Gyro as New Currency

La Satira News Service

After years of trying to stay financially afloat and sustain its membership in the European common currency, the government of Greece has renounced the Euro and said it would begin circulating a new currency. The name of the new currency?  The Gyro, named after the popular sandwich, and pronounced /YEER-oh/.

“We are exceedingly pleased to announce this new development,” said the latest Greek finance minister, Giorgios Pappadapolous, at a press conference.  “The biggest question we face is why everyone assumed we would go back to the drachma.  As we move into the post-European era, it is important that we should be looking forward, rather than backward.  And that’s why we picked a new name for our currency.”

The new currency will also be remarkable in that it will be the only currency backed by a sandwich.  “When you think of all the things money is supposed to do,” said Pappadapolous, “one of the main things is to help feed the people who use it.  So what better way to do that than to have it backed by the food of the same name?  That way if the common people ever need to, they can readily exchange their money for food.  Besides, if we ever need to devalue the currency, all we have to do is shrink the size of the pita and use less tzatziki.”

“In any event, even if our currency is only backed by a sandwich, it’s still more than what’s backing some countries,” Pappadapolous added, taking a swipe at countries using fiat currency.

Banknotes and coins for the new currency are still under development.  The proposed design for the one-gyro coin calls for it to be, rather than flat and round like most coins, shaped like an overloaded burrito.

Opposition in Brussels Sprouts

The move has gotten a cool reception from the European Union headquarters in Brussels, where diplomats have accused Greece of deliberately trying to create confusion by adopting a currency whose name sounds like the Euro.  “We harbor no illusions that the new Greek currency will maintain par value with the Euro, no matter what they call it,” said Biff Bourguignon, an EU economist.  “Deliberately picking a name that sounds like the name of a stable currency makes it look like they’re planning to cash in on the confusion, literally.  It’s almost as bad as the so-called ‘golden dollar.’

Others criticised the notion of a currency backed by food.  “You can’t eat yourself out of a crisis,” said Marianne Toinette, an expert on the economics of food.  “Not unless you’re facing imminent starvation or trapped in a room full of finger foods.”  Ms. Toinette acknowledged that while in certain circumstances a food-backed currency might make some sense, in most such cases the foods involved are of higher value and less perishable.  “Coffee?  Maybe,” said Ms. Toinette.  “Cocoa beans?  Maybe.  Grain? Perhaps.  A sandwich with yogurt-based cucumber sauce?  Not so much.”

Internationally, the markets responded to the news with a sharp rise in the futures market, particularly in cattle, sheep, and cucumbers.

Got something eating you?  Relax by checking out the other News Flashes from La Satira News Service.