A Joke So Serious

Seven Days in September

Wednesday, September 5th 2001

Far away in a land known for fog came a news story. Not something you would run and tell a neighbor, not even something that would keep you from flipping the channel or turning to the sports page. This was something between “community gathers to fry world’s largest calamari” and the weather man’s daily anecdote.

At a press conference scheduled between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m. in Glasgow, Scotland a group of people belonging to an organization called the British Association for the Advancement of Science made public their intention to find the funniest joke in the world. The search would take place in three phases and would conclude sometime in the course of the following year.

To be sure, anyone who gives this question 10 seconds of serioius thought would rightly conclude that there is perhaps no other question that would yeild a more unscientific answer.

Thursday, September 6th 2001

It was on the morning of September 6th that President Bush appointed former Senator John Danforth special envoy to lead a U.S. peace initiative to Sudan. This is the same man who led the government probe of the branch Davidian compound investigation back in the Clinton days.

Another, supposedly separate announcement regarding Sudan was made by USAID that same morning informing the world that it was increasing its aid to said country by 25 to 30 million dollars. I wonder if special envoy John Danforth would be carrying the newly bloated stippend with him personally.

Meanwhile the head of state from another country altogether was adressing Congress on this special Thursday. Vicente Fox, the freshly elected president of neighboring Mexico, gave his best reasons to convince U.S. Representatives that cheap mexican labor was in the interest of all elites. Unfortunately, most of them were distracted, gnawing their teeth about not being invited to the big ball that evening.

Only 136 people were on the guest list for Bush’s first state dinner. On the menu, buffalo meat.

Clint Eastwood, among the few charmed to be there, was reportedly harassed by Senate majority leader Trent Lott during the cocktail reception party; the latter reaching out for the Hollywood film star´s sleeve proclaiming “We’re looking for a candidate for Governer of California…” Clint apparently ignored the man and kept moving.

A bit lower on the alphabetically organized list were Brit Hume and Kim Schiller Hume, a couple that stood out for their isolation. FOX News Editor and Bureau Chief respectively; the only main press staffers invited to the shindig.

Finally, we’ll never know what the Archbishop of L.A. was doing at Bush’s table… oh wait, I forgot, W is about to become the new leader of the christian world, pass the A1 steak sauce, please.

Friday, September 7th 2001: Launch day.

This day was indeed a special one in a week full of special days. Remember our friends from the British Association for the Advancement of Science ? They came up for air again. No news on the search for the funniest joke, not yet. Today would be the day when one million school children would be choreographed in a one minute jumping session to see if they would be able to casue an earthquake. Does this sound like science to you?

The event was held as an inauguration of sorts to something they called the Year of Science.

The UK is overrun by wannabe pagans, rune-toting ferry-hunters obsessed with celtic lore. No doubt 1 in 5 brits have access to a witch’s almanac where it clearly states that fridays are inauspicious days to hold any type of commencement ceremonies, or to begin anything at all.

Saturday, September 8th 2001

International literacy day. There’s gotta be something on TV., though you wouldn’t be able to watch any at the WTC south tower since all electrical power has been shut off in an unprecedented power-down order. Engineers are whisking in and out of the building doing some “re-wiring”.

Sunday, September 9th 2001

Finally, the results from Friday’s Launch Day experiment.
1.1 on the Richter scale. Are we beginning to see a pattern here?

Monday, September 10th 2001

Any time you’re about to do something of great importance or exciting like getting on a plane or taking a test, the day before always builds up all the pressure. You can’t sleep, you can barely think of anything other than what tomorrow will mean, what it will feel like.

When W woke up on this Monday he knew he was going to be reading the story of a pet goat to a classroom full of children the next day. There are certain kinds of people who get a kick out of doing things like that, George W. Bush is not one of them.

Maybe it was the thought of seeing his little brother in a few hours that made him all giddy at breakfast. Maybe.

In any case, the secret service and another affiliated company of security personnel had arrived at the Colony Beach Resort in Sarasota, the hotel where Bush would take up residence for a day and a night. They had begun setting up surface to air missile launchers on the hotel roof top. Sounds exciting.

Even more exciting was the fact that only ten miles from said hotel, on that very day, an ostensibly well known international terrorist and his cohorts would also be arriving for undisclosed business.

Mohamed Atta would, in a few hours, be blamed for leading the most sophisticated terrorist attack in history. What was he doing in Sarasota, Fl on the same day the president of the United States? Maybe Bush was giddy, or maybe he was just nervous. We all get nervous before a big test.

Well, what better than a joke to release tension?

One year later

Here’s the winning joke:
Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, “My friend is dead! What can I do?”. The operator says “Calm down. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says “OK, now what?”

Funny, huh?

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