Fake international shorts: Huh?

What were they thinking?

SANTIAGO, Chile — Former Uruguayan rugby players who survived more than two months of isolation after their plane crashed in the Andes 40 years ago were in Chile last week to support a group of miners trapped deep underground.

In 1972, the four were among 16 survivors who lived for 72 days in the snow-covered mountains by eating the flesh of friends who were killed in the accident.

“What are you thinking?” asked Chilean president Sebastian Pinera, except in Spanish. “Are you trying to give those guys ideas? The last thing the trapped miners need to hear are stories of how much hearty protein the rugby team was able to glean from the corpses of those who were trapped with them. Get the hell out of here, and take your ghoulish appetites with you.”

Ramon Sabella, a spokesman for the plane crash survivors, admitted he and the three others hadn’t really thought through their desire to show solidarity with the men who have been trapped nearly a half-mile underground since Aug. 5.

“Gee, I didn’t consider that aspect of our story,” Sabella said. “We don’t mean to encourage them to eat each other; we just wanted to let them know that it’s possible to survive long-term isolation. Boy, my face is red. Note that I said ‘red,’ not ‘rare.'”

Mine foreman Luis Urzua, who has served as unofficial leader of the trapped men, said he still appreciated the effort.

“Mmmm,” he told reporters. “Rugby players.”

How can they tell?

PARIS, France — French unions carried out a one-day national strike on Tuesday to protest a measure that would raise the minimum retirement age to 62. Union leaders estimate that as many as 2.5 million people joined in the work stoppage nationwide.

“How could you tell?” asked President Nicolas Sarkozy. “We’re not exactly known for our work ethic around here. In fact, national strikes are often some of our most productive days.”

There were significant disruptions in intercity train travel, and many short-haul flights were cancelled. Tens of thousands of teachers were reportedly on strike, though it could also be that they were simply taking an extended smoke break. Restaurant and hotel workers remained on the job, but you couldn’t tell it from their surly attitude and leisurely pace.

“Work until we’re 62? Absolutely non,” said Herve Fillon, sitting on a park bench near the Eiffel Tower. “In fact, I’m thinking of retiring right after lunch.”

Less than a week since the end of their traditional month-long August vacation, protesters were energized to fight the proposed austerity measure. They spent the morning marching through the streets of the capital, but after lingering over several bottles of wine at lunch, most spent the rest of the afternoon throwing up and then falling asleep.

What’s that again?

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The fundamentalist pastor of an ultra-conservative evangelical church near here said he is proceeding with plans to burn the Koran to mark the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks this Saturday.

Terry Jones, head of the Dove World Outreach Center, has drawn worldwide condemnation from Muslims and non-Muslims alike for his plan to incite tensions between the West and Islam.

“What’s the name of his church again?” asked Larry Reimer, one of many moderate Christians to speak up against the planned bonfire. “The ‘Dove World Outreach Center’? How is that an appropriate name for someone who’s against peace, against the world, and interested in only enough ‘outreach’ to collect donations from right-wing fringe groups, or perhaps to pleasure himself?”

Jones has heard calls from leaders as diverse as Gen. David Petraeus, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Rev. Franklin Graham to refrain from the protest. At first, the minister appeared to be considering the pleas when he was quoted as saying he was “definitely praying” about cancelling the demonstration. A closer examination of the tape from that interview, however, indicated he said he was “definitely preying” on irrational fears many in his congregation have about anything or anyone different from them.

“What we’re doing has no middle of the road,” Jones said in a sermon recorded last month. “You have to believe it is totally, totally God or absolutely of the devil.”

Clergy members, academics and elected officials in Gainesville have planned nearly a dozen events to counter the Jones book-burning.

“He represents only 30 people in this town,” said Reimer. “The guy is a complete lunatic. Totally, totally.”

Meanwhile, a collection of tech-savvy fundamentalists in California criticized Jones for what they called his “backward views.”

“In this day and age, what’s the point of burning a book?” asked Martin Winder. “He should simply download a copy of the Koran from the Internet, then erase it from his laptop in protest. He could highlight the icon and hit the backspace key or, if he wants a more dramatic effect, he could right-click on it and select the ‘delete’ pulldown.”

“This is America,” Winder continued. “We don’t need any books.”


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One Response to “Fake international shorts: Huh?”

  1. tychy Says:

    those poor rugby players survived a plane crash, being lost in the wilderness, and near starvation, but i think that your piss-taking is so harsh that it could finally kill them for good. and your mockery of france makes “cheese-eating surrender monkey” seem positively pleasant. brilliant stuff.

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