January 3, 2001

One Nation, Invisible, With
Liberty, Justice for Sheep

By Roy Rivenburg

G'Day, Fraulein: George W. Bush could be in "deep doo-doo'' once he ascends to the presidency. In addition to a heavy load of classes in English as a second language and vice presidential CPR, he must tackle various threats to global stability.

The Middle East is the biggest minefield. President Clinton tried to negotiate a peace treaty, but the talks unraveled when Israeli and Palestinian leaders shook hands -- and Yasser Arafat was wearing a joy buzzer. Israel retaliated by replacing the PLO leader's champagne flute with a dribble glass. That led to a skirmish in which Arab residents of the West Bank used whoopee cushions and squirt rings to attack Israeli soldiers armed with X-ray vision glasses, fake vomit and exploding cigars.

Just when it seemed calm might be restored, a new problem arose: animal rebellion. According to the Reuters news agency, an Egyptian sheep that was scheduled to be slaughtered during a Muslim festival averted death by pushing its owner off a three-story building in Alexandria.

A tragedy to be sure, but also a historic opportunity -- if Bush can use the incident to persuade Arabs and Israelis to set aside their differences and unite against a common enemy: killer sheep.

Bush also faces several other crises. One of the most vexing is the similarity in spelling between Austria and Australia. This has led to countless mixups, such as skiers flying to Sydney looking for the "Australian'' Alps, kangaroos wandering the streets of Vienna and, most disturbingly, aborigines in lederhosen performing "The Sound of Music.'' Clearly, one of the countries will have to change its name, possibly to "Australalalalia'' or maybe to "Morty.''

Another serious problem involves a Weekly World News poll showing that if American men had the power to become invisible, 90 percent would use it to spy on naked women, while the remainder would either steal cash, eavesdrop on friends or obtain trade secrets from business adversaries. Only 2 percent said they would use their power for the good of mankind. No doubt the Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves, having fought so valiantly for the right to become invisible if science ever perfected a way, but never imagining it would be put to such disreputable use. Let's hope Bush can lead the nation out of this moral quagmire.

Viva Las Midget: A "singing psychic'' from Dallas predicts that sightings of Elvis Presley will be upstaged in 2001 by sightings of Billy Barty, the recently departed little person.

Jurassic Car Parts: At last, there's a way to combat the theft of hood ornaments from cars. For years, vandals have been swiping the metallic emblems from Mercedes, Cadillacs and other vehicles. Alarms have proved useless.

The only viable deterrent seems to be making the ornaments so heavy that they can't be carried away. Which is why we're pleased to report that a Boston company (www.dinodon.com) is selling life-size replicas of dinosaurs from the movie "Jurassic Park.''

The hand-painted casts, which are made from the same molds used by Steven Spielberg, range in price from $2,300 for a 3-foot-long Compsognathus to $350,000 for a 45-foot-long T rex. For an extra $70,000, the company will add electronic chomping jaws, swiveling heads and slashing arms, which will further discourage thieves.

The dinosaurs are intended for outdoor gardens (one customer bought five for his lawn), but we think they're ideal for hood ornaments, dashboard statues or bookends.

Supermarket Tabloid Headline of the Week: "Bride Who Was Once a Groom Weds Groom Who Was Once a Bride! Sex-Swap Lovebirds Get Altered on the Way to Altar'' (Weekly World News)

Unpaid Informants: PR Newswire, Wireless Flash News Service.

Copyright © 2000 by Roy Rivenburg
Distributed by Creators Syndicate