SPAMTHRAX CONTRACTING ANTHRAX VIA EMAIL
Also Information on Net Evacuation, Bayer's Production of e-Cipro
SPAMTHRAX CONTRACTING ANTHRAX VIA EMAIL
Also Information on Net Evacuation, Bayer's Production of e-Cipro
Washington, D.C. (SatireWire.com) The FBI today did not issue an alert for electronically disseminated anthrax, also known as "spamthrax," because anthrax cannot be propagated through email. However, that will likely not stop panic-stricken thousands, who freaked after viewing the headline above, from warning friends and colleagues not to open email attachments.
Fearing infection, many of these same people have already spread a rumor that the Internet has been evacuated. Others, meanwhile, shut down their computers before reading even this far, and as a result they will not see the following paragraphs explaining that there is no such thing as spamthrax.
"Spamthrax? What the hell is spamthrax?" asked David Kalidis, spokesman for anti-virus software maker Symantec. "No, there is no such thing as spamthrax, so no, we will not be offering an update to address it. Who would fall for that, anyway?"
Kalidis was reminded that hundreds of thousands of people clicked on attachments that actually contained the Anna Kournikova worm.
"OK, who other than them?" Kaladis said.
Meanwhile, Bayer spokeswoman Serena Farde confirmed the pharmaceutical giant was not working on e-Cipro, a binary form of the antibiotic Cipro, because there is no product called e-Cipro, and no need to produce one. However, thousands of computer owners who saw the reference to e-Cipro in the subheadline have already bombarded Bayer with requests for the digital drug.
"I haven't checked lately, but I'm not aware of any requests," said Farde. "OK, I'll look now, but this is sil... oh God, I've got 3,000 messages. Who are these people?"
Farde was reminded that an asthmatic woman in California, fearing contamination, recently went to the emergency room. Her symptoms: shortness of breath.
"I better call a press conference," Farde sighed.
The spamthrax contagion also did not spread to Washington, where FBI director Robert Mueller said no one at the agency's National Infrastructure Protection Center was currently tracking down biocyberterrorists producing spamthrax because, he insisted, no such threat exists. "What is a biocyberterrorist?" Mueller asked. "I can't believe anyone would be stupid enough to even threaten to send anthrax by email."
Mueller was reminded that:
A Canadian woman, angry at a store cashier over the price of a purchase, recently claimed the credit card she had just handed over had anthrax on it.
Also that two Mississippians told onlookers that flour used to outline a road race course were actually anthrax.
Also that in 1998, a California man called police and claimed anthrax was in his building, apparently in an effort to get out of work early.
"All right all right," said Mueller. "I get the point."
Mueller added that he would squash the issue with a preemptive press release declaring that anthrax cannot be spread through email a statement that will be picked up by the media and given a headline such as "FBI Downplays Spamthrax Threat: Emails Believed to Be Safe for Now." As a result, see beginning of this story.
SatireWire is intended for use by those age 18 and older. All stories are fictional and satirical and should not in any way be construed as fact. Please read our disclaimer.
O.J. to Train Ground Troops
Miami, Fla. (SatireWire.com) Oft-acquitted celebrity O.J. Simpson, exonerated by a jury Wednesday after being charged with road rage, has been hired to train U.S. ground forces massing for a possible invasion of Afghanistan, the Defense Department announced today.
"It's likely that our servicemen and women will come under some heavy fire over there, and no one knows more about dodging bullets than this guy," explained Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
MCI Offers New "Friends & Family & FBI" Plan
Clinton, Miss. (SatireWire.com) Promising to save you money on the calls you make the most, MCI today unveiled its new "Friends & Family & FBI" plan, allowing customers to add any branch office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to their circle of regularly called friends and family.
"Whether you're phoning up to say hello, to plan for the holidays, or just to report a suspicious white van cruising around the local reservoir, we realize you don't want to pay a lot to call those you speak with every day or, in the case of the FBI, several times a day," said MCI spokesman Mandy Grithway. "Under our new program, you provide us with the phone numbers of your most frequently called relatives, friends, and field agents, and if they sign up too, you'll all save up to 25 percent.*"
*Calling plans sold separately. Offer may not be combined with MCI's "Sea-to-Shining-CDC" calling plan.
U.S. TO HALT ATTACKS DURING HOLY MONTH
OF HARRY POTTER MOVIE RELEASE
West Anxious to Portray War As Fight Against Terrorism, Not Harry
Washington, D.C. (SatireWire.com) Fearing a religious backlash that could undermine international support and intensify anti-American sentiment, the United States today announced it will halt attacks on Afghanistan during the Holy Month of the Harry Potter Movie Release, which begins Friday, Nov. 16, at a theater near you.
Pentagon officials conceded the pause may give the Taliban and Al-Qaeda time to regroup, but said the U.S. should not risk insulting such a large percentage of the world's population by waging war during the holiest month of the year.
From Nov. 16 to Dec. 16, Harry
Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,
(titled Harry Potter and the
Philosopher's Stone in the U.K.),
will premiere in more than
40 coalition-partner nations.
"This should not be a time for violence," said Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. "This should be a time for making pilgrimage to your local cinema, a time for reflecting on what this Holy period means to us, whether through the purchase of Harry Potter trading cards, action figures, or new Game Boy cartridges (Electronic Arts, $39.99 pre-order now)."
However, the Afghan Northern Alliance, which is seeking to overthrow the Taliban, urged the U.S. to keep fighting. "We do not understand this decision," an Alliance statement said. "We assumed that, if anything, the West would bow to pressure to cease bombing during Islam's holy month of Ramadan, which begins Nov. 17." Entertainment Tonight anchor Mary Hart, however, insisted the Pentagon made the right choice.
"I don't think Ramadan is going to have that big a following," she said. "First, it's going up against Potter. And second, Nov. 17 is a Saturday. You never release a big movie on a Saturday."
Informed that Ramadan is a month of fasting, prayer, and giving aid to the poor, Hart frowned. "Sounds boring," she said. "Who made it? No, let me guess. Merchant-Ivory."
According to the C.I.A., devoted Potter fans now outnumber the population of Earth. While some scholars insist the Holy Month of the Movie Release is meant to be a time of intense devotion for the faithful, others say they have read the sacred script, and nowhere does it explicitly prohibit fighting. This has led skeptics to insist the U.S. has an ulterior motive.
"This stoppage isn't about faith, it's about maintaining public interest in the war," said columnist William F. Buckley. "The bottom line is, the U.S. military machine does not want to go up against the Warner Bros. public relations machine. Frankly, I wouldn't either."
However, CNN military analyst Wesley Clark said the West would have risked insulting nations whose support is already tenuous. Pakistan, in particular, has been struggling to contain a tide of sympathy for the Taliban, who rule over a country with no intact theaters.
"We have to assume that, considering its widespread popularity, many Afghan civilians and even Taliban soldiers are followers of the Potter saga," said Clark, a retired general. "I think those allies under pressure will be hard pressed to back us if news gets out that their faithful brothers were killed before they had a chance to see the film (Middle East premieres begin Dec. 19)."
"This is why the government has so far been careful to characterize the campaign as a war against terrorism, not against Harry Potter," he added.
In a separate statement, the Pentagon announced that as part of its humanitarian effort, U.S. forces have begun dropping 600,000 Harry Potter lunch boxes into Afghanistan. Two hospitals and a Red Cross center have been destroyed.
AMERICANS FINALLY GETTING BACK
TO HIGHLY ALERT STATE OF NORMAL
Everything's Just As It Was, Except for the Bit About Dying at Any Moment
"We are getting back to normal. We're doing so with a new sense of awareness. And the (FBI) warning that went out today helped to heighten that sense of awareness." President George W. Bush, Oct. 12, 2001
New Orleans, La. (SatireWire.com) Willfully setting aside war and uncertainty, Americans are following the government's advice and resuming their normal routines: going to work, taking the kids to soccer practice, wearing rubber gloves and gas masks while opening their mail, having friends over for dinner.
Standing in the checkout line of a local Wal-Mart, 28-year-old New Orleans resident Christine Nemey said she was doing her part. "The President said we need to fight terrorism by going on with our lives, so I'm doing what I've done every week since I was 16, buying a new pair of shoes," she said. "Although these aren't technically 'shoes.' These are technically 16,000 gallons of bottled water."
Elsewhere in the nation, normality was manifest. In New York, 56,000 baseball fans sat on the edges of their seats as they watched the Yankees-Oakland playoff game and the dark-skinned pretzel vendor with the beard working Section 7. In Delaware, moviegoers said they had no trouble losing themselves in the comedy "Bandits" after first calculating exactly how long it would take them to reach the nearest exit, just in case they might need to do that.
And in Ogden, Utah, Toyota salesman Neal Gersimme was having a self-described typical day. "Let's see, I almost sold a new Sienna minivan, I had lunch at Wendy's with a couple of the guys, and I nearly wet my pants when I heard this big boom that turned out to be just a passing thunderstorm," he said. "Same old same old, really."
Added Carolyn Johnson of Seattle, who had just come off a Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago: "I'm not saying we should pretend nothing happened, but I agree with the National Guardsman with the M-16 who ordered me to freeze when my earrings set off the metal detector the best thing we can do is to go on as if everything's normal."