Bush Actually President, Nation Suddenly Realizes

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Vol 37 Issue 20

Average Age Of Wacky TV Neighbors Dropping

ATLANTA–According to a Center For Media Studies report released Monday, the average age of wacky TV-sitcom neighbors has steadily declined over the past half-century. "In the '50s, during the days of Ed Norton and Fred and Ethel Mertz, the median age was a mature 53," the report read. "By the late '70s and early '80s, with the likes of Larry on Three's Company, Monroe on Too Close For Comfort, and Lenny and Squiggy on Laverne & Shirley, the average had dropped to 36. Today, the wacky-neighbor landscape is dominated by twentysomethings, typified by Jack on Will & Grace and all the friends on Friends." At the present rate, the report added, wacky TV neighbors will primarily be toddlers by 2015.

Mediocre Painter's True Talent Lies In Acting Like A Painter

LOS ANGELES–According to art critics, mediocre painter James Augustiniak has proven masterful at cultivating the self-centered, womanizing demeanor of an art-world enfant terrible. "Augustiniak's latest exhibition, featuring dozens of paintings of melting eyeballs and hearts, was a staggering achievement in clichéd, pseudo-pretentious banality," said Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight. "But I went anyway, just to see him throw a fit over the lighting in the gallery. He's very good at that sort of thing."

America A Fascist Police State, Stoned Underage Drunk Driver Charges

SMYRNA, GA–Outraged by the brutal suppression of civil liberties that has defined the nation's history, stoned 15-year-old Corey Shifflett denounced America as a "total fascist police state" following his drunk-driving arrest Saturday. "This whole country is, like, totally Hitlered-out," Shifflett told friend Glen Withers, who posted his $500 bail. "These cops, they're just looking for any excuse to pull us over and hassle us, just to feel like fuckin' Superman." Shifflett then knocked over an orange highway cone and vowed to move to Amsterdam.

Longtime Sexual Fantasy Awkwardly Fulfilled

LEXINGTON, KY–The longtime sexual fantasy of Andrew Marcone was awkwardly fulfilled Saturday, when the local record-store clerk participated in a clumsy, embarrassing menage a trois with girlfriend Karen Wagner and her roommate Shelley Peelen. "Well, I finally did it, for what it's worth," said Marcone, 27, following the long-dreamed-of sexual encounter, six minutes into which he ejaculated. "So much for wondering what it would be like, I guess." After achieving orgasm, Marcone spent the next half hour "trying not to get in the way" of his companions.

Hidden Valley Ranch Bombed By Balsamic Extremists

HIDDEN VALLEY, CA–A radical Balsamic fundamentalist group detonated an estimated 800 pounds of TNT at the Hidden Valley Ranch compound Monday, killing 11 and injuring dozens more. "Let no salad again be foully tainted by the corrupt regime of Hidden Valley," said Martin Pulaski, leader of the Nation Of Balsam, in a statement claiming responsibility for the deadly attack. "We shall not rest until every salad's flavor is enhanced by a light and tangy vinaigrette, not buried in a shameful avalanche of buttermilk."

The Jeffords Defection

Last week, U.S. Sen. James Jeffords of Vermont left the GOP to become an independent, handing control of the Senate to the Democrats. What do you think?
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Bush Actually President, Nation Suddenly Realizes

WASHINGTON, DC–More than four months after his Jan. 20 inauguration, the realization that George W. Bush is actually president of the United States finally hit the American people this week.

George W. Bush looks around his new office.

The fact of the Bush presidency, which sunk in with most Americans sometime between 11 a.m. Sunday and 4 p.m. Tuesday, has stunned citizens of all races, ages, income levels, and party affiliations.

"Whoa," said Bill Wylecszki, 38, a Odessa, TX, grocery-store owner. "George W. Bush, former owner of the Texas Rangers and failed oilman, is president. This is too weird."

"I guess with the media circus and all the other craziness surrounding the election-recount fiasco, I just kind of looked at it like it was some sort of funny TV show," said Amanda Milner, 37, a Red Wing, MN, bank teller. "I never really thought about it as something that was actually happening. And once Bush finally got sworn in, I don't know, I suppose I must've just subconsciously assumed that there would be another recount or another election in a few months or something."

Americans hit with the sudden realization have reported feelings of nervousness, confusion, and disorientation. The effects are said to be fairly uniform across the nation, with a particularly high concentration in Florida.

"A few nights ago, I was watching The Tonight Show, and [Jay] Leno was making some typical joke about Bush–you know, the kind we've all heard a thousand times before–and I was thinking, 'Boy, wouldn't it be bizarre if he actually got elected?'" said Ocala, FL, homemaker and mother of four Janis Niering. "Then it hit me: 'Wait a minute–I think he was.'"

Even months after Inauguration Day, the presidential situation never really dawned on most Americans. This, political experts say, was largely due to the fact that former president Bill Clinton continued to dominate the news through much of February, March, and April, while the media paid little attention to Bush.

"The stolen White House furniture, the missing Ws from the White House computers, the Clinton office in Harlem, the whole Marc Rich pardon thing... it just seemed like Clinton was still president," said Mary Ellen Buis of Salina, KS. "I know that doesn't make sense, but that's what it was like."

"Evidently, I should have taken it all a lot more seriously," Buis continued. "I mean, he's apparently going to be our leader for the next four years, minimum. But who knew?"

Even Republican Party leaders have expressed surprise over Bush's occupancy of the White House.

"Early in the presidential race, we all expected Bush to get stomped by Al Gore," Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said. "But once the race got tight, we were so excited that we might actually win, it was sort of unreal. But I'm not sure we ever really gave much thought to the idea that it might actually happen. It was more like some strange dream or something."

Pausing to rub his eyes and shake his head, Hatch added, "Wow."

For the first 24 hours after the mass realization, Bush remained silent on his status as president. This, political analysts say, was because the full scope of the truth had only begun to dawn on him, as well. After conferring with top advisors in a six-hour closed-door session, Bush finally addressed the nation Tuesday evening.

"My fellow Americans," Bush said. "God, it sounds so weird to actually be saying that. Anyway, I know we've all had a bit of a shock lately. To be honest with you, I'm a bit blown away by it all myself. But it appears that, for whatever reason, I am now the leader of the free world. And that's something we're all, myself included, going to have to get used to."

Added Bush: "Any comments or advice anyone might have would be welcome at this time."

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