PLAINFIELD, NE—In an inspiring display of modern-day heroism, Plainfield fireman James Pagnozzi yesterday saved the life of area resident Janie Siles, 4, who became caught in Republican presidential front-runner Bob Dole while exploring an abandoned barn. Siles, who was nearly crushed to death by the candidate’s case-hardened internal gears and high-speed threshing blades, is recovering at a nearby hospital.
Dole, who was breaking in a new John Deere turbodiesel engine between stumping spots at the time, said he was unaware of the child playing nearby and denied responsibility for the accident.
“Bob Dole is clearly marked with warning stickers stating ‘Do Not Play On Or Around Bob Dole,’” he said. “Bob Dole is not a toy. Bob Dole is the latest in modern self-supporting combine harvesters. Bob Dole will be the next President of the United States.”
It is believed to be the worst Dole-related accident since the Kansas senator was converted from steam propulsion after a boiler explosion killed two migrant workers in August 1916.
According to police, Siles was attracted by the shiny, moving shapes within Dole’s open hip panel and, reaching in, became engulfed in the candidate’s machinery. Fortunately for Siles, the nearby Pagnozzi heard her screams and was able to pry open Dole using a “Jaws of Life”-style hydraulic device.
“I’m no hero,” Pagnozzi stated modestly while recuperating. “I was just doing my job. But mark my words, those Bob Dole things are extremely unsafe. There aren’t any safety interlocks on his access panels or grain feed channels to prevent this kind of thing. If people keep heavy agricultural machinery such as Bob Dole running unattended, this sort of thing will keep happening.”
Dole, mistakenly left unattended with his side-access panel un-locked, expressed regret at the accident and gratitude toward Pagnozzi for saving the child’s life.
“Bob Dole sees safety as a big concern for Bob Dole,” Dole said. “Bob Dole is saddened by this little girl’s trauma, and Bob Dole thanks the Plainfield Fire Department for its quick intervention. Bob Dole will lead this country into the 21st century.”
An internal investigation is underway to determine the reason Dole was left unattended at a crucial point in his seasonal maintenance cycle, a time when he is normally surrounded by a security team.
“Bob Dole is not dangerous when properly handled by trained agro-technical personnel,” the candidate said, “Bob Dole will be the next president of the United States!”
Siles, now listed in stable condition, lost three fingers as a result of the accident. Emergency personnel searched valiantly for her severed digits so they could be surgically reattached, but after several hours the search was aban-doned. Ex-perts a-greed that the missing fingers must have already been sheared off, crushed in Dole’s grain hull/separator, and disposed of like chaff by being passed through his wastegate.
“Bob Dole cannot be blamed for tur-ning the Siles girl’s digits into processed silage,” Dole said. “Conversion of organic substances into food products for consumption by humans or livestock are automatic procedures within Bob Dole over which Bob Dole’s directional programming has no control. Bob Dole makes no apologies.”
Siles refused to speak to reporters about the candidate, responding to their questions with cries of, “Tractor bad! Tractor hurt Janie! No more tractor man!”
That sort of reaction, Dole campaign staffers say, is typical in small children when ex-posed to Dole’s internal me-chanics.
“Janie will in all likelihood be plagued by nightmare-like flash-backs for years to come,” Dole spokes-person Ri-ta Loew said. “We are confident, though, that as the wound-trauma sub-sides, the child will eventually lose its fear of Dole and learn to accept the device as its new leader.”
“Bob Dole is not scary,” Dole stressed. “Bob Dole is going to defeat Bill Clinton in November the way Bob Dole defeats broadleafed weeds in summer. Bob Dole will be adored by children and parents alike as the new low-maintenance, twin-turbine leader of the free world.”