Rwanda Gets Plant

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Vol 32 Issue 07

Airline Food Under Fire From Area Comedian

ROYAL OAK, MI—The airline industry is reeling following a scathing indictment of its in-flight cuisine Saturday by stand-up comedian Tony Campanelli. "How about that chicken breast? It tastes like Wayne Gretzky ought to be shooting it on goal," said Campanelli, publicly blasting the food served by major air carriers in a speech delivered at the House O' Yuks in Royal Oak. "Guys," added Campanelli, addressing the nation's pilots, "you've got the planes. Fly in some fresh ingredients!" No airline has yet issued a response.

Sales Disappointing For First-Ever Hustler Swimsuit Issue

LOS ANGELES—Spokespersons for Larry Flynt Publications are scrambling to explain the poor sales of Hustler magazine's first annual swimsuit issue, crammed from cover to cover with beautiful young women modeling the latest sexy swimwear. "We are utterly baffled," LFP public relations director Kenneth Micklos said of the issue, which sold 17 newsstand copies nationwide. "Our readership demographic is overwhelmingly heterosexual and male, with a strong interest in looking at beautiful women. It's a mystery."

U.S. Agriculture Secretary: 'Aw, Let's Not Do Farming Anymore'

DES MOINES, IA—Citing the massive economic woes plaguing the nation's farmers and the severe physical hardship of farming itself, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman announced Monday that he would like to "forget about the whole farming thing altogether."

Local Dad Gets This Show On The Road

ASHEVILLE, NC—Citing an abundance of great things to do in Virginia Beach and a limited amount of time in which to do them, area husband and father of three Ed Minton strongly urged his family to get this show on the road Friday. "Let's go, let's go, let's go," said Minton, eager to get his wife and children into their Dodge Caravan and begin a "super-duper fun" family weekend getaway. After a 40-minute delay, the show finally got on the road at approximately 2 p.m., when Minton's wife and children finally decided to chop-chop.

Bluesman Announces 12-Bar Delay In Bringing It On Home

CHICAGO—Area bluesman Willie "Skipbone" Johnson announced plans late Saturday to extend his rendition of the Robert Johnson standard "Dust My Broom" by an additional 12 bars before recapitulating the chorus and bringing it on home.

Merry Zweibelmas To You!

The season of the Zweibelmas-tide is upon us at long last! Only a few shopping-days remain before Sept. 21, the glorious and solemn Day of the Zweibelmas itself. Several months ago in this space I advised my readers to begin preparations for this most holy and auspicious event, which celebrates all things Zweibel. Well, now it is time to behead the fatted ox, eat blood-pudding, and grease the staircase! Zweibelmas is upon us!
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Rwanda Gets Plant

KIGALI, RWANDA—Wracked by years of famine, ethnic strife and political unrest, the Central African nation of Rwanda bought a plant last Thursday in an effort to "brighten things up."

Rwandan refugees enjoy the cheery new fuchsia (center) that is breathing some much-needed life into the war-torn African nation.

"This should help breathe some life into this nation and put a smile on everyone's face," Rwandan president Pasteur Bizimungu said of the new fuchsia. "It is a very pretty plant."

The decision to purchase the plant followed a week-long emergency session in which cabinet members, military strategists and tribal representatives debated the best way to restore Rwanda's struggling economy and revive the flagging spirits of its seven million famine-ravaged citizens.

"The Minister of Defense suggested painting the country pink, and the prime minister suggested new curtains," Bizimungu said. "Someone eventually suggested the plant, and we all unanimously agreed."

Though support for the plant purchase was universal, the nation was sharply divided over what type of plant it would be: The nation's Hutus strongly advocated the purchase of a begonia, while Tutsis favored an impatiens, touching off a week of plant-related civil warfare in which more than 200,000 Rwandans were brutally massacred. After a week of fighting, the two sides finally compromised, agreeing upon the fuchsia.

On Wednesday, after several days of phone calls to flower shops across Africa, Bizimungu finally found one in Cape Town, South Africa, that sold fuchsias. Accompanied by his top minister, Bizimungu flew there the next day to select a plant.

"There was a very nice selection there, and it was difficult to choose," Bizimungu said. "I saw a lovely hanging plant, very green and full of flowers, but unfortunately, there is a terrible hook shortage in Rwanda, so we selected the other one."

The decision over where to put the plant proved difficult, as well. While many wanted the plant positioned near Lake Kivu on the Rwanda-Somalia border, where it could help cheer up the more than 400,000 Rwandan refugees left homeless from years of civil war, prime minister Pierre Claver Rwigema demanded it be situated in Kigali.

"Kigali is the capital of Rwanda," said Rwigema, who declared himself Plant Minister For Life Monday. "That is where our national plant belongs."

Added Rwigema: "I am confident that the people of Rwanda will find plant ownership to be a relaxing and enjoyable hobby."

According to Rwigema, responsibility for caring for the plant will be divided between the Hutus and Tutsis, with members of the two tribes watering it on alternating days. The plant does not need direct sunlight, Rwigema noted, but requires a thorough "soak," ideally in a bathtub, every 10 days. Due to an 18-month drought that has destroyed all of the nation's crops, water for the plant will be imported from Tanzania. Water supplies will also periodically be confiscated from Rwanda's "least thirsty" citizens.

Citizen reaction to the plant has been overwhelmingly positive.

"War has destroyed everything that once was," said Dinizi Akagera, 33. "There is nothing left."

Gisenyi resident Ayinkele Habiyama, 41, was equally impressed. "Please, let me out of here," said Habiyama, who was arrested and thrown into a darkened, solitary, 3'x3' cell by military police after being caught attempting to eat the plant Wednesday. "I need water and sunlight."

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