WASHINGTON—Officials from the Institute for Somehow Managing to Hold It All Together warned that, despite their best efforts, everything appears to be falling completely apart and "getting way out of hand," according to a strongly worded report characterized by panic, frustration, and numerous typographical errors that was released to the American public Monday.
"The country today faces a number of pressing issues, including potential economic collapse, the continued threat of global warming, and the decaying national infrastructure," ISMHIAT chairman Kenneth Branowicz said during a press conference to announce the study's findings. "And we just can't keep it together anymore."
"Furthermore, we just found out that my fucking hot water is being turned off," Branowicz added.
The report outlines a number of disturbing trends, such as a steadily weakening dollar, skyrocketing national debt, the car still being in the shop after three whole weeks, a polarized electorate that remains divided across ideological lines, and the fact that the wife is staying at her sister's and for all they know may not ever be coming back.
"In summary, we have no choice but to accept that managing these complex and varied crises may be untenable at this time," the report concludes. "We're in way over our heads here, people. Oh God. God. What are we going to do?"
The institute, a nonpartisan Washington think tank formed in 1933 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as part of his Depression-era For God's Sake, Somebody Do Something Initiative, has issued similarly dramatic warnings in the past. In 1953, ISMHIAT released the now-historic findings on how they had talked and talked until they were blue in the face but they'd had it with these damn teenagers today. And historians still cite its famous 1968 report, a rambling, semi-coherent study titled "The Hell If We Know," recommending the immediate nationwide throwing up of hands.
This latest warning, however, could be the most alarming and desperate to date.
"Among the new challenges America faces is a deteriorating public education system, a vast healthcare crisis, new and frightening bioethics quandaries related to the privatization of human genetics, and, of course, the whole fossil fuels thing," the 5,000-page study, which was due in November 2007, notes. "While much has been done to alleviate immediate effects, the situation has become OH FOR CHRIST'S SAKE—I just spilled coffee all over my pants—wait, don't type that—damn it, we're out of paper towels AGAIN—Gwen, don't put any of that last part in the report—why are you still typing?"
Some have criticized the report as being alarmist and exaggerated, urging that the nation should just cool out for a minute until the situation can resolve itself.
"While they have certainly generated plenty of attention, these findings represent an unnecessary overreaction, and should be met with restraint and calm," said James H. Walloch of the California Center for Not Worrying About Stuff So Much. "It is my opinion, as an expert in this field, that it's probably not that big a deal."
Walloch's agency is not the only one coming down hard on ISMHIAT. Others have accused the institute of shortsightedness and even gross negligence for failing to keep on top of such issues.
"The current state of world affairs is completely unacceptable," said Dr. Hyram Klemper, codirector of the Sitting Around and Expecting Others to Take Care of Everything Foundation, which has historically had a contentious relationship with ISMHIAT. "We rely on the institute to keep things together, yet, evidently, this bloated bureaucracy is incapable of fulfilling its mandate from the American people. Now I've had to cancel my Hawaiian golf vacation to return to Washington and address this issue."
Dr. Thomas Dyers, of the National Blame Allocation Council, echoed Klemper's statements, stating that if the ISMHIAT cannot handle its responsibilities, its duties should be turned over to another organization, such as the Federal Fall Guy Bureau, under the supervision of Ed Haversham, the national Scapegoat Czar.