Thursday, October 30, 2008

Christmas is Cancelled

At a press conference this morning the Government announced plans to cancel Christmas. Minister For Social and Economic Entertainment Mary MacLenihan said that in today's tightening economic conditions people can no longer expect the same level of festivities and reasons to party as in previous years.

"The obvious source of wastage in the party sector is Christmas." said the Minister. "Other festivities such as Halloween and Easter are just as much fun yet do not drain as many resources from the State. Look at the strain Christmas puts the public sector areas such as the postal service. Every year Christmas results in massive overtime bills, tired backs and worn shoes for postmen and postwomen up and down the country. Pint glass volume inspectors are run off their feet visiting every pub in Ireland to ensure all glasses are the correct EU mandated size. Hundreds of extra safety inspectors have to be hired to check the wiring in local authority street lights to insure they have the correct regulation insulation and bulb wattage. There is also a marked increase in unscheduled illness in the civil service as people ring in sick for the week following the office party."

Figures released by the Department of Economic Recovery detailed the exact cost of Christmas. Last year €16,000,000 was spent on a trial issue of new musical Oireachtas Christmas cards. The new card when opened would have played the 1980's Fianna Fail No.1 hit "We'll Rise and Follow Charlie" with the words changed to "We'll rise and follow Santa". Unfortunately the prototype card had a tendency to electrocute the person opening the card and several versions were found to have the incorrect tune installed, instead playing "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer", somewhat ironic considering the recent withdrawal of Grandmas medical card.

The government also had to recruit 2000 new immigration officers in 2007 and has placed an order with aerospace manufacturer McDonnell Douglas for a fleet of F-18A Hornet all-weather carrier-capable strike fighter jets in order to intercept and deal with an annual influx of migrants late on Christmas Eve night. Minister for Defensive Comments Billy O'Weee explained that every year air traffic control in Dublin sees a large transport aircraft appear on radar. This craft then visits every home in Ireland and can be seen on satellite images offloading one elderly and overweight man into every home. Early in January 2009 it is planned that these new inspectors will visit every home in Ireland searching for "jolly old fat men dressed in red" while the fighter jets will patrol the skies on Christmas Eve with orders to shoot down all intruders.

The Minister claimed that this is an obvious attempt by illegal elderly migrants from the North Pole to sneak into Ireland while everyone is asleep. These illegals would then attempt to acquire the now cancelled free medical cards for over 70's. Asked if the images actually showed the same elderly gentleman entering but then leaving each house and in fact did not represent a mass influx of jolly old men into the nation, Minister O'Weee admitted that this was a possibility but it seemed highly unlikely that one man would want to visit every home in Ireland in one night and so the government had to take action to protect the tax payers of Ireland. "The pilot of this craft is a rude and offensive man" stated the Minister. "Last year when a female air traffic controller tried to established contact he repeatedly referred to her as a prostitute. Over and over again he chanted Ho! Ho! Ho!. The poor lady in question suffered a nervous break down during the verbal assault and has been on compassionate leave from the civil service since this event. Doctors say she may never fully recover".

Asked if the Green Party supported the government decision Senator Dan O'Kancelled said that the exact details of the plan had not been fully discussed at cabinet. When the issue had been raised by Fianna Fail ministers the Green ministers were preoccupied making sure other cabinet members saved paper by writing on both sides of their notepads so they had not managed to table a question on this particular cut back. "In general the cancelling of Christmas would be something the Green Party would support" explained Senator O'Kancelled. "Christmas is the single greatest source of green house gasses and global warming in the developed world. Only last year 7,000,000 square miles of Arctic ice were melted by the heat produced from the Christmas lights hanging over Grafton St and another 3,000,000 miles were crushed up and used to chill drinks at the HSE office party. 10,000 polar bears were killed and their fur used to make the white trim on Christmas stockings. The whole state of Bolivia was deforested in 3 days by Christmas wrapping paper companies and 600 coal fired electricity power plants were built in China to provide the electricity to charge batteries used in toys."

Concluding the press conference Minister MacLenihan explained "People can no longer expect the State to support frivolous expenditure of time and resources. People should remember that Christmas did not exist in its current form before it was introduced in 1997 by the Fianna Fail Government. We hope that once economic stability and prosperity returns we will be able to reinstate Christmas and based on current forecasts from the ESRI we expect that in 2010 we will be able introduce a means tested Christmas for under 10's. Any child under the age limit and with a pocket money income of less than €1.18 a week will be allowed to hang Christmas decorations."

Recycling bins will be made available in supermarkets and hardware stores where members of the public will be able to recycle their old Christmas decorations. Anyone caught in possession of Christmas decorations after the 31st of November will have those decorations confiscated and will be subject to a €200 Xmas levy. The exact details of the ban will be published in the Anti-Christmas Bill 2008 which will go before the Dail early in November shortly before the Dail rises for its Christmas Mid-Winter holiday from November to March.

(This post was inspired by the news from RTE and Damien Mulley that Christmas is Cancelled)

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