Ad Pox Cured by Branded Products

Aug. 31, 2064
ATLANTA–Officials at the Centers for Disease Control released Wednesday a set of guidelines for the treatment of ad pox suggesting that consumption of certain popular consumer products may offer remedial treatment of some of the disease’s symptoms. “Though we don’t yet have a full epidemiological understanding of ad pox, we have confirmed clinically that use of the listed products offers at least temporary relief from some symptoms,” explains CDC Director of Home Cures, Dr. Evan Tripe. “Since these products are already routinely used by most Americans, we have no concerns about recommending their use for treatment, even at this early stage in our research.”

CDC reports indicate that as many as 1 in 7 American children between the ages of 6 and 12 are affected by the disease, while infection rates among adults have continued to climb, with as many as 1 in 12 expressing symptoms while an estimated 1 in 5 are infected. “This disease has spread with alarming rapidity,” notes Dr. Tripe. “We’ve known about scattered cases for years, but because the condition is relatively mild and non-fatal, we couldn’t justify dedicating resources to it. Now that infection rates have reached these levels, though, we’re taking a serious look.”

Ad pox symptoms include headache, mild nausea, and sporadic, marginal fever, but the disease is best known for its characteristic sores, blisters and rashes, commonly thought to take the form of popular advertising logos and slogans. “I’ve had a very itchy outbreak of hives in the shape of the AOL pyramid thing,” explains one sufferer. “And I can’t tell you how many weeping Nike swooshes and Coca-Cola logos I’ve been picking at for weeks. At one point a rash on my thigh clearly said ‘You’re in Good Hands.'”

Companies whose logos and slogans have been associated with ad pox uniformly deny that their products have any connection to the disease. “This looks to me like the work of a bioterrorist with an axe to grind against successful American companies,” opines Gerri Cracken, McDonald’s VP of Public Information. “We certainly don’t want our brands associated with skin irritations of any kind. In fact, we plan to pursue trademark and copyright claims once the ad pox engineer is identified. Though, if you ask me, none of the sores I’ve seen really look anything like our Golden Arches.”

CDC guidelines suggest consumers use branded products associated with the logos and slogans in which they break out. “It’s quite a simple treatment methodology, and we have noticed significant reductions in swelling, weeping, and itchiness when it is followed,” explains Dr. Tripe. “People afflicted with lesions they identify as Nike swooshes experience notable relief while wearing Nike shoes and sportswear. The same goes for other sores. In many cases relief is just a Coke and a Happy Meal away.”

The origins and mechanism of the disease have yet to be understood. “The fact that the suggested treatment guidelines work suggests that ad pox may be an unprecedented disease,” notes Tripe. “What symptoms caused by a conventional infectious vector could be relieved by watching TV? Well, that’s what happens with the NBC Peacock rashes. How can using AOL remediate boils and blisters? This disease is a challenge to our understanding of disease itself.”

Embryos, Stem Cells Vote Bush in Record Numbers

Dec. 12, 2042
WASHINGTON DC–In only the second national election since implementation of new voting rules under the Unborn Voting Rights Act, heavy Republican voting among embryos and active embryonic stem cell lines may have determined the outcome of a presidential election. A special committee formed by the Federal Election Commission to analyze voting in President-elect Bush’s November victory reported Wednesday that embryos and open-source stem cell lines cast nearly 27% of votes in the presidential race. “Our analysis indicates a much greater than expected turn-out among newly-enfranchised single-cell and single-neuron voters,” noted committee chairman Arnold Pusse. “This is a watershed moment in the evolution of the American electorate.”

Discussing the specialized polling equipment designed to predict voting preferences of single neurons and small-cluster embryos, the committee noted that the equipment functioned well within error margins and offered few use or implementation problems at local polling stations. “We were really pleased with the ease-of-deployment of the Microsoft solution,” explains Florida Director of Elections Maryanne Freebie. “Handheld devices enabled scanning of petri-dishes and test-tubes for headcount and DNA-signed voter-roll checks, while simple, self-positioning filament leads allowed us to link voting cells to the full NT-hosted vote-extracting models.”

Though praising the Commission’s rapid deployment of standards-based technical solutions to fulfill its obligations under a new and untested law, the committee acknowledged a number of formal, public complaints about the computer models behind the vote-extraction technology. “By choosing a private-sector vendor like Microsoft, the Commission effectively shielded key parts of the technology from public view,” notes VOTE! executive director Elaine Just. “The computer model is doing a lot of the work, hypothesizing the full mental process involved in voting, sometimes on the basis of a single neuron. We need to know that that model is non-partisan.”

The committee’s conclusion that nearly 89% of single-cell and single-neuron voters supported Ms. Bush has fed speculation that Democrats will mount a legal challenge to the Act and the Commission’s rules. Though not ruling out the possibility of litigation, Terrence Limp, speaking on behalf of the DNC, dismissed rumors of court action as “premature.” “We understand that there may be ideological reasons that embryos tend to vote Republican. We certainly aren’t interested in disenfranchising anyone because of how they vote. But it’s important that we get the technology right.”

Reviewing its findings on embryo voting in the context of declining non-embryonic turn-out, the committee projected dramatically declining average-brain-cell-per-voter counts over the next three election-cycles. “As average voter-neuron counts decrease, we anticipate a greater and greater ideological skew. Single-cell organisms appear to vote Republican in overwhelming numbers.”

Responding to recent charges of embryo voting irregularities, the committee concluded that rumors of concerted efforts among Republicans to “get out” the embryo vote by growing and registering thousands of embryonic clusters in the weeks leading up to the election are “unfounded and unsupported by any available evidence.”

Cuba Buys Disney, Announces Redevelopment Plans

Dec. 18, 2071
ORLANDO–At a press conference held late Tuesday to formally announce Cuba’s acquisition of The Walt Disney Company, officials from the Cuban Bureau of Recreation unveiled plans to redevelop Disney properties worldwide. “Disney’s entertainment properties are an ideal fit for us,” noted Cuban Executive Director of Learning Environments Minerva Perez. “This acquisition supplies us with the infrastructure that will enable us to leverage our ideological advantages and get our message out globally.”

Asked about the acquisition, Disney Chairman and CEO Increase Matthews pointed to a “Cuban tradition of tourism and showmanship very familiar to all of us here at Disney,” and declared confidently that, “with the infusion of Cuba’s fresh blood and capital,” the “spirit of Disney will live on into the 22nd century.”

The once powerful entertainment giant’s stock hit an historic low of $.53 in April as attendance at its parks plummeted following public release of FBI crime statistics covering the Orlando and Anaheim properties. “It’s sad to say, but the Disney parks have actually become fairly dangerous,” explains FBI Crime Trends Division spokesman Jerome Hoyle. “Gangs of street kids and mid-life nostalgia vandals roam the grounds. Security is lax because of budget cuts, and they’re desperate enough for gate revenues that they’ve done little to discourage ‘wilding Wednesdays.’ The revenue-boosting liquor concession has only added to the problem.”

Many analysts attribute the decline in Disney’s fortunes to the company’s failure to secure immemorial intellectual property rights in its stock characters, including “Mickey Mouse,” “Donald Duck,” and “Goofy.” Accused of price gouging in merchandise-starved developing markets, Disney late last year lost its twelve-year battle with the WIPO and was forced to dedicate the characters to public use. “That was a huge blow,” notes Jupiter analyst Marie Cacke. “Disney’s character-branded merchandise revenues crashed as everybody and their uncle crowded into the market for Mickey t-shirts. From there, things at Disney spiraled out of control even quicker than most of us expected.”

Cuba’s plans for the Disney parks are extensive, and include the development of free, park-wide healthcare, co-operative ownership of individual rides and attractions, and emancipation of the bioengineered characters that roam the grounds. The country also plans extensive revision of the “theme” of the parks. Cuba’s Perez explains: “Traditionally, the Disney parks have been distorted monuments to industrial capitalism, its ‘Frontierland’ colonial past and its ‘Tommorrowland’ future. We’re planning a more well-rounded vision, including a newly designed ‘the people’s land,’ and a special new ride: ‘Indiana Jones and the Sweatshop of Doom.'”

In an irony lost on few, Cuba is funding the Disney acquisition with revenues generated by worldwide sales of its popular Fidel-branded merchandise. Iconic images of Cuba’s former president, including Fidel watches, t-shirts, and key chains, are expected to be available in Disney stores by month’s end. Cuban officials are reported to have contacted topiary experts throughout the world concerning the best shrubs to plant in the shape of the beloved Castro.

Consumer Capitalism Defective, U.S. Issues Recall

Dec. 14, 2050
WASHINGTON DC–The U.S. National Intellectual Property Trust today issued a formal recall of all licenses issued under its patents covering consumerism, consumer capitalism, and consumer federalism. Responding to questions concerning the timing of the recall, Trust spokesman Franklin Dolte noted that “we at the Trust have decided to take aggressive and proactive measures to address several independent but uncorroborated reports of side effects associated with some of our more widely licensed proprietary ideologies. Experts are examining the processes in question and we anticipate returning consumerism to full use in good order. But our customers and their citizens are our first concern and so we’re taking steps now to initiate a recall just to be on the safe side.”

Among the first of the controversial ‘social process’ or ‘ideology’ patents issued under rules promulgated by the WIPO six years ago, the U.S. patent on consumerism and related “democratic social and cultural processes” has been among the most lucrative patents in the U.S. portfolio. Licensees include some 1822 local, provincial, and national sovereignties, the majority of which hold site licenses paying royalties tied to domestic and local GDP, with the remainder holding seat licenses billed on a sliding scale with discounts for ‘temporary’ seats assigned to non-resident aliens and escaped or furloughed penitentiarents.

Recently the U.S. Trust has sought to expand the market for its consumerism patents by pursuing the private-sector. The Trust’s Dolte explains: “This technology sells itself. The real task before us is not to convince multi-nationals to make use of our proprietary ideologies, but just to negotiate the terms under which they will pay for the property they are already using.”[p]
Long-time rumors of defects in consumer capitalism, including accelerating income disparities and “environmentally negative externalities” lead the U.S. Trust to compile a 1200 page disclaimer issued and exhaustively counter-signed by each of its licensees. “Diarrhea,” “mouth-breathing,” and “TV” are among the more than 100,000 disclosed potential side-effects. Absent from the disclaimer, however, is the risk of an increase in what social scientists have come to call “atomic nesting.”

“Atomic nesting is directly related to dramatic increases in the production and availability of household appliances,” explains MIT Professor Emeritus Ricky Spongue. “All of those appliances need places to live. In order to maximize their habitat, they entice individuals to set up solitary households. The result is that more and more people live alone, and that is not necessarily a desirable social outcome.”

Responding to questions linking the recall to reported increases in atomic nesting in licensee communities, Trust spokesman Dolte declined specific comment. “This is a general recall to examine any and all safety issues,” he noted. “Our license agreements provide for recalls of this sort. Licensees are free to revert to pre-consumer ideologies and social structures until we’ve reaffirmed that consumerism is safe for our customers and their citizens.”