Hopeful headlines from a parallel universe

Tories still reeling from effects of Harper cycling accident

Ottawa — In the days since he returned from his overseas tour and an accident in India, the Prime Minister’s behaviour has become increasingly erratic, according to Tory insiders. “First, he refused to ratify FIPA when he got home,” said a Conservative MP who wishes to remain anonymous. “He’s been going on and on about Canadian sovereignty and the importance of the environment.”

Last week, Harper was rushed to a New Delhi hospital Imagewith a concussion after a cycling collision with a pedicab. Some colleagues are concerned there may have been damage to the frontal lobes, a common source of personality changes in victims of head trauma. Others insist it was unnatural for the Prime Minister to have been riding a bicycle in the first place, especially in a foreign country. They speculate his unstatesman-like behaviour may have been indicative of a mid-life crisis, impending psychotic break, or unapproved photo opportunity.

“He’s a limo/SUV guy. Seeing him on a ten-speed is like seeing Margaret Atwood on a Jet Ski,” said a long-time Harper handler.

“The holidays are approaching, and we’re worried about a “Scrooge moment,”” the official added. “Rehiring National Research Council scientists, renewing environmental protection departments, speaking freely to the press; that sort of thing. He’s already hugging his kids. We’re really scared.”

The damaged bicycle has been acquired by the Ottawa-based Polaris Institute. The think tank announced that if Harper continues on his present course of rapprochement with Canadians, they will “repurpose the crumpled cycle as a national monument.”

Globe and Mail fires, rehires Margaret Wente as humour columnist

Toronto — Under fire for retaining editorial page writer Margaret Wente after allegations of plagiarism, Globe management fired the longtime scold on Monday and rehired her Tuesday as a “humour columnist.”

Editor-in-Chief John Stackhouse insists his paper is not simply branding Wente as a reheated Dorothy Parker. “This is simply a signal to readers that no one should ever take Peggy’s material all that seriously,” Stackhouse wrote on his blog. “Readers can expect the same cutting (but not pasting) Cruella de Ville material as before, but now they might have a sharper eye for irony, unintended or otherwise.” Considering the new space is called Déjà View, the cribbing commentator is rolling with the punches if not the punchlines.

Twin scientific discoveries indicate cosmos isn’t random, meaningless, stupid affair

Bern, Switzerland — In the wake of the Higgs Boson discovery, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider today announced the isolation of a fantastically unlikely subatomic particle dubbed the “Whoton” (rhymes with “crouton”). “When we amplify the signal we can hear someone or something calling. It may be a cry for help,” said lead physicist Sheldon Nerdwitz. “We theorize this isolated Whoton is an entire world, occupied by intelligent beings.”

Just days earlier, physicists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory revealed the existence of the 119th element, hopeium. Though highly unstable, scientists believe hopeium can open a portal into other dimensions, including the afterlife. But most importantly, its energetic properties promise flying cars and jetpacks.

“Our long national nightmare is nearly over,” a beaming Barack Obama crowed to a crowd at a post-election stop in Pennsylvania. “No more foreign wars for oil. No more carbon emissions. By 2016, American families will have Flubber.”

At a packed lecture hall at Cambridge University, professor Stephen Hawking explained what these twin discoveries mean. “This is the newest paradigm, not something from a suburban slacker who has modified his leafblower into a giant bong,” he insisted in his halting, computer-synthesized voice. The gnarled genius then quoted turn-of-the-century Canadian doctor and proto-hippie, Richard Bucke: “The cosmos is not dead matter but a living Presence. The soul of man is immortal and the universe is so ordered that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all. The foundation principle of the world is what we call love and the happiness of every one in the long run is absolutely certain.”

Hawking continued in his own words: “The human race must abandon its insane pursuit of nuclear brinksmanship and military adventurism. We now have a higher purpose, and that’s to preserve and protect the inhabitants of Whoton.”

Vancouver Courier, November 7

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