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Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Senior Assistant Editor, The Times of India newspaper

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Bull shortage hits world economy

A shortage of bulls has affected the world economy, a leading economist has stated.

Shishir Bhate, a consultant with the World Bank’s India office, stated in New Delhi, a day before the presentation of the federal Indian Budget, that most economies desperately needed more bulls.

Trading on Wall Street came to a halt for 10 minutes after his statement was released to the world media. The Wall Street Journal featured his statement prominently on Page 45, which led to stocks of major trading firms to crash by 0.11 points.

Bhate said that butchers in India slaughtered millions of bulls each day to cater to meat lovers, which he felt was unfortunate.

McDonalds immediately came out with a statement asserting that it did not use beef in any of its products. The clarification saw its stocks rise by 0.11 points on the world markets.

The stock markets had advertised for bulls, but the animals seem to have missed the advertisement in international dailies.

‘The advertisement failed to hit the bulls eye,’ an advertising executive with Lowe Advertising stated.

Bhate said Spain was also drawing many bulls for its famous bullfights. Spain has stubbornly refused to divert its bulls to the stock markets, for a bull run.

Nandita Malik, an economist with the rival India Bank World Office retorted, ‘Talk of a bull shortage affecting the world economy is all bull. We have to grin and bear with it.’

Aslam Hunani, a Dubai-based dealer in top international stocks, however, claimed that the world economy was not witnessing a bull run simply because the bulls were tired.

Cruise liner sinks in Sahara desert

The world’s largest passenger cruise liner QE VIII sank in the Sahara desert, possibly killing all its 20,000 crew and 50 passengers.

The freak mishap occurred soon after the liner took a diversion, on advice from a lighthouse, following a severe storm in a passenger’s teacup.

Unfortunately, the cruiser encountered sinking sand in the desert.

Unconfirmed reports stated that the cruise captain deserted the ship, like a rat, minutes before it sank into the hot sand.

But the captain’s mistress, in a highly emotional statement from Dubai, said she was dead sure that her lover was among the victims.

Emergency rescue teams have been flown to the site to try and ensure the crew is safely evacuated.

Ecological experts have labeled the disaster ‘monstrous.’ The mishap will create a huge crater in the desert, an expert said. ‘The accident will leave a void which cannot be replaced.’

Private investigators believe that some prisoners from a nearby jail could have been digging a huge underground escape tunnel, which led to the unfortunate incident.

Most passengers are believed to be filthy rich Arabs who had just eaten their meals and were on to the deserts.

The media in the Gulf has blacked out news of the tragedy.

Sex guru invents Xes therapy

World famous sex guru Dhiraj Shetty has invented Xes, which he claims will solve all sex-related problems.

Contacted in India’s software capital Bangalore, all that the hardcore sex specialist said, when asked about his latest invention, was, ‘Bang, bang!!!’

Sources close to Shetty’s aides said Xes would make life problem-free and more enjoyable. They refused to reveal what exactly Xes was. They only said that their guru had contacted the United Nations International Child Education Fund for Xes to be introduced in the curriculum of schools worldwide.

They said they too would set up at least one million specialized schools which will teach the techniques of nothing but Xes.

‘Xes is for the masses. It should be learned by children from the school level. After following it, you will forget all about sex,’ a press statement from the guru’s office said.

Rival sex guru Salil Kumar said from Madras in south India, ‘It is nothing but sex, read backwards. Shetty is a conman who gets high on grass. Please do not believe in him. His therapy will lead to frustration and disappointment.’

Kid demolishes West Bank Wall

A Palestinian boy drove his 1994 model toy car right into Israel’s controversial West Bank Wall, leading to its collapse.

Stunned Israeli soldiers looked on as Sheikh Bin Mohammad Al-Fakir, 7, played with his car, near the border. Witnesses said the kid lost control of the car after its brakes failed.

Israel had begun construction of the controversial wall in 2002 to keep away Palestinian suicide bombers. But the Palestinians consider it a means to annex their territory.

An Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman said the child’s act was deliberate and aimed at destabilizing relations between Israel and Palestine.

The spokesman said the child had been identified and would be targeted for a missile attack shortly.

Truckloads of cement and bricks were seen rushing towards the scene shortly after the incident. Work on reconstruction of the wall will begin shortly, according to sources.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has summoned an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the course of action.

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has congratulated Al-Fakir for his ‘bold and decisive act’ and called on fellow Palestinians to follow his example.

Al-Fakir escaped with minor injuries on his little thumb.

In Washington, United States President George W Bush said he would personally finance reconstruction of the wall.

A Toys R Us spokesman in New York confirmed the car was purchased from its Manhattan store many years back.

Dennis to stop being a menace, may marry

Dennis the Menace, created by cartoonist Hank Ketcham, will no longer be the most enduringly irresistible imp in the world.

Dennis the Menace first began to plague his next-door neighbor Mr Wilson in 1950 on the pages of America's newspapers. Today, the comic appears in more than 1,000 newspapers in 48 countries and in 19 languages.

Dennis told reporters in Haiti, where he shifted recently due to ‘political compulsion,’ that he had to get away from all the sex and violence that was so rampant in the United States of America and had thus moved to one of the most peaceful countries.

He said he would stop being a menace, despite still having Mr Wilson as his neighbor in Haiti.

Mr Wilson welcomed the development and has decided to host a tea party at his home as a goodwill gesture.

Dennis, he said, was welcome to enter his home at anytime of the day or night, and do whatever he wanted.

Dennis said his change of heart came after he saw the Mel Gibson movie The Passion of the Christ.

Family sources said Dennis was contemplating marrying his longtime girlfriend Margaret Wade.

Bush critics to migrate to Mars

Anti-United States President George W Bush Foundation members have, at a secret meeting, unanimously decided to migrate to Mars.

The members, in a resolution adopted 10 billion to zero, said they could no longer tolerate Bush’s presidency and decided that there was no place on Earth to avoid him. They thus opted for Mars.

They have approached the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to organize space missions to Mars, as quickly as possible. They want one mission to take off everyday.

Each member will pay for his own one-way ticket to Mars.

Going by various opinion polls conducted in the United States over the last few months, the foundation members felt there was no way anyone could defeat Bush.

Bush, they said, staged a global public relations coup, with the handing over of power to the people of Iraq two days before schedule.

However, Bush, in a one-minute address to the nation telecast on Iraq Television, told Americans he was not one to take defeat lying down. ‘I will not give up. They have high hopes if they think they are safe from me on Mars,’ he asserted.

Bush aides said technically Bush has control over Mars too. ‘We can stop water supply on Mars. Let’s see how his critics live,’ an aide laughed.

Independent observers said the foundation’s plan effectively meant that there would be no opposition to Bush on Earth.

Meanwhile, residents of Mars have welcomed the foundation members to their planet.

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