Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Typo Leads To Military Coupe In Angola

by Benjo

There has never been clearer evidence that the Pentagon's billion-dollar typography budget is money well-spent; the story below illustrates the type of national crisis that our elaborate spell-check system has been so successful in preventing.

LUANDA, ANGOLA – Following what many believe to be a typographical error in an email from Army Chief Kundy Pahiama, a military coupe was staged here last night.

The email from Pahiama, which was sent at 10:30 p.m. local time last night, lamented that “dealing with President Santos in a civil manner has proven impossible,” and concluded that “staging a military coupe at the Presidential Palace is the only viable option.”

Following the email, top generals scrambled throughout the night first to deck a coupe out in camouflage, and then, to assemble a stage in front of the palace on which the coupe would sit.

“Some people may ask, 'Why a military coupe? What is the significance of this?'” said one general who insisted on anonymity. “The answer is obvious: for too long, we have been fed up with the military sedans the President has made us drive.”

Asked if a typo was suspected, the general said, “Absolutely not. Pahiama got where he is on his spelling prowess. Besides,” he said, “what else would he have meant to write?”

The government, however, is taking the threat of a typo very seriously. Upon witnessing the coupe on stage this morning, the full resources of President Santos's staff were deployed to investigate whether a typo had occurred, and if so, what the intended message was. Many officials believe that Pahiama intended to impose a military coupon, which would have illegally given generals up to 50% off at retail stores such as Macy's or Bloomingdales.

If the coupe was indeed accidental, it would hardly be the first event in world history to be shaped by a typo. Martin Van Buren, the eighth President of the United States, is rumored never to have slept with his wife while in office because an adviser accidentally wrote him a memo informing him that he was only eligible for an erection every four years. The so-called Presidential Blueballs of 1837 is said to have cost Van Buren any chance at a second term.

More recently, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe attempted in 1989 to instruct his generals to commit genocide, but accidentally wrote them a note requesting “gonocide” instead, leading them on a crusade to rid the world of gonorrhea. That crusade continues to this day.

In more recent United States history, an al-Qaeda cell in Chicago received a telegram instructing them to “glow up” the city's Sears Tower. What was intended to be a devastating terrorist attack instead turned into a dazzling light show.

The Angolan government is expected to reach a conclusion on last night's events sometime next week. The President released a short statement today indicating that until the report's release, “General Pahiama Will Be Suspended Without Pat.” This is expected to be a crippling blow for Pahiama, as “It's Pat” is the general's favorite movie.

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