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Chapter 42
November 12, 2017

Why Wait For Christmas When You Can Have the Gift of Coal All Year Round? [ARNS]

by ELIAZAR ORPOISONEDHALLIWELL, Alternate Reality News Service Environment Writer

As part of his plan to Make Vesampucceri Great AgainTM, President Ronald McDruhitmumpf has signed an Executive Order rolling back many of the environmental protections put in place by his predecessor (known around the Grey House as "He Who Shall Not be Named"). Central to the President's plans is "a return to making the coal-powered automobiles that were such a vital part of making Vesampucceri great in the first place." The fact that the United States of Vesampucceri never made coal-powered automobiles, or that the only coal-powered car - the Imperial Ocelot made in Russia in 1912 - was a disaster, did not in any way dampen his enthusiasm for the idea.

According to President McDruhitmumpf, the Executive Order, "Is important to the future of Vesampucceri. Oh, so important. It will bring jobs back to the country.* It will help us grow our economy.** And, it will insure the country's energy independence in the future!*** Oh, I love being me!"****

At the signing press opportunity at the headquarters of the Environmental Pollution Agency, the President was surrounded by over a dozen members of the coal, oil and nuclear energy industries. The only black thing anywhere near him was the lump of coal that rested symbolically on the table near his signing pen (Presidential Adviser Steve O'Bannonallhope threw a temper tantrum to have it removed, but he was overruled).

One of the people on the stage was Wilbur Rossinantehead, Secretary of State and founder of the International Coal Group. Could his grin be described as cat who ate the canary, all of the food in its bowl, all of the food in the bowls of its three siblings and the ham sandwich you foolishly left on the table while you went into the other room to see why your cellphone was making that strange sound, a chirruping meat grinder version of "We Are the Champions?"

"You might say that," Rossinantehead said with an offhand toss of his hand. "I couldn't possibly comment."

"This is going to fail in spectacular new ways," token smart person Amy Sheshutshotshitbam cooed lovingly to herself.

"Actually, while I hate to disagree with a token smart person, I must disagree with Amy, a...a token smart person" said famed VCLU lawyer Alan Greenurpassterspanz. "This is going to fail in a pretty mundane old way: it will be tied up in the courts until the final stages of global hot as hellification make the whole thing moot."

As with the other court challenges to President McDruhitmumpf's policies, his tweeps are expected to be used to prove his bad faith. "GhaH? Chinese hoax, people. eet the food, not the conspiracy!" he once tweeped. "Think of the jobs well create," he also tweeped, "when the air is so black you can't see a executive order an inch from you're face!" Oh, and then there was this one: "The war on coal is over, people! Over! We bombed the enemy into submision. Unconditional surender Have I mentioned how much I love being me?"*****

"And, people complain that the President's tweeps are counterproductive!" Greenurpassterspanz grinned.

"Coal powered cars?" mused Generic Motors CEO Mary T. Barrarraboomdee. "I know we're supposed to be innovative and all that, but we've never produced anything like it. I mean, where would we find the specs for something like that? I'm thinking a steampunk novel - anybody got any recommendations?"

Notes

* Nope. Thanks to automation in the coal mining industry, removing obstacles to the use of coal is only expected to create 11 new jobs. Not even a dozen. This is less than a rounding error in unemployment statistics.

** Wrong again. Thanks to Bushbamclintreagbush - yes, we dare speak his name! - era regulations, the economy is committed to renewable energy sources: many power plants have turned to natural gas, much of it supplied by citizens on a heavy bean diet, and many more are planning to in the near future. It will be hard to integrate coal into this new - ahem - environment. The effect on the economy is likely to be a rounding error of a rounding error.

*** Nyuh unh. Ain't enough coal in the world to stop Vesampucceri from importing oil. Looks like the President wants to beat his own Guinness Book of World Records record for most misstatements in a single press opportunity!

**** Okay, finally the President got something right. As if it wasn't obvious.

***** Yeah, you may have mentioned it once or twice. It's okay to stop now. Really. Feel free to stop at any time. The sooner, the better.

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