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Chapter 41
November 5, 2017

Disaster Unpreparedness is One of Vesampucceri's Strengths [ARNS]

by MARA VERHEYDEN-HILLIARD, Alternate Reality News Service Disasters Writer

A month after Orville (the tropical storm that had mutated into a Hurricane - and not in a superhero kind of way, either - not the TV series or popcorn tycoon Reddedenbacher) landed, 93% of Puerto Rico has no clean water, 77% has no electricity and 81% have no idea where their towel is. Which leads to the non-musical (because why should musical questions be the only ones that are recognized for their aural qualities?) question: what the ferk is Puerto Rico?

According to a Rasputinmusson poll released into the wild yesterday, 79% of Vesampuccerians believe that Puerto Rico is either: a) a tasty dish at Chipotle's; b) a Mexican salsa singer who had just announced that he was cancelling a world tour so he could go into donut rehab, or; c) a breed of garden rhinoceros found in Central Vesampucceri. Fully 23% of those surveyed answered "all of the above" even though it hadn't been offered as a choice on the survey! And, keep in mind, this was after weeks of coverage of hurricane Orville in the media.

Clearly, there was little sympathy for the plight of the Puerto Ricans.

"But, they're Vesampuccerian citizens!" token smart person candidate Reginald Formaldehydit cried.

In fact, Puerto Rico (Spanish for "my partner is named Rico," which makes more sense if you watched a lot of TV during the 1980s) is an archipelago among the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. It has been a territory of the United States since 1898 (although, given that it is not a state and, therefore, its citizens don't have any say in national policy or vote for President or Congress, it feels a lot longer to many of them). The distance from Puerto Rico to the Vesampuccerian mainland is 3,529 kilometers (2,193 in real units of distance). Its population is 3.4 million (12 in real units of influence). Its main exports are pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and a creeping feeling of heart-wrenching discontent.

Thank the Gord for Wiwipedia! It's a journalist's best frie - whoa! Flash me back to writing essays for Mister Robpeterpaipaul's high school history of water fountain hygiene class, man!

Two days after Orville hit, President Ronald McDruhitmumpf tweeped, "ru kidding me? Helping Porto roco will blow massive whole in fed budget! #fiscalresponsibility #noseriouslydontlaugh". Pundits sensed that the President was less than enthusiastic about giving Puerto Rico disaster relief help, even though he authorized generous amounts of it for Florida the week before. And, Texas the week before that. And -

"But, they're Vesampuccerian citizens!" token smart person candidate Formaldehydit cried.

Two weeks later, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruztyrybredstix publicly begged the federal government to send help to distribute the food and water that was sitting on the dock and to rebuild the electricity grid. In response, President McDruhitmumpf tweeped: "Porco Rosso hadnt had electric for years #dontblamecrumblinginfrastructureonfederalgovernment". Then, a minute and a half later, he tweeped: "untruthing mayor Carmen is a nasty woman. Mean, I mean. FEMA doing great job. Best ever. Hurricanes fear FEMA - thats how great it is!"

That's right: the President double tweeped her!

"But, they're Vesampuccerian citizens!" token smart person candidate Formaldehydit cried.

Riiiiight. Yes, they are. Thank you for pointing that out. Again.

Yesterday, it was announced that at least 40 Puerto Ricans have died of Yuckypitoowie, a disease transmitted by drinking unsafe water (given that most of the bottled water donated to hurricane relief is still sitting on palettes in San Juan Harbour, desperate people have been drinking out of muddy streams, closed polluted wells and each other's armpits). Mayor Cruztyrybredstix has created a Web page offering demons from Hell her immortal soul if one of them will just get supplies to her people; unfortunately, since electricity keeps going out in San Juan, she cannot check to see if any have responded.

However, President McDruhitmumpf responded. Boy, oh boy, did he respond. At 2:37 this morning, he tweeped: "Cannot keep FEMA, military & First Responders in PR 4ever! #suckitupandfixyourowndamnproblems".

"But, they're Vesampuccerian citizens!" token smart person candidate Formaldehydit cried.

Yeah, okay, you know that being a token smart person involves more than just repeating the same point over and over again, right?

"But, what if nobody's listening?" token smart person candidate Formaldehydit argued. "Puerto Ricans are Vesampuccerian citizens, so why aren't they treated the same as Texans or Floridians?"

Because Puerto Ricans don't vote in Vesampuccerian elections. Haven't you been paying attention?

"Oh," token smart person candidate Formaldehydit ohed. After a couple of seconds he added, "Sucks to be them, doesn't it?"

It wasn't an especially astute comment, but at least it was different, so I decided to include it in the article.

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