Nobel Economics Committee to Insist on MS Office Certificates

Stockholm, Sweden – Alarmed by the news that one of the most influential and widely cited economic papers of the past decade was based on an Excel spreadsheet error, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced today that all future candidates for the Nobel Prize in Economics would be required to produce certificates demonstrating competence in basic MS Office skills.

Disgraced Harvard economists Reinhart and Rogoff holding a fake MS Office certificate

Disgraced Harvard economists Reinhart and Rogoff holding a fake MS Office certificate

In a press conference today in the Swedish capital, spokesperson Claus Jorgensen said it was important the prestige of the Nobel Prize not be diminished by the dismal science of economics.

“The Nobel Prize is the culmination of a lifetime of brilliant achievement in science by physicists, chemists, and medical researchers,” said Mr. Jorgensen. “It acknowledges contributions to the human spirit through the bringing of peace and the creation of inspirational literature. We can’t have all that ruined by the wackos in the economics department.”

“I mean, have you ever visited an economics department?” asked Mr. Jorgensen. “It’s like the reject bin for people who were too weird to be in the maths department. Most universities just put them in the basement and hope no one notices they’re there.”

The 21st century has been particularly unkind to the discipline of economics, which not only spectacularly failed to predict the GFC in 2008 but also responded to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression by advocating policies of austerity that have done more damage than the initial crash.

This is all the more damaging since the past eighty years of economics have been dedicated to not repeating the policy mistakes of the Great Depression, which have now been repeated thanks to the advice of economists.

Austerity economics 101

Austerity economics 101

“That’s completely untrue!” said conservative financial historian Niall Ferguson. “Austerity is essential, otherwise how would we pay for basic government services? We’d have to tax the rich.”

Mr. Ferguson looked flabbergasted when asked to explain why that would be such a bad thing. “That’s just basic economics, man! If you tax the rich and redistribute that money to the poor, then everyone has less money. You can’t grow a harvest by spreading seed evenly around a field; you need to put it all in one place to get a really giant beanstalk that anyone with the balls to do it can climb to raid the riches in the giant’s castle.”

“Honestly, some of the fairy tales you people believe about economics,” chuckled Mr. Ferguson, shaking his head in disbelief.

Despite such convincing arguments for austerity in theory, it has not escaped people’s attention that austerity economics are not working in practice. The final nail in the coffin, however, was the news that the renowned Reinhart-Rogoff austerity paper warning of a critical 90% debt-to-GDP threshold was based on faulty figures. Specifically, the two Harvard economists don’t know how to add a column of figures using Excel, a fact discovered not by a learned committee of fellow economists but by a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts.

“That’s just the final straw right there,” said Mr. Jorgensen emphatically. “I mean, we have people getting the physics prize who can calculate the gravitational force of a black hole and the economics people can’t even add some numbers using a computer programme specifically designed to do basic addition? And nobody else in the field even noticed?!”

Prof. von Mieses defended economics by giving Nobel Committee, self, the finger.

Prof. von Mieses defended economics by giving Nobel Committee, self, the finger.

The Nobel Committee, however, which established the economics prize in 1968, felt it would be an embarrassing retreat to simply abolish the prize less than fifty years later. Instead, it has decided that all future candidates must produce certificates demonstrating basic proficiency in MS Office, as well as sing their eleven times tables.

Opposition to the move came swiftly. “Those Scandinavian government-loving fascists can certify my liberty-loving ass,” said Prof. Friedrich von Mieses of the Ayn Rand Institute for Economic Freedom. “I don’t need no certificate. Let the free market decide whether or not my ideas are right.”

When told that the free market had completely crashed and burned on the back of his theories, Prof. von Mieses said: “Fucking Excel and its click-and-drag bullshit.”

The Nobel Committee remained unmoved, however. “If economics wants to be taken seriously as a science, then it’s simply going to have to learn how to use point-and-click technology,” said Mr. Jorgensen.

Apocalypse Industry Predicts Continuing Growth in 2013

Bugarch, France – After a bumper 2012, in which fears of an apocalypse were caused by a minor defect in the ancient Mayan calendar, the apocalypse industry announced at its annual convention today in the town of Bugarach, France, that it foresaw a bright future for 2013, followed by death.

Dame Nostra Ussi delivers her keynote address to the apocalypse industry.

Dame Nostra Ussi delivers her keynote address to the apocalypse industry.

Industry spokesperson Dame Nostra Ussi (42) said: “There are all kinds of economic doomsayers predicting that we will never have another year like 2012, but I believe the apocalypse industry has a rosy future ahead of it.”

“And I’m not just talking about the massive solar flare that will wipe out all life on this planet,” she quipped to general amusement.

Predicting the apocalypse has traditionally been a niche area of the global economy and is largely associated in the popular imagination with bearded cult leaders like Charles Manson, David Koresh, Karl Marx and Jesus Christ. In recent years, however, its reputation has been damaged by the intrusion of science.

“That Y2K nonsense single-handedly put back the industry by at least a dozen years,” declared Dame Ussi in ringing tones. “These scientists have brought our product into disrepute with their pathetic, irrational fears. Honestly, how people fell for that bullshit is beyond me.

“We’re lucky the Mayan apocalypse came along when it did.”

A Taiwanese apocalyptic cult about to be very disappointed.

A Taiwanese apocalyptic cult about to be very disappointed.

The long-awaited day of the Mayan ‘Fifth Sun’, predicted for 21/12/2012, sparked a renaissance of interest in the end of the world and prompted both Australian PM Julia Gillard and NASA to release public videos addressing the end of the world, although as a representative of the scientific community NASA obviously had no credibility.

“In the past few years we have sold documentaries, movies, books, music, and innumerable articles on the end of the world,” said Ussi. “We even propagated an internet hoax saying that Gangnam Style guy was one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Sales of New Age crystals have quintupled; tarot card sales are through the roof; there’s a shortage of trained homeopathists.

“Jesus, some people were so worried they even went to live in Australia, although I don’t think any responsible industry should promote such reckless disregard for its customers.

“There are worse things than the end of the world, after all.”

Ussi said the apocalypse industry had found its feet again by focusing on its core principles. “Natural disasters with vaguely religious overtones of judgment – that’s our meal ticket, people. Plague, zombies, mega-earthquakes, giant meteors, possibly Obamacare depending on your audience. The threat has to be large and vague enough to somehow be caused by either gay marriage or Wall Street.

Roomba Robots have failed to excite the imagination of apocalyptic cults anywhere.

Roomba Robots have failed to excite the imagination of apocalyptic cults anywhere.

“And don’t let the scientists distract you with talk of robots!” she thundered. “That’s just a dead end. The only robot anyone’s actually seen is a Roomba, and what’s that supposed to do, vacuum the world to death?

Science,” she sneered.

Ussi said that the apocalypse industry could replicate the success of 2012 by focusing on Asian bird flu and possibly the return of SARS. “Global warming is just too slow. We need to concentrate on the danger posed by fast-acting airborne diseases which, admittedly, have a less than 10% fatality rate but might through the sexual and financial deviancy of married gay stockbrokers become as lethal as Ebola.

“If we do that, then I believe we can post three quarters of solid growth in 2013 before the mass extinction of the human race makes a significant dent in our fourth quarter prospects.”

Ussi also announced an ambitious plan to lobby for government funding due to the mental health benefits of the apocalypse. “Obviously, there are a lot of unhappy people out there,” said Ussi. “And one of the things that makes them unhappy is the happiness of others. That’s the appeal of the end of the world – not only will your misery end, but you won’t have to die knowing the rest of the world doesn’t give a shit. When the plague hits, everyone’s going to give the diarrhoea of shits.

Apocalypticists promoting the peaceful, non-violent end of the human race.

Apocalypticists promoting the peaceful, non-violent end of the human race.

“However, certain enthusiasts have recently been taking matters into their own hands,” said Ussi disapprovingly. “And what can the scientists do about that? Nothing! That’s because psychology and sociology are complete bullshit. What you need is a publicly funded institution for the end of the world in every town.

“That way all the people liable to hurry Ragnarok along with a Kalashnikov and a Bowie knife will show up where we can show them the error of their ways. You can’t take God’s judgment into your own hands. You have to wait until next December when the sun goes nova.

“A federal programme establishing Centres of Human Extinction in each community could seriously reduce deaths from mass shootings.

“After all, these people are our target audience,” added Ussi. “Having them go on murder-suicide rampages is bad for our bottom line.”

“We need to make them wait until next year like everyone else.”

Wall Street Worried God’s Wrath Getting Wrathier

New York – As Hurricane Sandy bears down on the spires of New York, financiers on Wall Street are increasingly nervous that this is only the latest sign that God’s wrath waxes as the enemies of his people remain unsmoted.

The wrath of God descends on NYC to bring righteous justice to Wall Street, random Japanese tourists.

“Hey, why would he be angry with me?” asked Felix Huffington III (34), a senior bond trader at Goldman Sachs as he hurriedly took down a plaque proudly declaring: Never have so many suffered so much for the benefit of so few. “I mean, I’m only doing what the Protestant work ethic tells me.”

As lightning bolts blazed across the darkening horizon. Mr. Huffington III turned pale. “Jesus, I only took that bonus to glorify your name,” he whispered fervently.

After the GFC in 2008, many expected that those responsible for the economic collapse would be punished heavily. However, after intensive lobbying of both political parties in Washington, executive pay and bonuses on Wall Street have quickly returned to pre-crisis levels even as conditions for the average worker decline.

Now, recent events suggest that God, frustrated by the limited human understanding of justice, has decided to step in and smite the evildoers himself.

Anxious Wall Street traders watch the weather forecast.

“Yeah, we’d all been receiving signs for some time,” said Mathilda Heerenveen (41), an investment fund manager for Bank of America. “But those tornadoes really made it obvious.”

“I mean, tornadoes in Brooklyn? What is this, fucking Kansas?” she snapped as she lit another cigarette. “And now we got a super-hurricane heading straight for us? There’s only one explanation for all that.”

“God has taken sides with Michael Moore. Well, now we know where He stands,” she sneered.

While some financiers have fled the oncoming storm, Ms. Heerenveen has helped organise a classic Wall Street response.

“This is no worse than all those lefty pinko demonstrations after the GFC,” she said to an assembly of traders and investment managers as the wind howled outside the towers of Manhattan. “You all know the drill. Don’t pussy out like Huffington III – let’s get to work!”

“We’d help them if they actually did have a yellow brick road,” said Ms. Heerenveen.

Stage one of the Wall Street strategy is to sow confusion about the actual causes of the violent weather phenomena plaguing New York.

“Well, obviously they’re instruments of God’s wrath,” said Ms. Heerenveen disgustedly. “His aim was a little off because he’s out of practice, but it fits his MO perfectly – lightning bolts, giant hailstones, it’s all there in the Bible.”

“So in order to stop people realising that it’s God’s righteous vengeance against the wicked, we’ve been promoting the concept of…” She looked down through her notes with a look of intellectual disdain. “… climate change.”

“Yeah, we have our people out there now promoting the idea that business activity is making the world warmer.” She shrugged and exhaled a stream of smoke at the scurrying populace on the rain-swept streets below. “I don’t where our boys come up with this shit, but once you buy a few pet scientists the plebs will believe anything.”

Having shifted public attention from the iniquities of the selfish to carbon emissions, Wall Street has then gotten down to the serious business of lobbying the deities of the universe for special sin exemptions and amnesties for moral malefactors.

“It’s just climate change!” said Ms. Heerenveen unconvincingly as God’s wrath closed in on Wall Street.

“Christianity teaches us to worship God and shun the Devil,” said Ms. Heerenveen. “But here on Wall Street we learn not to pick sides like that. That’s why we’ve rented a church and some bishops downtown to pray for our souls.”

“Then the bishops are going to burn the Bible and profane some altar boys in praise of Satan, just to cover our bases.”

“Whoever triumphs in the great cosmic struggle between Good and Evil, his prick will be in Wall Street’s back pocket.”

As the ‘Frankenstorm’ bore down on the beleaguered city, Wall Street’s finest lit up Cuban cigars, safe in the knowledge that not even God could defeat the stock market.

iPhone 5 Queue Just Wants to Go Home

New York – For days they have waited, sleeping rough on the pavement eating fast food out of Styrofoam cartons in the hope of being among the first people in the world to own an iPhone 5. Now, as the moment approaches, the Apple customers who have waited so patiently in line are united by one desire – to go home.

Enthusiasm for the iPhone 5 has waned dramatically among waiting nerds.

“Honestly, it is really starting to stink down here,” complained Janine Corman (21), a graphic design student from NYU. “When I first got down here four days ago, I was all like ‘Wooh! I’m fifteenth in line for the iPhone 5!’ Now, I really, really just want the guys here to stop peeing in the trashcan.”

“I hope the iPhone has an app for burning out short-term memories,” she added with a shudder.

Members of the line said that the initial buzz of excitement had worn off quickly.

“Yeah, we’ve been here for three days now,” said Mark Dinkins (24), who travelled all the way from Connecticut to buy the iPhone 5 at the iconic New York Apple store on Fifth Avenue. “I mean, this is the defining moment of our generation! Just as the iPhone 6 will be for next year’s generation.”

Brain addled by years of Pepsi advertising, Mr. Dinkins explained why he wanted to get the iPhone 5 so badly. “I really need to get to a hospital,” he confided. “Sleeping on the sidewalk is killing my back. And I haven’t been able to move my left foot since this morning.”

“But I think the iPhone 5 has some kind of chiropractic app, so it should be OK,” he said optimistically, gritting his teeth through the pain.

Aside from the physical discomfort, queue members have started to become increasingly irritated with each other.

A forlorn Jacob Wankstein wonders why people always try to shit on his stuff.

“I’m a pretty cool guy, but there are some real haters throwing shade here,” said Jacob Wankstein (28), who describes his profession as ‘hipster.’ “There I was, playing my Pan pipes yesterday, when the guy next to me just took a crap right on top of zucchini and bean sprout salad.”

“He knows I’m a lactose intolerant vegan!” whined Wankstein. “I mean, why would someone commit such a hate crime? Is it because my grandmother was Latvian? Don’t hate me because I’m different, man!”

Mr. Wankstein then started crying as he discovered a turd in his sleeping bag in the shape of a Swastika.

Although his neighbours in the queue remained indifferent, help appeared in the form of some Apple enthusiasts from Occupy Wall Street.

“Yeah, we were just down at Zuccotti Park fighting the capitalist exploitation of the American worker and the privilege of the ivory tower elites,” drawled Gina Gothering (20) while her fellow rebels against the system nodded coolly. “But, the Occupy Wall Street anniversary did clash with the iPhone 5 release. I mean, what are you going to do?”

“But we can fight for justice here, too,” she said, taking her stand next to Mr. Wankstein.

Joe the Plumber teaches Occupy Wall Street to jump the iPhone 5 queue.

“Hey, those Occupy Wall Street bitches are trying to jump the queue!” yelled plumber Joe Grimes (46). There followed a mass brawl between Occupy Wall Street and a group of working class Americans, while Mr. Wankstein tried to soothe frayed nerves by furiously playing Frankie goes to Hollywood’s Relax on his Pan pipes.

But for those who got their hands on the fabled iPhone 5, it all seemed worth it. Henry Klingman (19), who has been at the head of the queue for four days, was ecstatic when he finally emerged from the store with his new phone.

“Oh man, there were times there when I didn’t think I was going to make it,” sobbed Mr. Klingman. “Nights were the worst. I think someone even got gang-raped at one point. But this is the greatest moment of my life – now I can finally go home!”

He opened the new Apple maps app and paused: “Wait, what the fuck am I doing in Wisconsin?” he asked, looking around at the skyscrapers in confusion.

Butchers Worry as Dustin the Turkey Made Minister for Christmas Dinners

Dublin – Butchers, turkey farmers, and consumers across the country expressed concern yesterday at the news that the new coalition government has appointed Dustin the Turkey as the new head of the Ministry of Christmas Dinners.

Voters fear that the promised turkey cuts won't happen.

Voters fear that the promised turkey cuts won't happen.

The Fine Gael-Labour coalition has recently caused public concern by appointing a Labour minister as head of public sector reform, even though Labour draws a majority of its political support from members of public sector unions.

Now, however, the coalition has gone one step forward by putting a well-known turkey in charge of the menu for the annual Christmas dinner.

Local butcher Mattie Connors (45) said this had worrying implications for Ireland’s turkey economy. “Christmas turkey sales are essential for small butchers, especially with the economy the way it is,” said Connors angrily. “If we don’t make cuts in those turkeys by Christmas, every small business in Ireland will be bankrupt.”

Turkey farmer Ger Laffey (38) said the situation was even worse than that. “Right now, thanks to the policy of Social Turkey Partnership, Ireland is awash in turkeys just gobbling down grain. If we don’t cut them and serve them up for Christmas dinner, this country will be awash with turkeys eating us out of house and home.”

“Something needs to be done, but I just feel Dustin may have a conflict of interests here that prevents him doing his job properly.”

Minister Dustin addressed concerns over the move in an interview with RTE news.

Flamboyant new Minister for Christmas Dinners, Dustin the Turkey, speaks to the press.

Flamboyant new Minister for Christmas Dinners, Dustin the Turkey, speaks to the press.

“I am delighted and honoured to be able to serve the country at this time of crisis,” said Dustin, beaming with pride at his new ministerial red box and driver. “We all know that these are hard times, that cuts must be made, and that some things must be sacrificed.”

“But I ask you, are turkeys the thing we must sacrifice? Do those cuts have to made in the giblets of our hard-working, underpaid, and under-appreciated turkeys?”

“We here at the Ministry of Christmas Dinners will be looking carefully at what exactly we can cut, without hurting turkeys too much.”

The Ministry of Christmas Dinners has been set up after a number of catastrophic Christmases in recent years, including the great storm of 2005 that brought down the electricity grid and the blizzards last year that trapped Santa at Dublin Airport.

Now that the country is virtually bankrupt after years of cosy clientelism between politicians, bankers, public sector unions, and property developers, fears are growing that the next few Christmases may not be all that merry either.

Coalition leaders Kenny and Gimore said they had full confidence in their ministerial turkeys.

Coalition leaders Kenny and Gimore said they had full confidence in their ministerial turkeys.

Visiting members of the IMF have responded to the Christmas crisis by demanding that Ireland immediately make savage cuts in its turkeys in order to restore the festive spirit of Christmas.

Minister Dustin, however, said that the IMF and EU didn’t rule Ireland just yet. “We here in the Labour party feel there are many alternatives to cutting turkeys. Brussels could always loan us a few more sprouts; that’d surely tide everyone over for a few years.”

“And I hear the IMF has some good Indian. I think these are definitely options we need to explore before reaching for the cleaver.”

Consumers said they felt sorry for turkeys, but added they should at least have to cut back on the extra rations they had been given under the previous FF government in order to fatten them up for Christmas. Minister Dustin, however, said this wasn’t feasible.

Minister Dustin said the coalition would seek an increase in Brussel sprouts from the EU to feed the turkeys.

Minister Dustin said the coalition would seek an increase in Brussel sprouts from the EU to feed the turkeys.

“You can’t ask a turkey that’s been stuffing its face on public grain to suddenly take a bit less,” argued Dustin. “It’s very bad for them. They’d feel hungry all the time and have to work a bit harder just to get something to eat.”

“You surely don’t want them to end up as ragged as the poor guys you see delivering the turkey grain, do you?” he asked with a rhetorical flourish.

Dejected voter and lover of Christmas turkey Gemma Barry (21) said that this election was the first time she had voted, and probably the last. “I thought voting might make a difference,” she said dolefully. “I thought we might be able to get rid of Brussel sprouts at Christmas dinners. Now it looks like we’ll be eating them for the foreseeable future.”

Asked if she expected Dustin to resign due to conflict of interests, Ms. Barry shrugged helplessly. “What would it matter?” she asked. “They’re all a bunch of turkeys.”

EU Regulators Astonished as Bankers Reveal Investment in Pluto

Dublin – To national dismay and international incredulity, the follies of the Celtic Tiger were revealed today to extend beyond the confines of our shores, and even our planet, as Irish lenders systematically invested in property development in the furthest reaches of our solar system.

The Irish taxpayer, for a mere €100 billion, now owns that little dot on the left.

The Irish taxpayer, for a mere €100 billion, now owns that little dot on the left.

The banks finally came clear on the investment this morning in a meeting with NAMA directors and the EU/IMF economic advisory team.

“We’d demanded they reveal, once and for all, the true extent of their losses,” said Franz Schwarzloch, senior economic advisor to the ECB. “And they were blarneying on as if they’d been licking the Bullshit Stone in Cork all night, when they suddenly mumbled something about ‘the Plutonian scheme.’”

“At first, I thought they must have said plutonium, and that they had been selling fissile material on the black market to terrorists and rogue dictators,” said Mr. Schwarzloch. “But, while that would have been illegal and immoral, it would also have been too profitable and logical a business venture for an Irish banker to get involved in.”

“Then I asked them to clarify it and they told me. And then they gave me some smelling salts and told me again. Finally they came to visit me in hospital and explained it a third time, after which the doctor said they weren’t allowed to visit any more.”

Ireland's reverence for the Bullshit Stone is seen by many as a key element in the collapse.

Ireland's reverence for the Bullshit Stone is seen by many as a key element in the collapse.

The former planet of Pluto, reclassified since 2006 as part of the Kuiper Belt rather than a member of the solar system, is home to a projected €100 billion in Irish real estate development, including a luxurious casino hotel resort, a convention centre, and the Bertie Bowl.

 “It’s like they just wanted to throw that money down a black hole,” added Schwarzloch despairingly.

According to the minutes of the meeting, a consortium of bankers and property developers had come together in 2004 to put together a secret plan to corner the real estate market on Pluto.

“Sure, it looked then like a secret gem,” said Sean Fitzgerald of Anglo Irish Bank, who was renowned in 2004 for his shrewd investment skills. “It had a great location right on the edge of the known universe with a mere 572-year commute to Dublin – Pluto was the new Leitrim.”

The consortium had already invested €75 billion when the International Astronomical Union (IAU) rezoned Pluto outside the solar system in August 2006, despite the persistent lobbying efforts of well-connected politicians.

“That rezoning of Pluto was one of the worst decisions the IAU ever made,” said then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. “Pluto was a crucial part of the solar system’s economy; it had testicles everywhere, and when they burst loose they knocked off some of Neptune’s coons and blasted holes in the sphincter rings of Saturn.”

“And don’t even get me started on Uranus,” sighed Ahern.

"Sure, Pluto is even more attractive a location than Leitrim," protested a bewildered Sean Fitzpatrick.

"Sure, Pluto is even more attractive a location than Leitrim," protested a bewildered Sean Fitzpatrick.

Despite the intense lobbying of FF politicians, the IAU refused to rezone Pluto, causing land values to collapse in the Kuiper Belt. Fortunately for the consortium, the Irish government agreed to take over their troubled Plutonian asset, fully recompensed all members of the consortium, and is now trying to find a buyer.

Selling Pluto and the other NAMA assets is now crucial to Ireland’s economic survival. According to Colm McCarthy, “The [bailout] plan is viable if €100bn of the remaining loan assets can be sold at a small discount to book value. If the €100bn loan books fetch €90-€95bn, the resulting equity gap could possibly be made up within existing provisions. But if the discount is 30 per cent or 40 per cent, the resources are not within the financial resources of the Irish Government.”

“If we can’t find someone willing to shell out €90 billion for a piece of frozen rock in deep space, 478 trillion miles from civilisation, then we’re screwed.”

Drug Gangs Ask Government to Regulate Drug-Pushing Grannies

Dublin – As the recession hits, Ireland’s professional drug dealers have joined forces to call on the government to regulate the drug trade more strictly and prevent the streets being flooded with grandmothers dealing prescription drugs.

Mrs. Tuohy said she had no intention of stopping and the pigs could put that in their pipe and smoke it.

Mrs. Tuohy said she had no intention of stopping and the pigs could put that in their pipe and smoke it.

Recent police reports suggest that Dublin is experiencing a wave of amateur drug dealing, as pensioners facing reduced welfare and higher bills make ends meet by selling prescription drugs and, when possible, their own bodies.

“Sure, what harm?” cackled Mags Tuohy (76) as she hovered behind a bus stop in Ranelagh, casting furtive glances around at potential plain clothes police officers. “How else am I supposed to make ends meet? I’d go on the fuckin’ game as well, but it’s a real niche market at my age.”

“It’s the pigs, Granno, leg it!” shrieked her lookout, 12 year-old grandson Tommy, as a lone squad car pulled up. Mrs. Tuohy hobbled into a nearby church, tossed the Zopiclone in the baptismal font, and knelt down with all the other elderly female drug dealers pretending to say decades of the Rosary.

The sudden upsurge in elderly women selling drugs on Dublin’s once-mean streets has become a cause of great concern for local professionals.

“There was a time when dealing drugs meant that you were a qualified professional with certain well-regarded skills,” said Jimmy “The Penguin” Rabbitte as he and other leading drug dealers gathered outside Leinster House to lobby for stricter regulation.

“People who didn’t know about the trade knew better than to get involved. If they wanted something, they simply called the professionals. We maintained a strict watch on our own trade practices to ensure both healthy competition and a fair market share for all.”

Drug dealers and their employees gather to lobby the Dail for stricter regulation.

Drug dealers and their employees gather to lobby the Dail for stricter regulation.

“But now we’re just totally overrun with pensioners flogging painkillers,” he said, gesturing helplessly at the city he once thought he knew. “The government has to do something about this growing problem.”

The Irish have long been known for their taste for alcohol, but during the boom years they branched out into a wide variety of recreational drugs, creating growth for entrepreneurial activities in the leisure market.

This market was previously well organised by a number of leading corporations, or ‘gangs’ as they are known in Dublin business parlance. However, the downturn in the Irish economy, coupled with the robust performance of the recreational drug market, has encouraged a flood of amateur speculation that is seriously damaging the competitiveness of established concerns.

“The growing number of amateur OAP drug pushers is causing a serious decline in the average quality of the Irish product,” said Mr. Rabbitte gravely.

Stillorgan wet T-shirt champion Paul Mulvey said he hated how people kept staring at his breasts.

Stillorgan wet T-shirt champion Paul Mulvey said he hated how people kept staring at his breasts.

“Some of these grandmothers have been selling hormone replacement therapy drugs to young boys on the street. Now we have so many teenage boys with breasts that Ladyboy Lovers magazine named Ireland second only to Thailand as the international destination of choice.”

“And the wet T-shirt contests in Stillorgan just can’t be good for regular tourism.”

Mr. Rabbitte and the other members of the drug-dealing lobby say that Ireland’s international drug dealing reputation is suffering with each day of government inaction.

“Reputation is everything on the international drug markets,” said Mr. Rabbitte knowledgeably. “People have to believe that you’re a serious business. Now that everyone thinks we’re just a bunch of penniless old women, we can’t get any credit or leeway off the international markets.”

The group is calling for the government to introduce a new drug-dealing license that certifies those legitimately allowed to sell hard drugs on the streets of the capital.“It’s the only way to restore faith in our national drug markets,” said Mr. Rabbitte.

The government, however, rejected calls for legislation and says it intends to stick by the free-market ideology that has powered Irish growth in the 21st century.

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