ATLANTA - In a stunning announcement yesterday, the U.S. Center For Diseases (USCD) said that, due to budget cutbacks amid this economic recession, they were forced to lay off their highest ranking employee, Mr. Grim Reaper.
Although Mr. Reaper admittedly had been its top job performer for longer than anyone could remember, USCD spokesperson Pete Reedish said that this sacking was "a compromise to make the best of a bad situation. By eliminating this single, highest compensated position, we were able to save the jobs of 1,500 other USCD employees."
Reached for comment later at his penthouse apartment overlooking the city, a devastated Mr. Reaper was found clutching his "Tickle Me Elmo" doll and struggling not to cry.
"I'm scared to death of being unemployed. I've seen the pain and misery of those out of work, living in boxes and scrounging food out of dumpsters. Plus, I'm up to my eye sockets in debt. I'm mortified," Mr. Reaper said.
Finally collecting himself after sobbing onto the shoulder of our reporter, he went on. "My skill base is pretty limited. What else could I do? Maybe lawn care or the highway department, cutting grass? I am pretty handy with a scythe. But I hear the pay is lousy, and I couldn't survive out in the hot sun all day. I'm doomed."
When USCD's Reedish was asked who would pick up the slack following Mr. Reaper's departure, he replied "I'm afraid no one else is qualified to do the work, so it'll just go undone until the economy picks back up. Maybe then we can bring him back. We realize this will place a huge burden on the seriously ill and their families, but everyone will just have to bear with us while we get through this crisis. This recession's a real killer."