California, frequently at the vanguard of the left in America's endless culture wars, is now hastily beating an embarrassing retreat. The state's progressive Department of Education, once impervious to criticism from conservatives, finds itself having to apologize for the latest crop of school-ordered Text-Books.
The batch, O.K'd by the recently dismissed assistant to Superintendent Jack O'Connell, nonetheless will still be utilized for the K thru 12 system -- due to severe budgetary restraints.
"Our teachers are just going to have correct the inaccuracies as they come across them," glumly explained the Superintendent at his latest in a string of press conferences. "We don't have the money for a do-over, and we can't complain to the printers when they were just following instructions. It's not their fault."
As to whose fault it actually is, Superintendent O'Connell, as he has persistently in the past, pointed the finger squarely at the woman he recently fired. (Questions about inadequate supervision -- not to mention the lapse in uncovering her atypical background -- never had a chance to come into play this time around.)
"Look," griped O'Connell, "when the woman told me she wanted to broaden the perspectives of the children, allow them to absorb the natural and historical world from underrepresented minority viewpoints, how could I say no?"
The superintendent, anticipating tough questioning, threw out, "Sure, it'd be nice to know then what we know now, but quite frankly, I was blindsided just like everybody else. I mean, how the hell was I supposed to know that Ms. Gaia Wombchild was a fanatical vegan and earth-worshipper? Or that wasn't even her real name!?"
Wiping his brow, a clearly discomfited Mr. O'Connell went further, pleading in a subdued yet manic tone, "C'mon, cut me some slack. I mean, so what if the books now list history's greatest conqueror as 'Alexander the Grape'? And is it so 'horribly incorrect' that Marie Antoinette got her head lopped off by a 'Carrotine'? And whose Psyche is it gonna hurt anyway, just because the answer to the question of which little girl got mad when her mother maliciously moved the furniture is 'Melon Keller'?"
Mr. O'Connell then quickly left the room, turning his back to the most stinging question, shouted out by multiple reporters: "What about all the references to 'Peach Fuzz,' upstairs and downstairs, in the Sex -Ed books!?"