Rome, Italy - The Italian Government has grown discouraged with the constant delays that have plagued the engineering efforts to re-float the Costa Concordia cruise ship from where it ran aground, off the Tuscany coast.
The now infamous cruise liner has been wedged, half sunken, near the tiny tourist town of Giglio for almost a year now, with little hope that engineers will be able to move the ship before it breaks apart in heavy storms and causes and even greater environmental disaster.
This is prompting officials to move directly to plan "D", skipping directly past other plans, which include sinking the ship on purpose for scuba diving or turning it into yet another bizarre European theme park.
Italian Minister of Tourism, Antonio Bologna, explained the recent decision to ask a third-world country for help. "We gonna stop all this nonsense, wasting millions of dollars trying to get the ship to float again. We phoned over to Somalia and have arranged for them to send over a team of refugees, to take the ship apart and do whatever they want with it.
Apparently, Somalians are not only known for their prowess at hijacking and pirating, but are experts in making problems like this disappear. We managed to get a hold of Abdul Mohandu, who talked to us via prepaid cell phone. Mr. Mohandu will head the small group of refugees hired to do the job. He explained how the delicately executed operation would take place. "Basically, we will ride over there in a few aluminum-sided fishing boats with some saws and hammers and stuff and work night and day with flashlights until it is done. It should take about a week or so, depending on how we feel after the trip and how our food rations are doing."
We asked Abdul what experience he has to perform such as enormous task. He had this to say, "Oh, we have lots of experience. Believe me, you do not want to park one of your fancy cruise ships off of the coast of Somalia. I can assure you, that it wouldn't be there in the morning.
Another bonus to this so called plan "D" for Italy, is that the Somalians are not charging any fee for their services. In lieu of any payment, the Somolians will be allowed to keep every single piece of the ship that they scavenge, to do with what they please. Again, Mr. Mohandu explains what will happen to the ship after it is taken apart. "Many, many Somali families will benefit greatly from the scrap pieces of the Costa Concordia cruise ship. My cousin and his family plan to build a little shop near the beach with some of the pieces, where they will rent out boogie-boards and beach umbrellas. Other pieces will go towards fixing the main hospital in Mogadishu. Some of the refugees are just hoping for a nice deck chair to keep, so they can rest once they get home from the trip. Believe me, every single piece of that ship will find a good home."
Still, the controversial plan has found some critics nearest to where the ship ran aground. Rosemary Bertonilini is worried about her small village being over run with refugees while the work is being done. The Italian Government assured the residents of the small town that plans have been put into place to assure that no Somali refugee ever steps foot on Italian soil.
Minister of Defense, Giovanni Spagolli, calmed these fears. "We will line the shore with Italian tanks and soldiers, who will have automatic weapons and orders to fire at will, if any Somalian refugee tries to step foot on land." He explained, which eased tensions in the town.
This news was a surprise to Abdul Mohandu though, who had looked forward to visiting Italy for the first time and take in some of the sights after the salvage operation had been completed. "That's too bad." He said. "I've always wanted to see that tower that leans sideways, as well as that old coliseum that they never seem to fix up. I was hoping that the Italians might want us to take care of that stuff for them too while we were there."
The salvage operation is set to begin as soon as the refugees have syphoned enough gas for their outboard motors to make the trip.