In the first-round Afghanistan elections, so-called "indelible" ink was used to mark the thumbs of all those who had voted - supposedly to prevent voting twice by persons who had registered under multiple names. But the ink was found to be easily washed off with soap and water, leading to allegations of electoral fraud. Officials are hurriedly planning anti-fraud measures for the second round of voting.
"Quite simply, every one who votes in the second round will have his left arm severed at the elbow" explained the UN official, "They won't be able to glue the arm back on, or if they do it will be pretty obvious". We will insist that every voter turns up in a McDonalds or Coco-Cola Tee-shirt just in case they attempt to hide a loose arm under their burkas or robes."
"But won't that put people off from voting?" asked our Spoof reporter.
"Not at all, in the pilot scheme we ended up with a fine show of hands".
"And what about the third round of ballots?"
"At that time we take off the right arm too".
"Isn't that a bit harsh?"
"Look here, I would be grateful if you, the press, would stop interfering in the internal affairs of this country. You see, all we want to do is get these elections out of the way so that the people of Afghanistan can return to their work in a free and fair democracy run by the US. To be honest, after 30 years of war the place is in a mess. Almost as big a mess as Iraq, and, hey!, we are there too! They are going to need all the hands they can get to rebuild it."
"But if you..." (our reporter was cut off in mid sentence)
"President George W has declared that Afghanistan is to be dis-armed, and with this method we kill two birds with one stone.....so to speak. "
And the conclusion to be drawn from all this: Forewarned is Forearmed.