Washington - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued an urgent advisory, calling on Americans to wash their hands carefully after voting in this year's midterm elections.
The procedure is called the Pontius Pilate Gambit, after the biblical figure of the same name.
"Pontius Pilate was centuries ahead of his time with this brilliant personal hygiene strategy," CDC spokeswoman Dr. Hardia Slough-Sclee said in announcing the alert. "Any time he had to choose a distasteful course of action, he would wash his hands of the whole thing. He never got any on him.
"Faced with a field of talentless, self-serving candidates, American voters should follow Pontius Pilate's lead, and wipe away their responsibility for selecting a Congress of incompetents."
To facilitate the conscious clean-up, millions of Wash and Dry packets will be handed out at polling places throughout the country on Election Day. "All of America will be smelling like the way-back of a Chevy station wagon," Slough-Sclee declared.
Soap sculpture likenesses of President Obama will be available at cost for voters who require a more upscale experience. They will carry a slogan that was created to tie the hand washing campaign with the CDC's central mission:
"Think Ebola. Sink Obama."
"We want the American public to know that their president is going to the sink with them to clean up the political process this election," the spokeswoman explained.
Not surprisingly, the American public reacted to the new advisory as it does to most CDC recommendations - - with a haze of dazed confusion, punctuated by points of sharp indignation.
"Pontius Pilate?" one middle-age grandmother demanded. "I never fly foreign airlines so this don't apply to me."
"I'm usually an optimist," declared another potential voter, a young truck driver, who questioned how effective the program would be. "It's going to take more than a million moist towelettes to clean this mess up."
The planned program was also not well received among Secret Service operatives, who are assigned the task of distributing a stream of Wash and Dry moist towelettes that will flow from coast-to-coast. Fortunately, the agents are no longer permitted to play with live ammunition.
More dangerous: the Drug Enforcement Administration has joined with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to issue a circular which details how to turn a Wash and Dry packet into a psychedelic experience.
"We'll have it on the list of controlled substances within days, complete with instructions," a DEA spokesperson declared. "That Wash and Dry high will get them six-to-nine. And I will get to keep my job. "
The Pentagon has also expressed an interest. "We could offer a family size Wash and Dry to every soldier in the Middle East who agrees to be on our side," one general said. "If it doesn't work out, they make great surrender flags."