Written by Justin Satire

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

image for Will a Turkey Win the Election?
This seemingly innocuous turkey-drone can really pack a punch

According to an unidentified military source, presidential hopeful John McCain may be planning to step up efforts to raise the specter of terrorism in a last-ditch attempt to distract the public from the economic fiasco and his running-mate's plummeting approval rating.

As distraught Palin supporters drowned alongside defecting polar bears last week while attempting to swim to ice floes that are no longer there, the Republican candidate again found himself swept up in the Alaskan governor's mercurial rise and abrupt drop in popularity.

One survivor, who was found clinging to a hockey stick and drifting in the general direction of Russia, claimed that she was so devastated on hearing the news that Governor Palin had been found guilty of abuse of power that she "just had to swim as far away as possible".

People Magazine has reported that in the wake of this most recent blow to his campaign, Senator McCain intends to distract public attention by announcing his plan to save the world and find Osama Bin Laden to prove to voters that when it comes to leadership, "a turkey just might do the trick".

In a bid to stem the flow of defectors and shore up public confidence, McCain is reportedly intending to resurrect a top secret operation to apprehend Osama Bin Laden, using advanced "drone" technology. The clandestine military plan that McCain is pressing to resuscitate became operational back when the discovery in an Iraqi schoolyard of an unmanned drone aircraft proved beyond doubt that the rogue nation was developing weapons of mass destruction.

Cleverly crafted from two planks of balsa wood and a rubber band, this state-of-the-art machine that had been artfully disguised as a child's plaything was regarded at the time as a direct threat to world security and became one of the main catalysts for emptying the piggy bank in the subsequent one-hundred-million-trillion dollar war.

When the balsa wood drone was reverse-engineered by weapons technicians, the findings confirmed their worst fears.

"We are unsure of the potential range of this unmanned aircraft," a military official commented at the time, "but it indicates an escalation and advance in the type of weaponry this evil dictator is prepared to use against our citizens". As a veteran of the battlefield, John McCain was one of the first to recognize that this seemingly innocuous 'toy' was a mere step away from having a nuclear warhead strapped to its underbelly.

The "toy plane" prototype had its disadvantages. The average range of a rubber-band powered, balsa-wood drone aircraft in perfect weather conditions turned out to be a mere 50 to 75 feet. A payload of explosives reduced this range considerably. Engineers faced a conundrum; how to meet this threat and design a comparable unmanned aircraft, with a range of several miles that could fly low, evade radar, and would not attract attention in daylight. The brilliant solution lay in the highly sensitive Operation Turkey.

McCain claims that despite rumors that feathers have been seriously ruffled, these large birds, whose preference for flying as low as possible makes them undetectable by radar, are the perfect choice to "throw egg in Bin Laden's face".

The hypothesis behind the original prototype is simple: A 22lb turkey can fly 20 miles before needing to rest. The average air speed of a turkey is 20 miles per hour. Therefore, it would be safe to assume an unmanned turkey-drone with a stuffing of explosives would take 3 minutes to fly 1 mile. Turkeys always fly in a straight line, so as long as it is facing in the right direction, and is released precisely 20 miles from the target, the turkey-drone's accuracy, according to McCain, is infallible.

This infallibility, along with McCain's judgment, is now in question. Operation Turkey, inside sources claim, was quietly put to roost almost as soon as it was hatched. Intelligence sources have divulged that on the evening of the doomed turkey's maiden flight, the intended recipient of the bird's stuffing was reportedly dining in a small village, near the border of one of those counties that is supposed to be a friend of ours - but whose name unfortunately ends with "stan". However, the turkey drone arrived far too late for dessert and detonated itself in the early hours of the morning, leveling several houses.

The errant bird left a trail of feathers as nations worldwide scrambled to establish whether they were still considered "allies", and the military dictator who had thought he was a buddy until a turkey exploded over his country was left scratching his head.

In the days following the failed mission, a spokesperson for Operation Turkey responded with a profuse apology to the victims' families, acknowledging that they were sorry about the kids, "but you're all terrorists to us". This did little to allay the fears that rippled through the international community after the attack, and troops in several counties that had considered themselves to be allies were put on high alert.

In London, the prime minister immediately ordered snipers armed with hunting rifles to be stationed on strategic rooftops around the city, with orders to "shoot-to-kill" any low-flying turkeys, while afternoon tea was suspended indefinitely. The United Nations declared a state of emergency until the turkey "leftovers" that had been enlisted were relieved of duty and flown home in time for Thanksgiving.

In the aftermath of the crisis, there was much speculation as to why the turkey-drone took 5 hours to reach its target. According to a source close to the turkey, it appears that when the calculations were made, "the weight of the stuffing may not have been taken into account, which would have slowed the bird considerably." In defense of his plan to resurrect the newly-named "Operation Birdbrain", Mr. McCain pointed to the military's "complete failure" to properly screen turkeys to ensure they can "sit tight when things heat up".

There is concern in the McCain camp that although frightening little children with the threat of terrorism immediately prior to the general election is sure to boost support for the Republican candidate, any operation involving a turkey could prove to be rife with unforeseen problems, no matter how it is dressed. As one official put it, "At this time of year, most birds are deep frozen, so we would face some logistical obstacles to swift response. However, it won't really matter that the turkey never gets off the ground if he's already been elected".

When asked to comment on his opponent's plan to save the world, Barack Obama simply laughed.

Meanwhile, McCain's beleaguered running-mate, Sarah Palin, showed little concern over diving polls as she dismissed the findings by the Alaska Legislature of her abuse of power as "a big ole fuss over nuthin" and threatened to have Obama fired from his own campaign.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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