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Schwarzenegger to decriminalise groping
8 Oct 2003 by Malcolm Drury
Newly-elected Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger is to propose decriminalising groping as one of his first acts.
Appearing before a jubilant crowd of mainly 30 to 40-year-old women, a beaming Mr Schwarzenegger said, "Ja! Ve von! Danke for your support. I von't let you down." Mr Schwarzenegger handily beat a large number of other candidates in the vote, which led to the recall of the incumbent Governor.
The Austrian-born Mr Schwarzenegger is to be sworn in as Governor of the USA's most populous, and, in the opinion of many, wacky, State next month.
Speaking to reporters later he said that he had a lot of work to do to restore fiscal integrity to California, but first he wanted to take away the stigma of being accused of groping.
"Groping is just a bit of harmless fun," he said. "If Gott didn't vant men to grope he vouldn't have given vomen boobies. Or at least he vould have put them somewhere else, not right up front. They're just so tempting, sticking right out at you. Vhy should ve be called criminals just for copping a handful now and then?"
"Und I vill correct the spelling of California," he continued. "It should begin with a K." President Bush reportedly backs this move.
Asked about whom he was considering for his governing team, he said that he had not had time to give much thought to it, but he had some ideas. "I vant people who are not afraid to take tough action," he said, "people like Sylvester Stallone and Batman. But I haven't asked either of them yet."
On learning of the victory President Bush sent a telegram of congratulation to Mr Schwarzenegger. "Congratulations on your win", it said, "I hope this will open a new era in our relations with Australia. Do you think you could get me Steve Irwin's autograph?"
In related news, handlers for both Tony Blair and Iain Duncan Smith, the alleged leader of the UK's Conservative Party, have reacted with some alarm, fearing that film or television personalities might take their cue from the events in Kalifornia and attempt a similar move to exploit both men's leadership difficulties and try to replace them.
"We have it on good authority that Michael Caine and Rolf Harris would just love to replace Iain," said Douglas Ramsbottom, a senior Conservative Party official, "especially Rolf, now that Animal Hospital is being dropped. We'll be watching them both very closely."
A Downing Street spokesman declined to comment.