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The Clueless Cup

In an upset worthy of Marin Day School covering the spread against the Green Bay Packers through the first three quarters of a spirited scrimmage at Lambeau Field, the coveted Clueless Cup appears to be on the verge of falling out of the clutches of President Bush’s staff for the first time in 8 long years. And the usurper is a little known agency that has blissfully slipped the bonds of reason and floated into the chasm of ludicrous self- delusion. Or to put it in layman’s terms: delivered another Congressional report.

Wackier than a Sumo wrestler in tap shoes, these pointy headed nincompoops from Cambridge, Massachusetts, (where else?) have caught dense in a bottle and driven it to a new area code. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, they have reached the irrefutable conclusion… er, the results of one of their studies is indicative of…, and they are quite certain of its validity… that, yes, your suspicions were correct, we are indeed… in a recession. They said that. Monday.

Who knew? Not only that, but the economic downturn of which they purport started way back last December and has been going on for almost a whole year right under our and their noses. And no one even suspected. No one. Except for that tiny obstreperous group consisting of me and you and the rest of the planet. Thank you Captain Obvious. And kudos to your whole Evident Army for clearing that irksome mystery right up.

Wonder what their first clue was? The housing market sinking lower than a grass stain on the belly of the bottom snake in a pit full of vipers? How bout all those 401ks that have magically turned into single digits ks… or just plain ks. Or perhaps they took that American jobs are disappearing faster than cans of hairspray backstage at a Liza Minelli impersonator contest? My guess is these guys hooked into a bad batch of egg nog this time last year and lapsed into a state of suspended animation until they were shocked from their reverie by news that all hell was breaking loose and Tampa Bay was in the World Series.

A recession, hunh? Wow. Amazing. That’s like announcing a pregnancy after the successful completion of kindergarten. Holding a Hollywood premier for a movie that’s been in rotation on The Lifetime Network for three years. Or instead of playing catch and release, playing catch and sauté and release. Next thing you know, they’ll be sending out updates on Michael Phelps’ historic run at 8 Olympic Gold Medals in Beijing.  Hey all National Bureau of Economic Researchers: What the latest poop on that whole Lindbergh Baby business?

Never mind, here’s the question I really want answered. How does one go about getting a job with the NBER? Is there a civil service test? It sure doesn’t sound like there’s a drug test. Because that’s the kind of gig I could be good at. To get paid to tell people stuff they already know. “You sir, are annoying.” “Excuse me Madam. Were you aware that when water gets extremely cold it turns into a solid, which comes in handy when chilling liquids. Yes, and this just in, blood… most effective kept inside the body. Now, where’s my research grant?”

Will Durst is a political comedian who writes sometimes.

Don’t forget! The Sixteenth Annual Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show. 6 cities.  6 theaters. 6 nights. 7 comics. 340 laughs.  December 26- 31, 2008. willdurst.com for details.