by lyle e davis
On this, the 1st day of April, 2010, we need to start thinking a litte bit about kicking back and relaxing our lives a little. There is way too much stress. Stress that we can do without.
Certainly, with all the economic unrest and political upheaval we have been facing in our nation, it comes as a pleasant surprise to learn of an idyllic place where we might escape to enjoy a simplier, more noble life, yet enjoy great luxury at minimal cost.
We have located such a place.
It is San Serif, a small republic located in the Indian Ocean consisting of several semi-colon-shaped islands.
In describing San Serif, noted travel editor for The Guardian of Great Britain, Geoffrey Taylor, said:
“The ten years of independence which San Serif celebrates today have been a period of economic expansion and social development probably unrivalled by any other new nation. With this achievement has gone a determined attempt, in part successful, to maintain the outward forms of a parliamentary democracy. This special report attempts to recount the remarkable transformation in the life of the Republic, to inform British and American investors and visitors of the opportunities which have been and are being created, and not least to encourage companies trading with the Republic to call attention to their share in its development. Rapid growth brings its own problems, not all of which can be solved in total composure. The survey allows some of those problems to be brought under closer scrutiny.”
A “Three point key to prosperity” according to Taylor, describes how San Serif’s economy had boomed initially thanks to the phosphate industry, tourism, and oil.
Of equal importance, and of great interest to the world’s tourists, is its bold expansion in tourism which include many tourist attractions of San Serif, including a diverse mix of cultures, modern highways, air-conditioned hotels, and beaches “from which terrorism has been virtually eliminated.”
Of late, however, a number of agricultural and manufacturing innovations are proving to be attracting a great deal of investor capital as well as tourists anxious to harvest some of the nation’s more desirable assets.
One such agricultural industry that is drawing great fascination from the fashion houses of the world, and much to the consternation of the Scottish Board of Tartan Tradesmen, is the unique development of tartan wool, one of the many recent technical gains thanks to the unique blending of DNA testing and genome assignment to develop multicolored wool.
As a result of years of breeding and cross breeding with selected sheep, the residents of San Serif have managed to come up with tartan sheep, bred to a variety of colors and resultant tartans. Naturally, these tartans have become quite popular in Scotland, though not with the Scottish Board of Tartan Tradesmen. They argue, quite sensibly, that this new market is quite likely to destroy their own market.
To add insult to injury, the tartan sheep industry and the harvesting of these colorful wools became such a lucrative industry that other areas of industry sought to cash in, and have done so, successfully.
The paint industry, for example, has managed to develop tartan paint. They argue, and the evidence appears to bear them out, that the colors in the tartan paint are much more crisp and clear than those within tartan wool.
Tartan Week is becoming a major event within San Serif, with both wool sellers and paint vendors doing a land office business; clothiers will turn out a kilt, a cloak, or a fine spring coat, in most any tartan you wish.
Those who want the home beautiful, can select tartan paint in a tartan of their own choosing.
Paint vendors tell eager buyers that they can transform their room with only one coat of their tartan matte emulsion paint. It gives, they say, superb coverage in a choice of four tartans. Just one coat applies the complete pattern. It saves hours of painstaking masking and fine brushwork.
How Does it Work?
Each color within the tartan has a different viscosity which means they settle out when the paint is allowed to stand and your desired tartan pattern is created on the wall in front of your very eyes. If you don't see your clan represented you can order a custom made tartan paint.
One Coat 2.5 litre tartan paint, matte finish, low odor, washable. Contains Haggis.
Available basic tartans:
Gordon - Hay - Macleod - Stewart - Douglas, MacDougall, Campbell, MacIntosh, Black Watch, MacPherson, all are routinely in stock.
Fields of Spaghetti
Another area that has developed very lucrative markets, much to the distress of Italy, is the burgeoning agricultural industry of spaghetti crops.
A hybrid bush that has been developed to produce only the finest of spaghetti strands, and all at a fairly consistent, uniform length, has taken the European continent and Great Britain by storm.
This year, thanks to an unusually mild winter and to the virtual disappearance of the spaghetti weevil, a bumper crop is expected. Following the law of supply and demand, food experts world wide are predicing lower and lower costs to harvesting outstanding crops of spaghetti.
Doug Leverenz, a long time resident of San Serif, and a major spaghetti farmer, says, “we farm over 5,000 hectares of land, all planted to the spaghetti bush and its larger cousin, the spaghetti tree. Not only will this be our largest year ever in terms of harvest and international sales of the end product, but we are planning on exporting the spaghetti bush and tree line to North America. We see a very rich market there, given the high Italian population in all of the major cities.”
A Bonsai version of a Spaghetti Tree, suitable for in-home use.
His chief biologist, Dr. Leatrice Flatgaard, one of Norway’s chief agronomists, says the next decade should prove to be superior for the advancement of the crops, both here and in North America, thanks to favorable trade winds and moderate temperatures. (She was instrumental in developing a vaccine that all but eradicated the spaghetti weevil.)
Many Sans Serif families also have their own spaghetti bushes and trees in their gardens and orchards, though not to the magnitude of the Doug Leverenz farms.
It’s a quite common sight to see San Serif families pulling pasta off spaghetti trees and placing into baskets to dry. It is said, almost universally, that "For those who love this dish, there's nothing like real, home-grown spaghetti."
This obscure nation has come to the forefront thanks to Maria-Jesu Pica, San Serif’s young President-for-life, who came to power following an almost bloodless coup on April 1st, 1971.
President Pica soon named his second cousin, Antonio “Che” Pica, to head up the national negotiating team with orders to maintain industrial peace. He did so by the simple expedient of establishing a block vote and San Serif’s unique solution to labor/management cooperation—by decreeing that all collective agreements on the island expire on the same day each year and are personally renegotiated by “Che” Pica.
The cultural heritage of San Serif’s indigenous people, the Flongs, focuses on their unique celebration, the Festival of the Well Made Play. During this festival “local committees of Flongs and islanders of European extraction combine enthusiastically to mount the complete cycle of plays by William Douglas-Home in English, Caslon, and Ki-flong.”
Harvesting the Spaghetti Tree
San Serif Geography
San Serif was an archipelago located in the Indian Ocean, north-east of the Seychelle Islands. It consisted of two primary islands, Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse. The capital, Bodoni, was located in the center of the larger island, Upper Caisse. The smaller island, Lower Caisse, had a swampy interior as well as a forested area, the Woj of Type (home of San Serif’s national bird, the Kwote).
The most singular feature of San Serif’s geography was its mobility. Due to a constant process of erosion that removed sand from the west coast and deposited it on the east coast, the islands were moving eastward at the rate of 1400 meters a year. It was anticipated that the islands would collide with Sri Lanka in 2015. To slow down this movement, boats constantly ferried sand from the east coast back to the west.
San Serif Culture
The origin of San Serif’s indigenous people, the Flongs, was regarded as a mystery. Ancient inscriptions written in their language, Ki-flong, suggested they may have come from Brazil, before the movement of the islands eventually brought them to the Indian Ocean. However, “the Flong language may have been modified in relatively recent times during the transit of the islands round the African coast.” The Flongs practiced a number of colorful rituals, including the Galle sect stamping, the Dance of the Pied Slugs, and the Festival of the Well Made Play.
The islands were colonized by the Spanish and Portuguese in the fifteenth century, before being annexed by Britain in the seventeenth century. History records, “antagonisms between descendants of the original Spanish and Portuguese colons and those of the later English arrivals, sometimes humorously derided as the semicolons.”
San Serif achieved its independence from Britain in 1967. It was then ruled by a succession of dictators (Colonel Hispalis and General Minion) before General M.J. Pica assumed control of the government in 1971.
The discovery of oil in 1971 brought large amounts of money into the economy, and sparked rapid industrialization. By 1977 the inhabitants of San Serif enjoyed the highest per capita income in the world. The island’s currency was the Corona.
In 1977 the population stood at 1,782,000, consisting of Europeans, Flongs, Creoles, Malaysians, Arabs, and “a leavening of Chinese.”
Win a vacation on San Serif’s Cocobanana Beach.
“Win two weeks in San Serif as the guest of Escondido’s own Tim Cunning: Motor racing fans, here’s your chance to win a fabulous luxury holiday for two on the beautiful island of San Serif during Grand Prix Week. You and your guest will be flown first-class to San Serif by chartered aircraft, and driven to your hotel overlooking the famous Cocobanana Beach.”
In researching this story we were contacted by the Consul General of San Seriff, Mr. Arial Baskerville, who asked if we would consider publicizing a vacant position on the island. We agreed. The position offered is as follows:
Reader in Lunar Spectroscopy at the University of San Serif.
“Department of Lunar Studies: A vacancy will shortly exist for a Reader in Lunar Spectroscopy. With special emphasis on the extraction of energy from moonbeams. The post is tenable from July 1st, 2010, at a salary in the range SSCorona 10,000-17,000. (At present exchange rates C1—$5.00 U.S. Dollars. The salary, then, is roughly equivalent to $50,000 to $85,000, commensurate with experience). Free housing and use of outrigger is also provided.”
As of today’s date, April 1st, 2010, we have just learned that there has been yet another bloodless coup in San Serif. General Pica has been deposed by a cabal of senior officers and Antonio Bourgeouis was swept into power in the island’s first free elections.
All remains at peace. Tourists have no cause for alarm. It is still a grand place to visit.
Contributing to today’s April 1st edition:
lyle e davis, editor/publisher
evelyn madison, associate publisher
john dillinger, chief foreign correspondent
forrest r. gump, copy editor
andrew cunning and
morgan cunning - culinary and fashion editors
kevin camperel, chief economic affairs editor
maurice weaver, international banking editor
don brust, chief geological and cultural affairs editor.
alan skuba, golf, sport and recreation editor
And to all of our loyal readers, the management and staff of The Paper would like to wish you all a Happy April Fool’s Day!