The following material was inadvertently left at my bird feeder by a carrier pigeon which had apparently stopped by for a snack. I have no idea of its origin or destination. No periodical has claimed ownership, so I am publishing the material here so that it not be lost to the world. DT

Story one:

Augusta (FNN) : Today in a hastily called press conference, Governor Angus King apologized to the people of Maine for what he called his 'grotesque mismanagement of Maine's system of public education.'

In an unprecedented statement King begged forgiveness for holding 
Maine's 200,000 school children "hostage to my need to leave highly visible 
monuments to myself.   I have used education as a political football," he 
lamented.  "I have sneered at people who were concerned for the health and 
safety of the children who must attend classes under the leaky roofs of 
antiquated schools.  I have accused them of failing to see the big picture, 
when the only picture I saw was one of myself, grinning 'cheese' for posterity."

Obviously overcome by emotion, King paused before continuing.  
"I acknowledge my complicity in playing the smoke and mirrors games by 
which the State evaded its self-imposed obligation to the local systems.  
I conspired -- no, I was the instigator -- in declaring a budget surplus 
where no surplus existed, only unpaid bills, and now all must suffer for my 
mismanagement.  I have allowed, no, again, I have been an instigator in 
shifting more and more of the burden for the funding of State-mandated 
programs to local property taxpayers who had little or no say in the 
development and implementation of these programs."

King, beating his breast in anguish, continued, "I have wasted 
millions of taxpayer dollars in buying laptops most of which will be 
misused, abused, or forgotten in what my critics have called the 
'30-million dollar frisbee fraud' -- rightly, I now realize.  Sadly,
 most of the laptops 
will become expensive throw-toys, Game Boys, or simply trash."

Here King paused again and was heard to sob.  "But perhaps the worst example
of my mismanagement is my the program of fingerprinting school employees to 
protect children.  As with the laptop program, I wanted to do something 
spectacular, something that people would remember.  But I forgot the very 
children I was invoking in defending the scheme and keeping it in place against
the will of the people and their representatives in the legislature.  
As Maine Educators Against 
Fingerprinting (MEAF) pointed out from the start,
the chances of protecting any children at all by this expensive, intrusive 
procedure are practically non-existent.  Worse, each year thousands of our 
children are beaten, isolated, molested, ignored, damaged, and destroyed, 
totally unaffected by my futile schemes. MEAF has said that fingerprinting 
will protect children when Hell freezes over, and, sadly, the only 
statistics available show that they are right.  To the children I have forgotten
I offer humble apologies; it will devote my life to making amends.
I apologize also to my critics who have been right all along. I thank God 
for their courage and integrity in standing up to the massive machine of 
government run amuk."

At this point King was joined on the platform by Education Commissioner 
J. Duke Albanese, several legislators who have regularly supported King's 
most airy programs, and by official representatives of teachers and
administrators, all of whom contritely acknowledged their own failures.  
They admitted that by their silence or outright complicity in favoring the 
spectacular over the effective they had abandoned the children it was their 
duty to protect.  They joined with the Governor to pledge that the rest of 
their terms in office would be devoted to undoing all the damage that they 
had caused and that following those terms, they would dedicate their lives 
to fighting for responsible government.  Then all joined hands for a chorus 
of 'Kumbaya', following which King led a tearful press corps in singing 'We 
Shall Overcome'.

Story 2:

Augusta (FNN): Maine offered its own solution today to the refugee problem 
left behind in the wake of the freezing over of Hell.  State officials 
opened their doors and hearts to those left homeless by the disaster.

"We feel it is our duty as humanitarians to aid those less fortunate than 
ourselves," said Education Commissioner J. Duke Albanese in offering shelter 
to Hell's homeless in the halls and offices of his department.  "Any natural
disaster brings out the best in us.  We welcome these sad souls to share our 
warmth until their own homes can be made habitable again."

A spokesman for the management of the Nether Regions said, "We appreciate 
the hospitality we have received from the administration of the State of 
Maine.  Further, we  wish to assure them that we will extend them the same 
hospitality when it comes their time. Meanwhile, we are making every effort 
to restore normal conditions so that our residents may return to the eternity
reserved for them."

Hellish refugees include many former public officials from all over the 
world.  One former U.S. President, interviewed while warming himself in the 
building's furnace, made it perfectly clear that the damned souls appreciated
the State's efforts on their behalf. "The Department is going all out to 
help us through this crisis, " he said.  "They treat us just as they treat 
their own people in the public schools.  We feel as though we were back in 
Hell already."

Governor Angus King, referred back to the press conference earlier in the 
day at which he confessed his failures in education.  "At least we know that 
even MEAF was wrong about one thing; Hell really has frozen over and we 
still haven't protected one child through fingerprinting," he quipped.

Editor's note:

Let's just go with these two.  The one about the Patriots winning the 
Superbowl is too far-fetched for even our readership.  After all, we do 
have to maintain some measure of credibility.