At U.N., Leaders Eagerly Await Appearance of the Joke

Guterres: Nervous anticipation

Leaders from around the world are arriving in New York City today for the start of the new United Nation’s General Assembly session and to hear tomorrow’s big speech from the joke. “There is a lot to worry about in the world today, which is why all of us are so eager to hear what the joke has to say,” says António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres of Portugal, the U.N. secretary general. “Will the joke insult allies for being freeloaders or soft on terrorism or will the joke accidentally—or maybe not accidentally!—put the United States in the same camp as the fascists of the 1930s? There’s just so much to anticipate.”

It’s traditional for the president of the United States to make opening remarks at the General Assembly because of the country’s role as the host of the U.N., it’s biggest financial contributor, and as a chief founder of the world body. This year there is an extra amount of buzz about the opening session because the joke will be speaking.

What will the joke be about?

“For many of us, this will be the first time we will see the joke in person,” said Amina J. Mohammed of Nigeria, the deputy secretary general. “Up to this point, everything we know about the joke we’ve read about in the news or seen on TV. Will the joke look as stupid in real life as it does on TV or in pictures? Will the joke do something as stupid as it has in the past at other gatherings of leaders? There’s just so much to anticipate.”

The United Nation’s is taking extra security precautions this year because of a rise in global instability since the joke burst onto the scene 18 months ago. Accords and institutions that have kept the peace for many years, and in some cases for decades, are starting to come apart, accelerating the sense among many leaders that the world order is shifting rapidly away from the United States. Which is why so many leaders are wondering what the joke will have to say.

“It will be a fascinating speech because the joke is uniquely unqualified to deal with the tsunami of problems facing the world today,” said Peter Thomson of Fiji, president of the U.N. General Assembly. “This is especially the case since many of the problems are of the joke’s own making. That makes anything the joke says compelling. Will the joke pour gasoline on the flames? How can you not be interested in hearing what will be said?”

The diplomat said it would be nice if the joke was funny but it’s not, which is why there’s so much nervous tittering directed at the joke itself. “We try not to laugh but it’s impossible not to,” he said. “We know laughing at the joke will only make the situation worse, but it’s like having a sore tooth in your mouth. It’s best to leave it alone but you can’t help playing with it with your tongue. I guess the joke’s on us. Ha-ha. That’s so funny, except that it’s not. Ow! Ow! It hurts to laugh! Stop me from hurting myself. Ha-ha! Ow!”

This is a work of satire. It is a fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos: pd and cc. Creative Commons and public domain. Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.

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