Vol. 4, Issue 1, March 14, 2006
Random Numbers for All Purposes
The Sleaze

Budget Deficit Hidden in Least Interesting Document Format Possible

The Bush administration has succeeded in creating the least interesting document format possible for presentation of noisome details such as the rising budget deficit, according to a watchdog institute in the nation's capital.

"They have succeeded in leveraging the substantial marketing know-how available today, which is rather a precise science, and succeeded in creating the perfect antithesis of what they normally strive for in selling something to the American people," said Marvin Hendricks, senior analyst for the institute. "It's actually a rather fascinating vortex of dullness and disinterest which is fascinating from a scientific standpoint, however abhorrent it might be in terms of, you know, ethics and all that."

The budget document was crafted into a 1,500 page document set in a dull 8 point font, printed in a precisely calibrated shade of gray designed for minimal retinal impact and maximal eyestrain. In addition, all numbers are presented using Roman numerals, and budget information is presented in the form of unfinished Sudoku puzzles.

"You need to be an obsessive-compulsive cryptographer with a doctorate in Obscurism to get through this," complained Hendricks. "The document is so boring it actually repels people."

Indeed, independent researchers have found that test subjects required a bribe of no less than $150 and a full dozen doughnuts from Krispy Kreme to even open the cover. The interior of the document was so dense even the institute's salaried employees could not get through it; the document was read and translated into a more user-friendly design (based on the People Magazine format) by an automatic transcription system.

"Successful politics, like a magic act, requires a great deal of successful redirection," said Hendricks. "The trick is getting the audience to focus on what you want them to see. Regrettably for the current administration, people are too suspicious to be easily misled, so they have had to turn to alternative strategies to control the public's interest or disinterest."

Although the decoded and translated document indicates that the budget deficit has reached record levels, widening to an unprecedented and worrisome seven percent of the GDP, it is attracting more attention for its incredible powers of boredom. These powers are so strong that proximity to the document is actually fatal to people who depend on continuous, flashy external stimulation to live.

"It did kill Paris Hilton when her limo came too close to the institute where we were conducting the tests," admitted a resigned Hendricks. "However much a public service that may be, the fact remains that the administration has unleashed an awful thing here. Who knows what else they'll hide in this virtually invisible document format?"

"Hey," said President Bush. "We'd be glad to just stop publishing stuff if you like."

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