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Presidential! Crisis! 2109! C.E.!
by William Kitcher

In the Elliptical Office, President Bushrump and his principal aide, Conrad Rumsberger, were seated at the President’s desk. Rumsberger was attempting to explain the basic principle of credit = debit, but the President couldn’t get it, and kept getting distracted by the coloring book he had almost completed.
A frantic knocking sounded on the door, and in rushed Theodore Biggish, the President’s Assistant Deputy Assistant, waving a piece of white paper frantically in front of him. “Mr. President, I have some alarming news!”
“What’s that?” replied the President.
“It’s news that’s alarming, sir.”
The President bristled. “I didn’t mean that. What’s the news?”
Biggish relaxed. “Not much. What’s new with you?”
“Biggish!” cried the President.
“Sir, we have a report of a coming terrorist attack. Here it is.”
He passed the paper to the President, who looked at it uncomprehendingly, then passed it back to Biggish.
“Read it to me,” said the President. “I seem to have forgotten my glasses today.”
Rumsberger looked at the President. “But, Mr. President, you don’t wear--”
“Read it, Biggish.”
Biggish took a deep breath. “There will be a terrorist attack on October 9, 2112.”
The President sat up. “Are you sure of the date, Biggish?”
“Yes, sir. It says ‘10 09 12’. October 9, 2112.”
Rumsberger furrowed his brow. “Sir, 10 09 12 is September 10, 2112, not October 9, 2112. Or, come to think of it, it could be September 12, 2110. That’s next year!”
The President became all official. “It could be worse than that. It could be December 10, 2109. That’s only a couple of months from now! Wait a minute, it could be October 12, 2109! That’s next week!”
“Or December 9, 2110,” said Biggish helpfully.
“No, Biggish,” said Rumsberger, “it never goes year day month. It goes day month year or year month day.”
“No,” said the President, “that can’t be right. I think it’s imminent!”
“I’m pretty sure I’m right,” said Biggish.
Rumsberger slammed his hand on the desk and hurt himself. “No, sir, it goes day month year or, in the worst scenario, year month day.”
“Year day month,” stated Biggish, emphatically.
“That doesn’t make any sense,” said Rumsberger.
“Month day year,” said Biggish, now convinced he was right in the first place.
“It’s October 12, 2109! I’m the President and I know these kinds of things! Month year day!”
“Day month year or year month day!”
“Month day year!”
They went around three more times in the same manner until Mervina Simpkins, the Deputy Assistant to the Assistant Deputy Assistant, rushed into the room holding another piece of paper. This time the piece of paper was yellow, used for extra-special occasions.
“Sir,” said Simpkins, out of breath. “I have some alarming news!”
“What’s that?” said the President.
Biggish shook his head in disgust. “It’s news that’s alarming, sir. I already explained that to you.”
“Shut up, Biggish! What’s the alarming news?”
Simpkins caught her breath. “Sir, we’re going to have a planetary alignment.”
“Simpkins, what’s a planetary alignment?”
“Sir, it’s when all the planets of the solar system line up. The gravitational pull of all those planets in line will cause devastation on Earth - earthquakes, volcano eruptions, tectonic plate disruption, who knows what else.”
“This is very worrying,” said the President, who could identify a real problem when confronted with it. “And when is this supposed to happen?”
Simpkins looked at the yellow paper. “October 10, 2110.”
“Oh no,” said the President. “Here we go again.”