San Francisco, California – The San Francisco-based, upscale retail store Pottery Barn has apologized for selling a Halloween costume of a sushi chef and a kimono that an Asian American Civil Rights group had complained were culturally offensive. The retailer confirmed that it had removed the items from its website, saying it did not mean to offend anyone with the Halloween attire.
Asian American civil rights activists spoke out after the store began selling the products, a kimono and a sushi chef outfit featuring the Rising Sun of the Japanese flag. The activists demanded the immediate removal of the clothing and requested an apology, saying that the problem is not with the attire itself; it is with the fact that Pottery Barn is marketing these outfits as costumes.
Following the announcement by Pottery Barn, other groups also began demanding that retailers like Walmart, Walgreens, Target, K-Mart, Amazon.com and HalloweenCostumes.com remove clothing items from their Halloween inventory:
Texas Governor Rick Perry and governors of other Southwest states asked the retail outlets to remove cowboy hats from their shelves; the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops demanded that businesses stop selling nuns’ and priests’ habits; and a group representing the Irish community in New York City asked that the sale of kilts be banned during Halloween season. A South Asian activist group in Berkeley went a step further by petitioning the city to shut down stores selling the Indian sari during the entire Halloween week. In San Francisco, Mayor Ed Lee appealed to drag queens to wear only race-neutral dresses on Halloween night.
The protesting groups joined in the chorus by saying that their traditional attires are not costumes; rather, they represent cultures and religions. To market the clothing items as Halloween costumes is offensive and can trigger racial or religious violence, they claimed.
Meanwhile The Adobo Chronicles learned from reliable sources that there is a growing movement in many U.S. liberal states that aims to abolish the Halloween holiday altogether. “This way, no one will ever be offended again by costumes that mock countries, peoples and religions,” the movement’s spokesperson said.
Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) disclosed on its website that “something big is about to happen on the sun,” adding that “according to measurements from NASA-supported observatories, the sun’s vast magnetic field is about to flip.”
Minutes after the announcement was posted, NASA’s phone lines became jammed and several of its servers crashed as people around the world sought answers on how this phenomenon, which happens every 11 years, would impact planet earth. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) immediately convened its council members to discuss the NASA announcement, summoning NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Jr. to New York City.
Bolden said that NASA is still assessing the potential impact of the change in polarity of the sun’s magnetic field. However, he confirmed that the following will definitely occur as a result of this flip:
The Continental United States and all of Canada will lose their winter, spring and fall seasons. Only the summer season will remain for the first half of each year. The second half will see a hurricane season.
Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, Tonga, the Marianas, the Philippines and all other islands in the Pacific will lose their tropical weather and will experience winter for eight months of each year, with the remaining four months bringing fall-like weather
California’s tectonic fault lines will even up, practically eliminating any chance of earthquakes
Most of Western Europe – but only those countries who are part of the Schengen agreement – will not experience any change in weather or environment
Environmental changes in the rest of Europe remains unknown at this point
A few countries in the Middle East will see all their desert sand evaporate
The rest of the world will see shorter daylights, which will have a heavy toll on their electric consumption
Queried by the UNEP council members if there is anything that countries and governments can do to avert the impending solar flip, Bolden said, “Well, for a start, we can all implore Pope Francis to lead a universal prayer for a miracle. He expressed confidence that the Pope can intercede not only on behalf of Catholics but Atheists and all others who belong to different religions.
Vatican City – The Vatican is enlisting the services of eBay, the Silicon Valley internet auction giant, to dispose of valuable items that Pope Francis has decided won’t have anything to do with his reign as head of the 1.2 Billion-strong Catholic Church. Since being elected pope on March 13, the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio has surprised the Vatican Curia with sweeping changes that have signaled a more simple, less materialistic papacy.
Ebay is finalizing the design of a special “Vatican Store” which company executives said will make its public debut on September 1st. Ebay is reportedly providing the Vatican with the auction service pro bono, on the condition that Pope Francis absolve the company of all its past unfair business practices. The Vatican has said that proceeds from the auction will be used to set up a special fund to pay for legal costs in the increasing number of criminal and civil lawsuits the Catholic Church is facing in connection cases of sexual abuse by priests worldwide.
Ebay released the following initial list of papal items to be auctioned off by the Vatican:
Pure Gold “Fisherman’s Ring” (Pope Francis has chosen to wear a gold-plated silver ring)
Red Prada Shoes (Pope Francis is keeping his old black shoes)
Papal Red Cape (Pope Francis has chosen to wear a simple white cassock)
Pure Gold Pectoral Cross (Pope Francis insists on keeping the iron-plated pectoral cross he used as archbishop)
The Vatican is also considering renting out the papal room at the Apostolic Palace which overlooks St. Peter’s Square (Palazzo Apostolico) to tourists since Pope Francis has opted to live in the Vatican guest house, along with other priests and bishops.