"President Bush has dispatched a shadow government of about 100 senior civilian managers to live and work secretly outside Washington, activating for the first time long-standing plans to ensure survival of federal rule after catastrophic attack on the nation's capital."— Page One story in the Washington Post, March 1
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that it sequestered prominent actors and studio executives in a secret location. The "Hidden Oscar® Program" is designed to safeguard the film industry, and Oscar® nominees in particular, in the case of a catastrophic nuclear attack on Los Angeles, Central Park West, and Aspen. Academy officials would not comment publicly on which stars have been hidden, but a highly placed source identified two: Best Actor nominee Tom Wilkinson "since no one knows who he is or cares where he is, anyway," and Kevin Costner "because of his extensive experience with disasters."
In a related story, a publicist for Russell Crowe said the actor would be keeping "at least one" of his female co-stars at a secure location at all times. "Mr. Crowe seeks to ensure a continuing supply of hot starlet girlfriends in case of Hollywood's calamitous destruction." Insider sources hint that Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Connelly are fighting over who gets to be first in Crowe's bunker.
Republican National Committee Chairman Mark Racicot revealed today that the GOP is holding former President Bill Clinton at a secure facility "outside Washington or New York" in case of a devastating attack on those cities. "America will need a scapegoat in case of disaster," said Racicot. "The Republican Party, for the good of the American people, wants to make sure that blaming, conspiracy-theory mongering, and ad hominem attacks can continue uninterrupted. Without President Clinton to attack, Americans will be confused and demoralized. His safety must be our No. 1 priority."
'N Sync will keep one of its members in seclusion at a secure, undisclosed location in the event of a terrorist attack on the popular boy band, 'N Sync's manager said today. J.C. Chasez, identified in a fan poll as the "most boring" member of the band, will be first to disappear. "Our fans can rest assured that in the event of terrorist tragedy, 'N Sync will never say 'Bye Bye Bye,' " the band said in a statement.
The National Hockey League says it suspended play last December and shipped its teams to a Canadian hideout to preserve professional sports in case of nuclear catastrophe. Sports editors greeted the news that pro hockey had been missing for five months with mild surprise. "I hadn't noticed," says the Philadelphia Inquirer's Darren Trotman. "Are your sure? Wasn't there some story about that guy, that Russian guy, a few months ago? Oh, wait, he was a figure skater." NHL officials say they expect the league's popularity to soar in the long nuclear winter that would follow the apocalypse.
MCI Worldcom has built a specially hardened concrete bunker to house its new "Catastrophe Call Center," the company announced today. The call center, which has already been staffed with more than 100 "team members," will ensure no interruption in America's supply of cold-calling and dinner-time telemarketing in case of national emergency. The company said that, "In a time of global catastrophe, every American will feel the pressure to hoard what few resources they have. MCI Worldcom's low long-distance rates will leave Americans more precious dollars to spend on firewood and pemmican. In good times and bad, MCI Worldcom will be there for you." The company's shares rose $2 to $23.75 on the news.
Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey have reached a landmark noncompete agreement, spokespeople for the two icons said today. The deal is designed to ensure that one of them survives a cataclysmic attack on the United States. According to sources familiar with the arrangement, each will spend six months of every year in a secure, underground bunker while the other monopolizes the global market for advice and instruction. The two are attempting to establish contingency plans to ensure that Winfrey will survive if the world ends in fire, Stewart if it ends in ice.
New Yorker editor David Remnick announced today that one of his leading writers will be hidden at all times "to ensure the survival of superb magazine journalism in the event of a nuclear attack on midtown Manhattan." The writer will be sequestered by becoming a columnist for U.S. News & World Report, Remnick added.