CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelans scrambled to stock up on toilet paper Thursday as fears of a bathroom emergency spread despite the socialist government's promise to import 50 million rolls. After years of economic dysfunction, the country has gotten used to shortages of medicines and basic food items like milk and sugar but the scarcity of bathroom tissue has caused unusual alarm. - Huffington Post
Okay, normally my modus operandi with a true but weird news story is to post the story, as above, and then do four to five "riffs" where I write little take-offs of the story, substituting locales and coming up with even more bizarre situations than the original. But this time I can't do it, I just can't do it. I've thought til I'm blue in the face, but I can't think of anything sillier than the original. So imagine I have. This paragraph would be the first riff. An appropriate response would be a bemused if puzzled look, with slightly pursed lips.
This would be the second riff, and by this point you'd be starting to "get it." So don't chuckle yet, but just smile and nod slightly.
Third riff. By now you definitely see the pattern, and you're amused by all the variations I seem to come up with. A soft chuckle is called for. You might be tempted to try thinking of a variation of your own. Don't bother.
Fourth riff. Let's face it. This one just isn't as good as the others. They can't all be gems, after all. You might have no response at all, or you may choose to shake your head in mild disappointment. You can even groan if you want to. It's all up to you.
Last riff. This one's really hilarious, and you can see I was saving it for last on purpose. Even the fourth one, which was frankly a disappointment, makes this one even funnier by contrast. Throw your head back and guffaw uproariously as you stomp your feet and shout, "I don't believe it!" Go back and re-read and see if it's as funny as the first time. It is. Throw your head back, guffaw, and stomp again. The third time won't be quite as funny, so you can make do with just stomping.