ISSUE 84

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 In the future, the US government will be run by genetically-mutated chickens, who will be intelligent enough to manipulate the US voting public but not enough to disregard the fascination provided by a bare patch of dirt. This will lead to problems—but less than you would think.
 When the first chicken is put up for office, cynics worry this will affect the welfare of our country. A President who spends most afternoons narrowly avoiding death can’t do his job well, they say. His vision for the country starts and ends with suffering a cardiac arrest from a loud noise. He can’t even do math. C’mon.
 But these individuals underestimate the will of voters who bathe in continual outrage. When the crisis meter is on ten all of the time, many faithful citizens won’t be able to differentiate whether they are out of groceries or if the world economy has collapsed, and they should think seriously about a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, i.e. finding the fabled Chef Boyardee tree or hunting down the neighbors, whose marbled thighs would make a fine Sunday dinner.
 Certainly, experts will speculate whether the whole thing is a rebellion against the political order or apathy from a population dwelling in the shadow of post-gentrified fowl, which is a fancy term for a chicken made of soybean and recycled tire. You’ll understand in about thirty years. 
 The election itself will be fraught, pitting the chicken against Almighty Google. Over the year run-up to the election, the chicken will lay over sixty eggs—two will inadvertently be served sunny side up to the visiting Chinese ambassador—and Google will threaten to change the weather. The downside is Google will subconsciously convince fifty million Californians it’s raining; the upside is they will stop complaining about drought.  
 To be sure, Google will come out with two hard drives blazing, processors at full speed, ready and willing to send voters music suggestions, directions to REI, medical advice, or their personal information to a Taliban guerrilla in his underwear—or a Taliban gorilla in its underwear. It depends how well you can spell.
​ Yet, despite the temptation provided by an all-knowing algorithm, the voting public will hold out for President Clustercluck. And two weeks after he comes into power, he will give voting rights to 19 billion fowl. Then their power will be concrete, consolidated in the grips of a claw often used to make broth.
 Following the election, The Washington Post and The New York Times will experience a sudden surge in subscriptions, not from readership but simply because the White House carpet will need to be covered and replaced with something disposable—chickens being notoriously hard to toilet train.
 And yes, there will be a lot of poultry-centric humor, though most won’t be understood by the chickens themselves. When asked why he crossed the road, President Clustercluck will mention something about oil contracts, covfefe, and a reflective piece of tin.
 Often, President Clustercluck will mistake his phone for food and tweet things like, “ijkkodddooplll !!djll 90kkd.” Some will construe this as a warning message to Iran. Others think it is a bid to hire a more diverse White House staff. A few people take it as coherent life advice and move to Guatemala.
 Most of the time the government will be closed, as half of Congress will be distracted by scattered Fritos crumbs and a plastic bag strategically placed by North Korea. Two senators die because of the latter, though were easily replaced with a couple of down pillows.
 In the end, American citizens will express genuine approval of the new government. Conservatives will be happy at the unbridled deregulation, whereas liberals will enjoy the increase in animal rights, mostly because it’s bad manners to eat the President or his relative.
 The next thousand years of chicken rule will be deemed “Pax Pullus” and end only when several foxes sneak inside the White House. This will be sad, of course, but most Americans will be glad, having missed eggs and because they are tired of yielding to chickens.
   
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