CHAPEL HILL -- In what business analysts are calling a move unprecedented in the history of manufacturing, God today announced the immediate recall of all currently functioning human beings. The action came after centuries of complaints to God by human beings who have long contended that something was seriously wrong with the human race.
One observer said the direct heaven-to-earth announcement came as "a booming sound that echoed like the voice of God." The clearest reports came from various elevated parts of West Virginia, oceanside on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and mid-town Chapel Hill in North Carolina.
According to University of North Carolina historian Kemp Plummer Battle IV, the many previous attempts by God to repair humanity since the Noachim Flood, all of which have failed, consisted of operating system patches, downloadable software upgrades and revisions of the owner's manual. None of these fixes, said the experts, had ever been correctly or systematically applied.
In the announcement God categorically denied that the recall was a result of a manufacturer's defect.
As legal analyst Bart Yunger, noted, "While there is little record of mankind ever operating properly, it is also true that no human has ever been operated strictly according to the manufacturer's instructions."
"I think we can safely say that legally the warranty on human beings is universally void," added David Felix, a product liability specialist with Klein and Gross Consultancy.
Despite this, God's offer extends the grace period for returns far beyond what is called for by law, making it available to all persons who admit a failure to operate according to design specifications and who then promise that future operation will adhere to manufacturer's guidelines. God also said He will personally bear the costs of restoration for each and every individual accepting this offer.
"This is certainly good news to the average person who will get an entirely new human nature at no cost to himself or herself," said consumer advocate Clark Howard. According to Howard, "God had to do this" to restore the luster to the God brand. "Made by God" used mean something, said Howard. "Humanity," he continued, "really tarnished God's reputation as the producer of nothing less than the best."
Despite the unprecedented generosity of the recall offer, it has been greeted with resistance and skepticism in many quarters. "I don't see any need to respond to 'voices from above' telling me how to live my life," said Schubert Izard from Carrboro. "Sounds a whole lot like what my parents used to yell to me from upstairs before I moved out to my own place," said Izard.
In the announcement God said that there was no point in repairing recalled individuals who will not check off on the new operating system agreement, so, regrettably, they will be permanently taken out of commission.
Most of the world's religions have convened assemblies, conventions or discussion groups to consider what is being generally referred to as "God's Offer." Longtime observers of religion expect most of the groups to reject the proposal outright and the remaining few to make counteroffers that require God to let them write the new operating manual.
Worldwide surveys are in the planning to determine why many people did not hear the announcement. Anecdotal reports indicate that most self-described atheists heard nothing comprehensible. As Los Angeles resident Edmund Hickey, reported, "It just sounded like rumbling thunder to me, dude." Substantial numbers of people whose hearing has been impaired listening to loud rock music were said to have heard only muffled and indistinguishable sounds.
In many parts of the world incessant gunfire and bomb explosions kept anyone from hearing the announcement at all.
The largest group of people who did not receive the announcement said they could not hear it over rancorous theological debates and pervasive religious chanting.
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In other news, Amazon.com announced this afternoon that sales of the "Left Behind" series of 12 novels, which have ridden the top of the company's best seller list for years and sold more than 70 million copies worldwide, stopped selling altogether today. On that news the company's stock dropped $7.33 to finish at $26.26, one half of its 52-week high, and its lowest closing price since early 2003.
Gary D. Gaddy studies his OEM owner’s manual on a regular basis.
A version of this story was published in the Chapel Hill Herald on Thursday June 19, 2008.
Copyright 2008 Gary D. Gaddy