The Whale-Lines

Russia shrugs off 58% vaccine fatality rate as ‘collateral damage’

Reports that Russia’s new COVID vaccination kills more than half of those who receive it have been dismissed by the Kremlin as hyperbolic.

Vaccinations began in Moscow yesterday evening and early dispatches suggest the vaccine has nasty side effects like shutting down nervous systems and rupturing spleens, with most recipients dying within hours of injection.

“You’ve got to look at the full context,” president Vladimir Putin said in a statement released earlier today. “Yes, there has been some collateral damage, but see also that COVID deaths have plummeted.”

Speaking of plummeting, several clumsy Russian scientists who criticised the speed with which the vaccine was being moved into production have died after falling out of various thirtieth story windows.

The Russian government has confirmed it intends to continue rolling out the vaccine to the surviving population, thus getting one up on the rest of the world.

REVEALED: Vanquished Martian invaders refused to wear masks

The Martian aliens that terrorised humankind before succumbing to infections died totally needlessly, new evidence revealed today.

Wielding extraordinary power in the form of three-legged death machines, our Martian neighbours were on track to enslave and/or liquidate all of humanity before succumbing to a nasty virus called GHOBLAR-1897. Although harmless to humans, it killed Martians within days of infection.

Decrypted internal communications reveal that Martian scientists were well aware of the mortal danger posed by GHOBLAR and told invaders to wear masks to ensure the transmission rate stayed below one.

However, the illness was widely dismissed as a Venusian hoax, with Bill Gates inexplicably singled out as an Earth-based colluder. By the time our would-be conquerors realised their mistake, it was too late.

Dispatches from Mars suggest a second invasion is not imminent, giving us ample time to reverse engineer Martian weapons and destroy ourselves first.

Whistleblower treated with dignity and respect

Jessica Jenkins, the woman who blew the whistle on sinister, unconstitutional behaviour in the CIA, has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for services to democracy.

The award is the culmination of weeks of fanfare and admiration from the American public, media, and political class, who all recognised Jenkins’ decision to leak evidence of government malpractice as the ultimate act of patriotism.

“I don’t care who knows it, this lady is a hero,” President Trump told assembled press today. “This country has a rich tradition of whistleblowing. It’s how we hold ourselves accountable and prevent ourselves rotting from the inside out.”

Those incriminated by the leaks will be brought to justice, their contempt for rule of law and America’s founding ideals treated as the stains on national history they are.

For her part Jenkins is looking forward to a lifetime to goodwill and peace of mind. She’ll never have to buy another drink that’s for sure.

“I was just doing my civic duty,” a bashful Jenkins told The Whale-Lines last night. “If we can’t hold ourselves accountable what hope does this country really have?”

Senate passes Motivational Posters Act to address crisis

Millions of Americans will receive ‘Hang in there, Baby’ posters as part of a new stimulus package passed by the US Senate earlier today.

With tens of millions of Americans facing eviction, unemployment, loss of health insurance, and being disappeared in unmarked federal vehicles, the US government is confident these posters will be enough to see the nation through the coming months.

“Let it never be said the US government didn’t rise to the occasion,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “I hope all you sniveling scum will now shut the fuck up about stimulus packages.”

The posters will come in three colours - red, white, and blue - and feature various breeds of cute, supportive cats.

Late amendments to the bill also stipulated that corporation tax no longer exists and martial law is now in effect nationwide.

The bill passed by 93-7, enjoying near-unanimous bipartisan support.

Sisyphus rebranded as person arguing with relatives on Facebook

The mythical figure Sisyphus, best known for pushing a big rock up a hill for eternity, has been rebranded as a person arguing with insane relatives on Facebook.

The Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports formally passed the change yesterday afternoon by a majority of seven. It is the first time a mythical character has been formally updated.

“We are immeasurably proud of our cultural heritage, of course, but we need to move with the times,” said minister Lina Mendoni. “This brings Sisyphus into the 21st century while maintaining the futility and despair that makes him such a beloved cultural figure.”

Much of Sisyphus’s backstory is unchanged. He remains a hubristic trickster king of Ephyra, all that has changed is the punishment he received. Whereas before he rolled a huge boulder endlessly up a steep hill, now he is chained to a desktop computer trying to reason with aggressively ignorant relatives.

Futile topics include 5G towers, holocaust denial, immigration policy, gender roles, lizard people, and the cultural significance of the TV show Friends.

Political debates to be replaced with literal fights to the death

Starting next week political debates of all kinds will be replaced by a gladiator-style combat between candidates.

No longer will public servants pontificate and lie in pursuit of power. Henceforth leaders will be the strong, the nimble, and the ruthless.

The decision to move away from (ostensibly) substantive policy discussion has proven divisive, with some worried the blood sports will lose sight of the public good. Others are more bullish, and have challenged skeptics to duels.

“Let’s see how smart the so-called experts are when they’re impaled on this trident,” said Conservative MP and former SAS soldier Bennett Barnes.

The first Prime Minister’s Lesions will take place at New White Hart Lane on Tuesday, with early betting suggesting Keir Starmer is the narrow favourite to win.

Broadcasting rights are yet to be determined. They too will be settled by fights to the death.

BREAKING: USA declares war on war

The United States of America is at war with war.

President Donald Trump formally announced the declaration during a rambling, largely improvised speech from the Oval Office earlier today.

“We’re going to get them,” Trump said. “Our fine people will bring hellfire, bombs, fury, all kinds of bad, bad stuff. We won’t stop bombing until we finally have peace on earth, believe me.”

A bipartisan bill quadrupling the military budget has swept through the House and Senate, with Boeing and Lockheed Martin to be given most of the money in exchange for planes, bombs, guns, explosives, and other such tools of death.

The president’s approval rating shot from 34% to 98% in the hours following the announcement, with the American public immediately forgetting any concerns it may have had about inequality, government corruption, or hawkish foreign policy.

No timeframe for victory was mentioned during Trump’s speech, though White House sources say the war on war is likely to last at least 50 years, hopefully more.

Shock, dismay as open letter changes absolutely fucking nothing

The world’s academics, philosophers, and self-appointed free-thinkers are really sad after their open letter about the Oxford comma had zero impact on how people behave and will continue to behave.

Signees had been convinced the collective prestige of their names would cause the whole world to confront deep-seated, multi-generational prejudices against the Oxford comma. Instead, they were ignored. Some people continue to use the Oxford comma, others continue not to.

“I just don’t get it,” said linguistics professor with a huge ego Alain Pipinjay. “Loads of people signed it, loads of really important people. Some of us are even fairly well informed about Oxford commas.”

The Whale-Lines understands most of the signees had booked time off work to attend the parade they presumed would be thrown in their honour. No such parade has been arranged, so they will instead let off some steam in Las Vegas.

Hare loses to tortoise after spending race arguing with rabbits on Twitter

The hare lost in a stunning upset to the tortoise today after wasting all its time and energy arguing with rabbits on the internet.

“The rabbits cost me this race,” the hare told a fawning press afterwards. “If only they’d kowtowed to my obnoxious, ignorant, condescending tweets, I’d have been victorious.”

Some other forest animals tentatively suggested that if the hare had simply run the race at a gentle pace it likely would have won comfortably. Such views have been widely dismissed as Russian meddling.

The tortoise, meanwhile, has sold the forest to private developers, who are scheduled to bulldoze all forest life next Thursday.

Government runs perfectly after being sprayed with WD-40

UK democracy is running like a dream after it occurred to a Civil Service intern to try spraying it with the ever-reliable WD-40 spray.

Naysayers said that it wouldn’t work, that the workings of government are too complex to be solved by a mere water-displacing mixture, but boy were they wrong.

As if by magic, the rusty, warped, outdated system of governance groaned into motion within seconds of being sprayed and soon enough was as good as new.

Other nations are now looking at giving themselves the same treatment, with swathes of both the public and private sector said to be placing bulk orders of their own.

For its part a freshly sprayed military-industrial complex is wasting no time preparing for territorial wars over WD-40 manufacturing locations.

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