“July 29, 2010: THE GREAT GULF GUSHER, DAY 100.”
“Good evening, and welcome to Nightline. I’m Ted Koppel, and you are not having a déjà vu experience. Yes, I look exactly as I did when this show originally aired in 1980. That is one of the beauties of being an avatar. ABC News Executive Producer, James Cameron, personally convinced me to come out of retirement to anchor Nightline with a promise that I would indeed have a full head of hair to work with. Tonight, I am actually speaking to you from the seventeenth tee of my retirement community golf course in central Florida. The sound of my voice as well as the image of me that you are viewing is, of course, computer-generated. Now, to our top story: The Great Gulf Gusher, Day 100 …”

“November 4, 2010: THE GREAT GULF GUSHER, DAY 196.”
Ted Koppel: “Voting in the eastern half of the country was cancelled today after Hurricane Jose made its way to the U.S. interior two days after making landfall along the Alabama coastline. Areas as far north as Michigan were pounded with wave after wave of tarball contaminated rain. Dozens of people died, and hundreds more were injured in crashes on roads and highways across the region. For many, just finding clean water to remove the greasy precipitation has become a challenge. “In almost every state east of the Mississippi River, voting machines simply broke down, unable to process the oily punch ballots. For more on the status of today’s election, we have in the studio former President Bill Clinton, who is expected to present the case for an election ‘Mulligan’ to the Supreme Court tomorrow on behalf of the Democratic Party.”

“April 20, 2011: THE GREAT GULF GUSHER, DAY 365.”
Ted Koppel: “In a surprise decision exactly one year after the start of The Great Gulf Gusher, the U.S. Supreme Court issued another stunning ruling, this time declaring that avatars are people too; and as another form of life, are entitled to hold elected offices as long as they meet other age and residency requirements. The majority opinion in the 5-4 ruling was written by Justice Antonin Scalia, who noted in a press release: ‘This case clearly involved free-speech and right-to-life issues. Judicial extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.’

“The ruling came on an appeal in The Avatar of the Michelin Man v. The State of Ohio and opens the door for corporate-sponsored and independent avatar candidates across the country. In this special edition of Nightline, we will examine the nascent campaigns of a handful of avatar candidates, including Joe Camel, the Maytag Repairman, Charlie the Tuna and Mrs. Butterworth. “Our first report begins in Ohio with two longtime state residents, the 113-year-old Bibendum ‘Bib’ Michelin, who is considering a run as an independent for Governor, and the Proctor & Gamble-sponsored Mr. Clean, a 53-year-old Republican who is already committed to becoming the state’s next Attorney General.

“September 2, 2011: THE GREAT GULF GUSHER, DAY 500.”
Ted Koppel “ABC now goes live to Kansas where President Obama and his family are spending the Labor Day weekend.”

President Obama: “I want to thank the press for showing up on such short notice. This morning at the breakfast table I asked my youngest daughter Sasha if she could identify the greatest threat facing the world today. She said, ‘That’s easy, daddy, The Great Gulf Gusher.’ I then asked her, ‘Well, what should I do about it?’ She shrugged her shoulders and replied, ‘Resign?’ I then turned to my eldest daughter Malia and to my wife Michelle. Without hesitation, they both said, ‘Resign.’ Finally, I asked the vice president. With tears in his eyes, bless his heart, he also said, ‘Resign.’ Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow. Vice President Biden will be sworn in as President at that hour. Further, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president. Thank you. No questions, please. Does someone have a cigarette? Oh, and God Bless America.”

“December 25, 2011: THE GREAT GULF GUSHER, DAY 614.”
Ted Koppel: “Good evening and Merry Christmas. Unhappy with its own stable of declared candidates for the upcoming presidential primaries, today the Republican National Committee announced that it was forming a search committee to find the most suitable candidate. The blue-ribbon panel of conservative Republicans will be led by former vice-president Dick Cheney.

February 15, 2012: THE GREAT GULF GUSHER, DAY 666.
Ted Koppel: “We are currently waiting for the live feed of Sarah Palin’s scheduled announcement from the Fox News studio. As everyone knows, Ms. Palin has emerged early in the presidential primary process as the leading candidate for the Tea Party’s nomination. Today, Ms. Palin is expected to name her vice-presidential pick for the race. Here she is now.”

Sarah Palin: “Good morning. I’m just gonna to get right to it, guys and gals, cuz that’s how I roll. This may sound kinda weird to all of you disbelievers out there, but last night, during a Skype-call-thingy directly with God, I was asked to drop out of the presidential race in my current role and switch parties to run as a Democrat. I know, I know, it was like WTF? But. I mean. Therefore, I am like announcing my bid for the U.S. presidency as the Democratic Party nominee.

“I am wholeheartedly endorsing my closest competitor, Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher – you know, Joe the Plumber -- to fill my shoes as the presidential candidate for the Tea Party. I am more convinced than ever that Joe’s proposed fix for The Great Gulf Gusher is the right one. After all gals, who among us have not been embarrassed by one of those feminine unmentionable thingies, you know, plugging up a toilet? I will have more details on my candidacy after I check my Twitter. Thanks everyone and God Bless America!”

“January 20, 2013: “THE GREAT GULF GUSHER, DAY 1006.”
Ted Koppel: “Good evening and welcome to this special edition of Nightline. I am reporting to you tonight from ABC’s virtual studios here in the nation’s capital on this most incredible day of events. Normally, the inauguration of a new president of the United States would dominate our broadcast. But these are not what anyone might call normal times.

“Billions of people gathered in front of TV and computer screens around the world to watch an unforgettable split-screen three-dimensional image of the swearing in of the forty-fifth president of the United States and what we were told were the last drips of The Great Gulf Gusher, the source of the greatest man-made environmental disaster in U.S. history.

“By now, everyone is familiar with the worst of the devastating changes wrought by this catastrophe, from the blackened Gulf shorelines of the U.S., Mexico and Cuba, to the extinct fishing and tourism industries of North America’s eastern coastline, stretching from Florida to Canada.

“Everyone is also familiar with the character of our new president, who was the personal pick of former vice-president Dick Cheney and his blue-ribbon committee. He ran a truly unique campaign, cutting-edge in both strategy and execution. For example, he ran without a specific vice-presidential nominee on the ticket, citing only a ‘Player To Be Named Later.’ He also accepted campaign money from only one source, News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News Channel. And of course, he will be this country’s first avatar president -- unusual tactics in anyone’s presidential playbook to be sure.

“Which brings us to the undecipherable Sarah Palin, who easily captured the Democratic nomination over insider-pick Joe Biden with her ABBA!-themed campaign (Anybody But Biden Anybody!). However, Ms. Palin ran a half-hearted campaign and came in a distant third in the general election. Tea Party nominee, Samuel Joseph ‘Joe The Plumber’ Wurzelbacher, finished a strong second based on his stunning, but unmentionable proposal to plug the leaking pipe. But in the end, exit polls showed it was the winning Republican candidate’s ‘secret fix,’ a ‘proprietary plan’ that only he could deliver, that carried him to the White House.

“I now call your attention to the historic images of earlier today. On the left half of the screen, is the all-too-familiar shot of The Great Gulf Gusher pipe spewing its toxic plume, just barely visible through almost impenetrable darkness. When the clip started, the countdown clock on the bottom of the screen showed thirty seconds left before ‘The Fix,’ now officially dubbed ‘The Cork,’ was scheduled to be inserted. It also represented the time remaining before Chief Justice John Roberts would begin administering the oath of office in the Washington studio of Fox News.

“As you can see on the screen now, with ten seconds remaining, and with people counting down those last ticks of time all over the world, Justice Roberts raises his right hand and begins the oath for the president-elect to repeat as the clock reaches zero: ‘I, the avatar of Richard B. Cheney, do solemnly swear ….’

“We leave you tonight with those images and fresh news from a press release issued moments ago by President Cheney’s avatar, who apparently wishes to be addressed as ‘President Fox.’ In a tripartisan move by the new president, Sarah Palin will be sworn in tomorrow as Vice President of the United States in an exclusive Fox News noontime broadcast. President Fox also named Mr. Wurzelbacher as his first Cabinet-level appointee. Joe The Plumber, it appears, is headed to Washington, D.C., as Secretary of the Interior.

“We encourage you to stay tuned to the ABC News Special program immediately following this broadcast. The avatar of Edward R. Murrow will be hosting a guest panel that includes Kraft Foods’ 96-year-old Mr. Peanut, whose elegant accent, top hat, monocle, white gloves, spats and cane captured voters’ hearts and propelled him to the governorship of Pennsylvania. Also scheduled: General Mills’ Pillsbury Doughboy, who roundly defeated his opposition on the way to becoming the next U.S. senator from Minnesota. And, one of 2012’s surprise losers -- Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger, who ran a ‘Gr-r-reat!’ campaign but lost by a whisker in his U.S. House bid in western Michigan.

“That ends our very special Inauguration Day 2013 broadcast of Nightline. Thank you for watching, goodnight and God Bless America.”

Copyright 2010