A massive cruise ship with approximately 3,500 passengers and 1,000 crew members ran aground off the Italian island of Gigilo Saturday. At this time there are reported to be 3 fatalities and as many as 69 people still missing.
Many witnesses, texting and emailing as they waded ashore, compared the scene to the sinking of the Titanic in 1911, with the obvious differences that the cruise ship Costa Concordia was about 100 yards from shore, surrounded by other ships, had massive amounts of electronic communication and navigation equipment on board, and turned on its side in about 30 feet of lukewarm water.
Most important of all are reports there may be several Americans on board, which immediately changed this from an amusing “drowning foreigner” story in the U.S. media to a major disaster of epic, possibly screenplay-worthy proportions.
Stocks plummeted in response to the accident, and gas prices instantly skyrocketed as the isolated event rocked the world economy.
“This completely changes the situation vis a vis the Virginia primaries” said GOP presidential candidate Newt “Looks Like An Opportunity To Me” Gingrich. “The sinking of this mighty ship, and the massive loss of luggage and other personal items makes it imperative that I be allowed on the Virginia ballot. But only me. I think this situation makes it clear that the other candidates can be rightly and honestly kept out of the race.”
When the Queen of England heard the news of the ship disaster it is said she broke down in tears and confessed to murdering the young woman whose body was found on the grounds of her estate recently. “We did it!” the Queen wailed, “Oh this horrible, senseless aquatic accident has made Us see We can no longer hold back the truth!”
In the face of the Costa Concordia holocaust the citizens of Greece pulled together and decided on major reforms that will repair their wrecked economy and heal their wounded society. Elsewhere in the world Muslims and Jews had lunch and decided, you know, they really aren’t so different after all.
As a sad mixture of fuel oil, table wines, and gravy caused the surface of the ancient Mediterranean to glisten like amber in the sullen light of dawn, a new world that has been reawakened to the fragility and sanctity of human life looks balefully into the depths of its Internet browsers and realizes there, but for the grace of God, could go I: my vacation ruined, my expensive digital camera all wet, my travelers’ checks soggy, and I’d have to wait probably six to eight weeks for a refund for the rest of the cruise.