Reykjavik, ICELAND: Last week, Mount Heyyaeffallayouall erupted in Iceland, throwing countless tons of ash and smoke into the air. After a week of EU-mandated no-fly zones over most of Europe caused by the eruption, scheduled flights have resumed. However, with airlines clamoring for the European Union to reimburse them for $1.7 billion in lost revenue, government officials are already turning an eye to the future.
“It’s really unprecedented,” said Peter Gistuffed, head of the International Air Transport Authority. “I mean, airlines having to give money back to passengers? Having to put passengers up in hotels and feed them because they were unable to transport the passenger to their destination on-time? It’s never happened. And since airlines are more concerned with passenger comfort than with maximizing profit, they tend to run on a razor-thin profit margin. If they’re unable to fly to one region of the planet for a couple of days, they’re a step away from bankruptcy.”
The stoppage has also affected airline employees. Pilots have been unable to reach their personal physicians to get their sedative prescriptions filled. Flight attendants, unable to vent their frustrations by bashing passengers with beverage carts, have turned to random acts of violence against record stores where Björk records are sold. Mortgage foreclosures are up 22% among baggage handlers who are unable to supplement their incomes with valuables that have “fallen out” of suitcases.
As a result of these troubles, the European Union is considering sanctioning any member nation that allows a volcano to erupt in the future. Molly McFluffle, Grand Poobah of the European Union, said, “We will not allow these so-called ‘acts of God’ to interfere with the smooth functioning of our union. Any nation that allows such disasters to take place will be forced to build and finance a new EuroDisney Park, and to absorb all associated financial losses. In particular, we are firmly suggesting that Italy keep an eye on Mt. Vesuvius. That thing is just flat-out SHADY.”
In the meantime, nations are looking at their own ways to prevent future disasters. Iceland has begun gathering demographic data on all domestic virgins to be used as potential sacrifices to appease the angry volcano gods. Government officials, concerned about the dearth of virginal options, also put out ads on Craigslist looking for virgins; unfortunately, the responses to the ads have been of a different variety than intended. Italian officials have warned vintners that they may have to switch to screw-top bottles, as the government begins gathering material to build the world’s largest cork. Volcanologists in Greece have suggested pouring the nation’s supply of tzatziki sauce into their active volcanoes, in order to cool them down.
While the ultimate solutions are unclear, most travelers are simply pleased to finally be heading home. Vacationer Bob Herdinkle of California summed it up by saying, “I just can’t get wait to get back home, where I don’t have to worry about natural disasters. Except earthquakes. And forest fires. And Al Davis.”