|This article is part of UnNews||A newsstand that's brimming with issues|
5 May 2012
MOAB, UT – Daniel No Last Name, whose last name really is No Last Name, is determined to die as he has lived for the past 12 years—broke. The 51-year-old man is a modern caveman, his home a cave in Moab, Utah, his typical breakfast the same as his typical lunch and dinner: fried grasshopper or refried road kill. His bathtub is the local reservoir, where he is only too happy, he says, to share his festering bacteria with his “neighbors” in the nearby mountain community.
If President Barack Obama has his way, the troglodyte will also be sharing something else with his fellow Americans: his knowledge as to how to get by on nothing. The president has named No Last Name to head up the Department of Personal Austerity, a cabinet-level bureaucracy that he hopes Congress will agree to establish and fund in 2012, “if I'm fortunate enough to win reelection, that is,” Obama told reporters.
Praising No Last Name for his “innovation,” the president said that the Utah troglodyte has developed valuable skills that other Americans may find not only useful but critical to their survival in the immediate future, “once hyper-inflation sets in, as it must, following my failed efforts to revitalize George Bush's faltering economy with massive corporate bailouts.” The president said that the Republicans have blocked all attempts on his part to raise taxes, and, since he and his fellow Democrats refuse to cut services, No Last Name's lifestyle may be “the only thing left to keep the wolf from Americans' doorsteps—provided anyone has a doorstep anymore.”
The Department of Personal Austerity will limit individuals to zero credit, zero debt, zero foodstuffs, zero personal vehicles, and zero residences in an effort to curtail living costs and provide “a more robust tax base for continued and escalating state and federal expenditures,” President Obama said.
No Last Name will teach men and women how to “get by on next to nothing,” the president said, “so that any and all extra income they generate by doing without can go to paying off the national debt.”
“People don't need money,” No Last Name declared. “I'm living proof of that.”
The reclusive caveman maintains that people can learn to subsist on “nature's bounty,” which includes not only “nuts and berries,” but also “grasshopper” and “road kill.” “Just last night, I fixed me up a delicious and nutritious stew of 'possum, squirrel, and deer carcasses, and, tonight, I'm having beaver tail and bear droppings.”
When “nature's bounty” fails, No Last Name dines upon food retrieved from campers' garbage. He bathes in the reservoir or local creeks, and sleeps in a cave or “under the stars.” A graduate of the University of Colorado, No Last Name worked as an anthropologist and lived “in a real house, with four walls and a roof” and “shopped at Target and Wal-mart, just like regular folks, rather than raiding such stores' Dumpsters.” However, he felt guilty “living like a king” when much of the rest of the world's population “lived in cardboard shacks without running water.” He decided to emulate Henry David Thoreau and live off the land.
A frequent visitor to the Moab Public Library, where he may be seen bathing in the men's room, from time to time, No Last Name maintains his blog, Penny Pincher Par Excellence, by logging onto the facility's public computers. It was his web site that caught the attention of one of the president's aides, who recommended No Last Name to Obama as someone whose “experience qualifies him to head up the Department of Personal Austerity,” should Congress fund the establishment and operation of the proposed bureaucracy.
The collapse of the economy under presidents Bush and Obama awakened No Last Name, he says, to the “truth” that “money is an illusion, an addiction,” and that, as such, it is “evil.” This revelation motivated him to renounce money entirely and live off others who are too weak to do likewise. “Where would food stamps and Medicare be without me?” he asks.
“He's a perfect representative of America, as I understand this great nation,” President Obama said. “That's why I want No Last Name to work for me—and the American people.”