In recent Solar System news, the National Treasury of the Sardonian people has been unsealed, not for its yearly accounting, but for a printing of new funds at a volume never seen before.
“The underground presses were literally glowing with warmth,” our National Treasury correspondent, A. Fraser, reported by interplanetary wire. “The smell of newspaper and ink was overwhelming to the senses. I swooned. It was as if great works of literature were being churned out by the millisecond.”
As we’ve reported before, the Sardonian economy is kept afloat by scraps of official paper fibers over which words are printed in special government fonts. Being an extraordinarily complex system, only three economists understand the full spectrum of values the currency possesses. The average Sardonian simply attempts to keep up with the effect of market forces on those words found most frequently in his vocabulary. For example, the poorly educated comprehend all too well that articles, conjunctions, and other insubstantial one-syllable words are of little value (even if they don’t know exactly what the current low value is), while a confusing handful of one-syllable words contain such historic significance (e.g. tongue, horse, and moon) that they are priceless and, consequently, also of little value to anyone but esoteric historians.
By extension, most middle class men happily languish in workaday jobs to earn two-syllable words, such as balloon, python, and monkey, which suffice as exchange for words that put dinner on the table. However, due to the plebeian uprisings of 3024, the two-syllable word marrow–which represents the staple diet of the people–has been downgraded to the value of a conjunction so that the impoverished may also feed their families by trading lesser-fonted marrow coupons for grade B vegetables.
Why are they printing so many new words? The economic fate of the Bruno Solar System seems to hang on this very question. We asked A. Fraser, and he responded, “For more than a century, the Sardonian women have suffered oppression under the Primogeniture Word Act. They’ve been forced to subsist off strict word allowances belonging to their husbands or supporting male relatives. It’s all color of law, but it’s been practically illegal for women to own words of any kind (for more, see A Social History of Gender Inequalities). After weeks of silent protest by the women, which involved doing nothing but playing hand signal games with their children, newly elected President Grayhall pushed a landmark bill through the senate to give women back their own kinds of feminine words.”
Our interplanetary wire being cut from too much congestion, A. Fraser sent us this late, breaking news by old-fashioned quantum telegraph: While the senate spends the next fifty years defining what constitutes a feminine word–almost impossible because the language, itself, has evolved morphologically in the neuter–Grayhall has, in less than five minutes, met with advisers to finesse his healthcare reform plan. Throughout his private advisement meeting, his personal security officers leaned out the upper story windows at five second intervals, throwing out buckets of newly minted words for the women below to catch in their arms.
“It was beautiful,” one security officer remarked. “They were like blooming flowers with their arms wide open, catching a rainstorm of petals.” After that, the officer shut up because he had used his entire savings account in that one poetic sentiment.
And it appears the government has not only used all its stored words, but has caused a debt bubble as big as the planet itself. Nobody can quite get an accurate figure of words printed, but the estimates have ranged anywhere from 8 billion to 700 trillion, not to mention the words printed in a rush at the end for the sole purpose of repairing the smoking presses, which are estimated at ρ 5,000,000 paper cost.
We tried to contact A. Fraser by wire again for a badly needed verbal update, but were unable to do so. We did receive one last entangled particle telegraph from him, detailing the Chief Governor’s theory that President Grayhall printed all these beautiful words because he hopes the women will use them in support of his healthcare reform plan. While this may seem like a bright idea, A. Fraser teleported, modern Sardonian women aren’t the idealized oracles of ancient times. How could they be? They haven’t had any practice at it. Some men have reported hearing nothing but female voices, tinny from disuse, wasting currency on cupcakes, but I would question such rumors. One man claims he had to lock up his wife in a silencing room because she wouldn’t stop muttering the word chocolate, which is one of the most expensive luxury words available. But, again, that’s, as yet, an unsubstantiated rumor.
Is the Chief Governor’s theory correct? As soon as more information arrives via telegraph or wire, we’ll have late-breaking coverage on the debt bubble, President Grayhall’s healthcare reform plan, as well as a few human interest stories on how the men are coping with hearing the new sounds of their wives’ voices.
First News Now.