Subject: Happy Virtual Monday
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 1997 09:40:02 -0500 (EST)

Once again it's (virtually) Monday morning, and coffee, donuts, and 
bagels are to be found in the lounge at 10.  Today: Ethiopia (dark),
Kenya (medium) and Costa Rica (decaf). (Look ma, no verb!)  

Today's offering of humor honors the re-release of the mighty Star Wars 
trilogy by answering that question that has been troubling so many of us 
for the last twenty years, namely, what did all those storm troopers do 
about child care?



After months of speculation, it was confirmed yesterday that the Death
Star, the Empire's vaunted, planet-destroying space station, has added
a new, state-of-the-art day care centre to its already vast
array of capabilities. The massive four-room day care centre, which,
according to Grand Moff Tarkin, will "provide a safe and fun learning
environment for tots between the ages of one and four," has already
begun spring enrollment and is expected to be fully operational by
July 1.

"Nothing can stop the Sunshine Death Star Play and Learning Centre,"
the Imperial Emperor said via holograph. "With its four classrooms,
outdoor playground and experienced staff of licensed day care
professionals, no other facility can match its awesome instructive
power."  Though still several weeks away from full strength, the
Sunshine Death Star Centre is already up and running. Among the most
popular activities there are finger-painting, storytime and Duck Duck
Goose, which the Emperor often helps lead. "Feel your hatred flow
through you," he told 3-year-old Jenny Bates, as she energetically
chased fellow toddler and "goose" Michael Phillips around the outside
of the circle.  "Give in to your hatred!"

In addition to enjoying many fun games and learning activities,
children at the Sunshine Death Star Day Care Centre have already
witnessed the destruction of several planets out the centre's giant
bay window.  Last Friday, in the middle of a colouring activity, the
planet Alderan was blown up, delighting 23 of the 24 children who
witnessed the devastating power of the battle station. The sole
exception was Libby Phelps, 3, whose family was vacationing in Alderan
at the time of its destruction. She was frightened by the loud
explosion and began to cry upon realizing that her mother, father and
younger sister were now dead. The emperor's elite squadron of imperial
guards leapt to action, removing the girl from the room and giving her
some ice cream treats to calm her.

According to Death Star officials, the idea for the centre sprang up
after a number of parents complained about the lack of quality,
affordable child care options on the Death Star.  "As a stormtrooper
and father of three, I'm very excited about the new day care centre,"
Death Star citizen Ralph Sedgwick said. "It's a safe, nurturing
environment, one in which my child will learn."  Added Gail Lindon:
"For years I took my daughter to work because I couldn't afford a
nanny. Do you have any idea how hard it is to operate a tractor beam
with a two-year-old pulling at your leg?"

As excited as most are about the new day care centre, a few extremists
have expressed concern about its proximity to the Death Star's reactor

"There is an opening in the Death Star's main shaft that leads to the
core," parent and dissenting voice Annette Voss said. "If a small
rebel ship were to somehow break through the deflector shield and enter
the shaft, it's possible it could hit the reactor core with a single,
well-placed proton torpedo shot and destroy the entire space station."
Experts, however, scoff at Voss's theory, dismissing such a shot as
"a million to one."

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