Amidst SARS Confusion, President Bush Bans Sears

Noting the worldwide panic over SARS, the deadly new strain of pneumonia that has killed hundreds and affected thousands in Asia while threatening to spread to other continents, President Bush announced today the "complete and total banning" of retail chain Sears.

"I will not allow the citizens of my country to be terrorized by this chain of stores that causes people to become infected with a mysterious flu," thundered Bush in a press conference filled with confused reporters. "It's terrorism, and it has got to stop."

In addition to informing the press that Sears is now officially part of the "Axis Of Evil," Bush also went on to explain how the deadly infection occurs.

"Upon entering a Sears building, one immediately begins to have trouble breathing," the President explained, holding up a crudely drawn picture to illustrate the phenomenon. "This is because of evil air particles within the stores. They enter your respicatary system, and cause difficulty breathing, in addition to heightened sense awareness not unlike that felt after you do a few lines of coke off of your bathroom sink."

"Unlike cocaine, however," Bush added gravely, "Sears can kill you."

Though the motives for the retailer to poison its customers remain unclear, Bush speculated they have "something to do with terrorism and evil".

"Perhaps Saddam Hussein gave them a phone call, telling them to kill our good citizens," he suggested. "Or maybe the President of North Korea, Pu Jin Lo Mein Ramen, has secretly infiltrated their buildings and put his deadly spores in the air conducting system. Either way, it spells trouble for us. And U.S."

The President then chuckled at his pun for the next 17 minutes before being silenced by aides.

Luckily, Bush assured the press that the situation is already being addressed, and that Americans needn't worry.

"We have already bombed Iraq, probably killing Saddam Hussein, much like Osama bin Laden," he said proudly, "and plans are underway to knock out North Korea as well. Once that is done, the two outlets of evil in the world will be destroyed, and everything will be good forever. Some scientists even predict that the sun will once more wear sunglasses and smile at everyone, as it once did many years ago, when America was the only country in the world."

Those supporting Sears -- such as stockholders or people who own merchandise obtained at a Sears store -- are asked to cease their support immediately.

"I myself have one of them George Foreman grills that I purchased at a Sears," Bush said, a tear coming to his eye. "It was a good grill, but I had to take a hammer to it for the fight in terrorism. It was a tremendous sacrifice, my fellow Americans, and I expect all of you to do the same."

Bush concluded the conference by encouraging the country to join the fight against Sears, eliminating it quicker by working together.

"Remember, everyone," he said. "Ask not what your country can do, but what your country can you do"

Jack Harving, CEO of Sears, was scheduled to make a statement concerning the allegations leveled against the corporation, but was unable to speak at the press conference due to being bedridden from SARS.

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