In a discovery that explained the soaring costs of gasoline, scientists at the French Institute of Applied Science and Research found that the elements of 99% of gas sold at the pump to be pure Mammon.
"Sacre Bleu!" muttered an amazed lead scientist, Pierre Marcel. "I am a firm believer in the rule of scientific method, that data and research tell us all we need to know. But our training never prepared us for this."
For decades gasoline was thought to be made of hydrocarbons, according to Chemistry 101. However, the black stuff coming out of the pump at randomly chosen stations worldwide is a new chemical element in the periodic table, recognized as "Mm." "It is the heaviest element we have ever discovered," observed Marcel. "I don't know why we didn't see observe before. It physically weighs down the vehicle, making the engine work harder, and therefore needing more Mammon-gasoline. Insidious stuff. C'est incredible."
The more problematic question is how liquefied Mammon became a part of the world gasoline supply. "We checked into that, but it isn't clear" said Marcel. "The mammon isn't coming from any particular oilfield--it's everywhere. As soon as a car, SUV, van, whatever pulls up to a station pump, something changes in the chemical composition of the gasoline--and when the liquid runs through the hose into the vehicle--we have people 'serving' mammon into their cars."
Catholics and other Christians worldwide observed an immediate boycott on driving to Sunday Mass, in order to serve God rather than Mammon. "It isn't so bad; I need the exercise and it was costing an arm and a leg to fill up," commented boycott organizer and local member of St. Athanasius Catholic Church, Joanna Taylor.
"Nice to see you folks joining the program," joked Samuel Bernstein, an orthodox rabbi of Temple Shalom downtown. (Most orthodox Jews do not drive on the Sabbath.) "Let's serve the Holy One, and not Mammon, together--who knows, these chemists may have just created a new interreligious dialogue."
Next time: Theologians respond to the crisis.
Photograph reprinted with permission from the Harvard Satyrical Press website.