Feeling oppressed lately? Wish the government would stick to paving roads and printing money? Tired of being kept down by the man? Just be happy that you don't live in Romania. And that you're not a witch.
Not the kind of witch that appears on our late night talk shows or periodically runs for the Senate in our country, but the spell-casting cauldron-brewing sort. Romanian officials have turned to witches to help the recession-hit country collect more money. They won't be spinning gold from straw, but they will be handing over their share of the profits from turning the neighborhood children into gingerbread. Last month the government officially made witchcraft a taxable profession, prompting angry witches to dump poisonous mandrake into the Danube in an attempt to put a hex on them.
While many of the ruling party resemble toads, there was no immediate report of any actual transformations, and the situation continues to look bleak. Just ask the fortune tellers: a new bill that threatens fines or even prison if their predictions don't come true. "They can't condemn witches, they should condemn the cards," Queen Witch Bratara Buzea told The Associated Press by telephone. Of course, had the Queen really wanted to send a message, she would have appeared in a swirl of fire and brimstone in the employee lounge of the Associated Press, but that's just the problem. It's going to take some really intense magic to bring Europe and the rest of the world out of its economic spiral.
Might I suggest supply-side incantations?