Before President Bush touched down in Pennsylvania Wednesday to promote his nuclear energy policy, the environmental group Greenpeace was mobilizing.
"This volatile and dangerous source of energy" is no answer to the country's energy needs, shouted a Greenpeace fact sheet decrying the "threat" posed by the Limerick reactors Bush visited.
But a factoid or two later, the Greenpeace authors were stumped while searching for the ideal menacing metaphor.
We present it here exactly as it was written, capital letters and all: "In the twenty years since the Chernobyl tragedy, the world's worst nuclear accident, there have been nearly [FILL IN ALARMIST AND ARMAGEDDONIST FACTOID HERE]."
I dislike Greenpeace as much as any rational human being, and the wording is what truly makes this funny, but I have to say that I wrote many a press release in a similar manner. Sometimes you just don't have a fact at hand and you don't want to stop writing, so you put a placeholder in, usually in all caps, or bolded, or some other way that'll ensure that you don't forget about it.