After only two months in office, the Austrian president abdicates the Hofburg throne.
1 April 2017, Vienna. Austria’s twice-elected national leader, Alexander van der Bellen, unexpectedly resigned from his post as Bundespresident der Republik Österreich (Federal President of the Republic of Austria, or BRÖ) today. In a hastily called press conference, the long-time Green Party leader, who ran as an independent candidate in the 2016 electoral contest against the FPÖ (Freedom Party) candidate Norbert Hofer, announced that his resignation would take effect immediately and that the largely ceremonial post would be provisionally filled by a life-sized photo of himself mounted on a cardboard cutout.
Among the unusual reasons offered by the 73-year-old politician, “spending more time with my cats” left many of the gathered journalists and magistrates assembled at the Hofburg this morning scratching their heads. When pressed for details – “exactly how many cats?” and “are they native to Austria?” queried the Krone Zeitung; while ORF-TV demanded to know if they are long-haired or short-haired felines – Van der Bellen (a.k.a., “Öbama”) admitted that he didn’t actually own any cats at all: “Guess I’ll just have to go out and grab some pussy!”
Speculation quickly arose about the real reason for the President’s abrupt resignation. A long-time tobacco-addict, Van der Bellen often tweeted about his frustration with Austria’s draconian anti-smoking laws.
Refusing to answer a barrage of questions following his surprise announcement, the former economics professor abruptly left the podium, carrying a cardboard box containing his personal effects (as well as some purloined office supplies, including several liters of malfunctioning surplus envelope glue) to his own Toyota Prius, and speeding off through the Heldentor.
15 minutes later, the Austrian space-diving daredevil and right-wing loony Felix Baumgartner witnessed the ex-BRÖ purchasing a six-pack of Ottakringer beer, a sackerl of Drum shag, some rolling papers and a box of Schwedenbomben at a gas station mini-mart. Posting a photo to his Facebook page, Baumgartner commented “…and I thought that no Austrian could ever get as high as me!”
After repeated attempts, Metropole finally reached an apparently inebriated Van der Bellen for clarification: “It was just such a bore-mitzvah, man! Total lettuce sandwich! I was getting all BAF doing nothing but going to funerals and cutting ribbons at shopping mall openings,” he confessed. “I’d thought that after all the B.S. of last year’s campaign the reward would be a fulfilling, powerful job. I just can’t, in good conscience, take a salary from the Austrian treasury for doing work that can done just as well by a pair of Strumpfhose filled with Schmaltz, or even by Richard Lugner! Tell [Norbert] Hofer he can be the Frühstücksdirektor, if he wants it so badly. Take this job and schuft it”