A mysterious affliction that is affecting human growth rates has apparently spread unnoticed around the world. “We are seeing normal growth rates of three or so inches a year decline, over the space of a few years, to a half inch or even less,” said one scientist who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to take the blame. “For some reason it seems to be affecting young people, in their late teens.”
“Growth is essential to the economy,” said an economist who preferred not to be identified because he’s tired of all the ridicule. “The clothing industry depends on it, as does the basketball industry, just to name two. The effect on them is likely to be catastrophic.” Within hours of this story breaking, the prices of cotton futures and basketball tickets fell precipitously, causing the Federal Reserve to buy thousands of cotton bales and stadium seats to stabilize the markets.
A 19-year-old medical researcher with intimate knowledge of the pandemic said that not only are people in their late teens and early 20s increasingly failing to meet growth expectations, but some elderly people are actually being found to experience negative growth. He did not want to be identified because of the stigma attached to growth loss, which he described as “horrible, unnatural.”
No cause for the pandemic has been identified, but one food industry executive, who declined to be identified because of death threats, said preliminary research in corporate labs indicates that the culprit could be consumption of organic vegetables. “The results are preliminary,” he said, “but convincing.”
Bishop Arley Smothers, founder of the Church of the Chosen Few (its membership is limited to billionaires) asked the nation to pray for the corporations deprived of the revenues from people who stop growing. “It’s just awful,” he said, “these companies are suffering. The economy is going to stagnate, and we must pray for perpetual growth, like God intended.”
Congress went to work on a fast-track bill to compensate corporations for “any and all” revenue losses because of “failure to grow.” House speaker John Boehner called the crisis “just another failure of the Obama administration.” Asked if they were going to provide any aid for small people who failed to reach their full potential, one Congressman (who asked not to be identified lest his constituents find out where he is) replied, “Of course not. That would be an entitlement, and would increase the national debt.”
A prominent research lab announced it is making progress on a cure for growth loss, with a combination of stem cells, steroids, spliced genes, Agent Orange and spider venom. Initial testing has already started, and if some of the patients survive, the company expects to begin marketing next week. “This is serious,” said a corporate VP for public relations who asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to be in the building, “but it’s nothing that good old American ingenuity can’t deal with.”