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Spoofs & Satire

Namibia’s Tourism Minister Sends a Plea to Britney Spears

Just because your career takes an awkward turn doesn’t mean your baby’s birth can’t be a cherished event. Before you cancel your reservation at the Namibian birthing palace, we’d like a moment of your time.

Following in the steps of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Britney Spears is considering a Namibian birth for her next baby, a government official said Friday. “Not true,” Spears’s New York—based publicist, Leslie Sloane Zelnik, said in an email.
Associated Press, June 16, 2006

Dear Ms. Spears,

It was with great enthusiasm that we received word that you were considering our humble country for the birth of your next child. It was such an honor to host your fellow countrymen, Ms. Jolie and Mr. Pitt. As it appears now that you have not, in fact, decided to give birth here in Namibia (who or what is a Leslie Sloane Zelnik, anyway?), please allow me to take this opportunity to demonstrate why coming to Namibia is clearly the best decision for your maternity needs.

As you might recall from our previous guests’ stay, we are quite flexible when it comes to accommodating the needs of our famous, pregnant friends. Well, let me tell you that we have only scratched the surface in this area and have already introduced several new policies to maximize the richness of your natal experience. For example, perhaps you are not familiar with our national flag, which currently features a small sun nestled in the top corner. As you can clearly see, there is ample room for your baby’s likeness to be added to the bottom half, or perhaps superimposed over the sun, much like that Teletubbies show. (And, frankly, this is so much easier than trekking to J.C. Penney’s for that trite newborn photo shoot on blue shag carpeting.) Namibia will be proud to march under the radiance of your child’s glowing image!

Also, our national motto, should you not be familiar with it, is currently “Unity, Liberty, Justice.” And indeed, you can rest assured that these guiding principles wholly embody our national character. In anticipation of your visit, however, legislation is currently pending in Parliament to officially change the motto to “Unity, Liberty, Justice, For Serious, Y’all.”

Furthermore, we understand how important religion is for an expectant mother. As such, we fully support your commitment to all things spiritual and thus have proceeded to break ground on a new Kabbalah center outside of Windhoek. Shalom! On a related note, we must confess our Us Weekly subscription arrives on our shores a good two weeks after it’s published in your country, and thus we are perhaps not as current on the shifting dynamics of your “spirituality.” As a precaution, several plots of land have already been earmarked for a new Scientology center. As you will surely see, “Namibia” is African for “Options!” (Or something really close to that.)

But let me now address what must be your overriding concern. As I am sure you are aware, our country spares no expense in providing the ultimate protection from the paparazzi. Ugh, disgusting vultures, those people! You can rest assured that we will offer the same security measures doing your stay.

(Now, on this point—and we hesitate to bring it up—but reports have surfaced that you have made, well, several “non-traditional” career decisions as compared to Ms. Jolie and Mr. Pitt and thus might not be in a position to demonstrate equivalent gratitude for our efforts. Please do not let this affect your decision. As you can see from the brochures I’ve enclosed, we are very pleased to introduce our new B-List package. For only half the price, we can offer several of the same features at only a slightly reduced degree. For example, rather than re-landscaping the area around your resort with towering shrubbery, we will install Venetian blinds on all the windows and three “Beware of Dog” signs. A couple of dry-runs have shown this to provide fairly comparable privacy and solitude. In fact, several cast members of Charmed have already expressed interest, as well as one of the Duffs.)

And I think it behooves me to describe how extremely non-judgmental Namibians are as a people. Who someone chooses to marry is of NO CONCERN to us. It is simply not for us to make pronouncements about the value or talent of one’s spouse nor engage in unfounded gossip about the imminent demise of one’s sacred union. No, such things are unspeakable to us. And we completely empathize with the snafus and mishaps that come with being a new parent. Hence, should you feel like taking your newborn out for a ride on the dashboard of your car to enjoy our scenic countryside, fine with us. Babies fall. We get that, here.

Finally, and this is as a friend, I must tell you to be wary of promises made by our neighbor Botswana. Rumor has it that Ian Schrager has not agreed to begin construction on his new four-star maternity ward. And the best restaurant they currently offer is a Red Lobster located in a neighborhood similar to what I believe you call Chino. Again, just as a friend.

It has been my honor to share with you the bounties that await you and your bundle of joy here in Namibia. We eagerly await your response.

Your friend,
Willem Konjore
Minister of Environment and Tourism

P.S. Should you choose to go another direction with your child’s birth, I completely understand. But I am hopeful that this need not be the end of our relationship. In fact, just between us, I have a profiling amount in an excess of U.S.$100.5M, which I seek your partnership in accommodating for me. You will be rewarded with 4% of the total sum for your partnership and all I need from you is to stand as the beneficiary and I will re-profile the funds with your name, which will enable the Namibian bank to transfer the sum to you.