Giant letter believed first vowel in word ‘JAPAN.’


Aerial photograph of Japan taken two days after tsunami. (Copyright 2012, Neuters)


NEWPORT, OREGON (Neuters) – Spotted floating off the shore of the Oregon coast two days ago, a giant letter ‘A’ has run aground a mile north of the coastal town of Newport.  Believed to have been carried 5,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean, it appears to be the second letter of the word ‘JAPAN’ which labels the country on maps and is typically only visible from space.  Satellite photos over the island nation from shortly after last year’s tsunami have noted not only the displacement of the letters in “JAPAN” but have not shown the ‘A’ that is now believed stranded on the Oregon shore.  How the letter made its way across such a vast distance is unknown.

The Japanese government has indicated that the ‘A’ does appear to be the one missing from the area immediately to the east of the island of Honshu.  However according to Japanese Minister of Typography Fujimori Hayashi, the dismal economic state of the country will not permit bringing the enormous letter back to its rightful place.  “We have suffered so much and our money is all gone.  Buying a new letter is out of the question, as is transporting this one back to Japan,” Hayashi lamented.  “Do you have any idea how expensive those things are, especially upper case?  We believe that for the time being we will only be able to afford an apostrophe to indicate the missing letter.”

Newport Beach, Oregon, site of letter A landing. (Copyright 2012, Neuters)

News that the J’panese government was going to leave the letter where it landed was greeted with consternation by the United States.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seemed flustered as she pondered what to do with the A, which would clearly change the appearance of maps of the world.  “What does Mr. Hayashi expect us to do, become the United States of AAmerica?  That may work for Mitt Romney’s website but it is hardly appropriate for official documents,” Clinton said.  “Even if we felt it was suitable to use in that way, it turns out to be an unusual font, Plantagenet Cherokee, that matches none of our other labels.  The U.S. government must maintain our typestyle standards.”

While the diplomatic standoff continues, the letter remains on the sand of the Oregon coast, a curiosity for beachcombers and tourists.  It has been reported that Oregon officials are considering putting the letter to their own use, renaming the state “Oregano.”  When asked why, state Tourism Official Percy Lipshitz replied, “Well, you know, we’re just kind of a laid back state, here, you know?  We thought that ‘Oregano’ just sends the kind of message to tourists, you know, that we’re, well, open for business.  You know?”

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