and entering

Greek Government to Sing When Tipped

Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos adjusts his head phones during a rehearsal.

Taking a cue from Cold Stone Creamery, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and the European Central Bank are requiring the Greek government to sing one of several jaunty tunes whenever it receives a gratuity, in exchange for further monetary aid. The lenders hope that the jingles, as part of a string of new austerity measures, will encourage tourists and sovereign nations to give small donations to the debt-ridden country, allowing it to pay back long-standing loans. In preparation for the new strategy, empty jam jars have been placed in various locations around Athens, each bearing a piece of construction paper with the word "TIPS" hastily scrawled on it.

"It isn't as bad as you might think," said Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos. "And it seems to be working so far. Excuse me a moment." Noticing a tourist drop several coins into the nearest jar, Papademos commenced one of the new state sponsored melodies, this one set to the tune of "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music:

"Gods on Olympus and feta on salads,
Olives and Plato and Homeric ballads,

Large bailout packages, horses with wings
These are a few of my favorite things."

"Like I was saying, the songs seem to do the trick. You'd be amazed at what people will shell out. George W. Bush was here last week; he spent more than thirty dollars before Laura found him. Hold on, I've got another one." At that, the Prime Minister launched into another jingle, to the tune of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance."

"We've had to fire public employees
We spent too much on the Olympics you see
Back in '04
Four, four, four, back in '04.

We gave you drama, democracy and
We're at the point where we could sure use a hand
This debt's hardcore
-Core, -core, -core this debt's hardcore.

Failed by the euro, we are looking for friends
Who can help us with our bad finance 
We're getting panicked as the deadline descends 
You can help us with our bad finance 
Ooooh, oh oh oh, oh oh 
Caught in our bad finance..."

Evangelos Venizelos, current Minister for Finance and head of the Happy Hellenic Hymns Task Force, is also hopeful for the project. "The tunes we've put out so far are generating a surprising amount of revenue, and we're writing more every day. Our only major setback so far was Jay-Z's refusal to endorse 'Niggas in Athens,' but we've recovered since then."

© 2012