The Borowitz Report: Win a Flu Shot

The stakes in reality television were raised this week when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that it will produce a new television program in which the winning contestant receives the ultimate prize: a flu shot.

In announcing the new program, which has already attracted thousands of wannabe contestants, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said, "Rather than sitting around whining about not having enough flu shots, we were like, this could be an awesome show."

Calling the program "a cross between 'Survivor' and 'The Apprentice,'" Thompson said that the contestants will perform tasks in the Oval Office at the behest of President George W. Bush, who will eliminate a contestant each week with the following parting shot: "If you want a flu shot, try Canada, loser."

Describing the tasks, Thompson said, "They will mainly be reading memos about the environment and other junk that the president doesn't want to look at."

In other health news, reports last weekend that Vice President Dick Cheney was suffering from heart troubles rather than a common cold were based on "faulty intelligence," a CIA spokesman acknowledged today.

Cheney was rushed to the hospital after the CIA produced a memo suggesting that the threat to his health was "imminent."

While admitting that the goof was "embarrassing," the spokesman added, "At least this time we didn't invade a country or anything."

Elsewhere, Teresa Heniz Kerry embarked today on a three-week tour of the red states, stopping to cuss out random voters.

Andy Borowitz is the author of The Borowitz Report, and the winner of the National Press Club's humor award. For more, go to borowitzreport.com.