BEIJING. Frustrated by the failure of its "one-child" policy to stem the tide of a population that stands at 1.3 billion, the People's Republic of China is turning to an unlikely source--Presbyterian women--to discourage the nation's collective erotic impulse and defuse a demographic time bomb.
"We understand they are the best in the world at sex avoidance techniques," said Zeng Yi, Chief Minister for Population. "The tailored outfits from Talbots are just the tip of the iceberg," he added, laughing at his own joke.
Yi, or Zeng, whichever comes last, became interested in Presbyterian birth control methods after reading an article in a twenty-year old Reader's Digest in a doctor's waiting room titled "A Presbyterian Woman's Open Letter to Her College-Bound Daughter." "Dear Melissa," the article counseled. "You must never--under any circumstances--have sex with a boy before marriage. It creates an expectation that you will have sex with him after marriage."
Presbyterianism is a form of Calvinism that developed in Scotland in the 17th century. John Calvin is known for the doctrine of penal substitution, under which Christ is punished for the sins of mankind and women's sensual desires are transferred to throw pillows and window treatments.
A cohort of Presbyterian women will introduce their Chinese counterparts to foreplay techniques that are expected to result in lower fertility in the emerging world power. "It's a fairly simple procedure," says Polly Ross of Downer's Grove, Illinois. "You go into the city to shop all day, your husband explodes over cocktails when you tell him how much you spent, nobody talks over dinner and you go to bed angry."
In America, Presbyterian women have achieved flat or even negative birth rates, according to Lionel Twohig of the Institute for the Study of Populations at Calumet College. "If a Presbyterian mother finds her teenage son has bought a copy of Playboy," he notes, "she kills him."
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