HOLLYWOOD, California – In a bid to boost ratings, the setting for the long running American Broadcasting Company (ABC) soap opera General Hospital is moving to Calgary, Alberta. Formerly set in the fictional town of Port Charles, New York, the producers of the show decided that relocating to a real city would lead to more believable story lines. At the same time, however, they also took a step backward into incredulity by deciding to shift several story lines into the oil and gas industry.
At a press conference in Los Angeles, show runner N. A. Minnit said,
The writers were running out of bullshit and we had to do something different. I mean, we had one character married and divorced to and from the same person 4 times. We found that the Canadian oil and gas industry is full of psychopaths and weirdos so we should have fresh story lines for the next fifty years. Here are some of the possibilities the writers are considering:
- Laura falls into an open tar sands pit and is gradually sinking into the bitumen while Luke frantically searches for her. Nobody offers to help him.
- A massive earthquake caused by a frac job knocks out power at General Hospital and babies are delivered by candle light. In the confusion two babies are accidentally switched, one black and one white. As you would expect, this leads to complications.
- A geologist from California on temporary assignment to Calgary wants to use Obamacare to pay for a gender reassignment operation at General Hospital. The he-she is laughed out of Canada. Lawsuits, hissyfits, and even some scratching ensue.
- A former senior facilities engineer (who was recently fired from Bendovus Energy), is hired as the hospital’s Director of Maintenance. Once he learns that his ex-wife was admitted to Room 420, his botched attempt to tie-in arsenic pentaflouride to her room’s oxygen supply results in many death, including his own.
- $50 per barrel oil causes the province to cut funding to the publicly-funded hospital, resulting in a 2015 budget that is 75% less than originally declared. Dr. Bruce McKinnon, chief medical director, loses his job along with just over 30% of the hospital’s staff. Sick patients get sicker.
Ms. Minnit went on to say, “The best thing about the switch is that nobody actually has to go to Calgary. Jesus, have you even been there in winter? There’s a reason they have all those overhead walkways. We just need a few background shots and the computer graphics guys can take care of the rest. Since our audience will remain mostly American, the actors won’t switch to those silly Canadian accents, eh. Don’t ya know? Where’s my tooque, hoser? **chuckle, chuckle**”
Believing that any publicity is good publicity, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce announced that in honour of the show, Rockyview General Hospital now will be called simply General Hospital. A Chamber spokesman declined to comment on rumors that a bribe was involved.