January 20th, 2026 - US Repeats As Pruning Champ
(AP) - The US entry in the International Pruning Competition, "Deep Purple", again won the International Grapevine Pruning Competition held in the burgeoning wine region of Nova Scotia yesterday. Deep Purple edged its Australian Rival, The Croc', by just a .002 seconds. The entry from Mexico actually finished 25% faster, but was disqualified as an illegal entry. Third place was taken by the Japanese entrant, mostly because although the unit is a perfect replica of a human and is extremely deft and quick, the model requires shipment back to Japan for everything from routine maintenance upward. All four machines beat the French entrant handily, as the Maginot 617 failed to start due to a declared workers strike in support of the foie gras producer union's recent grievances...no technical support was available, and no one dared to cross the picket lines and burning cars set up around it. French fans were chanting Jacques le Rippaire's name until it went in flames after a stray molotov cocktail was thrown from the French picket line.
Next year's competition will be held in Greenland, which for the past decade has been finally living up to its' name. If current trends continue, Greenland will surpass the EU in wine revenues this year by producing 180,000 hectoliters of off-dry Lambrusca rosé. As everyone is aware, this wine is currently the world's favorite appellation-varietal labelled wine, with Asia consuming every drop produced and driving prices even higher than a 1945 Lynch-Bages..."
China of course, won't have an entry, since they need to keep workers in the fields there as they fight double-digit unemployment. Viticulture is their #2 agricultural employer behind only rice production, but they are 75th worldwide in production volume since they refuse to mechanize anything. The new gov't advert campaign touts the fact that their wines are all "crushed under the feet of ten thousand peasants", but they fail to grasp why their wines don't sell when exported. Equally disaterous was the decision of last years ad director (current whereabouts unknown) to use the smash hit " Oblivion is Coming" by the international J-pop sensation Juggernaught.
In an unrelated story, rumors are circulating that the Chinese gov't is content to placate the unemployed with heavily subsidized Greenland Lambrusca rosé.