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Old, fat and ugly ... but still richer than any American worker.As China’s economy barrels along and Washington is helpless to do anything beyond passing toothless House legislation wishing China “would not be so rich and powerful,” perhaps no story better illustrates the rapid and shameful decline of our nation as the sad tale of four wealthy American ladies literally reduced to cleaning up the poop of the Chinese panda once known as “Butterstick” during its brief mission to Washington’s National Zoo. “The sight of the Western women scrubbing down the panda pens was enough to cause flocks of Chinese tourists to swivel their cameras to catch the action,” the Washington Post reports today. Pathetic.

How did these formerly well-off business ladies from Maryland, Virginia and New York wind up in the feces of an old zoo panda? And why was Butterstick returned to China, anyway? The answer to both questions is “Humiliation.” Our Chinese overlords thought it would make us sad to take Butterstick away from DC’s tragic old zoo, and they thought it was funny to turn these examples of American wealth into common barnyard laborers.

His departure in February left the women heartbroken and desperately wondering what his life would be like. But what worried them most was this: In a faraway land with hundreds of other pandas and 1.3 billion strangers, would anyone love Tai Shan like they had throughout his life?

The women may still be in China, for all anyone knows. More and more formerly wealthy Americans will find themselves cleaning the poop of China’s zoo animals, as the last U.S. “white collar” jobs fade away and the promise of any work at all becomes enough to make our wretched people spend their remaining money to get transport to China, the promised land, where there will at least be panda poop to eat. [Washington Post]

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  • SayItWithWookies

    This oughta shut the interns up for a week or so.

  • mavenmaven

    Tea Bag meme: Obama outsourcing American zoo jobs to China!

  • JoeMamased

    Yes. But this one was made in U.S. Amurka, so defective. Also, where is his scooter?

  • Doglessliberal

    I am glad you managed to get through this article because I started skimming a few graphs in and then stopped when I got to the quote about it being like sending your baby off to school. Jeebus Bleepin' Christ.

    I actually called my spouse over to tell him about this, noting in my description that I guaranteed these were PUMAs of the first degree.

    Ladies, if you care about pandas, take the $10K a piece in travel expenses and donate it it a preserve, maybe?

    • elviouslyqueer

      Yes, but they also paid a fuckton of money to scoop up loads of fibrous, multicolored panda poo. So, WIN.

      • Doglessliberal

        But the money went to airlines mostly. But yeah, I guess win.

  • Krugmanic Depressive

    The Chinese character for "heartbroken and despearately wondering" also means "pooportunity."

  • If the US Americuh had laws like China Overlord of All then the CEOs of Citibank, Goldman Sacks and AIG would be cleaning up panda poop before getting two bullets to the back of the head. Considering that US Americuh is not China (yet) then I'll just settle for them (and their families) spending the rest of their lives cleaning up poop and use the precious bullets for something more useful… killing brown people in Muslinland.

    • zhubajie

      They'd bill the families for the bullets, too.

  • PsycWench

    "would anyone love Tai Shan like they had throughout his life?"

    And Rick Santorum was worried about man-on-dog relationships.

    • HistoriCat

      He warned us this sort of thing would happen. WAKE UP SHEEPLE!!!!11!1

  • Serolf_Divad

    That story has threee fucking "Continue" links… three.

    I wonder how many "Continue" links the Washington Post story about U.S. forces torturing prisoners at Abu Grahib had? "None" you say? Bingo. There was no story about U.S. torture. Because we don't torture, as the Washington Post Editorial page well knows. We "inquire patiently, but insistently" …with a towel and a bucket of water by our side.

    • zhubajie

      I think you need to pay for your Abu Ghraib S&M porn.

  • CapnFatback

    The third woman, who lives in New York but said she did not want her name published, is the most private and least inclined to explain to a reporter how she ended up crossing oceans and continents just for a bear.

    "Just for a bear"?! Apparently this reporter isn't frequenting the right clubs.

    • Preferred Customer

      Hello, fact checkers. PANDAS AREN'T BEARS.

      I am smarter than the Washington Post.

      • vulpes82

        *puts on pendant glasses* Actually, they are. Genetic analysis has proven that they're in the ursine family, though more closely related to the basal bear ancestor than they are to most modern species.

    • zhubajie

      The Japs recently PO'd the Chinese again, trying to do this. They were going to anesthetize a panda, then remove semen, then artificially inseminate other pandas (or who knows what?). But they killed it instead, and created a international incident.

  • Rambone

    The Red Chinese monopoly on global strategic panda reserves must be broken. We must invade and "liberate" the Chinese pandas!

    Oh, what's that you say? China has nuclear weapons and over a 1 billion people that it won't mind sacrificing to beat off imperialist forces?

    Umm . . . I encourage my fellow Americans to get over their panda-fetish and focus their adulation upon the majesty of the domestically produced great plains prairie dog!

    • BaldarTFlagass

      At least we're closing the mineshaft gap. Well, the collapsed mineshaft gap, anyway.

    • Steverino247

      One billion people beating off imperialist forces? Dude, that's a LOT of fucking hand jobs…

    • zhubajie

      Well, probably we'll be hearing excuses like that from the Neo-cons in a year or two, in their eagerness for war with China.

  • Preferred Customer

    I have long advocated taking the pandas that China leases us and reverse-engineering them, through cloning. We can then flood the market with cheap, genetically modified pandas. Hell, maybe we could cross them with goats so that they'd eat something other than bamboo. And with tigers, maybe, too, because how badass would THAT be?

    • BaldarTFlagass

      Settle down, Dr Moreau.

    • Lascauxcaveman

      I think you're on to something. Only cross breed them with cows, for better flavor.

      • GOPCrusher

        Black and white colored cows? Are you out of your mind? America will never stand for it.

  • Terry

    Well, I'd visit Tai Shan at the panda center if I could, but I wouldn't pay to shovel panda poo. I'd visit him, then go to a lovely restaurant, followed by an eco- or antiquities tour. It's my vacation, for goodness sake.

    • Lascauxcaveman

      I think you're missing the whole point of grouipehood. If it doesn't involve debasement, it's just casual fandom. Who wants to be a mere fan?

      Why do you think all those religions got in the whole kneeling and groveling thing over the years?

    • Preferred Customer

      At the restaurant, do they serve panda?

      • Terry

        Watch it, buster!

    • zhubajie

      Probably you could get Sichuan-style panda paws, if you were willing to pay enough!

  • CapnFatback

    And the newer, cuter Butterstick shall be called "Lil' Pat"!

  • freakishlywrong

    Well, that clears up the mystery of the name "Butterstick" for me anyway.

  • Rotundo_

    Ten thousand to go shovel panda squat while Chinese tourists laugh hysterically and record the fun for posterity? When the level of disposable income in the wealthy reaches a point where it starts to be invested in things like this, it proves the need for raising those top marginal tax rates. If we don't these damned fool rich folks will start pissing away money on humiliation vacations to all sorts of exotic locales: Nude septic tank cleaning with toothbrushes in Fiji? Slaughterhouse cleaning details in Thailand? We need to clamp down on this stuff quickly, before we become even bigger laughingstocks in the world than we are now!

    • Chet Kincaid

      Wait, people go around the world doing stuff like this on The Amazing Race in order to GET rich. Little do they know that their wealthy offspring may one day be so bored and dysfunctional, they'll PAY to clean Panda shit in China. That's why I'm glad I ain't got no money.

    • transfatz

      Humiliation vacations? Do they have those (other than flying coach)?

  • Bonzos_Bed_Time

    Pandas can teach us many things: http://southparkstudios.mtvnimages.com/shared/cha

  • prommie

    Oh, Ken, this is no mere metaphor, this is a brilliant conceit, and so cheerful, too, thats why its beautiful. Yes, soon we will all be zoo-poop-scoopers, and "wipers of other peoples bottoms," for our chinese overlords. Fucking yay. Maybe its best that I am old, and won't live to see the final decline, only the initial stages of collapse. Anyone want to talk of Michelangelo, in the meantime? I have a peach.

  • CapnFatback

    Omigod! The teabaggers are just offering Obama sage advice on how to turn the economy around!

  • Lascauxcaveman

    “The sight of the Western women scrubbing down the panda pens was enough to cause flocks of Chinese tourists to swivel their cameras to catch the action,”

    Chinese dudes have always had a thing for chicks in the big hat/boots/tight blue jeans.

    • Kinda like the scene from Cool Hand Luke, only with Panda shit…

      • BaldarTFlagass

        You mean the scene where he eats the hard boiled eggs? Ewww.

  • Wait is that really Butterstick, or has a desperate Vitter the Shitter gone furry?

  • I get a warm nostalgic Wonkette glow every time Butterstick is in the news. Good times, good times.

    • I_P

      *sigh* Me too. Sometimes I lie in bed dreaming about Butterstick and ass fucking posts. Not necessarily in that order.

  • Anna Marie Cox musta been one of the pooper scoopers. Why didn't the Emerita post to our Wonkette?

  • Chet Kincaid

    HBO thought about optioning this story this morning before realizing they'd really be Jumping The Panda.

  • MapleLeafsfordawin!

    So? I do the same thing for Christine Amanpour three nights a week.

  • CrankyLttlCamperette

    More importantly, since they're all over there shoveling poop, does that mean there are 4 open Rich Lady positions in the States? How can I apply for one of those?!

  • vulpes82

    Ah, pandas and a patented Ken Layne "Jesus Christ, I need a drink" meditation on our ruined nation: Wonkette at its finest!

  • ShiftyParadigm

    After all this site has done for baby pandas, they better name the next one whatever's Chinese for "Trucknutz." Or "Sarcastic Nymph" if it's a girl.

  • Missyb9479

    I thought watching American ladies shovel poop was a Japanese fetish, not Chinese. Where is my big book of Asian Kink?

    • zhubajie

      Is there a Japanese film crew following them around?

  • So this is what crazy cat ladies are like when they have lots of disposable income?

  • Mindblank

    Panderers.

  • We should all be so willing to serve our new Panda Overlords!

  • RedneckMuslin

    My wife hates to clean up the mess my butterstick makes.

  • user-of-owls

    Formerly Well-Off Business Ladies:

    Shoveling panda poop over there so we don't have to shovel panda poop over here.

  • user-of-owls

    Formerly Well-Off Business Ladies:

    Sometimes you go to China with the shovel you have, not the shovel you wish you had.

  • user-of-owls

    Formerly Well-Off Business Ladies:

    We think they're in the last throes, if you will, of this particular poop.

  • Steverino247

    Why didn't they hire some illegal aliens to shovel all that poop like Meg Whitman does? Or does organic panda turd help their complexion?

  • SarcasticNymph

    My creepy uncle's been doing that for years.

  • GOPCrusher

    Formerly Well-Off Business Ladies:

    Doing the jobs that Messicans won't do.

  • AddHomonym

    The dateline on the WaPo(op?) story is "Bifengxia Panda Base." I imagine pandas in hard hats striding about with clipboards, making sure supplies get loaded up in the big panda cargo planes, and such like that. It's all very Richard Scarry-like and ADORABLE!

  • sati_demise

    Goodby Panda.
    Hello sexy slave women we have your passports.

    • zhubajie

      Probably a new career for some!

  • zhubajie

    "The women may still be in China, for all anyone knows. More and more formerly wealthy Americans will find themselves cleaning the poop of China’s zoo animals, as the last U.S. “white collar” jobs fade away and the promise of any work at all becomes enough to make our wretched people spend their remaining money to get transport to China, the promised land, where there will at least be panda poop to eat.The women may still be in China, for all anyone knows. More and more formerly wealthy Americans will find themselves cleaning the poop of China’s zoo animals, as the last U.S. “white collar” jobs fade away and the promise of any work at all becomes enough to make our wretched people spend their remaining money to get transport to China, the promised land, where there will at least be panda poop to eat."

    Teach English! Americans are still fashionable.

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