Green groups are up in arms over last year’s cremation the late Marlon Brando in Los Angeles, claiming that it may have caused irreperable damage to the environment. “We had reports from Central America that the smoke blotted out the sun for several days – crops could have been ruined! If the wind had changed, the whole of Nevada could have been engulfed by ashes,” claims Greenpeace spokesperson Jonathan Poperine, who also fears that the heat from the cremation might have contributed to global warming. “Our experts have calculated that the damage caused to the hole in the ozone layer could lead to a further melting of the polar ice cap! Lowland areas of Indonesia could be flooded and it will all be Brando’s fault!” As it was, several southern counties of California reported falls of ash and sticky deposits – believed to be melted body fat – covering exposed surfaces for several days after the cremation.

Despite the star’s wish – as expressed in his will – to be cremated, environmentalists had called for alternative means of disposing of the gargantuan corpse to be explored. One suggestion was for Brando’s body to be towed out to sea and torpedoed, the sunken wreck forming a an artificial reef for marine life. “Unfortunately, coastal waters around the state were just too shallow – the costs of towing him further out to sea would have been prohibitive,” explains Jack Monterey, of the California Governor’s office. “We did consider dragging him down onto a beach and blowing him up like we do dead whales, but our computer simulations showed that serious damage to property and possible loss of life could result from flying lumps of offal – which would have been spread over an area of up to ten square miles. Our insurance would never have covered it.” Burial was also ruled out on the grounds that California lacked sufficient land fill capacity. “Cremation was the only possible option,” declares Monterey. “We tried to be as environmentally friendly as possible – the only furnace big enough to take him was at a San Diego power station. He generated enough electricity to keep the place lit up for three days!” Nevertheless, the environmentalists remain unappeased. “Even if they had no choice but to cremate him, it was bloody irresponsible to burn him all at once,” declares an angry Poperine. “They should have done it in stages over a long period – a limb every week, perhaps. Maybe a couple of months for his torso. At least that way we could have controlled the emissions and minimised the damage to the ecosphere.”

Ideally, Poperine would have liked to have seen Brando recycled. “It would have set a good example to the grossly obese everywhere if a celebrity of Brando’s magnitude had left instructions for there-use of his body’s constituents,” opines the environmentalist. “We’ve calculated that there would have been enough candles, matches, soap and cooking fat to keep the average African village going for three years, if Brando’s carcass had been properly rendered! And just think of the uses his skin could have been put to – raincoats, umbrellas, lampshades – crude dwellings in the form of tents, even! The possibilities are endless!” Many environmentalists believe that the controversy surrounding the disposal of Brando’s body has highlighted the grave threat posed to the environment by obesity. “Everybody assumes it’s greenhouse gas emissions which are doing the damage, but believe me, it’s these fat bastards who are causing the greatest problems,” declares Robert Whelk of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). “With their ever-increasing girth they are literally squeezing other species out of their habitats – many types of small plants, insects and even mammals are perishing from a lack of light as these wobble-bottoms block out the sun! Then there’s the problems of emissions – the amount of methane they release from their oversized intestines when they break wind isn’t doing the ozone layer any good. Furthermore, it’s an established fact that they produce more waste than normal people – trying to treat that amount of sewage is beyond our existing sanitation systems. Increasingly, raw effluent is being dumped straight into the ecosystem, with potentially dire results!”

California state officials agree that the modern obesity epidemic is taking its toll on civic amenities and presents a serious public health risk. “The damage to pavements and roads caused by these behemoths is terrible – it’s costing us millions every year,” admits Monterey. “It’s even worse when they die! If one keels over in the street, not only do they present a danger to passers-by – who might be crushed – but they’re a drain on police resources as well, as we have to post a cop to direct traffic around them until we can get heavy lifting gear to shift them!” Following a series of tragedies in which ordinary citizens have been suffocated when trapped in confined spaces, such as elevators, trains or buses, with the offensively obese, the Governor of California is considering introducing anti-fat bastard legislation. “He’s giving serious thought to making it illegal for more than one fat person at a time to be present in any public place,” says Monterey. “He might even try to bring in legislation demanding that people over a certain weight be forced to buy two tickets – one for each cheek – when travelling on public transport, so as to minimise the risk of overcrowding.”

However, Whelk believes that the threat posed by obesity goes beyond a few suffocations and damage to local facilities. “According to our research, if the number of fat bastards in California keep increasing at the present rate, their combined weight could cause enough stress to crack open the San Andreas fault and send the state sliding into the sea,” he explains. “In fact, we strongly suspect that the last significant increase in Californian obesity, caused by Christmas overeating, might have initiated the seismic activity which resulted in the recent tsunami! It’s vital that the authorities act now to outlaw obesity entirely!” The WWF fears that the problem isn’t confined to California, it’s studies suggesting that rising sea levels around Britain are not the result of melting Polar ice caps, but are instead being caused by the island gradually sinking under the weight of it’s ever increasing population of gross wobble-bottoms.

Indeed, Prime Minister Tony Blair is so worried by the situation that he is already considering weighing all immigrants to the UK, with the clinically obese being deported. Such measures have inevitably incurred the wrath of the left-wing of his party. “As usual, he’s taking the easy way out and playing the immigration card,” laments backbencher Doug Finker. “It’s no good trying to put the blame on asylum seekers, this needs a radical solution. I’ve been saying for ages now that we need a fundamental redistribution of fat in this country – take the excess away from the greedy bastards and give it to the poor, needy and anorexic!” Chancellor Gordon Brown’s response has been to suggest a ‘fat tax’, a graduated levy based on body fat levels. “People can either pay up, or shed it,” he told an enthralled Labour Party meeting in Edinburgh. “All the excess fat we collect, we intend sending to the Third World – where they’re short of blubber – in exchange for writing off their debts.” Whelk fears that such innovative schemes are too little, too late. “We’ve got to stop them multiplying, before they engulf us completely,” he rants. “The only way is to stop them from feeding – bomb every fast-food outlet you can find! Burn down the sugar plantations! Quick, before it’s too late!”