LOS ANGELES - Celebration turned to tragedy in Los Angeles where the Olympic Torch relay sparked wildfires that incinerated homes, destroyed wildlife and sent thousands of residents fleeing for their lives.
Firefighters responded to the blaze but were held back several hours upon learning the origin of the fire.
"This isn't just any blaze," said LA County Fire Chief Michael Freeman. "This 600 acre fire is an offshoot of the mythical fires stolen from the gods by Prometheus and held at the temple in ancient Greece. We can't just hook up the hose and send a bunch of mortals to battle a fire like this."
The International Olympic Committee disagreed.
"Are they stupid?" said IOC Chairman Denis Oswald at a press conference. "These fires should be put out and quickly. We can't have rogue fragments of the Olympic flame rolling around outside the torch."
The IOC immediately reminded the Americans that the flame of the 2004 Olympiad is a trademark of the International Olympic Committee who owns all rights and privileges of the torch in perpetuity. Duplication of the flame is a violation of international copyright law and will likely further anger the gods who continue to grow jealous at human dominion over the Earth.
This did not stop spectators and fleeing residents from gathering embers of the raging fire to take away as souvenirs.
"The ancient and mystical wrath of Zeus destroyed our home and all our belongings," said David Ynez of Topanga Canyon. "Everything's gone. Everything. But I'm trying to keep a bit of the Olympic fire in this coffee can for my grandkids, which is kinda cool."
Patricia Madden of Sherman Oaks stole a bit of the flame from where it burned off Highway 12. "I ran it home and lit my oven's pilot light with it," said a jubilant Madden. "That was some of the best Chung King leftover chop suey to ever hit our dinner table, I'll tell you that!"
IOC Chairman Oswald further chastised Los Angeles officials for allowing the torch to be carried by "American Idol's" Ryan Seacrest.
"What were they thinking?!" pondered Oswald. "It's like they're trying to piss us off."
Submitted by Cody Farley from Cellar Door.