The source of the so-called 'Arab Spring', a series of uprisings and protests throughout the more clammy and humid countries of the Middle East, has finally been traced. Conspiracy theorists have blamed the Pentagon, Al-Qaeda, the oil industry and even journalists desperate for more stories from hot, sunny beaches. But the real cause has been traced to an argument over an office thermostat in Egypt.
A spokesman for the UN explained how the minor disagreement quickly escalated into civil unrest and 19,000 deaths. "An argument broke out in the offices of an insurance company in Cairo. After some discrete and careful research, we can reveal it's all the fault of Nathifa, who looks after the petty cash. The rest of the office had been dreading the return of the warm Spring weather."
"That bitch is never happy. First she moans when a window is open, then she moans when the air-conditioning is set to anything less than 30 degrees, our sources tell me. But she refuses to move to a desk further from the air vent, or even stick on an extra yashmak. It's all "lion-headed bird, lion-headed bird, lion-headed bird" with her, the selfish cow", explained the UN diplomat. "Our medical experts are investigating whether she has piss for blood, or whether she's just frigid".
The air-conditioning was fitted last year, and has been a constant source of arguments. "The frustration of knowing that some fat bastard has set the temperature to 17 degrees and hidden the remote...we never had these problems before. We all just accepted it was oppressively hot and dusty", explained Nathifa's colleague, Akila. "But then it dawned on us: we could control the office temperature, if we protested loudly enough to our managers".
The situation soon escalated to a picket outside the office, followed by a general strike, and the collapse of several military regimes. The UN is working to find a peaceful resolution, but negotiations are delicate: "You can't just come out and say that men and women should work in separate offices. Apparently, that's sexist".