The Federal Emergency Management Agency is making last-minute preparations for the upcoming series finale of Friends, predicted to strike U.S. cities nationwide on Thursday at approximately 8:00 p.m. In addition to stocking local authorities with extra supplies of tissues, hot chocolate, and margarita mix, the federal government will be stationing volunteer grief counselors at strategic locations across the country.
"It's difficult to imagine a world without new episodes of Friends," said FEMA director Beth Freeman. "We really don't know what to expect. This is going to leave a gaping hole in our national landscape."
Disaster experts have been working furiously for weeks to try and determine what impact the finale will have on our nation's television viewers. Staffmembers have been analyzing NBC's interminable promos for the finale in an attempt to extrapolate what the finale will entail. Analysts have also looked to prior seasons for additonal clues.
"It looks like your standard airport climax," said one scientist. "There may also be a birth involved. This isn't surprising, considering the fact that almost every season of Friends has ended with either a wedding or a birth. With that kind of patently uncreative history, it's expected that they would close things up with a predictable yet tear-jerking 'Please don't go' airport scene."
In order to minimize the effects of the termination of new episodes, the FCC has doubled the number of network and cable stations showing syndicated Friends reruns, and required each affiliate to designate no less than four hours of daily programming to the quirky lives of Ross, Chandler, Joey, Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe. But even that, some fear, may not be enough.
"Let me just say this," Freeman told reporters at the end of her press conference. "If Ross and Rachel don't end up together, we're bringing out the firehoses."