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Latest census shows underpopulation

Fantasy is seriously underpopulated, according to statistics just released from the latest census.

The census, in which every single sentient being in Fantasy was interviewed, was carried out over an intensive period of two and a half days by a dwarf with a clipboard. "We initially planned it to take one day," said the dwarf, "but it took me freaking forever to find out how to get to the third floor of the tower." He added that, when he got there, it turned out nobody lived up there anyway.

While the world's population is well into double figures, the census showed that it is an aging population. Even more worryingly, the demographic breakdown shows an overwhelmingly high ratio of males to females. "It says here there's only one giant talking rabbit," commented a giant talking rabbit. "This totally explains why I never get any replies to my personal ads."

"In our previous census, we found only one married couple -- the vampires from the Enchanted Forest," said the dwarf with the clipboard. "We were hoping maybe they'd have some kids by now, but when I spoke to the lady this year, I found out her husband had been killed. I went back later to do a followup report, but I couldn't find her. Probably she took my advice and went on a nice vacation to have some fun and get over things."

The lack of an upcoming generation is seen as a problem by many. Mr. Biffo the Clown, who recently moved into the abandoned mines near the North River, says his entire business is at stake. "What will I do, with nobody to greet my antics with gales of giggles and shrieks of childish delight?" he asked in despair. "Is there nobody in all the world who would laugh at every word I say, and almost die of hilarity when I poke out my tongue? My neighbour the mermaid tells me not to worry, and she's sure there must be a group of people like that someplace out there. She's in denial. She spends all her time doing her hair and prettying herself up in case any male mermaids come along, and I just haven't got the heart to tell her there are no male mermaids."

Some researchers say, however, that there is no immediate cause for concern. Many of the sentient races of Fantasy are extremely long-lived or immortal. Others point to exactly the same fact as being part of the problem. "It's no good saying, 'Oh, I'll have plenty of time to find the right boy or girl, maybe some will move here in another two hundred years'," warned the Witch of the Swamp. "The trouble with kids these days is they think they're going to be young forever. Of course, most of them are right, but even so."

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Article by C. Patrick.