TONTITOWN, Ark. — Duggar family patriarch Jim Bob Duggar laid off 14 of his children Wednesday in the wake of TLC’s cancellation of “19 Kids and Counting,” the popular, long-running reality show that featured Duggar, his wife, Michelle, and the couple’s 19 children.
TLC’s decision to cancel the show, which focused on one Evangelical Christian family’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge the very real problem of global overpopulation, comes on the heels of a May report from In Touch Weekly that revealed the couple’s eldest son, Josh, molested five girls, including four of his indeterminate number of sisters. The alleged incidents occurred when Josh Duggar was a teenager, years before the Duggar family first took to its TLC pulpit to preach its message of intolerance.
In spite of that timeline, TLC canceled the show earlier this month, as advertisers pulled their ads and public reaction to the revelations grew increasingly negative. The cancellation ultimately forced the hand of Jim Bob Duggar, who, in accordance with his outmoded, oppressive beliefs, made the decision to lay off his children without any input whatsoever from his subservient spouse.
“This was a difficult decision, but I decided that, in the long-term, it is in the best interest of the Duggar family to immediately part ways with Cooter, Skeeter, Fuzzy, Billy Joe, Joe Billy, Helene, Carol Sue, Sue Carol, Reggie Ray, Mary Lou, Jimbo, Hettie, Dale Bob, and Malik at this time,” Jim Bob Duggar said in a statement released by his attorney. “All 14 of them are currently sitting on a collection of tables at the end of our driveway with a ‘Free’ sign hanging from each of their necks, and we encourage our neighbors, so long as they are fellow dyed-in-the-wool, fundamentalist Christians, to come by and take as few as one but as many as 14 of them home.”
Jim Bob Duggar’s decision to let go roughly 74 percent of his offspring was just one of the cost-cutting measures instituted by the 50-year-old real estate investor in the wake of the cancellation. Sources close to the former Arkansas state representative say Jim Bob has also reduced Michelle Duggar’s daily sustenance allotment from three meals to one. In addition, sources indicate Jim Bob Duggar is now insisting the couple explore alternative means to sexual gratification in an effort to avoid another pregnancy, which could prove devastating to the Bible-thumping family’s finances.
“Rumor is they’re experimenting in that big old bed of theirs, but winter just wouldn’t be winter if Michelle didn’t have a fetus developing in that bionic womb of hers,” Duggar neighbor Rodney McCray said while perusing the tables where the exiled Duggar children were anxiously awaiting abduction, adoption or divine intervention from their fictional savior. “Jim Bob can say whatever he wants to say about tightening his belt, but he’ll be putting another bun in that cavernous oven in no time.”
Though the current economic climate has led many companies, including tech giants Qualcomm and EMC, to announce layoffs in recent weeks, Jim Bob Duggar’s jettisoning of his own children in an attempt to reduce costs has drawn the ire of many business insiders who feel the layoffs have little to do with the economy and much to do with the Duggar parents’ inexplicable decision to continue procreating despite the growing costs of raising a family.
“This is just another example of irresponsible and ineffective leadership affecting the workers but not the executives,” said corporate watchdog and Daily Beast writer Frank Hagelin. “Except in this case it isn’t workers being exploited and carelessly discarded, but more than a dozen children whose very existence was nothing more than a marketing ploy at best or, at worst, a Dr. Frankenstein-like attempt to determine just how much wear and tear a single uterus can withstand.”
At press time, only Josh Duggar had expressed any interest in taking any of the 14 discarded Duggar children home.