Death of Your First Bjorn
Death of Your First Bjorn is a form of divine retribution™ applied to reproductive scientists who attempt to clone male Swedes. The phenomenon was first observed in 1998, when Stockholm University geneticist Dr. Gustav Pfaltzmann successfully cloned ABBA singer/guitarist Bjorn Ulvaeus, only to see the infant clone struck by lightning while still in the incubation chamber. Although subsequent attempts by Pfaltzmann to clone Ulvaeus were more successful, the additional cost associated with repeating the experiment nearly drove the university's Genetics Institute into bankruptcy.
In 2001, the Académie Reproductrice Française de la Science in Paris, France, successfully cloned international tennis star Bjorn Borg in an attempt to create a French national capable of winning the French Open. In this case, the first clone lasted nearly a week before being struck by a large meteorite while strapped into the child-safety seat of his foster parents' Citroen. (A lawsuit against the safety-seat manufacturer is still pending.) Rather than risk a similar occurrence, the French scientists chose to clone American player Pete Sampras on their second attempt. This produced a healthy child now known as "Pierre Sampron," who recently won the National Pre-School Division Tennis Tournament held in Marseilles in 2005.
Since then, 17 successful attempts have been made by various European reproductive-science organizations to clone a variety of Swedes, including Borg, Ulvaeus, and fellow ABBA member Benny Andersson; film directors Ingmar Bergman and Lasse Hallström; WMD inspector Hans Blix; rock guitarist Yngwie J. Malmsteen; and UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld. Unfortunately, in each case the first clone produced died from a variety of deus ex machina causes, often within hours of birth.
In perhaps the most celebrated case, an infant clone of actor Max von Sydow was killed by a falling farm tractor dropped from the top of the building next to the hospital where the birth mother and child had just been released. An investigation proved inconclusive, attributing the tractor's appearance to "natural causes."
In 2003, it was believed that the "curse" (as it had then become known) had been extended to female Swede-copies when a group of amateur cloners in Mexico attempted to produce the country's first female golf champion by cloning perennial major tournament-winner Annika Sörenstam. However, Mexican officials concluded that the clone's death by avalanche three days after her birth was "merely a coincidence" caused by a "freak snowstorm in the Southern Yucatan, nothing more than that."
The Ultimate Solution
Early in 2005, the United Nations altered its Convention on the Rights of the Child by adding a clause prohibiting the cloning of male Swedes for the purpose of national glorification. Any country found to knowingly allow such activities is now subject to strong economic sanctions, including embargoes of all raspberry, lawn dart, and candied-yam exports to the offending country, as well as an international boycott on all shitty goth and emo-band CD's produced after the cloning attempt.
So far, the only country to run afoul of the new prohibition has been Israel, where an attempt by University of Tel Aviv researchers to clone Nazi-hunter Raoul Wallenberg was successfully prosecuted later that same year. The resulting raspberry and candied-yam shortage (and CD glut) in the country has led to a significant increase in terrorist incidents involving street vendors and produce carts, a sector of the Israeli economy already under enormous pressure due to the near-constant smashing of carts by Hollywood stunt drivers.