Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi tightened his grip on power today, saying he would step down only if protesters guessed the correct spelling of his name.
"Oh man, we're doomed," one rebel said. "Is it Moammar or Muamar? Kadafi or Qaddafi? Even Watson the IBM computer doesn't know."
News media outlets use dozens of different spellings. And Libya's official government website also seems confused, referring to the dictator variously as Mu'ammar al-Gathafi, Moamar Qaddafi, Mallomar Kandinsky and Miami Quidditch.
"He's like Rumpelstiltskin," one diplomat said. "The protesters keep demanding his resignation, but they get the name wrong, so he stays. It also gets him out of numerous parking tickets."
This article originally appeared at NotTheLATimes.com. Copyright 2011 by Roy Rivenburg