Having sold only half of all available tickets to this summer’s Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian officials are working overtime to boost confidence in the city’s ability to host the event. At a press conference over the weekend, new minister of sports Ricardo Leyser implored, “Please, come to Brazil’s very safe Olympics, or we will have no other choice than to stab you.”

Having taken over for the former sports minister who resigned only days ago, Leyser is adamant that the city’s violent reputation is wildly overstated, and in no way reflects Brazilian values. “Though we may be suffering our worst recession in 25 years, the Olympics will no doubt give our crumbling economy a much-needed shot in the arm. All will attend the very safe games in our beautiful country where the high homicide rate has remained unchanged since the year 2000.”

Producing a knife from his suit coat, Leyser continues, “The blade, she is beautiful yet deadly. Come to the Olympics, and you will not meet her in a dark alley. You will see that the Olympics are very safe indeed.”

Scrambling in the wake of a $500 million budget cut for still-uncompleted Olympic facilities, Leyser laughs off anecdotal concerns over safety. “To say that terrorism and robbery are the biggest threats facing Rio — where frequent violent protests have forced President Dilma Rousseff to the brink of impeachment — is to completely overlook the threat of the Zika virus. After all, you can’t stab a mosquito.”

The 2016 Olympic Games begin in Rio on August 5th and are scheduled to go awry almost immediately.

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