CENTRE ISLAND, NY— Singer-songwriter Billy Joel’s long-running legal saga has at last come to a happy end. After a compelling case by the prosecution that Joel burned down Pasquale’s Pizzeria in Oyster Bay, things were looking pretty grim for the 71 year old pop star. But in a shocking twist, Mr. Joel’s lawyer presented last minute evidence that irrefutably proved he could not have committed the crime. The evidence? His 1989 No. 1 single “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”  

The Judge presiding over the case wrote in his ruling, “It’s pretty clear from the song that we—presumably Joel and his accomplices— didn’t start the fire. And if he says he didn’t do it, he didn’t do it.”

Prosecutors expressed their gratitude to Joel not only for clarifying his own innocence, but for ruling out a number of other potential suspects. Per the Chief Prosecutor Tony Fiorentini, “Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, the list goes on and on and on and on. There’s a long list of people that we no longer have any reason to believe had a connection to this heinous crime. I’m not quite sure who ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ is, but I can rest assured that he’s innocent.” 

Among those ruled out is Bernhard Goetz, the culprit of a 1984 shooting in New York City that injured four, who Joel mentions in the final verse of the song. “I don’t know why they would consider me a suspect in this case, seeing as I have never even heard of a Pasquale’s Pizza,” Goetz remarked. “But, hey, now I don’t have to add arson to my legacy.”

As for the actual culprit, Joel’s song offered little evidence. “Mr. Joel mysteriously states ‘It was always burning since the world’s been turning’ in the aforementioned song,” Fiorentini explained. “I don’t think Pasquale’s has been on fire for billions of years, but I guess it’s now worth an investigation.”

At press time, officials were considering naming Sean Kingston a person of interest in response to his song “Fire Burning.”

—A. Tawakley