Monthly Archives: May 2012
CHANNEL 2 – Faced with debilitating budget cuts and dwindling viewership, the writers behind the television show C-SPAN have been forced to take drastic measures to ensure that the series remains on air.
“We’ve tried everything to boost the ratings,” said C-SPAN writer Jake Cohen. “Increasingly scandalous plotlines, a musical episode, and even guest stars. You see that one with the dude from New Girl?”
Indeed, last month’s episode of C-SPAN, in which the Subcommittee on Indian and Alaskan Native Affairs gave an oversight field hearing on Federal Laws and Policies Affecting Energy Prices in Rural Alaska and their Effects on Native Villages, was one of the most controversial episodes yet, with characters dealing with infidelity, unwanted pregnancy, alcohol and drug abuse, and of course, lots of sex.
Our only option, like any other dying show, is to start killing off characters
“I mean, who could forget that moment when bad boy Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) totally gets in a fight with heartthrob Representative Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) at Speaker of the House John Boehner’s party over who fathered Representative Zoe Lofgren’s (D-Calif.) baby?” Cohen asked.
Unfortunately, the episode only managed a Nielsen rating of 0.5, finishing 41st in its timeslot.
“Our only option, like any other dying show, is to start killing off characters,” Cohen said. There is no word yet on which government employee the writers would kill off first, but viewers have their theories. Herman Bass, 83, of C-SP(f)AN.com, an online forum for fans to discuss all things C-SPAN, shared his thoughts on the impending plot twist.
“It’s got to be Representative Jo Bonner (R-Ala.),” said Bass. “He has it coming after he stole amnesiac Senator Patrick J. Toomey’s (R-Penn.) girlfriend only to cheat on her with her twin sister. Also, I disagreed with Bonner’s position on tax reform.”
CAMPUS (ESPECIALLY MARKLEY) – As part of the University’s growing movement to make this campus as environmentally-friendly as possible, U. officials have announced a daring project to fuel all underclass dorms with the electrically-carnal atmosphere that fills the buildings each and every semester.
“Our studies have shown that Michigan’s freshmen produce over 1,000,000 kilowatt-hours of sexual tension each year,” estimated U. physics professor Gottfried Ruudhammer. “However, up until now, this energy has either powered unexplainable erections in anthropology discussions or been lost to the universe as entropy. Once these groundbreaking new modifications are made to freshman residence halls, we will be able to significantly reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.”
The University has tentatively predicted that it will not have all dorms running on erotically-based social awkwardness until 2016, but the administration has already introduced changes that will maximize the power output of the system. For example, the University has already begun phasing out all single-sex hallways, and next year will institute mandatory gender-neutral dorm rooms, bathrooms, and beds. However, high-ranking officials have noted that top-down reforms alone cannot will not ensure the nascent system’s success.
“Students of the University!” exclaimed President Mary Sue Coleman in a recent address. “We need you all to do your part for the community and produce as much sexual tension as possible. We implore you to drunkenly hook up with your hallmates and never talk to them again, we beg you to wear as little clothing as possible when walking about your residence hall, and we beseech you to continue fantasizing about your next-door neighbor, no matter how many times she’s told you that ‘you’re a great friend.’ This University and indeed the planet will thank you for your lustful efforts.”
Despite the great sense of enthusiasm surrounding the upcoming changes, this new energy system has its limitations. For example, it will not be implemented in Betsy Barbour, Helen Newberry, or Martha Cook residence halls, as these all-girl dorms do not manufacture enough tension to operate the system generators, except during the annual tri-hall pillow fight, during which the sweaty girl-on-girl play violence produces a sexually-charged energy field potent enough to power the entire Eastern seaboard.
PRIVATE SECTOR – In light of the economy’s recent struggles and the financial despair of many Americans, the Ross School of Business decided that the best response to the crisis would be to jack up the price of out-of-state tuition, making it the most expensive undergraduate business school in the country.
“With so many people out of work, struggling in poverty, or generally just poor, we wanted to make sure that none of these undesirables could possibly afford to attend the Ross School of Business,” explained Dean Alison Davis-Blake. “We only want to recruit and accept the finest out-of-state assholes to this school. These new tuition levels should ensure that poor people wouldn’t even be able to qualify for the necessary loans to pay for it.” At the new yearly tuition levels of $3,800,000, the Ross School targets mainly the children of celebrity assholes, CEOs, rich assholes, banking assholes, and high-level marketing assholes.
In an effort to appear egalitarian, the school has announced a new scholarship program for underprivileged students. “We will be offering a free ride to the children of former Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns executives,” said Davis-Blake. “Those poor kids had their lives turned upside down by a financial crisis that their parents caused – not them. Some can’t even afford to ship their golf clubs on their private planes anymore. It’s our duty to provide these kids with an education they otherwise could’ve gotten from watching Wall Street and reading Machiavelli a couple times. How in the world are these kids supposed to make nearly as much money as their parents without this incredibly expensive opportunity?”
MILAN, Mich. – Despite organizers’ best efforts and months of fevered preparation, Saturday’s 31st Annual Mad Dog Air Races failed to grievously injure or take the life of any of the over 22,000 spectators in attendance.
“You know,” said airshow promoter Bob Kruger, “this is only the second time in Mad Dog’s history that we haven’t succeeded in our efforts to kill or paralyze at least one of our paying customers. I’m mighty disappointed that we had let our fans down like this and deprive them of what they paid $37.50 to see.”
Mad Dog certainly didn’t fail for lack of effort, however. On at least seven occasions, a plane came within about 100 feet of the crowd, only to recover at the last moment and pull away. Each time, an audible groan could be heard from the mass of spectators.
“I want our fans to know that we really tried hard this year to give them the death-by-air excitement they’ve come to expect from Mad Dog,” said Mike Simpson, chairman of Mad Dog Mayhem Inc. “And I thought we had it in the bag. I mean, at least half of our pilots were 80 years old and over and all of the planes we featured either dated back to the Second World War or were missing a vital component, like a wing or a rudder. We even ordered our pilots to conduct all their most dangerous stunts directly over the grandstand. And it turns out that these grandpas are so old and dumb that even when they point their airplane’s nose straight at the ground, they miss.”
Added Simpson, “How the hell am I going to find a way to refund $37.50 to each spectator, as required on the ticket in the event of fewer than five cases of level II trauma? It’s just not doable, especially when I was already banking on selling the grisliest footage to CNN for a pretty penny.”
If not for the regrettably death-defying execution of several incredibly dangerous stunts, Simpson and his customers may very well have gotten their wish. The Inverted Engines-Off 720° Triple Lutz Axel, performed by WWI-era pilot Ebenezer Brown in a never-restored 1918 Siemens-Schuckert D.IV biplane, placed so much stress on the wooden frame of the nearly century-old aircraft that its propeller snapped in two. Still, he was able to land successfully, to the chagrin of all in attendance.
Said spectator Lynda McConnick, “I was really holding my breath when that zeppelin pilot prepared some crème brûlée in mid-flight using a blowtorch while he was hovering directly over the VIP grandstand. But the damn thing just didn’t explode. These air races were just a big snoozer this year. I really should have stayed home and watched NASCAR instead.”
CLEVELAND – Before a gathering of their closest legal counsel, Diane Bowman and Jerry Forth of Ohio publicly declared that their bitter animosity towards one another remains unwavering, even after nearly two decades of official separation.
“I think in today’s world it’s easy to take things for granted,” said Mr. Forth during a break in the negotiations over custody of their now middle-aged children. “Which is why I’m glad Diane and I have taken the time to stop and reflect on how much of a burden was lifted when our sacrament of marriage was terminated in a 12-week-long slugfest back in 1992.”
After months of searching, the couple managed to track down the court-appointed mediator who handled their case. The group then reconvened at the original office suite where their divorce had been memorialized 20 years prior. The private ceremony began with the story of their first fight, a verbal battle royale ostensibly about Diane’s fiscal irresponsibility and Jerry’s reluctance to spend time with his in-laws, but really about Jerry’s domineering personality and Diane’s personal struggle to come to terms with her decision to give up her career for her husband.
“It was really nice to see that the spark is still there between Mom and Dad,” noted the couple’s eldest daughter, Kimberly, age 32. “Although it does make me wonder if I’ll ever really know what true contempt really is.”
The couple even set up a posterboard in the boardroom featuring the old photographs taken by Diane’s private investigator in a desperate attempt to confirm her suspicions that Jerry had been engaging in an illicit affair.
At the close of the ceremony, Bowman and Forth read from their respective depositions, the same ones they had written themselves so many years ago.
“Jerry is an insufferable control freak who refuses to acknowledge that I am an equal partner in this relationship,” sobbed a visibly distraught Diane. “Which is why I wish his sex puppet Heather the best of luck in dealing with his eternal quest for control and subjugation of all those around him.”
“God, it’s times like these that remind me why I hate this woman,” chuckled Jerry while rolling his eyes, at which point the crowd gathered in the room broke out into a round of supportive applause.
NYSE – In an effort to please the Gods of the Market, Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg offered a sacrificial lamb during his company’s IPO on May 18th.
“With so much at stake here, we really couldn’t leave anything to chance,” explained Zuckerberg. “We could only hope that the Invisible Hand would be pleased with the bountiful feast placed upon his altar.”
Sources close to the situation indicate that the three-year-old lamb from the foothills of Mount Agkistro received the traditional shower of barley seeds and water before being bled to death on a nest of ticker tape.
“Next, we removed the liver to determine whether the Market was still on board,” explained Facebook CFO/High-Priest David Ebersman. “Since the Gods were willing, we moved on to cooking the animal over an open flame by one of the Bloomberg terminals.”
Ebersman noted that while animal fat is typically reserved for the Gods, Zuckerberg has requested the liquid be siphoned and placed into his own decanter, adding, “I don’t know; that’s just his thing.”
While Facebook officials were hoping that the ceremony would end with the desired heavenly smoke signals, recent IPO failures caused them to manage their expectations.
“I think everybody can remember the Vonage hetacomb,” recalled Ebersman, referring to the Internet phone provider’s failed attempt to herd 100 cattle to their ritualistic deaths. “I can still hear the day traders’ screams over the sound of the opening bell.”
The magnitude of the situation and the history of past failures only led to an intensification of preparations at Facebook headquarters.
“I mean, you’ve really got to have your ducks, or in this case, lamb, in a row,” acknowledged public-relations head Elliot Schrage. “I was nervous about the chorus. We were really struggling with the strophe.”
As of press time, Mark Zuckerberg was quietly sharpening his machaira in his darkened office.
CHEAP MOTEL OFF EXIT 179 – After extended contract negotiations with his wife Beyonce Knowles, hip-hop impresario Jay-Z announced that the couple’s next baby will be a collaborative effort between himself and Kanye West. The newest baby is expected to drop in the next eight to nine months, if all the principals can clear their busy schedules.
When reached for comment, Beyonce explained that adding Mr. West to the couple’s lovemaking was a completely different approach from the one taken with her last baby. “Working with a genius like Kanye will definitely be trying; he’s a perfectionist. Everything has to be just right, from the scented candles to the mobile made of midget cupids.”
Beyonce acknowledged, though, that Mr. West’s high aspirations will positively influence the re-production process in the end. “Of course, it will be difficult at first to manage all the different personalities and egos involved in the collaboration. That being said, I’m looking forward to that moment where our styles mesh together perfectly and we really start getting in the zone with each other,” she said.
Mr. West also had mixed feelings about the opportunity. Although he reported his enthusiasm about the collaboration, he noted that it would be difficult for him to let Jay-Z keep his own artistic dynamic with Ms. Knowles. For example, he admitted that his biggest problem working with Jay-Z was letting him finish.
West described his thoughts on the process as follows: “Now I know Jay and Beyonce just had a kid, and that’s great. I’m really happy for them. But this child we are working on now is about to be one of the best babies of all time! I’m just saying, it’s gonna make Beyonce’s old baby look like a bitch.”
When asked what the new project might look like, Jay-Z mused, “This baby is probably going to have some early Nas influences, with Beyonce providing a some nice undertones, all supported by a strong Kanye sample. Who knows? Maybe there’ll even be some John Legend thrown in there.”
“It’ll definitely have my eyes though,” he added.
Jay commented that besides the obvious physical difficulties inherent in the project, he was having a hard time letting another popular male artist contribute to the project. “Occasionally I feel jealous of the artistic connection that Kanye and Beyonce have with each other, and I feel like I’m the one I’m the one barging in on his project. You know, I don’t want him to outperform me on my own gig. Maybe we’ll get Rihanna in here to do a feature spot so I at least have someone to talk to.”
MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY – Geologists and archaeologists everywhere are now finding it easier than ever to seek true love with the ancient artifacts of their dreams after the recent launch of the carbon-dating website C-Harmony.com.
“Archaeology can be a lonely field sometimes,” explained founder Dr. Allen Dumire. “Back in the golden days – you know, when Jurassic Park was popular – being an archaeologist or paleontologist was a one-way ticket to pound-town. But nowadays you’d be surprised how hard it is to find another human being who finds Sumerian farm animal teeth interesting. That’s why I started C-Harmony. Archaeologists can finally reach out to those that truly make them happiest – inanimate objects.”
C-Harmony matches archaeologists with carbon-dated artifacts based on 29 dimensions of compatibility, ranging from C-14 content to suspected culture of origin. Users can read artifacts’ profiles, view photos, and even organize meet-ups with their matches for more intimate, one-on-one exhibit showings.
Since its launch in early November, C-Harmony has seen its customer base expand to over 5,000 users and has received overwhelmingly positive reviews.
“I don’t know where I would be without C-Harmony,” recalled satisfied customer Greg Sampson. “Now that I’ve found this ancient didgeridoo to share myself with, I’m finally with something that accepts me for who I am. The sex is great too.”
“Sure, this Assyrian vase is 2,000 years older than me,” explained frequent user Dr. Susie Feldman, “but age is a just a number. When you’re gently brushing away sediment from his finely crafted neck while looking into where you think his eyes would be, you forget about the age gap.”
While the site concentrates on fostering long-term relationships, some archaeologists admit to simply wanting a short-term fling. As a U. archaeology professor recently confided, “I’m just looking for a rock to get my rocks off with.”
LUXEMBOURG – In an effort to adapt to changing consumer preferences, the notorious diamond cartel De Beers has announced a new line of synthetic diamonds, one that seeks to combine the flawless perfection of cultivated gemstones with the violent horrors of diamonds mined in Africa.
“We here at De Beers realize customers are increasingly disillusioned with the recent decline in gross social injustices associated with the production of their luxury gemstones,” said De Beers spokesman Stuart Rhodes. “That’s why we developed ForeverConflicted™ diamonds – perfect, synthetic gemstones cultivated under working conditions just like those in Sierra Leone. Customers can rest assured they’re getting the best of both the first world and the third world with ForeverConflicted™ diamonds.”
De Beers has gone to great lengths to obtain the first-ever Synthetic Conflict Diamond certification for its ForeverConflicted™ product line. Laboratory worker compensation was redesigned so that at least 98% of each paycheck is rerouted to warlords in sub-Saharan Africa. Workplace conflict resolutions have been abandoned altogether in favor of limb and/or genital mutilation to settle disputes. Employees are required to work 156-hour shifts, with vacation days re-designated as opportunities to spend up to 12 hours in De Beers’ newest on-site corporate housing structure, a cinderblock hut complete with shallow latrines and bedrolls made of goatskins.
In a move that drew criticism from groups like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, De Beers went so far as to release a swarm of mosquitoes infected with malaria into their facilities to ensure a more authentic work environment. The company’s commitment to the legitimacy of the ForeverConflicted™ diamonds pervades the entire corporate ladder, with management scrapping the traditional job titles of “General Manager,” “Chairman,” and “Chief Executive Officer” in favor of “Overseer,” “Master,” and “High Warlord.”
“It’s time we put an end to the façade of safety and tranquility surrounding the diamond industry,” said Phillipe Mellier, Grand Poobah of De Beers. “Some might tell you a diamond is just pure carbon, but we feel that the finest diamonds are 99% carbon with trace amounts of blood, sweat, and tears – but mostly blood and tears. I assure you that De Beers is completely and utterly devoted to keeping the ‘human’ in ‘human rights abuses.’”
MILTON BRADLEY HQ – Following an ill-advised effort to combine one of the world’s most popular pastimes with its favorite interminable conflict, the Milton Bradley Company announced a recall of its new “Settlers of Canaan” board game. “I’m really surprised that the American consumer just can’t take a joke,” said Milton Bradley CEO Alan Garrett. “Well, excuse me for trying to make a buck off a popular conflict while ripping off ‘Settlers of Catan.’ I mean, we’ve been making fun of bankruptcy and foreclosure for years with ‘Monopoly,’ but you don’t ever hear anyone complaining about that, do you?”
Garrett’s new game takes place in the Gaza Strip, rather than on the bucolic island of the original “Catan.” Each player represents a different side in the millennia-long conflict: the Israeli Infidels, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, or the United States. New rules were included with the instructions in an effort to make the game as realistic as possible. For example, the Israelis and Hamas were only allowed to trade items with each other if the goods first underwent lengthy border checks for bombs and hidden militants. In addition, the P.A. and the Israelis can only trade if the U.S. is sitting in between them and is in a good mood.
Israelis automatically start out with five settlements on the board while the P.A. and Hamas only have one each. If the Hamas team feels slighted by an unfair trade, they are allowed to light one of the Israelis’ cards on fire, regardless of whether or not the Israelis had been involved in the deal. Under “End-Game Rules,” the instructions state that the game can only finish when peace is achieved between Israel, Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority, mediated by the United States on special “Camp David” turns. As of press time, no match has yet finished.
Anti-Defamation League President Abe Foxman issued his standard form letter to Milton Bradley, writing that this “statement/event/Charles Barkley comment/board game is offensive, anti-Semitic, and abhorrent to Jews everywhere.” Meanwhile, many Hamas supporters are outraged that the game even recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a small plastic token. “I’m so angry I could shoot rockets into civilian schools,” screamed Hamas spokesperson Abu Bazir.
“I guess some conflicts weren’t meant to be translated to the game board,” said an ashen Garrett. “But I can’t tell you how many people have just been dying to play this game.”