July 24, 2014
An East Tennessee restaurant is getting national attention after the owner put up signs welcoming customers not wearing shoes and shirts. Owner Chelsea Hannum posted a sign at The Tennessee Kitchen last week telling customers "no shoes no shirt no problem." Now she says she can't keep up with the new business. "There are a lot of restaurants out there making it where you have to wear shoes and a shirt to be served," said restaurant patron Jack Bloom. "I like not wearing a shirt at dinner if I want. Sometimes it gets messy, especially on spaghetti night. But that's why I have a hose in my garage." "No shoes, no shirt, no service," said mashed potato and gravy enthusiast Mike Wilson. "That's a bunch of crap. This is America. If I don't want to wear shoes when I order the Monday meatloaf special, that's my business." Hannum was quick to point out that her restaurant still requires patrons to wear pants. "This isn't Alabama," she said. "We have standards."
July 22, 2014
According to police, an East Tennessee tourist who accidentally crashed into a Pigeon Forge confectionery Monday was a chocoholic. The crash occurred Monday morning when a mid-sized, four door sedan went through the front window, sending bystanders scrambling for their fudge and fruits dipped in chocolate. The driver was described as a Transylvanian noble with an insatiable thirst for tryptophan. "We've all been there," said police officer Darrel Anthony. "Sometimes a person's needs a giant apple on a stick that has been dipped in caramel, drizzled in chocolate, and then slathered with Oreo crumbs. But mostly the apple is just there to hold the chocolate in place, if we're being honest." Police stressed that no one was injured in the crash, except for a chocolate bunny, whose ears were mangled, and later melted over ice cream and eaten.
July 20, 2014
Morgan County Correctional Complex, a leading East Tennessee medium security prison, is set to rebrand as a gated community called Morgan County Inmate Estates. The change follows extensive research indicating that prisons seem less depressing when they have happier sounding names and are compared to residential housing estates. "The name Morgan County Correctional Complex has been part of our heritage and culture as a company since 1980," Wayne Cowan, director of less depressing imagery, said in a news release. "We want to leverage our strong new brand to provide a consistent, high-quality residential experience to all of our customers, wherever we do business." "Morgan County Inmate Estates is not just a gated community," Cowan added. "It's a gated, 500,000 square foot, 65-acre medium security complex with 120 beds designated for maximum security. Up to 2,441 residents can be nestled into our community. In addition to beds, there are cells and toilets. And plenty of guards."
July 18, 2014
A moon that appeared larger and brighter than usual due to its orbit being closer to the Earth is being called a hero after it stopped an armed robber at a Knoxville convenience store last weekend.
Knoxville police say 48-year-old Samuel Blackaby walked into a North Knoxville convenience store early Saturday morning with what appeared to be a gun in the pocket of his hoodie. Blackaby demanded the contents of the cash register and several cartons of cigarettes.
"I saw him threatening the clerk at the front of the store with a gun," said one eyewitness. "He was saying, 'If you don't put the money in the bag I'm going to shoot you.'"
According to police, that's when the super-powered, synchronously-rotating natural satellite burst into action.
"Is it a floating, glowing skull? Is it an unusually large piece of cheese that can defy gravity? No, it's Supermoon," said one witness.
Police said the moon made short work of the would-be crook.
"Supermoon has several powers, including heightened perceived size and illumination, the ability to cause lunar eclipses and powering the tides of the ocean," said Knoxville police spokesperson Tinah Miller. "But in this case, the Supermoon relied on convincing the perp that the moon landing was faked."
"Think about it," said the radiant ball of luminescence. "How is that U.S. flag that Buzz Aldrin planted on my surface waving? There's no wind on me. What else has the government been hiding from you?"
Police said the revelation that the last 45 years of American history has been a lie prompted Blackaby to drop his gun and burst into tears. The suspect was then taken into custody.
Supermoon told witnesses it was all in a night's work.
"I'm not a hero," said Supermoon. "I'm just a full moon that looks 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than a regular full moon."
According to police, Supermoon will return to fight crime on Aug. 10 and Sept. 9.
July 17, 2014
According to a recent set of findings by No, You Have Not Provided Excellent Service Today, one area corporate telepharmautilitycard behemoth's menu options have not changed. The report noted that, despite an audible warning to please listen closely and that our menu options may have changed, those menu options are still the same ones they have been for nearly 12 years. "Our extensive data gathering indicates that you still need to press one if you are a pharmacy guest and wish to use express Rx for refills, that you should still dial three to report your card lost, stolen, or damaged, or for cash advance information, and that you must press or say four if you know your party's extension or name," said Greta Brewer, co-author of the report and vice-director of Why Can't I Just Push Zero and Talk to an Actual Human Being? The report also indicated that all calls are recorded for quality assurance, or at least management's own personal amusement.
July 15, 2014
Following Sunday's World Cup championship match featuring Germany and Argentina, the makers of real football announced today that actual football season will begin on Aug. 31, if we can all just hold on a little longer. "Look, this FIFA World Cup business is a nice game," said a spokesperson for actual football. "It was good to have something to do to whet our appetites. But in a few weeks we open the season against Utah State at Neyland Stadium." University of Tennessee fans took the news well. "I'm looking forward to the World Cup again in four years," said one actual football fan. "But Tennessee has four chances to win the national championship between now and then. I think the priorities are obvious." A spokesperson for actual football went on to say Go Vols!
July 13, 2014
A herd of goats is once again helping the city of Knoxville clear off suburban sprawl so that it can be replaced with more suburban sprawl. The city plans to use goats to clear away invasive strip malls and shopping plazas within Knoxville, creating space through the property for new strip malls and shopping plazas to be built. This is the second season the city has hired the goats to remove sprawl. "It's great to have the goats back for another summer of eating ugly retail stores arranged in a straight row or L-shape so that they can be replaced by slightly less ugly retail stores arranged in a straight row or L-shape," said Knoxville director of retail goat edibles Darren Ream. "They do a great job of trimming back the sprawl in an environmentally friendly way."
July 11, 2014
Hundreds took to the neighborhood streets of North Knoxville this week, hoping to outrun long-necked aquatic birds with anger management issues. Not everyone escaped unharmed.
The excitement was part of Fountain City's Running of the Ducks festival, an East Tennessee tradition that dates back to the 14th century. The cross-country dash begins at Fountain City Lake and ends whenever and wherever the ducks' thirst for mayhem is satisfied.
One middle-aged thrill-seeker was overtaken by four female drakes, then beaten by the ducks with a billiard ball in an old sock. Another was chased into Fountain City Lake, where he was repeatedly pushed under the water by several rancorous mallards.
A Claxton youth got his wife-beater caught in a duck's bill and was dragged several yards along the ground, but was seen to scramble to his feet and escape.
In all, six were injured in Thursday's event.
"It was quite a rush," said 24-year-old University of Tennessee student Jesse Youland. "Some of the ducks hotwired a truck and then started chasing me and my friend through a park. They were screaming at us and throwing beer bottles. We barely escaped with our lives."
"Running with the ducks is the greatest experience I've ever had," said 61-year-old Brenda Parkis of Montana. "It was pure adrenaline. I'm so glad I can finally check this off my bucket list. I wasn't able to touch a duck's beak, but I might try that next year."
The ill-tempered Anatidae in the festival can weigh up to three pounds and have killed 11 people since record keeping for the festival began in 1931.
The most recent such tragedy occurred last year when the ducks kidnapped a Campbell County resident and forced him to watch the final season of "Dexter." It was the first death in nearly 20 years.
"I've run with the bulls in Spain," said Jeff Nylek, 21, from Seattle. "This was so much scarier. At least you can reason with an angry bull. You can't reason with Fountain City waterfowl."
July 10, 2014
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett will soon be married to hairy, bipedal humanoid from the Pacific Northwest. Burchett plans to marry fiance Bigfoot in a ceremony this Friday on board a haunted UFO at a Terror in the Woods event at Ijams Nature Center. Both have been married before - Burchett to a woman from Blount County, the Sasquatch to an out of focus lake monster from Scotland. Burchett and the beast woman met in 2012 on the set of the Animal Planet TV show "Finding Bigfoot." "People told me, 'If you like Bigfoot so much, why don't you marry her?' so I am," Burchett told reporters. Wedding specialists expect traditional nuptials, but say the photographs will probably be extremely blurry.
July 8, 2014
Starting this week, University of Tennessee students can decide if they want a refund for a sizable part of their tuition if they do not want to help pay for student athletics. At the majority of NCAA Division I colleges and universities, students are charged a fee for the support of intercollegiate athletics. In June, the college's Board of Trustees voted to change that policy. The new directive establishes an opt-out procedure that allows every student the opportunity to receive a refund if they think athletics are a stupid waste of time and money. UT made the change after state lawmakers criticized the college for not shutting down the popular student-run "Go Vols!" event that takes place each fall. "Athletics are fine but to force someone to pay for sports they don't even like is tyranny," said State Sen. Stacey Campfield. "The result of this decision will be a more transparent student sports fee system that respects the right of students to engage in a free and open exchange of taking off their shirts and painting large orange letters on their chests, but also provides individual students the right to not fund student athletic expression that they think is boring and pointless," said University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro.