November 2010 Archives
November 30, 2010
KNOXVILLE--Spambots have fallen head over heels for one new locally-based blog. Soon after discovering The Marble City Sampler late Monday afternoon, soulless automatons have wasted little time in singing the praises of the blog's Knoxville-themed musings."Kudos to you! This is a really good blog here and I love your style of writing," gushed Air Jordan 4. "How did you get so good at blogging?" "This is the best blog I've ever seen in my life," added one Neville Goody. "I have bookmarked your website so that I can come back and read more in the future as well." Even the contextually-challenged Lashay Balmain Sandals was impressed, noting, "Blahnik's one of a kind design catches the heart of women and now his designs made him as the largest footwear industries and very famous in the world."
November 28, 2010
ALCOA--The Transportation Security Administration will implement new security measures at McGhee Tyson Airport beginning this week. Following on the heels of TSA's use of full body scanner machines and more invasive pat-down searches, airport security officials will now dip all boarding passengers into a vat of corrosive acid. The acid is designed to completely burn away all clothing and skin, which authorities hope will reveal any hidden weapons. "This new technology is one of our many layers of security to keep the traveling public safe," said a TSA spokesman. "The acid is an important tool to help TSA detect hidden and dangerous items such as explosives. Passengers should continue to expect an unpredictable mix of security layers that include bomb sniffing crocodiles, maternal guilt trips and being punched in the face if you look like a terrorist."
November 26, 2010
KNOXVILLE--A recent focus group conducted by a Knoxville-based firm found that consumers do not care for stuffed possum as the main course of the Thanksgiving meal.
The study, which was performed by the marketing firm of Adah Henley of Chestnut St., revealed that users tend to favor the traditional trappings of the November holiday feast. Not a single participant of the study preferred the consumption of urban-dwelling marsupial to the more conventional North American turkey.
Though the possum was soaked in cold salt water for 10 hours, stuffed with herbs and breadcrumbs, and slow roasted with bouillon cubes, bay leaves, celery stalks, chopped onion, potatoes and carrots, study participants were not drawn in by the mammal's mouthwatering aroma or succulent flavor. Even when paired with side dishes like squirrel cakes and rat loaf, Henley's creation did not find favor with those participating in the study.
"It was gross," commented one focus group member, who asked to remain anonymous. "Why would we eat that at all, ever? This isn't Alabama."
The focus group consisted of 12 people: eight Knoxvillians, two Clinton expats who have now live in Ohio, as well as two horrified New Yorkers who were last seen fleeing the area in a taxi.
Other data collected by Henley revealed the holiday focus group's distaste for grilled muskrat, country fried snake and pan-fried pig tripe.
The study found that the mere presence of such dishes led to a dramatic increase in feelings of nausea and anger. Participants of the focus group reported both the desire "to vomit all over the table" and "to go through the drive thru at Burger King on the way home." A full 100 percent of the focus group felt their Thanksgiving needs would best be served elsewhere.
Other independent local research has led to similar conclusions. In 2005, a study conducted by Jim Cook of Wartburg found that only 15 percent of survey participants enjoyed the taste of barbecued raccoon on Independence Day.
November 25, 2010
HALLS--A local family was forced to call in reinforcements earlier today to finish their Thanksgiving dinner after the meal got out of hand. The Kelley family of Halls was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of foodstuff brought to its home by immediate and extended relations. Throughout the day there were incidents and flashpoints, the most serious occurring when Aunt Edna delivered mashed potatoes, corn pudding, green bean casserole and a sweet potato pie. Fortunately for the Kelleys, backup arrived when friends and neighbors parachuted into the family dining room with knives and forks blazing. The reinforcements fired gravy to disperse the crowd of food. "It was touch and go for a while," said Rebecca Kelley, the 42-year old mother hosting the feast. Miraculously, only Uncle Ted was injured during the melee, when he forgot to unbuckle his pants before eating dessert.
November 23, 2010
KNOXVILLE--Scientists in East Tennessee have found that Jennifer Webb's utility bill has begun shrinking much sooner than expected due to the effects of climate change. In recent weeks, unusually large chunks of money have broken off the 43-year old woman's KUB statement. The findings are part of a 10-year government study which confirms that the nation's heat bills are melting at a rapid and alarming rate. "We are living on the edge of a precipice," Ed Barrow, a Knoxville-based climate change scientist said of the findings. "We've crossed a threshold, and these bills, along with those globally, are shrinking." Webb, while saddened by the impending loss of Florida and clean drinking water, noted that she is thankful to have the extra money each month for cable.
November 21, 2010
KNOXVILLE--A 31-year old Knoxville man is getting a little too old to be going to midnight showings of new "Harry Potter" films. Two days after screening "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" at 12:01 on opening night, Brian Tarver's saggy, aging body remains groggy, disoriented and fatigued. Tarver enjoyed the latest installment of the Harry Potter franchise, even though he failed to wear Hogwarts' regalia to the theater and was easily seven years older than everyone else in attendance. But Tarver regretted it all when his alarm clock went off the next morning. He spent the better part of his Friday work day drinking shots of espresso and struggling to keep his eyes open. Following a nap Friday evening, he has spent the weekend battling insomnia and muttering to himself.
November 19, 2010
Shoppers eager to get a jump start on the holiday killing season have only seven days until they reach their coveted goal.
The day after Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday marks the unofficial start of the shopping season, known as Black Friday. The day is named for the color mourners wear as they bury the loved ones killed during the shopping mayhem.
Black Friday combines ridiculously cheap prices like $1 appliances, $5 TV sets and $15 aircraft fighter jets with a flagrant disregard for the physical well-being of friends and neighbors.
Shoppers begin lining up outside their favorite stores the day before Thanksgiving. Many consumers will purchase their Thanksgiving dinner from curbside lunch trucks and eat the meal while standing in line.
"Traditionally Black Friday has been the start of the Christmas shopping season," said a spokeswoman for one major retailer. "Shoppers queue outside their favorite stores at 2 a.m., find other people's limitations and figure out how to exploit them. It's a good time to find the weakest links while you wait for some great savings."
Once the store doors begin to open at midnight on Friday, all bets are off. Buyers will spend the morning hours ramming one another with shopping carts, playing tug of war with Wii gaming systems and then following their newly created enemies out to the parking lot to pummel with bricks.
Sometimes even the stores get in on the act. Last year, one local book retailer strategically placed snipers throughout its shop. Another installed a hidden trap door and filled it with hundreds of poisonous snakes.
For East Tennessee shoppers, it's all part of the holiday season.
"On what other day can I almost get trampled to death, save hundreds of dollars and be home by 10 a.m.?" said shopper Becky Tipton. "It's a win-win situation."
Tipton added that if she gets a drumstick on Thanksgiving, she will whittle the bone into a shank and "stab anyone who gets in my way."
November 17, 2010
OAK RIDGE--Friends and family have found newborn Ethan Hall to be "kind of a jerk." Hall, who is less than a week old, is engaging in behavior that those around him believe to be "mean, inconsiderate and obnoxious." Hall spends most of the day screaming at the top of his lungs for no particular reason. When not yelling, Hall is sleeping, forcing other people to feed him or "refusing to use the toilet like everyone else we know." He has yet to contribute anything meaningful to society. "What kind of a person uses the bathroom on himself over and over, and then expects you to change his clothes and clean up the mess?" asked Hall's father, Josh. "My wife wouldn't put up with that kind of behavior from me. Why does this kid think he's so special?"
November 15, 2010
POWELL--A local woman is physically incapable of parking within the bounds of a single parking space. Tammy Shepherd has been driving for more than six years now. But even with hundreds of hours of driving experience under her seatbelt, Shepherd is unable to park between the lines. Neighbors at her apartment complex report often coming home from work to find Shepherd's Grand Cherokee parked firmly atop the white line which traditionally marks the border of a parking spot. At first it was suspected that Shepherd was a brain-dead moron. But over time, neighbors have come to believe that she is simply a self-absorbed jackass. As further evidence, they refer to her uncanny ability to play loud music at 2:30 a.m. and her habit of driving trash a whopping 20 yards from her apartment to the dumpster.
November 14, 2010
SOLAR SYSTEM--More than four years after being told she is no longer a planet, Pluto still attends weekly therapy sessions with a psychologist. When scientists voted on a new definition of planet in 2006, they had little idea of the emotional toll it would take on the tiny, ice-covered world. Though Pluto is now a "dwarf planet," and has a new family that includes her brothers Ceres and UB313, she misses her old family, who she says abandoned her. "What did I do wrong?" asked an emotional Pluto. "Did I not have enough mass? Were my moons too small? Was I too far from the sun? I tried so hard to fit in, but they didn't want me." Pluto now spends her days cursing the scientific community and wishing that she would just die.
November 12, 2010
Knoxville police are investigating an armed robbery and assault reported in Fountain City during the early hours of Thursday morning.
The incident took place on Fountain Road near Fountain City Lake at about 2:30 a.m. Evan Watson was driving home from a late-night party at the time when his vehicle was run off the road by a car full of ducks and geese.
"They were shouting and swearing at me out the window of their car," said the shaken 19-year old at the scene. "I'm pretty sure they had been drinking."
The gang of waterfowl proceeded to pound on Watson's car with baseball bats, smashing both the windows and the side mirrors. Then the ducks turned their attention to Watson.
"They pulled me from the car and started hitting me. I was really scared. My parents have warned me about driving through that neighborhood at night, but I never thought it could happen to me, you know?"
One of the geese pulled out a handgun and held it to Watson's head. Another goose pocketed Watson's wallet, while ducks ransacked his car, taking both a GPS unit and the teenager's phone. Watson suffered a broken arm, as well as several cuts and bruises during the vicious attack.
This is the third such incident reported in Fountain City in the past month. Last week, two geese assaulted a teenager at the Fountain City Skatepark with a lead pipe. The week before, a woman walking her dog along Hotel Ave. was subjected to lewd gestures and comments before having her purse stolen by three Mallards.
"The ducks and geese in Fountain City have always been large and somewhat aggressive," said police spokesman Tinah Miller. "But we've never seen anything like this. We're asking that residents in the area take extra precautions until we can bring these Anatidae to justice."
The Fountain City Lion's Club has called for an emergency meeting to discuss the escalation of avian violence in the community.
November 10, 2010
CHARLES COX'S FACE--A Seymour man's organic moustache farm has gone out of business. Charles Cox spent seven months nurturing a horseshoe moustache crop in the region above the corners of his lips and down the sides of his mouth to his jaw. But despite excellent growing conditions and a sizeable yield, Cox's farm faced problems from the start. These difficulties were mostly due to pressure from the farm's not silent partner, Becky Cox. Becky found the small farm's crops to be ugly, tickly and "always going in my mouth and up my nose when I try to kiss him." Becky also indicated that the moustache's poor drainage led to a buildup of crumbs. Charles bowed to his partner's demands late last night. The farm's one-time crop was harvested in the sink, where it clogged the drain.
November 8, 2010
MARYVILLE--An exercise regimen consisting of selecting a thinner pixelated version of herself led to a dramatic change in one local woman's waistline. Frequent Yahoo! Messenger user CAdkins81 had struggled for years to reach her goal weight of 160 pounds. "I've tried Weight Watchers, I've tried Jenny Craig, I've tried going vegan, I've tried running in the mornings. I've even tried Atkins," LOLed CAdkins81 of her dieting woes. "Nothing worked." But by selecting a skinnier online representation of herself, all that has changed. The online CAdkins81 is now as thin as her real life counterpart imagines herself to be. CAdkins81 celebrated her extraordinary weight loss victory by dressing her avatar in a colorful midriff-baring cheerleader outfit, giving her digitized self blond highlights, and sending flirtatious chat messages to dragon37801 and grantintenn.
November 7, 2010
ATHENS--Even though the year is clearly 2010, a 35-year old Athens man continues to visit a bricks and mortar movie rental business. Jason Tatnall rents an average of three movies each month at Movie Hut on Ingleside Avenue in Athens. Tatnall has failed to embrace the existence of Netflix, Hulu, Comcast's movies on demand and several other modern day services that bring films directly into people's homes. Despite paying exorbitant prices and the utter lack of convenience, Tatnall cites a hesitancy to accept new ideas "just because." This isn't the first modern technology he has stubbornly rejected. Tatnall also refuses to sign up for online bill pay and has yet to use texting as a form of communication. Marketing analysts predict he will live an unfulfilled, meaningless life, and that he will die bitter and alone.
November 5, 2010
KNOXVILLE--Earlier today Gov.-elect Bill Haslam announced plans to increase Tennessee's Southern accent production by at least 50 percent by the end of his first term in office. Citing data suggesting that Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia have increased their Southern dialect manufacturing significantly during the last decade, Haslam expressed his concerns for Tennessee's future as an accent exporting state. "We used to could not do that, but we're fixin' to," noted the newly elected Haslam in an impassioned speech. "I done told you before. They done took a bite of our cake when we weren't lookin'." Haslam expressed his desire to see drawl and twang increase extensively in the coming years. Other plans include boosting double modal verb usage, saying "this here" instead of "this" and replacing "have" with "got" whenever possible.
November 3, 2010
KNOXVILLE--A Knoxville man's Facebook posts failed to persuade any of his friends to change their Election Day votes. For the past year, 29-year old Cory Wolfe has shared dozens of politically-charged links and status updates each day. Despite the feverish pace of posting and his seeming lack of employment or a life, Wolfe did not change a single voter's mind. Exit polls do suggest, however, that he may have convinced at least 15 people to unfriend him. Polling data also indicates that more than three dozen people have hidden Wolfe from their Facebook news feeds. "Sometimes you just want to play Farmville without knowing how much the national debt has grown," explained University of Tennessee political science professor Tom Raley. "Voters can only take so much before they turn on you."
November 2, 2010
Kimberly Dayton does not like downtown Knoxville. She would not like it in a box. She would not like it with an ox. She would not like it here or there. She would not like it anywhere.
Dayton, a 35-year old mother of two, has been a resident of West Knoxville for her entire life. She has never liked the downtown area, and makes a point of complaining about it on nearly a daily basis at www.knoxnews.com. Though she has yet to set foot on Gay Street or Market Square or in the Old City, she sees little point in the exercise.
"Downtown is dirty and smelly," she says of the sheer horror of Knoxville's center. "It's concrete, asphalt, traffic, pollution, homeless people, vagrants, dogs, cyclists refusing to share the road with cars. It's not pedestrian friendly, and it's barely traffic friendly. There's no parking in front of the places I would want to go, and you have to pay for it, and it's really expensive."
Though she has never been there, Dayton's expertise on the subject of downtown Knoxville is extensive. She has read many articles about downtown. She has committed many of the comments that she agrees with after those stories to memory. She also has a couple of friends who have been there.
"My friend Jaime was telling me how people are allowed to bring their dogs into restaurants now," says Dayton. "Gross. I can't imagine who came up with this law. I don't want to eat with animals. What's next? Restaurants giving food to homeless people?"
Dayton reports that her other friend Leah once saw a man urinating in an alley after Sundown in the City. Dayton is pretty sure the man later mugged a woman, possibly setting her on fire.
Dayton further cites a lack of public toilets, an absence of retail stores, elitists, college students, muggers, football fans, wasteful government spending, two-headed giants, dinosaurs, zombies, open toxic waste barrels, avian bird flu and rancid meat as further reasons to avoid downtown.
November 1, 2010
KNOXVILLE--A Halloween séance turned deadly in Knoxville last night when three teenagers made contact with the ghost of the late Cas Walker. The teens, whose names have not yet been released by police, summoned Walker's spirit, who then launched into a lengthy diatribe about dresses and women's clothing. The incoherent mutterings continued for several minutes. The teens, unable to defend themselves from the babbling, were all three rendered unconscious. Paramedics arrived on the scene after one of the teens' parents overheard the disjointed prattling. Sadly, one of the teens did not survive. The other two remain in critical condition at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. Walker, an outspoken local businessman, founded a series of grocery stores in the city. He later went on to serve on Knoxville's city council.