March 2011 Archives
March 31, 2011
OAK RIDGE--A local woman who travels an average of 60 miles round trip each work day in her sport utility vehicle is saving the world one grocery bag at a time. Maggie Corpstein, 34, works in downtown Knoxville, to which she drives her 2007 Kia Sorento SUV five days a week from her Anderson County home. When not averaging 17 miles to the gallon, she's occasionally bringing her own reusable grocery bags to the supermarket in an effort to call attention to the planet's impending destruction. "It's about the little things," said Corpstein when complimented on her environmental conscience. "Am I going to save the planet? No, probably not. But if we all pitch in a little bit, we can make a big difference. It's literally the least I can do."
March 29, 2011
KNOXVILLE--A flock of irate birds accused of the brutal murder of a drove of pigs is mentally competent to stand trial, a federal judge has ruled. The angry wingless birds now face trial on Sept. 26. U.S. Magistrate Judge Walter Statzer announced his decision Wednesday in a status conference. The ruling was based on evidence and testimony from an earlier hearing on the birds' mental condition. The birds are accused of flinging themselves at the pigs with a slingshot, and collapsing wood and stone structures on top of the animals, killing them. "These birds aren't incompetent," said U.S. Attorney Denise Higgins. "They may only chirp and tweet when you talk to them, but they have a clear understanding of what's going on here. They know they're on trial for murder. Whether they were justified in killing those creepy, green, birdnapping, cannibal pigs is another matter."
March 27, 2011
MARYVILLE--An East Tennessee man's slow but steady hoarding of a seasonal chocolate confectionary is causing concern among his neighbors. Ben Putnam, 41, is a noted Maryville chocoholic, with a particular affection for the Cadbury Creme Egg. This year Putnam has been purchasing eggs from local stores at such a pace that supermarkets are unable to keep the candy in stock. At a time when neighbors should be enjoying the sweet taste of white and yellow fondant encased in chocolate, residents have instead savored bitterness. "That stingy bastard is buying up all the eggs," said Leigh Davidson, 37. "My children would like some Easter candy this year, too." "They keep shrinking the size of the eggs," retaliated a concerned Putnam. "I've got to collect as many as I can before they completely disappear.
March 25, 2011
KNOXVILLE--The economy may still be lagging, but for the construction industry of East Tennessee, business is booming, in large part due to a website called Notsville.com.
Since the website debuted in October of last year, large scale disasters have befallen the city of Knoxville on a regular basis. Officials have reported the destruction of West Town Mall, Neyland Stadium and the Sunsphere, among other landmarks. As recently as last week, large portions of downtown were destroyed by a rampaging green superhero. Area hospitals were also reportedly flooded earlier in the year with people who contracted an imaginary illness.
"It started back in the fall," said contractor Tim Roush. "All of a sudden, I was getting work left and right. And not just adding a deck to someone's house or remodeling a bathroom. It was, 'Hey, do you think you could help rebuild the Sunsphere? A monster kind of ate it.'"
The construction projects have been a boon for local contractors, many of whom have seen work slow in recent months.
"It's been great," said carpenter Jim Singleton. "The jobs have been steady, but fast. We rebuilt West Town Mall in a couple of hours. It was gone and then back again in a flash. If you blinked, you might not have even known that army tanks bombed the place back to the Stone Age."
Curiously, all the damaged properties have been restored without tax increases or costs being passed onto consumers, a mystery which has left some city officials puzzled.
"I don't know where the money is coming from, but it's a relief," said Knoxville Mayor Dan Brown. "It's always surprised me that people would live in places like Gotham City and Metropolis. Given how often super-powered villains destroy those cities, the tax rates must be crippling for the average citizen. No wonder the crime rates are so high. People have to steal to even survive. It's an endless, self-perpetuating cycle. Fortunately that's not the case here. It's like someone out there is making this stuff up. It's very deux ex machina."
March 24, 2011
NASHVILLE--Family values champion and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich announced to Middle Tennessee reporters yesterday that he will be leaving the Republican Party for the younger, more buxom Tea Party. Gingrich married the GOP in 1974 during an unsuccessful run for Congress. But favorable comments made by Gingrich about the Tea Party since 2009 have led Washington insiders to suspect that the relationship between the two might be more than professional. "I've seen the way he looks at her," said former Gingrich staffer Cindy Sigman. "It's a lot like the way he looked at his now third wife back when he was just having an affair with her. I had a feeling Newt and the Tea Party were more than friends." It is unknown how the couple's relationship will impact a possible 2012 Gingrich presidential run.
March 22, 2011
CLINTON--A man who has no interest in sports effectively pretended to be devastated by the University of Tennessee's decision to fire men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl. Pearl, 51, was let go on Monday amid an NCAA ethics investigation and following a devastating 75-45 loss to Michigan in the second round of the NCAA tournament Friday. For Mike Kirk, 45, it was "terrible news." "I'm so mad," simulated Kirk in a well-rehearsed speech to his office manager. "He was one of the best coaches in the sport today. I'm sure we'll see him in the final four next year coaching another team." Kirk, a compulsive liar with little interest in his co-workers hobbies, has been deceiving the entire office about his love of sports since last year in an effort to get the big promotion instead of Debbie.
March 20, 2011
KNOXVILLE--Downtown residents continue to rebuild today following a destructive outburst at the hands of the Incredible Hulk. The incident occurred on Thursday evening during the annual Old City St. Patrick's Day pub crawl. Witnesses say an intoxicated man punched another bar patron repeatedly in the face for not wearing green. That's when things got weird. "The guy who got punched looked like he was going to throw up," said Katie Senter, 35. "But then he started turning green and his clothes ripped. I was like, 'Oh crap, it's the Incredible Hulk.'" Witnesses say the emerald beast threw his assaulter out a window, then began destroying everything in his path. "He kept saying, 'Hulk smash puny humans' and 'Hulk think green clash with his purple pants,'" said Senter. The Hulk caused an estimated $10.2 million in property damage before he was apprehended by the Avengers on Gay St.
March 18, 2011
BEARDEN--Police are searching for a small Irish fairy in connection with a robbery that took place in Knoxville on Thursday evening.
According to Knoxville Police Department spokesperson Tinah Miller, the suspect entered a West Knoxville grocery store in Bearden at 7:55 p.m. Thursday, pulled a rainbow-colored handgun from his coat and demanded the store's entire stock of Lucky Charms breakfast cereal.
"Witnesses described erratic behavior," said Miller. "The suspect was drinking from a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey and shouting, 'They're always after me Lucky Charms.'"
"I was terrified," said cashier Dorothy Breeden, 45. "I've seen the 'Leprechaun' movies. I know what happens when you cross a malevolent Irish hellspawn. Oh, incidentally, Jennifer Aniston was in one of those movies. Isn't that weird?"
After loading several boxes of cereal into a shopping cart and knocking a display of potatoes to the floor, the wee lad fled in a newer-model, red hot air balloon with a Boston Celtics bumper sticker on its basket. Before departing into the night sky, the leprechaun made an obscene hand gesture, threw the empty bottle of whiskey through a store window, and yelled, "Hearts, stars and horseshoes, clovers and blue moons, pots of gold and rainbows, and me red balloons!"
The suspect was described as a white male with red hair and beard, approximately 45-50 years old, 3-foot-1, between 50-60 pounds, wearing a green blazer jacket, green scarf, black pants, green top hat with green band and a four leaf clover sprig accent, as well as green shoe covers with gold buckles.
This is not the first breakfast cereal-related criminal activity to hit Knoxville. Last July, authorities arrested a white rabbit with large floppy ears who threatened several children with bodily harm if they did not return his Trix. The drunken, weeping Leporid was led away in handcuffs, muttering the phrase "orangey orange, lemony yellow and raspberry red" interspersed with curse words. Police told the children to learn how to share and sent them on their way.
March 17, 2011
KNOXVILLE--State health officials confirmed another case of beard flu Monday, in a sign that authorities are having trouble stopping the scruffy epidemic from spreading among the faces of the East Tennessee hipster community. Health officials continue to travel door to door to raise awareness of the pretentious disease and to take hair samples from residents to test for the virus. Beard flu is spread among settled urban middle class adults and teenagers with interests in irony, indie rock, independent film, Pitchfork Media, skinny jeans, clove cigarettes, vinyl, vintage clothing, single-gear bicycles and man purses. Infected hipsters have been known to grow unkempt facial hair that smells of Pabst Blue Ribbon and vague indifference. Those wishing to inoculate against the disease are urged wash their hair, listen to profuse amounts of U2 and hold down full-time jobs.
March 15, 2011
FOURTH AND GILL--A knee-high Knoxville food aficionado has come to favor only the palate-friendly taste of locally produced, organic paste. While other children in seven-year-old Aidan Capshaw's first grade class enjoy snacking on mouthfuls of Elmer's, Scotch or Avery, for this precocious young hobbyist, those brands just won't do. "I've tried them," said Capshaw. "They're OK. But the paste we make at home tastes better. And it's fresher. We mix vinegar, dry milk, baking powder and water. Once you've had organic paste, you'll never eat the store bought stuff again. You really can taste the difference." Though classmates sometimes make fun of Capshaw's lifestyle choices and call him an elitist hippie, he says it's worth it. "I'm making habits that will be with me the rest of my life." Capshaw also prefers free range boogers to those grown in factory farms.
March 13, 2011
KNOXVILLE--The City of Knoxville will suspend brush collection routes for one week starting March 14 to gather debris from alarm clocks destroyed during the switch to daylight saving time. Screeching time pieces that were thrown repeatedly against walls, beaten with baseball bats, or taken to the backyard and shot with rifles should be placed at the curb or alley for collection starting Monday. Waste collectors will also accept clocks that were doused in gasoline and lit on fire, as well as those thrown from second story windows into oncoming traffic. Debris will be collected from Monday-Friday, March 14-18. Materials not acceptable for collection include grandfather clocks and sundials. City residents also have other options to dispose of spring forward debris, including putting up to five alarm clocks out with household garbage each week, or bagging the remains of shattered time pieces and putting them in 32 gallon cans for collection by the garbage collection service.
March 11, 2011
FARRAGUT--A local family is still reeling from its yearly journey to a colossal West Knoxville retail shopping district.
On Saturday, March 5, the Guettner family of Strawberry Plains made the 30 mile expedition from their home to Farragut to stock up on not very much needed supplies and their yearly ration of crass consumerism. The Guettners loaded up their Conestoga wagon that morning, filled it with food, clothing and medical supplies, and faced the difficult trek across Knoxville along Interstate 40, stopping occasionally to hunt rabbits and squirrels, or to trade with other travelers.
The trip was a harrowing struggle for all involved.
"My God, it was awful," said a weeping Abby Guettner. "The kids were screaming. And the traffic was astounding. I've never seen anything like it. We just sat there waiting for the car in front of us to move. I think we spent as much time looking for a parking space as we did driving from our house to West Knoxville. By the time we parked I was ready to punch someone's face off."
But once the Guettners emerged from their vehicle, it was as though they had died and ascended to paradise. The family was greeted by more than 300 acres of restaurants and retail space, as well as a movie theater that can be seen from space.
"Anything I could imagine wanting was there," said Abby. "We bought clothes, a Wii, furniture, beer from Japan, golf clubs. You name it, we bought it. And we don't even drink beer or play golf."
It was only after preparing for passage home that the real horror set it.
"I felt dirty after it was over," said a visibly distraught Patrick Guettner. "It's like when you overeat and feel sick afterwards. It tasted good in the moment. But then you just want to throw up and get it out of your system. On top of it all, on the way home two members of our party died of dysentery."
March 10, 2011
WEST KNOXVILLE--Two Knoxville cats are behind bars today after authorities seized more than 25 grams of catnip from their 1989 Toyota Camry during a routine traffic stop. The two suspects were arrested Wednesday after Knoxville Police Department Officer Elizabeth Endicott noticed the two cats acting suspiciously. "They were going crazy," said Endicott. "One was shaking his head and salivating profusely. The other was howling, rolling all over the seat, and chewing the steering wheel. I knew immediately that something was up." A search of the vehicle revealed the illicit substance hidden in the vehicle's glove compartment. The felines are charged with one count of sale and delivery of catnip and driving on a suspended license. They are being held without bail. Catnip, otherwise known as Nepeta cataria, is a member of the mint family, and is thought to produce hallucinogenic effects in cats. It has been illegal since the passage of the Uniform State Narcotic Drug Act in 1934.
March 8, 2011
WASHINGTON-- Federal lawmakers have proposed eliminating government subsidies for farmers who grow and harvest virtual crops using the Zynga-developed FarmVille social network game. In the nearly two years since the game was released, the U.S. government has handed out more than $95 billion in agricultural subsidies to the game's farmers to help supplement their income and further control the cost and supply of FarmVille's virtual commodities. A new bill before Congress would abolish all future subsidies. "This is government waste at its most flagrant," said U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., R-Knoxville. "We've had at least $1.3 billion go to landowners who haven't planted any crops since last year. We've got subsidies going to help farmers buy garden gnomes and cow print barns. And the food isn't real, even by fast food standards."
March 6, 2011
CYBERSPACE--An unintelligible American film and television actor has gone from being paid an estimated $1.8 million per episode for the series "Two and a Half Men" to complaining about East Tennessee's homeless population on the Internet. Following a series of media rants, Charlie Sheen has settled into a routine of trolling Knoxville websites to complain about the city's homeless and the status of the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness. "HAS ANYONE LOOKED INTO THIS?" wrote the capitalization enthusiast Saturday. "IF YOU FEED THEM, THEY WILL COME HERE. IF YOU USE THEM TO STEAL MONEY FROM TAXPAYERS, THEY WILL COME HERE. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE, ASK THEM WHY THEY IS HERE. THE MAJORITY OF ARE HOMELESS POPULATION IS NOT FROM ROUND HERE. WHY DO THEY THINK THAT IS?"
March 4, 2011
SWEETWATER--A Gotham City-based superhero may be expanding his crime fighting operation to include an East Tennessee cave system.
Unnamed sources at the Lost Sea report that they have been contacted by the representatives of a man who dresses as a large flying mammal to fight evildoers.
"They were asking all kinds of questions," said the tourist attraction's employee, who agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity. "They wanted to know if they could get a weaponized car down here in the caves. They wanted to know if a local river feeds into the underground lake. They wanted to know where they could find a big construction crew who wouldn't ask any questions about what they would be building. It was all really weird."
The Lost Sea is a tourist attraction near Sweetwater in East Tennessee. The cave is part of a historic cave system called Craighead Caverns. Housed within the cave is a lake that is more than four acres large. It is listed by the "Guinness Book of World Records" as the largest underground lake in America.
Speculation by Knoxville's comic book collecting community is that the Lost Sea will be connected to the original Batcave by an elaborate series of underground tunnels. This would allow the superhero to travel to the southeastern United States to fight crime whenever necessary.
"We don't get a lot of super villain traffic down here," said the source. "But it's good to know East Tennessee is a strategic location for a superhero lair. I'm just not sure how the Caped Crusader is going to keep this place a secret. It's already a tourist attraction that brings thousands of people through here each year. Those folks are going to notice if it's indefinitely closed."
"I don't know exactly how much it costs to buy a cave with an underground lake either," added the source. "But it can't be cheap. Whoever this guy is, he must be loaded."
March 3, 2011
POWELL--A section of the Grigg residence in north Knox County was closed for several minutes Wednesday after a toddler wriggled out of his diaper and spilled the contents in the area between the kitchen and living room. Parental authorities closed the eastbound lanes of the home as crews worked to clean up debris from the crash, including about half a pound of solid waste. Traffic was limited to one lane for about 15 minutes while the hazardous materials team and members of the Grigg Volunteer Waste Removal Department cleaned up the foulage. Travel was routed through the dining room and down the hall past the bedrooms. Witnesses told reporters that the toddler lost control, holding the diaper in one hand before the combination of gravity and a particularly large head got the better of him. No injuries were reported.
March 1, 2011
FOUNTAIN CITY--And it came to pass that former Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Basil Marceaux did make an ark following Monday's heavy rains and flooding. Rooms did he make in the ark, and did pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which he did make it of: the length of the ark was 300 cubits, the breadth of it 50 cubits and the height of it 30 cubits. And the door of the ark did he set in the side thereof, with lower, second and third stories did he make it. And of every living thing did he bring into the ark: two of every Fountain City Lake duck after their kind, two of every Bluetick Coonhound mascot and two of every scary raccoon living in the dumpster. Thus did Basil Marceaux, according to all that he was commanded, so did he.