October 2011 Archives

October 30, 2011

Judge orders Bill Haslam to take middle school civics class

NASHVILLE - Tennessee state troopers escorted Gov. Bill Haslam to a middle school civics classroom this morning after a judge ruled that he must undergo 10 mandatory hours of basic education about how government functions. The order is in response to a decree by Haslam that Occupy Nashville protesters be removed from Nashville's Legislative Plaza. The order by Haslam was immediately overturned by a judge, who also ordered that Haslam receive 10 civics lessons by a certified instructor. "I have reviewed the First Amendment, which is remarkably clear on both freedom of speech and the right to peaceably assemble," said Metro Night Court Judge Frank Hobson. "It's fairly easy to read, despite having been written in the 18th century. I'm also a little embarrassed that the governor's excuse for removing protesters was sanitation. Seriously? People who own glass convenience stores shouldn't throw stones.

October 28, 2011

Local group decries trick-or-treating as welfare

A Knoxville conservative group has come out strongly against what it calls the trick-or-treating welfare state.

Americans for Candy Equality is an organization "dedicated to eliminating wasteful candy spending and handouts to people who don't deserve them." The organization's members are refusing to give out candy on October 31 as a message to what it calls society's bottom feeders. The group urges that others follow in its footsteps.

"If you want candy, go get a job," said Gary Drum, the president of Americans for Candy Equality. "The rest of us shouldn't have to pay to support your lifestyle. There are a lot of kids that could work and who are healthy but they choose not to because it's easier for them to just collect free candy. It is a burden on the taxpayers and is not fair for people to get free candy. Where's my free candy?"

Kelli Koerberg agreed.

"Everyone needs to put some skin in the game," said the 34-year-old from Karns. "The productive class is getting tired of supporting these bottom feeders who contribute nothing to society. This ends now. Buy your own damn candy. I am John Galt."

Others differed, calling the group's decision to boycott Halloween harsh.

"The consequences of ending trick-or-treating would be devastating to our society," said 42-year-old father of two Chris Guthrie. "People who can't find candy, for whatever reason, need to be helped. I think efforts should be made for and by trick-or-treaters as far as finding their own candy, but we will always have a certain percentage of the population who just can't get the sugar and chocolate they need on their own."

"I don't believe that trick-or-treating should be eliminated, but should have more stringent guidelines," echoed 10-year-old Jasmine Belwood, who is dressing as an Angry Bird this year. "I think that it should be reserved for only those who actually need it. More guidelines and requirements should be in place to ensure that those who are receiving candy should be. Drug testing and education should be mandatory."

October 27, 2011

Game 6 of World Series postponed due to lack of interest

Game 6 of the World Series was postponed Wednesday because of a forecast of sheer boredom and utter disinterest, delaying the Texas Rangers' bid to clinch their first championship. Major League Baseball announced the game's cancellation just hours before the opening pitch between the St. Louis Cardinals and Rangers. At the time, no one had literally died of boredom at Busch Stadium, but a heavy amount of watch checking and leisurely walks to the concession stand were expected. Experts agree that Texas probably leads the series, but most of them could not be bothered to care enough to check. Game 6 may be rescheduled if fans and officials can spare the pretense of giving a crap. If Game 7 is necessary, it would be played sometime or other. "Because of the forecast, there was no reason to wait any longer," said Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president of feigning interest. "Maybe we'll reschedule, but football is on, so hopefully not."

October 25, 2011

Ted from accounting raptured

In a shocking turn of events, 45-year-old Knoxville accountant and novelty tie enthusiast Ted Jones was the sole worldwide beneficiary of Friday's Rapture. Jones disappeared from his cubicle at a Knoxville accounting firm shortly after 10 a.m. on Oct. 21. His co-workers failed to notice their colleague had vanished until this morning. "It took us a few days to figure it out," said Jones' co-worker Bob Brown. "He's a really good guy, just kind of boring. And I say that as someone named Bob. He carpools with me, but I didn't even realize he wasn't in the car with me yesterday." A spokesangel for Heaven confirmed that Jones was the only person out of the earth's population of 6.9 billion who actually followed the teachings of Jesus. Friday's Rapture was predicted by Oakland minister Harold Camping after the broadcaster falsely predicted the event would occur on May 21. Ironically Camping was not raptured himself. Boy is his face red.

October 23, 2011

Knoxville man defaces perfectly good pumpkin

An orange gourd-like squash with a thick outer shell was vandalized with a carving knife Saturday. Authorities say Jared Carnes, 35, defaced the fruit by viciously stabbing and sawing it open. He then carelessly threw its innards in the grass, and cut what appear to be eyes, a nose and a mouth into the face of the pumpkin. His children watched in terror during the horrific ritual. Police believe Carnes intended to use the pumpkin as a crude lantern to ward off evil spirits. "Obviously this is a guy who isn't entirely grounded in reality," said police spokesperson Tinah Miller. "There is a tiny minority of people who decide to exploit mildly sweet tasting squash for their own sick gain. Carnes has some anger issues that he needs to deal with." Police cited Carnes on one count of defacing property. He has agreed to seek counseling.

October 21, 2011

Aging Cobra Kai spotted near area Halloween dance

A gang of middle-aged karate students was reported lurking near a Knoxville high school dance last night.

Witnesses describe seeing a half dozen white men in their 40s dressed in skeleton costumes and trying to intimidate students by sneering, smoking in the men's bathroom and practicing an unethical form of martial arts.

"They were all like really old and saying stuff like 'Mercy is for the weak,'" said 16-year-old Emily Agner. "It was weird. And gross. Their bodies did not belong in skin tight skeleton costumes. Most of them were a long way from being as thin as skeletons."

A few witnesses recognized the men as members of an elusive California street gang known as the Cobra Kai. The band of hooligans had a powerful presence in the Los Angeles area in the 1980s before being driven to extinction by a tiny man from Okinawa and a whiny teenager.

Knoxville police say the group may have been looking for Ralph Macchio, who was reported living in a Bearden dumpster last year. The gang of miscreants finally left the school grounds when someone pointed out to them that Elisabeth Shue is still hot.

"Frankly we're amazed these guys are still out there," said Knoxville Police Department spokesperson Tinah Miller. "But back in the 1980s California devoted most of its law enforcement manpower to narcotics police units that were half Caucasian and half African-American. You had old men assaulting teenagers, gangs of teenagers assaulting Italian kids from New Jersey, but no one was arrested for any of it. If Roger Murtaugh hadn't been so busy being too old for this (expletive deleted), he would have showed those Cobra Kai punks a thing or two."

Miller said the Cobra Kai is unarmed and presumed kind of sad and pathetic. It is not known if the gang realizes itself to be a group of out of work actors.

"They probably live in their moms' basements and rewatch footage from that karate tournament," said 17-year-old student Hannah Sedlak. "It was 1984. I wasn't even alive then, so it couldn't have been that big of a deal. Let it go guys."

October 19, 2011

Woman waits 10 minutes for parking space, saves 30 seconds walking time

MARKET SQUARE--A Knoxville woman reduced the arduous walk from her automobile to the Market Square parking garage exit by an estimated 40 steps Wednesday afternoon. Mary Scott, 43, was simply unable to make the exhausting slog across the parking lot without the aid of a spot six car lengths closer to the elevator. Scott blocked traffic for nearly 10 minutes while a departing motorist fumbled for keys and deposited several packages into his trunk. Multiple witnesses admitted to wanting to cause Scott significant bodily harm and said unprintable things about where she could put her automobile. Oak Ridge physicists estimate that Scott may have shaved off as much as half a minute from the dreaded commute from her car to the garage's northern stairwell. They are quick to admit, however, that the walk could have taken as much as 30 seconds more depending on the quickness of Scott's stride and her choice of footwear. More details later online and in Thursday's News Sentinel.

October 18, 2011

Supreme Court rules Obamacare must now be called Romneycare

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Monday that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act must now be referred to as Romneycare™ rather than Obamacare™. The Obama administration asked the Supreme Court to step in to review the accuracy of the popular expression, arguing that the legislation was largely modeled after GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's health care law in Massachusetts. Surprisingly, the court agreed. Chief Justice Roberts, writing for the majority, said, "We hold that President Barack Obama's health care plan falls well within the confines of the 'I know you are but what am I?' authority Congress chose to leave to the federal government, allowing Obamacare to effectively be renamed Romneycare under the parameters of the No Givesies Backsies Clause. Plus, seriously, they really did model it after Romney's plan. Google it." The health care legislation, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in March of 2010, has been unpopular among conservatives, many of whom enjoy dying penniless from treatable medical ailments.

October 16, 2011

Ghostface Killer victim Sidney Prescott finally gets around to getting concealed handgun permit

KNOXVILLE - Six months after being attacked for the fourth time by a serial murderer known as Ghostface, author and professional victim Sidney Prescott has finally acquired that concealed carry permit she's been talking about getting. "I've put it off long enough," said Prescott at a Knoxville signing for her memoir and self help book "Out of Darkness." "I wish I had done this 11 years ago after the third time I was almost brutally murdered with a hunting knife. But there's no time like the present." Prescott is originally from Woodsboro, California. She was first nearly murdered by two high school classmates posing as a killer called Ghostface in 1996. She has since been almost murdered in 1997, 2000 and earlier this year. It is believed that had she been packing heat on any of those occasions, she could have easily gunned down the knife-wielding maniac dressed in an awkward costume with poor visibility.

October 14, 2011

Aquaman escapes Aquarium of the Smokies

A water-based superhero and founding member of the Justice League of America escaped from a Gatlinburg attraction Thursday, authorities said.

Aquaman, whose real name is Orin, is the son of Queen Atlanna and the wizard Atlan of the Atlantean city of Poseidonis. He was last seen swimming with sand tiger sharks in Shark Lagoon at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. He was discovered missing an hour later during a routine head count, state Department of Corrections spokesman Bill Kosmak told reporters.

Orin had been held in the aquarium since September following a disturbance he caused at a nearby seafood restaurant when a server failed to bring him a sixth helping of cheddar biscuits.

"We have reason to believe that Aquaman will attempt to return to the undersea kingdom of Atlantis as soon as possible," Kosmak said. "But it is possible that he will go back to the scene of his original crime. The guy really loves those cheddar biscuits. I can't say I blame him"

Orin is the king of Atlantis and several undersea territories. He has multiple superhuman abilities, including super-strength, super-speed, as well as telepathy, which enables him to communicate with marine life. He also possesses the ability to stay underwater indefinitely.

"Aquaman can dehydrate, so he requires access to water regularly," Kosmak said. "We suspect he will try to access the Tennessee River to get back to the ocean. We'll see if he can find his way through that filthy water."

Orin is a white male with blonde hair. He is known to dress in orange and green. He is considered dangerous and should not be approached.

"We'll find him sooner or later, assuming we're looking for the right guy" Kosmak said. "But I heard he was killed and replaced by a guy named Arthur Curry. But then he was brought back to life. And somewhere in there piranhas ate his hand. But it grew back. Or something. I don't know. Not even 'Lost' was this complicated to follow."

October 13, 2011

Tennessee Senate passes emergency 'guns in cars of intoxicated drivers' bill

NASHVILLE - The state Senate voted Wednesday for a so-called "guns in cars of intoxicated drivers" bill that will allow those driving drunk to do so while in possession of loaded firearms. The bill was approved Wednesday morning in the House by a vote of 69-27. The bill was approved in the Senate by a 25-8 vote. The main sponsor of the bill was state Rep. Curry Todd, a Republican from Collierville. In a bizarre coincidence, Todd was pulled over in Nashville Tuesday on charges of drunken driving and possession of a gun while under the influence. The bill is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam later today. Critics argued that alcohol, guns and automobiles don't mix. "In the first place, it's illegal to drive while intoxicated," said Sen. Douglas Henry, D-Nashville. "In the second place, people who are drunk should not have firearms. Can we please just go back to voting about whether Adam and Eve riding dinosaurs can be in our science textbooks?" Tennessee is also considering a vote on a "guns in prisons" bill early next month.

October 11, 2011

Area groom anticipates life of pillow shams and decorative towels

As his bride-to-be plans a wedding adorned with goldfish in bowls and an oversized fountain populated with tiny ornamental boats, Halls groom Zachary Beam foresees a future filled with pillows and towels he won't be allowed to use. Beam will marry his longtime girlfriend Rachel Wright on June 23. But he has already seen the future and it is filled with miniature hand soaps that cannot be utilized for washing. "I know what's coming," said Beam wringing his hands. "My older brother has told me stories that scare me. Soon we'll have a bed 15 feet off the ground, covered with hundreds of lace pillows that we'll have to take off every night before we can sleep. And we'll have candles we can't light. If the electricity goes off, you just have to stumble around like Charlie Sheen on a bender."

October 9, 2011

Cas Walker ghost scene cut from 'Paranormal Activity 3'

A scene that would have featured the ghost of late, incoherent Knoxville grocer Cas Walker has been edited out of the final cut of the third installment of the "Paranormal Activity" movie series. The unusual scene in which one of the film's characters receives a phone call from Walker has been cut, according to sources who have seen the final version. "When Kristi picks up the phone there's some weird static and then you hear Cas Walker ramble unintelligibly for about five minutes," said the movie's screenwriter, Christopher B. Landon. "He's talking about whooping the hell out of a shoplifter in a parking lot or something. Ultimately it didn't advance the plot, so we had to get rid of it." "Paranormal Activity 3" is a prequel to the previous two films in the franchise. It is scheduled to be released in theaters on Oct. 21.

October 7, 2011

City unveils new greenway on I-40 median

The City of Knoxville held a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. Thursday to officially open a new greenway located on the median of Interstate 40. The ceremony took place on the eastbound Papermill Drive exit ramp on top of the hood of a rusty old Sedan.

The new greenway spans a nine-mile stretch from the Cedar Bluff Rd. I-40 exit to Tyson Park near the University of Tennessee campus. The greenway is situated on the median between the eastbound and westbound lanes of the interstate. The I-40 Median Greenway features views of numerous billboards and of variety of West Knoxville stores.

The greenway will connect to the Third Creek Greenway and the new Papermill Bluff Greenway by way of underground tunnels.

"It makes for a pleasant oasis in the midst of the traffic and sprawl," said urban planner Chad Losher. "People will be able to ride their bicycles and walk their dogs right beside angry motorists and tractor trailers filled with CornNuts. And from up above, the well-trimmed beard of Stephen A. Burroughs will look down approvingly."

The greenway is a key extension to the city's park system. It provides numerous connections to neighborhoods and businesses.

"This is another great addition to an already fantastic greenway system," said Director of Knoxville Parks and Recreation Lisa Sindermann. "The I-40 Median Greenway is a benefit to the city in and of itself. But in future months and years it will also help us make a lot of connections to greenways in West Knoxville and Farragut. We may even connect it to the mall or Turkey Creek."

"We've come a long way since 1994 when Knoxville had less than five miles of greenways," said Mayor Daniel Brown. "This new greenway gives us more than 70 miles of greenways and trails. I think we'll see a lot of people using the I-40 Median Greenway, especially at rush hour. After all, the Interstate never seems to end. It's like following the Cubs. There's never really a payoff. Hopefully we're changing that."

October 6, 2011

Occupy Gay Street movement gains traction

An estimated seven people are camped out on Gay St. in downtown Knoxville to protest just about everything they can think of. For nearly two weeks a dedicated group of young urban professionals pretending to be revolutionaries have been occupying a public street to show the powers that be the many things they aren't going to take anymore: corruption, greed, Facebook layout changes, the formation of Qwikster, misspelled signs, Florida's win over the Vols, the breakup of R.E.M. and gingivitis. "There's really an ADD feel to it," said protester Jared Stooksbury. "We're trying to squeeze in anything that comes to mind. Yes, we're mad about Wall Street executives giving themselves raises while they lay off their employees and ask taxpayers to bail them out. But we also think Qwikster is a stupid name for a company. And we hate lima beans. God help you if you try to serve us lima beans."

October 4, 2011

Madeline Rogero and Mark Padgett literally sling mud at each other

What started as a back and forth exchange of barbs in local news and on Twitter escalated to an actual mud fight Monday when mayoral candidates Madeline Rogero and Mark Padgett doused each other with a semi-liquid mixture of water and soil. The altercation took place in Krutch Park downtown. Witnesses aren't sure who threw the first projectile, but say both candidates clearly know their way around a dirt clod. "They both have good arms and excellent aim," noted 34-year-old Carrie Diamond. "I'm not sure who I'm going to vote for. I'm just glad Stephen A. Burroughs' beard dropped out of the race. No one likes a muddy beard." The skirmish lasted for approximately five minutes. It ended when a shirtless Basil Marceaux entered the fray with a Super Soaker and a canned ham.

October 2, 2011

Local TV station to recycle corn maze story for sixth consecutive year

A Knoxville television news station plans to air a heartwarming segment about how a family's farm was saved with a corn maze for the sixth straight year. Corn mazes have become popular attractions in recent years and provide a supplementary income for local farmers. WXYZ News and Sports doesn't intend for you to forget it. "This year's piece was great, in that it is exactly the same as last year's piece," said News Director Matthew Steely. "We didn't even have to do any reshooting. The intro from the anchors will be new, but then we'll just launch into the footage we've used for half a decade." From the obligatory pun on the word maize to a bird's eye shot of the maze's design, this year's story promises nothing will set it apart from the previous five versions that came before it. "Of course, everybody has a corn maze now, even people who didn't mow their grass much during the summer," said anchor Tammy Sereda. "But I think we can get another three or four years out of this piece if we play it right."

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