January 2012 Archives

January 31, 2012

Knoxville woman refused restaurant service under new anti-bullying law

A local restaurant refused to serve a Knoxville woman under provisions of a new Tennessee law that protects business owners who engage in bullying if they do so for religious reasons. Casi "Lefty" DeCamp was thrown out of a North Knoxville eatery for comments she made on her blog about the origins of sexually transmitted diseases. Upon seeing DeCamp in his eatery, restaurateur Hobart Maggs told the hungry 37-year-old to leave the premises. "The new anti-bullying laws provide an exemption for business owners discriminating on religious grounds," said Maggs. "It's against my religion to let jackholes in my restaurant, so I told her to leave. Sometimes you just have to let the free market decide these things." According to DeCamp, AIDS originated after an escaped chimp mated with Gay St. in downtown Knoxville.

January 29, 2012

Oak Ridge Mall passes away quietly in her sleep

The Oak Ridge Mall, a long time resident of Oak Ridge, passed away quietly at her home sometime between 2004 and today. Formally known as Oak Ridge City Center, the shopping center was originally built in 1955 before it was converted to an indoor mall in the late 1980s. The mall enjoyed the presence of many tenets in its heyday, but people stopped visiting in the late 1990s after the discovery of Knoxville and the Internet. The Oak Ridge Mall enjoyed indoor exercise enthusiasts, Orange Julius and shooing away skateboarders from the premises. She is survived by anchor stores Belk, Sears and JC Penney. At the mall's request, there will be no funeral services. In lieu of flowers, she has asked that you make a donation to your local food court.

January 27, 2012

Knoxville screenwriter to pen remake of 'Friday the 13th' remake

An East Tennessee screenwriter hopes he can prove once and for all that the pen is mightier than the machete.

Knoxville-based screenwriter Daniel Oran has been tapped to write a remake of the 2009 remake of the "Friday the 13th" movie franchise. The film will follow the antics of serial killer Jason Voorhees as he eviscerates the nation's lusty teenage population for sport.

"I'm thrilled to even be a part of this," said 34-year-old Oran. "I grew up watching these movies because I had terrible parents who didn't love me. And now I get to help start the series over again, again and again and again."

The "Friday the 13th" franchise received a first reboot three years ago after the original series spanned 11 films and became so ridiculous that even the makers of "Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood" watched to feel good about themselves.

The 2009 remake did well at the box office, but was panned by critics for being predictable, useless, boring and loud.

"Honestly, the last remake was no 'The Godfather,'" said Oran. "We're hoping to change that this time. We want to get inside this guy's head. We want to know why this guy feels the need to wear a mask even though he can't be killed and even though only one virginal teenager is going to survive. We want to know why Jason didn't try group therapy sessions to help deal with his mommy issues. We want to know why Camp Crystal Lake hasn't been destroyed with a hydrogen bomb. But we also want to see some really cool kills."

Oran hopes that the film will re-return the movie to its roots while also being unpredictable for fans that have seen it all before. Twice.

"It's a balance," said Oran. "On the one hand, the scary part is you don't know why Jason kills. On the other hand, it's really hard to stretch out 13 deaths over 90 minutes. After four or five of your friends mysteriously disappear when you're camping in the woods, you go sit on the roof of a cabin with a machine gun and call the police."

January 26, 2012

Bill authorizes display of lobbyists in Tennessee public buildings

NASHVILLE--Two state lawmakers are supporting what they hope is a legally secure method for local governments to display lobbyists in county courthouses and on public grounds. Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, and Rep. Matthew Hill, R-Jonesboro, last week introduced a bill authorizing cities and towns to display "historical documents and monuments" that have been "recognized to commemorate freedom and the rich history of Tennessee and the United States." First on the enumerated list of documents and monuments are actual lobbyists. "It's important that our local government buildings know they have the right to proudly display paid activists who work to persuade members of the government on behalf of the people and their wallets," said Bell "Lobbyists are historically significant treasures that should be resolutely exhibited in the halls of government." Other historically significant documents and monuments authorized for display in the bill include the Mayflower Compact, the Magna Carta and an old shopping list written by Martha Washington.

January 24, 2012

Corker says rejected Keystone pipeline will kill thousands of jobs cleaning up oil spills

Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn. said today that the Obama administration's decision to deny a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline will cost thousands of American jobs cleaning up oil spills. Corker, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee, said the pipeline would take oil from Canada through the U.S. until it could be unsafely released into the environment."Think of how many American jobs were created in 2010 when oil flowed unabated into the Gulf of Mexico for three months," said Corker. "This is a tremendous opportunity to create jobs containing spilled petroleum and cleaning up the oil that cannot be contained. Outside of election year politics, there is no good reason to block this project, especially when we really need the jobs an oil spill would generate." Reports indicate that a pipeline explosion would create up to 20,000 direct jobs immediately and could create tens of thousands of indirect jobs.

January 22, 2012

Nation celebrates Dolly Parton's bicentennial

Two-hundred years ago a country music singer-songwriter, actress and theme park entrepreneur demanded liberation from her mother's womb and launched her fight for independence. Fans around the country on Thursday celebrated Dolly Parton's bicentennial independence anniversary, a day that enables the Sevierville-born artist to renew her desire to remain free as a sovereign person. The nation marked the 200-year milestone by flocking to Parton's new movie "Joyful Noise," currently in theaters, and by working nine to five and wearing coats of many colors. Others spent the day at Dollywood riding through a mining town engulfed in flames. Spontaneous sweet summer lovin' and honky tonk songs broke out in some parts of East Tennessee and lasted well into the early morning of Friday with no major incidents reported, according to police sources.

January 20, 2012

Yet another restaurant to open on Market Square

Yet another new restaurant featuring some sort of cuisine that people will probably eat is planned for Market Square in downtown Knoxville.

The restaurant-style restaurant will feature a dining area with chairs and tables, and a kitchen where food will be cooked. The new business will prepare and serve food and beverages to its patrons in exchange for money, which will be paid either before or after the meal. Food will be served on the premises but the eatery will also offer the option for its customers to take the food away for consumption elsewhere.

Margaret Triplett, the restaurant's owner, says she appreciates the casual environment of Market Square, and feels like it fits with the restaurant's theme of being a restaurant.

"We're a food-style product," Triplett said. "It's very flavorful fare that is inspired by the process of lifting the portions to one's mouth, chewing it and swallowing. I doubt Market Square has seen anything quite like this restaurant concept."

Triplett said the restaurant will open by June at the latest. Its location is yet to be determined, but will probably be housed where a former restaurant used to be.

"We love food and cooking it and serving it. We felt like there was a good market for this sort of thing downtown," she said.

The move is part of Market Square's key growth strategy that includes converting empty storefronts into buildings that serve food to people willing to eat it. The open air pedestrian mall has converted several other abandoned buildings to various restaurant concepts.

"We're very excited about what this means for downtown," said restaurant supporter Jill Brookins. "It isn't every day when you can look at a menu and order something to eat. This is something entirely unique to downtown Knoxville. I hope this new restaurant will open the floodgates for other restaurants here."

"Listen, and understand," said Market Square patron Kaleb Ward. "This new restaurant is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are fed."

January 19, 2012

Thousands of area homework assignments late following Wikipedia blackout

KNOXVILLE - Thousands of East Tennessee students reported being unable to look up the capital of Iowa or the boiling point of bromine following a 24-hour blackout by Wikipedia yesterday. The popular collaborative encyclopedia restricted access to its regular content to raise awareness of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), two pieces of legislation making their way through Congress. Users attempting to access the site were met with a black screen and the statement: "Hey, there are still libraries, you know." Also protesting the legislation were a photo of mechanically separated chicken and a YouTube video of a dog planking. "We won't get a lot done today," said Bearden High School English instructor Amber Rankin. "For some reason not a single person was able to complete a book review. Very strange." Wikipedia's content returned at 12:01 a.m. this morning after the website was pepper sprayed in the face by police officers from the University of California, Davis.

January 17, 2012

Vols in stable condition after loss to Kentucky

A Knoxville-based basketball team is in stable condition after being shot on multiple times from the paint, low post and perimeter areas. The shooting took place beginning at 12:00 p.m. on Jan. 14 on the basketball court at Thompson-Boling Arena. Multiple shots were fired for 40 minutes of regulation play. The Kentucky Wildcats were arrested for the shooting, but have since been released. Police say the Vols returned fire on multiple occasions and nearly left the Wildcats for dead, until the team recovered in the second half. Paramedics rushed the Vols to the hospital where the team was treated for a valiant 62-65 loss to the second-ranked Lexington-based team. Doctors expect the Vols will be released today just in time to travel to Athens, Ga. to take on the Bulldogs Wednesday.

January 15, 2012

Knoxville man convinced someone somewhere getting something they don't deserve

A West Knoxville man who has had to suffer the adversity of finding an alternate route to Middlebrook Pike while traffic is rerouted for a Knoxville edition of the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" TV program is pretty sure the family receiving a new home doesn't deserve it. "Friday I had to sit in traffic at rush hour for 10 minutes while the whole world stopped to make a new house for a TV show," said Justin Colson, 54. "Are my tax dollars paying for all this police overtime? Jenny McCarthy never closed a road or rebuilt a house for me." This is not the first time Colson has noticed someone getting something they didn't deserve. Yesterday his cashier at the grocery store was probably overpaid to stand there and talk so long to that woman who only bought milk.

January 13, 2012

East Tennessee deer survives hunting season in South Knoxville kudzu

A Knox County white-tailed deer said she survived the 2011-2012 hunting season by accidentally getting lost in South Knoxville's kudzu jungle.

Gurri the Deer of Knoxville told reporters that she lived through the continuous gun hunting season which ran from Nov. 19 through Jan. 1 purely by mistake after a particularly rewarding visit to the Disc Exchange.

"I decided to show my support for South Knoxville during the Henley Bridge construction by doing some shopping somewhere other than West Knoxville," said Gurri. "It actually wasn't so bad. The Gay Street Bridge only adds a couple of extra minutes to the drive. And the traffic is still a zillion times better than I-40. Have you seen rush hour here? I'd rather drive in Chicago."

After picking up hot new releases from Rihanna and Coldplay, the doe walked back to her car. But a blaring car horn and some evening headlights spooked her. Gurri ran straight for the overgrowth of kudzu adjacent to Chapman Highway. She would spend the next two months wandering in circles through the thick overgrowth.

"I got turned around," said Gurri. "It's easy to do. And oh my God, I didn't think I'd ever get out. That stuff is everywhere. And you wouldn't believe what's in it. Jimmy Hoffa's remains for one thing. And I saw Tupac and Elvis. They're working on an album together. Oh, and Desmond Hume was in there in this weird hatch in the ground. He kept pushing a button every 108 minutes. He said something about saving the world and a smoke monster. Don't ask me, I'm just an even-toed ungulate."

Gurri was finally discovered on Wednesday by a flock of goats hired by the city to eat the kudzu.

"In retrospect, I should have gone CD shopping before it got dark," she said. "Sure, a hunter might have spotted me and tried to shoot me from his car on Chapman Highway. But I get really scared when I see headlights. Usually I freeze, but sometimes I run."

January 12, 2012

Sunsphere chosen for ABC's 'Extreme Makeover'

Knoxville's iconic 266-foot tall symbol of the 1982 World's Fair has been chosen to receive major renovations from the ABC-TV program "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." The steel truss structure received a knock on the door from the program's cast Tuesday morning. Over the next week, teams of volunteers will work to remake the Sunsphere into something less hideous. "The Sunsphere's observation deck reopened in 2007 after renovations," said Mayor Madeline Rogero. "But it still hasn't been able to shake its reputation as a wig shop vandalized by Nelson Muntz. That changes now. The final details of the new Sunsphere are a secret, but let's just say that a giant football towering above Knoxville's skyline will look amazing." The TV program's producers originally planned to remake former University of Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin into a likeable human being, but found the task impossible.

January 10, 2012

Oliver Springs bomb squad successfully defuses microwave

Emergency responders in Anderson County spent nearly two minutes last night dismantling a microwave found in a home in Oliver Springs. Chief Duncan Curtis with the Oliver Springs Police Department said dispatchers received a call Monday at 7:03 p.m. from someone who discovered a glowing box mounted to a wall in the kitchen belonging to Caroline Imming of 1600 Roane St. "I saw the clock counting down and panicked," said 54-year-old neighbor Betty Elmore. "There were only 10 minutes left. I called 911 and they were on the scene within three or four minutes." A bomb squad arrived to the residence shortly thereafter to secure and defuse the device. Homes near the scene were evacuated. The Fire Department and agents from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded to the home. "I don't think this woman is a terrorist, and I think the investigation will show that she's not," said Duncan. "But she didn't use the best judgment. Thank God she was cooking a baked potato. If it had been soup, we'd all be dead."

January 8, 2012

2008 Obama chides 2012 Obama for allowing indefinite detention for terror suspects

OAK RIDGE - A time traveling Barack Obama from the year 2008 chided the 2012 President Barack Obama today for signing the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act on Dec. 31. The $662 billion defense bill included GOP-authored provisions giving the military greater authority to detain terrorism suspects indefinitely. "Where force is necessary, we have a moral and strategic interest in binding ourselves to certain rules of conduct," argued the 2008 Obama before a group of scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "And even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules, I believe the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war. That is what makes us different from those whom we fight. That is a source of our strength. What the hell, future me?" Before traveling back to 2008, the past version of Obama was told he should bet on himself to win that year's presidential election, but was cautioned strongly against picking Kansas to win the 2010 and 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournaments.

January 6, 2012

Tennessee resolves not to make national headlines for ridiculous reasons in 2012

When the Tennessee General Assembly convenes on Jan. 10, it will implement a strategic plan to not end up on "The Daily Show" or "The Colbert Report" in 2012.

The bicameral legislative body is also urging Tennesseans to be on their best behavior in the new year by making a resolution to be prepared for fits of abject stupidity.

"The year 2011 was an eventful year for embarrassing disasters and we want to make sure people will be ready if and when they strike again in 2012," said House Speaker Beth Harwell. "Just last week our state made headlines again when a woman tried to check her loaded pistol at the World Trade Center. This campaign is a statewide effort to increase awareness and encourage individuals and families, businesses and communities to take action and prepare for a lack of common sense in the New Year."

Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey agreed.

"One of the most important lessons we can take away from last year is that embarrassing disasters can impact all of us, no matter what part of the state we live in," he said. "Resolving to be ready in 2012 could be the most important pledge you make this year."

As part of their campaign, lawmakers are asking Tennesseans to: get an emergency anti-ridiculousness supply kit, make an emergency public relations plan and be informed of the foot-in-mouth hazards in your area.

Lawmakers insist they will do their part by letting schoolchildren use the word "gay" if they want and by refusing to sponsor legislation to add the book of Genesis to science textbooks.

"The past couple of years have been a doozy," said House Speaker Pro Tempore Judd Matheney. "We had Ron Ramsey questioning whether Islam is a religion. We had State Rep. Rick Womick saying Muslims should be kicked out of the military. We had Murfreesboro trying to keep an Islamic center from being built. Maybe we should have elected Basil Marceaux as governor after all. At least he released a pretty decent music video."

January 5, 2012

Local comedians mourn Santorum loss in Iowa

Thousands of the nation's joke tellers wept themselves into a state of unconsciousness early Wednesday morning after learning that Rick Santorum lost the Iowa Caucus to Mitt Romney by a mere eight votes. The two men were neck and neck in the vote counts for hours, leading to speculation that Santorum would hilariously come in first. But as the election outcomes were finalized, comedic hope turned to sadness. "I'm not going to lie," said Knoxville comedian James Mahan. "I cried myself to sleep. We were so close. Why did this have to happen? Why do bad things happen to good comedians?" Nashville comedian Jenny Kneier agreed. "A Santorum victory would have been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day for America. But it would have been an amazing day for comedy. I guess we could still quip about Romney finally coming in first at something. Or we could humorously point out that 26,000 Iowans voted for Ron Paul, who would probably end the state's corn subsidies. But it all just feels so hollow now."

January 3, 2012

Pigeon Forge Titanic attraction crashes into nearby Iceberg attraction

A 30,000 square-foot, ship-shaped museum celebrating the famous Titanic passenger steamship that crashed into an iceberg in 1912 has itself crashed into an iceberg. Witnesses report that at 11:40 p.m. last night the Titanic museum attraction in Pigeon Forge struck the nearby Iceberg Dinner Show located across the street. The half-scale, three-deck recreation of the Titanic sank into the asphalt ocean within minutes. Remarkably no one was injured. Passengers were rescued by feuding cast members of the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show, who set aside their differences to pull people to safety. "We probably should have seen this one coming," said Museum Captain Edward Harland. "And we definitely shouldn't have set sail so close to that damn Iceberg Dinner Show. Whoever heard of eating fried chicken and mashed taters while watching a glacier sing and dance? I hope global warming melts that icy bastard soon."

January 1, 2012

World fails to end again in 2011

For many doomsday scenario fans, the 2011 end of the world season will go down as a disappointing one. Sunday's calendar change marks the 2011th consecutive year that human life on planet Earth failed to end. Shortly after the clock struck midnight, the mood grew solemn. "It was a sad ending to what had promised to be a hopeful year," said apocalypse aficionado Justin Kundera on Market Square just after midnight. "I haven't been this disappointed since the world didn't end last year." But many are optimistic about civilization's chances for ceasing to exist next year. "The year 2012 offers some exciting possibilities, what with the Mayans predicting the end of the world," said James Lowry. "I'm pretty excited about what's coming over the horizon. And if you can't trust the predictions of a civilization that sacrificed its own people to the rain god Chaac, who can you trust?"

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