March 2012 Archives
March 30, 2012
A large Mallard duck from Fountain City has been crowned the winner of the first annual Knoxville Hunger Games.
The inaugural competition consisted of one male and one female tribute chosen by lottery from each neighborhood in Knoxville. The tributes were locked in a booby trap-filled arena surrounded by a force field. There they were instructed to battle to the death for the city's amusement. The arena was filled with weapons and other supplies which tributes could use against one another.
This year's competition took place in Neyland Stadium. The Games ended Thursday afternoon after a moustache from South Knoxville was finally eliminated. The bushy lip appendage was run over by a John Deere tractor.
"We were expecting Tina Wesson to finally emerge from wherever she's been hiding to win this contest," said Hunger Games analyst Caesar Flickerman. "Instead Fountain City was represented by a gregarious waterfowl. He was a surprisingly formidable opponent."
Other tributes who competed in the Games included an abandoned strip mall from West Knoxville, a freshly shorn sheep from Karns and a maxed out credit card from Turkey Creek.
The Games began last Friday at midnight in conjunction with midnight showings of "The Hunger Games" movie.
"The hipsters from the downtown district were the first to go," said Flickerman. "Their unkempt beards and their keen sense of irony and disinterest were no match for the vicious Anatidae. But you do have to give them credit. Even as the blows rained down upon them, they remained smugly superior. Ironically pop culture was the death of them in the end."
Other tributes were killed quickly. A bottle of microbrew from Fourth and Gill was eliminated when it stopped to complain about decreasing property values after spotting a homeless person. A restaurant from Market Square fell after it suggested someone open another retail store.
City officials say they are pleased with how the event turned out and hope to continue it well into the future.
"Next year my money is on the hedge fund or the set of golf clubs from Sequoyah Hills," said Flickerman. "The improving economy will definitely strengthen their prospects."
March 29, 2012
A not God-awful movie about children forced by the government to battle to the death racked up $155 million in its opening weekend. Knoxville fans of "The Hunger Games" flocked to the film, the plot of which is similar to a Japanese movie called "Battle Royale" except for all the parts where it isn't boring and terrible. "Battle Royale" was released in 2000 and became a cult favorite, despite its propensity for being a complete waste of celluloid. That film was in turn based on a 600-page 1999 novel that could have used some both some characterization and an editor. "Unlike 'Battle Royale,' this was not the worst excuse for cinema that any human has had to sit through," said one fan after watching "The Hunger Games." "I was surprised by how dreadful it wasn't." Stephen King fans say "The Hunger Games" also owes a debt of gratitude to the horror scribe's "The Running Man," except that they were actually able to finish reading and watching "The Hunger Games" without jabbing sharp pointy objects into their ears and eyes.
March 27, 2012
The Lenoir City Schools Board of Education has come under fire from an organization that claims the use of the word "religion" in a dictionary found in an elementary school library is unconstitutional. Lenoir City Superintendent Michael Fieler confirmed the city received a letter two weeks ago from the Freedom From Religion Association stating that the word religion should be removed from the dictionary. The dictionary entry is found in the "R" section of the lexicon between the words "reliever" and "relinquish." Jennifer Waychoff, FORA staff attorney, said the organization recently became aware of the use of the word religion in the school's dictionary. "We have some concerns that this could violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment," she said. "This is a clear indicator that the government is endorsing or promoting religion." Last week the organization threatened to sue Lenoir City police officer Reggie Temple for violating the Establishment Clause after he asked his wife where the hell she put the pickles.
March 25, 2012
NASHVILLE - The state Senate approved a bill Monday evening that would allow educators to teach about the controversy surrounding issues pertaining to sexual education. The bill, which was sponsored by Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, is meant to encourage teachers to help students "improve their thinking skills when it comes to what they do with their own bodies." "As long as we're passing a bill that encourages educators to help their students learn to challenge and debate issues like evolution and climate change, we should also encourage educators to teach about the controversies of abstinence and heterosexual marriage," said Hixson. "Otherwise it would just be us hiding behind legal language to promote our own religious views. What kind of a jackass would do something like that?" The Senate voted 24-8 in favor of the bill. Attached to the legislation was a provision that would also allow students to debate the controversy over whether Chemistry teacher Mr. Byrd is wearing a hairpiece.
March 23, 2012
A week after it was announced that the free Sundown in the City concert series would not be returning this year, Knoxville music fans are wondering where they will empty their bladders on Thursday nights this summer.
Sundown began in 1998 as a Market Square CD release show by the V-Roys. Nearly 2,000 people descended on downtown Knoxville that first night, many of whom relieved themselves on the concrete nearby. The event became a concert series two years later. By 2006, more than 12,000 people were visiting Market Square to pee on Thursday nights from April through June.
"I remember when downtown Knoxville was a ghost town and you could pee right on the sidewalk without anyone even noticing," said Alan Brado. "Sundown in the City changed that. Pretty soon people were coming from all over town to pee in the alleys here on weekday nights. The beer helped with that. Oh, and the music was great, too. "
In recent years, some merchants and downtown residents began to complain that the event had become too crowded and had become an excuse for creepers to buy beer for underage girls. Organizers say the festival had finally outgrown the bounds of Market Square. The series was scaled down to just five shows in 2011.
But for all that, some festival goers say they will miss the good times they had at Sundown.
"My hoodlum tween friends and I enjoyed underage drinking and wearing our skinny jeans at this music festival," said hoodlum tween Jordan Kern. "Now we will have to swear and be dour and surly somewhere else."
"I enjoyed shoplifting from local businesses at this concert," agreed Madison Quigley. "It's the small businesses that really give a place its character. I'll still try to shoplift from the mom and pop stores when I can, but it's just easier at the chain stores."
Those with full bladders say they are sad, but that a better day lies ahead.
"The alley between Market Square and Gay St. was like a second bathroom to me," said John Harris. "It was comfortable and secluded and generally clean until I got there. Now I will have to find new downtown businesses to urinate on."
March 22, 2012
An uncut North Knoxville lawn became self-aware late yesterday afternoon, prompting concerns from local authorities. Officials say the grass at 806 Maple Dr. went so long without being mowed that it began to have subjective perceptual experiences. "We didn't know that this was something that could happen," said University of Tennessee Botany Professor Jenny Ramos. "But apparently unchecked photosynthesis is not a good thing. We're all holding our breath waiting to see what this lawn will do. Hopefully it doesn't get its weeds on any nukes." Homeowner Todd Smalt said recent warm weather, heavy rainfall and him trying to have some me time for five damn minutes contributed to the alarming situation. "I could literally see the grass growing," said Tom Smalt of the lawn's rapid evolution. "Now it has developed consciousness. If I don't mow soon, it's going to have opposable thumbs. God help us all then."
March 20, 2012
The mainstream media announced today that it will spend at least another four weeks acting as though someone other than Mitt Romney could become the 2012 Republican presidential nominee. The news comes just hours before the polls close in today's primary contest in Illinois. "Yeah, this is pretty much over," said mainstream media spokesperson Darrell Barta. "Even when Rick Santorum had his big wins in Mississippi and Alabama, he still wound up with fewer delegates than Mitt Romney in the Magnolia State. That said, oh my God, Rick Santorum is still in this thing! Mitt Romney just can't close the deal! I don't know what's going to happen!" Television news anchor Dorothy Bateman agreed. "Ultimately it's all about the delegate count. And while we're going to grudgingly admit that, we're simultaneously going to act like this is going into extra innings."
March 18, 2012
The state of Tennessee is pulling out all the stops to woo former Indiana Colts quarterback Peyton Manning to the Titans. Tennessee governor Bill Haslam has offered Manning the Sunsphere to come play for the Titans, hoping to lure him from other NFL teams with the promise of the 266-foot steel truss structure in his backyard. Manning spent about eight hours at Titans headquarters Wednesday, and worked out for the team in Knoxville on Saturday. He told reporters that having his very own Sunsphere just might seal the deal. "My kids would love it," said Manning of the iconic Knoxville structure that was created for the 1982 World's Fair. "It's way better than a tree house. Or I could turn it into a lair. I've always wanted to have a lair."
March 16, 2012
A Maryville man suffered first-degree burns and lost a cigarette after a fire engulfed one of his Marlboro Reds Thursday evening, the Maryville Fire Department said today.
Deputy Chief Tom Morgan said Dustin Giles, 28, 2107 Comfort Ave., suffered first-degree burns to his fingers and face after he tried to smoke the charred roll of tobacco leaves that had been wrapped in a cylinder of paper. He was taken by Rural/Metro Ambulance Service to Blount Memorial Hospital where he was treated for first-degree burns and Nicotine withdrawal, Morgan said.
"He was screaming and crying," said Morgan. "He just kept saying, 'That was my last cigarette. Where am I going to get that rich, satisfying tobacco taste that makes me alive with pleasure?' I felt really bad for him. He burned his lips trying to get at the last of the smoldering butt."
Capt. Dale Massey said the family has told him Dustin Giles' condition has improved and he will soon be treated with a ventilator that will pump cigarette smoke into his respiratory system. "His recovery is going really good," Massey said. "They hope to have him back home smoking on the front porch by Sunday."
The chief said firefighters were dispatched to the fire scene at 8:26 p.m., controlled the fire at 8:27 p.m. and had it extinguished by about 8:28 p.m. after it was ground out by someone's boot.
Morgan said that when firefighters were leaving the fire station, they could hear Giles cursing the heavens and demanding that the universe supply him with more tobacco products about three miles away. "You could hear him crystal clear, so you knew this was a guy who loved to smoke. I'm actually surprised his lungs are still so good."
The chief said the fire started at the tip of the cigarette near the tobacco blend and quickly spread to the rolling paper and tipping paper. The paper-frame cigarette was a total loss, Morgan said.
"There will be an ongoing investigation, but I don't think I would classify this as suspicious," the chief said regarding the cause of the fire. "Sometimes you see people burn down cigarettes for the insurance money, but this guy was too emotionally involved for that to be the case here."
March 15, 2012
Three Knoxville Girl Scouts face drug charges after police found them in a parking lot Saturday afternoon peddling deliciously addictive cookies to passing shoppers. An officer noticed the trio of girls when he drove through a parking lot near a Bearden shopping center. The Girl Scouts quickly tried to leave the scene after spotting the officer, prompting suspicion. "As soon as they saw me, they bolted," said officer Dave O'Connell. "I knew they had some yummy, chocolate-coated mouth parties to hide. I detained the suspects and called in our cookie sniffing canine unit. Our dog uncovered 25 pounds of Tagalongs and Do-si-dos in the suspect's backpack." The suspects' names have not been released because of their ages. They were all charged with possession of baked treats with intent to sell, operating a drug factory, possession of Samoas and Thin Mints, and possession of cookie paraphernalia.
March 13, 2012
A bleary-eyed Ron Paul stumbled into work Monday morning after successfully setting his clocks back 1,963,584 hours. Paul boasted that he used the crushing oppression of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 against the reprehensible federal government by turning time back to 1788, thus ensuring liberty for the masses. "This is almost perfect," said Paul. "Life under the Articles of Confederation means that Congress has no power to collect taxes or regulate commerce. Now I should finally be able to find some people who will take me seriously." When asked if the country's newfound freedom would be extended to slaves and Native Americans, Paul mumbled something about states' rights and then staggered off in the direction of the smithy to have his horse reshod. He was later seen receiving treatment for yellow fever with a combination of mercury and copious bleeding.
March 11, 2012
An Anderson County man who forgot to set his clock forward one hour today mistakenly assumed that his missing family had been raptured. Frank Kimble of Clinton awoke this morning to find his wife and children missing. "I looked over and Pam wasn't on her side of the bed," he said. "I looked in the bathroom and in the kitchen, but she wasn't there either. Oh man, I was so happy. I was ready to spend the day hanging out in my underwear." Unfortunately for Kimble, his wife had just taken their three daughters for pancakes before church. "I thought I was going to finally have some peace and quiet," he sighed. "But then my wife showed up nagging about me oversleeping and forgetting to mow the lawn. Bummer. Maybe next year."
March 9, 2012
The Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority is looking into the possibility of offering intergalactic space travel out of McGhee Tyson Airport.
The Airport Authority voted last month to pay up to $125,000 to have transportation consultants do a feasibility study of offering interstellar space flights out of McGhee Tyson. Airport Authority spokeswoman Kennedy Dugan said the study, which should take approximately three months to complete, would look at a number of factors.
"We need to determine if our current terminal building would be sufficient for propelling nuclear pulse propulsion engines into the Milky Way, or if antimatter rockets or fission-powered rockets would be the way to go. We will also need to look into whether McGhee Tyson Airport can feasibly support incoming travel from boron or nitrogen-based life forms. We'd probably also need to add a second Starbucks and a Garrett Popcorn Shop," she said.
One issue would be providing hotel service nearby for 42-tentacled aliens. There could be security issues as well, should a hostile, 10-eyed alien race with death ray blasters attempt to invade the airport. On the plus side, the airport does have the runway capacity to support intergalactic flights, Dugan said.
Once the study is complete, Dugan said there would be numerous steps before Knoxville is ready to send and receive manned interstellar flights. But she said the ability to support space travel would be instrumental in wooing earth-based airlines to McGhee Tyson Airport.
"As we market to airlines, one of the questions are often asked is, 'Can you support lunar travel?'" she said. "We already have a cool indoor stream and rocking chairs that overlook the runways. Roundtrip flights to Saturn would seal the deal for a lot of airlines. In recent months Allegiant Air has dropped flights to Las Vegas and budget carrier AirTran Airways announced it would end its service out of McGhee Tyson. Let's see those bastards turn down Neptune."
Contacted for comment, Knoxville mayor Madeline Rogero said space travel would be a boon for East Tennesseans.
"It would be great for tourism," she said. "Martians love college basketball and biscuit festivals."
March 8, 2012
Just hours after four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning said a tearful goodbye to the Indianapolis Colts, the 36-year-old quarterback announced that he will dedicate the rest of his life to hunting down and destroying former University of Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin. Manning said that now that he has some free time and a bajillion dollars in the bank, he plans on avenging the football team that gave him his start. "I'll always be a Colt," said Manning. "But I'll also always be a Vol. Nobody messes with my Vols. I'm done with football for now the moment. But I'm just getting started with that cowardly Trojan. If he thought California was hot before, wait until I get there. And don't think you aren't next, Tebow. You'd better pray, pretty boy."
March 6, 2012
The state of the atmosphere announced today that it plans on producing hurricanes, sandstorms, waterspouts and ice storms later in the week, probably all at once. "Eh, why not?" said the disgruntled troposphere. "We've had tornadoes, hail and snow in a span of four days. Why not really shake things up? We're going to see heavy quantities of sand blowing in from Nevada, coupled with a few tornadoes nesting right over the Tennessee River. And then maybe a few sheets of ice on the roads. That last one's free." Local meteorologists were not amused. "Please, I just want to go home," said the disheveled shell of a man that was once Todd Howell. "I haven't eaten or slept since Thursday. This never happens to Robin Wilhoit."
March 4, 2012
When Jeremy Hower returned from a 15-day trip abroad on Saturday, he was surprised to discover that Rush Limbaugh had failed to evolve into a creature resembling a human being. Limbaugh is the host of "The Rush Limbaugh Show." His program debuted in 1988 and has since become the highest rated radio talk show in the United States. In a prominent display of irony, the thrice divorced radio commentator recently called Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke "a slut" and a "prostitute." "I had really expected some sort of growth and change to come over him during the two weeks I was in Italy," said Hower. "Maybe something in the way of compassion or empathy. But he's the same lumbering, porcine windbag he's always been. Weird." Hower's father David, a long-time fan of Limbaugh's radio program, disagreed with his son's assessment. "Rush is just misunderstood," he said. "He's really a big old teddy bear. His beefy jowls are strong enough to crush Democrats like Coke cans, yet gentle enough to carry blatant sexism and tax cuts for millionaires to safety."
March 2, 2012
Knoxville City Council last week denied an appeal by Fountain City residents to block the building of a crematorium.
Council members contend that the incinerator will help prevent the spread of the zombie menace that has been plaguing North Knoxville. The narrow 5-4 vote passed Feb. 21. By denying the appeal, the city affirmed the permitting for the crematory.
"When zombies started reanimating in Old Gray Cemetery last year, we knew we had to do something," said Finbarr Saunders, who holds At Large Seat C. "A zombie outbreak is not something the city can afford to take lightly. We've got to get rid of these bodies before they start eating our brains. I suspect they've already gotten to a few members of the state Senate and state House."
George Wallace, who holds At Large Seat A, agreed.
"Our first line of defense against the zombie plague has always been the ducks that hang out at Fountain City Lake," he said. "Give those waterfowl a couple of sawed-off shotguns and some grenades, and zombies are going to die. But we also have to be proactive. The fewer corpses there are lying around waiting to be reanimated by the nuclear waste from Oak Ridge, the better."
But for Fountain City residents, the crematorium poses a risk.
"Look, it's not that I'm against destroying zombies," said Alison Schultz, who lives on Cedar Lane. "And an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But this is going to draw the zombies right to us. They're smarter than you think. Decades of zombie movies have conditioned people to think that zombies just plod along and moan the word brains. They're highly organized. We need to draw them away from residential neighborhoods."
Others oppose the crematorium on the grounds that it could impact the quality of life in the neighborhood.
"I really don't want some factory in my backyard putting pollutants and dead old people into the air," said Fountain City resident Ann Boyer as she started her SUV to drive three blocks to the grocery store. "I also think this zombie thing is a little overblown. What we should really be worrying about are all the tracker jacker nests. Haven't you read 'The Hunger Games?'"
March 1, 2012
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced today that she will challenge President Barack Obama for the Democratic Party's nomination on Tuesday "just for the hell of it." Clinton, who lost the party nomination in 2008, said that she is ready for a rematch, having "kicked some major ass in North Korea recently." "I feel ready this time," said Clinton. "We had some good times in 2008. As the media reminded everyone again and again for months and months on end, Obama and I were neck and neck for the entire primary process, even though he weirdly led the delegate count the entire time. But that was before they asked my husband to be on 'Dancing with the Stars.'" Super Tuesday will take place on March 6. Its super powers include the ability to simultaneously hold elections in multiple states and the ability to boost speculation and long-winded diatribes by political pundits to superhuman levels.