September 2012 Archives

September 30, 2012

Obama supporter wins lifetime supply of spam

A Clinton man who signed up to receive a free Barack Obama bumper sticker has been awarded a lifetime supply of e-mails asking for money. Donald Isaacs, 36, was announced on Friday morning as one of three million winners nationwide to be awarded free e-mails begging "for $5 or whatever you can to build this campaign." Isaacs plans to share the prize with his immediate family, including his wife, Jenny, who is a longtime fan of deleting e-mail. The overjoyed Isaacs said he is thrilled to already receive messages in his inbox from Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. "When Obama campaign representatives notified me of winning, I thought they were joking," Isaacs told reporters. "How great is it going to be to get all this free stuff?"

September 28, 2012

Tree escapes from Market Square prison

Tennessee corrections officials say a woody perennial inmate has escaped from the low-security Market Square Correctional Facility in Knoxville.

Prison officials say the sawtooth oak was missing from his assigned quarters Thursday night. The prison's statement gave no information on how he might have escaped. Nearby flowers have been taken into custody for questioning.

The Tennessee Department of Correction recently installed protective and attractive low iron fences around several of the trees on the paved portion of Market Square. Officials believed the fences would successfully house non-violent offender plants and that the exposure in a public place would invite the scorn of those passing by.

"We thought incarceration behind the fences would prevent these plants from escaping," said correction department spokesperson Jason Bertea. "Admittedly the fences were pretty small and easy enough for even a toddler to scale. But we assumed that the trees would stay put given their extensive root systems and that most of them cannot walk. I guess we learned a thing or two. Always assume incarcerated trees are Ents."

The small deciduous tree was sentenced this year to 98 months in prison for selling drugs. He began serving his sentence on June 28. He is considered non-violent, but an invasive species.

The tree was found to be missing during the evening leaf count. Authorities immediately sounded the alarm and called for a search of the downtown area.

"In retrospect, we obviously shouldn't have given the trees television privileges," said Bertea. "When they were watching 'Prison Break' on Netflix, we naturally assumed it was because Wentworth Miller is hot."

The Department of Corrections is working with state and local police in an effort to locate the tree. But police are quick to admit the treehurt will be a challenge.

"We're going to have a tough time finding that tree," said Knoxville police spokesperson Tinah Miller. "It's probably hiding in some family's backyard pretending to be a tree house at this point. Corrections has learned its lesson though. These fences don't work. They'll be placing an order for some Dementors soon. Hopefully the trees can't make a lumberjack Patronus."

September 27, 2012

University of Tennessee students agree 'Alcohol Enema' would be excellent band name

A new Gallup poll on Wednesday found a majority (54 percent) of University of Tennessee students believe that "Alcohol Enema" would make an excellent name for a band. The phrase entered the popular lexicon this week after an incident at a fraternity on the UT campus. "I don't know what it means, since UT is a dry campus," said junior Justin Henson. "But it has a nice ring to it. I would definitely download their new album." Faculty and students said they hope the new band will form as soon as possible. "The Greeks have always inspired great art," said UT Associate Professor of Band Names Michael Younger. "I hope that Alcohol Enema goes far. I could see them opening for Meat Shower or Breadmonger. Maybe even for M as in Mancy."

September 25, 2012

Oak Ridge woman unable to complete Pinterest projects due to having job

An Anderson County woman has been unable to construct a sunburst mirror from 150 pieces of branches or twigs due to having to go to her job and stuff. Tanya Valenti, 37, is one of more than 11 million women and 27 men who use Pinterest. The popular social photo sharing website allows users pin and share theme-based images of recipes, projects, hobbies and events. Reportedly only seven Pinterest users worldwide have been able to complete a pinned project. "You'd think it would be pretty easy to glue branches in place in a radiating circle using guidelines around a mirror frame," said Valenti. "But amazingly I use all my spare time pinning photos of gluing branches in place in a radiating circle using guidelines around a mirror frame. I haven't been able to make a chocolate beet cake either. Very sad."

September 23, 2012

Knoxville woman celebrates birth of iPhone 5

West Knoxville's Haley Priest and her beau Apple welcomed the birth of her new daughter iPhone 5 on Friday. She is the couple's fifth child. "Apple and I are overjoyed to welcome our precious angel iPhone 5 into our lives," she told reporters in a statement. "We are forever blessed. Mommy and baby are resting comfortably and trying out some new apps." Little iPhone 5 weighed in at 3.95 ounces and was 4.87 inches tall. "Oh my goodness, she is so cute," said Jennifer Priest, iPhone 5's grandmother. "What a sweetheart. And she has a soc A6 processer with a chip 22 percent smaller than her older sister. She has double the graphics performance and is twice as fast. So you just know there's going to be some sibling rivalry. But I love my grandkids all the same."

September 21, 2012

Vols to defend against Akron football team by making fun of it

Tennessee's third home football game of the season will pit the Vols against Akron, which is apparently an actual college football team that exists.

The Vols come into the game with a 2-1 record after a loss against Florida at home last week. Tennessee plans to win this week's contest by making fun of the other team and hurting its feelings.

"Normally our strategy is to have a good running game, a good passing game, a good defensive game, something along those lines," said Tennessee head football coach Derek Dooley. "Today we're probably just going to laugh at the other team. We're going to be all like, 'Hey, where's Akron? Does your town need to borrow some stoplights and culture? Even my orange pants laugh at Akron.'"

The Zips hail from the University of Akron, which Google confirms to be a legitimate public research university in Akron, Ohio. Google also confirms the city of Akron to be a genuine place that was not made up by a fantasy or science fiction author.

The Vols plan to use this information to their advantage on the football field tomorrow.

"Supposedly Akron is a bigger city than Knoxville," said 21-year-old Vols fan Chelsea Mynatt. "And apparently Arkon is located in Ohio or somewhere. And it has a college. I dunno. It all sounds pretty sketch to me. Weirdly people who don't live in Knoxville have heard of us. So there's that."

"We're playing a team called the Zips," agreed UT sophomore Cody Bryson. "I spent the week thinking that their mascot was either a shirt caught in a zipper or some compressed JPEG images. I was very intimidated."

"I plan to ask this team why they are named after a pulley suspended on an inclined cable," said freshman James Caraco. "Are we supposed to use them to access remote rainforest canopies? If so, that is the worst moniker for a team ever."

Akron is 1-2 on the season, having lost games to the University of Central Florida and Florida International University, which are confirmed to be real college football teams as well.

September 20, 2012

East Tennessee woman ponders leisurely nap on public safety net

A Knoxville woman today plans to take a relaxing afternoon snooze on the public safety net after first enjoying a free steak dinner and back massage provided by the federal government. "Mitt Romney is right," said single mother of two Debbie Jenkins. "It's so easy being a poor, entitled moocher. I mean with all the safety nets and everything. I actually wish I had even less money so I could be very poor and then I would be able to just lounge on my safety net all day long. I bet it's a lot like lounging in a hammock. Maybe in a few weeks I can get someone from the government to carry me to into the voting booth so I can vote for Barack Obama."

September 18, 2012

Forecast: 80 percent chance of weather small talk predicted for Tuesday

A strengthening area of low pressure is expected to bring weather small talk to much of East Tennessee today. The National Weather Service predicts an 80 percent chance of frequent informal discourse about the perfectly obvious. Heavy rain could lead to localized banter about the need for umbrellas, arks or canoes. Fall-like temperatures are expected to increase the threat of mentions of what a hot summer it's been. Forecasters said East Tennessee's tendency for unpredictable weather might lead to utterances of "if you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes." Three to five sentences of small talk are expected in low-lying elevators and slow-moving grocery store checkout lines. One to three sentences are possible in the office break room, but not if Manny forgot to get more coffee.

September 16, 2012

Neyland Stadium to build new skyboxes out of Tennessee fans' crushed hopes and dreams

The University of Tennessee announced today that it will add new skyboxes to Neyland Stadium, to be built entirely from the crushed hopes and dreams of Vols fans. The 12-month, $4.2 million construction project will add three floors to the stadium's current skyboxes, including two floors of lease suites. The skyboxes will be unique in that they will be built from a wholly renewable resource: the deflated hopes of Tennessee football fans. That lost hope will be mixed with despair, misery, despondency, rage, gloom and tears, creating a mixture suitable for the construction project. The inspiration for the building came from Tennessee's 20-37 loss to Florida last night, according to project developer Arthur Ainsworth of the Ainsworth Sustainability Development Company. "Tennessee's eighth consecutive loss to Florida is the earth's gain," said Ainsworth.

September 14, 2012

Group rallies to protect scenic Tennessee strip mall

The Shops at Cedar Bluff Square Plaza isn't the oldest abandoned strip mall in Knoxville. But it is one of the most typical.

The former open-area shopping mall features several empty stores arranged in a row with a sidewalk in front of them. Adjacent to the store fronts is a large parking lot which empties onto Kingston Pike. There are no sidewalks on the side of the parking lot bordering the road. All in all, the vacant slab of concrete is a thing of breathtaking ugly that conservationists are doing their best to protect.

"There are only so many abandoned strip malls available to us here in America," said local conservationist Jennifer Hunley. "When they're gone, they're gone forever. We want to make sure that these are here for our children and for our children's children."

Hunley is executive director of the Tennessee Strip Malls and Parking Lots Foundation, a statewide nonprofit organization whose vision is "to protect Tennessee's manmade concrete treasures." The group is working to raise funds to purchase the property, which is currently owned by private developers.

Hunley says that if the Tennessee Strip Malls and Parking Lots Foundation is able to purchase the property, it will allow Knoxville to enjoy its drab, fading exterior for decades to come.

"People go out and enjoy this abandoned strip mall and assume it's going to be there forever," she said. "But we don't know that. We want to protect it for future generations."

The property has been appraised at $5 million, but the developers have agreed to sell it for $4 million. The group needs to raise $1 million more by October 28 to be able to purchase the property or developers say they will begin to look for tenants.

The unnatural area provides soul-crushing views of peeling paint, towering signage and pavement. Hunley says that if the foundation is able to purchase the strip mall, they will join it to another nearby parking lot which has protected status. The two protected areas would create a concrete corridor totaling more than 10,000 acres.

September 13, 2012

Knoxville woman enters rehab for cookie butter addiction

Melissa Dixon, 31, has been hospitalized and is undergoing treatment for dependency on cookie butter. The Knoxville mother of two checked herself in for treatment after she discovered that that crap had gone straight to her thighs. "Melissa has voluntarily entered a 30-day in-patient treatment facility to cope with her addiction to a delicious spreadable cookie," a rep confirmed. "While there will be speculation regarding her treatment, she is simply there to learn portion control and to develop coping mechanisms. Fifteen jars a week really is too much." Dixon's troubles began last month after a grocery store chain selling the spread opened its first store in Knoxville. Dixon's rep added that "she decided that she needs help and wants to make the best out of the rest of her life for the sake of her children."

September 11, 2012

Time traveling robot ticket writers installed downtown

The city installed two time traveling humanoid robot ticket writers on the 100 block of South Gay Street Monday morning. The autonomous androids will monitor all parking spaces on the block and collect payment from motorists who exceed the metered time limit. A city official says the robots "will be able to accept bills and credit cards, but not checks. God help you if you try to write a check." The robots can also time travel, which promises to make avoiding payment difficult. "The 600 series ticket writers had rubber skin," said Knoxville director of time travel and parking enforcement Jason Reese. "Motorists spotted them easy, but these are new. They look human -- sweat, bad breath, everything. Very hard to spot. Except that they all look exactly like Arnold Schwarzenegger. So that's weird."

September 9, 2012

Knoxville's 'Gloria Ray Building' renamed 'Quentin Tarantino Building'

A downtown building that houses the Knoxville Convention and Visitors Bureau has been renamed the "Quentin Tarentino Building." The building was formerly renamed the "Gloria Ray Building" in 2010 after the previous president and CEO of Knoxville Tourism and Sports Corp. Ray retired earlier this year after legal issues with her employment contract arose. The renamed building, located at 301 South Gay St., will now feature swearing, over the top violence, unfathomable movie references and arrogance. The structure is expected to be redesigned so that it is impossible to walk from its beginning to end in a linear fashion. It will be adorned with suitcases, photographs taken from the inside of car trunks and Uma Thurman's feet. Tarantino is an award winning director and screenwriter. His forehead was born in Knoxville in 1963.

September 7, 2012

MC Hammer's pants to perform at tonight's Tennessee Valley Fair

A pair of unreasonably baggy pants will perform in concert tonight at the opening of the Tennessee Valley Fair.

The pair of large golden trousers is expected to be joined onstage by MC Hammer, a popular rapper from the 1980s and 1990s who is known for such hits as "U Can't Touch These Pants" and "2 Legit 2 Take Off These Baggy Pants."

The pair of pants gained international notoriety after their occupant was able to breakdance in them without being blown headfirst into traffic by a gust of wind.

Many fans have expressed their enthusiasm for the slacks' performance.

"Knoxville hasn't been this excited about a pair of pants since Derek Dooley's orange trousers made it to Hollywood in 'American Idol,'" said pants' fan Staci Tolbert. "Sadly those carroty pants were just aight for Randy Jackson. In fairness, they were pretty pitchy."

The pants are one of several acts appearing at the 93rd annual Tennessee Valley Fair. Also taking the stage will be Kip Moore's hat and David Nail's trusty man stubble.

But Knoxville music fans say they are most looking forward to the pants. The trousers have not toured since they became angry at constantly being called parachute pants.

"Look, we aren't parachute pants," the trousers told MTV in 2007. "How many times do we have to explain this? We are baggy pants that are tapered at the ankle. Just because we are shiny and metallic and parachutey doesn't make us parachute pants. Although we are big enough that we could technically be used as a parachute."

The fair's farmer and hipster elements have expressed their concern about the concert, however.

"Those pants have a lot of fabric," said local hipster Mason Foss. "They should look into becoming skinny jeans. They aren't easy to dance in. But they could at least grow a beard and read Pitchfork and roll their own cigarettes."

"Evidently someone made a mistake making the pants," added farmer Dale Patton. "All the fabric is concentrated in the crotch area. It's just weird. That's a good way to get something caught in some farm equipment."

September 6, 2012

Tennessee Valley Fair returns with mosquito riding, possum eating contest

The 93rd annual Tennessee Valley Fair opens Friday at Chilhowee Park with brand new attractions including mosquito riding and a possum eating contest. Fairgoers will have the chance to see if they can stay on an East Tennessee mosquito for 30 seconds without being tossed off and completely drained of blood. "The mosquitoes are a nasty bunch this year, so we decided to throw a saddle on a few of 'em," said Emmitt Arnold, who runs the attraction. "But you have to be careful. If they manage to throw you, you're a goner. It's going to be like 'Twilight' all night long. Except interesting." Also new to the fair is a deep-fried possum eating contest. Participants will have to consume as many fried possums as possible in 10 minutes. The victor will walk away with a lifetime supply of Crock-Pot squirrel stew.

September 4, 2012

Clint Eastwood to debate empty Oak Ridge Mall

Five days after losing a debate to an empty chair at the Republican National Convention, actor and director Clint Eastwood is scheduled to have an argument with a vacant shopping mall. Eastwood, 182, will be in Oak Ridge this afternoon where he will trade barbs with an indoor complex that at one point in time housed dozens of stores. "I'm a little worried about him," said "Dirty Harry" fan Matt Cochran. "He's a great movie director, but his debating skills leave a little something to be desired. There's a reason they were the Lincoln-Douglas debates, not the Lincoln-Eastwood debates. I guess poor Clint must feel pretty lucky." Eastwood will appear in Knoxville on Wednesday to debate the city's empty convention center. He will be in Lake City on Thursday to debate an empty town.

September 2, 2012

Boomsday to improve Knoxville's air quality by 20 percent

Tonight's Boomsday fireworks show could improve the quality of Knoxville's air by up to 20 percent, Environmental Protection Agency officials say. Knoxville, which failed to meet 2008 standards set by the federal agency, also ranked 15th on Forbes magazine's list of America's dirtiest cities last year. The annual fireworks display is expected to propel heavy metals, low concentration toxic chemicals and sulfur-coal compounds into the atmosphere. Experts say these compounds should actually reduce the threat of Knoxville's wheezy cancer sky by pushing even more dangerous air into neighboring counties. "The thick smoke from tonight's fireworks will shove even worse air into Maryville, Oak Ridge and other nearby cities," gasped director of Knoxville air pollution management Steve Archer. "Ultimately this is really good for the city. Knoxville should probably have Boomsday two or three times a year to maximize air quality improvement efficiency." More than 400,000 gasmask-wearing spectators are expected at tonight's show.