February 2013 Archives
February 28, 2013
Stone Temple Pilots announced this morning that the musical group's new lead singer will be the iron from the board game Monopoly. The news comes just one day after the band fired singer Scott Weiland. The former board game token will join the band effective immediately. "Scott Weiland was addicted to drugs," said the band's new triangular frontman. "I am addicted to removing creases from wrinkled pants with a steady back and forth motion. Stone Temple Pilots is going to have a monopoly on a unique blend of alternative rock, hard rock, psychedelic rock, country music, and jangle pop. And also on smooth fabric." The iron was a staple of the popular Hasbro board game from the 1930s until it was fired earlier this month and replaced by a domestic house cat.
February 26, 2013
Tennessee mascot and Bluetick Coonhound Smokey is leaving for Florida State. Vols' head coach Butch Jones confirmed the news on his Twitter feed Monday morning. "The process of adding a new mascot to our team is underway," Jones wrote. "We will hire the best costumed animal possible for the job as we continue to rebuild our school's program." Smokey, 60, came to Tennessee from a student poll in 1953. He was the only anthropomorphized stuffed animal from former Tennessee coach Derek Dooley's staff retained by Jones, who raved about Smokey's ability to dance in the end zone in a distinctive orange suit. Smokey's role on Florida State's team has not been revealed, though it is believed he will replace the school's disturbing new horse-man mascot, Cimarron. Jones confirmed that the new Vols' mascot will not be a Lane Kiffin piñata.
February 24, 2013
A North Knoxville phone was seized today by local authorities who declared it a public nuisance due to never vacating an area woman's hands. The Knoxville Police Department served a warrant on Kellen Ferry's iPhone, formally of Kellen Ferry's desperate, clutching fingers. Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Shinault issued a nuisance injunction against property owner Kellen Ferry. Undercover officers witnessed the screen of the handheld communication device being tapped and flicked during 75 percent of three recent social outings. Confidential informants also witnessed Ferry pretending to text friends so as not to have to engage with reality. The phone's owner will appear at a hearing before Shinault Wednesday. If Shinault grants the district attorney's request, the phone will be run over by a cement truck and then thrown into the Tennessee River.
February 22, 2013
WASHINGTON -- Congress handed a key victory to high-income workers Thursday by approving the first increase in the federal maximum wage rate more than a month.
By a vote of 285 to 144, the House of Representatives approved the measure as part of a deal on budget spending. Less than four hours later, the wage increase was approved in the Senate, where it was combined with a bill providing more money for someone who is not you. That vote passed by a margin of 52 to 46.
The new legislation would raise the maximum wage to $100 billion from $66 billion in three stages over the next two months. The bill includes $7 billion in tax breaks for corporations, which have made the case that they are people, my friend.
President Obama told reporters he would sign the measure as part of a last ditch effort to get Republicans to like him.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the increase was long overdue.
"After a month of indifference to our job creators we are raising wages for the hardest-working Americans," Boehner said. "The more you raise the maximum wage, the more people you raise out of poverty."
Although several states have higher maximum wages than the existing federal rate, the Bajillion Dollar Policy Institute, a non-partisan research group, estimates that just .00000001 percent of the work force earns more than $100 billion.
"We're hedge fund-to-hedge fund people, and if that hedge fund was just a little bit bigger it would make a big difference," said Koch Industries, Inc. CEO Charles Koch. He and his brother, David, an Executive Vice President, have both earned a paltry $31 billion at the nation's second-biggest ¬private company.
"Today, let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no CEO who works full time should have to live in poverty," said world's second richest man Bill Gates, worth an estimated $65 billion. "Let's celebrate making our children's futures brighter with having raised the federal maximum wage to $100 billion."
February 21, 2013
Knoxville's first annual "Pirate Festival" capsized Wednesday due to a citywide ban on murder, hostage taking, looting and pillaging. Piracy enthusiast and riverboat captain Big Orange Beard has been planning to hold an authentic pirate-themed festival at Volunteer Landing for months. The event was to feature vessel hijacking, kidnapping, robbery, sword fighting and real time cannon battles. Organizers said the festival ran into trouble when police informed them that such activities are against the law. "I spoke with the police department to see if there would be any problems with sabotage resulting in the sinking of ships or with brutal sword murders," Orange Beard said. "Apparently that's not allowed in Knoxville. Neither is extortion, taking hostages, deliberately running ships aground or burning people alive." Orange Beard said plans for the festival are on hold unless the city grants an exception to these rules. "We may also try to see if there is a different location we can host the festival where these things are allowed," said Orange Beard. "Maybe Memphis or Chicago or Clinton, somewhere like that."
February 19, 2013
Several school districts canceled or delayed school openings in East Tennessee Tuesday because of uncontrollable sobbing brought about by the season finale of "Downton Abbey." High water was especially a concern in Knox, Blount and Anderson counties, where several roads are reported to be underwater. The Red Cross opened a shelter in Knox County for people evacuated due to flooding. More than 6.5 inches of tears have fallen in most areas of East Tennessee since the season finale arrived Sunday night. An additional 2-3 inches of tears are expected to fall Tuesday, especially in localized areas. "It was just so sad," sobbed local meteorologist Todd Howell. "I can't stop crying." A Flood Warning has been issued for Blount and Knox counties until 3 p.m. today.
February 17, 2013
Tennessee lawmakers say they resolved a tense border dispute with Georgia late Friday afternoon. State officials have agreed to give Georgia access to the Tennessee River at Nickajack Lake. In exchange, the Volunteers will collect 15 consecutive SEC football wins over the Bulldogs. Tennessee residents will also receive all the deliciously juicy, sweet Georgia peaches they can eat. At issue was the northern border of Georgia and the southern border of Tennessee, which according to Georgia Rep. Harry Geisinger was "established at the 35th parallel of north latitude and would have been located on the northernmost bank of the Tennessee River at Nickajack." Tennessee fans say they are pleased by the turn of events. "This will ensure that we have at least one key SEC victory for the next several years," said Tennessee House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga. "Plus millions of peaches, peaches for me. Millions of peaches, peaches for free. That's better than the filthy swill that comes out of the Tennessee River any day."
February 15, 2013
A turf war is brewing in Knoxville between gangs of tree-dwelling elves and roving bands of little girls selling flat, baked treats.
The so-called Keebler Elves, a group of green-coated, red-hatted sprites who bake cookies, say they are "hitting back" after hearing rumors of Girl Scouts selling cookies door to door in the Knoxville metropolitan area.
"We are proud of our cookie-selling heritage in East Tennessee and we look forward to our continued role delivering compressed, sugary baked goods to the good people of Knoxville," said the elves in a press release. "We have several hollow trees in the area, where we produce all manner of fudge striped treats and chocolate graham cookies with mint cream middles."
Elves have a long manufacturing tradition in North America. Hundreds of elves also make their residence at the North Pole, where they produce large quantities of toys that are distributed in the month of December.
But the Girl Scouts say they aren't willing to back down.
"This isn't complicated," said Lauren Yarbro, age seven. "We have been selling cookies in Tennessee grocery store parking lots since 1917. Just because your company decides on a clever marketing scheme in 1968, that does not mean you can muscle your way into the cookie business. Besides, those elves are sexist. Their trees all have signs that say, 'No girls allowed.'"
Cookie peddler Lily Hibbs concurred.
"If you think that Keebler Chips Deluxe Rainbow Chocolate Chip Cookies can compete with Do-si-dos and Thin Mints, you're just wrong," she said. "Those baked goods have more words in the title than chocolate chips in the cookie. Go bake something that's actually delicious, you piece of Western European folklore."
Fearing violence, city officials have urged the two factions to sit down to work out a diplomatic solution.
"Knoxville loves cookies," said Mayor Madeline Rogero. "I mean, seriously, Cookie Monster endorsed my mayoral candidacy. Our waistlines have plenty of room for all kinds of cookies. I have every confidence that we can learn that it feels good to give and that it's fun to share."
February 14, 2013
The world's most populous country unfriended North Korea today following a nuclear test conducted by the East Asian nation Tuesday. China's minister of social networking called North Korea's actions deplorable and inhumane. "This was the last straw," China told reporters. "All the FarmVille requests were bad enough. And the constant invites to Kim Il-Sung's 80's themed birthday parties made me want to kill myself. They know that guy died almost 20 years ago, right?" North Korea said that its nuclear test was only a response to the U.S. constantly clogging up its news feed with cat-themed memes. China remains unconvinced. "I can't even celebrate the Lunar New Year without my crazy next door neighbor setting off multi-kiloton nuclear bombs 60 miles from my border," China said. "If they keep it up, I'm also going to unlike Kim Il-Sung's Shining Star of Paektu Mountain page."
February 12, 2013
The Vols added a 5-star Bishop of Rome to their 2013 class Monday morning when Pope Benedict XVI flipped from the Vatican to Tennessee. A 5-feet-7-inches tall, 85-year-old prospect from Germany, Benedict has been committed to the Catholic Church since 2005. Benedict is believed to have picked the Vols over North Carolina, Oklahoma, Florida and other schools at least in part because UT promised that he could wear a papal mitre during games rather than a proper helmet. Benedict has great speed, but is small in stature. He is credited with 34 sacks during his third season at Rome. He could find roles on special teams during his first season with the Vols, although time in the weight room would likely give him more options. Benedict's high school coach described him as "a fierce competitor who will take his job with the Vols very seriously."
February 10, 2013
White House spokesman Jay Carney defended Sunday the Obama administration's decision to issue a drone strike on an East Tennessee haircut that went out of fashion in the mid-1990s. "This president takes his responsibilities very seriously," Carney told reporters. "And first and foremost that includes his responsibility to protect the United States and American citizens from terrible haircuts. No head of hair should be short on the front and on the sides but long in the back. America is better than that." The drone strike came days after a Justice Department memo surfaced authorizing the United States to use drone strikes on American citizens for any reason whatsoever. This is not the first time the Obama administration has delivered a drone strike against the United States. On Tuesday an unmanned combat air vehicle issued a hit on due process.
February 8, 2013
With the United States economy continuing to recover, some Roman deities are cutting costs wherever they can. Some are clipping coupons or cutting back on entertainment choices like plagiarizing all the stories from Greek mythology.
Others are pinching pennies by abandoning disposable diapers and switching to reusable cloth diapers.
Cupid, the god of desire, affection and erotic love, wears diapers even though he is centuries old, and the costs were starting to pile up.
"I'm a single god and my income isn't all that great," said Cupid. "Shooting people with arrows to compel them to fall in love against their will surprisingly doesn't pay all that well. Not even on Valentine's Day."
"I began to actively look for some creative ways to cut costs," he continued. "During that process, my friend Nixi, the goddess of childbirth, had a great idea. She suggested I try cloth diapering. It seemed completely foreign to me when I first started doing some research on the Internet. But now I encourage every diaper-wearing deity who wants to cut costs to use cloth diapers."
Cupid said he's spent about $300 so far stocking up on cloth diapers for himself. And while that can be a sizeable initial investment, he was quick to point out that he's saved hundreds of dollars in the long run. He was normally spending $15-20 each week on disposable diapers.
"A lot of gods have a vague idea that cloth diapering can save your pantheon money," said Nixi. "But most of them think it's a lot of effort or that it's really messy. That's simply not true. You just wash your diapers at home and you're good to go."
Cupid said he has seen his electric bill go up about $5 a month from the extra laundry he has been doing. But that, he said, still means a huge savings.
"I'm saving a lot of money," he said. "I'm not putting diapers in the landfill. And some of these cloth diapers are super cute. One day I may even switch to pants. I bet I would save even more money doing that."
February 7, 2013
For the second straight year, Knoxville ranked first on Amazon.com's list of America's loneliest, most desperate cities. According to a press release, the ranking is based on compiling sales of romance novels, romantic comedy movies, romantic music and sexual wellness products, then multiplying that by the number of times residents complained about being single. Bonus points were awarded for the number of times residents texted someone more than twice in a row without receiving a response. "Romantic comedy movies make me feel very romantic, and then sad and lonely and dead inside," said one forlorn Knoxvillian. "Just how lonely am I? I bought a series of Amish romance novels and a book called 'Accidentally Married to...a Vampire?' That is a thing that happened."
February 5, 2013
A professional sport where 22 men pummel the living snot out of each other for 60 minutes is not the place for adults to use four-letter words, a TV watchdog group told reporters Monday. The Parents Television Council is asking the Federal Communications Commission to take action against Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco for swearing following a Super Bowl game in which he managed to survive being beaten to death by 11 people with only the aid of a helmet. "I don't mean to be a Grumpy Gus, but when my children are watching 300 pound men deliver skull-jarring hits and knee snapping tackles, I don't want them hearing that kind of language," said PTC spokesperson James Maher. "Kids should be able to watch people give each other brain injuries and paralysis without having to hear bad words."
February 3, 2013
HEAVEN -- The Almighty Creator of the Heavens and the Earth announced at a press conference today that any prayers asking Him to intervene for either the San Francisco 49ers or the Baltimore Ravens tonight will be met with silence. The Ancient of Days confirmed that He does not nor has He ever answered a football-related prayer. "Yeah, I really don't care about football," said the Lord of Hosts. "I just watch the game for the commercials and the snacks, but that's about it. And let me tell you, at 9 p.m. I'm switching over to 'Downton Abbey.' I want to find out what happens to that baby. Sigh, I wish they had listened to Dr. Clarkson. Bunch of fools."
February 1, 2013
A global helium shortage that scientists say could be irreversible has affected flying houses piloted by cranky senior citizens, balloon boy hoaxes and obnoxious party voices.
Helium is a colorless, odorless, non-toxic inert gas, with the lowest boiling and melting points of any element on the periodic table. Despite being the second most common element, helium is finite and a non-renewable resource. Some scientists predict supplies could be depleted by 2050.
"Helium is cheap and that drives its misuse," said University of Tennessee chemist Daniel Brado. "A staggering seven percent of the world's helium supply is currently used to lift suburban houses off their foundations to search for the legendary Paradise Falls. For God's sake, just take a helicopter."
The current crisis stems from several factors, including a drop in natural gas prices, a scarcity of helium plants and the incessant need of birthday party-goers to make their voices sound funny.
"People are scrambling right now," said Gerald Louhimies, a Donald Duck impersonator who has had to learn to contort his voice without the aid of the noble gases. "I like to imitate Walt Disney's waterfowl on Market Square. The kids love it. But they aren't buying my new voice. Kids can spot a phony a mile away. And when you tell them there's a helium shortage, they just kick you in the shins."
Scientists say helium may need to be rationed in order to preserve it to construct medical scanners and, more importantly, to satisfy the nation's constant need to upgrade its iPhones. Both products are manufactured using helium.
Others say they really need helium to perpetuate media hoaxes involving helium balloons and six-year-old children.
"There is a finite supply of helium on the planet," said prankster Bill Macaulay. "If we keep using this valuable element on non-essential things like space travel and cooling nuclear reactors, then I'm not going to be able to convince the media that children are floating away into the atmosphere. That will be a serious problem 30 years from now."