October, 2008 Archive
October 31st, 2008 by admin in Uncategorized
New York City is known for its rats. Letterman jokes about them nearly every night. The public’s fascination with the furry creatures and their connections to the Big Apple is so great that many tourists to the city take time from their itineraries to seek them out. That city, and the lovable rodents that live there, are inextricably linked in the minds of Americans.
Now, New York’s official tourist board has teamed up with the local health department in giving the people what they want: a web search portal that provides the ability for would-be tourists to plan their ratty NY vacations on the Internet. Visitors can easily search for and lock in the coordinates of locations where the friendly little critters are most likely to hang out - anywhere in the city. Once tourists arrive at LaGuardia, JFK, or Newark, they can hand a website printout to any cabbie and be there in the midst of rat heaven within an hour in most instances.
“This is better than my zoo back home,” gushed a burly visitor named Mike, from Indiana. Mike’s family spent half the morning in the Bronx, feeding the rats raisins and bits of cheese that they brought along in their daypacks.
“Awww, look at the cute little fellas…I’ve never seen so many in one place,” said Doris, Mike’s wife. “I think the big brown one over there likes us the most. He sure has an appetite!”
“Why, they’re not scary at all. They’re really quite tame - and inquisitive,” added Mike. “Ever since we first rented ‘Ben,’ we’ve waited for our chance to see these hordes of rats. Now look at us here - it’s fascinating!”
The New York rat search site was so successful that it crashed during its first day online, due to the high demand. Frantic city workers scrambled to add extra web servers in order to keep up with the burgeoning traffic load. Stanley Myron Kappelberger, an official with the NYC tourism board, dropped a few hints about what was to come. “Soon, a savvy visitor to our city will be able to get real-time geolocation data for rat colonies, with nothing more than a Blackberry and hand-held GPS.”
Kappelberger envisions guided bus tours eventually bringing people to the more popular sites. The city is also rolling out an ad campaign, using the slogan “Got rats?” Local denizens of the Bronx and other rat-intensive parts of the city are joining in on the rodent-mania, lurking on sidewalks, hawking souvenirs like t-shirts and giant rat plush toys to the curious onlookers.
Kappelberger also let loose a few details concerning their next project, which would point out locations of fresh crime scenes around the city, on-the-fly. Tourists equipped with mobile devices will soon have the opportunity to drop by murder scenes, sometimes while the police are still there, to gawk at the carnage with the locals.
“We’re providing family-oriented multi-media entertainment for our guests,” added Kappelberger. ” Some day, we hope to have as many people visiting our renowned rats as we do Carnegie Hall or the Empire State Building!”
October 31st, 2008 by admin in Uncategorized
Since virtually every other publication is doing it, we decided to give our endorsement for the upcoming 2008 presidential election:
Senator Barack Obama.
Do we really have to spell it out for you? Are the differences between the two presidential candidates not painfully obvious to you? Cripes, you people can be dense sometimes.
It’s really quite simple. Ask yourself: do you really want another buffoonish fuckup in the White House? Who is practically circling the drain and has an even more buffoonish fuckup running mate standing one heartbeat away from the Oval Office? Of course not. We have nothing short of the utmost faith in the good judgment of our loyal AITS readers.
The choice is clear. It’s Barack. It has to be. Go get ‘em, Tiger.
UPDATE 11/01: The normally camera-shy Tina announced that if when Obama wins the election Tuesday, she’ll let us post a picture of her (of our choosing!) on AITS. As if we didn’t have enough reasons already to vote for the O-Man.
October 30th, 2008 by admin in Uncategorized
A zoo in Germany has devised a novel way of maintaining its first-responder capabilities by training a dog to administer CPR to other animals. This one-of-a-kind service dog, a female Rhodesian Ridgeback mix named Fritzi, is capable of rendering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on many species of animals at the Rheinschaft Zoo in Mainz, Germany.
An animal helping animals.
The dog’s trainer, Martin Zander, chief veterinarian and animal psychologist at the zoo, saw the need for better first-responder capabilities after the zoo had lost several birds and mammals to airway obstruction incidents. Many animals, particularly birds, are highly susceptible to choking on small objects, such as food, feathers, plant matter, cigarette butts, and plastic 6-pack rings. Fritzi’s instincts enable her to quickly spot when an animal is in peril and respond long before human zookeepers even notice. The dog is trained to force her muzzle deep inside the ailing animal’s throat and use her tongue to dislodge stubborn objects, all the while exhaling much-needed air into the victim’s lungs.
Fritzi, shown at left, is removing a herring lodged in the gullet of a Great White Pelican.
In addition, Fritzi possesses the uncanny ability to sense when an animal is suffering from cardiac arrest. Fritzi knocks the animal down to the ground and applies pressure to the chest using her paws to revive the ailing critter. More amazing is that Fritzi knows to apply just the right amount of force based on the animal’s size. In the past year she has successfully revived a baby Hippo, two Rhesus monkeys and even a Black-casqued Hornbill.
Aiding humans the next step.
Zander would like Fritzi to become a model for future first aid dogs–skilled animals that would have the ability to perform CPR on humans. It is not inconceivable to him that canines could be properly trained as service animals, ready at a second’s notice to apply mouth-to-mouth and chest compressions to their masters. Zander sees a completely untapped market in providing such dogs to police and fire departments worldwide.
Public acceptance of canine first-responders would be an uphill battle. Many people would be appalled at the thought of a dog’s mouth contacting a human’s. Further, the sight of a dog shoving its snout into some person’s mouth and then climbing onto the victim’s chest to perform compressions would certainly be an unnerving sight. A bystander might think the dog is attacking or perhaps humping the person. But properly trained CPR dogs could be outfitted with brightly colored vests bearing messages like “It’s OK I have medical training!” Education is key. The public’s reluctance can be mitigated by informing them that despite the canine penchant for ball-licking and drinking from toilets, dogs’ mouths are still far cleaner than those of most humans.
While Fritzi’s skills have never been tested on a human subject, Zander is confident that she would “leap into heroic action” if any zoo visitor were to collapse.
October 29th, 2008 by admin in Uncategorized
Norm issued today’s directive: write another “list” posting. He didn’t care what subject matter, just write something. When Gordy pointed out (actually, whined) that we had done one of those just last week, Norm lobbed a beer can at him and slammed his office door shut. Guess we hit a nerve there.
We set about our task, choosing to focus (again) on music, since we all have a common interest there and our readers seem to respond well to it. And so you have it, the product of our collective genius, distorted as that may be. A list of some notable pop music one-offs. We chose to ignore the truly obvious (and hideous) one-hitters, like Who Let The Dogs Out, Mambo No. 5, and the Macarena. No one should be reminded of those atrocities again. Instead, we concentrated on the more oddball favorites that came to mind today.
There is a bright side to doing these lists: we get to pry our contorted faces away from PC screens for a while and actually collaborate with one another. It breaks up the tedium. And so we brainstormed.
The downside is that Norm will probably burn a mix CD of these songs, and subject us all to it. He did that with our Worst Musical Dreck of the ’70s list and nearly drove us to madness one afternoon a few months ago. Since we have to eat what we kill, we must choose wisely. Here are the results, for better or worse.
Ebn-Ozn - AEIOU And Sometimes Y. An 8-minute tale of boy-meets-hot-Swedish-girl, and takes her home. And she lets him keep his cowboy boots on. Sheer poetry, set to a danceable, ’80s synth-pop beat.
The Buoys - Timothy. Perhaps the world’s only pop hit song addressing the topic of cannibalism. This creepy song actually slithered out of Top-40 stations back in 1971. Three guys stuck in a mine, only two emerge…oh hell, we won’t spoil the story for you. Go find it on iTunes.
Bloodrock - D.O.A. First-person account of a grisly plane crash. “We were flying along…and hit something in the air.” More early-’70s preoccupation with death, released years before the genre of goth metal elevated the subject to an art form.
Boys Don’t Cry - I Wanna Be A Cowboy. From the mid-1980s, an era when way too many pompous pop artists took themselves way too seriously, came this oddball from left field. Good fun.
Gary Glitter - Rock & Roll, Part II. Granted, this one has been beaten to death at nearly every sporting event on the planet. Still, you must hear this 1972 classic in its original form, without the chorus of 50,000 drunk, stomping football fans. Every song that Glitter ever recorded has the exact same boomba-chucka-boomba-chuck-chuck drums & claps rhythm section. Which means don’t bother getting the whole CD; just downloading the one track will suffice. Unless you’re a glutton for punishment. Helpful tip: the song is much easier to stomach once you’ve had a bit to drink.
Spinal Tap - Big Bottom. OK, technically not a real band, being a made-for-movie phenomenon. We’re not really sure if it was their only hit, or even a hit at all. But everyone at AITS loves the movie (Tina can practically recite the entire dialog word-for-word), so including this tune was a must. A lusty, thundering ballad devoted to the virtues of “plus-size” girls. This one goes to eleven.
Flying Lizards - Money (That’s What I Want). Bizarre, minimalistic interpretation of the ’50s Berry Gordy-penned classic. Sung (more like chanted) by bad female “vocalist.” Percussion section sounds akin to someone beating on a metal garbage can. Or maybe it really is someone beating on a metal garbage can. A trash-rock classic.
Sam The Sham & The Pharoahs - Lil’ Red Riding Hood. The leering vocals of this ancient ’60s ditty evoke a creepy, almost stalker-like quality. “Hey there little red riding hood, you sure are lookin’ good…” Brought to you by the same people responsible for “Wooly Bully.” OK, that makes it a two-hit wonder, but who cares?
The Trashmen - Surfin’ Bird. As long as we’re stuck in the sixties, we HAVE to throw this one in. The growling vocals, the cheesy reverb, the single-chord guitar. Try to sing along with this beach favorite.
The Caesars - Jerk It Out. Tina’s favorite one-off, this song was featured in an iPod commercial a few years back. The farfisa organ adds a nice retro touch.
Staff Sgt Barry Sadler - Ballad Of The Green Berets. Sung by a real-life soldier, this Vietnam-era oddity bears all of the John Wayne badass swagger one would expect. Intended to piss off the hippies. Submitted by Gordy for purely ironic effect.
Wall Of Voodoo - Mexican Radio. A terrific ode to our south-of-the-border friends. “I wish I was in Tijuana, eating barbecued iguana.” Indeed.
The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown - Fire. Nutty, ’60s period piece instantly recognizable by Brown’s maniacal screams throughout the song.
The Vapors - Turning Japanese. Coy little song about…well…nevermind. At least, that’s the legend. Can anyone say “hand-to-gland combat?”
Frank And Moon Zappa - Valley Girl. Parodies the jargon and speaking style of 1980s Southern California airhead girls. Now every teenage female talks like that. Thanks, Frank. It’s…like…totally tubular.
October 25th, 2008 by admin in Uncategorized
Norm, our editor, is not such a bad animal. Really. Despite his incessant yelling, ranting, throwing things, and general lack of hygiene, he is essentially harmless. And once in a while, he shows a bit of true generosity to his underlings. Such was the case when he announced that he would be hosting this year’s Alligators In The Sewer staff Halloween bash at his place. Cripes, he even invited Maynard the Phone Boy.
[...What the fuck am I getting myself into?]
None of us had ever been to Norm’s abode before, and he emailed a detailed Google map for us to follow. Good thing, as Norm lives out in the boonies…way out in the boonies. “Better leave home a good 90 minutes early if you want to make it by eight,” cautioned Norm. “Costumes are optional and don’t bring anything. I’ve got it all covered. Trust me.”
“Uh, just one catch,” Norm continued, “no cameras. If I see anyone taking pictures in the house, that device will become a projectile. Got it?”
We get it. No party pictures for the AITS site. Damn.
The drive out was…well…tedious. I don’t get how Norm can commute this every day, though I know he crashes a few weeknights on the couch in the AITS lobby. The route involved leaving the city and traveling well beyond the suburbs, continuing past run-down trailer parks and a number of defunct farmhouses. We crossed numerous rivers and a state line. And, as an added bonus, the final eight miles involved us bouncing along a twisting, rut-filled dirt road, following a slow-moving truck that looked like a prop from Green Acres. We’ll all be washing our cars soon.
Maynard rode along with me, which provided some much-needed comic relief during the arduous journey, as he babbled to himself most of the way. About what, I haven’t a clue. Maynard’s presence serves a second purpose: he doesn’t drink, and near as I can tell, he is capable of operating an automobile without needing a helmet.
Everybody arrived at the scene within minutes of one another, and we parked our cars in the dimly-lit gravel lot behind the house. Being careful to not leave anything valuable in plain sight in our vehicles was the order of the day. This may be the middle of nowhere, but there are plenty of desperate meth-heads out in these hills. You can’t be too careful.
Norm’s rented house is an old wood-framed two story farmhouse with an assortment of abandoned car parts and rusted machinery strewn about the yard. Most of the trees either have been cut down, or are so dead and rotted that they need to be. Weeds choked what was once a lawn. I’m guessing that no real farm families have lived in this house since…Truman. I think to myself about what a great Halloween haunted house this place would be if it wasn’t so damned remote. Norm could charge admission. As I get closer to the old house my heart palpitates for a brief moment when I realize that I haven’t had a tetanus booster in a long time. I throw caution to the brisk October wind and head toward the door with my co-workers. There’s drinkin’ to be done.
We were greeted on the front steps by our esteemed Halloween host, wearing what appeared to be two large, brown garbage bags conjoined in the middle with duct tape. “I didn’t have time to shop for a real costume,” Norm admitted a bit reluctantly. “So tonight I’m one of the California Raisins!” He looked more like a giant turd with protruding arms, legs and head, standing there on the porch, beaming with that just-kicked-the-neighbor’s-cat look on his face. We’ve never seen Norm act so giddy. There were a few giggles amongst us, but no one had the heart to tell him how absurd he looked.
The only other person in Halloween attire was Tina, who came dressed as a French maid. That alone was worth the price of admission. The rest of us showed up sans-costume. We came to drink.
We headed inside to find Norm’s house in total disarray. Old magazines, unopened mail, pizza boxes and beer cans were stacked everywhere, with various half-empty coffee mugs sitting on virtually every tabletop that wasn’t already covered with some other junk. The kitchen sink was loaded with unwashed dishes. I didn’t have the nerve to check out the bathroom, choosing instead to take a leak outside whenever necessary. The place looked like a frat house after rush week. It would be condemned by the health department, though I doubt they have a health department out in this desolate area. We ribbed Norm about his…ahem…living conditions. He retorted that he “had at least picked up stuff off the floor” in anticipation of our arrival. Can’t have the guests tripping over things.
Nice of you to spiff up the place for the occasion, Norm.
Since alcohol was to be served, we asked Norm if he wanted to collect our car keys. ”Keep ‘em in your pockets, you won’t be here long enough to get that drunk,” came his gruff reply. We scoped out the amenities The Big Guy had provided for us: a bowl of pretzels, a bag of Halloween candy that will never be handed out next week (who’s going to come knocking on the door of this place?), and a slightly stale cake from some day-old bakery outlet store. And of course, Norm’s beverage of choice: two cases of Budweiser, stacked on the kitchen counter. Warm.
Really pulling out the stops for this one, aren’t we?
The night’s entertainment was provided by a vintage 1980s boombox, big as a microwave oven, spewing out vintage 1980s garbage from its perch atop a plastic milk crate. An odd mixture of Journey, Cyndi Lauper, Duran Duran, and Adam & The Ants (on cassette, no less!) assaulted our ears and our musical sensibilities. But we didn’t care. This was our chance to finally observe the boss outside of the workplace, in his natural habitat.
Here was Norm, in this armpit of a house out in flyoverland, relaxed and unassuming. No yelling, no throwing things, no petulant hissy-fits. Maybe it was the crappy music, or the warm swill we were pouring down our necks. Perhaps it was that ridiculous plastic bag turd costume. For whatever reason, we were set at ease and shown a rare glimpse of the real Norm. We all talked and drank and generally carried on, uncaring for the time being about the ridiculous world we were paid to poke our cynical fingers at.
Norm laid out in words almost his complete life story, whether we wanted to hear it or not. How he embraced the Internet in the ’90s, and pioneered the specialized field of online subliminal advertising. It was Norm’s marketing prescience that made him forego the usual popups, flash animation and banner ads typically found on websites, and pursue the virtually untapped realm of subliminal promotion. Inserting unintrusive, semi-transparent ad images in between monitor refreshes–72 times per second–is absolutely rich. And so were we, raking in beau coup bucks from cellphone companies, casinos, travel companies, and soft drink makers, all for us inserting their banal messages into the millisecond intervals between monitor flickers. It was grand. Until the market started sliding the past few months. But I digress…
This conversation went on and on, and if not for the fact that we were miles from nowhere, we would’ve bailed after 30 minutes of Norm’s tedious droning. But, we stayed and humored the boss. It was his show, after all. If nothing else, there was a sort of twisted curiosity that kept us there that evening, the same kind of curiosity that makes us such good observers of the screwed-up people and events we pepper with ridicule on Alligators In The Sewer. Besides, there was free beer, albeit the cheap stuff, served at room temperature. And Tina was still there, looking rather fetching in her French maid costume. Reasons to be cheerful.
Norm continued to ramble on, mentioning something about his two cats, but nobody saw either of them all evening, as the creatures wisely stayed well away from us. I wondered to myself if those cats hate Norm as much as Bug does.
And then, just like a flick of a switch, it all suddenly ended. At about a quarter after eleven, and without any notice whatsoever, Norm stood up and announced, “time for you all to go. Right now. Thanks for coming.” No idea why he ordered the immediate exodus from his home. It wasn’t like he had a date or anything. Norm probably hasn’t been laid in years, and the odds were highly stacked against any change in that status quo. We started to slowly climb out of our chairs and shuffle about, casually finishing our beers and still chattering away in the living room. But when Norm popped Men Without Hats into the player, the room emptied in mere minutes. Nothing says “get the fuck outta here” quite like that noise. Besides, this directive came from a character who routinely hurled chairs and monitors in the office. We weren’t about to defy him.
We all drove back to town, a bit bleary-eyed, cars mud-caked. I’ve been to better Halloween parties, and even a few that were worse. But none as awkward as this one. Norm, our fearless leader, will remain an enigma, an unknown quantity to us all. It’s probably best left that way. Monday morning we’ll act like nothing ever happened.
October 24th, 2008 by admin in Uncategorized
October 24th, 2008 by admin in Uncategorized
The AITS crew started it on a lark this afternoon, as we were sitting around the newsroom discussing music and generally not getting a lot of work done. It’s a Friday and Norm is out of office, getting things ready for Halloween.
So, with the help of Google and our fading musical memories, here is our compilation of a couple dozen relevant songs for your impoverished, low-dough pleasure. We could have easily populated the list exclusively with blues or country songs, as there is no shortage of gloom and doom to be found in those musical styles. Instead, we selected songs from across many musical genres, listed below in no particular order just to mix it up. Misery is boundless.
Most of these selections are probably available from iTunes. Or, if you’re really strapped for cash, some P2P file-sharing service. Just don’t get busted. Load up the iPod - if you haven’t pawned it already. Then crack open a cold Old Milwaukee, turn up the volume, let the tears flow and drown your sorrows. And keep telling yourself: it’s the economy, stupid.
- Ray Charles - Busted
- Kinks - Low Budget
- Cyndi Lauper - Money Changes Everything
- Willie Nelson - If You’ve Got The Money, I’ve Got The Time
- Funkadelic - Funky Dollar Bill, Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow
- Van Morrison - Blue Money
- Beatles - Tax Man
- Circle Jerks - When The Shit Hits The Fan
- Bachman Turner Overdrive - Takin’ Care Of Business
- AC-DC - Money Talks
- Merle Haggard - If We Make It Through December
- O’Jays - For The Love Of Money
- Elvis Presley - In The Ghetto
- Randy Newman - Mr. President (Have Pity On The Working Man)
- Bruce Springsteen - The River
- Silhouettes - Get A Job
- Offspring - Why Don’t You Get A Job
- Temptations - Papa Was A Rolling Stone
- Bruce Springsteen - How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live?
- Steve Miller Band - Take The Money And Run
- Boz Scaggs & Duane Allman - Loan Me A Dime
- Allman Brothers Band - Can’t Lose What You Never Had
- J. Geils Band - First I Look At The Purse
- Pink Floyd - Money
- Traveling Wilburys - Poor House
- Flying Lizards - Money (That’s What I Want)
- Clarence “Frogman” Henry - Ain’t Got No Home
- Stevie Wonder - Livin’ For The City
October 23rd, 2008 by admin in Uncategorized
Last weekend we reported the case of the camel and pony, missing from a children’s zoo in Texas. We’ve been on the edges of our seats since then.
Good news! The two animals have been located, found grazing in a nearby field. Apparently, someone simply let them out through an open gate. No drunken college students involved in the caper, near as we can tell. The bad news was that Gordy lost his 20 dollar bet, thinking the animals were snatched by some inebriated fratboys. Silly Gordy, Texas fratboys prefer goats. But Gordy was of good cheer as he handed that crisp Jackson over to Maynard, who had wagered (correctly) that the dumb animals were merely wandering around somewhere.
The staff here at Alligators in the Sewer were so elated at the news of the animals’ safe recapture that Norm even came out of his office to celebrate. He handed us all Budweisers - foties, not the dinky twelve ouncers, mind you. Warm, of course. But who cares? Norm has a booze cabinet in his office that he keeps well-stocked. It has a padlock on the door - and for good reason too. We really need to buy a fridge for this place.
October 23rd, 2008 by admin in Uncategorized
October 22nd, 2008 by admin in Uncategorized
India launched its first space mission to the moon yesterday, piloted by the nation’s sole astronaut, Major Mujibeer Veddippoor (right). The Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft lifted off without a hitch from southern India and quickly arced into low earth orbit, circling the earth twice before firing its final booster to send it on its way to the moon.
However, a few hours after the launch as the rocket was leaving earth orbit, a gyroscope in the nose cone experienced a software malfunction, causing the device to relay garbled data. While Maj. Veddippoor took over the flight controls, frantic engineers back on Earth scrambled to reset the device.
The gyroscope, manufactured by Runga Kutta Enterprises in New Delhi, required a software update. Apparently, the engineers were unaware that gyro control software ver. 6.1 was released a few days before the launch. Ragash Bishir is a lead flight engineer at Andhra Pradesh (left), India’s counterpart to Houston’s Mission Control. Bishir spent a frustrating hour and a half on the phone with Runga Kutta’s technical services division, trying to find a quick solution to the problem.
“It wasn’t always this way,” sighed a weary Bishir. “We used to get great tech support from those guys - they’re just down the road. Now they’ve off-shored their software technical support to South Carolina in order to save a few Rupees. It’s half a world away and those tech people speak with this funny dialect. I can’t make sense of it half the time. The service really sucks now.”
Fortunately for the mission, Bishir finally got through after pressing “3″ “#” “**” and entering the 22-digit software authentication code from the gyroscope’s shipping carton. Bishir was sure glad they saved that box! Runga Kutta reset the gyro software and uploaded it via sat link. Problem solved. The spacecraft is now hurtling toward the moon at 25,000 miles per hour, with all systems running perfectly.
Over one billion pairs of eyes on the Indian Subcontinent are watching this historic flight. In a few days, Maj. Veddippoor will be standing on the moon, establishing his nation’s first base camp. Future plans include adding a large solar-powered technical center on the lunar surface, to be joined by more Indian astronauts and engineers.
And who knows? Someday when you call for IT support, the person on the other end of the line could be 240,000 miles away. Or in South Carolina.
October 21st, 2008 by admin in Uncategorized
It’s official: 1970s British folk-rock group Jethro Tull have announced today that they will be embarking on a busking tour of North America, with plans to play in 30, 40, or perhaps more cities. The tour is tentatively planned for next summer, when the weather will be most conducive to the band’s performances in outdoor public venues.
The group, led by sole original member and flautist Ian Anderson (left), will be accompanied by 2, possibly 3 new members who were all just an itch in their daddies’ pants back when Jethro Tull were packing sports arenas and concert halls in the ’70s. In their heyday, Tull were renowned for such classics as “Aqualung,” “Bungle in the Jungle,” and “Living in the Past.”
More than three decades later, the group has no management, no promoter, no corporate support, and no recording contract. Their records receive little radio airplay these days, as their last album release occurred in 1999. With mounting personal debt, compounded by the sluggish global economy, the aging Anderson and his new bandmates are determined to “go it alone, hit the road and seek their fortunes.” Indeed, the group will be playing all-acoustic renditions of its back catalog of favorites at various parks, sidewalks and train stations for freewill cash donations in major cities across the U.S. and Canada. The group is also toying with the idea of popping in to a few Renaissance festivals as well.
When asked about the band’s tour itinerary, Anderson could only offer uncertainty. “Well, me brother, that would really depend on where we happen to be at any point in time. It all depends on how easily we can catch a ride, where it takes us and how long it takes to get to the next stop.” Anderson added, “we really have no idea where we’re going. We have no schedule, no planned transportation for ourselves or lorries for our equipment. As a matter of fact, we have no equipment at all, aside from the acoustic instruments we’ll be carrying on our backs. Basics it’ll be, just like our first tour back in ‘68.”
Basics indeed, as the newly re-formed group plans to busk for spare change at just about any high-traffic public location where hopefully they won’t get arrested or mugged.
Anderson is confident that if the group can hop a freighter in Southampton around mid-to-late May, they will be on schedule to launch their tour from Boston or New York by mid-June, and hitchhike across the continent. With no tour schedule and no advertising, the band expects to rely on buzz created by bloggers to alert fans when the group rolls into in each town. “We’re hoping our loyal fans will come out, spread the word, and see our impromptu performances — wherever we happen to show up. And hopefully, they’ll bring pockets full of cash to throw at us,” added an optomistic Anderson. “A little doobie and a ride afterwards over to the next town would be splendid as well.”
October 20th, 2008 by admin in Uncategorized
No doubt, you’ve heard it by now. U.S. Congresswoman Michele “Moonbeam” Bachmann (R-MN) blurted out on national TV an allegation that Barack Obama (and possibly other members of Congress) are “un-American.” The firestorm that ensued only intensified when retired General Colin Powell cited Bachmann’s idiotic remarks as one of the reasons he is disappointed in the Republican party and is now backing Obama. Powell characterized Bachmann’s claim as “nonsense.”
Bachmann also urged newspapers to investigate other members of Congress to determine if they are “anti-America” or “pro-America.” This view takes us back to those halcyon days of the late forties and early fifties, when a fellow named Joseph McCarthy brought forth his unique brand of paranoia in his investigations of people he believed were hostile to American interests.
That brand of paranoia is no longer unique. Today its torch is being carried proudly by Bachmann. Nothing says “nutjob” quite like resurrecting a failed draconian witch-hunt policy idea from 60 years ago. Minnesota’s giddy, prom-queen Representative couldn’t be more out of phase with the public zeitgeist.
Bachmann is now in damage-control mode. Backpedaling like mad, she claims the Hardball interviewer brought up the subject. Well, he did. But Bachmann took it, hook line and sinker, and ran with it. There’s no putting that genie back in the bottle.
Despite all of this, the race is going to be tight, what with the conservative demographics of the 6th District. If Bachmann is re-elected, how is she going to face those other 534 members of Congress, with them knowing that she has questioned their patriotism?
October 20th, 2008 by admin in Uncategorized
What’s with all the bizarre thefts lately? First it’s zoo animals, now beach sand? It’s not like someone merely scooped up a few buckets of the stuff. No, they nabbed hundreds of tons if it, right in front of a resort on Coral Spring Beach on the northern coast of Jamaica. Whatever happened to good-old car thefts and bank robberies? Must be the new economy.
How can this happen? Could people simply drive trucks in and out of there, loading it up undetected? It’s not like this sort of heist is conducive to stealth. You’d have to be stoned or something not to notice that kind of noise going on. Oh wait, it’s Jamaica. Most everyone there is stoned.
Maybe it was a concerted effort by hundreds of ganja-crazed Rastafarians descending on the beach late at night with shovels and buckets, collecting sand to sell to local construction companies. (This was Gordy’s theory. A wild-ass guess.)
Could be that the UFOs have finally arrived and they need to repatriate sand to their home planet. Mars needs beaches! Now that water has been discovered on the Red Planet, it does make sense. We’re envisioning little green men, hurtling back to Mars, hauling a shitload of sand and jamming to Jimmy Buffet. Parrotheads in space. (This is Tina’s guess. It seems to be the most plausible theory to us here at AITS and is the one endorsed by our Editor. That’s our position, folks — aliens did it.)
Ahem…OK…people are going to wonder what the hell we’re smoking…
In any case, we do hope they catch the culprits before all those pristine tropical beaches are long gone.
October 18th, 2008 by admin in Uncategorized
Staff at the Capital of Texas Zoo near Austin were shocked and appalled last Thursday morning when they arrived at work only to discover that their camel and pony were missing. The zoo workers suspect theft in the mysterious disappearance of the 500 pound, 6 foot tall dromedary and Shetland/Welsh pony. The two animals were immensely popular crowd-pleasers at the Texas children’s zoo, and schoolkids from all over the state were bused in to watch the spectacular camel-and-pony shows.
There aren’t many clues and time is running out. Better declare an Amber Alert, and do it soon. Get out the warnings on freeway billboards, TV broadcasts and milk cartons. “Have you seen this dromedary? One hump, answers to the name of ‘Moses’”
There are lots of possibilities to consider, but the smart money here at AITS says that the two beasts of burden will show up safe and sound in a spare bedroom of a UT Austin frat house once the brain-damaged freshmen who nabbed the animals finally run out of pizza and beer to feed them. We can only hope, anyway. Gordy has 20 bucks riding on that theory.
October 18th, 2008 by admin in Uncategorized
We warned you earlier this month about what can happen when you leave the door open. Odd creatures tend to find their way in, as was the case here. The Alligators in the Sewer headquarters is now a bit more crowded, what with the recent additions of Maynard the Phone Boy and Bug the Cat. Part of our AITS fambly.
Maynard is now becoming a fixture in the newsroom, mainly because he is bored and doesn’t seem to have any real friends. So he spends his time here. Way too much time. Maynard is here five days a week now. Although we’d prefer to see a bit less of him, we make the best of the situation by putting him to good use. Like running to get us takeout and beer, making sure the coffeemaker is well-stocked with our shitty watered-down coffee, taking care of Bug, and picking up the place from time to time. And of course, answering the phone when we’re too preoccupied or lazy to get it. So far, he hasn’t screwed up any of those tasks, but give him time.
Since we don’t pay him, we let Maynard cash in all the aluminum cans that accumulate in the newsroom, and sometimes we hand him our pocket change. We even gave Maynard his own “office” space: the broken chair no one else wants to sit in, parked in front of the office supply table that now doubles as his desk. We put a cordless phone over there so he can field calls. Maynard delves into his odds & sods chores with good cheer and doesn’t get in our way…much.
Today, Maynard brought in his little brother, Melvin, to visit the esteemed AITS headquarters. Much as we enjoy the company once in a while, we sure hope this trend doesn’t continue. We don’t want to end up with a whole nest of Maynard’s freaky relatives lounging around the place. This ain’t no day care center. We have work to do. Like Maynard, Melvin babbles a lot, and the brothers chattered non-stop until Norm opened his office door and hurled dry-erase markers at the two muttering imbeciles.
Melvin brought along his digicam and showed us photos he took of Bug last spring when he and Maynard first started feeding the stray. Scrawny little bastard. Good thing they nursed the poor cat back to health, or the local rats might have might have made a meal out of him.
Needless to say, Bug is quite well cared-for now and even getting a bit tubby since he has established squatter rights at AITS HQ. We should weigh Bug — bet he’s close to 20 pounds by now (note to self: bring a fish scale tomorrow). We keep a 50 lb. bag of cheap Costco cat food in the supply closet, and everyone makes sure Bug’s dish is full. We don’t have a water bowl for him yet, so Bug just takes care of his hydration needs at the toilet. An empty Budweiser carton with some sand became a makeshift litter box in the corner. Damn cat is pampered. It doesn’t help that Tina and Gordy feed him scraps of meat from their lunch sandwiches. Even Norm is cutting Bug some slack and has promised a sort of detente, although he occasionally shoots rubber bands at the critter.
Well it’s afternoon and time to get back to it. These sublimial ads don’t get created by themselves. Bug is asleep under the copy machine, and we’re encouraging Maynard and Melvin to pursue some outdoor activities for the rest of the day — preferably far away from here. It’s amazing we get any work done at all in this place.
October 17th, 2008 by admin in Uncategorized
Wild pigs are normally not found in Wisconsin. But they are now, thanks to a Texas man who has been surreptitiously bringing the critters up from his home state and releasing them into the wild in southwestern Wisconsin since 2002. Now the porkers have proliferated and spread across 30 counties, eating crops, digging holes and getting run over by cars. Pigs will be pigs.
Robert “Bubba” Johnson (honest, we’re not making this shit up) is being charged with “illegally stocking wild animals,” and faces some hefty fines and possible civil damages. Officials in Wisconsin say it’s the first time anyone has been charged with intentionally freeing wild pigs.
To that we say: it’s about time someone has!
It is believed that Johnson released the pigs because he was pissed off about the state’s deer hunting regulations, and also so that hunters would have something new to shoot at. Hunters are always looking for new things to shoot at, and Wisconsin officials won’t disappoint. The state Department of Natural Resources is allowing sportsmen to blast the unwelcome swine, even without a license, in hopes of ridding the state of the bedeviling beasts.
It’s too bad really. I for one welcome our new porcine overlords.
October 16th, 2008 by admin in Uncategorized
A man wearing a clown outfit and carrying balloons is trying to lure children into his vehicle at various locations around the city of Chicago. Fortunately, no kids have been abducted yet. Police have no clues at this time.
Our world view is now shattered by this revelation. Everybody loves clowns. Now, thanks to this perp and his twisted acts, legitimate clowns are going to be reviled and stigmatized. Ain’t fair!
We can understand the usual suspects for this sort of crime: clergy, high school coaches, day care operators, Boy Scout leaders, mom’s creepy boyfriend. No surprise there. But clowns? Kiddie birthday parties will never be the same in that town. Now we’ll have overzealous Chicago cops tasering anybody walking around dressed in funny clothes and big shoes.
Our advice for clowns: better stay home for a while and lay low until this clown hysteria blows over. Hang in there. All of us at Alligators in the Sewer are pullin’ for ya’!
October 15th, 2008 by admin in Uncategorized