Happy Halloween, from all your fiends here at Alligators In The Sewer!
THE WORLD IS A FREAK SHOW. DON’T MISS ANY OF IT.
Ice-skating bear attacks two in Kyrgyzstan, killing one. The bear on skates apparently became quite enraged when the French judge only gave him a “4″ for his performance to music from The Nutcracker Suite, and began mauling other competitors on the rink. The bear managed to escape the ice arena, though Kyrgyz police quickly caught up with the 800-pound bruin when several motorists reported the animal lumbering down a busy highway, making sparks with his skates. The feisty but talented bear was tranquilized and promptly sent to a zoo in Moscow, where he will soon be on loan to the Bolshoi Ballet (wearing a muzzle, of course).
A Northwest Airlines flight overshot its destination - by 150 miles. The flight, from San Diego to Minneapolis/St. Paul, passed over its destination while the pilots were (take your pick) 1. asleep, 2. chatting with one another, 3. arguing, or 4. initiating a few flight attendants into the Mile High Club. The pilots’ latest story: they were experiencing a lack of situational awareness while using laptops on board the plane. No one was hurt in the mishap and the plane landed safely in Minneapolis after circling back from its foray over northern Wisconsin. Passengers on that flight are now inquiring to find out if they will get the additional frequent flier miles.
Meanwhile, expect to see the term lack of situational awareness take the place of wardrobe malfunction in the popular vernacular as a way to describe screw ups.
This week’s edition of NFTS was compiled by Bug The Cat, who walked all over Tina’s keyboard one day, and by some miracle, managed to inadvertently produce this thrilling article. What were the odds of that - maybe one in a trillion? We’re all heading out to buy lottery tickets now….
After last year’s bizarre but wildly successful Alligators In The Sewer staff Halloween party, Norm decided that this year’s event would not involve such a long drive. No lengthy treks through the tick-filled woods of Wisconsin just to drink warm beer at Norm’s dilapidated farmhouse. In fact, we decided (unanimously) that the 2nd annual celebration of our favorite holiday should be held at AITS headquarters.
There was just one catch. The venue was not available.
It appears that cockroaches had invaded the building, which we alone occupy. More than a year of snacking and drinking in the news room had taken its toll, and now hordes of la cucaracha had taken up residency, lured by the aroma of orange Cheetos dust and spilled beer. Bug the Cat couldn’t keep up with the burgeoning insect population. Norm finally called in an exterminator, who set off a number of industrial-strength bug bombs, and thanks to a good wifi signal we were all relegated to doing our writing on laptops while sitting in our cars parked out back. Bug and Weather Dog are now enjoying a couple days’ stay at Maynard’s house until it’s safe for us all to return to HQ.
So, what to do about a party spot? With every neighborhood juke-joint dive and flea-bag motel already booked solid, Norm was forced to be creative. Never one to shy away from a good deal, Norm got his hands on a steel shipping container, on loan from one of his sketchy associates in the warehouse district. Norm’s friend even delivered the hulking, 20 foot long box, dropping it off in our back lot with a loud thud early one morning.
We all just stood there in the back doorway of HQ, with gaping mouths and puzzled looks on our faces. Nobody uttered a word. Until Norm shot off his mouth.
“This is the perfect party location,” boasted our senior editor, obviously pleased with his serendipitous find. “People live in these things, you know! There are even condos out there made from stacks of these boxes. If it’s good enough for them to stay in 24/7, it’s good enough for us to spend a few inebriated hours!”
And so, ya’ work with what ya’ got. The perfect recession-era party place. We hope no one is claustrophobic.
“Alright, I’m on board…as long as you don’t bring your fucking boombox this time,” snarled Tina, after looking over the ugly-ass green box sitting in the gravel lot. “Your shitty music gives us headaches, and we really don’t want that dreck echoing off these metal walls.”
“Fine! Everybody bring iPods,” said Norm, with a whipped puppy dog look on his face. “Listen to whatever you want and keep it to yourselves then!”
“It’s kinda stuffy in here,” shouted Maynard, as he inspected the interior of the metal monstrosity. “I think we’ll need lots of beer to stay cool.”
“And no costumes this time,” chimed Gordy. “Let’s just concentrate our energy on drinkin’ this time.”
“How about concentrating some energy on washing that greasy mop of hair once in a while,” taunted Tina, jabbing Gordy with her elbow. “Scrub up, dude, we don’t need a fire hazard while we’re packed like sardines inside that fugly metal crate.”
“OK, it’s no costumes, no ’80s music and lots of beer then,” said Norm.
“For the win!,” shouted the group in unison, as if on cue.
After some planning (though not much) and a run to the liquor store around the corner, invitations were sent out to a few friends of AITS. On Halloween night, the small crowd started assembling in our parking lot. A few pulled in, gave one look at our sweet metallic party digs, and quickly sped off. You should have seen the expressions on their faces as they were leaving!
But the AITS crew and a few other brave souls made this party-in-a-box happen. It didn’t hurt that Norm brought ample supplies of liquid refreshment this year. Budweiser. And cold this time. Munchies too - party mix and two big bags of Cheetos! Our madhouse night just started off on the right note. What more could we ask for 100 bucks?
Gordy propped the massive door open with a brick and the low-budget fun commenced. Here is a synopsis of some of the highlights from that night:
Overall, not a half-bad Halloween. Norm’s already talking about next year’s event. The rest of us are more concerned with our hangovers and how much longer we’ll have to keep looking at that ridiculous steel box sitting in our back lot.
Here’s hoping that your Halloween bash was at least as fun.
Retailing giant Wal-Mart has announced that it will depart from its low-brow, blue-collar image by targeting upscale customers - in select stores. In a bold marketing move, the Bentonville, AR company has unveiled plans to provide services normally found only in high-end department stores and trendy boutiques. Many Wal-Mart stores and Supercenters across the nation will soon be hosting wine and cheese tastings, setting up VIP lounges for customers, and providing free valet parking. Even the looks of the stores will be improved, with the harsh fluorescent lighting replaced by moody spotlighting, and classical music from loudspeakers filling the air.
A new name is even in the works: Walée (pronounced wah-LAY).
“We have been missing a key segment of the market…I don’t know why we never thought of this before,” said Josh Marcel, marketing director for the new Walée division. “Upper-middle class professionals, artsy-literary types and metrosexuals have traditionally avoided our stores like the plague, worried that they might be beaten up in the parking lots by truck-driving rednecks with NASCAR t-shirts. Well, Wal-Mart wants to make everybody welcome and comfortable in our newly-rebranded Walée stores. We’re not just for trailer trash anymore!”
Wal-Mart has set up a flashy website to promote the new Walée stores.
Louisiana official refuses to marry biracial couple, sparking a firestorm of controversy. Now the state’s governor and a U.S. senator are calling for the resignation of Keith Bardwell, the white justice of the peace in Tangipahoe Parish who refused to issue the marriage license. Bardwell’s justification: he is “worried about the children’s futures.” Perhaps Bardwell is worried that a kid might grow up to become (gasp!) a golf champion or…President?
NC pastor plans a good ol’ Halloween bible-burning party. Heresy, you say? Not quite. Pastor Marc Grizzard and other members of the Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, North Carolina, believe that the first King James version is the only authoritative translation of the bible, and so the good reverend and his merry flock of halfwits will be stoking the fires with those other versions of the book. In other words, if it doesn’t recite the story of Jesus with the dinosaurs, into the bonfire it goes.
Tea party rally with guns held in Wisconsin. Hundreds of gun-toting people gathered in a park in the tiny hamlet of Hudson, WI, yesterday to carry signs, gripe about everything they think is wrong with the nation, and chat amongst themselves about…guns. Nothing happened at the pro-second amendment protest, there were only a few counter-protesters, no one got hurt or arrested, and nothing was accomplished. Only a few third-string reporters showed up to cover the event (including one of our idiot reporters). In the words of one local tea-bagger, 357 magnum on his hip, “it’s still nice to get outside with my favorite pistol once in a while.”
But the very next day, an angry and intoxicated Hudson, WI man went postal and opened fire on his home, riddling the house with several dozen bullets while four terrified teenagers (including the gunman’s son) hunkered down inside. Fortunately, no one in the house was hurt. After several hours, sheriff deputies ended the standoff by shooting and wounding the gunman. No word yet if these two gun-related events were connected, but in a town that small, what are the odds of mere coincidence?
[Does anyone notice notice a pattern here? Yep, it's all redneck news this week. Whoda thunk? But here ya' have 'em.]
This week’s edition of NFTS was compiled by Norm, who is still trying to get over the epic case of butthurt from having his personal stash of beer raided last night by AITS staffers.
We gave Phil a helmet and sent him out to cover a cool event in Missouri last week. Anvil shooting. People actually compete in this. You stuff a bunch of gunpowder under a 100-pound anvil, light the fuse and run like hell. Hilarity ensues. The explosion launches the anvil a couple hundred feet straight up in the air. More fun than the sledgehammer bomb thing we told you about last year.
Phil sent in his wobbly video for all to enjoy.
The states of Connecticut and Rhode Island have agreed to merge into one “super state,” in an effort to pool government resources. The move, which will reduce the number of U.S. states to 49, will save taxpayers a total of 2.6 billion dollars a year in staffing and administrative expenses. The new state, dubbed RiConn, is expected to be re-admitted to the union on January 1, 2010. A special election will be held in November to choose a governor from the two existing ones. Connecticut governor M. Jody Well presently leads Rhode Island governor Donald Carcieri in the polls by a 12 percent margin. The election will also allow voters to pick legislators from incumbents in both states to serve in the new RiConn legislature, and to choose U.S. Senate and House members for the new state.
The merger will save tax dollars by eliminating over 21,000 state jobs, and by consolidating services such as law enforcement, education, transportation, and health and human services. A coin toss will decide which state capital - Hartford or Providence - will become RiConn’s new capital.
“I like the ring to ‘RiConn,’” said Anne Jayden, filling her car at a gas station in New Haven. “It’s a lot easier to spell than ‘Connecticut.’”
“This will make us bigger,” added the Jayden’s husband. “You can hardly find Rhode Island or Connecticut on a map - they’re too puny.”
But not everyone is pleased.
“It’s bad enough we’ve lost industries and jobs in this country due to the bad economy,” lamented Odell Hester, a local shipyard worker. “But now we’re losing states! What’s next - closing highways? This shit’s bad, I tell you!”
Officials from both states insist that the transition will go “rather smoothly.”
“RiConn will become the new, modern state of the 21st Century,” boasted David Floyd, spokesman for the two-state committee that is spearheading the merger. “We will become a model of efficiency that will be the envy of, and hopefully the blueprint for, other states. They will give serious thought to joining forces like we have.”
But will other states choose to be joined at the hip like CT and RI?
“There are many states that are in financial trouble,” added Floyd, with a dose of bluster. “With all the state governments circling the drain, I could see the U.S. pared down to 25 or 30 merged states in another 5 years. This model has worked well in corporate America for decades…why not government?”
The Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, both sites of nuclear bombings in World War II, are vying to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. Though several hundred miles apart, the two “atomic cities” are hopeful they can combine resources to simultaneously host the event.
“It would be the first nuclear Olympics,” boasted Hiroshima mayor Tadatoshi Akiba. “Hey, why not?”
Word has it that if the Japanese cities are selected, the United States and Russia will each send several thousand athletes, while France, Great Britain and China will send a few hundred each. Israel has refused to confirm whether or not it has athletes to send to the games, but it is widely believed that if they do, the athletes will be American in origin. India and Pakistan will each send a few dozen athletes, but they will only compete against each other. New Zealand has stated that it will refuse to participate in the games altogether. Iran and North Korea hope to have athletes ready to drop in by then, despite protests from several of the Olympic committee members.
The International Olympic Committee has not formally commented on the cities’ proposal, other than to state that “it could mushroom into a good idea.”
If the baffling yet popular ABC television series “Lost” had been produced in 1967, this is what the opening credits might have looked like.
All of us at AITS were but an itch in our respective daddies’ pants back in ‘67, but we’ve seen enough reruns of Hawaii Five-O and The Mod Squad to agree with this one. Groovy.
The Om Nom Nom Bird. Eleven seconds of pure mindless entertainment.
I can haz finger?
A South Carolina golfer was attacked by an alligator while leaning over to pick up his ball from a pond at Ocean Creek Golf Course. The 10-foot gator ripped the man’s arm off in the incident. Animal control officials were able to catch the gator and retrieve the man’s arm. (We’re not sure how they were able to get the arm back from the alligator…perhaps they tickled its belly until it coughed up the limb…we just don’t know. We hope the gator is OK too. But we digress…) Doctors are hopeful they can re-attach the severed limb. Meanwhile, the golfer, who was not identified, gave a statement to the press: “Watch out, that course has a bitchin’ water hazard on the eleventh hole!”
General McChrystal showed up in Congress today, reiterating his plea for more U.S. troops to fight the war in Afghanistan. “If you could just find it in your hearts to dig a little deeper, and give me 10,000 troops…even 5,000…whatever you can spare…would be very helpful to our cause. Pleeeeeeease!”
Pepsi is offering an iPhone app that helps guys score with women. The free app, which uses certain stereotypes of women to generate pickup lines, has drawn some criticism. However, Pepsi maintains that the app is essential, claiming that anything that will help thousands of World of Warcraft fans get out of their parents’ basements and meet girls can’t be all bad.
North Korea will be firing off a few more short-range missiles from its eastern coast this weekend, telling people they “really ought to stay away from coastal waters in the area for a while…just in case.” While banned from launching ballistic missiles by U.N. resolution, Kim Jong Il, the enigmatic leader of the world’s most reclusive nation pointed out, “it doesn’t say anything about short-range missiles, now does it? Think of it as really big fireworks.”
This week’s edition of NFTS was compiled by Phil, who is constantly looking over his shoulder, thinking something is following him. It’s reasonably like that something (or someone) is indeed following him. And it can’t be good.
George Kading is an institution in his community. For the past five decades, the Paducah, Kentucky resident has has successfully kept neighborhood children off his front lawn. Through constant vigilance, Kading would protect his little patch of green, running out his front door at the sight of any errant youngster who dared cross onto it.
“Get the hell off my lawn!,” Kading would bellow in his distinctive, Kentucky drawl.
Those stern words, combined with his trademark scowl, brandished cane and clenched fist would make all but the most defiant trespassers run for cover. Now the community has come together to honor the man with a cake and ice cream social to celebrate the half century of landscape pride. At the park across the street, of course.
Three generations of kids remember the man fondly.
“Shit, my dad got chased by this guy and so did my granddad,” said Travis Boucher, local school bus driver. “That crazy old coot is still around, and he’s chased my sorry ass outta here more times than I care to remember. Don’t mess with ol’ man Kading!”
“My brother used to deliver the paper here, back in the ’60s,” said city council member Herb Sheridan. “One day Petey made the mistake of shortcutting across Kading’s front yard instead of using the sidewalk. Kading came flying off his porch and tore into that kid, yelling the whole time. Love that old man, I really do.”
But the modest Kading doesn’t understand what all the hoopla is about.
“I’ve just been protectin’ what’s mine,” said the 87-year-old, perched in a lawn chair in his driveway, sipping a glass of bourbon. “I’ve seen a lot of hooligans running around these parts. But they’re decent kids. They just need a good lickin’ and a what-for, that’s all.”
While Government drones here are enjoying a day off for Columbus Day, our neighbors (neighbours?) to the north are celebrating Thanksgiving today. Have a great holiday and enjoy the poutine.
Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper, the gonzo psychobilly duo that has provided us endless entertainment since the mid-80s, is generously offering its entire catalog of music for free download on Amazon. This even includes every track from their latest album, Whiskey Rebellion. This offering of free goodness is only temporary, lasting for a couple of weeks.
No need to adjust your set, you read it right. This is the real deal. Free. Legal. What the fuck are you waiting for?
Don’t miss the opportunity to load up on classics like “Elvis is Everywhere,” “Transylvanian Xmas,” “Stuffin’ Martha’s Muffin,” “I’m Living With a Three-Foot Anti-Christ,” and “She’s Vibrator Dependent.”
Mojo Nixon, a long-time supporter of peer-to-peer file sharing, decided to go for broke and give it all away. In a press release, Nixon stated:
“Can’t wait for Washington to fix the economy. We must take bold action now. If I make the new album free and my entire catalog free it will stimulate the economy. It might even over-stimulate the economy. History has shown that when people listen to my music, money tends to flow to bartenders, race tracks, late night greasy spoons, bail bondsmen, go kart tracks, tractor pulls, football games, peep shows and several black market vices. My music causes itches that it usually takes some money to scratch.”
Who are we to argue against such a stimulus package? Get it while it’s free. All of us at AITS headquarters have been busy clogging up the local Internet pipes this afternoon, pirating a half dozen albums so far. We’ll be jamming on Mojo for the next couple months, with all the new free MP3 tracks. You can download the high-quality files (320kb/s, FTW!) from Amazon.
President Obama was completely taken by surprise this morning on the revelation that he had won the Nobel Peace Prize. When asked if he knew he was being honored with the prestigious award, the President said he had no clue he was even in the running and only heard about it when his personal secretary woke him at 3 A.M. to tell him the news.
“I was floored,” said the exuberant President. “I didn’t see that one coming, that’s no lie! It was all over the news this morning. Way cool!”
The President was so giddy over having won the award, he could barely manage to get any work done in the Oval Office today, spending much of the day phoning friends and relatives to tell them the news.
Nobel officials are a little red-faced over not having informed the President in advance.
“I hope this didn’t catch him off guard,” said Frederik Peffermehl from his office in Oslo. “Uh…I guess I was supposed to call Mr. Obama, but it was such a hectic day yesterday. I completely let it slide by. Sorry.”
The new Nobel laureate will be traveling to Norway to accept his award in December.
Despite it being a national holiday in the U.S., Columbus Day seems to have fallen off the radar screens of private employers, with only one remaining holdout still observing it: the Knights of Columbus. What was once an automatic day off for workers everywhere in the country, the day celebrating the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the New World has now been relegated to just another holiday for government employees. With the exception of the K of C, non-government employers just do not observe the day anymore.
“Nobody seems to care about it these days,” lamented Cardinal Joseph Barringer. “In fourteen ninety two, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue…sadly, school kids will no longer learn this because their parents won’t be home to help celebrate it. This is just another sign of the continued moral decay of our society!”
U.S. labor statistics show the decline: over 80 percent of private-sector employers gave workers the day off in 1970, when Columbus Day first became a federal holiday. The number dropped to less than 30 percent in 1990, and dwindled to about 4 percent in 2000.
“Geez, I didn’t think anybody outside of government did Columbus Day anymore,” said official with the U.S. Department of Labor. “The Knights of Columbus is hanging on to that holiday for dear life, and I have to give ‘em credit for their tenacity. Not many companies can afford to pay for every damn holiday that comes along.”
Wisconsin Tourism Federation (WTF) decides to change its name after too many people confused the organization’s initials with a common slang expression. (For those of you who may have just emerged from a long coma, WTF means “What The Fuck?” in Internet parlance.) The organization’s new moniker, Tourism Federation of Wisconsin (TFW), has been deemed much less controversial, though it may still evoke giggles among dyslexics. Upon hearing the news of this, tourism officials in Wyoming were ecstatic over the chance to adopt the newly available trademark, noting that in their state “nobody gets too uptight over cussing anyway.”
Discussion among oil-producing nations of replacing the US dollar with another currency has created some controversy this past week. While the Saudis and Kuwaitis have denied that such a change is in the works, some nations, most notably China, have pushed for a new currency to peg oil prices. Meanwhile, Norway, France and Canada have suggested that importing nations trade for oil with beaver pelts.
Rush Limbaugh is in negotiations to purchase the St. Louis Rams football franchise. If the deal goes through, the conservative talk show host’s next move is to change the name of the Edward Jones Dome to the Oxycontin Bowl, with Limbaugh pointing out that the stadium does sort of resemble a giant pill.
NASA downgrades probability of 2036 asteroid collision. After doing some recalculations, astronomers have determined that the hulking, 16 mile diameter asteroid Apophis has a mere 1-in-250,000 chance of slamming into earth, causing a global catastrophe on April 13, 2036, not the 1-in-45,000 chance previously thought. The bad news is that the space rock now has a 79% probability of directly impacting the moon, the searing fragments of which will likely rain down on earth like the fist of an angry god. Everybody panic!
GM has sold off its Hummer division to a Chinese manufacturer. Representatives of Sichuan Tengzhong Industrial Machinery (STIM) Corp. have confirmed the sale, estimated at just under a half billion dollars. STIM will move the headquarters and manufacturing to a location near Chengdu in Sichuan Province, China. However, there will be no net loss of U.S. jobs in the transition as Hummer’s Indiana and Michigan facilities have been shuttered since 2008, due to lack of sales. Chinese officials are hopeful that the gas-guzzling Hummers will become popular with men of small stature, which the country seems to have no shortage of.
This week’s edition of NFTS was compiled by Tina, who finds great delight in slapping Gordy upside the head whenever he babbles too much.
A man suffering from Tourette’s Syndrome accidentally walked into an auction house this week, and unintentionally bought several items. Timothy Bauer, a Sioux Falls, SD, truck driver, walked into Sampson’s Auction Sales on the city’s east side. Suddenly realizing he was in the wrong place, Bauer nervously began spewing a series of vocal tics, which were misconstrued by the auctioneers as bids. Before he could make it out the door Bauer inadvertently bought two brass table lamps, a snowmobile trailer, and a crate of ball-peen hammers.
“I thought I was in a…SHIT!…in a hardware store,” said the confused Bauer. “All of a sudden these auction guys were pointing at me and telling me I just bought some crap. SLUT! WHORE BITCH! I didn’t mean to buy that stuff, but now I owe them…JERKOFF! JERKOFF! BIG DADDY! YEAH!…I owe them more than a thousand dollars!”
Management at Sampson’s has been sympathetic, offering Bauer a no-interest, one-year payment plan for the merchandise.