Some nutty dude in the Czech Republic bailing out of a cargo plane at 14,000 feet on a rubber raft with a Rubik’s Cube. (We’re not making this shit up.) They wouldn’t let him pull his ripcord until the puzzle was solved. Talk about pressure.
Looks like something we’d try….after a session of heavy drinking.
In what is seen as a sure sign of the continued recession, the United States Postal Service has begun a pilot program of hiring homeless people to deliver mail in certain areas. The program, called “Hobo Heroes,” has been test marketed in 25 of the largest cities in the U.S. this summer.
The Hobo Heroes program recruits homeless people from shelters, street corners, methadone clinics, under bridges, etc. The new recruits are then shown a 30-minute training video then sent out on delivery routes. The street people are typically paid far less than their regular counterparts, usually in the form of vouchers at WalMart or area liquor stores. This enables USPS to save up to $300 a day in staffing expenses per delivery person. The Postal Service was able to sidestep minimum wage laws by invoking an obscure clause in a decades-old federal statute that applies only to the USPS.
“It gets ‘em off the streets and into something better,” exclaimed Jake Brodock, spokesman for the USPS. “They’re already hauling shit around on those beat up bikes and shopping carts anyway, so why not make them useful while they’re going about their meaningless days?”
Business and residential customers alike have responded well to the new delivery carriers.
“They smell kinda funky and they mumble a lot,” said the owner of a bodega in St. Louis. “But they’re harmless, they do a damn fine job and all they ask for in return is maybe a smoke and something to eat. I don’t know why more businesses don’t do this - they could save a shitload of money!”
“The bum we got on our street is really creepy,” added an elderly woman, shopping at the bodega. “But just as long as he brings me my mail-order meds and cigarettes, I don’t give a damn what he looks like.”
The USPS expects to save over 160 million in labor expenses next year due to the program. Since its implementation two months ago, Hobo Heroes has been successful in every market, with strong approval from even the Post Office’s harshest critics.
Not surprisingly, the new program hasn’t proved popular with the letter carriers’ unions.
Said one union steward at the downtown Philadelphia Post Office branch: “Cheap bastards!”
But Brodock staunchly defended the move. “It’s not like stamps are going to get any cheaper any time soon,” the postal spokesman argued. “Gotta cut somewhere!”
The Hobo Heroes program is expected to be phased in to more cities and towns over the next three years.
A new law passed in France now paves the way for short…err…vertically challenged…people to join police forces. The new law, removing the 5ft. 3in. minimum height requirement, was signed by the 5ft. 4in. French president Nicolas Sarkozy. The legislation came after a shocking discovery last month by government officials that all the taller candidates in the country have been taken.
“The Police Nationale have already accepted all the people they could find above that height,” said the diminutive Gallic leader at a press conference in Paris. “It seems we have exhausted our supply of taller men and women in France. We now have to lower the bar - literally - so that we can acquire more recruits.”
The French, not widely recognized for their towering stature (think Napoleon), realized that they would either be forced to drop the minimum height, or face a shortfall (sorry) in law enforcement recruiting numbers. An alternative proposal to bring in recruits from Sweden was rejected by French officials as “not nationalistically sound.”
“Our police officers will still stand head and shoulders above the rest, if only in theory,” added Sarkozy. “Besides, it’s nice to see some guys around here who are shorter than me!”
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