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!”
Theo Albrecht, German co-founder of the immensely popular Aldi grocery chain, has died at age 88. No word on the cause of death.
Aldi is the place everyone here at Alligators In The Sewer shops for groceries (Duh! It’s cheap). Upon hearing the news, Norm was so upset, he locked himself in his office for several hours today. He later emerged and we all observed a moment of silence in honor of Mr. Albrecht. Which in itself is a feat, as it’s never quiet in the AITS newsroom, what with all the yelling and tantrums that normally go on here.
According to German media, there was a small service for Mr. Albrecht in his hometown of Essen. The Aldi founder was buried in a large orange crate, in a final effort to save money.
Can you hear me now? Indonesian Muslims learned today that they had been praying in the wrong direction for years, much to their horror. In what has been deemed a clerical error, the country’s faithful had been unwittingly pointing themselves eastward toward a point somewhere in central El Salvador, instead of westward toward Mecca. The discovery came after a religious leader was toying with his new Garmin GPS device and found their orientation 180 degrees off. “The solution was easy,” said Cholil Ridwan, head of the Indonesian Ulema Council. “We just played the ‘Hokey Pokey’ from the minaret tower and everyone turned themselves around.”
Man knocks out front teeth in fishing accident, moves to Indiana and wins Powerball. The man, who refused to give his name pending confirmation by lottery officials, stated it was always his dream to “be a millionaire and live in a great big double-wide.” No word yet if the winner will seek dental treatment.
Huge whale-eating sea monster discovered off the coast of Peru. The 90-foot behemoth was discovered by a crew of Chilean whalers after it surfaced and grabbed a recently-caught beluga off the whalers’ harpoon line. The clever whalers were then able to harpoon the 150-ton creature and bring it into port. In unrelated news, a strange new brand of “tuna” has started showing up on grocery shelves throughout Latin America.
This week’s edition of NFTS was compiled by Phil, who cashes in all his aluminum beer cans to buy lottery tickets and pickled eggs at his local convenience store. Aim high, Phil.
In a major setback for proponents of alternative energy, the solar-powered plane Solar Impulse crash landed in a Swiss pasture at about 9:30 PM local time yesterday during a distance record attempt. After piloting the plane throughout the day without incident, test pilot Andre Borschberg was faced with a sudden loss of power just after sunset. Borschberg, an experienced fighter pilot with the Swiss Air Force, was able to glide the disabled plane into the remote farm field, walking away from the wreck with only minor cuts and bruises.
“Someone forgot the batteries,” sighed Bertrand Piccard, a ground crew member for the project. “The last time we ordered one of these planes, it came with batteries. We figured this one would too. We really gotta watch that shit from now on.”
Lithium storage batteries are necessary to provide energy for the plane’s engine and avionics during nighttime when the wing-mounted solar cells no longer generate power. The plane uses 11,240 rechargeable AA cells to supplement the solar panels.
Despite a few tense moments aloft, Borschberg handled the in-flight emergency with skill. “The sun dropped below the horizon and suddenly the prop stopped turning and my instruments went dark,” said the pilot. “That sure put a spot on the front seat!”
Still, Borschberg was not happy with the blunder.
“It would’ve been nice if the factory put a label on the shipping crate…like ‘batteries not included’ or something,” added the disgruntled test pilot as he helped crews pick up pieces of debris strewn about the field. “Do we have to go to Radio Shack and get the damn things ourselves?”
Officials at Ohm aerospace, the plane’s manufacturer, offered no comments on the mishap, other than to say that the plane “must’ve been built on a Friday.” A similar incident occurred last year when a solar plane made by the company had to be ditched off the coast of South Africa shortly after dusk. It was discovered that a worker at the Ohm plant had installed the batteries backwards.
The vuvuzela, noisemaker of choice for the 2010 South Africa World Cup games, has gained a lot of attention. The plastic horns, which generally irritate the shit out of anyone within earshot and can cause hearing loss, are a staple at the FIFA soccer matches. A stadium full of drunken, horn-blowing fans can reach over 120 decibels, with some South Africans comparing the sound to that of “a stampeding herd of flatulent cape buffalo.”
But now the ubiquitous trumpets are blamed for an unexpected health issue. Soccer fans are showing up by the thousands in emergency rooms across South Africa, suffering from disfigured lips. Many fans are discovering that the combination of too much alcohol and excessive horn-blowing irreversibly distorts their lips, creating the nationwide freak show seen at many hospitals and clinics.
“This shit looks funny, mate, but it’s not,” exclaimed a British fan as he was leaving the stadium. “Every bloke ’round here ends up looking like Angelina Jolie or Jagger. Ain’t pretty at all.”
The South African Ministry of Health is issuing warnings to soccer fans to exercise moderation when blowing the horns. The agency has published an informative pamphlet, entitled Know Before You Blow, which is being handed out at the gates of soccer stadiums throughout the country in an effort to educate the public of the inherent dangers of the vuvuzelas.
“We used to only get patients with hearing loss due to the horns,” reported Ack Vorhees, a spokesman for a hospital in Johannesburg. “That and the occasional soccer fan who ended up with their horn wrapped around their neck courtesy of some enraged soccer hooligan. But now we’re seeing many more people with these unusual swollen lips. Without cosmetic surgery there’s no fixing that shit.”
Pyro rat torches VFW. A Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in Yakima, Washington, burned to the ground last week from a fire started by a rat in the basement. The curious rodent was playing with a book of matches when they suddenly ignited. The fire quickly spread throughout the structure, due to the large amounts of liquor and cooking grease stored in the building. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the blaze, though it is not known if the rat made it out alive.
S.C. island bans singing. Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, has passed a measure banning singing, whistling or playing any type of musical notes in hopes of “creating calm” on the sleepy tourist spot just off the coast. The city council did stop short of banning other traditional forms of merriment, such as watching NASCAR, shooting guns and burning crosses.
This week’s edition of NFTS was compiled by Gordy, who discovered what he believed to be a fried mouse in his lunch at a local diner, but kept eating, saying “WTF, it all tastes the same anyway.”
His nerves frayed from being raked over the coals by members of Congress last week, BP Oil CEO Tony Hayward finally threw in the towel and decided to go nuclear. The oil exec called for a nuclear detonation in hopes of stemming the gushing leak that has bedeviled the company for nearly two months.
“Fuck it, just nuke the bloody thing. It’s the only way to be certain,” exclaimed Hayward, when asked by reporters about the oil giant’s next attempt to plug the spill. “We’ve tried everything else in our arsenal, so we might just as well have the Royal Navy blow the damned thing up.”
The British Parliament has quickly responded to the crisis, voting overwhelmingly to allow a submarine to launch a nuclear-armed torpedo at the spewing gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. A ballistic missile sub is preparing to leave port in Scotland to carry out the atomic detonation, which is scheduled to occur in about 3 days. BP officials hope that the 100-kiloton underwater nuclear blast will “cauterize” the oil leak and shut it off for good.
“We’re making history here…I don’t believe anyone has ever nuked an oil well before,” said an unnamed Royal Navy commander as he prepared to board the sub. “Maybe this will get the bloody Americans off our backs once and for all!”
Meanwhile, fishing trawlers and shrimpers have been warned to stay well clear of the blast area, 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana.
NASA discovers more water on moon. After recalculating data taken from Apollo moon rocks, scientists have determined that there is 100 times as much water on the moon as originally thought. The new finding came after an engineer involved in the original analysis 40 years ago re-checked his math, discovering a decimal point 2 places off. Astrophysicists are elated over the news of more lunar water. It’s just a matter of time before some jackass finds a way to pollute it.
Massive Spaghetti-Os recall…uh oh! The Campbell’s Soup Company has recalled numerous lots of its Spaghetti-Os with meatballs, after it was discovered that someone forgot to cook said meatballs. The recall affects over 15 million pounds of the tasty canned treat (comprising about 8 pounds of meatballs). It is believed that a malfunctioning cooker is the culprit. A worker at the Paris, Texas plant loaded another 10-pound brick of ground beef into the machine, cranked up the heat and they’re back in business.
UK transplant patient dies after receiving lung from smoker. Lindsey Scott, 28, received the donor lungs in February, not aware that they came from a 30-year smoker. Lindsey died shortly after the operation, while British doctors defended the choice, stating that they need “all the lungs they can get their bloody hands on.” Never mind the fact that the donor had smoked 2 packs a day for 2 years longer than the recipient had been alive. The people who oversee Britain’s organ donor system are apparently held to the same standard of care as the ones who look after the country’s dental profession.
This week’s edition of NFTS was compiled by Norm, who once received an anus transplant, but had to give it back because everybody already knows what a major asshole he is.
In a freak act of rage, God sent what appeared to be a large explosive football downward from the heavens, completely destroying a giant statue of Jesus outside an Ohio megachurch.
The iconic sculpture, dubbed Touchdown Jesus, had been a fixture for over two decades on the front lawn of the Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio. The popular statue, so named because it depicted Jesus posed to catch a long pass, sat halfway between Cincinnati and Dayton and was clearly visible from the busy freeway that passes nearby. The statue was constructed in the 1980s by church members as a tribute to the Cincinnati Bengals football team.
The tragedy occurred early Monday evening during a thunderstorm, when shocked onlookers driving along I-75 witnessed a most unusual sight: a massive football-shaped object hurtling down from the sky, smashing into the 62-foot tall statue with a loud thunderous sound. Touchdown Jesus didn’t stand a chance. The wood, styrofoam and fiberglass structure erupted into flames and burned to the ground in just minutes, leaving a smoldering pile of ashes.
Townsfolk think the incident is more than just a freak accident.
“God has a plan for us…and it ain’t good,” warned Timothy Jenkins, 82, longtime Monroe resident and a deacon at Solid Rock Church. “This is the end of times, I tell you! The end of times!”
Area residents, fearing an imminent wrath of biblical proportions, have begun stocking up on fresh water, groceries, fuel and ammunition in anticipation of what they believe will be the end of the world. Shelves at supermarkets and home center stores in the Monroe area were stripped bare, with thousands of locals trying in vain to load up on provisions. Many residents were overheard speaking in tongues and seen running frantically to and from their homes, while others were hurriedly boarding up windows and doors.
Yet, the irony of Touchdown Jesus falling victim to a ballistic football is not lost on local citizens.
“I guess it’s the way he’d want to go,” said Monroe fire chief Mark Neu as he surveyed the destruction of the $700,000 sculpture.
In unrelated news, the topless bar and adult bookstore just across the highway were miraculously spared by the violent storm.
Toad-whacker holidays down under. In a desperate effort to rid itself of some of the gigantic cane toads that multiply in exponential numbers, Australia is unveiling its latest tourism promotion: come Down Under to whack some toads. For every cane toad you club to death with a stick, the Australian Tourism Board will give you one frequent flier mile credit toward your flight on Quantas. What a deal.
N.J. woman aims to become world’s fattest. Well, everyone needs a goal in life, and 600 pound (and growing) Donna Simpson, 42, is aspiring to hit 1000 lbs. Simpson, who resembles a cross between Jabba the Hut and the Goodyear blimp, hopes to submit a claim to the Guinness Book of World Records for her mass. Her fiancee, Philippe Gouamba, says his girl is “sexy,” and doesn’t mind the fact that she now has her own gravitational field. Simpson spends over $1000 a week on groceries, has Type 2 diabetes, and has considerable trouble doing normal day-to-day tasks, such as reaching for the remote control. We’re guessing that bathing is out of the question, the mental image of which gives us recurring nightmares. Pass the eye-bleach, please.
This week’s edition of NFTS was compiled by Bug the Cat, who inadvertently wrote this article simply by walking across the keyboard yesterday afternoon, proving that the job of writing for Alligators In The Sewer requires absolutely no skill or thought processing whatsoever.
Move over General Tso. Here comes the latest and most sought-after dish at Chinese restaurants throughout the U.S. and Canada: Chairman Mao chicken. The new staple of Asian take-outs and dim sum joints has now become the hottest crowd-pleaser of the summer. Lunch patrons are lining up for the tasty new Szechuan entree at restaurants from Vancouver to Verano Beach.
The dish consists primarily of breaded and fried pieces of chicken. Which is to say it is basically like every other breaded and fried chicken entree found in Chinese eateries - sesame chicken, orange chicken, lemon chicken, sweet & sour chicken, etc. But what makes Chairman Mao chicken so different and so delicious is the secret sauce. Nobody knows what’s in it - nobody really wants to - but it has been a closely-guarded trade secret handed down three generations from Mao Zedung’s own family. It is said that the Chairman himself frequently served it to dinner guests during the revolution. The dish even earned the praise of President Nixon during his 1972 visit to China.
Mao DongDong, Mao Zedung’s grandson, has licensed the recipe to over 26,000 Asian restaurants throughout North America, even allowing the likeness of the long-deceased leader to appear on menus and carryout containers as part of the promotion.
“Chairman Mao chicken are long-time favorite lunch in all China!,” exclaimed DongDong in an interview from his Beijing apartment flat. “America like it too very much…you buy some today!”
Woman sues Google for bad directions. What’s the difference between a sidewalk and a busy highway? Don’t know the answer to that riddle? Well, neither does Los Angeles resident Lauren Rosenberg. After following directions from Google Maps, the common-sense-challenged Rosenberg somehow ended up wandering onto Utah State Route 224 in Park City, and (of course) getting hit by a car. Apparently, Rosenberg was too self-absorbed in reading from the 7 pages of printouts to look up and actually see the oncoming traffic. And of course, a lawsuit is in the works, with Rosenberg suing for 100 grand. When approached in her yard today by members of the press, Rosenberg just gave a terse “no comment” before lighting another cigarette and resuming her game of lawn darts.
Giant planet-eating star goes on binge. The insatiable star, first spotted in the constellation Betelgeuse by the Hubble space telescope and dubbed Wasp-12b, has quickly devoured Neptune, Saturn and Uranus on its trajectory through our solar system. The rampaging red giant is now on its way toward the asteroid belt, eating up everything in sight. Om nom nom nom.
McDonald’s pulls cadmium-tainted Shrek glasses. The drinking glasses, manufactured by ARC International in Millville, N.J. (what…were you expecting the Chinese?), contain excessive levels of the highly toxic element. The hamburger giant acted quickly to issue a recall after reports turned up of children suddenly turning green, growing trumpet-shaped ears and speaking in a Scottish brogue after drinking from the glass tumblers. Fortunately the affliction is only temporary and can be reversed by feeding the child copious amounts of sugar and caffeinated beverages.
This week’s edition of NFTS was compiled by Phil, who just packed up his tent, binoculars and video camera and plans to set up summer camp in a field behind Sarah Palin’s house. Watch for Phil’s new book…coming soon.
Olympic Committee selects mascots for 2012 games. The London Organizing Committee chose a pair of naked mole rats from the London Zoo to promote the nation’s excitement over the upcoming games. Londoners wasted no time in capitalizing on the unusual mascot decision, hawking t-shirts at tube stations throughout the city. When asked about the choice, an unnamed Olympic official gave no particular reason for the selection, other than to state that the hairless rodents “look really kick-ass.”
Pakistani government sponsors Mohammed sketch contest on Facebook. Pakistan’s tourism minister decided to set up the “Everybody Draw Mohammed” page on the popular social networking site in an effort to “foster a cultural understanding of Islam and the people of Pakistan.” Several winners will be selected from the thousands of entries, with the top artists receiving an all-expense-paid trip to the south Asian nation.
This week’s edition of NFTS was compiled by Gordy, who tried in vain to make a suitable drawing on an Etch-A-Sketch, only to have it ruined due to his hands being shaky from too much heavy drinking the past week.
After several weeks of failed attempts to plug the massive Deepwater Horizon oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, British Petroleum has devised a novel idea: simply let the oil continue to flow to the surface of the sea, then scoop it up and refine it on the spot. To accomplish this, the British oil giant has just completed a first-of-its-kind, floating oil refinery near the source of the underwater gusher.
BP cobbled together the refining plant last week using surplus parts from other refineries, tying together thousands of empty steel oil drums to serve as a floating platform. The refinery is now up and running at full capacity, turning 30,000 barrels of sticky, waterlogged crude into high-grade gasoline and diesel fuel each day. And instead of shipping the gas to shore, the refinery has set up an on-site marine service station, refilling boats in the area.
“Why let this valuable resource go to waste by letting it wash up on the shores in the Gulf Coast, where it just sits on the beaches doing nothing?,” said BP CEO Tony Hayward, from his office in London. “We bring the refinery to the oil, suck it up from the water and refine it on location!”
Excitement over the floating refinery has BP looking to the future.
“The beauty of this facility is in its portability,” added Hayward. “The next time a spill occurs anywhere in the world, we can pull up anchor and tow this rig to the new gusher, ready to skim off the oil slick within 72 hours!”
While the move was met with skepticism by environmental activists, fishermen, shrimpers and yacht owners from Galveston to Pensacola are ecstatic over the new services now being offered at sea. As promotion and gesture of goodwill, BP will offer 100 gallons of free fuel for each of the first 100 shrimp boats that pull up to the station’s dock this week.
“This site is a great addition to the BP brand!,” exclaimed Alan Helgeson, operations manager on the giant rig 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. “Why go back to shore? Just pull your shrimp boat up to our docks and fill ‘er up! And don’t forget to stop in our on-board convenience store for beer and cigarettes.”
Developers are eyeing the floating structure to possibly offer more services for sea-faring travelers, including hotels, casinos, and perhaps even a BP theme park.
Shares of BP Plc rebounded at the closing Friday on the NYSE, gaining 75 cents per share.
“We don’t just bring petroleum to America’s shores,” added Hayward. “We bring petroleum everywhere!”