Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Week in Pictures IX

Police in Florida have asked for your help in finding a hit and run driver responsible for killing a bird then fleeing the scene. Authorities released a picture of the vehicle taken at the time of the accident and are requesting that anyone with information call 555-TIPS.

NASA received another black eye today when they discovered after lift off that they had accidentally left Space Shuttle Discovery astronaut Soichi Noguchi of Japan behind. He was later found in the waiting room, patiently sitting in a recliner and watching Iron Chef reruns.

NASA blamed the error on Commander Eileen Collins' erroneous inclusion of NASA food service worker Chuck Lindstrom in her pre-flight headcount. Upon realizing that he was stranded aboard the shuttle, a panicked Lindstrom attempted to pry off Mission Specialist Stephen Robinson's helmet.

The excitement didn't end there as shortly after achieving orbit, Discovery nearly collided with a previously unknown space station that had apparently been built by the Ancient Greeks.

Meanwhile, back on earth as millions around the world held their breath as the Shuttle took off for the first time in two years, President Bush took a few moments to catch up on his cartoon watching.

Speaking of cartoons, a 38 year old man in Albequerque, New Mexico stepped forward today claiming to be the illegitimate son of popular cartoon character Bugs Bunny.

In science news, supervillan Ernst Blofeld unveiled his latest killing machine, which he expects will create a great deal of dramatic tension before allowing 007 to barely escape the jaws of death.

After failing to gather any volunteers for their Human Darts Contest, panicked organizers began stuffing random tourists into cannons and firing them at targets hanging from buildings around Rockefeller Plaza.

Celine Dion plead guilty to a moving violation this week and was sentenced to fifty hours of listening her own music. Amnesty International launched a campaign to stop what they called "cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishment."

A local man donated a dozen macaws to the wildlife sanctuary this afternoon. He had purchased the birds to use in what turned out the be a failed marriage proposal. "I could have sworn she said that she loved parrots in the springtime," he said by way of explanation.

Entrepreneurs in Bogota, Columbia have opened a doggy day camp. However, not all of the pooches are happy about the experience, as evidenced by the one who's thought bubble translates to "I'd rather be licking myself."

The week's gratuitous picture: Halle Berry

Fashion designers continue to unveil their latest creations, many of which reflect the hottest trend in plastic surgery: hip implants.

The World Swimming Championships synchronized swimming finals were delayed after an overly enthusiastic fan rushed the pool and jumped on the back of an Italian team swimmer.

Later that day, a Japanese diver dislocated her hips after entering the water incorrectly while attempting an Inward 1-1/2 Somersault Pike. She was rushed to the hospital, but not before receiving several lewd propositions from the judges.

Austrian Daniel Koellerer received similar proposals from several men in the stands after he demonstrated his prowess by swallowing an entire racket handle.

In business news, during a visit to Wiesbaden, Germany, Tibetian spiritual leader the Dalai Lama announced his plans to market a line of Zen binoculars.

And finally, after several centuries of marriage, Santa Claus has divorced Mrs. Claus and moved to Copenhagen, Denmark where he's living in a commune with several of his groupies.


You'll notice that "The Week in Pictures" is posted a day early. That's because I'm off for a few days of some much deserved hedonistic hellraising, drunken debauchery, and madcap mayhem.

If you promise to behave yourselves, I'll bring back souvenirs for everyone.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The End of Innocence

"Yeah, this used to be a nice place to live," the old man said wistfully as we strolled down the garbage strewn sidewalk. "Kids played in the street, the air was filled with song, and everyone got along. Nowadays, we keep our doors locked, our windows barred, and we only go out when we have to - and rarely after dark."

From the looks of things, you'd never know that we were walking through what was once considered the world's nicest neighborhood. That was a long time ago, though. The once sweet air had turned acrid over time and the families and friendly neighbors for which the block had been famous had left long ago. Vacant buildings outnumbered occupied ones by a three to one margin, and nearly every window was shattered or boarded up.

Over the years, an uneasy truce had developed between the residents that remained and the rats that infested the area, with each side resigned to living with the other and trying to make the best of what they both considered a bad situation.

We stepped over broken crack vials and empty liquor bottles, as he pointed out some of the remaining residents.

"See that tall guy over there? That's B.B. He's 36 years old, 8 feet 2 inches tall and has the intellectual capacity of a six year old. Lots of people are intimidated by him, but he's pretty a pretty gentle soul. In fact, he still sleeps with his teddy bear, Radar."

"For a long time, we thought he had an imaginary best friend." he continued. "You have no idea how surprised we were when his friend turned out to be real. The guy goes by the name of Snuffy and he's even dumber than B.B., if that's possible. One day I watched him spend nearly an hour trying to tie his shoelaces. It's a good thing for him that B.B. has taken him under his wing, so to speak, cause I doubt he'd survive a week on his own."

He turned and pointed across the street. "Now you see that chunky fella in the window over there? He does nothing but eat - all day, every day. He's gotten so obese that he can't even fit out the door, so he has to have the local market deliver everything he needs. "

"When he had his first heart attack a while back, they could barely get him out the door." He looked towards the roof of the building. "After he got home, he had a compressor drive and pulley installed on top of the building and he put that big old window in. Now when he has a heart attack - which happens about once a month - the paramedics pop out his window, strap him to the pulley, and lower him onto a specially constructed flatbed ambulance."

"His doctors put him on a diet, but he still finds ways to get junk food. He especially loves cookies. I've never seen one person eat so many of 'em. Not that you want to watch him eat, mind you. It's disgusting. Most of the food just falls out of his mouth."

Our attention was drawn away from the window by a man in a black cape who muttered to himself as he walked past us.

"We call that guy 'The Count' on account of the fact that he spends his days walking around counting things - kinda like one of those guys in that movie 'Rain Man.' He's pretty harmless, but he scares the hell out of people 'cause every time he finishes counting, he makes thunderclap noises, wets himself, and laughs like a maniac for about a half an hour."

As we came to the corner, we found our path blocked by a short, skinny guy wearing a red cape and a medieval knight's helmet.

"What the hell is it with you people and capes?" I asked, but the old man just smiled and shrugged.

"Hey Super G." he said to the costumed man, who turned to acknowledge the greeting. Before he could reply, the visor on his helmet slammed closed painfully on his large, already red nose. He let out a muffled curse before lifting the visor with one hand and saying "Hello! I can see that you are lost. If you walk back exactly the way you came, you'll find yourself you started and won't be lost any more!"

"Thanks, G" the old man said with a grin. The man in the cape saluted, dropped his visor, cursed again, and raced down the street.

"Is he on crack or something?" I asked.

"No, no. It's nothing like that," he assured me. "He got hit in the head once, and ever since then he goes through these spells where he thinks he's a superhero."

"Now where were we?" he continued as we crossed the street and made our way further up the block.

"Oh yeah," he said remembering, "that apartment over there belongs to our resident fetish freak.1 Everyone pretty much ignores him, but every once in a while someone will call the police and they'll drag him off to jail for a few days. He's much better when he's on his meds but when he doesn't take them, he drives us all a little crazy - wandering around saying 'I need it bad' and begging us to tickle him."

We stopped before a well-kept brownstone.

"The couple that lives here restored this place themselves," said the old man. "I think they intended to move at one point, but the property values plummeted when the street went bad. Now they can't even get anything close to the money they've put into it."

"They're an odd couple. The tall skinny one is pretty bright, but he's awfully high strung. He collects bottle caps and paper clips and uses them to make funky jewelry that he sells in a little shop he owns up the road. His 'life partner' - as I guess they're called - is a short heavyset fella. He's probably just about the nicest guy I've ever known. To be honest, I'm surprised he hasn't left the cranky bastard by now. "

"They call each other 'old buddy' in public, but we all know the real deal. As a matter of fact, if you walk down to the park at night, you'll sometimes see them in the woods doing what they call 'playing puppet' and that everyone else calls 'fisting'."

We concluded our tour in front of an alley. "The main reason why most of the families moved," he said "is because of the guy who lives in that dumpster over there. He calls it his summer home. In the winter, he lives in a garbage can. Says it's cheaper to heat. And you see all that junk in the alley? Well, it belongs to him. He just collects it and leaves it laying everywhere."

"He started out nasty and he's just gotten worse over the years. At first, he tolerated the kids when they played in front of his 'house.' As time went on, he started yelling at them more and more often. One day he snapped and started chasing them away with a rusty machete whenever they came near the alley. He never caught any of the kids, but it was enough to scare people into moving."

He sighed and looked around.

"No, this isn't the same Sesame Street you knew growing up, " he said "but it still isn't as bad as some other places. Trust me, you don't even want to know what goes on over at the old Electric Company."

1 Thanks to MJ for pointing out the difference between a sex fiend and a fetish freak. 2

2 Wait. That doesn't sound quite right. I meant that her comment made me realize that I'd used the wrong term.

* Editor's Note: Grover rocks. He is, by far, the best character on Sesame Street. Mad props to my boy Grover.**

** The above editor's note was added in response to a comment by Anonymous, who correctly points out that Grover doesn't get enough props.

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Week in Pictures VIII

President Bush surprised supporters at a Republican rally when he arrived wearing a patriotic skirt.

"Sometimes I just like to feel pretty." explained the President.

Unfortunately, the skirt didn't help when he accidentally sat on an ice sculpture a little later that day.

Two sumo wrestlers fell simultaneously during a competition this week, causing the earth to spin out of it's orbit and collide with the moon.

In a related story, a hidden camera at a sumo wrestling school revealed that the hazing of junior wrestlers often manifests itself in the form of diaper wedgies.

Commodities markets plummeted this afternoon on an announcement that this year's corn crop will be smaller than expected.

The IOC invited French President Jacques Chirac to Singapore to tell him they've changed their decision and have awarded the 2012 games to Paris instead of London.

Chirac thought they were serious until Ashton Kutcher walked out, at which point the President jumped up and down, laughed, covered his face, and repeatedly screamed "Mon Dieu! Je ne puis pas croire que j'ai été Punk'd!" 1

Ronald McDonald dyed his hair green and went on a murderous rampage this afternoon, hacking his victims to pieces and leaving body parts strewn around his loft.

After he was arrested, the clown led investigators to two area pools where he had cleverly hidden the limbs of several additional victims.

NASA announced this afternoon that the Deep Impact Probe they intentionally crashed into a comet on July 4 has sent back pictures of an alien crying abot the pollution created by the explosion.

In business news, the Electrocutionland theme park opened for business this week.

A jubilant but exhausted Otis and Larlene Kidd won the "Mudpit Sex with your Mother" competition at the 10th Annual Redneck Games in East Dublin, Georgia.

In an ironic turn of events, Hurricanene Emily blew a Great White shark ashore in front of a store called "Jaws" in South Padre Island, Texas. The shark devoured an unsuspecting traffic officer, a Dodge Pickup, and dozens of trays of nachos before gusting winds blew it back into the water.

Gratuitousus picture of Angelina Jolie2

MaskMaker Inc. announced record second quarter earnings as a result of unexpectedly strong sales among women of a recently released mask design.

How odd. I just had a dream about this very thing last night. Well, actually it was a more of a fantasy.

The Russian Federation synchronized swimming team took home the gold medal at the FINA World Championships in Montreal for their near perfect underwater orgy routine.

In retaliation for last week's gun incident, competing riders in the Tour de France rolled a giant bale of hay into the path of yellow jersey holder Lance Armstrong. The reigning champion was slightly injured when he fell on a needle that had inexplicably been lodged in the haystack.

Kelly Osbourne is suing her stylist after he gave her a haircut that she says was "intentionally designed to make me look like a giant, walking penis."

And finally, Sandra Bullock married "Monster Garage" head mechanic Jesse James, in a surprise sunset ceremony this week.

As Bullock left the ranch after the reception, reporters shouted "How big is it?"

After spreading her hands apart to show them, the embarassed actress realized they were referring to the diamond on the vintage-inspired engagement ring that James had designed for her and not to his manhood.
1 "My God! I can't believe I've been Punk'd!" 3

2 This week's gratuitous picture is dedicated to
Jen, Sandra, and LmaC.

3 Full credit goes to Roger for pretty much writing this joke.

Monday, July 18, 2005

The Week in Pictures VII

This is my first attempt at posting via e-mail, so it will likely be either be a dramatic failure or a spectacular success. If it's the former, it'll probably go unnoticed as dramatic failures fit right into the general theme of the blog. If it's the latter, I'll probably stop publishing since I can't imagine being successful twice in one lifetime.

Taking advantage of the evacuations spurred by Hurricane Emily, a group of lesbian pirates stormed Cancun, Mexico and claimed it as their own.

The ASPCA and PETA issued a joint statement today calling for the government to pass legislation to protect animals from discrimination based on interspecies dating.

After over 2,000 years of trying, the Mongols found a way to breach the Great Wall of China. In a modern day twist on the Trojan Horse, the persistent nomads gave the Chinese government giant ramps as a gift, and then used those ramps to send skateboarding warriors flying over the blockade into, uh, the middle of nowhere on the other side.

"This is it?" asked one. "After all of these years, it hardly seems worth it."

Italian designer Giacomo Alvino released his latest design during his Fall/Winter 2005-2006 Haute Couture collection show at Rome's Fashion Week. While this outfit retails for a reasonable $3,000, the price does not include care and feeding for the person walking behind you covering your breasts.

The French military celebrated Bastille Day in the traditional manner by surrendering to the first foreigners they came across.

As part of Disneyland's 50th Anniversary celebration, Mickey Mouse will pose nude in the September issue of Playgirl magazine. His publicists also hope that this will put to rest rumors that his high pitched voice is the result of castration.

Anna Nicole Smith is engaged again. Shown here feeding her husband to be, Smith claims that she is deeply in love with the 103 year old man, and is not merely looking to get her hands on his billion dollar estate.

This week's gratuitous picture: Rosario Dawson.

Crushing debt brought on by his extravagant lifestyle forced Michael Jackson to sell his Neverland Ranch. It was purchased by Johnny Depp, who has since bleached his skin and begun hosting sleepovers with young boys.

Meanwhile, Jackson took what his attorney called "a well deserved break" at an undisclosed Caribbean resort where he frolicked in the sand with his new beau.

Researchers studying dragonflies were amazed to find that the insect's erratic flight pattern is not designed to evade predators as originally thought, but is instead the result of heavy marijuana usage.

Doctors in Pamplona , Spain have unveiled a new hemorrhoid surgery that they say eliminates the problem without requiring a visit to the doctor's office. The procedure is still awaiting approval in the U.S. but could be here easy early as next year.

In the Tour de France, a desperate Lance Armstrong retained his hold on to the yellow jersey by holding off competing cyclists at gunpoint.

When questioned by authorities, Armstrong claimed that the devil told him to do it. Though initially suspended for his actions, Armstrong was exonerated by a picture taken by a fan just minutes before the incident took place.

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick may miss training camp while he undergoes treatment for a mysterious ailment that's caused three knuckles on his left hand to swell to massive proportions.

Brazilian beach volleyball star Larissa Franca finished a disappointing 74th place in this week's "Rate Your Own Ass" contest at Venice Beach...

...placing her only one spot ahead of last place finisher Kerri Walsh of the United States.

Destiny's Child was in the news again this week when the dry ice fog they were using caused them to freeze to the metal poles that lowered them to the stage at the ESPY awards. Rather than delaying the program, quick thinking organizers used the trio as stage props for the remainder of the show.

And finally, the filming of "Deliverance II: Ned Beatty's Revenge" concluded today with the climactic scene in which Beatty's son, played by Ed Norton, kidnaps the prized piglet of the man who raped his father and makes it "squeal like a human."