Posts filed under “Press Clippings”


Sir: I am incandescently furious. I thrive on outrage, and I have just been pushing the “Random article” button on Wikipedia for three hours to find things to be outraged about. I am angry that a student newspaper called the Daily Nexus prints once a week. “Daily” is in your name, people! I’m really peeved that Scotland no longer has a Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning. What, I’m just supposed to stop learning after 2007? I’m mad as all get out that Thorbjörn Fälldin was prime minister of Sweden from 1976 to 1978, because I hate all diacritics, but especially diaereses. I am absolutely livid that there is a species of catfish called Rita rita, because those blasted ichthyologists stole the title of a song I wrote in seventh grade. I’m also furious that these fish have a single pair of mandibular barbels, an elongated Weberian apparatus firmly sutured to the basioccipital and the sensory canal on the posttemporal enclosed with bone, because I have no idea what any of that means, and people should speak English for Pete’s sake. I am trembling with rage that King Ssuna of Buganda attacked the king of Buzongola in 1856. I just learned that Elizabeth Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland, was involved in the Highland Clearances, and I want to punch her in the nose. I am just sick that there is a village in Cuba called Guatemala, which is obviously just a commie Castro plot to confuse us. I’m angry that the railway station in Trimbach is served by local trains only—what, you have to get to Bern that quickly, you self-centered Zurichers? Anyway, I forget what the point of this letter was supposed to be, but it’s my invariable policy to write a letter to the editor whenever I get mad, so here you go. —Sincerely, The Man Muttering to Himself While Riding the Red Line Car Back and Forth Between Castle Shannon and Allegheny.


A lawsuit was filed today in the Court of Fairly Rare Pleas by Mr. Scamander “Scam” Likely against several mobile-phone service providers. Mr. Likely says that, because of actions taken by the service providers, no one ever answers his calls anymore. The plaintiff seeks damages of $267.05 and a dozen doughnuts from a local bakery, not one of those chains.


The Bavaria Männerchor is looking for a new meeting place, since Harvey at Harvey’s Starlite Diner has suddenly developed opinions on German folk songs.

Elbridge “Ripsaw” Renshaw was forced to resign as president of the Pandemonium Motorcycle Club after leaked emails revealed that he had on multiple occasions referred to his Harley as “Mr. Bikey.”

The Tuesday Gardening Club will be meeting on Tuesdays next month instead of the usual Fridays. Mark your calendars.

The Ladies’ Quilting Auxiliary of the No Rules Extreme Fighting Club of Woods Run is asking for donations of old clothes, curtains, tablecloths, or anything else that absorbs bloodstains. Also, we could use some fabric for quilts.

The Fort Pitt Cornell-Penn-Dartmouth Club is looking for some ringers for next week’s golf match against the Allegheny Harvard-Yale-Princeton Club. We don’t want to repeat the embarrassment of last year, and those snobs always cheat anyway.


Sir: I had just finished explaining the city loitering ordinance to a panhandler (by beating him with his own pan, which is the kind of mnemonic device we trained law-enforcement officers are qualified to employ, so don’t try it yourselves, citizens), when I passed a store with a big sign in the window:

We Demand an End to Police Brutality NOW.

And I thought to myself, yes, in theory an end to police brutality would be a good idea, but the timetable expressed by the sign is completely unrealistic.

First of all, the annual Police and Law Enforcement Convention is being held in our fair city this year. Thousands of officers from all kinds of jurisdictions are looking forward to this event. Would you rip the joy out of the hearts of thousands of good men and women just for the sake of some utopian ideal? Of course you wouldn’t. Those officers have to have something to look forward to when they come here. So I think we can all agree that we cannot reasonably end police brutality before August 12, when the convention is over.

But then, of course, it will still be summer, and summer is probably not the right time to be thinking of ending police brutality. People tend to be out on the street quite a bit during the summer, and a lot of those people are up to no good, and even the ones who aren’t can frankly get on an officer’s nerves a lot of the time. So it would probably be better to wait until fall to think about ending police brutality.

But this fall we’re having an important election, and I know for a fact that some people in my own neighborhood are planning on voting wrong, so obviously we’re going to have to postpone any attempt to end police brutality until after the election. And then the Christmas season will be here, and I don’t have to tell you what that means. And you certainly can’t tell me that Washington’s Birthday is a good time to be ending police brutality. And as I look through my calendar, I notice a few other things coming up here and there.

So it seems to me that we’re looking at 2025 or 2026 before we can really start thinking about ending police brutality. Of course, a complete end can’t happen all at once. There are a lot of things we would have to do, changes we’d have to put in place, people we’d have to beat to a pulp if it was going to be our last chance. But I think we can reasonably talk about the beginning of a phased reduction in police brutality by fall of 2025, or maybe spring of 2026. So to that store owner I say, be patient. It’s not realistic to expect an end to police brutality right now, but my fellow officers and I hear what you’re telling us, and we are definitely considering the possibility of thinking about what you suggest.

Matthias L. Brassknuckle,
General Secretary,
Loyal Order of Police and Law-Enforcement Officers,
McKees Rocks.


Sir: Technology and science have improved our lives immeasurably. Humanity owes a debt that can never be repaid to all the researchers, inventors, and public-spirited scientists who have worked tirelessly to make it possible for the rest of us to sit inert in our recliners like some sort of fungus.

Of all the unsung heroes of technology, no one deserves more praise than the nameless woman or man who first compressed automatic-dishwasher detergent into an easily manipulated pellet. I remember when we used to have to measure detergent into a cup that was built into the dishwasher. No wonder lifespans were shorter in those days. Think of the countless seconds of labor saved by this one invention alone!

Technology, however, does not stand still, and it is vital to civilization itself for us to press forward with more and more improvements in labor-saving. That is why Ballot Initiative No. 16 is so important. It is the next logical step in labor-saving technology. By adding automatic-dishwasher detergent to the Mount Oliver municipal water supply, we eliminate the labor-intensive placement of the pellet in the dishwasher, not to mention the opening of the package of pellets, the removal of said package from the cabinet or drawer where it is stored, and the inexcusably inefficient trip to the grocery store to procure another package when the supply in the first one proves less than infinite. By voting for Ballot Initiative No. 16, we will be voting for the next stage in human evolution. We will be remembered in history as the generation that finally completed humanity’s transformation into a fungus—a new and glorious species of fungus, perfectly adapted to its environment (viz., the La-Z-Boy). When you vote this fall, don’t forget to vote YES on Ballot Initiative No. 16. It may be the last ballot initiative you ever have to vote on. —Sincerely, Russula Brevipes, Mount Oliver.


An investigation at the Reformed Presbyterian Home in Perry Hilltop found that a significant number of residents were still clandestinely practicing Presbyterianism. Dr. Emil Wolfspitz, executive director of the Home, told a reporter that he was “disappointed” by the results, but a certain number of patients are predestined to relapse anyway, and what can you do?


Sir: I seldom venture outside these days on account of the danger of alien abduction; in fact, the last time I remember being out of the house was in January of 1986, and I made sure to do it in the middle of the night, staying under awnings as much as possible so that the aliens would not be likely to see me. Believe it or not, some of my friends (I only have the Facebook kind, but they’re good enough for my purposes) tell me I’m crazy. They say there’s no proof aliens are coming here and abducting people to make them love slaves for lonely fiendish alien princesses. Then I send them the 150,000-word informational email I keep ready for occasions like that, and pretty soon they stop talking to me and I know they’ve been abducted by aliens. Guess they’ve got their proof now.

But anyway, yesterday I ran out of aerosol cheese, and when I called the Food Festival they said they didn’t have any delivery slots available, but the guy I talked to said there had hardly been any alien abductions at all this week, and I could probably make it six blocks to the store without running into a tractor beam of any sort. So I risked opening the curtains a little, and I saw that it was a cloudy day, and the cloud cover might be some protection against aliens, so I decided to risk it.

Well, I got about halfway there when I noticed that the clouds were breaking up. Somebody ought to do something about defective cloud cover, by the way. What are we paying taxes for? And in one more block, the clouds had moved aside, and suddenly there it was: a huge extraterrestrial object in the sky. I could feel the heat of the radiation it was giving off, and it was glowing so brightly I couldn’t bear to look directly at it. But I took this picture of it with my phone, just to show those doubting Thomases that the alien menace is real.

Then I ran back home, and I ordered a whole case of spray cheese from Amazon, and believe you me it’s going to be a long time before I make the mistake of leaving the house again. But what I want you to do is warn your readers. Tell them not to go out of the house, because there’s some giant extraterrestrial object in the sky that’s giving off who knows how much radiation. Stay inside, pull down the blinds, close the curtains, and eat your cheese. —Sincerely, Walter Walterson Walters, Blandville.



The world was appalled last year to learn that Elon Musk had passed Jeff Bezos as the richest man in the world. What has become of our civilization? Musk contributes nothing to our society except cutting our dependence on fossil fuels and advancing the frontiers of science. Bezos gives us consumer luxuries right on our doorstep!

We all know that the United States government grants no titles of nobility. My petition to amend the Constitution to drop that ridiculously archaic prohibition has so far fallen on deaf ears. A friend of mine suggested that maybe I should put it in writing or something if I’m going to circulate it at Gallaudet, but if those people can’t hear me shouting at the top of my lungs, whose fault is that? However, the American people have always had it in their power to grant the one title of nobility before which all other titled nobles grovel: I speak of the title of Richest Man in the World. For countless centuries men and women vied for titles of nobility based on ancestry or accomplishment, but it was left to our glorious republic to discover the one true source of human nobility: money.

Once we understand this principle, we must immediately grasp the vital importance of seeing to it that our honors are conferred only upon the worthy. We are Americans: we grant our titles by spending our money. We have it in our power to make sure the right man is ennobled. I personally pledge to take all the discretionary income I used to waste on local businesses and spend it on luxury goods from Who is with me? Who will sign the pledge to buy nothing from Elon and everything from Jeff? Enough of us working together can reverse this injustice. Enough of us working together can make Jeff Bezos the richest man in the world once more.

Sincerely, Habakkuk Barton,
President & CEO,
The Barton Carton Co., Inc.
Makers of fine shipping cartons and mailers


Naming rights to the United States Supreme Court were purchased yesterday by Burger Yurt Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Burger Yurt fast-food restaurants. The Burger Yurt United States Supreme Court joins the Schenectady Small Arms & Biscuit United States House of Representatives, the Brenneman Food Service & Industrial Solvents Co. Department of Agriculture, and a number of other federal agencies and governmental entities in recouping part of its budget from the sale of naming rights. These sales have rapidly followed on a ruling by the Burger Yurt United States Supreme Court that sales of naming rights for government entities do not violate the Alphabet Inc. United States Constitution.