Posts filed under “Press Clippings”


Des Plaines, Ill. (Special to the Dispatch).—Emergency crews were called out from three stations this morning when smoke was reported billowing from the headquarters of the Word on Fire Institute. Fire investigators report that the word “valorization” appears to have spontaneously combusted, causing widespread damage. “Valorization” and the neighboring words from “valonia” to “valuator” have been completely destroyed, with extensive damage all the way from “validation” to “valvulitis.”


Sir: Why are there still hills?

Since the days of Jack and Jill, it has been a well-known fact that hills are a danger to life and limb. But far worse than that, they are a drain on our economy.

Hills waste fuel. Land-based vehicles expend far more fuel in hill-infested districts than they do in rationally flat areas. At a time when we are attempting to limit our consumption of fossil fuels except when it suits us to do otherwise, this is an unconscionable prodigality. Highways and railroads must be adapted to hill-hobbled terrain at ruinous expense. Most of the so-called “infrastructure” problems I hear so much wittering about could be solved instantly by simply eliminating the hills.

Hills also obstruct views. Large predatory beasts could be stalking us, but we might never know it in a district where hills have been allowed to run riot. Because I cannot see past the hills on the horizon, I am forced to assume that a large predatory beast may be stalking me at any given moment. This makes relaxation difficult, and often provokes insensitive remarks from neighbors who ought to be attending to their own predatory stalkers rather than worrying so much about why I carry a harpoon gun when I go out at night. Nor will I listen to any foolish talk about the advantages or aesthetic pleasures of the view from certain hilltop lookouts. If the landscape were organized on rational principles, towers could be built to provide those views more efficiently and with less danger to innocent citizens.

Did you know that three out of four natural disasters are hill-related? The fact that I made up that statistic without any research should not prevent your readers from taking it seriously. They have only to look at the nature of natural disasters to see that it is true. Where do floods begin? With water flowing downhill! Have you ever heard of a landslide on a plain? Of course not! And earthquakes are mere artifacts of the hill-manufacturing process.

In past ages we simply lacked the technology to address the hill problem. But this is no longer the case. It is long past time we put our landscape on a sound scientific footing. A gentle slope up from the shoreline should terminate in a plateau stretching uniformly from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Those parts of the country afflicted with excess height can provide the materials for building up Florida and Louisiana and suchlike places where a negligent Creator has left the landscape undesirably close to sea level.

Ideally our government should be doing its job, rationalizing the landscape for the benefit of all its citizens. But since our government is inexcusably recalcitrant, it has become clear that individual action is required. Beginning tomorrow morning, I shall be walking the Appalachian Trail in the direction of Mount Katahdin, and I shall have a spade with me.

Garson Prake, M.D.
South Side Slopes


The Brenneman Food Service and Industrial Solvents Corp. of Braddock Heights has canceled its underperforming line of frozen Italian-style meals. According to company insiders, marketing executives had determined that choosing the name of an Italian city at random was the most efficient way of establishing an “Italian” brand identity. Since many of the names of Italian cities are already registered as trademarks for frozen Italian-style dinners, however, the choices were somewhat limited, and the Brenneman line of “Kaltern an der Weinstraße Italian Delights” never succeeded in establishing brand recognition in the marketplace, in spite of bearing the name of an Italian city in the South Tyrol with more than seven thousand inhabitants. The company is still proceeding with its plans to introduce a new line of frozen French-inspired meals, Grosbliederstroff Cuisine Français, named after a French city in the Département de la Moselle.


Sir: Isn’t it about time something was done about evil in the world? When we elected a new mayor, I fully expected that evil would be eliminated from the city at least, although an energetic mayor should be able to use his influence as the elected head of the largest municipality in the tri-state area to suppress evil in the suburbs as well. Yet just this morning I had to wait more than twenty seconds to get around a car that was double-parked on Smithfield Street in front of that café at the end of the bridge. If double-parking is not evil, then I do not recognize evil when I see it.

The mere fact that he has not technically taken office yet should not have been enough to discourage our mayor from tackling the evil problem. Again, a truly energetic mayor-elect should have been able to take the reins and rule by decree without waiting for a mere ceremony. If our new mayor were truly dedicated to the suppression of evil, there would be concentration camps for double-parkers by this point. People with loud stereos would be drawn and quartered, and the heads of speeders in school zones would be displayed on pikes in front of the Department of Public Education as a valuable lesson to young drivers. This is what a world without evil would look like to me.

Since, however, the mayor sees fit to sit on his hands and do nothing, at least until his so-called “inauguration,” my only option is to take active steps myself. I have accordingly decided to move to another city where the problem of evil is addressed with more resolution. I understand that Pyongyang takes a very proactive approach in preventing evil, and as an added incentive its metro system is famously well decorated. I shall be moving to Pyongyang, and if things go well there you will never hear from me again.

Corwald A. Blotch,
The Goodness League of Western Pennsylvania.


Police have issued a warning for the community to be on the lookout for that guy who looks a lot like Van Johnson if you see him in the right light. Police did not specify why the man was wanted, but Officer Baranauskas told your Community Bulletin Board, “He knows what he did.”

The Ladies’ Quilt, Throw, and Afghan Society will be holding a “crochet-in” this Saturday beginning at 8:30 in the morning. We are hoping to be able to crochet at least a dozen afghans to give away to refugees from Afghanistan. We are told that last month’s similar event made the refugees from Quiltistan very happy.

The Port Authority has asked us to inform residents that, owing to scheduled maintenance, Red Line cars will be running on the Brown Line, Blue Line cars will be running on the Silver Line, Brown Line cars will be running on the Blue Line, and Silver Line cars will be running in the parking lot of the Food Festival as part of a federally funded installation-art project.

To raise funds for restoring the vacant building at 1328 Bland Street, the Blandville Area Concerned Citizens will be holding a raffle Thursday night at 7 p.m. The lucky winner walks home with the deed to the building at 1328 Bland Street.

Blandville Elementary School has asked the community to stop donating box tops for education. After consulting with the prestigious Materials Department of the Duck Hollow University College of Education, the principal has determined that box tops are of no educational value whatsoever.


The MITRE Corporation’s cybersecurity division reported yesterday that installations of Auto-Tune all over the world had begun making current pop singers sound like Jimmy Durante. At first some form of ransomware was suspected, but no demands for money were received. Instead, recording producers have reported finding their screens covered by what one described as a “screed” about the decline of talent in the music industry. The only clue was the signature, which was variously reported as “Zobar,” “Brazo,” “Ozbra,” and several similar variants. The Department of Homeland Security has raised the threat level to LightSalmon (#FFA07A).


Sir: Are you going to eat that? I could eat that. I could eat it for you. It would spare you the trouble of eating it. I could eat that, and it would be eaten. And then I could eat more of that, and you would not have to eat that, either. I could eat as much as you would like me to eat. You could put it on the floor right now, and the next time you looked, it would be gone, and you would not have to worry about it. I could meet it halfway. If you lowered it to knee level, for example, I could still eat it. I could eat the rest of it, even though you have eaten half of it by now. Do you think you have eaten enough? Maybe you have eaten enough, and you need help eating the rest. I will be happy to be of service. I will eat the rest, and you will not have to eat the rest. You will not suffer from overeating at all, because I will have eaten it. Is there more in the pan? I think there is more in the pan. I could eat that as well. But right now if you simply tilted your plate, it would allow gravity to operate, and I could eat whatever fell. It would not even hit the ground. I am willing to make that sacrifice for you. I would eat it, and I would spare you the necessity of cleaning it up. Now you have eaten what was on the plate, but I could still lick the residue. I could clean that plate so well it would not have to go in the dishwasher. Are you going to get more from the pan? I think you are going to get more from the pan. You did get more from the pan. Are you going to eat that? I could eat that. ——Sincerely, The Dog Under the Table.