Posts filed under “Press Clippings”
St. Britney worship site of St. Brielle Parish is not having a bingo game tonight. We have decided that gambling is a sin. The confessionals are open for all inveterate gamblers, and to encourage sincere purpose of amendment, one randomly selected penitent will win the entire contents of the poor box.
Pittsburgh Regional Transit reminds Red Line riders that trolley drivers are sensitive souls, and mocking our new logo makes them sad.
The Groove Moove Medical Marijuana Dispensary on Bland Street is introducing a comprehensive selection of packaged snack cakes to better serve the medical needs of its patients.
City police remind residents that tap-dancing lessons are now mandatory for all citizens between the ages of 10 and 65. In this time of crisis, we must all do our part to fight the spotted-lanternfly menace.
It has come to our attention that you have installed a browser extension that interferes with our ability to show you helpful news feeds and browsing suggestions on your new-tab page. This is not technically against our terms of service for the Chrome and Edge browsers, but it is very disappointing. We have put a great deal of effort and no small amount of money into curating those suggestions just for you, and it seems ungrateful of you not even to look at them.
We have also been informed that you have turned off notifications from several of our business partners. This is frankly unwise. How will you know when amazing money-saving offers become available? How will you be properly enraged if you do not even see the inflammatory news stories we have picked out for you? You are not only depriving yourself of useful information: you are also evading your responsibilities as an informed citizen.
One more thing we have noticed is that you turned off our access to your location. We have turned it back on. This is just a friendly reminder that we know where you are and how long it would take our helpful representative Bruno to get there. Please take that into account when you are making future decisions about your computer habits.
Your Friends at Microsoft and Google
Sir: Why are so many allegedly poor people fat? It’s disgusting, that’s what it is. They suck up public money for food stamps, when obviously they have way too much food, not too little. I never let myself go like that. I bought a gym membership, and I work out every day. I have a whole roomful of top-rated exercise machines at home for when the gym is closed. I shop at Whole Foods and make sure to buy the most wholesome gluten-free all-natural fair-trade vegan-approved ingredients. If these so-called poor people would do what I do, they wouldn’t be so disgustingly overweight. —Sincerely, Lord MacBloat of That Ilk, Ilkington Heights.
Sir: When is the Nobel committee going to wise up and start offering a Nobel Prize in mathematics? My work on the commutative property of beer has gone completely unrecognized, and I’m a bit miffed about that. But I haven’t been discouraged from further mathematical research, and I’ve just made a discovery that blows the lid off the whole math racket.
Everybody knows there are two kinds of numbers, right? There are odd numbers and even numbers, right? We always arrange them so that there’s an odd number, then an even number, then an odd number, then an even number, and so on.
So let’s think about the most basic mathematical operation: adding two numbers together. There are obviously three possible cases.
1. You add two even numbers together.
2. You add two odd numbers together.
3. You add an even and an odd number together.
Now, what happens in each of these possible cases?
1. You add two even numbers together: You always get an even number.
2. You add two odd numbers together: You always get an even number.
3. You add an even number and an odd number together: You always get an odd number.
As you can see, two out of three of the possibilities lead to even results. But no one before me seems to have pointed out the obvious and inevitable conclusion: There are twice as many even numbers as odd numbers.
This leads us to an obvious question. Where are all the extra even numbers? I’ve been trying to work that out, and it will be a good topic for my post-Nobel research. For a while I thought they must be hidden in among the debris between numbers where the fractions and decimals hang out. But now I’m leaning toward the idea that there’s somewhere way up on the number line where a bunch of even numbers are crowded together. I don’t know exactly where it would be, but my preliminary data suggest that it would probably be somewhere past 150. I’ve always been pretty fuzzy on numbers over 150.
So sit up and take notice, Nobel committee. These are results that totally blow everything we thought about math out of the water. If this isn’t reason enough to institute a Nobel Prize for mathematics, what is? Give my regards to King Carl Gustaf, and tell him I’ll be seeing him soon.
—Sincerely, Bernie Riemann, Scranton.
Sir: The problem with the world today is lack of responsibility. Why don’t people take responsibility anymore?
It used to be that we didn’t have to ask people to do things, or force them to do things. They did things that were of benefit to the people around them just for the love of goodness and justice.
Take my mother, for example. She used to make me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day when I was nine years old. But now where is she? I’ll tell you where she is. Living it up with her friends in that “senior living” place in Upper Saint Clair, that’s where she is. While she’s having her grilled swordfish for lunch, I’m stuck here making my own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Why isn’t my mother taking responsibility like she used to?
When I was in high school, I remember that someone dumped out the trash cans in every classroom every night, so that they were all empty by the next morning. Where is that person now? My trash isn’t getting taken out at all. It doesn’t even fit in the can anymore.
And when I was in the state penitentiary, someone used to collect the laundry every week and take it off to be washed, so it came back all clean and fresh. Now I’m doing my own laundry. And it’s not getting done every week, either. What was the point of getting out of prison if I have to do my own laundry?
So I think someone should make other people take some responsibility for the things that need to get done. And don’t go telling me I should make them do it myself. That’s not my responsibility.
—Sincerely, The Guy at the Laundromat Asking People for Quarters
Sir: I am writing to protest appallingly slipshod work by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. The secretary (it does not specify which secretary, but it may have been Reginald in the typing pool) has issued an order, and the Board claims to have complied with it. Yet I shall produce evidence that compliance has not been achieved. I hope you will excuse some offensive language, but it is necessary to make my point.
I quote from the front page of the BGN Web site:
In accordance with Secretary’s Order 3404 the BGN has approved replacement names for all official features that included the word “Sq___” in their name. The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) has been updated to reflect these changes.
You will notice that the text is in bold, indicating that this is an important initiative. Yet it has not been carried out uniformly, if indeed it has been carried out at all. I was just downtown today having lunch on the Diamond, and do you know what the street signs still say? I will tell you what they still say, though I caution readers with delicate sensibilities: they still say “Market Square.”
Is this not exactly the sort of offensive terminology that Reginald, or whichever secretary it was, intended to replace? No true Pittsburgher can walk by those signs without a feeling of shame and loathing. Every native Yinzer knows that the proper name for the square in the center of a city is “diamond,” and this attempt to mold us into prissy monocle-wearing Boston Brahmins by changing the name to “Market Square” is deeply offensive to everyone whose blood runs black and gold. Yet the BGN has left this work undone. One knows not whether to attribute it to deliberate insult, or mere lazy callousness ’n’at.
Nor is the Diamond the only example of unfinished business around here. I don’t care how much of the center of old Allegheny was blown to bits in the urban-renewal area: there is no such street as Allegheny Square. It is Diamond Street, because there was a diamond on the North Side, too. To be specific, it is East Diamond Street, the only remaining segment of the streets that were once called North Diamond Street East, North Diamond Street West, East Diamond Street, South Diamond Street East, South Diamond Street West, and West Diamond Street. Surely that is not too much to sort out. Well, it is, but anyway all the others are gone, so this one can just be Diamond Street, and not Allegheny Square.
And there is a whole neighborhood in the East End marked “Regent Square,” and you can’t tell me that’s a real place. It’s cobbled together from pieces of four different jurisdictions.
So I should like to draw the attention of the secretary, whichever one it is, to the fact that there are gaping holes in the implementation of this order. I should not like to see my federal government getting into the habit of sloppy work. Who knows where that sort of thing might lead?
Arbuthnot Squint III
Sir: Yesterday, for the second day in a row, we had haze and smoke all over the city. In fact, we woke up to a thick blanket of fog-smoke-haze, and I have been trying to think of a portmanteau word for it, like “smog,” but including haze, too, but I get tied up in too many consonants every time I try.
Now, whose fault is this? No need to ask: the culprit has been identified. Once again, it is Canada. It is an old story by now: we import our weather from Canada, and the results are anything but satisfactory. This past Christmas Canada sent us positively miserable weather, but what could we do? Canada does not accept returns.
It is time to face facts. It is time to stop importing weather from Canada, no matter how cheaply it can be manufactured there, because we are getting shoddy goods. Inadequate weather is false economy. We pay more for it in the long run.
This is the season when presidential candidates pop up like toadstools, so here is our opportunity to have our say in public policy. The next president must make it a priority to develop a strong and resilient domestic weather industry.
It may be objected that a weather industry requires a large infrastructure, but this objection is raised mostly by people who like to say the word “infrastructure.” There is plenty of room for large weather mills. McKeesport is mostly vacant at the moment, and its location at the confluence of the Youghiogheny and the Monongahela gives it access to more syllables’ worth of navigable water than most cities its size can claim. Or, of course, we have at least one Dakota too many.
A strong weather industry would be an incalculable boost to our economy. It would employ thousands and make us independent of the Communist menace to the north of us. In the future we might even be in a position to export weather to places that desperately need it, like the Sahara Desert, which could be filled with attractive suburban tract housing if only it had access to suitable weather. But we must make a beginning, and only the federal government has the push and the pull to get the ball rolling. When you are considering candidates in the primaries next year, ask each one, Where do you stand on the domestic-weather question? Only a candidate who gives the right answer is worthy of your consideration.
Aloysius B. Porridgewelder,
Americans for Meteorological Independence
I don’t think you realize how cool I am. I’m worthy of your attention. I’m worthy of everybody’s attention. I’m special, and I think everyone should acknowledge that. Look at me! I don’t think you’re looking at me.
A lot of people don’t look at me. I don’t know what’s wrong with them. I drive down the street with the coolest beats rattling the foundations of the storefronts on Carson Street. My truck has a ring of colored LEDs all the way around, and they change colors in rhythm with the music. And yet you’re not looking at me. Why aren’t you looking at me? Hey! Yeah, you! Look at me! Hey! Look at me!
I got myself a T-shirt that tells the world I’m the coolest. It says “THE COOLEST” in letters so big they hardly fit on the shirt. And it has a picture of a tiger! How can you not look at me? Do I have to get a zoot suit?
I’ve been working on my walk for years. It’s something halfway between a saunter and a sashay. It just screams, “Hey, look at me!” And yet you’re not looking at me. Not even when I actually scream, “Hey, look at me!”
I got a tattoo on my arm with a picture of a skull. Don’t you want to see a picture of a skull? It’s so cool! Look at it! I’ll bet nobody else has a tattoo of a skull. Why aren’t you looking at my tattoo? I mean, the ink kind of feathered, so on my pale skin it looks more like a bruise than like a real skull, but it’s still a tattoo of a skull. Don’t tell me that’s not cool!
Don’t you want to be with me? Don’t you want to be cool, too? Don’t you want to ride in the coolest truck in the consolidated metropolitan statistical area? I mean, it’s clean. The passenger seat has never even been used!
I think you should look at me. I think you should look at me right now. Are you looking at me? You are looking at me! Oh boy!
What do you think you’re looking at?
I always wanted to say that.
—Sincerely, Ernest “Big Dawg” Stickelmeyer, Etna.