Friday, September 4, 2015

Report: Spanish Speaking Countries Waste Millions of Hours Annually Writing Upside-Down Question Marks

BOSTON - A private study confirms what you may have suspected during that middle school Introductory Spanish class; upside-down question-marks are a waste of time.

Local linguistics experts studied the behaviors of residents of the world's 21 countries for which Spanish is the primary language, factoring in the overall literate population of each combined with the frequency with which the inverted punctuation is used.

"We were blown away by the results," said Dr. Monica Yabrinsky, who specializes in the romantic language. "Over 1 million hours a year are wasted in these countries by writing this simple interrogative mark."

The inverted punctuation is intended to allow a reader an immediate indication that the sentence about to be read will indeed be an inquiry.

"These are proud countries whose economies have doubtlessly suffered as a result of this common linguistic practice," Yabrinsky continued. "Imagine the advancements in efficiency were Cuba or Mexico able to abandon this particular habit of grammar. The opportunities could be staggering."

Yabrinsky wouldn't speculate on the likelihood of the question-mark being dropped, but does think the Spanish-language could evolve in the long run.

"I mean, you'd still have the other question mark at the end of the sentence, so what's the difference?" she said. "I mean come on."

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tom Brady Teaches Judge Berman to Throw a Perfect Spiral

NEW YORK - Judge Richard M. Berman ruled in favor of Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady in his case against the NFL on Thursday, overturning Commissioner Roger Goodell's initial 4-game suspension. The decision allowed Brady and Berman to get back to the US District Judge's football tutorials from the Super Bowl winner.

"It's so hard for me to grip the ball right around the laces sometimes," Berman said. "Especially if the ball is slick or too hard. Tom has given me some pointers on where to place my index finger on the ball to throw a more consistent spiral."

Brady at one point considered the Judge to be hopeless, but feels he is making some strong progress.

"At first, he couldn't hit the side of a barn, but we've been working on some basic mechanics," Brady said. "He's delivering a more consistent ball after some drills I've given him. It's evident he's been practicing."

When asked if his lessons would continue into the fall, the Judge was cautiously hopeful. "Oh I'm sure Tom has so much going on with the season," Berman said. "But you never know. He's just so great. A great player, and a better person."

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Waving Cat Salesmen Do Battle Over New Area Chinese Restaurant

BROCKTON - One of the region's most competitive markets heated up Monday when a new Chinese Restaurant opened its doors, leading to tense arguments among area Waving Cat salesmen, nearly coming to blows.

The China Moon Restaurant had a ribbon-cutting during the evening, offering a full menu and complete compliment of amenities to patrons. Complete that is, save for a golden Waving Cat in the entryway.

"This is a very niche market," said Waving Cat salesman Pete Kitteridge. "Frankly, buyers are few and far between, so when a prime target like a new Chinese restaurant opens up, it's a mad dash among area salesmen. It's not personal."

But things turned personal outside the new establishment's doors on Main street at about 8pm last night when Kitteridge got into a heated argument with competing salesman Hector Ortiz. The two were each vying for the sale when a shoving match ensued.

"Livelihoods are at stake here," Ortiz said. "I care very much for my family and I will do anything to provide for them. This sale would have been really big for us."

Police arrived at the scene but no arrests were made. Said Sergeant Louis Tremblay, "Brockton is a small town. There's just not enough economy here to support two Waving Cat salesmen. We saw that firsthand tonight."

Scott Walker: De-Fund NASA, Keep Extraterrestrials out of America

WASHINGTON - Scott Walker wants NASA to go away; and not because of the federal budget impact defunding the program would have. Instead, the Wisconsin Governor and GOP candidate views NASA's open search for life in other solar systems as an invitation to extraterrestrials to mooch off of the nation's public aid programs.

"It's bad enough that we have illegal Mexicans vying for good jobs in America," Walker said. "But here we have a federally-funded program openly inviting Martians to become a part of our society? When that little green man gets hurt on the job, guess who is going to be left holding the bill?"

NASA announced in 2014 the likelihood that life on other planets would soon be verified, a direct result of the 2009 launch of the Kepler Space Telescope. Potential localized candidates for harboring life include Mars, Jupiter's icy moons and several destinations outside our solar system.

Walker is also concerned about the country's border to the north, and is open to constructing a 5,525-mile Canadian wall to officially shut off access from both the north and south.

While such a wall would be a step in the right direction, it would still be insufficient to completely isolating the United States, in Walker's view.

"A Mexican and Canadian wall make sense, but we would still be open to access for Martians who would gain entry from the sky. For this reason, I would like to propose a massive dome to cover the entire country. No one in. No one out."

A NASA spokesman has indicated that the organization has chosen not to indulge Walker's remarks.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Volleyball Players' Association to Sue League: Volleyballs are Too Hard

EUSTIS, FL - Continuing the recent trend of federal suits being brought to major professional sports leagues, the USA Premier Volleyball League is being sued by the league's players' association, citing over-inflated volleyballs that hurt the players' wrists.

Said Players' Association Vice President Susan Wellesley, "The commissioner has heard the players' concerns for years and has chosen not to act. The over-inflated balls really sting, especially during bump shots, and the league office has turned a deaf ear to date."

The commissioner's office first heard the grievance when one of the league's top players - Alexei Stoya - hurt himself during a friendly match. "My right wrist was red for a good ten minutes or so. I had to ice it."

The league's owners and executive offices have thus far been unresponsive, some say, because the tighter volleyballs lead to increased ticket sales.

"Sure, it makes a difference," said Karen Whooley, one of the players' association lead counsels. "Fans want to see action with the volleyball. A volleyball that travels faster; a volleyball that bounces higher. It means money in the owners' pockets, and it requires no regard for player comfort."

Still to be determined is where the suit will be heard, and who will preside over the proceedings. Insiders report that the league hopes to secure a judge who is typically not union-friendly.

The USA Premier Volleyball League's commissioner's office could not immediately be reached for this story.

America's Dumbest Criminals: John Bon Jovi Is Wanted Man, Sings About It

NEWARK - File this under 'dumb criminals.' According to a report, Jon Bon Jovi is a wanted man, and the artist is openly singing about the warrant for his arrest to audiences of 10,000+.

"I'm wanted," Bon Jovi confirmed. "Wanted, dead or alive."

Unclear at this time is the rocker's crime, but it appears dire enough to force the 53-year old singer from New Jersey to a life on the lam.

"I drive all night," he continued, even going so far as to confirm his mode of conveyance. "On a steel horse I ride," a seeming allusion to the singer's motorcycle. The alleged criminal may even be armed with a "loaded six-string."

Despite Bon Jovi's open taunting of law enforcement, he remains at large. The wake of clues he is leaving in his tracks however will ultimately land him in custody, says Newark Chief of Police Sheilah Coley.

"Jon is becoming more and more cocky," Coley said. "It's only a matter of time before he makes a major, desperate mistake and that's when our department will pounce."

Chief Coley also pleaded that Bon Jovi turn himself in. "We'd like to see this matter rectified in a safe and peaceful manner. We can only help Jon if he decides to help himself."

Life Coach Hit by Train; A Total Fraud

BOSTON - Benjamin Charles, 37 was hit and killed by an Amtrak train this past weekend, giving his portfolio of area protégés a grave reason to take pause. The life coach acted as a consultant to a dozen local residents.

"What a phony," Chelsea Bishop of Braintree exclaimed. "This entire time, I've been treating his direction with complete respect and reverence. Then the idiot goes and gets hit by a train? What the fuck? How hard is it to not get hit by a train?"

Authorities are treating the incident as an accident pending further investigation. The life coach's clients however, can't help but think that a crime has been committed.

"Of course there's some foul play afoot," said Alan Westerley of Natick. "It's criminal that I ever thought for a second that his words carried any weight. I've gone every single day of my life without getting hit by a train. And here I am paying this clown to give me advice, and he gets hit by a train?"

Under the tutelage of Charles, Westerley was able to kick a drug habit, reunite with his wife and child and secure a stable job. But none of that means anything to the 31 year old now that his mentor has been hit by a train.

"Everything that he ever said to me or taught me, it's all meaningless now. If he had survived, I'd report him to the Better Business Bureau."

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Church Suspends Casual Sundays After Several Pope-Related Complaints

VATICAN - The Catholic Church has made strides to become less regimented in recent years to appeal to a new demographic. One of those efforts however, appears to be short-lived, as the Vatican today announced that it will be suspending 'Casual Sundays' indefinitely.

The decision to drop the informal initiative was made after several complaints were logged upon Pope Francis's arrival this past Sunday at the enclave dressed in a relaxed Hawaiian shirt with black socks, sandals and a Timex watch.

"I sought the Pope's council on a matter of great urgency," said Cardinal Ruberto Muntini. "But when I was admitted to his quarters and saw those old worn dress socks and pasty-white gams, I completely forgot that which had been troubling me."

The casual dress code was initially intended to encourage Cardinals and Bishops to begin promoting a new line of Christian golf and leisure-wear, along with a newly-minted Papal sweat-suit. Those ideas will now be put on hold.

"I just found his attire to be quite distracting," continued Muntini.

"I know he doesn't have a wife, but by God there must be someone at home who can take a look at him before he leaves the house looking like that."

Buffet Owner: Patron Way Too Short for Sneeze-Guard

BOSTON - Local restaurant buffet owner Ajit Bhatt is concerned that he is not set up to accommodate a particularly short customer, in the event she needs to sneeze.

"These sneeze guards can accommodate a patron that is 5'2, maybe 5'1," said Bhatt. "I'm just not set up for someone shorter than that."

Bhatt's restaurant - Shawarma Buffet - is rarely faced with serving clientele who stand under five feet, but that's exactly what happened Tuesday afternoon, when Monica Gellinski submitted an order for Tandoor-baked Naan. Gellinski stands at a modest 4'10.

"I mean, she was tiny," Bhatt said. "Like, maybe she was a gymnast when she was young and her crazy parents fed her growth-stunting hormones. She was that small."

The customer's size could mean doom for the financial-district buffet if she were to launch into a sneezing fit, which is not unlikely, according to Bhatt.

"Do you have any idea how many Indian spices I have in the back? Cumin, Aniseed, Capsicum, Kalpasi, Saffron, Tamarind...if she's allergic to any one of those, this whole place could go up in a cloud of smoke."

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Rob Gronkowski Offers Party Bus as Green Line Extension Alternative

BOSTON - The city has found an unlikely hero to solve its major transportation infrastructure issues: Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski.

Amid reports this week that the MBTA's major Green Line extension project may be shelved due to a $1 billion budget shortfall, Gronkowski has stepped up to offer a solution where the legislature has failed.

"Yo, my party bus can squeeze 35, 40 people no problem," the Patriot said. "You toss me a few bucks to cover the keg, and I'll definitely drive your ass around Somerville. Ladies ride free of course."

It's a low-cost answer to an issue that was once considered burdensome to taxpayers and lengthy in production schedule (estimates put the project's completion near 2020). Instead, Gronkowski's alternative can be inputted immediately, and can even shake some of the restrictions facing MBTA riders.

"None of this service interruption bullshit at 1 am," Gronkowski said. "We riding alllllll night long."

Report: Karl Ravech Hates Bumping Into Curt Schilling in the Men's Room

BRISTOL - By most measures, Karl Ravech is an affable guy, with a friendly temperament to match his smooth on-air personality. He's a confident and intelligent presence, traits that are evident during his Baseball Tonight telecasts on ESPN. Few things rattle his cage.

One of those things? Bumping into Curt Schilling in the men's room.

"Ugh," Ravech said. "Not this guy again."

In fact, it seems that the entire baseball team at ESPN goes out of its way to avoid the former Cy Young winner.

"Brett Boone will do anything to avoid him," Ravech said. "Once, Booney missed his train home because he refused to ride the elevator with Curt at the end of the day. He just walked straight past the elevator bay when he saw Curt. Pretended he was heading to the mail room."

When asked to pinpoint the source of discomfort in interacting with Schilling, Ravech wasn't able to identify any one single challenge. "Oh it's the whole package. It's the blowhard political stuff that he brings up. It's his constant needling of Kruk about his weight. Do you know that he eats the last bagel in the kitchen every goddamn morning?"

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Local Virgin Explains Why Spacetime Continuum Wasn't Interrupted When Young Biff Met Old Biff

CAMBRIDGE - There is one scene in the second installment of the Back to the Future series that appears to be a major plot hole: when Old Biff meets Young Biff to deliver the sports almanac in 1955, the spacetime continuum should have been interrupted leading to the destruction of the entire universe (or at the very least, the two should have fainted).

The interaction between the two has long been held to be the lone blemish on an otherwise harmonious trilogy, according to fans. A blemish that for many, taints the films that were once heralded as triumphantly groundbreaking. Tainted that is, until now.

Local virgin Brecken Phillips - a Back to the Future fanboy from Cambridge - not only has a cohesive theory as to why the time paradox may not have occurred, sources have also confirmed that he has indeed never touched a woman in his life.

"He's what - 25, right?" said his friend Albert Christian. "The closest he's come to parking his yacht in some lady's harbor is accidentally brushing the cashier's sandbag while reaching for a slim-jim."

Others close to Phillips don't need such euphemisms to describe the science fiction fan's love life. Said Brecken's mother Rebecca, "He's just never been that interested in girls. I bought him a box of condoms when he went away to college. He asked what they were."

The virgin may be utterly hopeless when it comes to interacting with the fairer sex, but his theories on the fabric of spacetime have garnered the respect of Back to the Future zealots of a multitude of generations.

"Doc Brown indicates that he foresees two potential outcomes when an individual encounters their future self," explains Phillips. "But even he allows that the destruction he predicts in such an instance may in fact be entirely localized to our galaxy. That massive variance in potential outcomes is as much an indication to me that the Doctor may have been mistaken in his calculations. Lord knows it wouldn't have been the first time Doc Brown erred in judgment."

Despite his mastery of the data, Phillips' mother Rebecca wishes he'd take up another hobby, like singing or dancing.

To quote Marty McFly, "If there's no music, they can't dance. If they can't dance, they can't kiss."

Local Man’s To-Do List: Watch That Video from Team Snapchat

NORWOOD – Conor Gifford’s day is shaping up to be a hectic one, according to the to-do list he wrote this morning. At the top of the list: ‘Watch that video from team Snapchat.’

“The video’s just been sitting there since the 4th of July,” Gifford said. “I’ve been meaning to watch it, but it’s just one of those instances where things get pushed to the backburner.”

The social media application does it’s best to remind users that a video from their team is awaiting them by sending a ‘push notification’ highlighted in red to the user’s phone. Apparently this hasn’t yet been enough to motivate Gifford to view Snapchat’s video.

“Yeah, I saw the reminder notice. It pops up every time I pass over the ghost that’s in the Snapchat icon. Is that what it is? A ghost? I guess it could be a jellyfish or some type of squid or something, but I have no idea how any of that makes sense.”

When asked what he thinks the content of the message might be, Gifford said he wasn’t sure but is willing to venture a guess. “Well I received it the first week of July, so it’s probably one of those cartoon ‘Happy 4th’ messages with fireworks and stuff.”

There's a Girls Soccer Team at the Ice Cream Window Really Acting Like They Own the Place

HANOVER - Good luck ordering that banana split in a timely fashion if you showed up at the South Shore Creamery around 8pm last night. Delays were rampant when a school bus full with middle school girls showed up following their soccer game, causing massive waiting times.

That's exactly what happened to local man Kevin Pursey when he and his wife showed up with their dog for two cups of ice cream, and were forced to wait for 30 minutes before the creamery's lone attendant was able to take their order.

"There must have been, what, 20, 30 girls? It could have been 1,000 based on the cacophony they were making," said Pursey. "It was just utter chaos."

Benjamin Cass, 17, was the sole employee working at the ice cream shop last night, and he was a little overwhelmed. "They kept asking for all these flavors and toppings that we don't have. One of them dropped her soft-serve on her phone," he said. "It was a whole ordeal."

Cass ordinarily is able to clean and close the shop by 9:30pm, but the added business kept him busy long beyond 11pm. "This is not a good job," he said.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Lonely Man at Networking Event Pretends to Check Phone

BOSTON - This morning's alumni breakfast in the Seaport district provided an active crowd of attorneys, CPAs, doctors and others the chance to interact with one another and exchange business cards. It was a lively social engagement for all involved - all involved that is, except for Walt Sommerley.

"He was just sort of milling about, not talking to anybody for a while," said Kristin Maxwell, the event's coordinator. "Then he started looking at his phone, but it was obvious that he was just trying to make it less awkward that no one was talking to him."

Other event attendees speculated that Sommerley was perhaps playing Angry Birds or may have even just been staring at a blank screen. "For all I know, it wasn't even a real phone," said Alex Tingley, a real estate broker. "It could have just as easily been one of those free solar-powered calculators you get at the bank."

Reports also indicated that as more time passed without Sommerley interacting with any of the other attendees, he began to make frequent trips to the bathroom and at one point left the venue to "feed the meter."

Doctor's New 'Hindenburg Diet' Fails to Attract Customers

BOSTON - Dr. Gloria Hindenburg is at a loss. All of the ingredients are there for her new diet's success in the open market; but customers have been few and far between.

The meal plan - marketed aggressively as 'THE HINDENBURG DIET' - has been clinically proven to promote weight loss and a healthy heart through simple, delicious meals of vegetables and lean meat.

"The diet really works," Hindenburg said. "But the market is just not responding. For the life of me, I have no idea why. The plan is affordable, simple and it really works great. Yet we practically can't give the thing away."

Early-stage investors in the project have shown some concern that the product's struggles may be linked to the name. "I've said from the get-go that it was a bad idea to associate your brand with one of the largest and most infamous aerial disasters in history," said Terry Koch of Koch Venture.

"Let's do some word association here," Koch continued. "You've got three words that pop in your mind when you hear 'Hindenburg;' blimp, crash and burn. Are those words you want describing your diet?"

Dr. Hindenburg dismisses that theory. "Until I see some quantitative market data that indicates 'Hindenburg' generates a negative reaction among consumers, the name shall remain the same."

Friday, August 21, 2015

WEATHER: It's Been So Nice and Sunny, and Your Ex is Probably So Tan and Happy

BOSTON - This morning's rain shower was but a brief interruption in what has otherwise been an extraordinary stretch of sunshine and warm temperatures - which has probably led to your ex-girlfriend getting outside and looking good.

The Boston region enjoyed ten straight days in August of beautiful weather, and you have to imagine that your ex was probably pretty active during that stretch. Can you imagine how fit and tan she must be looking right now?

She's probably out riding that bike you got her for Christmas two years ago. She may even still have those little black shorts she used to wear in the summer that make her look so trim. Ponytail, bronzed skin, teeth whitening, the whole nine yards.

It's even possible that the meathead Brad she was seeing is out of the picture now, though summer isn't traditionally the season most couples break things off. It's still unclear what she sees in him and his idiot tattoos, but much like this easterly wind the region will be experiencing through mid-afternoon, it's all just a phase.

Next week may bring some thundershowers and cooler weather, and she will probably need to wear that oversized UMass sweatshirt at night when temperatures dip into the low 60s.

Canton Man Wins 4th Annual Boston Pissing Contest

BOSTON - It took three hours, but the city's 2015 winner of the Boston Pissing Contest has officially been crowned, after an arduous competition at the Hatch Shell last night.

Bobby Carroll of Canton emerged as the victorious winner in the competition that judges participants on both duration and length of stream.

"It's an amazing dream come true," Carroll said, who beat out over 50 hopefuls. "All those long hours of drinking Vitamin Water and the early just never think you're actually going to be in the winner's circle."

Over 5,000 were in attendance to witness Carroll's successful feat, to which he attributed his training. "How do you make it to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice."

Carroll says that he started urinating at an early age, and Thursday's victory was the culmination of a lifetime of repetition and dedication.

When asked what's next, the Canton man said he'll probably take a few weeks off. "Then, I guess I should probably look for a job."

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Republican Candidates Court Hispanic Vote, Shop in Goya Aisle

IOWA - Republican candidates who are seeking to bolster their poll numbers and broaden their base have employed new tactics to reach a core constituency with which the GOP has traditionally struggled: the Hispanic vote.

Those efforts to connect with the growing minority were on display on Monday, when several of the leaders in the polls shopped at a downtown Des Moines supermarket, exclusively in the Goya aisle.

"That ought to do it," said Mike Huckabee, the former Governor of Arkansas as he loaded his basket with frijoles negroes.

GOP policy - particularly on immigration and border security - have at times alienated America's fastest growing voting demographic. It's a demographic that Democrats have dominated in recent elections, and many insiders from within the Republican party have whispered that drastic measures are in order if a candidate on the right is going to reclaim the White House.

Donald Trump - who has historically been aggressive in calling for a border wall - feels as though the candidates' visit to the Goya aisle is just the sort of diplomacy the Republicans need to win back the Hispanic vote.

"What do we have here," Trump said, while sorting through his cart. "Coconut soda, pineapple soda, ceviche seasoning...something called sofrito."

Said Jeb Bush, "I really love chimichangas. Do they have any pre-made chimichangas?"

The visit to the Goya aisle lasted all of 45 minutes for the Republican frontrunners, which included photo-ops and an opportunity for each candidate to personally connect with Iowan shoppers.

The session wrapped up when Ted Cruz asked a grocery stock-boy named Javier to "show me your papers."

Day 29: Still No Response From Gisele to my Roommate's Tweet

BOSTON - Tensions remained high this week as nearly a full month has passed without any response from supermodel Gisele Bundchen to my roommate Cory's tweet. Initial hopes that the situation would be rectified in a timely manner now appear unlikely and the standoff could last well into the fall.

Cory tweeted to Bundchen's personal feed, @giseleofficial complimenting her on her beautiful family vacation photos in late July. Since, he has diligently checked his twitter notifications for a reply, though none have come to date.

"I wake up every day thinking that this could be it," Cory said. "It hasn't come yet, but patience is the key here."

Quietly, many of Cory's friends have begun to wonder if the Brazilian model and wife of Tom Brady might not respond at all, but Cory remains optimistic.

"Look, I'm not an idiot," he said. "She has over three million followers, many of whom are reaching out to her every day. That volume undoubtedly takes time to get through, but she'll get there. She'll get there."

This waiting period has not been entirely in vain for Cory. His time spent waiting for a reply has allowed him to be a frequent anonymous commenter on various articles on

Horny Squirrels Cast Pall Over Family Picnic

DEDHAM - The Kruger family picnic was all smiles on Sunday until two very horny squirrels disrupted the otherwise carefree proceedings in a very inappropriate way.

"We were having a delightful time," said Kathy Kruger, 47. "We had plenty of sunshine, hot dogs on the grill and three generations of Kruger enjoying the final days of summer. Then it all came to an abrupt and unsightly end."

The squirrels - for whom this time of year is often dedicated to mating - were reportedly scampering about the ground and then from limb to limb across several pine trees. Sources indicated that they were causing "quite a little racket."

Reactions to the sensual squirrel dance from the family varied. Some of the younger children who were engaged in a whiffle ball game initially reported that the animals were wrestling while others just snickered to themselves. Grandma Kruger, 89, reportedly gave the sign of the cross.

The picnic quickly disbanded and the family has indicated that the scene may force the group to change the format next year.

"Maybe we'll go to a roller rink in 2016 instead," said Kathy. "Someplace where we won't be subjected to nature's dark house of burlesque."

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

KFC Names Paris Hilton as Next Colonel Sanders

LOUISVILLE - Continuing the company's brand transition, KFC has announced that Paris Hilton will be the next ambassador to don the Colonel Sanders likeness to act as the restaurant's spokesperson.

The leader in fried chicken began reconfiguring and updating the Sanders image earlier this year when Saturday Night Live alums Daryl Hammond and Norm MacDonald played the part of the KFC founder in numerous television spots.

"Paris Hilton is the next sensible choice in this evolving image," said spokesman Barry Goode. "She is emblematic of everything that the Colonel and KFC stands for."

Hilton has reportedly begun preparation for the role by contacting several leaders from within the military to get to know the everyday lives and challenges that face a typical Colonel.

Goodyear Blimp First, Only Victim of Drone Technology So Far

It was once believed that the introduction of drone technology would be an exclusively positive force on modern-day society with limitless benefits and absolutely no drawbacks. It is a sentiment that looks naïve in retrospect, as the first major victim of unpiloted aerial vehicles will likely have a devastating impact on our way of life moving forward.

That victim? The Goodyear Blimp.

The R&D brains behind drone technology have advanced the science with only the best intentions, producing the invention to have exclusively positive and philanthropic output. As inventors will often tell you though, once a new piece of equipment is made public, there is often no telling what applications the market may identify for it.

Regrettably, one of those drone applications now looks to be the aerial coverage for television broadcast - often in the context of sporting events. It's a job that has traditionally been held by the Goodyear Blimp, a national treasure. With these recent technological advancements though, the blimp now seems in danger of becoming obsolete.

"Yes, the blimp is iconic," said Cynthia Dunnam, a mechanical engineer. "But as is the case with any innovation, markets will shift and casualties will be the side-effect of progress. The blimp now looks to be one of those such unforeseen casualties."

While Dunnam isn't thrilled to see the recognizable blimp grounded, she's just happy that other, more sinister utilizations have not been identified for drones. "I will never be thrilled by the loss of the blimp, but if it's the last victim to be claimed by unmanned aircraft, I can still rest soundly."

Hayden Christensen Shuns Fame, Spotlight; Stars in Movie with Nic Cage

HOLLYWOOD - Hayden Christensen isn't your typical superstar movie actor.

The heartthrob who was rocketed to fame and fortune during the Star Wars reboot has reconsidered his life's priorities, and has chosen to shun the public stage and embrace anonymity by starring in a movie with Nicolas Cage.

"It's easy to think that unending love and adoration from a multitude of fans is a fulfilling way to live one's life," the 34-year old actor said. "But I found very quickly that fame and recognition can lead to loneliness and depression."

All reasons why Christensen - who starred as the infamous Anakin Skywalker - has chosen to play his next role alongside Nicolas Cage to ensure that absolutely no one will pay him attention.

"The new movie is called 'Outcast' and my agent assures me that it's the next step above entering the witness protection program," Christensen said. "There isn't even really a story. It's mostly just shots of Nic and I shooting clay pigeons at his ranch. It was a really enlightening three months."

As for future projects, Christensen isn't concerning himself with that right now. "Oh, I highly doubt the phone will be ringing much after this one."

Monday, August 17, 2015

Grandma Keeps Going for Chance in Yahtzee

MALDEN - The Kurtz family expressed exasperation Wednesday night when Grandma Ruth seemed unable to grasp the strategic disadvantages of repeatedly rolling for 'chance' in Yahtzee.

"Every single roll, she'd add up the dice and pencil the sum into the 'chance' column," said Adam Kurtz, 17. "We kept trying to explain to her that 'chance' is a safety-net roll. She just didn't get it."

Ruth Kurtz claims that she has played the game before and has a mastery of the rules, but her family experienced otherwise during their visit to her home in Malden.

Her son Paul seemed resigned to allow her to play the game however she wanted to play it. "Yeah it's not smart to keep rolling for 'chance,' nor is it even legal," he said. "Honestly, I think she just enjoys rattling the dice in the cup. She likes the sound."

Following the game, the grandmother suggested the family walk to the pond to feed the ducks, which Adam Kurtz described as an activity "that's more her speed."

Friday, August 14, 2015

Report From the Backseat: Cow on the Move

NASHUA - During this morning's Casper family drive to vacation in Bar Harbor, reports from the backseat confirmed that the cow on the right is indeed, on the move.

Hayley and Tim Casper, 6 and 8, had been sitting quietly during the family road-trip when Tim spotted the lone cow in a large field off Route 3 near Nashua. "The cow was running toward something. Or maybe away from something. It was tough to tell."

Eyewitnesses from the front seat corroborated the report that the Holstein was in fact, on the move.

Said mother Dorothy Casper, "The kids pointed the cow out and at first I didn't pay it much mind. But then I thought to myself how odd it was that this cow definitely seemed to be undertaking quite a little trot."

Experts have indicated that it is not rare for cows to run short distances on occasion, an activity they might undertake for any number of reasons.

Harvard Professor of Paleontology: God, I Bet Brachiosaurs Were So Gassy

CAMBRIDGE - Monday's lecture in Dr. Benjamin Fulton's Dinosaur Paleobiology course turned speculative when he went on a brief tangent on how poorly he thinks large herbivores must have smelled.

"Take brachiosaurs for instance," the professor said to a confused class of 54 students. "You're talking about an 80-ton animal that spent it's entire day consuming plants. Up to 880 pounds of conifers in one 24-hour period. Can you imagine what that must do to one's gastro-intestinal system?"

Students were reportedly unclear whether they were expected to be taking notes during the professor's thought.

"Christ, I need to spend the day locked in my office when I have a small salad for lunch," Fulton continued. "And that's, what, a half pound of greens at most? Can you envision the amount of flatulence 880 pounds of vegetation must produce? It's staggering."

Professor Fulton has been a member of the faculty for 22 years but has a reputation of sticking strictly to the course materials. Monday was a rare exception.

"The smell must have just been overwhelming. Jesus, I'd hate to spend a day with a brachiosaurus. Talk about a trial."

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Developmentally Advanced 5-Year Old Plays with Toys Reserved for 6+

CARVER - This will sound braggy, but my five-year old son Dylan often plays with games and toys that are exclusively intended for individuals aged six and up.

Six years old. That's practically puberty. Which is practically adulthood. Steps away from supporting your own family.

Again, he's five fucking years old. Think about that.

And remember, these age restrictions aren't suggestions. These aren't recommendations. These are federally-regulated stipulations on which the safety and welfare of our family and society depend. These requirements might just be the last goddamn thing that Democrats and Republicans can agree on. These age limitations are as fundamentally clear to Americans as Kennedy vs. Khrushchev or Manifest Destiny.

Again, let me be clear here. My five-year old son Dylan has mastered toys ordinarily intended for children aged 6+ like he's some sort of fucking wizard. And here's the thing; he's better at them than other six year-olds! As in, other six-year olds who are purportedly advanced enough to be operating these said toys, (according to the sanctions)!

In fact, in some cases, I wonder if some of these 6+ toys shouldn't actually have their cap raised (for kids other than Dylan I mean). My neighbor's kid Dallas (don't get me started on Dallas) couldn't for the life of him figure out how to shoot this Nerf Slingshot he got last Christmas. And he's eight fucking years old! He had no clue how to use the goddamn thing. Just stared at it like some primordial primate who's encountering fire for the first time.

But not Dylan. He walked right up to that slingshot, examined it for a few seconds, and fired a fucking dart right at Dallas's cat like he was a goddamn Navy Seal. Fucking taking out Bin Laden and shit.

I do hope that Dallas eventually figures things out though. His mom has had such a hard time this past year.

Now I'm really excited to see what age six holds for Dylan. Will his development continue on it's current linear path or will he begin developing at an exponential rate annually? Say for example his IQ last year was 90 and this year it's 95, and next year it's 105, then 125, then 165 and so forth. By the time he's 20, his IQ will be well above 1,000, and he'll be capable of any job on earth, but he'll still choose to be an Environment Lawyer like his daddy because that's such an important and meaningful way to contribute to society.

The health of our planet is just so critical, don't you think?

If we don't get India and China to pledge to major carbon emission cuts by 2030, I'm just so terrified of the world in which Dylan will need to live after I'm gone. Dylan deserves better, but even if the polar ice-caps melt, I know that Dylan will be among the small percentage of the population that perseveres and thrives because he's just so resourceful you know? He'll be fine, I just know he will.

For this reason, my son Dylan is my hero. And he should be yours too.

Woman Holding Baby Horse Not Offered Seat on Green Line

BOSTON - Passengers on the MBTA's crowded Green Line Wednesday refused to make available a seat for a woman holding a baby horse. Other commuters who were also standing on the train claimed that not one seated T-rider made an effort to ease the woman's apparent discomfort.

"She was standing up holding onto the bar with one hand and holding her baby horse in the other all the way from Kenmore to Chestnut Hill," said Allison Hooper of Brighton. "Not one person offered her a seat. They wouldn't even make eye contact."

The woman, Carol Magid of Brookline, says she doesn't have a car and needs to rely on public transportation to get around with her six-week old foal, Biscuit. "I'm not the type of person to demand a seat," Magid said. "But I certainly wouldn't refuse it if it were offered."

Often times the train conductor will step in to suggest a passenger forfeit his seat over the loudspeaker in such a circumstance, but Magid said that never happened.

"I was wondering if he would try and nudge the other passengers into standing up for me," Magid said. "It was a crowded train though, so it's possible that he wouldn't notice a woman with a baby horse."

WEATHER: One Single Goddamn Tiny Cloud in Entire Sky

BOSTON - The city came so close to having a totally blue sky Thursday morning, but for one single fucking tiny cloud in the east.

Initially, onlookers indicated their enthusiasm over an area that did not have one single cloud present in the observable sky - only sunny clear blue.

Those resounding thoughts of approval were quickly tempered when indeed, a single tiny white cloud was spotted just above the horizon.

"It was so close to being a great morning," said Caroline Wayshak who was walking along the harbor at the time. "That one cloud really fucked things up though. It was so small too, that's the thing."

The search will resume for a completely blue sky again tomorrow, though today's sour experience will likely dampen any overzealous expectations that a cloudless sky may in fact be achieved.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hillary Clinton Hits Campaign-Trail, Neighbor to Watch Cats

NEW YORK – Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton confirmed her travel schedule today, as she begins a 25-day trip to key battle-states, including Iowa and New Hampshire. Clinton confirmed that during her absence, her neighbor Gene will be watching the cats.

“It’s one of the major considerations when you choose such a demanding life of public service,” Clinton said. “The cats are independent, but they can only be on their own for 24, 36 hours tops.”

Reports indicated that Gene – who is not currently employed – is happy to do it.

“I’m actually allergic,” Gene said. “But Hillary is so busy, always on the road, I don’t know how she does it. Usually Chelsea steps in because God knows they can’t depend on Bill. But Chelsea is off on some trip, so of course I’d be happy to check up on them.”

The cats – Tabby, Abraham and Noodles – are in full health but do have some select dietary restrictions, which Clinton has transcribed on a sticky-note to Gene, along with her personal cell number in case anything happens. “You’ll do great!” the note closes.

The arrangement is just one of many hectic scenarios facing candidates on the campaign trail, Clinton said. “You just do the best you can, and hopefully it will all be worth it in the end.”

Dunkin' Donuts Shift Manager to New Trainees: You Look but You Do Not See

BOSTON – Dunkin’ Donuts shift manager Kevin McDowell has his work cut out for him with this new batch of trainees.
“We have seven incoming hires that need to be ready for battle next Tuesday,” McDowell said. “Frankly, I’m just not sure we’re going to be where we need to be.”

Julio Laramendi, one of the new recruits, has been studying hard. “Honestly, I think we are totally prepared, but he (McDowell) really drives you into the ground, you know? He expects the best.”

During the training sessions, McDowell is known to subject the group to various verbal assaults and will dismiss anyone who is insubordinate or underperforms. “You need to recreate workday conditions as best you can,” McDowell said. “Sometimes I turn the sprinklers on, just to see how they react.”

Claire Bonney recounted some of the in-training volleys that the shift manager has lobbed at the group. “Whenever we are just going through the hypothetical motions, he’ll say ‘Stop! You look, but you do not see!’ That’s one of his favorites. Then he’ll show us how he wants us to do it.”

“He also likes to yell ‘Eyes up, Head’s up, Straight up!’” said Bonney. “We’re not sure what it means, but it gets your attention.”

Desperate Music History Teacher to Kids: Oboe Was The Autotune of its Day

CONCORD - Sensing that he was beginning to lose the focus of his 7th grade classroom, Music History Teacher Brian McDermott pulled out all the stops on Tuesday and tried to relate to his students on their level.

"So not much was happening in the music world in the early 1700's, but then this new guy Antonio Vivaldi comes onto the scene," McDermott said. "He had attitude and he was hip; he was like Pitbull of the baroque."

McDermott's efforts initially seemed to have little impact on the disengaged nature of the classroom, but he continued the strategy in hopes of eliciting some interest.

"So there's Vivaldi, this flashy Italian and in 1716, he comes out with this new concerto for the oboe, and it just blows people's minds. I mean no one had ever heard anything like this. Yesterday, the oboe was this harmless little forgotten woodwind, and today it's just freaking people out."

Sources indicated that McDermott's analogy did garner some attention from the children, but mostly in the form of mocking giggles.

"So you kids on your iHomes love Snoop Doggity and the autotune and the Lady GaGa with her fancy hats? That," McDermott emphasized, "was Vivaldi."

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Vapid Son-in-Law Still Thinks Newtonian Gravity Applies at Nanoparticle Scale

MARBLEHEAD - In his latest display of witless buffoonery, local son-in-law Corey Garland embarrassed himself at a family picnic by claiming that Newtonian Physics are universally applicable, regardless of time or mass scale.

"It must be nice to live in Corey Garland's world," said the picnic's host Brandon Nesbit. "That's a world where no one has to worry about the Planck Scale. Electrons don't orbit a nucleus in under one femtosecond if you're Corey Garland."

Garland, who married Nesbit's daughter Katrina last May, has "never seemed to fit in very well with the rest of her family," according to Aunt Katherine Nesbit. "He never gets our jokes about thermonuclear fusion, but he laughs really loudly anyway. It's totally obvious that he doesn't comprehend. Such a dullard."

Family members have tried to be patient with the newcomer, but Garland's continued idiocy has put him on thin ice with several from within the inner-circle.

"So he's saying all this horseshit about Newtonian Gravity as though it's the exclusive constant in nature, like he's some sort of toddler," Nesbit continued. "And I'm trying to explain the basic tenets of quantum theory to him and he's just not getting it. 'Hey Corey,' I say, 'ever heard of a little someone named Niels Bohr?'"

Evidently, he had not.

Garland could not be reached for comment.

Baker Signs Law: Jeremy Renner to Appear in All Future Boston Movies

BOSTON - Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the Commonwealth's newest piece of Hollywood legislation: Jeremy Renner must now be featured in every Boston-related feature length production.

"We did it!" Baker exclaimed to loud applause at the State House this afternoon. "No more will Boston movies need to suffer the indignity of a Jeremy Renner-less cast."

The law continues the flirtation between Boston and the Hollywood big screen, which has featured such notable titles as "The Departed," "Gone Baby Gone" and Renner's own "The Town."

"Think about how awesome 'Good Will Hunting' would have been with Renner," the Governor continued. "Or Mystic River. Or, what was that one with Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon? Terrible film."

"Fever Pitch!" yelled one of Baker's aides.

Speaker Robert DeLeo applauded the Governor's enactment, lauding it as a non-partisan triumph for the state. "I'll never understand why Damon and Affleck were just grandfathered into those Boston roles. I'm pleased that the Governor has the foresight to say 'We can do better.'"

Baker is not sure if or how Renner will be featured in the upcoming Johnny Depp film "Black Mass," which tells the story of notorious Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger.

"He wasn't in the original cast," Baker said, "but maybe with some creative editing we can make it happen. Frankly, I think he can play multiple roles in the movie. He's that talented."

TRAFFIC - Sissy at Stop Light in Old Saturn Refuses Offer to Drag Race

QUINCY - Despite several inquiries and offers, local driver Edward Hamlin remained emphatic in his refusal to drag race a fellow driver at a Quincy stop light on Wednesday.

"No matter what we did, he just wouldn't take the bait," said Chris Penn, who initially proffered the race verbally. "At first, I just asked him if he wanted to race and he didn't respond. I figured he'd accept when I started really revving the engine and turned the Metallica on the radio way up to max, but he just rolled up his window. Who does that?"

Hamlin couldn't be reached for comment, but his driving record supports his reputation as a real pantywaist behind the wheel. He's never accrued even one traffic violation, moving or otherwise.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Papadallis Clan Declines Boston Bid to Host Family Reunion

BOSTON - The city received the latest instance of bad news Sunday when the Papadallis family declined Boston's proposal to host their 2016 reunion.

"Boston is a great city," said grandfather Eugene Papadallis. "But at the end of the day, we just weren't convinced that the support or resources we need to host a major reunion were available at this locale."

Though the family would not elaborate further, sources indicate that the priorities and needs of the family did not align with the offerings of the regional community. Priorities and needs that include a full-service grocer within close proximity to a whiffle-ball field. The fact that fireworks are illegal in this market also contributed to Boston being seen as an unattractive destination.

While the family has yet to say which city will be named next year's host, several options remain on the table. "We've never been to the Pacific Northwest," said Cindy Papadallis, 46. "Or we might just go back to Clearwater where my folks have a timeshare."

Attorney Roger J. Rabbit, Esq. is Tired of Your Jokes

NEWTON - Attorney Roger J. Rabbit, Esq., 51, is tired of your jokes.

The partner at Camp, Brosky & Rabbit LLC and father of two has heard every reference to the 1988 film 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' imaginable, and it's getting a little old.

"I've accomplished so much in my life," said the native of Connecticut. "I've run three marathons. I graduated with honors from NYU. My son is going to be playing D-3 baseball next year. It's a little frustrating when all of that is reduced to stale jokes concerning a cartoon rabbit from 30 years ago."

Rabbit first thought the name-connection to the film was humorous, but the constant references have long grown wearisome.

"People ask if I still team up with Detective Eddie Valiant to solve toon-crime," Rabbit said. "Last week a court-reporter made a very off-color and offensive joke about my amorous life with Jessica Rabbit."

Mr. Rabbit abruptly ended his interview for this piece when asked if his kids' names are Peter and Bre'r.

TRAFFIC: Woman Pulled Over for Expired Bumper Sticker

CANTON - Marcy Preen was pulled over while travelling southbound on I-95 in Canton early Monay with an expired bumper sticker. She was given a $300 fine and has the option of appearing in Canton Municipal Court to appeal.

Sgt. Alex Gargarrian said that he is normally lenient with slightly outdated bumper stickers, but this instance bordered on egregious neglect. "The individual in question was promoting a candidate for election from nearly 25 years ago, at which point I pulled the individual over. I had no choice but to serve the suspect with a ticket for the violation and a somewhat hefty fine."

Preen - who drives a 1990 Ford Tempo - says that she was aware that the sticker was out-of-date. "It's just one of those things that sort of falls to the back-burner. I'd meant to renew it, but just hadn't gotten around to it."

The fine is another instance in a local crackdown on outdated bumper stickers. Said Officer Gargarrian, "Last week, I made a traffic stop for a sticker that said 'Talk to me Goose.' It's amazing how some people have such little regard for the law and safety."

Friday, August 7, 2015

Third Grade English Class Turns Violent During Roald Dahl/Shell Silverstein Debate

WALPOLE - The third period English class at Walpole Elementary's summer program turned violent this morning over a discussion concerning the works of authors Shell Silverstein and Roald Dahl.

"There was a very clear demarcation between the two camps," said teacher Mrs. Joan Quigley. "What began as level-minded discourse ended in overturned desks and skinned-knees. I'm still in shock over how quickly it happened."

The discussion, which centered on contrasting lessons learned from Silverstein's 'A Light in the Attic' and Dahl's 'Matilda,' soon erupted into a shouting match among the students, and escalated when a rubber-cement ball was thrown in the direction of the Dahl supporters.

Said 9-year old Christian Sullivan, "There's much that I can tolerate from other perspectives, but when someone begins attacking the tenets of 'Where the Sidewalk Ends,' I take it as a personal affront."

Though the episode was contained within a few minutes, tensions in the classroom remain high. "I don't regret anything," said Sullivan, who kicked a fellow classmate in the shin. "I would proudly stand up for Silverstein again if the need arises.

STUDY: Single Boston Women Seek Brigadier General in Tasseled Uniform to Waltz With

BOSTON - A recent Boston University study indicates that Massachusetts women are most interested in meeting a Colonel, Admiral or Brigadier General decorated in full-military regalia to waltz with them in a ballroom setting to Tchaikovsky's most recognized and traditional pieces of music.

"The more ornate his dress is, the better," said Alexa Crossley, a paralegal and one of the women who took the poll. "I'm talking beautiful ceremonial golden sword, tassels, feathers...the whole deal. I just can't get enough pomp from my man."

Less important to area women are a sense of humor, family values and a steady job, according to the study. "Those are not the priorities of a strong, modern-day woman," said Margot Hughley, who conducted the study.

"Today's women are interested in a man who knows his way around Strauss's Blue Danube Waltz," said Hughley. "A man who knows how to shoot his pistol but is civilized enough to avoid firing his arms at all costs."

Other items on local women's checklists include a mastery of the equestrian pursuits and extensive knowledge of the frontier's oil fields.

Added Crossley with a smile, "And believe me, it doesn't hurt if he's played a hand in vanquishing the Prussian Guard on the front."

Lonely Woman in Park Clearly Copying Moves From Local Yoga Group

ARLINGTON - Members of Friday morning's Arlington Community Yoga Group reported this morning a lone woman sitting about one-hundred feet away, clearly mimicking the various moves from the hour-long session.

"I think she thought she was being stealthy," said the group's instructor Kristen Morgan. "But it was so obvious. We did the heron pose, and she would do the heron pose. We did downward dog, and there she was following. She really struggled with the dragonfly pose."

While the course is open to anyone and costs a meager $15 for the session, the unidentified woman seemed intent on remaining removed and anonymous.

Said Julia Kensworth, one of the class's participants, "Every time we would look in her direction, she would pretend to be doing something else. Stretching, or picking flowers or whatever. She wasn't fooling anyone."

The group meets every morning at 8am at Robbins Farm Park.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Massachusetts Consumers: If Your Marketing Plan Doesn't Include the Word "Wicked," Don't Bother


WALTHAM – A study by Brandeis University’s business program indicates that Boston-area consumers have absolutely no tolerance for marketing campaigns that do not incorporate the word “Wicked” in some capacity.

“Having a brand in this region without the term ‘wicked’ somewhere associated is akin to marketing poison,” said Professor Joyce Gregarian. “Local consumers would rather pay more for a product that does not suit their needs than purchase a usable, affordable commodity that is not being described to them as ‘Wicked Good,’ or ‘Wicked Awesome.’”

The study indicates that the term becomes even more impactful for local buyers when it is coupled with a derivative of the Boston accent. “If you can combine the word with the regional dialect, it becomes yet more effective,” said Gregarian. “‘Wicked Pissah,’ or ‘Wicked Usah-Friendly’ are tremendously powerful.”

Consumers in Downtown Crossing seemed to confirm the study’s findings. “See, look at how these shoes are described,” said Carol Goodwin, a shopper from Medford. “The tag says they are ‘comfortable, stylish, smart.’ I don’t see the word ‘wicked’ anywhere. That might fly in Philadelphia, but not here.”

The shoes on the opposite rack offer a more appealing alternative, according to Goodwin. “These shoes are described as ‘Wicked Orthopedic.’ That’s a message I can get behind.”

Show-off Fire Department Sends All Three Trucks to Local Blaze

MAYNARD -  The Maynard Municipal Fire Department sent it's entire fleet - three trucks - to fight a local blaze in a display that residents called "a bit much."

The fire, which broke out late Tuesday night on Parker Street, raged for about five hours before the team was able to get the scene under control. Damages were reported at one residence and no injuries were reported.

Neighbor Anthony Pistone Jr. saw the department's response to the "emergency" from his porch. "One truck makes sense, maybe even two. But three? I don't know, that just seemed over the top considering the situation."

Maynard Fire Chief Alex Buizone stated that sending the entire fleet is a standard procedure for residential fires. "This was an example of a serious situation that called for the extent of our resources. I stand by our decision to react in a prompt and appropriately measured manner. It was the best way to ensure the safety of the surrounding area."

Still, bystanders felt that the department's handling of the situation was excessive.

Said Pistone, "When my family goes out for pizza, we don't take two cars to the restaurant just to show the other patrons how well we are doing, you know?"

Clueless Pigeon Totally Unaware How Close he Came to Third Rail

BRAINTREE - Commuters looked on in suspense during this morning's rush-hour as an oblivious pigeon wandered around the third rail with absolutely no regard or awareness for personal safety.

"He was just weaving in an out of the tracks, pecking for breadcrumbs or whatever they eat," said Jason Concepcion, who was waiting to board the MBTA's red line. "There were a few times when I thought he was just going to go up in this ashy cloud of smoke. I guess fate was on his side though."

Other commuters waiting to board the train wondered if something else was at play. "Maybe pigeons don't get electrocuted by the third rail like humans do?" wondered Alexis Hargitay of Hingham. "That doesn't really make any sense, but why else don't we see train tracks littered with pigeon carcasses? Maybe they've built up an immunity or something."

While Concepcion is skeptical that pigeons are indeed third-rail resistant, he's just happy that this particular pigeon escaped unscathed. "I was happy when I boarded the train and he'd avoided getting zapped. That's not how I need to start this morning."

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Boston 2024 Refocuses Efforts on Hosting Double Dare

BOSTON - The committee in charge of hosting the now defunct Boston 2024 Summer Olympics bid isn't licked yet. Unnamed sources have indicated that the group now intends to refocus efforts on hosting a different set of games in the region: Nickelodeon's 'Double Dare.'

The campaign for the summer games lost steam and eventually collapsed last month when Mayor Marty Walsh refused to commit potential public funds to finance the massive undertaking. However, if a new opportunity to showcase the region using exclusively existing infrastructure and private moneys came available, the city's leaders might be interested in pursuing.

"Double Dare is an intriguing option," the source confirmed this week. "It's an opportunity to raise the visibility of this great city without the bureaucracy of the IOC or the crippling financial obligations associated with an Olympic bid."

Still, the committee anticipates running into many of the same objections that it has encountered for the past six months. Namely, what is the post-games practical application for the infrastructure that would need to be built?

"Our initial intention would be to perform an audit to ensure that everything we build would be used for the common good after the games are complete," the source said. "You're telling me Harvard couldn't find a use for an oversized pair of clown pants or a few of those massive spaghetti bowls?"

When asked if Double Dare is the only opportunity the committee would consider pursuing, the committee doesn't seem intent on limiting itself at this time. "While Double Dare seems to be the most promising, we don't want to exclude other attractive options and remain open to American Ninja Warrior or one of those weird Japanese game-shows."

Face-Tattoos Offer Cost-Effective Alternative to Diamonds for Newly Engaged

BOSTON - Planning and coordinating the perfect wedding can be an expensive process for couples, with the average price tag in the United States reaching $26,444. When combined with the purchase of an engagement diamond, the fairytale ceremony for many lovebirds may simply be too cost-prohibitive.

It's for that reason that many newly-engaged partners are exploring alternate paths to purchasing a diamond. According to a recent study at Boston University, the newest and most popular alternative to an engagement ring for the bride is a face-tattoo.

In fact, as many as 12% of couples will choose this path, up from 3% in 2010.

"We've all heard the saying 'Diamonds are Forever,'" said bride-to-be Alexa Monaghan. "Face-tattoos, I assure you, are every bit as permanent."

Monaghan was at first skeptical of the growing face-tattoo engagement trend, but when she and her fiancé Tim assessed the cost-benefit, the choice was easy.

"We were looking at diamonds that ranged from $5,000 all the way up to $12,500. It was just outrageous," she said. "The face-tattoo should cost, what, $200? We can use that extra cash for a swan ice-sculpture at the wedding."

"And I'll never have to worry about losing it at the gym or down the drain while in the kitchen," she added.

The appeal for new brides doesn't stop at the price tag; the customizable nature of face-tattoos also makes them a very attractive alternative.

"I'm planning on having Tim's face tattooed right on my forehead with a few thorny roses," Monaghan said. "Then maybe for our anniversary we can add a portion of our vows to my cheek."

One thing is for sure, the tattoo will leave little doubt that Monaghan is off-the-market. "I'm not sure I'll need to deal with that creepy guy at the office making a move on me anymore," she said with a laugh.

Liberal Mother: We Refuse to Profile the Masked Stranger in the Living Room

READING - Cindy Maris has made it clear that her family will be taking no part in jumping to conclusions in profiling the masked stranger in her home's living room.

"There is plenty of narrow-mindedness in the world today," said Maris, "but we won't be adding to that in this household."

The mother of three first encountered the stranger during yesterday evening's lightning storm, when she noticed him looking over her shoulder in the mirror holding a butcher knife.

"We don't know his story," Maris continued. "Frankly I find it disgusting the assumptions that certain people make based on how a person looks. Just because he isn't dressed like us? Or all the heavy breathing? It's nauseating."

The 51-year old even indicated that if she encounters him again, she'd ask him to stay for dinner. "It could do this family some good to learn from someone new."

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Email from Firm Office Administrator: Fog Machine is Out of Order

BOSTON - For the third straight day, the office fog machine is out of order, according to an email from the administrative staff in the Human Resources department.

"We have contacted an off-sight technician to service the fog-machine and hope that staff will have full access and unlimited use by week's end," the firm-wide email stated. "We understand the challenge that each of you face in preparing briefs, writing proposals and performing daily tasks without the fog machine, and appreciate your patience."

While office-mates have been understanding to date, the level of frustration is mounting. "It's just a little exasperating, you know?" said Associate Counsel Eric LeVallee. "You don't realize how much you use the fog machine in the office until it goes down."

As of this printing, the expedited request for a service technician has been submitted and is still pending. Until the fog machine is back up and running though, the office halls will be totally dry and clear.

New Pumice-Stone Sharing Service Upsets Area Nail Salons

BOSTON - Just as the battle between Uber and local taxi-drivers heats up, Boston has another clash between the old and the new economy heating up.

A new application that allows customers to use and share pumice stones found in public areas of common interest to scrape the dead skin off the bottom of their feet has nail salons fearing for their livelihood.

Users of the new service have celebrated the convenience and ease-of-use. "I was at the CambridgeSide Galleria this past weekend with my girlfriends," said Deborah McKinley of Waltham. "I was shocked at how easy the service makes it to sit down in such a crowded place, remove my shoes and scrape off the outer layer of dead epidermis from my feet."

Users of the free application are able to download a map of the Boston-area that highlights locations where pumice-stones are available for rent for ten-minute intervals. What began as limited locations in the Boston Common and South Station has now grown to over 20 high-traffic locales.

Many local nail salons - whose business depends on this market - are fearful of losing much-needed clientele. "The continued expansion of this service is going to prey on small business," said salon-owner Kitty Granger. "I question the ethics involved, and I question the legality."

Law-makers thus far have been caught toeing the line between being friendly to small business and stimulating economic-growth from within the innovation sector. "I wouldn't be surprised if we see salon-owners striking," said one Boston City Councilor. "We either need to regulate, or we'll face a major work-stoppage that will wreak havoc on this driver of the regional economy."