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(Montrose) Gangs of menacing elves continue to prowl the halls of Shady Acres Recreational Care Center Friday with no clear motive inherent. The shoddily dressed, now recently dismissed throng arrived on the grounds on Monday, frightening residents and daring police to take action.

“They aren’t driving drunk or skateboarding so there’s nothing we can do,” said one officer still investigating a robbery at the local Safeway back in 1979.

At present there are over 400 local police patrol cars surrounding Shady Acres poised for an assault. Despite demands that the elves vacate the premises a classic quagmire has emerged. Inside the hell hole that was once a peaceful redoubt for seniors, elves conduct brutal games or ping pong and billiards often holding tables for more than the allotted times.

“The savages won’t eat our food, oh no,” said Warner Brick, a retired dog catcher from Ridgway. “They have to dial out and order burgers, tacos and roast beef sandwiches made from synthetics. They love fast food. They crave it. Then they throw all their wrappers all over the sun room.”

All utilities have been disconnected and afternoon snacks have been rationed in an attempt to force the elves to the negotiating table. Local negotiators expressed hope that the standoff will be resolved after the elves return to work in January.  

– HL Menocken

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.”      – Irish proverb

Ancient Druids Revered Mistletoe Berries

(Ireland) If you’ve ever wandered the woodlands of Ireland you couldn’t help but trip over the mistletoe. It grows everywhere. Surprisingly when all the other green is in hibernation the mistletoe plant continues to produce berries all winter long.

The Druid physician-priests held the berries dear for their medicinal benefits and very likely in prevention of conception. The berries contain high concentrations of progesterone (rhymes with testosterone) which stimulates the libido. We will paraphrase what may have happened next as theorized by Dr. John Lee, author of Natural Progesterone – The Multiple Rolls of a Remarkable Hormone.

Here’s the scenario: For many centuries the Druids sponsored a winter solstice festival that, according to our calendar fell on December 22 or 23. The event, which lasted one week was meant to keep the sun from disappearing completely from the sky. (The pagans were uptight about things too – especially the sun god taking a powder). The celebration was held so that Spring would someday return and the world would not die. Katy, bar the door! Debts were paid, gifts exchanged and feasts presented. In addition a sacred concoction of hot mead laced with mistletoe berries was plentiful.

Once the party got started the influence of the warm alcohol and the progesterone helped everyone get quite relaxed, and get to know each other better…real better.

Modern medicine recognizes the fact that menstrual shedding is the result of an abrupt fall of progesterone, which no doubt occurred after the week of Celtic carousing had ended. Therefore, any conception that took place during the week of unrestricted sex would be lost in the induced flow. Besides allowing participants access to primitive sexual license, the solstice party reinforced the perception that festive sex without subsequent  responsibility was merely another gift from the gods. Simple enough.

With the start of the new year everything returned to normal. And you thought you’d been to some parties…Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Solstice. Mistletoe berries and mead…

– Finn McCool

“The trouble is, you think you have time.”       – Buddha

Congressional GOP Resignations Corroborated

Many Republican legislators intend to vacate their Congressional seats, effective on the passage of a divisive and contentious tax bill.

“We have done our job. We have unselfishly served the rich and saved America from the Godless Welfare State. But by doing so we have taken ourselves out of the running for reelection,” said Corey Parvenu of Mañana. “Who would vote for us now? Our Congressional salaries are chicken feed compared with the money we make from campaign contributions and other payoffs, so who gives a tinker’s damn.”

“We hate to eat and run but hasta la tonta,” taunted Tar Sands, of North Dakota. “Once voters suffer the fool and realize that we have screwed them we will not be electable, and so, without further fanfare, we will bid adieu…”

Democrats in the House breathed a sigh of relief at the news. “Winners like that make too many losers, to coin a Donna the Buffalo song. They sold their souls and turned our backs on everything the Republican Party once held dear,” said Oregon Democrat, Fanny Albright. “If all of them actually resign we might be ale to pass something besides gas before November.”

At risk of reprisals, retiring lawmakers will go into seclusion until the debris settles, which they hope won’t be “real long”. Insiders, fearing violence, say that poor people “will soon want blood but may have to travel to off-shore bunkers to get it.”

People like Donald Trump and Paul Ryan, who don’t need the money, are slated to save millions on taxes with the new passage while the working poor will get stiffed big time, especially on safety nets. Many of these poor unfortunates to be voted for these wealthy scoundrels and most of them are sticking to their guns, preferring a fatal fall from a high precipice of lies rather than an admission that they were hoodwinked.

“I’ve got a place up river where no one will find me for a long time,” whispered former house whip Mitch “Clear Skies” Pettifogger. “People around here like me. The others will forget in no time. Then we can make a pincher comeback without all the half-cocked liberal investigations.”

Indictments in the ongoing Penis Inquisition will be downplayed in the mainstream press so as to allow the honorable brahmans to safely sneak out of town before mobs understand the consequences and guillotines begin rolling into the the National Mall.

“‘Tis the season, heh?” asked one defrocked “journalist” from Faux News. “It’s like our man Santa legislating the elves out of health insurance, pensions and even free internet while they tighten the screws. Isn’t it an exiting time to be alive!”

Meanwhile in Colorado the state GOP continues to blame the drought on Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. Many plan relocation to Argentina and Paraguay.

– Tommy Middlefinger



One bothersome tradition that cannot be escaped over the holidays is our annual gift givers guide. We know that many of you are too busy sorting credit card offers, worrying about the economy and watching television to get around to any meaningful shopping for others. That’s why we’ve put together this varied roster of clever, yet functional premiums sure to toast someone’s slippers on Christmas morning. And new in 2017 is San Juan Horseshoe gift insurance which protects the covered receiver from tasteless ties and sweet perfumes. It even contains a clause undressing potential disappointments in the children’s sector as well as worthless knick-knack storage credits for the elderly. Here are the gifts that made the cut…

WATCHED POT PLANT GROWER/INDUCER – Fits over the face like a view-finder or diving mask. Guaranteed to grow healthy house plants in just hours. Halogen light encourages lightening-fast maturity. Effective on everything from tomato plants to sensitive ivies and herbs. Comes with starter set, reversible lenses, carbon-monoxide film, foul weather gear. Why wait for plants to sprout the old way? (Not suggested for Christmas trees or mistletoe. $159.99 at reasonable florists.

ARAB ALLIES SHOWER CURTAIN – Now it’s there, now it’s not. The transparent, anti-microbial, mildew-resistant vinyl-lined shower curtain protects from leakage and wandering eyes. Many come with simulated maps of Mideast tribal boundaries  before arrogant European intervention in the 19th Century. Velcro attachments make cleaning a breeze. Simply hose it down. Doubles as a turban or chador in a fashion emergency. Matching prayer rug opens into American or British flag in the event of carpet bombing. $44.95 at Potties-Are-Us and other fine bath boutiques. Be sure to check out the digital toilet paper dispenser display and the revolving chrome toilet seats that few of us will be able to afford to be without this Yuletide.

ED’S RUBBER GARAGE LINER – Developed by local technician who grew tired of running into the garage with his car. Protects all four walls and insulated the electric door too! Somewhat bulky and difficult to apply without rubber tools and rubber hat. Effective against herd animals, drunks and tax assessors. Factory colors sure to match any garage decor. From the outside it looks like a normal garage but from the inside it resembles a cartoon rubber cave complete with windows and animated fossil fuel exhaust. Go ahead…Close your eyes and floor it. You’ll just bounce off! $129.99 at progressive auto supply outlets.

PEEING CHERUB SET – Perfect gift for the nouveau riche on your list. Decadence with a giggle. Classic pose accented by wrought-iron stand. Hand-cast resin statue beautifully detailed. Constant stream of consciousness from the personalized dangling participle. Brass or wicker with ivory-washed finish. Sorry: Matching weather-resistant bird feeder not available in spring. Discount for more than one. Rarely returned, 100% customer satisfaction assured. Movement sensitive lights, security buzzer, remote control directional flow and tinted water optional. $1099.99 at Clone Depots.

VIAGRA JOGGING SUIT – They’ll just have to see you coming with this trademark limited-edition jogging suit from your friends at Viagra. Soft-Corinthian spandex with logo prominently displayed in at least four places on garment. Give someone a leg up this holiday season with fashion that says virility all over it. Available in Okra, burnt cocoa or fire engine red. As advertised on Monday Night Football. $99.99 at athletic clothiers and surviving local pharmacies.

AIRLINE FOOD PROCESSOR/READING LAMP – Perfect for the globe trotter on your lisp. Easy to smuggle past security just to see if you can. Takes all that chemically-packed space food and turns it into an edible survival experience. Simply place unwrapped food items into processor and push button. In moments it kicks out a compact bale or freeze-dried cube that makes an interesting, if not nutritious lunch or dinner. Many experienced high altitude diners use their processor on the ground too since airport food is equally suspicious. Accompanying reading lamp doesn’t work very well but makes a great place to hide miniatures from temperance elements within the attendant population. $35.00 standby.

DEATH OF A SALESMAN PHONE KAZOO/WHISTLE – Everyone must be getting sick and tired of telephone solicitors with flat out amazing offers. Blow them off the line with the patented defense parameter beeping mouth harp. Hits a pitch that only pushy telemarketers can hear. Battery operated and compatible with answering machines so as to blast unwanted callers even when one is not home. Nickel-plated brass, dog hair repellent, easy to store. $31.99 with launcher. Order before December 24 and receive six free Scottish Highland Bagpipe Lessons (a $29 value). Offer good at pontificating merchants only.

MAIL BOX MINE FIELD – Protect yourself and your mail from terrorists this holiday season with the Homeland Security Mail Box Booby Trap Mine Ensemble. Schematic features mining blueprint for up to twenty-five yard circumference. Suited for networking in the neighborhood. Powerful detonator effective with the slightest touch. Combination lock or light sensitive device makes in impenetrable to intruders. Works great on moles, crows and other yard pests. Tests on bear-proof trash cans and child-proof prescription containers pending. $200.00 for expanded explosive selection, fuses and tiny identification camera. Not responsible for damages to rubber garage liners or peeing cherubs.

PATRIOT CELL PHONE – In red, white and blue. Show your support for world domination while you chat away mindlessly with friends and relatives. See-through for technical support maneuvers, caller ID to help round up suspicious citizens who don’t think the right way. Rear-projection device allows for display of U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights on the refrigerator door for those who still read. Vibrator allows for relaxation between calls. Monitoring hookup flashes when device is unplugged. Comes with National Security ID Bow Tie, fog-free blinders and ear plugs, official gov’ment neck weight and neon brain truss which creates up to 20,000 simulated brain impulses per bite. Basic data service: $39.95 per month.

KILLER INSTINCT BRONCO FIELD GOAL TOASTER OVEN – Start a fire under someone this Christmas with the sports appliance that everyone in the press box is talking about. State-of-the-art clock management, conservative quartz elements, choking mechanism prevents burn-out. Heats up great for about 45 minutes then cools off for the fourth quarter. Replaceable quarterbacks complimentary. Perfect for the golf course in January too! Blocks dangerous UV field goals under the lights. $45.99 at sports memorabilia shows nationwide.

COMBINATION TRASH CATAPULT/LITTER BOX FAN/BAGUETTE AIR FRESHENER SYSTEM – It may not be the best gift but it might be the biggest! Let’s start with the trash. Avoid dangerous treks to the garbage quadrant by hurling your debris. Why deal with ice, terrorists and dangerous four-legged predators all winter. Next we discover a handy litter box fan (three speeds) that keeps the odor down even while the cat’s away. If this isn’t strong enough just screw open the top of what looks like a simple loaf of bread and get rid of all other household smells instantly. Warning: Consumers have reported some confusion when using all of these devices simultaneously. Although tragedies are varied no one as yet has been killed. $699.99

TWENTY-THOUSAND LEAGUE BASEBALL MEMORABILIA – Discarded dental floss once used by Reggie Jackson, dirty socks collected from the Milwaukee Brewers’ locker room from 1995-2000 (complete set), a shampoo bottle emptied by a utility infielder who has moved on to the used car business. Too good to be true? Forget the days when players signed autographs for free, and Mantle and Mays roamed the outfield without a financial portfolio. Sod from the Astrodome, Rod Carew’s car seat, paycheck stubs from wrecked  Rockies’ starting pitchers, a video rental receipt once thought to be the property to Andres Galaraga. The list goes on. No sports addict can resist! Market price.

RETIREMENT ALARM CLOCK AND STAR WARS LAMPSHADE – Is someone on your shopping list about to take the big plunge into official retirement? Buy them the only alarm clock that not only counts the days until release from occupational bondage but also refuses to go off in the morning. Accompanying turntable base nuclear umbrella lampshade adds a little security to an otherwise frightening future. This gem slices, trims, mulches, waxes, purifies, embalms, soothes, magnetizes, downsizes, fattens, shakes, polishes and engages in a further an assortment of other verbs left over from our pile of notes for this article. $6,000 if the creek rises.

ISIS TRAVEL MIRROR – Why do these people hate us? Take a look for yourself. Framed by 50 years of foreign policy, accentuated by petroleum based distrust and cluttered conflicts the source of which no one cares to remember. Turn the magic dial and the human image will appear as thin as the average Palestinian refugee or the fattened desert prince. Laptop available. $5.2 million.

EVANGELICAL HEARING AIDE – Is someone on your list still talking to the power upstairs? You can insure their clear reception all hours of the day or night with this tiny metaphysical hearing aide from Salvation Optics. Keep the channels open and the message infallible. Comes with translation materials and phrase book in case God prefers to speak in Spanish or Arabic. Non-transferable. One size fits all. $300,000. Financing available at most righteous electronic outlets.

FOR YOUR PET:   This year sees a myriad of new products for our fur-bearing buddies. Probably the most impressive are the expanded collection of doggie tattoos and the runway car loader for fat dogs and cats. The pine beetle lattice talking elk head is another fine choice. It is sure to keep Rover or Kitty busy for hours upon end! Many of these diamonds in the rough are available locally. Prices depend on tightness of leash laws and what side of the door you’re on.

FORTUNATELY FOR YOU, the reader, we ran out of time and space. Sorry we couldn’t review the VOICE-ACTIVATED DINGY, the perfect gift for the Yachtie; or the KING TUT GUITAR CASE, a genuine sarcophagus of King Tutankhamen. Likewise the SOFT DRINK CERAMIC TILE GROUT DISPENSER, nor the already best selling “History of Hot Dogs” and “Photographing Bedroom Furniture” will receive the deserved notoriety of the season. We didn’t like the FISH HEAD CHARM BRACELET currently being pushed on Pee-Bay or the WORLD’S FAVORITE SIREN ENSEMBLES that the Salivation Army is selling. In Closing: The breakthrough MARTINI PILLS do work. If you’re just too busy to catch a buzz this season try one. They can be a great stress reliever but easy on the vermouth if you please.

Melvin “Hard Candy” O’Toole

Jardin Plaza Reopens Just in Time for the Holiday Season

Jardin’s Parque came alive today after the long months reconstruction have concluded. The whole town took note when the fencing came down. Last night marked the Night of Candles featuring homage to the Blessed Virgin and a frightening episode where four horses escaped down a main street narrowly avoiding collisions and catastrophy on the crowded crossroad.     (Toole of the Andes Photo).

Jardin’s parque is now open again, heralding in the Christmas season. The Antioquian town, high in the Andies boasts one of Colombia’s finest plazas. Above we watch town crews remove the last debris allowing appreciative pedestrians to stroll once more. The square is surrounded by more than 25 cafes and bars with vender stalls dotting the cobblestone.         (Toole of the Andies)


(Mt. Crested Butte) Crested Butte Ski Resort has big plans to increase season pass sales this winter. In what many are calling a quick fix response to lower lift ticket prices across the industry, the ski giant will give away trips, gear and appliances with the purchase of a pass between now and mid-December.

For example: If a prospective season pass holder buys what amounts to a Gold Pass, by industry standards he could receive, absolutely free, a microwave oven or a television set. A lower commitment would then net a toaster or a weekend in Grand Junction.

“We feel that this gesture puts another human face on the ski industry as a whole,” said Exhale T. Hollandaise, one of over 400 vice-presidents here. “Our marketing budget is already stretched way out of proportion by June and this incentive concept should relive some of the pressure. This is progressive. This is cutting edge marketing right out of the box!”

All the other VPs were busy E-mailing each other and could not comment on these developments.

One local skier, Marcia McQuiggly-Mogul, received a pair of goggles and some sun screen when she purchased season passes for her family.

“Those were some damned expensive goggles,” she frowned, “but of course the price does include four months of skiing.”

A drop in season lift ticket prices at nearby Monarch seems to have precipitated the move toward more lucrative options. Also, a well-guarded drop in skier days is said to have prompted the decision here at CBMR.

“We’re canning the circus bigtop approach, and instead giving our bread and butter skiers a gift at the ticket window,” tactfully whispered marketing ace, Angela Wahoo.

Unreliable sources at the Grand Butte/Marriott/Club Med/Bates Hotel say that facility will reserve all incentive packages for their less motivated employees who often forget to come to work, unless it happens to be payday.

Whether or not these dubious approaches will revolutionize the one-horse sideshow remains to be seen, but already hundreds of skiers are walking away from the ticket window loaded down with everything from insulated gloves to digital clock radios. Some will be put to good use in homes and hotel rooms while most will be sold on the thriving black market down in Gunnison.

Meanwhile over in ultra-trendy Vail, prices will remain high unless there’s no snow and then they will miraculously drop to almost nothing. (Don’t forget: Two bank/investment references are required to ski the back bowls on weekends – Just ask your broker to file Form 445-3ADB with the business office). In Aspen, where a registered pedigree, and often  real estate license, doubles as a lift ticket. “Just put it on my room”, well-heeled skiers say, generally donating awards such as trips, gear and appliances to the indigent over in No Name, before getting on the chairlift.

“The days of the dirt bag winter sports enthusiast are over,” said Wahoo. “Today’s skier/snowboarder is looking for instant gratification, you know the full tilt experience without fighting the hordes on the slopes. He doesn’t mind paying a little more money for a little more thrill and that includes walking away with a new toaster oven or a DVD player.”

In a related piece, LaPlata County authorities have arrested three New Mexico men who attempted to buy a case of season passes with food stamps. Although at first thrown in jail, the three have been bailed out and adopted by employee-desperate restaurants here. They will reportedly start work Friday.

– Kashmir Horseshoe