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UN SENDING COOKBOOKS TO SUDAN

In an unprecedented exercise of its humanitarian authority, the United Nations (UN) today announced a massive airlift of over 1,000,000 cookbooks to the continent of Africa.

Melvin Aku Tul Aku, UN High Commissioner for famine relief, outlined the massive assistance initiative this week at the regular brunch meeting of the UN Famine Management Directorate.

“It has become clear to us that the lack of innovative recipes and culinary techniques is a major factor in the African predicament”, Aku Tul Aku said. “The appetizing presentation of various regional foodstuffs, including leftovers, is key to eliminating possible famine in areas lacking such expertise”. UN studies reveal that Sudan is actually nutritionally rich, once you get past the militias and the curious taboos surrounding what is defined as food.

“These food resources are actually quite appropriate for Atkins and South Beach type diets that are widely followed in Europe and North America”, Aku Tul Aku pointed out. He concluded; “A little bit of innovation can make a remarkable difference in the daily lives of these people who insist on living here.”

When asked about the $300,000,000 price tag for the effort, Aku Tul Aku defended the cost as being consistent with the expense of printing separate cookbooks for Christians and Muslims and paying off warlords. Human Rights Watch, an international watchdog group, has expressed concern that the books will not be accompanied by CD’s for victims who can’t read.

“CDs? asked one UN representative. “We are not finished counting each of the grains of rice that are earmarked for Africa. We have to keep records of each disbursement and cannot release the food until we have accomplished what is no small feat.”

Horseshoe Office Condemned

(Pea Green – UPS) In its first use of the new expanded eminent domain authority, the Delta County Commissioners voted this week to initiate condemnation procedures with regard to The San Juan Horseshoe regional distribution center in Pea Green. In a unanimous vote, the Commissioners approved the proposal made by JerCorp-Patriots, Inc., a major regional franchiser of jerky stands. An anonymous source close to the Commissioners explains that in light of a recent Supreme Court decision, it is clear that local governments are free to condemn and seize property as long as there is a “clear public benefit to the action, or if at least some member of the public will benefit from the action.” Such benefits implicitly include personal benefits to public officials, beneficiaries and their political committees as applicable.

“Although we generally oppose this sort of governmental action, in a case such as this, where a newspaper operation will be replaced by a jerky stand, we cannot with a clear conscience argue that public good is not enhanced.” While many local citizens are wildly enthusiastic about the proposed action, we were unable to locate any San Juan Horseshoe readers to comment on the development.

State highway employees to don red

(Montrose) Out with the orange and in with the red. That’s the word at the Colorado Division of Transportation today. Early this morning in a moving, private ceremony highway crews turned in their flashy orange uniform shirts and jackets for a more definitive red.    

The action, in keeping populist federal dress codes (MAG caps), assures the smooth flow of federal highway funds to Colorado for the next fiscal year. Although seen as petty by many the new regulations seek to unify all state road crews under the same color codes. The failure to adhere to the new order could put highway funding in jeopardy. Threats to discontinue funding are clearly linked to cities and states with immigration safe zones and conflicts with federal marijuana laws.

“That orange color was driving a lot of people nuts,” said one critic of the move, “But the expenses incurred in the shift could have been translated into yards and yards of asphalt, tons and tons of gravel. The feds are simply attempting to militarize our local highway workers in the event of insurgent actions in the face of what should be a concerned population.”

At top levels, the color red, is the favorite of the Trump Administration and was preferred three to one by cooperative state officials in a recent survey, is easy to launder and looks good with blue and white on everything from flags to men working signs.

“The switch will cost a pretty penny,” admitted one state engineer, “but we think it’s worth it. The orange had outgrown its usefulness, was garish and made our people look like Halloween characters instead of highway personnel.”

When interviewed most state employees welcomed the change saying that the red shirts might be more relaxing and subtle.

“Try working eight to ten on a windy stretch of road up to your neck in blaze orange,” said one worker who spoke anonymously. “You’ve got orange shirts, hats, trim, accessories, warning signs and vehicles. Enough. The concept of a lighter shade of red can’t hurt. In a fashion sense orange is too hard to match with other colors.”

C-DOT has for years been experimenting with designs as well as color combinations so as to better protect exposed workers from danger on the roadways. Referee-like stripes, green and white checks, bright pastels, varied flesh tones and even electronic blinkers have been suggested.

“Now that the decision to go with red has been finalized we embrace the changes with the full force of our corps of workers,” said one C-DOT boss who for decades has reputedly worn orange underwear and socks, even on his days off. “I’m changing with the times,” he added. “Besides in two more years I’ll be retired and I can wear whatever I like.”

At present all official outfits must contain .08% red or be subject to fine and public ridicule.  Experts say that an entire fleet of red trucks can pass through an area all but unnoticed while one orange pickup sticks out like a sore thumb.

“We don’t want our people or our equipment to draw too much attention. We just want to get the job done and move on to the next bridge, the next chuckhole,” said the C-Dot source. “Orange was an unnecessary distraction along the highway.”

The official refused direct comment when asked if the color-coded move had any connection to Homeland Security decrees. Some elected in Denver have accused the federal gov’ment of manipulating the situation so as to implement further controls at the state level.

– Uncle Pahgre

SPRING STEP HOROSCOPE

We sincerely hope that this candid, if not entirely scientific, astral appraisal will help you get what’s coming to you. Directions: For personal projection simply embrace verbiage under appropriate birth sign. If you cannot afford a sign one will be appointed by the quart. Retractions printed at $9.99 per pound. We do not discard used tires. 

ARIES (March 21 – April 20)

Cattle prods could leave you suspicious of co-workers. Selling your soul in the market place does not guarantee residuals. Garbage truck crews rarely get rich on tips or commissions. Change expression occasionally. Silly games are their own reward. Insulate yourself from errors in judgment. The reason that you have been misled is that you are stupid. Big hearts and small brains just don’t mix well. Try gin and tonic. Twisted souls can’t walk a straight line unless it is the dotted kind. Refer to nutritional contents listed on side panel. Tonight: Sign language by the light of the moon.

TAURUS (April 21 -May 21)

Romance in and of itself is not the ultimate stumbling block. It’s your social budget that separates you from the herd. Flock off. It’s better to hang out with nice people with money than poor folks with a bad attitude. Act surreptitiously when under fire. Dictionaries and bibles make fine helmets. Dogmas need to be walked while creeds can stay home in a sunny window. If you begin to believe in yourself, Tinkerbelle fantasies cannot be far away. Choose friends and snow tires carefully. A bad penny is easier to discard than a wooden nickel. Your pocket jingle precedes you in fiscal circles. Tonight: Brood in the dark.

GEMINI (May 22 – June 21)

Embrace fringe relationships. That person in the mirror may not be your best friend. Keep emotions at an arm’s length and the point of retreat in the rear view. Use your energy in canning technology. Play the roll of a martyr only if you get your own dressing room. The Sun is still searching for a dynamic sector of your chart. Send up a flare. Shuffle the demands of peers and soon they will disintegrate. Dismissal from jury duty is no excuse for violence. Give someone your divided attention and all three of you will come out ahead. Tonight: Follow your own lead.

CANCER (June 22 – July 23)

Tendencies toward the reclusive limit Neighborhood Watch. When visiting relatives soften arrivals with clear dates of your departure. Keep your options open and your mouth closed. Tolerance is only the tip of the iceberg. Recent ideas are less than brilliant. When all else fails, order a pizza. Life is a roller coaster and you must set the bar or risk a tumble at the wrong time. Mental capacities are on the Imperial unit while romance is measured in Centigrade. Loitering near the garbage truck could net a one-way ride to the landfill. Tonight: Fireflies in the corn mash.  

LEO (July 24 – August 23)

King or queen of the jungle is only a title. The real power lies within the realm of prime minister. A fish on a park bench is better than a flash in the pan. Drive-in movies are worth little at high noon. Celebrate an anniversary when you damn well feel like it. Diamonds are not in the shape of your heart. Catch and release will keep unwanted overtures on the chopping block. Passion will seek its own level even if it’s a lubricant of dreams. Your eyes may be bigger than your stomach. Tie up loose cannons. Why change oil if the engine still functions? Tonight: Limes make a persuasive case.

VIRGO (August 24 – September 23)

Don’t make a crutch of personal finances this month. Instead, a simple walking stick with a sharp end should do nicely. Maybe a dagger. Maybe a derringer. Wealthy people don’t worry about holes in their pockets. Occupy your mind with frequent flyer miles. Too much time in the cereal aisle can result in personality disorders by breakfast time. Talk is cheap while advice has never closed ranks in a buyer’s market. Focus on what you do well. Use a microscope. Tonight: Romance at twenty paces.

LIBRA (September 24 – October 23)

Wyoming is not a state of mind. Two-a-days did not take. Grab a bucket or audition for the part of tackling dummy. Isn’t your helmet on backwards? Ends will never meet but Scorpio linebackers can be quite compatible on special teams. Pay attention in the huddle. Don’t be overly defensive. Despite tedious preparation, over-running the play will make one look bad from the stands. Shoulder pads work best if you have the head to go with them. Take cheerleaders at face value. An offensive line is never in good taste. Tonight: An etiquette sandwich.

SCORPIO (October 24 – November 22)

Put tendencies toward panic behind you. An emotional ride never gets good gas mileage and can be destructive to the interior as well. Check tire air pressure and go on. There is no sense being king of the hill if all the action is going on at sea level. An attractive airport security official may pat you down before evening falls. Get in touch with your cooperative side. Pluto, your ruling planet is at odds with Mercury, the planet of mind. Maybe you should invest in a meteor-proof vest. Tonight: Scapegoat cheese on the grill.

SAGITTARIUS (November 23 – December 21)

Although you may be overflowing with confidence, be careful not to spill any on the sensitive wrappings of chronic insecurity. An inflated ego alone will not defeat Godzilla. You have to study the films. Deliver the goods and don’t stand around waiting for further compensation. While the injured feelings of others are not your concern, it is not necessary to twist the knife either. Cutting corners does not work when it comes to concrete or jello. Fragile roots could leave you out on a limb down the road. Tonight: Life in a nutshell.

CAPRICORN (December 22 – January 20)

Swallow all food carefully before you chew it. It would appear from your solar chart that you have little to flaunt. Be careful of too much fibrous fodder, as well as mustache hairs in the pudding. Big things lurk in your future unless you diet now. Pulling your own strings can be quite a workout on its own. Free weights aren’t free. Exercise videos often lack a viable plot. A hunch that you are no straight arrow will be right on target through the 19th. Lady Luck is still the champion arm wrestler. Tar is bad enough but when the feathers arrive, things may turn ugly. Tonight: Creamed corn falls on deaf ears.

AQUARIUS (January 21 – February 19)

Focus on the inconsequential. Bank on inner knowledge and current interest rates. People are comfortable ignoring you. Use this arrangement to your advantage. Sometimes invisible is better than invincible. Store all good intentions in a cool, dry place. Recycle opinions. 2020 could be a pivotal year for you but not if you spend it spinning out of control. Life may be a meaningless jumble of events but return tickets are at a premium. Flanking movements at the time clock will do little to insure job security. Tonight: The dog won’t eat caviar.

PISCES (February 20 – March 20)

Hold your breath while out of the water. The lure of fame may tip the scale. Everyone breaks waves sometimes. There is no future in being part of the chowder. Don’t trust worms, grasshoppers or Indian scouts with brass buttons. There is little discretion in muddy waters.  Mind over matter is of no use when you’ve already swallowed the bait. Burn out is rare in frigid waters. Bottom feeders should never focus on high and dry affairs of the heart when dinner’s on the table. Keep a civil tongue in your head despite anatomical differences. Tonight: Take a refresher course in humility.

– Kashmir Horseshoe, Commandant Astral Cavalry of the Holy Order of Hibernians (1866), the Quiet Knights of the Talisman (1903), the Alchemist’s Pulpit (1949) and the Colonese Zone (1977-commission pending.)

“Despite the overabundance of dung heap news sources in this country Americans remain one of the most poorly informed populaces on the planet.”  – H.L. Menoken

Martian Studies Program Propels WSCU

(Gunnison) In response to countless contacts with intelligent life on Mars, progressives here at Harvard-On-Tomichi have created the first intergalactic studies curriculum. Responding to early gov’ment admissions that Martians have been to Washington (as early as 1988) Western State Colorado University will offer an undergraduate degree in Martian Studies as early as January, 2021.

Already other notables in the scholastic arena have stiffened up and taken notice.

“I thought they just taught skiing at Western,” said one Adams State professor. “We’d better keep an eye on enrollment over here in Alamosa or we’ll be losing students. Hats off to free thinkers in Gunnison. Frankly we never thought they had it in them.”

Oddly enough WSC has oversold tickets for the winter, accepting more students than ever before.

“We followed a pattern developed by the airlines,” said Phil Cheroot, of the Admissions Office. “Students who do not get a seat for the semester will be given vouchers to attend elsewhere until a spot opens up. It’s testy but it beats empty desks and fiscal deficits.”

Meetings between Martians and WSCU faculty have been reported up Ohio Creek, on W Mountain and at Hartman’s Rocks. Although no exact minutes were recorded, the subject of language requirements and academic credits are thought to have been the priority. A Martian Information booth has already been set up at the student union.

“Up until now we haven’t spent a penny due in part to strong alumni support on the part of the Martians,” said Dr Margaret Steed, a fellow heading up the Intergalactic Studies Department. “They even paid for the coffee.”

Critics say the school should have been more open with these early plans to involve aliens.

“They are right,” said Cheroot. “We admit everything. Who cares? We have packed houses from Taylor Hall to the tennis quarts. Success is sweet. There is a twisted joy in turning away students but 4500 is our absolute limit.

“That won’t hurt efforts on the corporate level,” said Cheroot. “We are negotiating with Martian culinary officers at the moment,” added the administrator. “Although many prefer the traditional meal of beans and rice on the Red Planet.”

Meanwhile students who have decided to or are planning to major in the said field can look forward to four years of grueling study capped off by a year “abroad” at one of several Martian universities. The tough language requirement washes out 70% of the freshmen who often look to accounting, journalism or pre-law as disappointing substitutes.

“Nonetheless we expect to graduate at least 100 qualified Martian expert by 2025,” said Steed. “Maybe we’re going out on a galaxy here but the package is far more innovative than Sociology of Significant Strata, Introduction to Arctic Psychology and/or Methods of Keynesian Finance, leading scholastic agendas over recent decades.”

It was not clear if Western would play any of the larger Martian universities in football in 2021.

TOWN CLOCK TO RUN 24 HOURS

(Ouray) Thanks to a grant from the Federal Daylight Shavings Club (Aka Mule Deer Time), the Ouray Town Clock will now keep the exact time for the entire day. Due to a shortage of funds the time piece has been shutting down at approximately 4:12 am each day forcing city employees to reset the thing each evening before bed.

“It’s a dangerous climb especially in winter,” said an official here, “but the chore is also a rite of passage for the younger workers. They may not know the ropes but they all have all kinds of ropes around here.

Traditionally the employee with the least seniority inherits the vertical task when the clock runs short of juice.

“Imagine the affect on tourism if the clock was stuck at 4:12 when the sun came up,” said the source. “It would ruin their vacations. Most would opt for Disneyland or Las Vegas instead of coming to Ouray although there appears to be little difference in these destinations in July and August.”

– Melvin Toolstoy

Yesterday I was chastised about Trump by an 86-year-old woman on small town plaza in Colombia. Later I realized she was guilty of the same close-mindedness as his supporters. Not in the fact that she didn’t like him, but in the fact that she had to break everything down into black and white so as to partially digest the issue. She presumed my politics to make it easier for her tiny brain to function. It was easier than cooking up original thought. Ignorance comes in many colors and languages.The rest they puke up when they think no one is looking.

Trusty day bridge near Jardin, Colombia

A sturdy walkway of rope and planks hurdles a stream in the jungle in Antioquia, Colombia