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O’Toole ineligible for matching funds

(Colona) Juniper berry gigger, micro-commodities analyst and weekend social critic Melvin O’Toole has been be dropped from the rolls of the worthy when it comes to matching funds from corpulent government and religious entities in 2020.

“I was counting on the cash flow to make it to distilling season,” wept the 101-year-old when told of his pert disqualification on moral grounds. “Now it looks like I’ll have to have my gold teeth pulled and melt down my college bowling trophies just to afford green fees.”

O’Toole reportedly angered the control committee when he suggested that very few Edith Bunkers would be voting GOP and that the annoying and insincere corporate slogan “reaching out” could easily be taken as sexual assault.

“They wanted me to be on their team so they could dictate policy but I am not all that dumb,” quacked the elderly soil master. “I don’t join teams and I am not a robot. I do not reach out!”

The weak-kneed blow comes on the heels of an announcement that the Colorado Division of Transportation and the Colorado Department of Mental Health have combined agencies. The development, called a cost saving move by overpaid bureaucrats, has been criticized as an attempt to help people who don’t need these services and ignore citizens who might benefit from the combination of wet asphalt, garage door therapy and border-line psychosis.

Yet another revelation, chronicling the abrupt and methodical mass movement of black bears from the United States to Canada, has emerged, clouding the playing field and putting O’Toole’s standing on the back burner. Animal behaviorists who at first downplayed the mammal migration, now say it is linked to lack of juniper berries in traditional feeding environs.

O’Toole, once a bastion of fine literary output, has fallen on barren times, suffering from writer’s block and residual constipation disarming his will to pen further epistles. He blames a diet of kosher hot dogs, parsnip pudding and dried seaweed while persons familiar with his daily regimen point to a warm relationship 12-year-old Ron Caldas.

The scalding controversy has left the slow food industry in the dust while vegetarian headcheese and water-based gherkins threaten to fill the void just in time the holidays.

Meanwhile O’Toole is recovering from a vicious deer bite inflicted on tee box number 15 at Cedaredge Golf Course last week.

“That’s the last time I’ll get high with local wildlife,” he crowed.

– Tommy Middlefinger

Nationals apologize to moms for “out of town” Series victory

The otherwise highly exalted Washington Nationals, winners of this year’s World Series, have some explaining to do.

After winning 4 of 7 games against the powerful Houston Astros the underdogs won the World Championship. The only problem is that they won all their games in Texas and lost all of their games at home in The District. This has not set well with the players’ mothers who had hoped to see at least one local victory.

“My mom lives in Bethesda and goes to games every week. She watched us lose on October 26 and still held out hope for a last chance win in Washington on October 27, “ said Stephen Strasberg, MVP of the Series. “She’s happy we won but disappointed that she was unable to be there to share in the celebration.”

Other players’ mothers harbored the same mini resentment saying that the local fans deserved at least one live victory at home. Instead they were forced to watch long-distance as their sons never gave up and won the knuckle biting competition against all odds.

“I used to live in Houston,” said Betty Rendon, mother of Nationals’ star Anthony Rendon. “After Anthony signed with the Nationals I moved back east where I sat and watched 2 of 3 games go down the tubes. What happened to the boys in their own park?” she frowned.

“I’m never comfortable when the boys go out on the road,” said Emme Soto, mother of the 21-year-old rookie phenomenon Juan Soto who delivered several knock out punches during the autumn clashes. “I know their coach is watching over them but that will never substitute for their moms. What if they drift to the wrong type of people or get lost on the way to the game?”

Several players have publicly apologized while others promised never to let this kind of imbalance happen again.

“Our fans were perturbed that we didn’t win a single game in DC but in the end it all worked out fine, said Ryan Zimmerman, the patriarch of the team. “Everyone is on board with that.”

One sour fan of undetermined source said he was sick of all the drama.

“Hell, they win The Series all the time…at least every 95 years,” he said. “Are we going to have to listen to all this whining again in 2114?”



(The following is an opportunity to listen in on grammar where it lives, in the sentences and paragraphs of the English language. Herein you will be privy to the insider’s access as punctuation marks discuss another day on the job. Caution: Please be quiet so as not to frighten the commas or startle the semicolons.)

Comma: Crap. Can’t these people get it straight? What with these run on sentences I can’t get caught up. Don’t they know when to use a period? Back when I was in school they taught you how to construct a sentence and determine who was doing what to whom by the placement of the predicate and the action verb without concern for a lot of fluffy adjectives and dangling participles that had to be diagrammed up at the chalk board while the teacher looked on with that dangerous pointer in her hand and…

Question mark: What?

Period: Hey, comma, don’t bring periods into this. Sure, I’m on call but I don’t even put my pants on until the sentence is completed. There’s a sense of finality. At the end of the day I can see that my work has been finished.

Parenthesis: Socrates, Pericles, Xerxes…Aristophanes, Sophocles,

Oracles…Parentheses. Pretty good company, heh?

Comma: Ego…eeeze. All she does is enclose part of the sentence which might easily have been omitted. It’s not like she’s really making a difference, creating anything…but she’s attractive all right. Just look at those curves.

Period: Mindless. It could be worse. There could be two of her. Then we’re dealing with interpolation independent of the surrounding syntactical structure.

Semicolon: That sounds like a clause for alarm. Get it…clause?

Hyphen: Move out of the way. Move out of the way! I’ve got to get to the end of this line. We’ve got broken words down there. Quite a mess, you know. Move aside, gang way…

Question mark: Where?

Comma: I used to be a hyphen, before I went back to night school. I just couldn’t imagine a lifelong career linking compound words.

Period: Bush league at best.

Comma: Tedious. All that running from one line to the other just to link words that have expressed a desire to remain independent. The language is forever emerging, changing. You savvy?

Semicolon: Yes, I’ve had graduate study…How do you think that top dot got there?

Question mark: How?

Period: I thought it was a typo.

Apostrophe: Cut the proprietary whining. You guys carry far to much baggage but no real weight. I’m the one who substitutes for omitted letters and shows possessive case in nouns. One little mark in the wrong place changes everything.

Comma: Nouns…They are so self-centered, so predicated.

Semicolon: I once knew a verb who could twist herself into an adjective, then back to an adverb, before returning to her original status. Talk about tense! I could tell she was a bit irregular but when I found out she was intransitive I knew it would never work.

Period: Was she copulative?

Question mark: Who?

Semicolon: None of your business. She was in limited contexts, but finite was not in her vocabulary. I don’t know if I was in love or just eager to conjugate.

Dash: Sudden breaks! Sudden breaks? I used to be in demand. Now I’ve got to hustle work. What is this English language coming to anyway? It’s bad enough most of them can’t speak in the proper verb tense and often use the wrong word in speech. It’s downright embarrassing to watch them spell phonetically, never mind mastering another tongue…

Comma: There will always be brackets and principle clauses to take care of these kinds of people. Just be glad you’re a punctuation mark and you’re ruled by very distinct circumstances. These people who use us are still trying to figure out where to put the period…in the case of quotation marks…”

Quotation mark: “Did someone call me?”

Apostrophe: Pompous ass, talking in quotes. Before long he’ll be speaking in italic.

Parentheses: You mean like this?

Quotation mark: I just don’t get the attraction, or the slant as it were.

Exclamation point: Sentence construction at eleven o’clock! All hands on deck!

Question mark: When?

Period: Is that an indirect question? Don’t just stand there: It’s probably one of us that they want at the end of the sentence. Grab a couple of commas and a semicolon and follow me!


Affordable Housing for Bruins

Affordable Housing for Bruins

Logging interests operating on the Alpine Plateau have inadvertently constructed hundreds of bear huts from their tailings debris. The huts, called Bear Havens, address the shortage of caves due to the exploding bear population. These fury subdivisions may be a quick fix but the dwellings are thrown together and not expected to sustain the mammals for more than a winter or two. (Like ski lodges?) This is affordable housing like we have never imagined. Multiple use regs are satisfied. Building inspections are lax. Although the “Built in America by Bears” slogan is a bit misleading, the structures are expected to take advantage of high altitude solar and seasonal wind power by spring. Despite what many fear is rampant socialism at least our bears will stay warm this winter. (Toole photo)

Climate Change Activists Warn of Elk Sausage, Camp Beans

(Montrose) Traditional fall staples are being blamed for global warming in the Rockies this season. A severe spike in temperature, coinciding with opening day, has remained constant creating a fragile symbiotic eco-system for man and beast.

Liberals are reaching out while conservatives remain in denial on the controversial subject.

The problem allegedly stems from an ultra-protein diet, more specifically the foods eaten by hunters while they are out on the woods. The old saying Guns don’t kill people but camp chili does could never have been so profound. Digestive systems, often over-irrigated with beer and whiskey, are pressing the ozone, while the price of methane gas is on the rise.

“Elk sausage and camp beans are almost sacred in hunting camp,” said Elmer Spud, of Alamosa. “What are we supposed to eat out there? Lettuce sandwiches?”

Spud went on to say that a vegan menu was too radical in that very few, if any hunters adhere to that eating philosophy.

“In Alamosa we’ll take heat in any form that is offered,” he joked. “A little warmth is welcome no matter if it comes with a little backfire aroma.”

His sentiments were quickly echoed by sportsmen from Granby, Gunnison and Walden, three locales where autumn temperatures often resemble winter ones in most parts of the world.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife, a group accused of encouraging bands of armed men and women in the woods each autumn, was yesterday called on the carpet by rogue members of the Environmental Erection Agency. In early testimony the DOW plead not guilty to charges of complacency, bear abuse and honey laundering.

“You’ve got your solids, your liquids and your gas,” said a DOW spokesperson. “We can only be responsible for what we can see.”

The copyrighted audio version of this story can be downloaded on


Motel Rooms Missing After Season

(Ouray) It’s one thing to snag a towel or swipe a roll of toilet paper but taking a whole room is something else altogether. That’s what folks here are saying after five motel rooms have gone missing from two 3rd Avenue lodges.

The missing motel units, three from the Victorian Inn and two from the Box Canyon Lodge, reportedly disappeared sometime in September. After a preliminary investigation by local law enforcement officers, it was not clear how the rooms were removed or even if former guests were responsible.

“We feel silly letting somebody walk off with our rooms,” said a source at the Box Canyon. “We get so busy around here in late summer that we don’t have time to do a daily inventory. We just have to presume that if a room was there last night it is still there tonight. Usually it is.”

Over at the Victorian the staff has been put on full alert as to potential room rip-offs and is still searching for the rooms or at least a clue as to their status.

“We don’t want to accuse anyone of anything at this point,” said a manager. “All we know is that the rooms are gone and somebody appears to have pinched them. It must have happened in the middle of the night. If it were a morning job someone certainly would have noticed odd behavior going on.”

Both lodging entities have consulted with police and are in the process of filing what amount to unusual, if not extraordinary claims with their respective insurance companies. Local authorities promise a full investigation as of this evening, with heightened security followed by tedious checkout procedures the next day.

After an anonymous tip, police questioned an unidentified, unreliable eyewitness then discounted his testimony since he has been in jail in Montrose since July 30. Residents are asked to keep a sharp eye out for any suspicious behavior that might help resolve the mystery.

“There are only two ways in or out of town unless you count all the jeep roads. It’s hard to believe someone could get clean away dragging a motel room or two with them,” said one officer who believes the alleged thieves headed northwest, despite the chronic congestion in Montrose, to avoid steep passes coming out of the canyon. “We think this could be oil shale related. Do you know how much a nice motel room goes for these days in Rifle or Rock Springs? Them mother frackers don’t like to sleep out in the elements.”

In some brighter economic news, the city of Ouray has reached its goal of 12,000 gallons of tourist soup made during the summer at the Hot Springs Pool. The soup, popular in Texas and Oklahoma, will be sold at various functions throughout the winter. Anyone who would like to retail the mixture is asked to call the town hall. The soup will be ready to go by October, as soon as the carrots and potatoes have softened up a bit say the cooks. As in years before packets of the stuff will be freeze-dried for mailing.

In yet other developments rogue elements of the city crew has warned tourists to stay on the sidewalks in 2020 or face elimination by city vehicles. Saying that a blatant disregard for law and order has reached flood stage, the perpetrator(s) of this decree have threatened to seize the flumes and return the exterior of the Beaumont Hotel to a faded pink if they are not taken seriously.

In closing, Ice Park officials say that October is far too early to be concerned about ice levels at the climbing facility up Camp Bird Road.

“We don’t flip into worry mode until proper temperatures start getting below freezing,” said one engineer.

– Kashmir Horseshoe

Crew needed for Martian voyage. Personnel sought include helmsman, sheepherder, computer programmer, navigators, pilots, comfort hosts and hostesses, bartenders, maintenance engineers, architects. Chris in Genoa Gated Community.