RSSAll Entries in the "Soft News" Category

Canned Laughter Pulled From Shelves

(Ridgway) Grocery stores and supermarkets will begin pulling canned laughter from their shelves Monday as part of the Federal Uniformity Act, passed late last night after the bars closed.

The presence of the canned laughter, once considered an integral part of Americana, has been determined to be far too diverse for today’s politically correct consumer. The mandatory removal will be followed up by the release of more uniform entertainment response apparatus aimed at making the citizenry more alert to the dangers posed by foreign comics and those who seek to bring down the present gov’ment.

“It’s all about perception,” said one grocer who supports the effort. “We still have frozen chuckles and freeze-dried smirks for the die-hard. We’d like to see a populace who could decide when to laugh and what to laugh about…on their own with prompts and mob mentality. Isn’t that the core of Democracy?”

Persons hoping to stockpile canned laughter for the winter have until the weekend to do so. Quantities are limited.   – Melvin Toole

Packaging that needs shot

I got myself a new pair of scissors but couldn’t open the package. Photo by Jeff Brown The Juneau What




Humanitarian Crisis Spilling Over Borders

(Caracas, Venezuela) It’s no surprise that the internationally recognized humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has spilled over into neighboring Colombia and Brazil. Already large ponds of refined petroleum have covered roads leading in and out of the oil-rich country according to persons familiar with the local geography.

The unleashed fuel threatens the water table, while polluting lowland streams and fisheries. Slow moving but final in its thrust, the giant glob of fossil juice is certain to cover the entire landscape before the annual deluge of spring rains arrive in mid-April.

In Cucuta, on the border of Colombia, masses of oil-stained refugees continue to cross over into Colombia despite the fact that the Andes nation is already home to millions of displaced persons leftover from her own recent economic chaos and wars. Colombia feels a responsibility to help since Venezuela provided safe haven to many during those desperate cocaine years.

Downriver in Arauca, hundreds of people simultaneously dropped their oil collection buckets and marched to San Carlos de Negro, in the Amazonas State, propelled by rumors that black market rice was available.

Meanwhile in Santa Elen de Uairen, Brazil local authorities are attempting to control the migration of refugees despite the fact the Venezuela closed the border yesterday. The same scene has played out on the border of Guyana as well.

Skeptical social scientists around the globe suggest that many nations would not give a damn about the status of everyday life or the political disruptions if the country were not oil-rich. They wonder aloud if the relief columns are not more interested in propaganda than feeding the hungry.

The leaders of Venezuela have been repeatedly labeled as socialists when in fact they are gangsters, a term directly linked to capitalism in its more iniquitous form.

“Of course our concern is linked the the barrel price of crude,” said a White House spokesman. That doesn’t mean we don’t feel for these victims of this communist deviance. We must remember that the planet has plenty of immigrants but only so much oil.”

Year-round snow banks get council OK

(Crested Butte) Lawmakers here have approved a plan that would maintain popular Elk Avenue snow banks all year long. Arguing that the architectural undertaking was both natural and beneficial to tourism, the body’s right wing shoved the measure past the left, who wanted to spend the money on green tea, Chinese dynamite, dog parks and a photo of Bob Marley at the Chamber of Commerce entry.

Working against the clock, snow techs jump-started the program on Monday. First, they surgically sculptured the existing banks so as to seal all faults and provide a soft landing. Then they hauled in tons of snow and ice from local depositories up Washington Gulch. Distributing the snow/ice equally would be a mega chore but it would be handled even if crews are forced to work 24 hours a day.

Then they must hope the weather stays cold.

“When things do start to melt we have to bring in the refrigeration equipment, which we hope will not appear intrusive on the main thoroughfare,” said Molly B. Denim, owner and operator of Born Again Towing, the general contractor on the project. “When they see the waterfalls in the summer and the light show in the fall they’ll stop complaining. The water’s all recycled and the organic snow is dry-cleaned once a week. What’s not to like?”

Voters mobbing the coffee lines downtown seemed unaffected Tuesday morning with most saying that the snow banks were probably good for the town. Others asked what the plan would cost to implement and how snow could withstand the summer heat. Still others condemned the entire incident as a frightening and stupid waste of funds.

Henway “Snow Devil” does its thing off Elk Avenue

Meanwhile, the left wing of the council says it has gained full council support for a referendum on the proposed pedestrian mall for the area in question. Since cars and snow banks have always been at odds, the measure is expected to pass swiftly. Futurists in the northern part of Gunnison County were scornful of the measures unless the cooling power of vast ice caves under the town could be harnessed. Even the coal miners could never pull it off.

“We want to be known as the ski town with year-round snow,” said Denim. “Everybody loves snow banks…so long as they don’t have to maintain them.”

In related news the town’s 1000 hsp/mg-13 henway snow cleaning reactor is up and running again after a series of freeze-ups rendering it useless during the most recent cold spell. Optimistic operators say they aren’t behind their work schedule in that the snow is just starting to get dirty anyway.

“The months of March and April require constant cleaning if we hope to keep things spic and spam,” said Denim.

– Alfalfa Romero


(Crested Butte) In keeping with a pledge to save paper and aluminum, Crested Butte Ski Mountain will replace the traditional lift ticket with a tattoo next year. According to a marketing source in Vail, the actual substitution will come in the form a tattoo to the forearm or in some cases to the forehead.

People who buy a Gold Pass will receive a gold tattoo designed to last through the April closing date. This tattoo will allow them to board lifts on any date during the season. Persons purchasing a Silver Pass will likewise receive a silver tattoo that slightly limits access to the mountain. TheBronzePasswillbereplacedbyabronzetattoo,inkeepingwithantebellum uniformity established in the first years of the operation.

Single and multiple day skiers will receive a temporary tattoo on the arm or leg when they arrive to ski. Designs likely to be popular include the ever-popular “Mom”, the multi-colored butterfly, “Hell’s Angels-Frisco” or various military insignias.

“There are no plans to tattoo derrières at this time although we have had a lot of requests to do just that,” continued the Eagle County source. “A lot of the ladies from Oklahoma would love to show the neighbors.

“Once again CB stands alone as the prototype of skiing in the 21st Century. Just wait until Aspen and Park City find out what we’re up to.

Although sources here admit that things could get chaotic at first, they feel the new system has many merits. Beginning in June, several hundred tattoo artists from 17 states and 12 foreign countries will attend a week of seminars aimed a facilitating the move. Then, in July lift operators will undergo two weeks of concentrated instruction on the ancient art of tattooing. They will then prick and ingrain their co-workers with gold tattoos just for fun.

By August all employees will be tattooed and the slope faithful will be scheduled, not for pass photos, but for seasonal tattoos of their own. Even the drunks that hang out all day in the lift area bars will get tattooed. It’s that or they don’t get happy hour prices.

“We are certain the idea will fly,” said the source. “The tattoos will no doubt become status symbols and if the snow is scarce, one can still show off his or her design in the bars or on some faraway Caribbean beach.

-Dude Skuldiver

“If I am a little over-dressed, I make up for it by being immensely over-educated.”

– Oscar Wilde

Snow shovelers’ union weighs options

(Crested Butte) The local Brotherhood of Snow Removal Engineers will vote tonight on whether or not to support a wildcat strike that has already taken a heavy toll in ski resorts all over the West.

The 400-strong membership is upset by “intense seasonal demand and heartless lay-offs” that generally occur by mid-April. The local chapter is particularly affected by late season storms high up in the mountains that may not reach town. According to contracts, workers must be on full alert yet may never see a dime in pay.

Union leaders insist that members are at a distinct negotiation disadvantage after things start to melt. They compare the position to an emaciated snowman pleading for action on global warming while everyone knows he will not be here in the balmy dawn.

“They sweet talk us all winter but then when the weather changes we are discarded like long underwear and tire chains,” said one snow shoveler from the roof of Outquack Condos at Mt Crested Butte. “We have to eat all year too. It’s not fair to squash the existing social strata just because the snow has stopped.”

Management sources all over Colorado say they cannot afford to employ the snow engineers when there is no snow. They add that expensive plows and blowers require summer maintenance and that the core of veteran snow workers is kept on throughout most of the year.

“We think that is quite gracious of us,” said Ed Vail, operations manager at Aspen. “By very definition these snow monkeys have put themselves out of a job when the weather breaks. “If the rich weren’t here to provide employment for the poor we’d all be communist,” he said.

The Eastern arm of the BSRE, favoring frozen wages rather than a walkout, will not follow suit leaving sidewalks clear and roofs de-iced until a viable arrangement can be concluded.

“Things are quite different back east,” said a union spokesman. “Snow removal personnel there have other options such as farming and manufacturing. We have no factories and our growing season is about two weeks,” he calculated.

In addition, Rocky Mountain champagne snow must be handled carefully so as not to blow the cork and bruise the contents. It is easily damaged and cannot be thrown around indiscriminately. Workers here are highly skilled and depletion in the ranks is a constant threat. Snow removal workers from all over the world are in solidarity with the local Colorado unions. Some have threatened not to handle any snow originating from the United States until management comes around.

“All we want is justice for our workers, a half hour for lunch, accident insurance and our self esteem,” said a Swiss counterpart from Geneva. We want an end to icy ladders and equipment vouchers. We want our place in the sun. We will not stand still for piss tests anymore! “Pee for fun not under the gun,” he smiled.

Meanwhile police have arrested five people in connection with an alleged plot to burn down all the snow in the county as an act of defiance against someone or something.

          – Frosty Mirth