We have two non-submitters this week, and we already know which team they’re on so there’s little or no point in judging. BAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH.

But hey, here you go anyway, and to the sixteen entrants: we’d like to give you all hugs.

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Drew Geraets, Spawn of Steinbeck

WASHINGTON – President Obama expressed immense disappointment in the American people Tuesday night, questioning whether they could be called upon to complete even the most simple life tasks, such as eating, bathing and going to the bathroom.

In his State of the Union address, Mr. Obama had started on a positive tone, but reverted course after approximately three minutes.

“I can’t do this. You’re fat. You’re lazy. And, you made Two and a Half Men the number one comedy in America,” he said.

Citing a crushing national debt, two wars, high unemployment and Americans’ unjustifiable fascination with 3-D gimmickry, the President all but declared defeat.

“Normally, I’d feel slightly optimistic that we could rally and rise up to meet these challenges,” Mr. Obama said, slipping into an apparent Jim Mora impression. “But, deficit reduction? Are you kidding me? Deficit reduction?”

The President outlined several proposals, including a last-ditch, mixed-use condominium development or putting the country up for sale on eBay.

“I know some small cities have had some luck with this — where they sell the town for a dollar and the buyer has to maintain the buildings and keep everything running,” Mr. Obama said. “At this point, I’ll try anything for you idiots.”

Addressing oft-mentioned competition with China and India, Mr. Obama suggested picking a more realistic economic foe, such as Liechtenstein or Maldives, or face “certain doom.”

“Have you talked to an American child recently?” Mr. Obama asked. “If you could understand them through their fat cheeks, you’d know they don’t know crap about crap. We are officially screwed.”

Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin delivered the official Republican response, largely agreeing with Mr. Obama’s pessimistic assertions.

“America had become a bastion of lily-livered, yellow-bellied sloths,” Mr. Ryan said. “So yeah, we have a future — as zoo animals.”

K: Occasionally I ask for no politically-themed ones to be subject non grata, but figured in this challenge politics would probably be popular so I shouldn’t make them unwelcome. I’m glad I didn’t, because this one had a lot of good gags. My favorite line is “Americans’ unjustifiable fascination with 3-D gimmickry,” but I was snickering throughout. 4

B: This made me giggle a few times. There are definitely some great moments (Maldives!), but I feel like this is too broad, i.e. this story could be attributed to almost any political official on any date. 4

Score: 4

Joseph Rakstad, Likes Bacon

Titanic Arrives on Time, Nearly Hit Iceberg
The RMS Titanic arrived at New York as schedule on April 17. The historic voyage made good time as it crossed the Atlantic but the voyage was nearly sunk when it nearly hit an iceberg early in its voyage.

Three days after leaving shore Captain Edward James Smith reports that the vessel came very close to an iceberg, but happened to miss it due to the keen eyes of Lookout Frederick Fleet, who is known for having a keen ability to “smell ice.” His quick reaction to the threat allowed them to just miss the iceberg. Passengers on deck reported seeing the iceberg as it passed. Molly Brown, wife of oil tycoon James Joseph Brown, said, “That gol-darn thing was just enormous. It’s a good thing those guys in the crow’s nest were paying attention, or we’d be sunk!” J. Bruce Ismay, one of the financiers of the vessel said, “It was quite an ordeal, but I’m confident that even if we would have hit the berg, the unsinkable Titanic would’ve carried on as normal.”

Captain Smith mentioned that everything was smooth sailing for most of the voyage, though one incident early on caused much dismay. A woman, Rose Dewitt Bukater, age 17, was killed when she fell off the back of the ship. Officials say that an American drifter-artist, Jack Dawson is suspected of pushing Miss Dewitt off the end of the boat. Jack’s attorney, Robert Loblaw , maintains that the young woman committed suicide and that Jack was only trying to prevent her from doing so. Court proceedings will commence on next month.

Miss Dewitt is survived by her mother Ruth Dewitt Bukater and fiancé Cal Hockley. She and her fiancé were due to be married next month in Connecticut.
The Titanic will be open for tours and visitors until July, when it plans to make its next voyage to London.

K: We totally expected the Titanic in this one. I was hoping the movie would be included, and sho’nuff, it was. The Bob Loblaw reference made me smile although I suppose it jarred me out of the experience a bit (now that I think of it, the movie references may have, too). Fun enough, but didn’t have that big cathartic moment or punchline. 3

B: This was a story I predicted someone would do, and it’s the second one! Thankfully, bringing in Rose and Jack turn this from mundane to funny. Some awkward writing (the word “nearly” twice in the second sentence) hurts it a bit. 3

Score: 3

Dave Johnson, Dark Stormy Knights

Four Hijacked Planes

The world watched today as four hijacked planes narrowly avoided disaster. In New York City, American Airlines Flight 11 narrowly missed the World Trade Center as an unusually strong crosswind blew the plan between the towers. Unable to control the plane, Mohammad Atta conducted an emergency landing on the beach near Coney Island. Miraculously nobody was hurt. Instead passengers who evacuated the plane found themselves in a childhood dream complete with roller coaster rides.
Little Billy Thompson, shoving his mouth with cotton candy said, “At first I was afraid but then we flew by the building and I looked out the window to see a man in a suit smiling and waving at me.”
Other passengers were not as pleased, like Mr. Sanderson who was on his way to a business meeting in Los Angeles. “I was supposed to be in LA an hour ago, goddamnit,” the furious Sanderson cursed, “and here I am at a goddamn theme park. Did you know they stopped serving me scotch after the hijacking? That’s American Airlines for you!”
United Airlines 93 was hijacked but due to a struggle in the cockpit, the flight crash landed in a lake of chocolate at Hershey Park. Passengers exited to their delight covered in liquid chocolate. Hijacker Ziad Jarrah was available for comment and said, “Well, so much for my 72 virgins. Someone had a chocolate allergy — surely their discomfort is worth 2 or 3 virgins?” When asked what their leader Osama would say, Jarrah responded, “Oh, Sammy? Yeah, he’s going to be pissed but you send a pack of prepubescent boys into his room one night and all is forgiven.”
Two other flights landed in Central Park of New York City and the reflecting pool in the nation’s capital. President Bush responded with historic speed and vehemently opposed any suggestions to sacrifice privacy for security following the four botched hijackings. “Uhmurrrica, I promise not to turn you into cattle for inspection by yet another a bullshit government agency designed to merely wick away taxpayer dollars with absolutely no accountability!”

K: This made me feel pretty icky, but of course, I had to be expecting this kind of thing, right? At first it didn’t make me laugh enough to warrant the subject matter, but “So much for my 72 virgins” won me over, as did the idea of a newsman typing “Uhmurrrica.” 3

B: This one goes from funny to cynical to funny and then political. I think my favorite part is the chocolate allergy. Unfortunately, I don’t like political rants, especially when they’re out of character. 4

Score: 3.5

Ryan Sorrell, Dark Stormy Knights

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TOLEDO BLADE
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MAN’S DEATH TURNING EERIE
By Benjamin Noble | November 13, 1978

The death of an Ottowa Hills man is puzzling local authorities and downright spooking others. As reported Saturday, former freighter captain Ernest McSorley was found dead in his bathtub last Friday night.

McSorley once captained the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, one of the largest freighters to have traveled the Great Lakes. He was in command the night of November 10, 1975 when one of the worst winter storms to hit Lake Superior in years sunk the SS Arthur M. Anderson and took its twenty-eight man crew with it. According to Captain Dudley Paquette, the Fitzgerald was originally to follow the Anderson on its route to Zug Island, but McSorely uncharacteristically chose a less direct course, using the North Shore for protection from the storm. This decision possibly saved the Fitzgerald from a similar fate. McSorley retired soon after, at the age of 63.

The fortunes of this crew have changed dramatically since. Exactly one year later the Fitzgerald was caught in a storm of equal ferocity and sank west of Michipicoten Island. Twenty-seven of the twenty-nine man crew from the previous year were assigned to the Fitzgerald that night and all perished. Then last year on November 10th, deckhand Bruce Hudson went missing from the SS Wilfred Sykes and was presumed to have fallen overboard during the night. His body was never recovered. This left McSorely as the last surviving crew member from that night just three years ago.

According to McSorley’s wife, he had gone downstairs to take a bath a little after 7 p.m. Friday evening. When she checked on him about twenty minutes later, he was already gone. Police Chief Onoko reports that McSorely was discovered face-up in his bathtub, submerged in about eighteen inches of cold water. While the preliminary cause of death has been ruled as drowning, several questions remain to be answered. Most notably, why McSorely’s body temperature reportedly only registered at 34 °F. More answers will hopefully come to light when the results of the autopsy are released tomorrow.

K: Ooooohhh, seems like someone knows that Final Destination is my guilty pleasure movie series! I like the different tactic this one takes to present the story, turning a simple tragedy into a creepy tragedy. I would have liked a few more singular unexplained deaths, I guess, but that’s the word limit for you. 4

B: I really like the concept, but the delivery is hurt by some superfluous wording and the name McSorley being spelled differently every other mention. The ending is intriguing. 3

Score: 3.5

Ben Thietje, Dark Stormy Knights

The 2010 Academy Awards nominations were announced early this morning. Let’s just stop arguing, and accept the fact that all the movies competing are freaking fantastic! Here are the five that we think have the best chance at winning it all.

First up, an obvious choice: The Last Song. The Miley Cyrus-led powerhouse was dazzling from start to finish, and is an early favorite to win the top prize.

Number two on our list is Valentine’s Day. This beautifully crafted piece of art not only entertained, but also reminded us how powerful truest love can be. Can this picture win? Its only disadvantage is its glaring similarity to a Best Picture winner from a few years ago: Life is Beautiful.

Next, we have a foreign film creeping in to filch this year’s top prize: The Spy Next Door. One of the greatest actors of our day, Jackie Chan, shows us yet again why it’s never a good idea to ignore films from outside our borders. George Lopez also snagged his first Oscar nomination for this top-rated film.

If the first three nominations failed to grab you, perhaps you’re more of a special effects fan. If so, our next Best Picture nominated film, Yogi Bear, has got you completely covered. Not since Star Wars, has a film captured the imagination of the entire planet like this one has. Admittedly, the film is a sleeper…but only bearly.

The Last Airbender rounds out our favorites-to-win list. M. Night Shyamalan shows us why he’s widely considered the best at what he does. There’s no doubt that the first-class 3D had much to do with this film’s nomination. However, it doesn’t hurt to have an amazing script, as well.

Remember, these are only our top five. There were still five other films nominated for Oscar King; Sex and the City 2, Leap Year, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, The Bounty Hunter, and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole. Could one of those pull off the victory? You bet! This year — even though we tried — it’s just too close to call.

K: Snark alert! I sincerely hope the Survivor who wrote this didn’t actually watch all of these movies. The empty-headed vacuity of the writing is spot-on (“only bearly!”). 4

B: “Only bearly” Nice. My favorite line is definitely comparing Valentine’s Day to Life is Beautiful. Otherwise, most of the jokes are a bit obvious. Also, there many unnecessary commas that threw me off a bit. 3

Score: 3.5

Shawn Ashley, Spawn of Steinbeck

Lohan Wins Nobel Peace Prize

As I wait for Lindsay to arrive at a favorite Angelino hot spot, I go over the facts. Lohan has been arrested many times. Lohan has been to rehab many times. Lohan just won the Nobel Peace Prize. WHAT?

It’s true. After her father, Michael Lohan, went behind LiLo’s back and booked her on the David Letterman Show back in February 2011 to deliver the Top Ten List, she had an epiphany. She changed her life. And I was determined to find out the details.

She floats in, only forty-five minutes late, carrying a much smaller Hermes bag than I’ve ever seen her possess, she plops down across from me. “Who do you have to fuck to get a cup of coffee?” She breathes.

I compliment her on her Nobel Prize.

“I know, right?” She gushes. “I feel like Marie Curie! I mean, I should’ve won for my perfume line, that’s chemistry, right? But this is good too.”

I ask about why she decided to do Letterman in the first place and she replies, “Letterman really opened my eyes. Yes, I can really do things for my father to change our relationship. If I can do that, then I can change the world. This prize means everything to me. I helped retarded kids, kids that only eat rice for every meal!”

Her stint on Letterman made her realize that partying just wasn’t her thing. Needy kids were. “That’s why we’re meeting at Toast instead of Chateau Marmont. I’ve changed. I’m wearing Citizens of Humanity jeans now and yeah, they’re expensive but they’re for HUMANITY. I stopped wearing True Religion because I’m not interested in religion. I’m interested in humanity.”

This doesn’t seem like the Lindsay we knew. But she says it was all part of her master plan. That’s why she decided on lesbianism with Samantha Ronson. “I want to see how people different than myself live their life. I’m a Method liver. If I could be black for a few weeks, I would. Just to experience it.”

Keep up the good work, Linds. We love you.

K: Oh boy, the snark continues with this one. Hacking on Lohan is like shooting fish in a barrel at this point, but it still works. “Retarded kids” and “that’s chemistry, right?” are the standouts here, even if I doubt Lindsay would be familiar enough with Marie Curie to use her correctly in a sentence. 3

B: The way this is worded doesn’t really feel like a news story to me; it feels more like a blog post or a hackneyed editorial. Regardless, the jokes run a little flat. Best part: I’m a Method liver. 2

Score: 2.5

Matt Novak, Spawn of Steinbeck

In an unexpected move, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to sustain a lower court’s finding that Barack Obama is not eligible to hold the position of President. The 3rd Circuit had found “overwhelming evidence that Obama was not a naturalized citizen of the United States of America,” as required by Article Two of the Constitution.
Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts ruled, “the lower court, after detailed review of the evidence, held that Petitioner [Barack Obama] was not born in the United States. We decline to overturn their factual findings.”
Charles Kirchner brought the suit in 2008, arguing that, without a birth certificate issued from one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia, Obama could not rise to the highest office in the country. Several similar “birther” suits were brought around the country, though Kirchner’s has been the only successful suit to date.
Justice Sotomayor joined the court’s conservative bloc to form the majority. Justice Ginsberg, writing the dissent for Justices Beyer and Kagan, argued that the lower court lacked the authority to rule directly on the question. Both opinions discussed the role of the judiciary as a coequal branch of government. Citing the seminal case of Marbury v. Madison, the majority held that, although it was the duty of the judiciary to rule on the question, the Supreme Court lacked the authority to remove Obama from office.
Although the Court ruled that they lacked enforcement authority, the impact of the decision was swift. Congress voted along strict party lines, 242 to 193 to impeach the President. Obama indicated that he would step aside, saying “I can neither accept the ruling of the Supreme Court, nor can I return to effectively lead the nation. I am left with little option but to resign.” Obama became the third President to be impeached, joining Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. No president has ever been convicted by the Senate.
As a result of the ruling, Vice President Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 45th President. Said Kirchner of the succession plan, “Nobody wanted this.”

K: Not a bad punchline, although this one was written in such a serious tone that I wasn’t expecting a punchline. This one’s close to my heart because I have a lot of birther in-laws. Seriously. Anyway, a fine enough entry that isn’t jokey enough or poignant enough to stand out. 3

B: Okay, so this is a turn of an actual hoax story. I can deal with that, but it didn’t really get to me. However, it’s worth it just for the last paragraph. Awesome punchline. 3

Score: 3

Tanya Laumann, Dark Stormy Knights

Rep. Bachmann waves white flag at tea party rally?

Des Moines, Iowa — In a strange twist of events Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann led the tea party crowd in waving the proverbial white flag at rally last night. Hoping to broaden her base and let it be known of her presidential ambitions in Iowa on Friday night, Bachmann speaking before about 300 members of tea party caucus, went against her common theme of damning the democrats and any republicans that may work with them.
Bachmann claimed that “America is under a greater attack now than ever before, while the divisions in our government threaten to tear our nation apart, we must make a new pledge to work with every American, side by side to ensure our comeback in this world economy.”
Bachmann didn’t clarify her political intentions at the rally, but rather repeatedly warned that the countries divisive forces threatened to destroy Washington. She also suggested that America’s endurance is in doubt.
When asked about her change of rhetoric she replied, “The iceberg is ahead of us. We can all see this iceberg. And we, like fools, are pointing the ship directly into it,” said Bachmann. “But we can turn. We can turn, and it is us, all of us together who can make that turn happen.”

K: I’m trying not to let my disdain for Bachmann turn me against this entry just for forcing me to think about her. Anyway, it’s a bit on the nose, and feels like a story that’s simply the opposite of her personality, not the opposite of one particular incident (and just to be clear: even if this IS in relation to one particular incident, it’s still too vague to immediately make the connection). 3

B: What’s with all the political entries? Anyway, this isn’t biting enough to be good satire or unexpected enough to silly. 2

Score: 2.5

Ian Pratt, Likes Bacon

London – In a stark reversal of its previously maintained condemnation of WikiLeaks’ release of confidential diplomatic cables, the United States government has offered asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange is currently in England facing potential extradition to Sweden as allegations of sexual assault are investigated, but the Obama Administration’s asylum offer would make prosecution nearly impossible. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs released a statement saying that “(the United States) finally realized what a favor that greasy little perv did for us. The world is better off knowing that the U.S. considers most foreign dignitaries to be snobby entitled pricks and devious conniving backstabbers.” President Obama later added that he personally admired Assange’s “gumption” in releasing classified material in the face of tremendous international backlash, and dismissed the Swedish criminal charges: “I mean come on, who among us hasn’t lied to a chick about wearing a condom in the sack? Condoms are for suckers.”

K: Holy politics, dude. Holy Obama, too. I’ll admit to digging the last line, because putting those words in his voice makes them sound damn funny to me. A few solid gags, but it didn’t blow me away. 2

B: This is quite a bit like our first entry but not with as much wit. I do like “greasy little perv.” Obama is sure getting a lot of screen time. 2

Score: 2

Dan Kautz, Spawn of Steinbeck

RADIOHEAD RELEASE THE ‘KING OF LIMBS’

FEB. 18, WILTSHIRE – Disgruntled British art-rock band Radiohead ended their five-day protest in the Savernake Forest this morning, breaking their human chain around the famous, thousand-year-old giant oak tree known locally as “the King of Limbs” and ending their concurrent hunger strike.

The protest’s end comes a day after Prime Minister David Cameron announced the postponement of the long-planned sale of 15 percent of Britain’s public forested lands to help boost the struggling British economy. The avant-garde rockers, upset about the proposal, began their public protest in the Savernake on the morning of February 14, with all five members chaining themselves together around the giant oak and refusing all offers of food or drink other than water.

Though the Savernake Forest itself is privately-owned, band spokesperson Owen Claversham explained that the band felt the iconic nature of the trees in that forest, especially the “King of Limbs”, were ideal for drawing attention to what they felt was a short-sighted plan by the government. Claversham also reported that the band members were relieved to end their protest, saying “The lads were all ready to carry on, but Colin [Greenwood, bassist] had got a bit of frostbite, and Ed [O’Brien, guitarist] was definitely starting to suffer malnutrition. Thom [Yorke, vocalist] was certainly a bit nutty by the end; he kept muttering some rubbish about ‘sucking a lemon’ or some rot.”

When asked whether any formal charges would be brought against the band, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke was noncommittal. “Honestly I hadn’t known they were still a band. I thought they had been going downhill ever since The Bends. I kept hoping they’d make another “High and Dry”, but those Coldplay lads do that kind of piece much sharper now.”

K: “Radiohead release King of Limbs” is easily my favorite bit of wordplay so far. Topical (eerily so, since this was released two days ago), unexpected, clever. This one is everything I wanted. Radiohead’s among my favorite bands and maybe this person knows that, but it didn’t factor into my decision. 5

B: I don’t listen to Radiohead or Coldplay, so there are probably some jokes that went over my head (though I can tell where the jokes are). Still, this is written really, really well. 4

Score: 4.5

Dean Carlson, Spawn of Steinbeck

“I’m taking my services to 600 First Avenue.” With those words Lebron James shocked the NBA and the entire sports world by announcing on Glen Beck’s daily radio show that the free agent power forward was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and signing a 6-year, $120 million deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves. “I like the direction David Kahn is bringing this team and I can’t wait to play with Kevin Love and Darko Milicic. Plus Kurt Rambis and those funky old school glasses? Not only will the triangle offense showcase my skills, Rambis brings a little bit of Hollywood to the frozen tundra.” Lebron also announced that he and Kevin Love were “heading on a plane tomorrow to talk Ricky Rubio into joining us up in Minny for the upcoming season.”

Shockwaves reverberated throughout the NBA. “Lebron realizes the Timberwolves play in Minnesota don’t he?” commented Duane Wade of the Miami Heat. “It’s cold in Minnesota, believe me. I played college ball in Milwaukee for two years. Plus it ain’t exactly a party up there. I just don’t get it.” NBA and ESPN officials were also scrambling trying to figure out how to market its biggest star in a decidedly secondary market. “We’ve survived Tim Duncan in San Antonio all these years, we’ll figure this one out too” remarked an unnamed ESPN official, “but jeez, I was looking forward to production meetings at South Beach, not the Hooters at Block E.”

Timberwolves officials were ecstatic. At a hastily arranged press conference David Kahn remarked “We really worked the Lebron angle hard all off-season. We made the case for the Timberwolves and in the end, Lebron bought into what we are trying to do here in Minnesota. Although pleasantly surprised by his decision, I don’t think I’m shocked. We got a good thing going here.” In order to clear cap space, the Timberwolves immediately cut Corey Brewer and Johnny Flynn making one Timberwolves fan on the street remark “My God what a glorious day. Lebron, Ricky Rubio, and no Corey Brewer? Sounds like the Devil valued Kahn’s soul quite highly.”

K: David Kahn pulling off a move for LeBron? That’s crazier than Michele Bachmann waving a white flag. The jokes don’t work as well as the concept in some areas – I thought Wade’s comments about Minnesota had some untapped potential, for instance. 3

B: I told Kelly we’d see two stories for sure. One would be the Titanic, and the other The Decision. Thanks for coming through guys. This is over the top enough to make me smile. I like how Wade makes two grammatical mistakes in one sentence. I also like how they were going to Spain just like the Vikes went to Mississippi to get Favre. Nice touch. 4

Score: 3.5

Sarah Bizek, Likes Bacon

Discussion in Congress this week turned its attention toward Planned Parenthood. In an effort to effect economic change, Congress is considering the re-allotment of federal funding currently received by the nationwide chain of reproductive health clinics. If the measure succeeds, legislation will effectively remove the ability of the uninsured and underinsured to seek medical and reproductive care on a sliding fee scale. Patients of Planned Parenthood are currently able to receive STD testing, birth control, and yearly exams at little or no cost to them. At their request, patients are also able to receive free referral to local abortion services. The change Congress proposes will reallocate funds currently received by Planned Parenthood to abortion services only. No federal moneys will be distributed to Planned Parenthood, excepting reimbursement on invoices from very specific companies. Those included in the reimbursement category are Johnson and Johnson’s rubbing alcohol subsidiary “Clean This,” Wire Me coat hangers, and Depends brand adult diapers. In a statement released earlier today, Rep. Mike Pence (R.) of Indiana said that this legislation is intended to stimulate the economy by returning “escorts,” who he says are regularly out of work due to pregnancy, back to the workforce. “We here in Congress,” Rep. Pence continued, “are ready to be stimulated by this legislation.” More to come as the bill goes to the floor next week.

K: This one crept up on me. “Wire Me coat hangers,” awwwww fuck me. This one rambles a bit and has untapped potential as well, but what a memorable line. 3

B: This is fairly moderate satire; the reimbursements are good but not great. But the highlight here is Rep. Pence’s statement. 3

Score: 3

Brooks Maki, Spawn of Steinbeck

POLIO DEVELOPS JONAS SALK VACCINE

The polio virus announced today that it had developed a vaccine that rendered those who were inoculated immune to Jonas Salk. Viri that had received the infusion of dead cells harvested from the leading medical researcher’s dry, flaky scalp reported no instances of death by Salk.

“While it is interesting that they are aware of the principles of vaccination,” commented Dr. Maurice Hilleman (human), “it is important to point out that Jonas Salk doesn’t kill polio viruses, immune systems primed by immunogens generated by exposure to inactive contagions kill polio viruses.”

Although acknowledging that the news has “gone human” among the viral community, spokesvirus Tetanus quickly clamped its jaws shut when asked what further advances humans would see from viral scientists.

K: When I posted this challenge I said I didn’t know what the best entries would look like. Well, now I do. This one grabbed me with the headline and never let go.

B: Okay, this is the first one to literally make me laugh out loud. From the headline to “spokesvirus Tetanus,” this one kills all the way through. 5

Score: 5

Tom Morgan, Dark Stormy Knights

August 4, 1961

Nairobi, Kenya

Barack Obama and his wife, Ann Dunham, announced today the birth of their first son, Barack Hussein Obama. Reporters at the hospital covering a nurses’ strike were summoned to the nursery to witness the remarkable baby. “That baby is amazing!” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer reported breathlessly, “It is a damn shame he was not born in the United States because I don’t mind telling you, even though he is mere hours old, he looks positively Presidential!”

Blitzer’s producer, a young man named Glen Beck, also was awed by the young Obama baby. “You really must see it to believe it,” he told a reporter, “When you are in his presence, you feel safe, like things are going to be okay. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m not one for hyperbole but I promise you this: If, somehow, this baby becomes President of Kenya someday, I will be his biggest supporter!”

K: Beck and Obama have to be close in age, right? I want to like this, but it sure breaks a lot of rules. 3

B: Wolf Blitzer was 13 and Glen Beck was negative three in 1961, so the jokes don’t work like they should. Actually, Blitzer reporting for CNN at age 13 is pretty funny. Unborn reporters not so much. I also don’t believe this would be something actually reported even it were true, so satirizing it is kind of pointless. 2

Score: 2.5

Nathan Bahls, Dark Stormy Knights

Motorcade a Blast; Dallas basks in Presidential Visit

Echoing the thoughts of the crowd, First Lady of Texas, Nellie Connally stated, “Mr. President, you can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you!” President Kennedy offered his answers with a smile and a wave – camera shots ringing out to capture the moment. Winding throughout Dallas, the motorcade reached a peak of excitement on Elm Street. Scores of supporters thronged the small hills of Dealey Plaza, clamoring to see the President, First Lady, and Texas Governor and his wife.

“It was a beautiful day, a beautiful parade,” said S.M. Holland, who observed with the crowds on the Triple Underpass railroad bridge. Roy Truly, who watched with several employees from the Texas School Book Depository felt, “it was a great experience for young patriots. Even my newest employee, ol’ Lee got into it.” The elegance of the Presidential party in the Texas sun also carried economic weight. Jack Ruby’s newly opened Lincoln dealership announced that several Continental Convertibles had already been sold.

Did you take the opportunity to watch the President pass by? What are your thoughts on his recent visit? As always, our opinion pages are wide open to your comments. Send your letters to the editor at the Dallas Herald, 210 Zapruder Ln, Dallas, TX 75201.

K: Weird: this one feels most like a news story thanks to the blurb at the end, and the least like a news story with the jarring first sentence that hearkens back to something we haven’t read. Like many, I smiled but didn’t bust up. 3

B: Fairly dry, but I do like Jack Ruby’s appearance. “Lincoln” dealership, har har. I hope that was intentional, anyway. Camera shots is nice, but do they really ring out? 3

Score: 3

Peter Bruzek, Dark Stormy Knights

May 7, 1937

The Zeppelin Hindenburg arrived in Lakehurst, New Jersey this morning, carrying 97 passengers. Though the trip itself may be considered a marginal success, the dullness of the trip left most of the patrons wanting.

“The trip itself was an awful bore” stated one of the travelers, “I mean, I know airships are safer than those awful fixed wing aircraft, but I do wish they were a little more exciting.”

The disappointing reviews, in conjunction with the financial failure of the movie Dirigible, seem certain to spell the end of the golden age of airships.

K: I don’t say this often, but this one isn’t wordy enough. I love this concept – the idea that a story would be written for no other reason than to relate a story of people being bored – but a longer story would have made it just keep getting funnier, I think. 4

B: You know, there’s nothing really funny about this one. But it’s written well. And it’s short, which is a nice touch in itself, what with the Hindenburg now being a back page story. The movie tie-in is pretty sweet, although the fact it was released six years prior hurts the irony of its mention a bit. Still, nice work. 4

Score: 4

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Lots of politics. Boy oh boy.

Non-submitters: Sam and Josh from Likes Bacon. Soooo…yeah.

Likes Bacon: 3/-1/-1/2/3 = 6/5 = 1.2
SPAWN OF STEINBECK: 2.5/3.5/4/4.5/5/3 = 22.5/6 = 3.75
Dark Stormy Knights: 3/4/3.5/2.5/2.5/3.5/3.5 = 22.5/7 = 3.21

The members of Likes Bacon have until Tuesday at 2pm Central to send elimination votes, and remember that Sam and Josh automatically vote for themselves. Time to decide which is more likely to show up in the future, I guess.

Cheers, Survivors.

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