Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Horn Will Not Blow at Midnight, But Every Other TV Special Will

EDITORIAL (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- New Year’s Eve is almost upon us. As the CEO of San Narciso’s premier radio station, I don’t focus a lot of attention on television. Moving images take away from the sound spectra that surround us, the chords and frequencies and timbers and harmonics. But old films, the classics, now that’s where it’s at. Where it’s always been, right? Where the writing mattered. Where it was about the words, people, not the visual distractions. And it seems the only time we get to partake is around the holidays. So what the hell is going on here?

I’m speaking to you, Rolf Funch, president of RJ Fletcher Communications. What kind of world makes us sit through Dick Clark’s loathsome post-stroke aphasia during every New Year’s Eve special from now until the End Time out of some misguided notion of tradition? Yeah, I know he's "dead," but I've become convinced that Dick Clark was capable of regenerating into new, uncomfortable bodies like a Time Lord. Now he's masquerading about in his new incarnation as Ryan Seacrest. Regardless of which form he takes, or what pseudo-dignified personality he decides to pair with Kathy Griffin, the spectacle remains one of those horrific and intolerable moments where I'm forced to feel embarrassment for another human being. But it's a tradition. An American tradition.

You know what else is a tradition? An American tradition? “The Horn Blows at Midnight.” Surely you remember? Jack Benny? Alexis Smith? Made in the year of your lord Nineteen Hundred and Forty-Five?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Santa Claus Blames Target Credit Card Breach for Disappointing Christmas

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- According to the nation's retailers, frugality seemed to be theme this year among holiday shoppers. Despite offering aggressive discounts to entice consumers, with some sales events beginning on Thanksgiving evening, retailers found little more than coal in their stockings as their dismal year-end financial reports bore out analysts' bleak projections. Merchandisers are now hoping post-Christmas sales will help them salvage something from 2013's disappointing figures. A spokesperson for North Pole Distribution Operations Ltd. (NPDOL) said Santa Claus attributed the lion's share of the problem to a Target security breach that gave hackers access to over 40 million credit and debit cards.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Santa Claus Tells Reporters He Doesn't Believe Children Actually Exist

But does Santa believe in you?
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript)-- With just hours remaining until his annual goodwill mission, Santa Claus admitted Tuesday that for almost two hundred years he's harbored growing doubts about the existence of children. St. Nick opened this morning's global press briefing on a surprisingly somber note, offering reporters a rare glimpse into the philosophical and spiritual conflicts that have troubled his soul since the end of the 1950s, when he first recognized his budding crisis of faith. Kris Kringle said: "I've been reluctant to talk about this, but I feel the time is right. A lot of dubious claims have been made, creating myths that just can't be justified in my mind. I've tried to rationalize them for years, but I can't continue living in a delusion." He then revealed that, among other things, no postal agency has ever delivered a single piece of mail to the North Pole.

Friday, December 13, 2013

NRA Responds to Colorado School Shooting by Urging Lawmakers to Reinstate Duels

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- As the nation prepares to commemorate the anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children were murdered by gunman Adam Lanza, a student at a Colorado high school opened fire on campus Friday, allegedly seeking to confront a particular teacher. NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre has been tirelessly pressing lawmakers to stop tightening the screws on gun owners, noting that the fear of weapons bans and spartan restrictions have hobbled responsible owners. Today, his dire warnings came to pass again as a pupil at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo., shot two students and then killed himself, according to officials. "We have offered proven remedies, but all are met with unreasonable new laws that take guns away from people who can protect their loved ones," LaPierre said. "And so many of these killings seem to arise from interpersonal disputes, as we saw in Colorado today. Instead of weakening our Constitutional rights by banning weapons, we propose reinstating a tried-and-true American institution, embraced by our Founders, with well documented successes in conflict resolution: the duel."

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ruthless Banker Saves Bedford Falls from Shady Subprime Lenders

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has closed 465 banks. Prior to 2008, only 10 banks had failed. Regulators shuttered another 23 failed banks in 2013 alone. On Wednesday, TFC National Bank said it will close 37 branches inside Jewel stores by March, A day later, still plagued by the fallout from the ruptured housing bubble, Bank of America agreed to pay the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) nearly $132 million in penalties to settle an investigation connected to the sale of two intricately convoluted mortgage securities sold to investors through its Merrill Lynch division. The news has been neither surprising nor welcoming. But the announcement that regulators seized the assets of the famed Bailey Savings and Loan in Bedford Falls -- a privately owned and cherished institution that never received bailouts -- rocked the nation's confidence. This time, however, a corporate banker named Potter, whom the town previously considered a ruthless and malevolent cad, has emerged as a potential savior.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New NSA Offering Intercepts Children's Christmas Lists and Sends Them Directly to Santa

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Last Wednesday, The Washington Post obtained documents indicating that the National Security Agency (NSA) gathers nearly five billion records each day that track the locations of users around the world, including some Americans. The data was provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. His revelations continue to expose a domestic surveillance operation far more widespread than the public was initially led to believe. But the NSA wants you to know that these data-mining expeditions serve a greater, more benevolent good. So as a special holiday treat, the NSA, free of charge, will send Santa Claus the Christmas lists of every child whose records were intercepted by government systems through an automated process that "promotes immediacy, assured delivery and overcomes challenges with illegible letters, improper postage or incorrect addressing that often occur when silly liberal children are allowed to correspond with the North Pole directly."

Monday, December 9, 2013

Disgraced Homemaker Exposed as Fraud, Admits Fruitcake Not World Famous

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- To Bennington Vale locals, homemaker Emmeline Kuchenkoch needs no introduction. Chances are, if you've dined at Piers Addleson's Pea House and ordered a cake, the heady Linzer Torte or the bemusing marzipan characters inspired by the Passion of Christ, then you've sampled Kuchenkoch's wares. The Addleson family has been reselling her delicacies for over 40 years in their restaurant. But scandal rocked San Narciso County Tuesday when rivals at the struggling Hearth Attack bakery discovered damaging information that pressured Emmeline Kuchenkoch to confess, "My Christmas fruitcake is not actually world famous."

Thursday, December 5, 2013

GOP Removes Celebratory Tweet After Learning Nelson Mandela, Not President Obama, Died

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- After another haphazard and hasty rush to promote Republican Party messaging on Twitter, the GOP removed an offensive tweet only hours ago that read: "Free at last! Kenyan-Muslim-socialist-Madrassa-food stamp-crazed dictator dies." The post was deleted by administrators of the RNC (@GOP) account on learning that iconic South African peace activist Nelson Mandela had died Thursday, not U.S. President Barack Obama. Defending the confused Mandela-Obama tweet, RNC spokespeople confessed to poor judgment but explained that the similarities between the two groundbreaking presidents led to an error "any reasonable person could have made when the news broke."

Nelson Mandela Dead at 95, Rest in Peace

San Narciso County 2013 Christmas Parade Rules

SAN NARCISO COUNTY PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT -- The Annual Bennington Vale Christmas Parade is scheduled for Saturday, December 7, 2013. Sidewalks CANNOT be reserved with personal property, which includes unattended children and the elderly, until 5:00 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. if center medians are used. The parade route spans Maxwell Street, Cape Horn Avenue and Tragic Courier’s Way, ending at Lake Inverarity’s Fangoso Lagoons. The estimated duration of the event is three hours. The placement of personal items along the parade route -- including your children, pets or virtually incapacitated senior citizens -- has in the past created pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic issues, in addition to numerous problems for local businesses. In an effort to prevent accidents or injuries, and in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, personal property or family members serving as human placeholders along the parade route prior to the street closures will be confiscated at the discretion of the San Narciso Police Department and taken to the Heritage Heights Library for pick-up after the event. Please note that all costs incurred from the caring of and cleaning up after your children or elderly will be cited back to you by the City.

The public is also reminded that the law strictly prohibits the following activities on City property, and appropriate action will be taken against anyone in violation. Please observe these rules during the event.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Chamber of Commerce Accuses Retailers That Refused to Open Thanksgiving of Treason

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- In January, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's foremost conservative business lobby, announced its annual ranking of the worst companies in America -- those organizations that consistently failed to embrace the true spirit of bottom-line capitalism. To make the prestigious list, companies had to demonstrate their failures to seize opportunities for maximizing profit potential by refusing to cut corners, reduce overhead, eliminate employer-sponsored benefits and perks, replace full-time workers with temps or automation, and outsource jobs to foreign nations with cheap labor pools and abysmal records of human rights. This Wednesday, just days after the biggest shopping day of the season, the Chamber upped the ante by accusing several of America's foremost retailers of un-American activities for their refusal to open on the holiday to champion the values of free market enterprise that define the morality and might of the nation.

Monday, December 2, 2013

First Thanksgiving Feast Actually Last Meal Before Execution, Historian Says

"The first feast, so to speak, may also have been the nation's first Last Meal." -- Abel Wharfinger

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Although the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition in America traces its roots to the seventeenth century, historians believe earlier celebrations existed on the continent as far back as 1598, when Spanish explorers in Texas gave a feast of thanks at San Elizario. Similar events were also documented in the Virginia Colony. Abel Wharfinger, the dean of History at San Narciso College, said the Pilgrims "likely witnessed a type of Thanksgiving feast prior to their journey overseas while they were staying in Leiden. There, annual services were held to observe the end of the 1574 siege. This event probably served as the influence for the holiday we now celebrate. Although our Thanksgiving is not entirely original, we've recently discovered something about it that is."

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