Tuesday, October 18, 2011

8 Minute Abner

Dear friends,

Barely six months have passed since I shared the first episode of Abner with you, and already the next one is ready! This episode is called "8 Minute Abner," and it will provide you with belly laughs and belly muscles alike. I hope you like it!

- Benjo

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Abner, Episode 1: "The Birthmark"

by Benjo

Hello, everyone! I've missed you! How are you doing? Still at the same job? What ever happened with that little firecracker you were running around with?

I've been keeping busy, and I'm very excited to share with you one of the products of my business. It's the first episode of Abner, titled "The Birthmark." My collaborators and I are already hard at work on episode 2, "8-Minute Abner," and I'll share that with you just as soon as it's right and ready. But for now, break out the Pop Secret and hit play below.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I Am An Addict.

by Edward J. Albenstein

I can't believe I'm confessing such a thing in public like this, but frankly, it beats going to one of those awful meetings.

I've been warned since I was a kid about how I had to stay away from this stuff. I barely knew my grandpa, and it wasn't until I was an adult that my parents revealed to me that he was a raging workaholic. And Uncle Ted—it's been fifteen years now since we lost him to chocoholism.

But for some reason, I never thought this would be my fate. But then, I never thought I'd ever open a Facebook account.

I mean, sure, I tried Friendster in college, but who didn't? I figured I'd give Facebook a try, just to see what the hype was about. And that first time, it didn't seem so bad. I liked a status, maybe wished someone a happy birthday.

But they say you're hooked from the first time you use it, and they're right. At first, I'd only log on in social situations, but before long, I was going to work in the morning with Facebook in my system. At night, I'd tell my wife I was going to get wasted with the guys and go to the strip club—maybe urinate publicly if the mood was right. But in reality, I was in an alley with my laptop, commenting on photos of my third-grade teacher's grandson Todd in one tab while I played Scrabble in another tab—also with Todd.

Nowadays, I've forgotten how to interact with the real world. I don't laugh anymore. Instead, I have this plastic “Like” button that I made, and whenever someone says something funny, I just press the button.

But this afternoon, something happened. I was on my phone, watching a video about human anatomy—which my college roommate's cousin Ernie posted to his feed. In the video, they dissected the liver of a lifelong Facebook user, and the entire thing was Facebook blue. It burned my eyes to look at it. So I turned on the computer and opened a browser—and, though my fingers fought me, I resisted the urge to type Facebook's URL. Instead, I came here.

I'm Edward, and I'm a facebookaholic.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Congress Repeals “Don't Ask,” Ending 17-Year Ban On Nosiness In Military

Members of the United States Armed Forces will no longer have to hide their inquisitive orientations. President Obama signed a law Wednesday that will reverse the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy, which for 17 years has prevented nosy men and women from openly asking their colleagues if they are gay.

“No longer will tens of thousands of Americans be forced to keep their questions to themselves,” Obama said at the signing ceremony. “For too long we have denied the bravery and patriotism of some of our most extraordinary servicemembers because they happen to be nosy.”

Though many have focused on the “Don't Tell” portion of the existing policy, which prevents homosexual men and women from serving openly, most people agree that the “Don't Ask” portion has been a far more significant impediment to civil liberties. “Only one in ten servicemen and women are gay,” said Sgt. Lou Falchi. “But everyone is curious about who's gay.”

Nosiness-rights advocates applauded the measure. “My intrusiveness is who I am,” said Alice Stark. Paul Dickens, her nosy partner of 15 years, agreed. “Sure, we may not be able to procreate—no one would submit their reproductive organs to someone as relentlessly, flamboyantly prodding as Alice. But it doesn't mean she loves her country any less.”

Donald Fairfax, who is serving his third tour in Afghanistan, said, “We got to see the new Coen brothers flick, and when it's over a private in my division goes, 'Matt Damon is very handsome.' I wanted to be like, 'Dude, are you gay?' But if I'd said it, I'd be discharged. If you ask me,” Fairfax said, “the military's going to be stronger now that I can openly question that dude's sexuality.”

Emboldened by their victory, Stark, Fairfax, and other NIBTQ (nosy-inquisitive-bi-interrogative-tampering-questioning) citizens plan to focus on their ultimate goal: nosy marriage.

But critics of the repeal, led by Senator John McCain, worry that its passage will lower morale in the military. McCain issued a statement following the bill's passage that said, “Who's going to want to take a shower with another officer, when you constantly have to look over your shoulder to see if he's looking at you like he's going to ask you a question?”

Despite McCain's opposition, eight Republican Senators joined the 57 members of the Democratic caucus to vote for repeal, effectively putting to rest categorizations of the GOP as unanimously interrophobic.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

NY Tree Branch Death: Act Of Mother Nature Or Act Of Terror?

by Benjo

My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Elmaz Qyra, the Brooklyn resident who was tragically killed in Central Park on Wednesday by a tree branch that collapsed under the weight of several inches of snow.

But while we mourn Qyra's death, we must not ignore a question that media reports of the incident have to this point ignored: was it really the snow that was to blame--or was it the tree?

Since this blog reported last fall on a suicide attack perpetrated by a Massachusetts oak, the punditry class has been atwitter with the many thorny issues surrounding arboreal terrorism: whether the judicial system should handle terrorist trees or whether they should be tried in military court; whether species profiling at airports and on streets is appropriate, or whether trees should be assumed to be as peaceful as any other organism, and so on.

Nonetheless, a branch from what the Parks Commissioner called "a healthy tree" kills an innocent civilian, and no one questions the tree's innocence? All this points to the insidious genius of the tree's ploy: by waiting for the biggest snowstorm of the year to kill someone, the tree ensured that people's attention would be diverted toward the weather, and away from its pernicious self.

Let's look at the facts. A recent study by the US Department of Agriculture indicated that 94 percent of tree-related deaths in the last two decades have occurred within two days of extreme natural events--lightning storms, snowstorms, hurricanes, earthquakes, and so on. In the face of these data, the evidence could not be clearer that trees have systematically timed their attacks to shift the blame to the weather, leaving their own innocence uncontested so that they can continue perpetrating these attacks without arousing suspicion.

It is imperative that we bring this era of blind trust to an end. Whether the trees' campaign is labeled terrorism or species warfare, one simple point cannot be denied: the risk of an arboreal 9/11 is greater than ever. While hundreds of thousands of troops are stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq, we must not neglect the threat that we face at home.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Terrorist Tree Commits Suicide Attack On Parked Car

by Benjo
BELCHERTOWN, MA -- A tree crushed a parked BMW sedan in a suicide attack yesterday in the center of this small town. The tree, an oak, used itself as an improvised arboreal device, or IAD, destroying both itself and the car.

“Given the history of tensions between fundamentalist oak trees and German cars, we do believe this was a terrorist incident,” said police chief Gunther Napalm.

Noting that tree experts had confirmed that the tree was dead, Napalm said, “The fact that a tree would be willing to give its life to take the life of just one car should give us great pause.”

Authorities believe that the tree was acting alone, but are looking into the possibility that it was working with an accomplice--perhaps lightning. As a precaution, the wind was also detained briefly before being released late yesterday afternoon.

Napalm stressed that there is no evidence, however, linking the tree to al Qaeda or any other terrorist organization. Police are nonetheless continuing to look exhaustively into any possible connections.

“We want to be absolutely certain that we prevent the nightmare scenario,” said Napalm, “which is of course the possibility that a nuclear weapon would fall into the branches of terrorist trees.”

Car owners expressed outrage and fear following the attack.

“It would be one thing for it to attack a military car or a tank,” said Rodney Lang, 55. “But an innocent civilian car like this? It's unconscionable what these crazy oaks will do.”

Town mayor Landon Felder tried to calm these fears. “We want to remind people that the oak is a species of peace. The last thing we want is for there to be any aggression or ill will towards oaks or any other trees.”

Still, the possibility of species profiling remains a reality.

“If I see a tree of oak descent on the street at night, am I more likely to stop it and question it than if it was a pine? You bet I am,” said police officer Morris Daley. “If the oaks want that to change, they're gonna need to get out of the soil for once and do something about it. Maybe covering yourself with bark and living off sunlight worked a million years ago, but in the age of the internet, that's not gonna fly. These trees need to embrace modernity.”

ACLU spokeswoman Victoria Elmswether disputed those sentiments. “Ninety-nine percent of oaks live normal, peaceful lives,” she said, “and yet oaks have continued to face these speciesist profiling practices for years. This trend of trees being pulled over for 'Photosynthesizing while oak' has got to come to an end.”

Indeed, Napalm confirmed that the tree behind yesterday's attack was anything but a random oak. It had long been on a terrorist watch list, which would have prevented it from flying or traveling abroad.

Napalm noted that the tree had been indoctrinated during its adolescence by a fundamentalist tree preacher, or “treecher.” Said Napalm, “The treechers' message of hate resonated with the tree due to its upbringing in extremely poor soil, which the treechers blamed on car exhaust.”

He continued, “The only place we're going to stop this problem, then, is at the roots.”

Napalm is optimistic that such a program of nutrient-rich soil promotion will work. “If we can convince these young oaks that their earthly life is one worth living,” he said, “then there will be no reason for them to commit these suicidal acts in pursuit of the promised 72 piles of virgin mulch.”

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ashton Kutcher Livid After Discovering Patrick Swayze's Ghost Communicating With Demi Moore

by Benjo

Ashton Kutcher lashed out this afternoon after discovering that his wife, actress Demi Moore, has been communicating with the spirit of her Ghost co-star Patrick Swayze following the latter's death on September 14.

“When Whoopi showed up and started channeling Swayze, I thought I was being punk'd,” said Kutcher, referring to the MTV prank show he hosted from 2003 to 2007. “But when she started talking about details of my life that only Swayze would know, I knew it was for real.”

Kutcher said he first became suspicious when he whispered to his sleeping wife that he loved her one night last week. "She just said, 'ditto,'" Kutcher said.

Kutcher says that the communication will not affect his and Moore's marriage for the time being. “I'll tell you what, though,” he said. “The second Demi breaks out the pottery wheel, I am fucking out of here.”

Friday, October 2, 2009

Following Death Of World's Oldest Person, Fox Developing Reality Show To Find Successor

by Benjo

Interesting story: my great-great-great-grandfather in Ukraine was the oldest person in the world for 30 years, having inherited the position from his father. He eventually lost the title in a battle against the Poles; otherwise, I might be fourth in line for the title today. Fascinating to see how the rules of succession change over time.

On the heels of the death of 115-year-old Gertrude Baines, who until her passing was the oldest living person, the Fox network has announced a reality show, tentatively titled Who Wants To Be the Oldest Person in the World?, which will crown a new oldest person.

The news was welcomed by elderly citizens like 99-year-old Abigail Lyman. “Here I am, skin dripping off me like cheese off a pizza; can't hear, see, think, walk, remember, move, drive, clean, work, cook, eat, or breathe on my own,” Lyman said. “And yet, these 115-year-old freaks think they deserve the title just because they've been wasting away a few years longer? Well wait till they see what's coming to them.”

Bruce Namath, professor of Elderly Studies at Washington State, noted that the reality-show format is just the latest in a long line of methods that have been used over the years to determine the world's oldest person. "For centuries, the title was passed from father to son," Namath said. "The modern criteria for the title were not adopted until 1923, when scientists discovered that oldness was a function of how long an individual had been alive."

In Namath's view, this led to a dark age for the "world's oldest person" title. “The idea that the title would based on longevity alone is age discrimination, plain and simple.”

In spite of Fox's elimination of this outdated system, Namath has some worries about the show. “We should be extremely concerned about the frequency with which the oldest person in the world has been dying,” he said. “Baines's oldest-person predecessor died in January, and the previous one passed away last November. That means the oldest person in the world has been dying at a rate of more than once every four months.”

There has been much speculation regarding why the world's oldest person dies so often, but Namath believes there is a simple explanation. “It's the pressure,” he said. “You've lived 115 years, and suddenly people all over the world know about you? For someone who was born in 1895, the existence of mirrors is hard enough to wrap your head around. Seeing a Wikipedia page about your 115-year-old self is the kind of thing that will make an egg salad out of your already scrambled brains.”

However, Nancy Wiley, Age Historian at the University of Tennessee, points out that the second- and third-oldest people have died just as frequently. “What that shows, I think, is that the danger is a result of simply being on an 'oldest persons' list at all,” Wiley said. “What we need is to do away with these lists.”

Wiley believes that, lists aside, these supercentenarians could be the key to what is seen as the holy grail of medical research: a cure for old age. “Clearly, these people have some sort of immunity to oldness. We need to be going through their gene sequence to determine whether there are any clues that could point us toward a treatment or a vaccine.”

Despite initial difficulties recruiting contestants due to the high likelihood of the winner's death, Fox executives have fielded a cast of 25 men and women between the ages of 31 and 102, who will fly to Belize, where shooting will begin on October 12. Episodes, which will hit the air in early 2010, will consist of a series of challenges, including dune-jumping, a two-minute underwater swim, and a memory contest. The winner of each challenge will be the individual who performs it in the oldest manner possible.

Executive producer Jerry Lankler expects the show to be a huge ratings winner this fall. He is already working on a spin-off, Deadest Person Alive—which, he noted, should not be confused with the ABC show formerly called Alivest Dead Person, which was later transformed into the hit show Corpses Do the Darnedest Things.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Johnny Nailon, 7, Thanks Jesus For Go Fish Victory

by Benjo

Ever since ESPN started showing professional poker, I haven't followed my second favorite card sport, Go Fish. After reading the article below, I think I'll need to fix that.

After a stunning come-from-behind Go Fish victory, 7-year-old Johnny Nailon bowed his head in prayer, then spiked his cards.

“I want to thank Jesus for giving me that three of spades,” said Nailon, whose game against his brother, 11-year-old Damian, was his first ever. “I always told Damian Jesus liked me better, but this just proves it.”

Damian accused Johnny of cheating, suggesting that on more than one occasion, his younger brother peeked at the cards in the pile while he was going fish. Johnny refuted the accusation, saying, “It's not cheating if Jesus is trying to get you to do it.”

Christine Nailon, the boys' mother, agreed with Johnny. “Maybe if you'd gotten a better grade on your science test, Jesus would have let you win,” she told Damian after the game.

According to Mrs. Nailon, the tables turned when Johnny asked Damian if he had any jacks. Damian told Johnny to go fish. He fished a jack, jumped up, and yelled, “I fished my fucking wish!” repeating an exclamation he'd heard the previous week during his father's weekly game of Go Fish with his friends.

Since her children's game, Mrs. Nailon and her husband have been discussing Johnny's future. “For him to beat his older brother, who's much more experienced, in his first game, was a sign that Johnny's Go Fish talent runs deep,” she said. “We're going to take things one day at a time, but the prospect of a professional Go Fish career is exciting enough that we'd be crazy not to consider pulling Johnny out of school for it.”

Johnny will test the waters this Saturday, amongst an expected crowd of 200, mostly in their 50s and 60s, who will be competing for the title of “Go Shark” in the Greater Northeast Go Fish Tournament, where the top cash prize will reach $100,000.

Reports that Damian had converted to Judaism, as well as his apparent proclamation that “Moses and me are gonna kick Johnny's ass in H-O-R-S-E later on,” could not be confirmed as of press time.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Outbreak Feared After Second-Grade Class Infested With Cooties

by Benjo

I spent some time in Burundi in college, so I can claim to have seen cooties ravaging a country first-hand. Trust me when I say that it is bone-chilling. Be careful, folks.

WOOSTER, OH—The World Health Organization has issued a level five pandemic alert following an incident in a second grade classroom that has led to what officials are calling the most serious cooties scare since the Ring Around the Rosie Panic of 1941.

As news of the infestation broke, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention scrambled to manufacture millions of doses of cooties vaccine.

“We are extremely well prepared for this,” said CDC spokesman Arnold Nierman. Despite the organization's inexperience in dealing directly with cooties since the vaccine was developed in 1949, Nierman pointed out recent successes in combating other sexually embarrassing diseases, or SEDs. Their quick response to the outbreak of Upside-Down Boob Syndrome in the mid-90s helped turn more than one million boobs rightside-up; the defeat of pubic alopecia later in the decade was a direct result of the organization's partnership with Hair Club for Men in creating the company's spinoff, Pubic Hair Club for Men.

The scare began at the second graders' recess, according to witnesses. “The kids were all completely fine when they came in this morning—no symptoms of cooties at all,” said teacher Maya Lane. “Then at recess, there was some commotion among the girls about Ethan N., but I figured it was nothing. So we went ahead with our regular Duck, Duck, Goose game—and bang. Cooties everywhere.”

The CDC this morning banned Duck, Duck, Goose, calling it “among the greatest dangers to public health that the human species has ever devised” due to the methodical touching of every person in the circle. According to the provisions of the heightened alert level, the sharing of juice boxes and crazy straws are also prohibited. As an additional precaution, men and boys are to temporarily refrain from crossing swords in public restrooms.

Fears of an outbreak are already beginning to grip the public. Becca Greenberg of East Saint Louis said, “I was talking to this really sweet guy at the bar last night. He was in med school; his beard was immaculate; he even quoted the Talmud. But I noticed he kept sort of angling himself so he was in the shadows. Finally we came into the light, and I saw why: he was completely covered with cooties.”

Brian Denson fears a similar fate. “I just got out of a two-year relationship. Cooties are the last thing I need,” said Denson, 29. “I had cooties for all of third grade, and I honestly don't think I got laid once that whole year.”

Nierman said those in Denson's situation need not worry. “Cooties are like chicken pox: if you had them as a kid, it is extremely unlikely that you will contract them again. However, adult cooties are tremendously more severe than pediatric cooties, so those who never had the disease and were not vaccinated should exercise extreme caution.”

Lines of patients waiting for the vaccine stretched for up to four blocks. “I'm afraid of needles, so this is the first vaccine I've ever gotten,” said Randi Lemongrass, who then administered the vaccination for a friend: “Circle, circle, dot, dot, now you've got the cootie shot.”

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ahmadinejad: "The Nile Is Not Just A River In Egypt"

by Benjo

In his speech today at the United Nations, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, "The Nile is not just a river in Egypt." He pointed out, "it also flows through Tanzania, Uganda, and Sudan, among others."

Ahmadinejad, who last week called the Holocaust "a lie," cited a survey that found that over 90% of Americans believe the Nile only flows through Egypt. "If the visions of these individuals were borne out, it would simply wipe stretches of the continent off the map," the Iranian leader said. Ahmadinejad offered to partner with these Americans in a project that would divert portions of the river through Israel. As of publication time, 90% of Americans could not be reached for comment on the Iranian president's offer.

More on this story as it develops.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Typo Leads To Military Coupe In Angola

by Benjo

There has never been clearer evidence that the Pentagon's billion-dollar typography budget is money well-spent; the story below illustrates the type of national crisis that our elaborate spell-check system has been so successful in preventing.

LUANDA, ANGOLA – Following what many believe to be a typographical error in an email from Army Chief Kundy Pahiama, a military coupe was staged here last night.

The email from Pahiama, which was sent at 10:30 p.m. local time last night, lamented that “dealing with President Santos in a civil manner has proven impossible,” and concluded that “staging a military coupe at the Presidential Palace is the only viable option.”

Following the email, top generals scrambled throughout the night first to deck a coupe out in camouflage, and then, to assemble a stage in front of the palace on which the coupe would sit.

“Some people may ask, 'Why a military coupe? What is the significance of this?'” said one general who insisted on anonymity. “The answer is obvious: for too long, we have been fed up with the military sedans the President has made us drive.”

Asked if a typo was suspected, the general said, “Absolutely not. Pahiama got where he is on his spelling prowess. Besides,” he said, “what else would he have meant to write?”

The government, however, is taking the threat of a typo very seriously. Upon witnessing the coupe on stage this morning, the full resources of President Santos's staff were deployed to investigate whether a typo had occurred, and if so, what the intended message was. Many officials believe that Pahiama intended to impose a military coupon, which would have illegally given generals up to 50% off at retail stores such as Macy's or Bloomingdales.

If the coupe was indeed accidental, it would hardly be the first event in world history to be shaped by a typo. Martin Van Buren, the eighth President of the United States, is rumored never to have slept with his wife while in office because an adviser accidentally wrote him a memo informing him that he was only eligible for an erection every four years. The so-called Presidential Blueballs of 1837 is said to have cost Van Buren any chance at a second term.

More recently, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe attempted in 1989 to instruct his generals to commit genocide, but accidentally wrote them a note requesting “gonocide” instead, leading them on a crusade to rid the world of gonorrhea. That crusade continues to this day.

In more recent United States history, an al-Qaeda cell in Chicago received a telegram instructing them to “glow up” the city's Sears Tower. What was intended to be a devastating terrorist attack instead turned into a dazzling light show.

The Angolan government is expected to reach a conclusion on last night's events sometime next week. The President released a short statement today indicating that until the report's release, “General Pahiama Will Be Suspended Without Pat.” This is expected to be a crippling blow for Pahiama, as “It's Pat” is the general's favorite movie.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New “Toferson” Products Offer Cannibals A Tasty Vegetarian Alternative

by Benjo

Benjoblog has been on the vegetarian beat since shortly after our inception. But never has our meatless appetite been quite so whet as it is now that we get to deliver the news that the mock-meat-loving community is ready to accept a new cohort: veggie cannibals! Story follows.
Following years of success in offering a soy-based Thanksgiving alternative to non-meat-eaters, the Tofurky company has announced a new line of vegetarian human-flesh options for cannibals. Called Toferson, the fake-meat products will hit stores in early 2010.

The product line will include crunchy snack foods like False Teeth Crisps and imitation kitchen staples like Can't Believe It's Not Butt. Additional products, such as the Wiener Wiener, Cameltofu, and Mock Cock, were deemed too racy for supermarkets, and will be sold only in sex-oriented food stores.

The announcement was embraced by vegetarian cannibals—or anthratarians, as they prefer to be called—around the country.

“By nature, I eat people, but at heart, I have morals,” said Percy Felwether of North Dakota. “I believe a vegetarian diet is the ethically and environmentally appropriate way to live. But I still adore the tangy taste of cooked human flesh. Now, I finally have a way to reconcile my beliefs with my natural tendencies.”

The products are not without their critics, however. “We are completely opposed to the killing and eating of innocent animals,” said PETA spokesman Lyle Renfro. “But the killing and eating of humans is an entirely different story. Humans have caused more death, pain, and extinction to animals than any other species in the history of the world. So we embrace cannibalism--provided, of course, that the people being consumed are animal-killing meat-eaters.”

Renfro went on to say that, beyond simply opposing Toferson, PETA will launch a new Eat-A-Friend campaign next year to "encourage cannibalistic behaviors and hasten the demise of the planet's most cancerous species."

Supporters of the new products suggest that PETA's fears are misguided. “I have hundreds of friends who were always curious about the taste of human flesh, but were always squeamish about actually trying it out,” said Abbey Scottsdale, director of Eating Rights Now. “When they try Artificial Hip Burritos or Fakin' Belly Button Bacon, they'll see how delicious it is, and it just may inspire them to try the real thing. Eventually, this could bring about a whole new generation of anthratarians.”

If Scottsdale is right, Sandy Brackett of Rhode Island, to this point a human-flesh abstainer, could become a member of the new cannibal generation. “I was watching the Olympic Games last year, and I just kept thinking, 'Those gymnasts look absolutely delicious!'" Brackett said. "But every time I was tempted to head down to the gymnastics studio and sample the local flavors, I just never had the guts—pardon the pun. But with Toferson's Parallel Granola Bars offerings, I can finally find out what I'm missing.”

But to anthratarians like Felwether, the effect on the size of the anthratarian population is secondary. “I'm just a cannibal, but as long as I've lived, people have treated me like some kind of barbarian,” he said. “If getting this issue out in the open removes the taboo even a bit, it's a victory for everybody. Because for too long, this stigma that I carry has just been eating me alive.”

Friday, September 4, 2009

Out-fluenza: How To Keep The Flu Out Of Your Home This Season

by Benjo

Hard as it is to believe, school is starting back up again. And that can only mean one thing: flu season is right around the corner. With this year's added peril of swine flu, it's more important than ever to be vigilant. Here are a few pointers to help you keep yourself and your family flu-free this fall.

It is well known that the easiest way to avoid the flu is to wash your hands regularly. But studies show that under 10% of Americans are familiar with proper hand-washing technique. To be sure your hands are actually staying germ-free, follow these steps:
  1. Turn the water on using the back of your hand.
  2. Apply soap.
  3. Wet your hands.
  4. Apply soap again.
  5. Wash under your fingernails.
  6. Rinse the soap off.
  7. To ensure all bacteria are fully removed, cut off your hands.
  8. Dry off your stumps using an air dryer--not some scummy paper towel dispenser!
Doorknobs are prime breeding grounds for the flu. Therefore, it is essential to complete the following steps to avoid the dangers they pose:
  • Remove knobs from any doors you see.
  • Look in the yellow pages for any stores that might sell doorknobs. If you find any, these are the types of extenuating circumstances in which arson is perfectly reasonable. (Make sure to use the type of fire that burns doorknobs, obviously.)
  • If you break wind, and someone yells "doorknob," kill them immediately.
Reader Phyllis, of San Francisco, writes, "The neighborhood I live in is called Nob Hill. This is a different spelling...not to mention, it's just a name. So I'm okay, right?" Wrong. Your neighborhood is infested. Burn all your belongings and flee to Uzbekistan.

Schools are the easiest place for flu to spread. If your kids are enrolled in a school, it is recommended that you have them deported. If you see a little boy walking the streets with a schoolbag, assemble a mob to shame the boy and call him what he is: a bioterrorist.

In the event of flu
Reader Lesley writes, "Let's say I do get sick. Should I stay home?" The last thing we need in a flu epidemic is a sissy. Be a man, Lesley. And if you're a woman, get a sex change, then be a man. If you are a man, get a name change, because in the face of what could be the most devastating flu season in history, this Lesley crap ain't gonna fly.

Final thoughts
Realistically, anytime you go to work, or to school, or to the grocery store, or to the bank, you're exposing yourself to some risk of coming home with the flu. The best course of action, then, is to never go anywhere or do anything--for the rest of your life if possible, but at least for the duration of flu season.

But for a few of us, this is an impossibility. For those few, I offer that flu season is a misnomer; this is ambiguity season. By that, I mean that the uncertainty over whether you have caught the flu is far more dangerous than actually catching it. In other words, find someone with the flu and inhale their sneeze, for the last thing you want is a season-long case of anxiety. Because, to paraphrase FDR, the only thing we have to flu is flu itself.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Poll: Americans Eager To Get Screwed Over Even More On Health Care

by Benjo

You hear a lot of noise about the opponents of health care reform. But this poll should put to rest any doubts that they have their heads on straight.

Faced with crushing health care costs, record numbers of uninsured, and a squeeze caused by the recession, Americans want to see the country's health care system get even worse, a new survey shows.

The poll found that an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose efforts by Congress and President Obama to reform the system.

“A shitty health-care system is one of the things that makes this country great,” said Dale Lander, of Sheridan, Arkansas. “You want to live in a country where you're guaranteed cheap health care? Move to France.”

Dotty Rausch, of Wichita, also opposes a mandate for health insurance coverage. “This is just another case where the government is stepping into our lives, telling us what to do. I believe illness is a choice. And I will not let government take away my right to be sick and not have the means to do anything about it.”

Lander and other opponents of reform nonetheless support some elements of the White House's plan. “My big things are high costs and lack of coverage, so I am in opposition, let's get that clear,” Lander said. “But I have also long been a death panel advocate, so I was heartened to hear that they would be included in the bill.” Lander added, “I used to be a major supporter of Sarah Palin, but the fact that she is against the death panels is making me reconsider.”

Ned Bailey, of Waterford, Michigan, was among the 3% whose top priority for a health package was universal coverage. “I have been bankrupt, been made to suffer, and will probably someday be killed by this awful health care system,” Bailey said. “That 47 million people have been able to completely avoid this shitshow is simply unfair. Let's make them endure it with the rest of us.”