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.