Developing story: Police involved in restroom stall standoff with local man

At this hour, a police standoff continues with an incontinent local man who was reported to be in violation of several public health ordinances.  At 7:35 this morning, employees at Downtown Health & Fitness placed a 911 call reporting a man inside a restroom stall releasing a noxious, and potentially hazardous, gas into the men’s locker room airspace.  A quick-thinking employee immediately placed the men’s changing room on lockdown, as nervous patrons and employees waited for authorities to arrive. 

“I had just entered the men’s lockers to refill the paper towel dispensers when I almost immediately encountered this malodorous haze that seemed to be emanating from the bathroom stall area.  As I began to wretch violently, I had the presence of mind to grab the wall phone and dial the front desk.  I can’t remember anything after that, but apparently a couple of fellow attendants pulled me to safety and the room was sealed off,” reported one of the gym’s employees.

A police tactical unit wearing gas masks quickly surrounded the stall where the man is thought to be hunkered down.  Negotiators are currently in place and are attempting to communicate with the suspect.  

“At present we have an extremely unpredictable situation confronting us in that locker room.  This man has already incapacitated several individuals.  Additionally, we don’t know if Covid is going to come into play here.  As for casualties, I don’t have a number for you at this time, but I definitely saw bodies on the floor in there.  Let’s just hope they’re going to be okay,” said a police spokesperson.        

The identity of the suspect is presently unknown, but gym patrons report he had been experiencing difficulty while using one of the stair machines.  “He appeared to be sweating profusely and experiencing a great deal of abdominal discomfort.  Suddenly, he ran for the lockers and a short time later all hell broke loose,” said an unidentified patron.  

Tommy Tuberville exiled to Island of Misfit Toys for his role in Capitol riots

Even as the Senate voted Saturday to acquit the Man on the High Escalator of any responsibility for inciting the Capitol rioters, it appears that one of his most devoted lackeys may be taking the fall.  Tommy Tuberville bade farewell to the good citizens of Tuberville Sunday as he embarked on a lifetime banishment to the Island of Misfit Toys for his role in the Capitol riots.  Addressing an assembled crowd at Tuberville Town Square, the junior Senator was unapologetic for his efforts in aiding the former president.  “I proudly served a man who I believe was put here by God to use the Office of President to sew chaos, abuse the democratic institutions we hold so dear, and to personally enrich himself and his family.” 

Former aides predict Tuberville may not receive the warmest of receptions when he arrives at the Island of Misfit Toys later the week.  It is widely believed that Tommy Tuberville ruined the lives of many innocent toys on his meteoric journey to becoming one of the former president’s most trusted insiders.  “Tommy is responsible for having G.I. Joe court martialed for not being sufficiently loyal to the former president and for putting his duty to the constitution above his devotion to the Man with the Martian Tan,” said a former Tuberville aide.  “He is also expected to be met with hostility by Mr. Potato Head.  Once regarded as Tuberville’s fiercest business rival, Potato Head was framed and sentenced to the island in 2002 during Tuberville’s bid to seize control of the local potato trade.  You can bet Mr. Potato Head has not forgotten and has something diabolical planned for Tuberville’s arrival.”

If the history doesn’t fit, you must stealth edit it

For some of our most respected and revered media institutions, history has become increasingly uncooperative and uncharitable toward the narratives they’re trying to peddle these days.  A number of media outlets are finding it necessary to edit the stories of days gone by to make them more in keeping with the present day.  After all, why update your thinking or try to maintain some semblance of consistency with regard to past events, when you can just go back and change the way you reported or interpreted those events at the time?    

Following a recent Salon article that blasted Senator Tom Cotton for allegedly misleading the public about his service as a U.S. Army Ranger, some media outlets could barely keep up with the stealth editing necessary to make their current reporting more accurate and less hypocritical.  Cotton graduated from Army Ranger training school and earned the honor to wear the Ranger pin, but he never actually served with the unit.  Up until a week ago, it was quite common to refer to these service members as Rangers, but after the Salon attack piece, media outlets had some work to do to change all that.  Newsweek, not wanting to be left out of the media pile-on, used the Salon article to launch an attack of its own on Cotton.  However, Cotton’s staff notified Newsweek that it had referred in 2015 to the first two female graduates of the training program as Rangers.  (So had Congress, by the way.)  Newsweek went back and edited the article, relieving the barrier-breaking female graduates of their Army Ranger status.  Now the publication was free to attack Cotton without appearing to engage in any double standards.  It must have felt pretty liberating to the Newsweek editors to throw two female Army Rangers under the bus just so they could go after a high-profile Senator from the wrong team.   

Indeed, fickle history doesn’t always cooperate when the media sets about attacking a public figure for partisan or ideological reasons.  Back in October, during the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the then nominee was attacked by Senator Mazie Hirono for using the term “sexual preference.”  Unbeknownst to nearly everyone on the planet, the term had apparently become “offensive and outdated.”  Despite evidence the term had been in recent common usage by the very same news outlets and journalists who now criticized Barrett, the media rushed to brand the term as offensive.  According to MSNBC producer, Kyle Griffin, “Sexual preference,” a term used by Justice Barrett, is offensive and outdated. The term implies sexuality is a choice. It is not. News organizations should not repeat Justice Barrett’s words without providing that important context.”  Good thing MSNBC provided that impartial and objective context, because the folks over at Merriam-Webster hadn’t seen fit to update the definition of the term until the brou-ha-ha erupted.  The dictionary people quickly edited the term’s definition, doing its part to add legitimacy to the media attacks on Barrett.         

One of the most egregious examples of stealth editing was brought to light last September when it was discovered that the New York Times had quietly memory-holed the core claim of its 1619 Project, the celebrated history series which garnered a Pulitzer Prize for its creator Nikole Hannah-Jones.  Initially, the piece attempted to reframe history in a manner that belied the facts.  When leading historians pointed out these errors of fact, the Times edited the piece without notice, dropping the core claim of the project.  Additionally, as if to assert that the public was suffering from some kind of Mandela Effect delusion, Nikole Hannah-Jones publicly asserted that the project had never made the claim to begin with.  Attempts to rewrite or reframe history for a present and future audience are common.  It’s how history is recorded.  But time travelling in a digital space and changing history in an effort to conceal the fact that you ever misled or misstated facts about history…are you f-ing serious?  It feels like trying to create a simulation within a simulation.  One day journalists and historians may look back on this time as a sort of dark ages, when authors went to such extreme lengths to conceal, alter and meddle with the facts of history, that the true story of what really happened is rendered indiscernible.  In any event, it will probably be one really hot mess for someone to disentangle.

Traders bullish on Blockbuster Video, Borders Books and Sam Goody

Back from the dead, Blockbuster, Borders and Sam Goody are among a handful of companies positioning themselves to again offer stock for public trading.  Buoyed by a recent trend that’s seen the stock of a number of companies, once considered to be on life support, soar into the stratosphere, these old retail favorites are hoping to cash in. 

“The stock market is a hell of a drug,” said Jared Milken, the 16-year-old who acquired the rights to the Sam Goody brand by selling his 2008 Saturn Vue.  “I’m not even old enough to have ever shopped at Sam Goody.  What the fuck is a comact disc?” 

Jared counts himself among a growing number of retail traders who seek to purchase the shares of dying companies, thereby inflating the stock price, and sticking it to the powerful hedge funds that have bet on their stock price falling.

The practice of raising defunct companies from the dead and breathing new life into them is called zombie trading, and the practitioners of this strange brand of financial voodoo can usually be found refining their magic on Reddit.

However, don’t think you’re going to be able to rush out and repurchase that Guns ‘N Roses cassette your old tape deck ate back in the nineties.  In regards to Sam Goody’s actual value, you’ll have to use your illusion.

“The assets on our balance sheet basically consist of the cash from my Vue, my parents card table, and an old Dell laptop” said Jared.  “But everybody’s going to go apeshit for this stock when it begins trading.”