Monday, August 26, 2013

Labor Day Boycott Losing Steam as Families Have to Eat

This is something I have rarely done in the years I’ve written this satire blog. I am writing a serious post on a subject that I believe fervently in.

Since 2009, I’ve received almost 400,000 views on my little “nobody” blog. I presently get anywhere from 150 to over 200 hits per day from people who return to read my articles. I receive very few comments on my work, but I can count on one hand the ugly comments I have received over those years.

I write satire mainly. I also write faux news stories. I make things up. I follow along the lines of the more popular satire sites such as The Onion and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I don’t always hit the mark. Hell, I’d settle for being a blip on those writers’ screens. I’m not, nor will I ever be. But, the reality is that writing my stories makes me happy, so I say why not?

Recently, someone commented (I say someone because the person didn’t have the balls to use their real name, but instead hid behind the name ‘Anonymous) that I and my site wasn’t very funny and I should get a sense of humor.

The particular story which was the target of this person’s ire had to do with boycotting Labor Day. The gist of the story was that since so many people are out of work, why not just cancel Labor Day or at the very least boycott it. I thought it to be a pretty solid premise and so I posted it.

Let’s make one thing very clear. I do not think there is anything remotely funny about people being unemployed and underemployed, where many have to hold down two, sometimes three jobs to support themselves and their families. This story was a piece of satire in the strictest definition of the word, meaning an attempt to use humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues. (emphasis added.)

When Anonymous made the statement “Maybe they're (sic) just the 'elite class' that has the willpower to work hard and put in long hours knowing what they're doing helps their company prosper and survive, but not gripe like a bunch of self-inflated whiners who thinks a company owes them something for nothing,” I took exception to that statement. Instead of getting into a pissing match with this person, however, I took my site back and decided instead to respond in this blog post.

According to some facts stated by Robert Reich, an extremely well-educated political economist, writer, educator (teaches at UC-Berkeley), and commentator, most unemployed and particularly underemployed people in America aren’t a bunch of self-inflated whiners who think a company owes them something for nothing. In fact, without these workers who barely make enough to subsist on, most companies would not be operable, particularly companies in the fast-food and retail sectors. These so-called self-inflated whiners are the people getting up before the crack of dawn, taking public transportation while it is still dark outside to get to sometimes a second and third job. Whiners? Really? Since when did asking for a fair wage amount to whining?

According to Reich, consider this:

The good news in the run-up to Labor Day: Jobs are returning. The bad news: Most of them pay lousy wages and low if non-existent benefits. Most low-wage workers are adults, typically bringing in half their family’s earnings. They deserve a raise. Where will the money come from? Since retail service jobs can’t be outsourced abroad or easily automated, and because big-box retailers and fast-food chains have to compete intensely for consumers and can’t easily raise their prices, any such raise is most likely to come out of profits.

That wouldn’t be such a bad thing. McDonald’s posted strong results during the recession by attracting cash-strapped customers, and its sales have continued to rise. Between 2010 and 2012, its annual return to investors was 15.7 percent, far better than the Dow Jones Industrial Average. McDonald’s CEO, Don Thompson, gets a big-whopper of a compensation package, valued at $13.8 million – about 800 times the earnings of a typical McDonald’s worker, who earns $8.25 an hour.

Walmart, the nation’s largest employer, also continues to do well -- so well it’s hiking shareholder dividends 18 percent this year. It also pays its executives handsomely. Total compensation of Walmart’s CEO, Michael Duke is now $20.7 million – more than 1000 times the earnings of a typical Walmart worker, who earns $8.80 an hour. Not incidentally, the wealth of the Walton family – which still owns the lion’s share of Walmart stock — now exceeds the wealth of the bottom 40 percent of American families combined, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.

So to Anonymous, I say this, thank your lucky stars you aren’t one of the bottom 40 percent of Americans who don’t make enough to live on. You lucky dog. Go buy some sparklers and celebrate.

This topic is now closed. Happy Labor Day.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Labor Day Boycott Planned by Working Class Across America

Labor Day is now the most hated holiday of all in America. Unemployment remains high, salaries are the lowest they’ve been since the early ‘70’s inflation-wise, and most people hate their bosses, most of who make upwards of 600% more than their employees.

The Labor Day holiday does nothing more today than remind millions of Americans that they have nothing to celebrate. Americans want to be working, not taking another day off—most without pay. That’s why the majority of out-of-work Americans are boycotting the Labor Day holiday and going to work, anywhere, regardless of whether or not they work there.

Workers will be showing up at factories unannounced and turning on the equipment necessary to make cars, appliances and other consumer goods. They will be turning the lights on at banks and handling money like it was any other work day. They will be washing cars, pumping gas, and babysitting, anything to keep themselves busy.

In fact, so many people are planning to show up at a job on this, their rightful day off, that it is expected to skew the unemployment numbers, not to mention confuse the hell out of CEOs and other members of the actual elite class of people lucky enough to have real jobs.

But fear not, come Tuesday, September 3, everyone will be back at home, jobless, and everything will again return to normal.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Man Suffers Hernia, Sues Fast Food Chain

Jason Dimples, a 27-year old iron worker from Youngstown, Ohio, has recently filed a Complaint for injuries he received several months ago while dining with his family at a local fast food restaurant. In his Complaint, Dimples alleges he was carrying a tray of food to the table where his wife and two young sons were seated when he felt a sharp, stabbing pain in the area of his abdomen.

"I almost passed out from the pain," says Dimples as he met with reporters outside the courthouse where his suit was filed. "The doctors told me I suffered a hernia, most likely caused by lifting the heavy tray and carrying it across the dining room to our table."

Dimples would not, however, go into many more details regarding the incident on advice from his attorneys. A review of his Complaint alleges the following:

Dimples and his family have dined at this particular restaurant many times without incident; however, he believes this particular trip was different due to the fact that the food on the tray weighed considerably more than what the family usually ordered.

According to the Complaint, the fast food restaurant is one of the most popular eating establishments in the Youngstown area due to the fact that they offer a budget menu that helps families such as the Dimples dine out without breaking the bank. However, the competition among other fast food restaurants induced this restaurant to up the ante and offer larger sized portions for a mere $.25 per item.

The "Giganti-Size Your Meal Deal™" meant that the Dimples family could stretch their food budget simply by spending less than $2.00 more on a complete meal for four. It was this option that landed Mr. Dimples in the emergency room with a painful hernia.

In response to the Complaint, the fast food restaurant claims that it took Mr. Dimples three times to try and lift the tray before finally getting it balanced to where he could maneuver it to his table. Because of this, the restaurant alleges he should have reasonably known the dangers of carrying such a heavy load therefore assuming a percentage of the risk for his injuries.

The fast food restaurant also claims that it was merely giving Mr. Dimples what he and others in this depressed area wanted, i.e. more bang for their buck. The restaurant seemed to imply that if anything, by having to offer more food for a smaller profit margin, they, not Mr. Dimples should be suing for damages.

Speaking of which, Mr. Dimples' lawsuit listed as damages his medical bills, lost wages, and loss of consortium (his sex life was affected by the hernia). It goes without saying Mr. Dimples was also asking the Plaintiff to refund the cost of the meal for four which was never consumed, totaling roughly $12.85.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Humanity Truly is Going to Hell in a Handbasket

A group of Sociologists at the University of California – Berkeley have recently completed a ten-year, in-depth study of the behavioral shift in social consciousness of people all over the world and have concluded, without a doubt, that humanity is going to Hell in a handbasket.

Dr. Di Eng, chief sociologist in the group says that while the doctors were looking for a better term to describe what is happening in our world today, from violent uprisings to mass shootings, no better term described the results of their study.

“Before we began our study,” said Dr. Eng, “we were pretty well set on the idea that America was going to the dogs and has been for the past 40 years or so. But we had no idea that Hell would enter the picture as quickly as it has.”

Eng claims the statistics are based on the sound adage “what goes around, comes around.” 

“The evidence doesn’t lie, even though we were sometimes thrown off by the occasional good deed or a charitable act that gave us hope that perhaps there was, after all, a chance of saving ourselves from a fateful carriage into Hell,” said the good doctor. 

“Unfortunately, for every good deed encountered, it seems it was met with a dozen or so acts so heinous that even we were amazed at how degraded our society had become.

When asked what ultimately led the doctors to conduct such an unusual study, Dr. Eng said that they were all sitting around a table one day discussing world events when her colleague, Dr. Elizabeth “Bee” Wilder, remarked that her job as a social scientist had become harder and harder lately and that some days she wasn’t quite sure if she was coming or going. 

“Since we are all atheists or at the very best, agnostics, we couldn’t very well consider the whole “Second Coming of Christ,” belief system which would have a good majority of the world’s population swept up in a rapture so as to save them from the rest of the wicked humans in existence,” said Dr. Eng. 

“This ultimately led us to ditch the ‘coming’ part and focus more on the whole ‘going’ aspect of humanity. And, well, Hell in a handbasket pretty much says it all.”

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Man Bites Tongue; Unable to Eat His Words

A local man has found himself in quite a difficult situation as he unfortunately bit his tongue and was unable to eat his words after spouting off at his mother-in-law during her holiday visit to their home.

Henry Smouth of Providence, Rhode Island, and his mother-in-law Gladys Harp, were in one of their usual spats when Henry thought he saw his mother-in-law tearing up. Not wanting to make her cry, Henry was about to recant the statement and apologize for his uncaring remarks, but, as fate would have it, Henry suddenly bit his tongue unusually hard and became unable to eat his words. The words he had spoken, calling Gladys a meddling, ungrateful, unwelcome guest in his house, hung in the air unretractably. Sadly, the only thing Henry could do is scream like a banshee.

Awghshggt, sgmurbith was all that would come out of his mouth as he tried desperately to continue his conversation. Gladys, up until that moment, had been unable to get a word in edgewise, as Henry spewed his venom. Upon seeing what Henry had done to his tongue, she seized the opportunity given to finally put words into Henry’s mouth. 

“It sounds like you want to apologize to me,” said Gladys, as Henry writhed in pain, pointing toward a water glass on the sink in the kitchen where they were battling it out. He continued to point at the water glass, but Gladys, happy to get the last word in for once, denied Henry the water. Instead, she proceeded to intentionally aggravate Henry by continually putting more words into his mouth. 

“So I’m a meddler, am I, an unwelcome guest, and ungrateful at that,” said Gladys as Henry shook his head from side-to-side, trying to silently make amends but needing that water in the worst way.

Finally, Henry made it to the sink and took a few gulps of water, easing the pain in his tongue. This enabled him to mince his words, which in turn allowed him to swallow the harsh criticisms and finally get the apologies out to Gladys.

When all was said and done, the pain in Henry’s mouth abated, and Henry was able to take his words back. He told Gladys he was sorry for all the unkind things he said to her and to his amazement, his mother-in-law gave him a great big hug and told him, “you took the words right out of my mouth.”

Friday, August 16, 2013

Bernard Madoff Has Taken Up Writing Poetry in Prison

Bernard “Bernie” Madoff, the mastermind of the largest Ponzi scheme in US History, is now well into his fourth year at Butner Medium Security Prison in Butner, North Carolina. As many will recall, Madoff made off with billions of dollars taken from thousands of clients who trusted him to invest their money in various fake accounts. This resulted in some people losing everything they had.

His “clientele” included the rich just as well as the poor slobs who slaved away and socked some money into retirement accounts—he was not choosy as to whom he flim-flammed. As a result, he was sentenced to 150 years in prison.

For the first couple of years, he tried his old tricks with his inmates, swindling their cigarette and tattoo money out of them by promising to hook them up with outside brokers to “get in” on the penny stock market. Unfortunately, one of the inmates who could read found out that Bernie’s sentence included a restraining order whereby Madoff could not come within 10 feet of anyone and their money, and he (Madoff) escaped narrowly with his life. This pretty much led to self-confinement to his cell 24/7, with time out for meals.

With nothing else to do with his time, Madoff scored a counterfeit Mont Blanc fountain pen and took up writing poetry. His prose has become a hit with the prison staff as well as with his bunk mate, William O’Henry.

“His stuff is good,” said O’Henry when asked if Madoff had any talent writing poetry. “When he reads it to me, I sometimes get all tingly, like I could easily fall in love with him almost.” For this reason, much of Madoff’s works have gone unread.

Evidently, Madoff is writing sonnets to rap songs. In fact, he has sold a couple of raps to prisoners who dream of becoming contestants on America’s Got Talent once they’ve served their time. Another of his “clients” has commissioned Madoff to write a good old-fashioned country song, which Madoff admits is a bit out of his realm of life experience, but is willing to give it a shot.

But flowery poems seem to be his niche as you can see by reading one of his favorites about life behind prison bars:

For me there is only desperation
as I sit in isolation.
Within these four walls,
the only consolation is
knowing I can trade the convicts
for an occasional can of shaving cream.
I sit and I dream of the day I am free
and back on Wall Street
doing what I do best,
Taking for myself and screwing the rest.

While the words intimate that Madoff doesn’t seem to show any remorse for his dastardly deeds, he certainly does show a great rhyming skill. And, if all goes well, he’s even considering putting his poems in book form and calling it “Life in Prison: A Book of Sonnets,” by Bernard “Shaw” Madoff.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Detroit to be Bulldozed and Re-Built as World’s Largest Mall

This is a re-post from an earlier date in 2010. Seems Detroit could never get its act together.

Detroit, MI – In what was hailed as an extreme but necessary move by the Mayor of Detroit, work has begun in planning the total destruction and re-building of Detroit, this time as a shopping mall, not a city. All 143 square miles of the city will be leveled and work will begin early this fall on the mall, tentatively named the “Motown Mega Mall.”

“We are really excited to finally have a solid future mapped out for our great city,” exclaimed Mayor Dave Bing. “For years we’ve been floundering and the troubles of the city have taken it over. I was elated when a group of businessmen from Goldman Sachs approached us and offered to buy the entire city for almost a quarter what it was worth. It was a great deal.”

When asked what will happen to the million or so hold-out residents who still call Detroit home, a Goldman Sachs spokesperson had this to say, “Oh, we’re just buying the inner city, not the entire Detroit metro area. Those living in the area to be razed will either need to move to outlying areas and stick it out until the thousands of minimum-wage mall jobs become available, or move onto other troubled cities like Chicago and NY, I guess.”

Said the mastermind behind the mall, Dave Munny, founder of I. Gotz Munny, “We have big plans for saving Motown. Unfortunately, or fortunately, however way you look at it, we can’t be everything to everyone. Honestly, when these folks see there are real stores like Abercrombie & Fitch and Macy’s and Saks selling real expensive and nice stuff on the very soil where they once barely made a life for themselves, I think they’ll honestly thank us for making the city lighter and brighter. I also think that if they eventually find jobs, they’ll be able to come home to shop. That is our biggest hope--that folks will come back to Detroit in droves—to shop.”

Plans for the Motown Mega Mall include a 45 square mile new car auto mall adjacent to the shopping mall where all makes and models of GM and Ford cars will be sold. Said Munny, “we thought it appropriate to have a car lot on the site as a reminder to the great citizens of Detroit of what this city once stood for. It’s the least we could do.”

Friday, August 2, 2013

Gang of 70-Year Olds on Mobility Scooters Terrorizing Orlando Tourists

The streets of some of Orlando’s most popular tourist destinations are being randomly terrorized by a gang of septuagenarians on mobility scooters. The gang, calling itself the 7 T’s, has so far escaped the law by ducking into restaurants during early bird special time, removing their gang regalia in the bathrooms, and then ordering meals consisting of 10 oz. ribeyes, a salad, and two sides, all for a portion of what they would pay after 6 p.m.

Eyewitness reports say the gang has equipped its scooters with little black flags emblazoned with the skull and crossbones design and their name, the 7 T’s. While no one has been able to pin down a member of the gang to ask where the name came from, word in local assisted living facilities is that the original seven members of the gang all had first names or nicknames starting with the letter “T” such as Throttle, T-bone and Tats.

The only other criteria for getting into the gang according to anonymous tipsters is that you must be at least 70 years old, own a relatively new personal scooter that can do at least 10 mph and the guts to run down youngsters wearing funny Disney hats. Evidently, the thrill for this gang is seeing young kids in Mickey ears cry when they are forced to drop their Shamu ice cream sticks on the ground.

The Orlando area police departments are asking all residents in the area to be on the lookout for these “Hells Angels Has Beens” as one poster calls them. Meanwhile, retired cops from New York who make their winter home in Orlando have been called in to help round up the gang and bring them to justice. One NY snowbird, a former desk sergeant from Brooklyn named Wayne McDuffy, said this about tracking down the gang, “Weah gonna find deez Joisey jagoffs, awright, if it’s da last ting we do,” and added “So waddah you lookin at?”