Sunday, August 29, 2010

Foreign explorers claim Tranquility Island

Aug 30, 2010 - A hardy band of explorers planted its flag on the point of Tranquility Island last night, claiming the piece of ground for their native country.

Zig Expectoritz, Grand Sufar of the 37-person company, told a local reporter of his group’s flight from Kurdistan to seek religious and political freedom in North America.

“We have heard wondrous tales of this land paved with gold, flowing with honey, where a man and his wives can live in peace and seek prosperity unencumbered by oppressive bureaucracy,” he said.

The emigrants sailed up the Guadalupe River over the summer and “discovered” the unoccupied island last weekend. They have re-christened the island “Kerrdistan,” in honor of their native land, with a nod to local history.

According to real estate legal experts, officials can find no deed for ownership for the island. “It appears they have found a loophole,” said a local attorney. “If their claim holds up, it looks like we have a sovereign nation for a neighbor.”

The invaders wasted little time in establishing their beachhead. They installed foot patrols on the bridge connecting the island to the mainland. At press time, they had turned away a group of sunbathers and deported a family of picnickers. Reports are they are considering asylum for a transient who washed up on their north shore.

“We want to be cooperative neighbors to our friends in Kerrville,” Expectoritz said. “But also know that we expect to enforce our borders.”

In reaction to the news, a popular theme park has announced it will change its name to Seven Flags Over Texas.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Local park to grow medicinal marijuana

The Kerrville-Schreiner Park has accepted a contract to raise medical marijuana at its 500-acre facility at Highway 173 and Loop 534.

“This will really help address our ongoing budget issues,” said the Public Works Director. “It’s no secret we have had some challenges meeting rising costs. This new revenue stream should give our staff some breathing space.”

The budget committee has already factored in the expected increase in revenues. Next year’s budget includes funds to upgrade its 23 cabins to condominiums, add a fleet of Hummers for use by campers, and install a PGA level golf course.

“We are also considering opening a section of the planting area for a ‘pick your own’ area where the public can come in and fill their own baggies. We are pretty sure this will lead to an increase in attendance.”

A spokesman for The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws seemed “tickled” when he learned they would be adding another community to their network of places recognizing the demand for medicinal marijuana.

“Ummm.... cool...” the spokesman giggled.

The locally harvested marijuana will be processed and sold at a retail location in Kerrville. Directors are looking at properties adjacent to Clark’s Bakery or Rita’s Tacos.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Center Point students confused by “fencing” class

Aug 24, 2010 - Back-to-school for Center Point high school students did not go as smoothly as adminstrators had hoped due to a misunderstanding in the titles of courses.

This fall for the first time,  high school students had an opportunity to sign up for a new intramural sport - fencing.

At first, administrators thought they had hit a home run. “We looked out on registration day and there was a line around the gym of students waiting to enroll in the new P.E. fencing class,” said an athletic department spokesman. “We were surprised and gratified to discover there was so much apparent interest in this ancient sport.”

The line quickly dissipated when students learned the new class had nothing to do with building fence.

“I signed up for fencing because my pa wanted me to learn a trade,” said sophomore Billy Bob Baggins. “I didn’t know it was all about fighting with rebar.”

Another student said goodbye to plans for a summer job repairing fences for area ranchers. “Barbed wire is the only sharp thing I want to work with. Heck, if I get in a fight, I’ll use my 12-gauge.”

As administrators explained the misconception to students, many walked away in disgust.

“Shoot,” said one senior boy. “I thought finally the school was going to teach a class that had practical use. But come to find out it’s just a bunch of girls in tights jumping around and poking little sticks at each other.” The student paused, then turned back to the registration table. “Well, maybe I’ll give it one semester.”

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Y.O. Hotel sign reinstalled backwards

Aug 23, 2010 - Travelers taking the Kerrville Exit 508 along Texas Interstate 10 who are used to seeing the familiar Y.O. Ranch sign at the famous hotel will instead be greeted with the Yiddish exclamation of “OY!”

The new message is due to workmen reinstalling the familiar hotel logo backwards this weekend.

The landmark sign was removed earlier in the year for cleaning and refurbishing after 30 years of use at the gateway hotel. Following a debate with the city about whether the sign could be reinstalled due to changes in Kerrville’s sign ordinance, the way was cleared under the grandfather clause.

Apparently the sign was installed backwards by an out of town work crew unfamiliar with Texas brands and customs.

“We think the problem happened because low bid on this job came from a New York firm,” said a city staffer. “I understand that in that part of the world, ‘oy’ is a common expression of chagrin or exasperation. It’s an understandable mistake... and kind of appropriate, when you think about it.”

Residents discovered the new Yiddish greeting as they drove into work on Monday morning. Most took it in stride. “I assumed it was a commentary from the Jewish community on the appearance of the 7-story cross across the highway,” said one customer at McDonalds. Another commented, “I kind of like it... it adds an interdenominational flavor to our little city.”

Owners of the hotel indicated they may leave the backwards Y.O. in place for a while. “As word has spread about this, we’ve had an unexpected surge in bookings from Florida,” the manager explained. “We’ll probably leave the ‘OY’ up there at least through Hanukkah.”

Across town, another Kerrville hotel is experiencing a similar increase in business following a sign painter’s error making them “Sinn of the Hills.”

Friday, August 20, 2010

TEA declares all high school girls will be cheerleaders

Aug 20, 2010 - In a ruling just in time for back to school, the Commissioner of Education has declared that all female high school students will automatically be placed on the cheerleading squad.

“We have seen more and more stress and violence related to joining the school cheerleading squads,” said a department spokesman. “Many schools have dealt with this issue by enlarging the sizes of their squads, thereby allowing more student-cheerleaders to participate. This has helped, but we wanted to extend the ‘right to cheer’ to every Texas school girl.”

So far the new ruling is being well-received by local school administrators.

“This might help,” said Bruce Madden, principal at Odessa Cactus High School. “Every year it gets harder to find a teacher willing to become cheer sponsor. If the issue of selecting cheerleaders is removed, we may have more interest.”

During a pilot program run last year in the Cactus school district, the open cheer squad concept seems to have worked.

“Other than having more cheerleaders than spectators at several non-district games, I saw no problems,” Madden said. “We did need more uniforms, but our new Cheer Booster club is handling that.”

A few students have questioned the all-inclusion policy. “I don’t wanna be a cheerleader,” said junior Beth Labronski. “I think cheering is dumb, demeaning, and a waste of time.”

Unfortunately for students such as Labronski, there is no procedure for opting out of cheering.

“This is all or nothing,” said Madden. “Unless you are in a wheelchair or a burka, we want to see you out there doing flips and supporting the team.”

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hormel to build slaughterhouse at Ground Zero

August 19, 2010 - Corporate giant Hormel Foods has submitted plans to build a meat-packing plant near Ground Zero in New York City. The 119-year-old food company hopes to move all of its Northeast pork production business to the downtown site.

“We looked at our distribution lines for the northeast sector, and concluded the New York location would serve that area most efficiently,” said a spokesman for the Minnesota based company. “Some of our biggest pork consumers live in the greater New York area. Since those towers are gone, this site offered lots of room for expansion, besides being centrally located.”

Market analysts were quick to point out there is no suitable local supply of swine to justify building the processing plant. Hormel addressed that issue, sharing a proposal to add a confinement hog facility adjacent to its packing plant that would produce over 100,000 hogs annually.

New York state representatives immediately expressed concern and alarm, noting that the confinement facility and packing plant would abut the proposed “Ground Zero” mosque on three sides.

“The United States is a large country,” a press statement said. “Hormel has the freedom to build their plant anywhere - why must they place it so near to holy ground? This is an attack on religious freedom - but more important, it goes against common sense.”

Followers of Islam believe that pork is unfit for human consumption. “Pork is sin and sickness,” said one Islamic web site. “Pig eats almost anything dirty and they are very lazy animals. Pimples, boils, cysts are common in pork eaters.”

Vince Farley, a truck driver for Hormel, voiced a different opinion. “Barbecued pork is the food of the gods... or at least Alabamans,” he said. “And biting into a juicy hunk of grilled Spam is a holy experience, I don’t care which way your ass points when you pray.”

In recent weeks, the area surrounding Ground Zero has become a commercial real estate bonanza. Other businesses submitting bids on lots include a liquor warehouse, massage parlor, and nativity scene manufacturer.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

County considering canceling stock show

Human interaction cited as hazard to swine

August 16, 2010 - Representatives of the Texas Agricultural Extension Service have announced they are considering canceling all county stock shows scheduled for the upcoming season.

Fears of a resurgence in the so-called swine flu are behind the decision, according to a department spokesperson.

“We are afraid visitors to these stock shows will spread this disease to our pigs and hogs,” he said. “This livestock is way too valuable to our economy to risk them contracting any diseases from humans.”

Representatives of livestock concerns and local veterinarians note that the issue is the general public’s close proximity to the penned animals during these shows. Often, people are seen coughing and sneezing directly into the faces of hogs.

Stock show organizers are considering issuing face masks to all swine entered in stock shows, but the local chapter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals considers this “cruel and unflattering” punishment. Instead, humans will be asked to don haz-mat suits before entering the show arenas.

“We understand this will be a bit of a nuisance,” said one county ag official. “But we just can’t risk upsetting the health of our pigs.” He added, “Really, it’s a small price to pay to keep them healthy and happy until we slaughter and turn them into delicious smoked bacon and thick-cut pork chops.”

In other agricultural news, researchers at Iowa State University have discovered that mad cow disease may originally have been transmitted to the animals from interactions with politicians campaigning at county fairs.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Camels returning to Hill Country

Aug 12, 2010 - The U.S. Agricultural Research Station has received federal funding to reestablish camels in the Texas hill country.

As history buffs know, camels thrived in the central Texas region as recently as the Civil War, when they were used by the northern army to caravan supplies across the harsh west Texas desert. After the war the animals gradually disappeared, hunted to extinction for their humps and prominent front teeth, which reputedly had aphrodisiac qualities.

Zoologists have been breeding a base herd in San Antonio, using camels brought in from northern Morocco. Scientists have been successful in re-introducing original Texas camel DNA, acquired from artifacts sold at the Camp Verde General Store.

“We are very gratified to be able to restore a part of Texas history by reintroducing the camel,” said Dr. Om E. Dary, Chief Camel Breeder. “We look forward to the day the camel takes back its rightful place in the Texas pantheon of legendary creatures, right next to the Longhorn, the Horned Toad, and the Snowbird.”

The camel is known for its hardiness, its affinity for cactus, and its ability to live for long periods of time on little water, all qualities well suited to the Texas climate. Authorities are hopeful the herd will grow fast enough to re-open the traditional camel hunting season.

In other agricultural news, the Hill Country Master Gardeners have announced new workshops on establishing “camel proof” landscaping.

Monday, August 9, 2010

EPA declares cedar endangered species

August 1, 2010 - The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that Juniperus communis - known locally as mountain cedar - has been placed on the endangered species list.

According to a lead spokesperson for the agency, this designation means that the plant will enjoy protection from destruction. The ruling caught most local landowners by surprise.

“They did what!?” asked rancher Peter Stout. “The only good cedar is a dead cedar, preferably smoldering in a pile... right under the mesquite and cat claw.”

When pressed as to why the agency decided to add the vilified tree to the endangered list, the federal spokesman pointed to the severe shortage of the plant in downtown San Francisco, where the cedar is popular in the Japanese horticultural art of bonsai gardening.

Stout remained incredulous. “That worthless tree now has more liberty and freedom than most U.S. citizens! Even its middle name is communis.”

The ruling goes into effect the first of next month.

In other news, local ag supply stores have reported an unseasonally high demand for isopropylamine salt of glyphosate.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Future executive orders to be in haiku

Washington, D.C., Aug 9, 2010 - In a new approach to political outreach, Daniel Kahikina Akaka, U.S. Senator from Hawaii, has submitted a bill requiring all executive orders to be released in haiku.

As any non-athlete that sat through English class knows, a haiku is a non-rhymed verse in which there are 5 syllables in the first sentence, 7 in the second and 5 again in the last sentence. The bill calls for “any executive order issued after the first of the year to be written in the accepted form of three lines, in the pattern of 5 - 7 - 5.”

“We felt this would be an effective way to staunch the flow of verbose declarations pouring out of every White House,” the former school teacher said. “And if haiku was good enough for the Japanese Imperial Court, it should be good enough for any President of the United States.”

Senator Akaka added that he is working on a bill calling for legislators to diagram every sentence in all future legislation.

In a response earlier today, the White House issued a terse statement:

This is really bad
It is really really bad
It sucks really bad

Saturday, August 7, 2010

League of Women Voters to deny male suffrage

August 7, 2010 - The League of Women Voters has proposed a ballot initiative to take the vote away from men.

“Men have had the vote since their great great great grandpas dropped black balls into a top hat,” said Ann Bland, spokeswoman for the local affiliate. “And look what that has gotten us - unemployment, deficits, high taxes, and those ugly pictures on driver’s licenses. We think it’s time to let the women clean up both Houses.”

Bland sits on the committee that is drawing up wording for the 28th Amendment, calling for the disenfranchisement of male voters.

“The 19th amendment allowed women’s suffrage,” Bland said. “Well, this amendment will show men the real meaning of the word ‘suffrage.’”

Response from local males was brisk and angry. “Just let them try,” said Paul C. Comitatus, parlimentarian of a local fraternal organization. “Me and my friends have been voting all our lives, some of us even longer, and no woman is going to pull our hands out of those boxes.”

The initiative will appear in a special election at the end of the month. Voting sites have been set up at Renee’s Hair Shoppe, La Leche League, and Soon Lee’s Nail Salon.

Comitatus was unapologetic for his vocal opposition. “What else would you expect from a group that named itself the League of Women Voters? I would never let my wife join a group like that, even if I had a wife.”

Legal pundits predict a lengthy court battle over the proposed amendment.

“The language itself should stand up to court scrutiny,” said one local attorney. “But any attempt to codify the difference between a man and a woman - especially these days - leaves the court open to a lawsuit and years of jokes on the late night shows.”

In related news, members of the Alliance for an Androgynous America were evenly divided in their support for the proposal.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ministerial Alliance backs gay marriage

August 5, 2010 - In an unexpected move, the Greater Guadalupe Ministerial Alliance has come out in support of the California judge that reversed the proposition banning gay marriage.

Minister Will B. Dunne read the statement in front of the U-Store-It unit used as the meeting place of the Unitarian Universalists. “In brotherhood with all those seeking more positive relationships in their work and in their lives, we stand behind everyone who supports gayer marriages.”

Dunne went on to say, “You really have to get behind the people pushing this movement. When you see the suffering and sadness rampant in the world today, how can anyone be opposed to more gaiety and spontaneity in any relationship? Seeking a spouse is like finding an employee: you can always teach aptitude, but you marry attitude.”

In addition to gayfulness, the letter also called for marriages to exhibit more joyfulness, cheerfulness, and lightheartedness.

“If I could wave a magic wand like Harry Potter," said the minister, "I would make each and every one of us more gay. That simple attitude adjustment would ensure the future of the human race will be brighter and more positive.”

In other news, the Texas Music Educators Association has voted to remove the word “ritard” from all sheet music.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Schreiner Department Store to house VA Homeless Shelter

by Nick Bottom, Special Correspondent to NNN

Photo: Bunks are being set up on 2nd floor of old Schreiner Department Store building.

KERRVILLE Aug 3, 2010 - What used to house shoes and dresses will now see rows of bunks and footlockers, as homeless veterans and their families move into the old Schreiner Department Store building at the corner of Water and Earl Garrett streets in downtown Kerrville.

The project is part of the Veterans Administration Medical System's planned homeless shelter, which has been much in the local news lately, with letters appearing in newspapers both for and against the proposal. A spokesman for the VA said that now that the shelter has moved from the VA Hospital campus to the downtown area, "most of the criticism will probably evaporate."

"We took a lot of heat when we proposed building the homeless shelter way out here next to our hospital. That's when we realized people wanted the shelter right downtown. It's hard to understand how we missed this obvious desire on behalf of the citizens of Kerrville."

When the Peterson Regional Medical Center moved across the river, the hole it left in downtown was more than bricks and mortar. The hundreds of people who worked each day in the old hospital were suddenly gone. Restaurants noticed the drop-off in traffic, and several retail shops which catered to the hospital employees and visitors have closed.

The owners of the building are happy to find a good long-term tenant. "The federal government is always a good renter. They pay on time and they seldom move away. We're hoping they'll expand the program to the land being cleared by the demolition of the old hospital."

The new project is a “win-win" according to store owners. “Not only will this project provide much needed housing for these individuals, but our downtown area will once again have a lot of foot traffic.”

Monday, August 2, 2010

Von Manchester Makes “Determination,” Signs With Derbyshire

By Al E. Hoop, International Sports Correspondent, NotNewz Network

[Editor's Note: The Not Newz Network (NNN) is expanding its coverage with the addition of Special Newz Correspondents.]

July 29, 2010 - Another landmark in sports television history occurred last night as famed cricket batsman Reginald von Manchester announced his intention to sign a long-term contract with Derbyshire Consolidated, spurning efforts from his hometown Rotherham Herons to resign him.

Speaking live in a program dubbed “The Determination” to dozens of faithful viewers across the world watching on Cricket Sports 1 (CS1), von Manchester said he felt compelled to leave Rotherham in order to secure the greatest chance to win the Keith Richards Cup, awarded annually to the top cricket squad in the United Cricket Alliance (UCA).

“I am going to take my abilities to the East Midlands,” von Manchester told CS1 reporter Ace Pitchley. “After much thought and discussion with my dear papa, I have determined that Derbyshire will allow me the greatest opportunity to win several Richards Cups.”

The two-and-a-half time winner of the King George I Trophy, awarded twice annually to the top individual batsman in the UCA, will join an elite-level player in Derbyshire bowler Frederick Burgeron, who has enjoyed two Richards Cup wins after moving to the UCA from the Quebec League of Cricket three seasons ago.

“I personally cannot wait for Reginald (von Manchester) to join Derbyshire,” Burgeron was quoted as saying in the Derbyshire Times-New Roman. “Knowing that a batsman the likes of him needs to join me in order for Richards Cup success is a great personal achievement.”

Also joining the Derbyshire Consolidated squad will be batsman Harry Back, whose talents led the Normandy Squires to several near-playoff appearances.

Meanwhile in Rotherham, Herons fans have not taken kindly to the news, with Rotherham team owner Alexis Van Der Steen sending out several explicative-laced messages via Twitter.

“I cannot believe that good-for-nothing so-and-so left. That tweedle-dum can go jump in a lake as far as I’m concerned,” Van Der Steen tweeted in his most obscene message.

This morning, the Rotherham Herons held a press conference to announce their pursuit of the Nerdlucks from Space Jam, hoping to teach them the game of cricket.