Friday, January 30, 2004

Just Like "The Bachelor" — Only Shorter 

Fox to air two-episode dwarf dating/contest show called "The Littlest Groom".

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Packed Up, Stacked Up and Labeled 

With the cacophony of presidential primary campaigning and its attendant media circus mercifully over, the village of Brigadoon, New Hampshire can get back to normal — nonexistent.

BRIGADOON, New Hampshire (Ant Farmer's Almanac Newswire) — As the morning after the New Hampshire primary dawned, workers were already rolling up this little town's sidewalks, literally, disassembling the storefronts along Main Street — the diner, the barbershop, Starbucks — and carefully packing the pieces into storage crates, leaving this 220-acre parcel of land empty and cordoned off until 2008.

Well, 2007, to be exact. "We'll start rebuilding the town again Labor Day weekend before the next primary," says Willis Ryan, construction manager of Brigadoon, and familiar to observant television news viewers as town constable Albert Bingham. "We like to have the place up and running before the ground freezes and make sure everything is in good working order and camera ready before any advance people show up."

If this all sounds a little strange, that's because it is. Sort of. You see, despite the "Welcome to Brigadoon" sign's claim that the village was "est. 1768" this "town" has only been as much of a reality as it is since the late 1960s. "The idea first came up in '64 but we didn't get it together until the '68 primary," says Ryan. "We just backdated the town's founding by exactly 200 years from then. It seemed like a nice touch."

"It started as something of a joke on the national news media and the candidates," Ryan admits. "You know, they barge in and disrupt our lives for one week every four years pretending to give a rat's ass about us, so we decided, 'Hey, right back at ya,' and created a town that exists for only as often as they show up and only for as long as they're in it."

Asked if the candidates or the press are troubled by this elaborate deception, Ryan responds sharply, "Given the megatonnage of crap they unload on us while they're here, putting up a temporary, theme park version of a typical New Hampshire town full of folks willing to stop and listen to whatever BS they're selling this time is more like self-defense than deception."

The scheme seemed risky at first, concedes Ryan, "When a couple of reporters first figured it out in '76 we thought there'd be trouble, but since 1980, with Reagan and all, nobody's even raised an eyebrow. And the candidates love it. They can come and settle in for a few days, which is a big relief for them after schlepping all over Iowa. The media is thrilled because the whole place is so photogenic: Main Street was based on Norman Rockwell paintings but we update it periodically to stay current. There's not a bad camera angle in town. Plus, we've got electrical outlets every ten feet, breakaway walls for tracking shots, excellent acoustics, internet access and the catering is always outstanding — Paul Prudhomme did 1988, Wolfgang Puck '92, Martha Stewart was here in '96, Emeril Lagasse did 2000 and this year we had Nigella Lawson."

And how do the citizens of the Granite State feel about this quadrennial Disneyfication? "Oh, they think it's great," insists Ryan. "It's a useful diversion, like San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, New York's South Street Seaport Museum or Santa Fe, New Mexico," Ryan continues, "It provides a passable facsimile of the real thing intended just for visitors who can't tell the difference — presidential candidates and the media, in our case — while leaving locals free to go about their daily business without the annoying crowds and traffic. We picked this spot because it was so out-of-the-way. Everybody wins, really."

Brigadoon's inhabitants — "Dooners," as they're called — are all volunteers, picked by a lottery system. They must be New Hampshire residents and registered voters to qualify. Most are workers at nearby factory outlet stores for whom the last weeks of January get slow enough that they can afford to take two or three weeks off to shake hands with candidates and cough up folksy, down-to-earth comments for reporters.

"It's like getting called for jury duty," shrugs Roy Bascomb, Brigadoon's municipal snow-plow driver for the past three election cycles, "Except that you don't mind, really; you get to be on TV, and get your picture taken with maybe the next president. It's kind of fun, actually." Dooners also receive a small stipend for their time and can deduct any expenses they incur from their state taxes.

Its "primary purpose" complete, by the time the candidates and media horde have descended upon their next destination, the only trace of Brigadoon will be the very tip-top of the water tower emblazoned with its name, peeking above the tree line and just barely visible from the interstate, three miles away.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Not Available in Stores! 

New product from LKPeteCo!

It Cleans and it Doesn't!

Monday, January 26, 2004

Preview of Coming Attraction! 


In a world full of danger, intrigue and romance, there is one man who is none of these things . . . a man who stands alone . . . because not that many people can stand to be around him for very long . . . A man of mystery — he might be a scientist or he might be a comic book collector; he might be a math teacher or he might be night manager at Blockbuster — but whoever his is, his clothing doesn't match. He's the one they call DORQUE!

DORQUEHe Knows Stuff That You Don't!. . . And he's gonna tell you all about it . . .

In theaters soon.
(This film has not yet been rated.)

Friday, January 23, 2004

Bridge Over Troubled Bong Water 

Garfunkel, Chong Announce Fall 2004 Tour

LOS ANGELES, California (Ant Farmer's Almanac Newswire) — In an effort to capitalize on the publicity generated by his recent arrest for possession of marijuana, representatives of Art Garfunkel have announced that the singer will team up for a tour of the nightclub circuit with fellow cannabis enthusiast comedian Tommy Chong.

Mr. Garfunkel, 62, who was arrested on January 20, near the town of Hurley, New York, hopes to begin touring some time in the fall. Exact dates, venues or even the nature of the act to be performed have yet to be decided, although it is already being called the "Still Smokin' After All These Years" tour. Reliable sources hint that the pair will perform a mix of music and comedy, using the occasion to showcase some of their best-known past work, although they insist it will not be all about nostalgia.

Mr. Chong, 65, is best-remembered as not-the-Mexican-one of the comedy team Cheech and Chong, and is currently serving a nine-month jail sentence for selling marijuana-related paraphernalia over the internet. Scheduled for release in June, he is actively seeking an early parole to allow for more rehearsal time with Garfunkel. To this end, he has updated his and Cheech's famous comedy sketch "Dave's Not Here" into an anti drug, public service message entitled, "Dave Just Said No."

Chong was "Like, totally psyched" about the idea from the start. "Yeah, like I couldn't believe it when I heard that Artie got, you know, busted," said Chong from a pay phone in the visitors area of the Taft Correctional Institution, in California, "Then, when I found out all he got was a summons and a $100 fine, I was like, Shit, man, I gotta move to New York."

As both men are accustom to working as half of a pair and neither has done so well as a solo act, ego clashes shouldn't be much of a problem. Chong's former partner Cheech Marin has gone on to a successful career as a character actor, and Garfunkel's former other half is, of course, Paul Simon with whom he did a much-anticipated series of reunion concerts last summer.

Reached for comment outside his home in Manhattan, Mr. Simon lamented his erstwhile partner's bad timing, saying, "What, he couldn't get busted before our tour and fill some more seats with aging stoners and maybe a few Phish fans... Sheesh, who's advising this guy? No wonder his career tanked after we split up," adding, "Did Zabar's look crowded just now? I don't want to spend all day waiting on line."

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

They'll Know It's the Evil One If It Has a Goatee  

Astronomers Find Sun's Twin

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Crocodile Tears Up Over Steve Irwin's Baby Stunt  

Croc Hunter's Dangling Infant Son in Front of Hungry Croc "Just Wrong" Says Hungry Croc

QUEENSLAND, Australia (Ant Farmer's Almanac Newswire) — The latest voice in the chorus of outrage over TV personality Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin's hand-feeding a hungry crocodile while holding his infant son comes from a surprising source: the hungry crocodile.

"It was just wrong," said the 13-foot-long crocodile known as Tock, interviewed from his pond at Irwin's Australian Zoo Reptile Park. "I mean, there I was, famished, no natural prey around and the guy comes over to me holding a baby — a live baby — and then he goes and gives me a dead chicken! C'mon, that's just cruel. Irwin, of all people, should know that I, like any cold-blooded reptile, would much rather nosh on a live kid than some chicken — and it wasn't even a free-range chicken. Ech, I can still taste the preservatives."

Despite Irwin's numerous public apologies, Tock remains upset. "You just don't pull a trick like that on somebody and expect a simple 'Oh, sorry, mate' to make it all better," he sniffed, "It'll be a while before I completely trust him again."

Although Irwin was unavailable for comment, when asked whether the incident would effect his future at the park, Tock said simply, "If I lose my job over this, there's gonna be a lawsuit."

Friday, January 02, 2004

And Just When It Was Getting Over the Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu 

Tokyo catches disco fever, again

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