Monday, December 25, 2006

Brown Socks

This story is a part of the Spec the Halls contest for speculative winter holiday-themed fiction, artwork, and poetry. You may find descriptions of and links to other entries at

It was Christmas morning when I decided to kill Santa. He brought me socks again, you see. And they’re brown socks, as if being socks isn’t bad enough already. My sister got exactly what she wanted - a Barbie doll with a pink corvette. Yes, she stuck it in my face before the wrapping was all of the way off. “See what I got from Santa?,” she said. “What did you get, Brian? Huh? What did you get, huh, huh?” I held up my brown socks. The pink corvette flew by them like an airplane. Left behind in its exhaust were my brown, ugly ass socks.

Mom and Dad say I shouldn’t say such words. Profanity is not fitting for an 8 year old boy, my mom says. Neither is murder, I’d assume. But you can bet your ass I’ll kill that damn Santa for bringing me those ugly brown socks.

A burning rage welled up in me that morning. All day I thought and dreamed about the death of Santa. I planned my strategy, plotted the murder. My first instinct was to stab him. His bleeding skin would match nicely with his red suit and his reindeer’s red nose. But that would be too messy. Mom would get mad if I got blood on the carpet. So then I thought Santa should eat a bullet. Dad had taught me to fire his shotgun a year ago. I could stick the shotgun up the chimney as Santa’s coming down, then light the fireplace to destroy the evidence.

Perfect. At Santa’s ninth hour. I’d sleep on the couch, handy shotgun by my side and listen for his sleigh on the roof. Surely his jolly self would startle me awake. But what if my aim was bad? Or worse yet, what if he armed himself? You couldn’t be too careful sneaking into strangers houses in the middle of the night. I needed a backup plan. Then it hit me. Rat poison in the cookies. Mom always had a box of D-con lying about somewhere. I could stick a few of those green pellets in the middle of some Oreo cookies. And if Santa pulled a gun on me, I could lull him to his fateful death with milk and cookies.

The year flew by. Soon it was Christmas Eve of the following year. Sleepily waiting on the couch, I was startled by every noise. I checked three times to see if I’d loaded the gun, which I had. The night progressed, and the noises continued. “Probably mice,” I thought aloud as I looked at the cookies on the table beside me. I’d taken all their D-con.

Another bump, and my heart raced. I heard footsteps on the stairs.

“Brian, what are you doing up?!” My mom’s words echoed off the walls and I worried she’s scare away Santa. I jumped up, the gun toppling off my lap.

“I was hungry,” I quickly lied, and she noticed the rifle. Her mouth opened wide. “I was scared of burglars,” I said.

Just then Santa started down the stairs, which were nowhere near the chimney, and he said to my mother in a voice much like Dad’s, “What’s he doing up?”

“Hold it right there!” I raised the gun, pointing it towards his head. Dropping his bag of presents, his mouth dropped open. When it did, his beard began falling off.

“Brian, it’s me. It’s your dad. Put the gun down!” He pulled the beard all the way off, and his red hat off his head. What my father was doing in a Santa costume I’ll never know, but sure enough, it was him.

I put the gun down, as my mother muttered again and again, “You’re in so much trouble.”

Dad came over and unloaded the gun, then grabbed me by the shoulders. “What were you thinking!” he yelled, bullets in his palm. I was utterly humiliated. I looked to the presents that had fallen down the stairs. Brown socks peeked out of an opened box that had my name on it. “What do you have to say for yourself?” Dad was asking.

“Dad,” I said sincerely, and waited.

“Yes son?”

“Have a cookie.”

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Police Thief Still Chief

Questions linger about local charity and Chief's webbed feet...

For most people in Broken Springs, Christmas means many things. It’s the time of year to spread holiday cheer, or at least refrain from killing those who almost run you down at Walmart. It’s a time of giving instead of not giving a damn, and it’s a time when every house has a surplus of chocolate and sugar coated candies, usually stuffed in tiny stockings and given as last minute gifts. But for many in our fair city, Christmas is also a time to donate to a local well known charity run by a local well known ordinary Joe, only his name ain’t Joe and it turns out he ain‘t so ordinary. The charity is Operation Christmas Care Bear and the Ordinary Joe is Police Chief Jim Kingston.

Unfortunately for those few generous Broken Springers with an IQ in the triple digits, if their charitable donation to Operation Christmas Care Bear is just a ploy for a tax deduction during America’s second favorite holiday, Tax Day, the news that everyone’s favorite charity isn’t legal might come as a shock, especially if you file long form. But reality is often stranger than fiction, even clever satirical fiction dreamt up by a local Gonzo wannabe.

Just why isn’t Christmas Care Bear registered with the state of Michigan as a legal charity? According to Kingston’s unbiased pro-bono (and anti-Cher) lawyer, Bill Marcus, the charity is in the process of registration that has so far taken approximately twenty years. “We had our information on file when Lansing introduced their new state of the art Commodore 64 computer system. Then we were requested to resend our tax information so they could transfer it to 5 ½ inch floppy disk. Next thing you know, they were using 3 inch hard floppies, then CDs and now they’re asking us to send in either a flash drive or a link to our myspace profile,” explains Marcus. “Jim’s charity has always been very informal because no Broken County employee above the age of 16 can even type using all their fingers, let alone set up a myspace profile. So the process of registration has been a lengthy one.”

Others in the community question the ethical code of a Police Chief who’s gotten his hand caught a few too many times in the cookie jar. “I’m not saying he’s a thief but he’s tried to cash checks that were not his to cash,” says Broken Springs village leader Robert Boob. “Then there was that one time all that Senior Bingo money came up missing and Jim’s department came up empty in their investigation. But come on, where’d he get that new Corvette?

Kingston defenders insist it was a Pinto and not a Corvette.

“I’m just saying, if it talks like a duck and it walks like a duck, then it damn sure ain’t no chicken,” summed up Kingston‘s loudest critic. When asked if he was calling the Chief a duck, Boob answered, “If the quack fits.”

Chief Mallard could not be reached for comment.

Whether or not Christmas Care Bear gets registered, one thing is for certain. Chief Kingston could sure use a decoy.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Police Committee Meeting

Since there is no longer a Police Commission, meetings are now informally held at ten in the morning on the second Monday of each month. Why they chose this time is beyond me, but I’m cool with it because it doesn’t interfere with my pool league. As a result of the split, the women of the former Commission are no longer allowed to sit at the front table, although they‘re still unfortunately allowed in the door. Curly Headed Sandy’s spot at the front table was taken by the new Police Committee Attorney, Bob Grandluff, who doesn’t dress nearly as stylishly as former Commission Attorney, Charlie Amnesia. But to his credit, he also didn’t show up late. In Jan Chaddwick’s chair there remained only the imprint of her butt cheeks from the last meeting. That sight alone was worth getting up early for.

There are new rules, as well. The new Committee isn’t allowed to vote. Their job is merely to recommend proposals to the Township Board based on informal discussions. With this in mind, they recommend that the Township Board accept the financial statement and Chief’s Report.

They look over the budget and someone asks why our tire expense is so high. We buy tires 16-20 at a time, particular during the winter, insists Chief Kingston. We go through more rubber than Bill Clinton in a whorehouse. Our tire budget is second only to the Daytona 500.

We’ve had transmission problems in cars 4 and 5, which means that they can’t communicate with their crew chief or the pit crew.

Criminal activity is up on the barren streets of Broken Springs. Holiday season is among us. And what better way to spell out the Christmas spirit than with rampant crime?

As requested, Chief Kingston has gotten the price for two new cars. The good thing about new cars is they come with four brand spanking new tires. But the bad thing about new cars is they cost between 18,000 and 18,800. That’s about forty five hundred a tire, if I can trust my Broken Springs math. Tack on mirrors and police equipment (not to mention an awesome stereo), 19,500. Safety of the officer is at stake, since the car is their main tool, at least according to the head officer.

There are 145,000 miles on car #5. No wonder Kyle Busch cannot win a race. Bob Frugal asks if that’s the time a car needs replacing. The Chief says 80-90,000 is the ideal time to replace a car. He says you can get an old car refurbished so it’s like new for 13 grand, but that makes no sense when you can buy a new one for 18.

In other words, saving five thousand dollars makes no sense to Kingston. He obviously went to Broken Springs Schools too.

In the past a squad car was replaced each and every year but they stopped that because they were worried that the millage wouldn’t pass.

Ernie Hildecrust says they should wait and see. They table the proposal to buy two new cars. Not to be outdone, Jim Kingston then asks for one car.

The Committee says it must first wait to see how messy the divorce from the Village is.

We can afford, however, a new computer for Diane McDonald with which she can read the current issue of News from Broken Springs. Cost: $800.

There’ve been several instances of paintball damage around town, and police have a possible suspect in mind who drives a Grand Prix. You hear that, Paintball Thug? Time to switch cars. I don’t recommend Chevy Impalas, as they tend to have transmission and brake problems.

There was a close call on a front porch where a paintball came 12 inches from an elderly lady’s head. That explains her blue hair.

Officers have been extremely busy with drug busts as well. Heroin and Crack have been on the rise. Kingston even tells us where the loot is: in the Meadow Lane, Dogwood area.

There have also been lots of frauds, illegal lotteries, and scams. But enough about Christmas Care Bear…

Phil Ruse asks why our cops are going to other townships without compensation. For instance, we went fourteen times to St. Joe. I couldn’t hear all of this conversation over Curly Headed Sandy’s grumbling from the crowd but I did catch Kingston say that we’re not necessarily going there looking for crime, just coming across crime in those areas. It’s just a matter of being in the wrong place at the right time, which happens to us all the time.

Bonii Didjaseedat asks from the crowd whether or not any officer was involved in transporting Jeremiah Narc to his second polygraph test. Kingston reworded her question before answering, in the negative. When pressed on whether or not he’d transported Narc, he said yes, but only because he was on duty at the time, and only because he and the Prosecuting Attorney intimately discussed the matter and decided that it’d be in the entire family’s best interest for the alleged child molester to take another - preferably easier - polygraph examination. This was in an effort to leave no stone unturned in their investigation, which is now closed, by the way.

Bonii also insists that she’s seen and videotaped police cars at a bakery out of their jurisdiction. Kingston insists that his officers can’t stave off their constant craving for jelly filled doughnuts and must occasionally stop for their own safety. Curly Headed Sandy, from her comfy seat in the audience, lets the committee know that she doesn’t have a problem with our officers wasting taxpayer time and money to binge on Krispy Kremes and hot dogs.

Meeting adjourned.
Good thing too because I really wanted to go back to bed.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Santa Coming to Coyote’s Bar and Grille

On Friday, December 15th, Santa and his servant elves will drop into Broken Springs, according to a press release from the North Pole. According to the Top Secret Yuletide Memo, Santa himself will be unable to attend the event, due to an unforeseen outbreak of gonorrhea. But a Santa replacement will be on hand to sit in for Big Red. This year that honor goes to local national Dr. Phil celebrity, Jeremiah Narc. From 4 to 7, any area children will be able to sit on his lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. Area kids will also be able to get their mug shot taken with him and for an extra ten dollar charitable donation to Chief Kingston’s Christmas Care Bear Foundation, local parents can buy a trip for their offspring in Santa’s sled, which is currently Jeremiah’s uninsured rusty green Ford Bronco with expired license plate tags.

“Just remember Christmas Care Bear is not yet officially registered with the state, so claim the donations on your taxes at your own risk,” reminded Kingston.

“It’s sure to be a festive event,” said Coyote’s owner Roger ‘the Codger’ Jones. “Jeremiah will make a great Santa because he loves kids. No one can argue with that. If anything, he loves them too much, especially that daughter of his.”

When asked if his wife will be dressed as Mrs. Claus, Jeremiah said he’d recently caught her having an affair with one of the elves. Her attendance is unlikely, unless she can figure out how to untie herself from the stove.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Potent and Impotent

Wow… Broken Springs is now famous. Thanks to Dr. Phil, the random googler searching our fair city will now suspect that we’re all a bunch of white trash perverts. Is it true that Michael Jackson has bought property here?

I want to thank the many people who have approached me and/or my family about these silly articles I write. It means a lot to me that I can bring a smile to your face in the midst of dreary reality. The way I see it is Broken Springers have earned the comic relief.

I’d like to give literative fellatio to Township Supervisor Ernie Hildecrust for finally growing a pair in regards to the Police Commission. For too long we’ve spoiled the Village with double representation. Make them grovel, Ernimator. That’s what they get for playing the safety card.

Winter is almost here and haven’t we all missed it? I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m looking forward to seeing that huge pile of plowed snow across the street from the Post Office. There’s nothing that screams Broken Springs more than a humongous eyesore that obstructs your intersection visibility.

I’m all for practicality, so here are some useful tips that can be applied any time of the year:

1. If you are choking on an ice cube, don't panic. Simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat and presto! The blockage will be almost
instantly removed.

2. Clumsy? Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away. I recommend our Mayor.

3. Avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat toilet by simply using the sink. You also save money by not flushing.

4. For high blood pressure blood sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use a timer.

5. A mouse trap, strategically placed on top of your alarm clock , will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives, then you'll be too afraid to cough.

7. Have a bad toothache? Smash your thumb with a hammer and you’re guaranteed to forget all about the toothache.

8. You only need two tools in life - WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

9. Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

10. Never pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom.

Until next time,
Downward and backwards…

Friday, December 01, 2006

Worst police dog in the world.

Pluto the police dog is useless. His handler is pretty poor too(with all respect).

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Shocking Break Up! Township Dumps Village

Forget Britney and K-Fed… this is the real matrimonial meltdown

After thirty five years of serious courting, the Broken Springs Village Council and the Onoyoko Township Board have decided to sever all ties. The divorce was finalized at Tuesday night’s Township Board meeting, but the rocky relationship fell into the sewer many years ago.

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” says Township Supervisor Ernie Hildecrust. “But I was getting tired the constant nagging and all of the arguments. Sure, the makeup sex was nice, but a healthy relationship needs love and respect as its foundation, not a box of Trojan XLs and a bottle of Viagra,” added the feisty old coot.

Sources close to the couple insist finances also played a factor in the split.

“Every relationship is a learning experience,” commented Township representative Bob Frugal. “This one taught me that the key to compatibility is separate bank accounts.”

Among the many disagreements between the two municipalities, the biggest was the amount of allowance to give the Commission’s often controversial and rebellious offspring, the Broken Springs Police Department. With the breakup, the Township will likely retain custody of the Department, but insiders say that ugly legal custody battles are expected.

“The Village Council believes money grows on trees, and I’m here to tell you if it did, I’d own a nursery,” said trustee Dorothy Hildecrust (no relation). “The Village never had to be the primary breadwinners of this family. Every time we turned around, they wanted more money for something else. Tasers, new cars, elevator shoes, Kevlar vests, even a new family drug dog. We always footed the bill. They (the Village Council) don’t know how to tighten their belt because they’ve never even had to wear a belt. We’ve been spoiling them with bigger pants and elastic waistbands.”

The final nail in the coffin for the three decade old union came last week when the Township tried to reschedule a date with the Village. The Village thought they were being stood up and got a little loose lipped after a few too many Coronas at Coyote’s Watering Hole Friday night. By the next morning, the local media ran the slanderous gossip as front page news. As the Township sipped its morning coffee and read the newspaper, it decided to end it once and for all.

The drastic news came as a shock to followers who thought the Township and Village would be together forever. The coupling was blissful in its early stages, even culminating at one point to mutual heart shaped tattoos. Passersby can still see the etching in the tree bark at Weather Park behind the Township Hall: OT Heart VC. But nothing is forever, and they couldn’t pass the test of time. But thirty five years together is still nothing to shake a stick at, insists those who believe that fate will bring them back together.

After the announcement Tuesday night, the Village’s Bestest Friend Forever, Gordo Davis begged and pleaded for the Board to give the Council one last chance to make things right. But the Township would hear none of it.

As of this publication, the rumor that the Township is wooing the Sheriff’s Department for its next long term commitment is unconfirmed.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Local Man Cleared by Police Chief

A local man accused of sexually molesting his toddler daughter was recently cleared by the local police after being thrown to the wolves on last week’s nationally syndicated Dr. Bill talk show. Jeremiah Narc was given full custody of not only his daughter, but his ex-girlfriend’s twelve other children in a ruling made by Judge Babs Ragginmore. The ruling came as a complete shock to the mother, her family and friends, and nearly 300 million other people nationwide. But one person who was not surprised was Broken Springs Police Chief Jim Kingston.

On last week's show, Dr. Bill assured Jeremiah that the polygraph test could be done in his hometown and thus be completely fair. And if there's any one name synonymous with fair, it's Jim Kingston.

“There are two sides to every story. I’m just happy I could assist in administering justice,” Kingston said before a crowded press conference held in front of the Village Hall. “Mr. Narc is a nice young man unfairly accused. I’m only relieved I helped clear his good name before Oprah got ahold of him.”

Jeremiah’s story was broadcast nation-wide last week after his daughter’s troublemaker grandmother sent the Dr. Bill show tapes of the girl saying he touched her “PP.” Narc, all along, claimed his innocence, insisting that the only PP he ever touched was his daughter’s Pink Panther stuffed toy. Furthermore he insists that Pink Panther enjoyed every minute of it.

“I don’t like to brag but,” said Jeremiah standing alongside Kingston, “I have quite a reputation with the ladies.”

“Ahem,” interrupted the protective Police Chief before Jeremiah could continue, “Mr. Narc was cleared of all possible wrongdoing when he passed a polygraph test administered by myself and other unbiased women haters in our department.”

When pressed by spectators and local media about the nature of the polygraph test, Kingston displayed photographs of Jeremiah and the machinery used to determine his innocence.

“But that looks like nothing more than a Bionic Ear,” yelled out Channel 22 News.

“And why does the suspect have a colander on his head?” inquired WNDU.

Kingston was adamant that the instrumentation used was all state of the art, modern technology. “We’re on the cutting edge of science here, folks. This ain’t no Mayberry. The headphones are used to pick up on the person’s heartbeat. The cylindrical disc is used to amplify those heart palpitations that occur when a person is lying. The binoculars are used to pinpoint any suspicious sweating. The cranial device is used to notice electrode activity in a person’s brain waves. In Jeremiah’s case, we couldn’t pick up any brain waves, let alone suspicious electrode activity. This machinery is about as up to snuff as you can get for our minimal police budget.”

“How can you be sure?” inquired a man in the back who was quickly beaten to the floor with his own cane.

Chief Kingston answered, “I’m absolutely positive because I had it tested on me first.”

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Voter Guide

Today is election day, and if you’re anything like me (let’s hope not) you’ll be whistling over your morning breakfast at the thought of taking part in the wonderful democratic practice. Election day is my Superbowl Sunday. Every first Tuesday in November I’m like a baby in a titty bar. And if you think about it, it’s a lot like legalized gambling. Only you can’t win money… just good policies. And you can’t really lose anything that you haven’t already lost. At least not immediately. I mean other than your soul... but who needs a soul?

Our very own Journalistic Error had a “Voter Guide” enclosed this week, assuring that those of us too stupid to make up out own minds could still take part in the democratic process. Because I know that a lot of people are guilted into voting, I’m here to offer my help as well. Here are some things to keep in mind when you cast your ballots today. And because this is a satirical publication, some of the following will fly in the face of truth and reality just for a giggle. For your benefit, those statements will be in red.

In the race for Governor of Michigan, we have ex-Hollywood starlot, incumbent Democrat Jennifer Granholm verses that anti-public school, beady eyed, filthy rich Amway Republican, Dick DeVos. A lot of people have criticized Granholm because Michigan’s economy is the worst in the nation, right behind Cuba. But Granholm defenders will argue that she inherited the biggest deficit in the history of civilization and four years with an obstructionist Republican legislature isn’t even enough time to air out the stench Engler left in the State Capitol’s bathroom, let alone balance the books. Some people insist Dick would be a good governor because he’s an effective businessman. He’d lead Michigan out of the red and into the black even if it meant outsourcing all of our jobs to China while Jennifer would just gripe about unfair trade agreements. Some people think Dick would just be another self serving politician and if there’s one thing we don’t need, it’s another dick in politics. Some people will vote against Granholm because of her strategically placed mole on her right cheek.

Dick’s views on women are suspect. In the debates he said he opposes a woman’s right to choose even in the case of rape and incest, not including cases of alien abduction. He’s also come out decidedly pro-disease, opposing embryonic stem cell research even if the embryos are to be discarded anyway. He also never recycles. Not even his hair spray cans.

Personally I’m voting for Granholm because she wants every college bound young adult to have four thousand dollars to begin their education. While that sort of plan has been attacked by Republicans as too expensive, it would pay for itself in the long run.

Rookie Senator Debbie Stabenow will face off against ex-Oakland Sheriff Michael Bouchard. Nobody knows anything about Bouchard other than he used to be in law enforcement. And as we clearly all know, Stabenow has red hair. The race has been, for the most part, clean and therefore boring. What I want to know is how can a Californian run for one of Michigan’s two Senate seats? I’m voting for Debbie because I know better than to vote against a redhead. Also because I want to break the Republican majority they have on the US Senate. It’s only fair since they’re going to take Tennessee because of this racist ad.

On a more local scene, US. Representative Fred Upton is defending his Republican seat for the 6th District against well mannered, well dressed Kim Clark. Word is once Fred found out he was running against Kim Clark, he said, “She doesn’t stand a chance.” He learned only days ago, after numerous misstatements on the campaign trail that Kim isn’t short for Kimberly. Kim Clark is actually a well respected and successful businessman, professor, and ordained minister. He’s also a fiscal conservative. Upton, meanwhile, is most known for raising the cost of vulgarities on television in a dangerous post Janet Jackson Nipple Slip world. To his credit, Upton supports modern medicine (aka stem cell research) but three quarters of the time he also supports the evolutionally challenged President. Even if Upton is no more than a rubber stamp Bush Yes Man, he’s unlikely to lose his warm seat in Washington, which is all the more reason to vote Kim Clark for Congress.

In a much closer race, Niles Democrat Judy Truesdell is trying to unseat Republican Barodian Neal Nitz. And trust me, it’s hard to unseat a Pork Lover like Nitz. It would be state history if she did. Judy (Judy! Judy!) is trying to become both the first woman and democrat to represent the 78th District in the state. Bill Ballenger, publisher of the Lansing-based biweekly newsletter "Inside Michigan Politics” has even gone so far as to label the race as a tossup. Why is Nitz suddenly on the hotseat? He can’t be accused of voting with Bush since he’s not in Washington. He hasn’t sent any provocative emails to political pages (that we know of). In fact, he poses no threat to anyone in the 78th district other than the those hooved residents named Porky and Babe who are currently unregistered to vote. The reason Judy is hot on Neal’s tail can be summed up with one word: trash. She opposes it. Nitz, a seasoned politician, realizes that trash is a big part of politics.

I’m always amazed at how politics makes such strange bedfellows. For example, the Republican Nitz beat in the primaries recently said, "Neal has the ability and experience to make changes in Michigan. Neal's agricultural background, business experience and his four years of legislative experience make him my choice.” Yet in February of this year, this same candidate said, “I want to go to Lansing to put Southwest Michigan first. Too many politicians today are more concerned with Lansing politics than serving the folks that elected them. The people of Southwest Michigan deserve a representative that will put the community’s interests ahead of special interests….” He also said, “We don't just need better representation, we need representation, and I'm not shy about saying that.” What a difference seven months make!

Well, I’m not shy about saying this: I’m proudly voting Judy Judy Judy for state representative. Join me and make history.

There are also five important proposals on Tuesday’s ballot. A very informational and unbiased resource for research on these proposals can be found here. I strongly encourage everyone to at least skim through the arguments for and against each proposal. But to assist in these time strapped days, I’ll simple copy and paste some of the passages I found enlightening… Click on any of them for further reading. Troublemaker Bob also has nice summaries on his blogsite here.

Proposal 2006-01: Constitutional Protection of DNR Funds

Moving these DNR funds into the Constitution would eliminate the chance of the accounts being raided to balance budgets in the future. It grants significant protection to these restricted funds and ensures that the user fees are spent on programs for which they were collected.

It seems straight forward enough to vote to protect funds collected for one thing from being used for something else. But like TB says, I tend to believe that the government needs some flexibility in their checkbook. For example, just last week I used all of my grad school money to fill my car up with gas. It just seemed a bigger priority at the moment.

Proposal 2006-02: Michigan Civil Rights Initiative

One of the few things I remember learning in college is that sometimes in the course of history, a group manipulates language to call themselves the opposite of what they truly are, such as the National Socialist German Workers' Party, more commonly known as the Nazis. There was nothing Socialist or Pro-Worker about them. This initiative is another such attempt at language manipulation, depending of course on whom you believe needs their civil rights better protected.

This proposal seeks to amend the Michigan Constitution by adding a Section 26 to Article 1 “to ban affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment to groups or individuals based on their race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin for public employment, education or contracting purposes.”

If Proposal 2006-02 passes, it will not outlaw all affirmative action programs in the state. Only those that grant preferential treatment to individuals or groups on the basis of
minority status or gender would be invalidated by this amendment. However, determining what constitutes preferential treatment would be left to the Michigan
court system.

If passed this bill could hurt the University of Michigan. As an avid Notre Dame fan, I’m tempted to vote for it just for that reason. But that’s still not a good enough reason.

After the 2003 Supreme Court decisions, UM was forced to change its undergraduate admissions policy. It is still allowed to have a race-conscious admissions program, but the point system has been discarded and applicants are reviewed individually and holistically with race representing only one possible aspect of diversity. While academics continues to be the most important factor in admissions, non-academic factors considered in the admissions process include personal interests and achievements, alumni connections, race and ethnicity, family income, and family educational background. None of these factors has a fixed weight in the admissions process. Each application is evaluated by two people before going to a senior-level manager in OUA who makes the final decision. If Proposal 2006-02 passes, UM will no longer be able to consider race, ethnicity, or national origin as a plus factor in the admissions process as it now does in its undergraduate and graduate admissions programs.

And this passage is the one that seals the deal for me:

If any specific programs at the undergraduate or graduate level provide preferences in admissions based on gender (e.g., engineering programs preferring female applicants or nursing programs preferring male applicants), they will be impacted by passage of this proposal. Any programs at public universities that operate to provide any kind of preferential treatment (through admissions, outreach, scholarships, etc.) based on minority status or gender may be affected by passage of the proposed constitutional amendment, depending on its interpretation by the courts.

Got that? Not enough girls interested in math and science? Forget giving a state funded female based scholarship to encourage women in scientific professions. Want more women in Congress? Eighty-five percent of Washington politicians are white males. Tough titties, girls, say proponents of this initiative. We’re lucky we’re allowed to vote at all, I guess. Doesn’t sound very fair to me. Does it to you? I suspect Jim Kingston would vote yes on this proposal so I’m voting no.

Proposal 2006-03: A Referendum on Dove Hunting

Proposal three is a lot like proposal two, only this time it’s poor defenseless birds getting shafted.

A yes vote on this proposal would approve enactment of PA 160, allowing Mourning Dove hunting by reclassifying Mourning Doves as a game bird. A no vote would return Mourning Dove’s to the status of a nongame bird, as it was prior to enactment PA 160 of 2004, and continue the ban on Mourning Dove hunting in Michigan.

Michigan’s 2004 Mourning Dove season began on September 10 and ended October 30. It was intended to be the first of a three year trial period. The 2005 and 2006 seasons were suspended when opponents collected sufficient signatures to call a referendum
and place the issue on the 2006 ballot.

In 2004, 4,981 Mourning Dove stamps were purchased yielding $9,962 in stamp fees.

Those in opposition to the proposed ban argue that Mourning Dove hunting is a sport enjoyed by hunters in 80 percent of the states. They argue banning hunting of specific animals is a way for animal rights and anti-hunting organizations to chip away at the sport, species by species.

Supporters of the ban argue that Mourning Doves are popular backyard guests enjoyed by bird watchers. In 1998, the Mourning Dove was adopted as Michigan’s official Bird of Peace. In the Midwest, the Mourning Dove reproductive cycle begins with egg laying in late April/early May, and continues until fledging ends in early September. Both parents take part in incubation and brood-rearing activities. This breeding season would overlap with the hunting season in Michigan, as it does in other states. Those in support of the ban also argue Mourning Doves’ body weight varies throughout the year and is at its lowest point during the fall hunting season. Consequently, it is not a significant source of food. Some argue that they are being hunted for the thrill of the kill only and are not retrieved. The DNR estimates asmany as 4,000 were unable to be retrieved in the 2004 hunting season out of a total of an estimated 28,139 Mourning Doves. Federal and state regulations allow the use of lead shot when hunting Mourning Doves. Any Mourning Doves that are not retrieved or shots that miss their mark would leave lead in the environment. Michigan has banned lead shot in water fowl hunting to address environmental concerns.

So let me get this straight? We want to start shooting environmentally harmful lead at a bird of peace with approximately two bites of meat on them (that is, if they’re retrived) during their nesting season (make that one bite of meat) all for less than ten thousand dollars in stamp taxes? I figure Daniel Shame would probably vote for this. So I’m voting against it. If you’re that in need of live target practice, just become a Broken Springs Cop.

Proposal 2006-04: Eminent Domain

It would shift the burden of proof from the property owner to the condemning governmental unit to prove that the taking is for a public use or that proposed use for the eradication of blight is for a public use. It would eliminate the ability of governments to utilize eminent domain in
an area-wide approach to blight eradication.

More power to the property owner? Less power to the state to seize your land? And did someone mention blight? I figure since the BS Village Council would probably oppose this, I’ll support it.

Proposal 2006-05: Educational Funding Guarantee Law

The proposal would amend the State School Aid Act to guarantee a minimum amount of state funding for K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities in Fiscal Year 2007 (FY07). For all years after fiscal year 2007, the proposal would guarantee funding increases equal to the annual change in inflation.

This is a toughie. I’m usually for anything that will help education, but they say this one doesn’t help the students nearly as much as it helps the teachers. And while I’ve never met a teacher I didn’t like (except Mrs. Lee), I’m tempted to vote yes. But if I’m still so undecided at election time, I think I’ll flip a coin at the last minute.

I hope this guide has been informational or at the very least, entertaining. Don’t forget to haul your lazy butt off the sofa and vote. Dr. Phil doesn’t come on till three and it’s repeated at five on channel 2, so you have plenty of time to do your democratic duty.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Close to home

Attention all readers:
Please be sure to watch Friday's episode of Dr. Phil (5PM CBS). The story should hit close to home. From the Dr. Phil website:

Shocking Accusations
Bonii, a desperate grandmother sent Dr. Phil a video showing how her 3-year-old granddaughter, Kaylee, hysterically reacts when she leaves and returns from visits with her father, Jeremy. Bonii and her daughter Krista, Kaylee's mom, are accusing Jeremy of molesting Kaylee for the last year. Jeremy says he's innocent, and Bonii and Krista are coaching Kaylee to say bad things about him. Both sides bring video to prove their point. What does Dr. Phil think of the parents' actions? In a dramatic move, he calls a time out during the middle of the show to have one-on-one converstaions with each parent. Are Jeremy and Krista being honest with Dr. Phil? They agree to be put to the test. Dr. Phil vows to find out the truth, and make sure Kaylee has a safe home.

For more information, please visit:
To watch the preview of the show, click here,

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Suicidal Vampire Out of Options

Immortality comes back to bite a despondent blood drinker.

One hundred thirty eight year old David Hollowell once savored the idea of living forever. Born in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1867, he grew up in America's flourishing southern city known for its music, food, and extravagant night life. In the city's most famous cemetery, the Saint Louis, Hollowell drew his last mortal breath at the tender mortal age of 33. And for over a century he never regretted his choice to hand over mortality for an eternity of pallid skin and blood breath. But recently his situation has turned grave. He joined me for an interview from his exquisite Broken Springs two room Main Street Apartment.

"The hardest adjustment," the tall vampire told News from Broken Springs, over a bottle of Sangria Wine, "was sleeping in a coffin. I can't tell you how many nights I awoke with a stiff neck and aches in my lower extremities. Luckily the one who made me had a brother who was a Chiropractor, and his sister's nephew through marriage was a carpenter. He built me a coffin with extra leg room. I'm eternally grateful. Proper bedding is so important when you intend to live forever."

Once his daytime sleeping arrangements were set, Hollowell had to adjust to his new plasma diet. "The first taste is always the best," he explained as he casually flipped his cape off his left shoulder. "It's intoxicating. When I lost my vampire virginity, I drank way too much. The blood just rolled down my throat like elixir of the gods. I felt like a baby at a titty bar. I just couldn't stop. The next night I woke up with such a hangover. I didn't get out of my coffin for a week. My undead buddies still tease me about it, even though that story is so last century."

Life for the undead Hollowell soon improved as he grew accustomed to the nocturnal routine of vampirism. He recalls that as the years flew by, New Orleans grew into a bustling city of culture, tourism, and blood. "The city was literally bubbling with life," he reminisces with the hint of a small tear trailing down his pale cheek. "Especially during Mardi Gras. I can't tell you how many breasts I saw on any given night. I gave the ladies more than cheap beads for a little flesh," he said with a wry smile. "It was a splendid time, if you could stand the crowds and public urination."

"I was even the top recruiter for my coven three years in a row." He looked down at his Dolce and Gabbana black velvet cape. "I won this in 1992, because I recruited 348 new vampires that year. Oh sure," he said with a shrug, "Anne Rice and her alcoholic ramblings helped. But I did all the dirty work."

I shifted in my seat uncomfortably as he spoke, and he flashed a toothy grin. "Don't worry. I've retired from recruitment. Anyway, you wouldn't last a decade with those ears. You're safe. Plus, I'm on a diet. Been feasting on too many fatties lately. I'm starting to get a blood belly."

Nervous laughter spilled into the room and he continued his tale.

"The 21st Century arrived, and New Orleans began dying on the vine. With the election of George W. Bush, and his thirst for blood of a darker color, the City that Care Forgot began living up to its nickname. Federal monies for social programs were siphoned into the unjustified war in Iraq and tax cuts for the rich. And, as we all know now, in June of last year the Bush Administration sucked over $70 million from the budget of the New Orleans Corps of Engineers, which prevented the proper maintenance and upgrade of the city's levee system. I might bite a lot of necks, but George Bush is the real vampire," he said, almost poetically.

A bit of empathy peeked out from behind his fangs. "Many of the city's wealthiest residents moved to higher ground, and Hurricane Katrina hit, leaving the black urban poor bathing in their own death. Not wanting to leave my home, I nearly starved, unable to find any victims. All that I found had already been sucked dry."

"By the government, you mean?"

"No, by other vampires. I survived solely on looters but they left a bad taste in my mouth." According to Hollowell, his situation got so bad he eventually had to leave his hometown. He migrated north to Broken Springs only because he heard it was a good place to be bored to death.

Noticing my empty goblet, my host slowly poured another glassful of Sangria as the dawn began peeking in from behind the posh curtains in his flood damaged dining room. We tipped our glass to forget about the plight of New Orleans and the continuous suffering in the town we both now call home. The wine flowed down my throat like warm blood on Halloween night.

"My shrink says I'm suffering from post traumatic depression, a disorder not uncommon to vampires for obvious reasons. He wanted to put me on anti-depressants but my stomach rejects everything but blood. Unfortunately I'm scared to death of needles. There's only so much death and destruction an immortal man can take. There's no hope for me. My existence is dreary and full of despair. Undeath is not worth living anymore. Therein lies the dilemma. How does an immortal man kill himself? How can you kill someone who's already dead? Where's that bastard Van Helsing when you need him?" The vampire put his head in his hands and began weeping tears of blood.

That was when I noticed the sharp wooden stake laying on the windowsill. It was suddenly clear to me why Hallowell had granted this interview. Still weeping, he was oblivious to the stake raised before him. But upon attempt to drive it into his chest, the Sangria made me quite legless, so I missed his heart completely and my assassination attempt resulted only in a wicked wooden splinter.

"Oh, thanks for trying," he said while picking wooden shards out of his skin. "You're too drunk to drive home. You're welcomed to sleep in my guest coffin," he commented nonchalantly as he corked the wine and closed the curtains.

"But if you get up early, don't wake me," he warned. "I'm a late sleeper."

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Potent and Impotent

Things have quieted down on the local front, ever since the Underground went underground. Police Commission meetings have gotten so tedious I’ve opted out of them the last two months. What can I say? Times are busy. Other obligations arise. My life has lately been consumed by real politics, work, and the fall season premiers of my favorite television shows. Oh yes. It’s a strange time in life when your favorite actor on tv is a presumed dead member of the mongoose family.

In the neighboring town of Buckville, they’re about to make the same mistake we made last year in Broken Springs. The school board is negotiating a contract with Laidlow Inc., a private company originally from Canada which will bust up the driver and custodial unions and therefore save the school precious dinero. This is much preferred to cutting the pork out of the budget for the higher ups on the totem pole. If anyone cares enough about the safety and well being of local children, they might want to attend the school board meetings next month on the 13th and 20th in Bucktown. They got the guns but we got the numbers, as a long dark haired beauty once sang…

Our local pols and pol wannabes got down and dirty recently at the League of Lady Voters sponsored debate. I believe all the candidates officially came out against trash (bold of them, no?) but the trash I’m interested in removing from the state currently resides in office.

Speaking of unnecessary pork, Neo Nitzi was the only candidate to publicly support privatization if it saves the school districts money. This is just a hunch, but I’m guessin’ the little Neo Nitzis in his family are all home schooled. Newsflash to Mr. Oink: Privatization is always cheaper, at least to begin with. But no one seriously should consider going to the prom wearing a halter top bought at Walmart.

Do yourself a favor. Get familiar with this issue. Privatization is unfortunately becoming the new American way of life, but at what cost?

Until next time,
Downward and backward!

Friday, October 13, 2006

B&E Sting Botched

Turns out “burglar” lived there…

When part time Broken Springs officer Keith Mauve noticed a dark skinned male moving suspiciously on the property across the street from where Mauve was moonlighting as a very tardy gas man, he thought he was witnessing a crime in progress. But his impromptu sting operation fell apart when he discovered that the cell phone clipped to his belt was dead. Frantically, as if he’d inhaled too many gas fumes, he pounded on the door of the house where he was working, but to his dismay the single woman inside wouldn’t let a stranger like him in to use her phone. Not wishing to blow his undercover status as a police officer, Mauve withheld his true identity and attempted to push his way into the house anyway. But thanks to Geritol, the tiny woman was stronger than she looked and he was unable to carry through with his plan. Frustrated, he told her she was going to blow everything and because he’d just installed a gas line, the woman thought he was threatening to blow up her house if she didn’t let him in. When she called 911 on him, he didn’t stop her because that was who he planned to call all along.

Officer Scroggins arrived at the scene in a very quick 25 minutes and when he did, the suspected burglar was still maneuvering across the street. Officer Mauve explained to his younger, slimmer co-worker that the man had been over there nearly an hour, snooping about, mysteriously moving furniture from his truck bed into the house, rather than the other way around. This was, as Mauve explained it, a possible decoy, just like the puzzling act of letting the dog out of the pen in the backyard to feed it.

“Clearly, the guy’s up to no good,” insisted Mauve to Scroggins. “He’s probably a terrorist or at least a burglar. Possibly both.”

But when Scroggins approached the suspect, one hand on his holster and the other on his inquisitional mag light, the officer learned the embarrassing truth. His fellow cop was an idiot.

The “burglar” in question turned out to be the property owner who’d just been hauling a recently purchased sofa onto his porch. When asked why he suspected the innocent homeowner of home invasion, especially since burglars usually haul furniture out of instead of into a house, Mauve insisted that criminals nowadays are often more clever than the cops trying to catch them. But others in the neighborhood suspect that Mauve had been burning the midnight oil that night with a fellow named Walker. Johnny Walker.

Despite the humiliating tale, Chief Kingston took the opportunity to applaud his department over the incident, making the following argument, “My officers are ever vigilant and devoted to protecting Broken Springs residents, even if only from themselves.”

For his vigilance, Mauve was awarded his long awaited Police Academy stripes and he was also given a raise. He plans to use the extra money either on a spare cell phone battery or another fifth of scotch. Possibly both.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Police Commission Meeting

There was a packed house for this month’s meeting. It was standing room only, but only because there were no chairs. Other than the three commissioners (plus the secretary and the attorney) there were five audience members. Next month they should consider charging at the door.

Mayor Jan Chaddwick was absent. Probably had another stroke.
Commissioner Bob Frugal doesn’t sound so good either. They said he had shaking grapes syndrome.

Amidst all of this excitement, the minutes from the last meeting are accepted, as are the bills. The financial report was thrown out the window, though. Just kidding. It was accepted as well.

Chief Thief Kingston says that complaints were up 3% this month, most of them probably about the police department.

Attorney Amnesia then talks very boringly about retirement funding. His discourse is so boring, I want to retire. He insists that the police department is under-funded while the fire department is over-funded. Personally I’m just dum-funded. Everyone knows that firemen are hotter than police officers, therefore they should have a better retirement fund. Amnesia, perhaps because he knows something the rest of us do not, speaks in hypotheticals, assuming the worst. He keeps saying things like, “If the department is still here…” Where else would it be? Neptune? Uranus?

Kingston then expresses his ambitions to get his hands on a fingerprinting machine here. Apparently they cost an arm and a leg, and we currently resort to using Niles’s facilitities. LSD’s machine is not good enough, obviously because they weren’t even able to screen the private company currently putting their handicapped children at risk. The commission decides to share Anthonys University’s fingerprinting machine. AU will bill us by the fingertip and round to the nearest digit. But first we must get an okay from the state of Michigan.

Rob Fishnet has proven that education pays off (it just sometimes has a bad exchange rate) when he caught a fourth offense DUIer. And another of our brave police men even worked… brace yourself… a ten hour shift and miraculously lived to tell about it. It included a 6-7 hour round trip to Detroit.

There was a drug prescription pad stolen. Someone forged the doctor’s signature and the thief was only caught because his forgery was legible.

Some idiot bank (you choose) in town cashed an $8,000 rubber check for a guy with no account. With the money he bought a car in Chicago, and a license and insurance with more bad checks. But the good news is he saved a ton of money on car insurance with Geico.

There have been robberies galore in Broken Springs!
The Dairy King robber is still at large.
Family Penny’s robber is still at large.
McHeart Attack’s robber was at large until he was supersized.

In fact, Broken Springs has had so many robberies, police are now mistaking ordinary citizens as robbers in their own houses.

There was another incident of kids causing trouble at Anthonys University. They were trying to eat pork in the parking lot and a riot ensued.

The mother of a sex offender was caught in Rob’s Fishnet when her crashing car came over the hill. She’s also the daughter of a man who’s fished all his life without a license. And her third cousin once sodomized a pumpkin.

Someone who’d rolled down Niagra Falls in a barrel has been attempting to steal identities. Sandy Quarts thinks she got an email from him about transferring money from one of his accounts. BS Police are planning on tracing the email.

The Pollack cop who we recently traded to the Sheriff’s Department (for a minor league cop to be named later) pulled over a man traveling not only with a known felon but several baggies full of marijuana and money. The Pollack cop smoked the money and turned in the marijuana.

All of this is proving that times are tough in Lil Chicago. The Chief Thief insists that this is reason enough to purchase an extra squad car. But Commission Chairperson Ernie Hildecrust wants to downsize to three cop cars, from four. Kingston protested, saying that with only three cars, only three quarters of our town would be covered. Furthermore, the ole Green Machine is so over driven he doesn’t even use it for patrol anymore. He only uses it to go back and forth to work, not counting the trips to Weedway Gas Station to load up on Gatorade, hot dogs, and scratch off tickets.

Sandy insists we need lots and lots of cars, the more the better. The more we have, the safer we are. She prefers a fleet. Jimmy says the cars we already have are beat to death so we need new ones and we need them by the first of the year. Ernie insists that this is not the time to spend money foolishly even if the people of Broken Springs are foolishly throwing gobs of extra money their way.

Sandy Quarts points out the cop cars go 100 mph, which is almost as fast as they go at Indy and Daytona.

Tempers begin to flare as the two sides butt heads.
Ernie just wants to be seen by his constituents as a fiscally sound representative.
Jimmy just wants more toys, and lots of them.
Sandy just wants Jimmy to get whatever he wants.
Phil Ruse just wants to get home in time for Wheel of Fortune.

Ruse, back from his temporary visit to Saturn, makes a motion to pass the budget, which includes $44,000 for two new patrol cars. Since we learned last year that a new Impala costs $17,000, we can now assume that the bubble gum lights and XM Satellite radio costs an extra five grand per car.

There’s more jumping back and forth, which makes me wish I’d actually attended this meeting instead of getting my butt kicked on the pool table.

It seems that whatever Jimmy wants Jimmy gets but not this time. Phil Ruse had misunderstood what he was voting on and called a “do over,” at which time he voted with that anti-cop sourpuss Ernie Hildecrust. Rock on, boys. Make Jimmy earn that extra set of wheels.

Meeting adjourned.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Waterboarding: America's New Pastime

And now, a special treat for our regular readers…

Local Broken Springs resident Dick Commando illustrates why America is the land of the free and the home of the brave…

Dear Editor,

I’ve had it up to my bloodshot eyeballs with those Constitution loving, tree huggin’ “Americans” who can’t understand the imperative value of torture in today’s dangerous, terroristical society, where evil lurks in every dark corner. I’m also tired of “leaders” like Hugo Chavez stealing away our freedom of speech (like the immigrants do our jobs) only call our President an alcoholic Lucifer. We all know that Hillary’s the devil, not Bush.

Let me remind anyone bored enough to read my tedious tripe that America is so popular we have to build electric fences to keep people out, not the other way around. We’re the only real free country in the world, and most European countries, for example, wouldn’t know freedom if it bit them in their big, smelly noses. Freedom is the right to buy assault rifles that fire 100 rounds without having to reload, a right courageously defended by the NRA. Freedom is the right to drive a 4x4 Dodge Ram even if it does only get six miles per gallon of gasoline. It’s certainly safer than those European midget cars, assuming you can afford to drive it. We have a right to be dependant on oil. Had it not been for oil company profits, how else would our great Protector Bush have been elected to begin with?

We’re being called imperialistic war mongers by our many enemies around the globe, despite the fact that we only bomb on average one sovereign nation every decade. When we have properly spread democracy and McDonalds to Iraq, we’ll give back their nation status. Would Hitler do the same? Would Stalin? Or would they laugh at Bush’s imperialistic impotence?

Our own “countrymen” also whine about the NSA wiretapping program, as if it’s ever stepped on any personal civil liberties of anyone who didn’t already deserve a boot in their back. I’m still waiting for the herds of
that will never be brought up against the only true patriots among us, namely Saint Bush and his Homeland Security Officers.

Proving that even a broken clock is right twice a day, former “President” Clinton knew the importance of torture when he signed into law the Rendition Act, thereby inventing American torture policy. Nevermind that this same “President” showed his leftist leanings when he ratified the UN’s 1985 Convention Against Torture. That was only for show, like when he went to church. Being married to Hillary, Bill knew a thing or two about torture. And I, for one, applaud his courageous actions.

Terrorists do not deserve rights, nor do suspected terrorists, nor does anyone who believes that terrorists or suspected terrorists (as defined by the Patriot Act) ought to be protected from any torture we inflict on them. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the Constitution applies to non-citizens or anyone who doesn’t fly an American flag 24/7. Nor should the Geneva Convention apply to anyone other than Americans, and by Americans I mean of course those who correctly value security over liberty. Some argue that if we do not hold to the standards of the Geneva Convention, then our boys are more apt to be tortured themselves. To that I say: TESTICLES! Even John McCain would laugh at that assumption.

The ACLU, despite it being a staunch defender of this website, also defends those who burn flags. ACLU members should stop burning the flag and start burning the Constitution, which has been used merely as an instrument for Liberals to impede national security. When will people realize that the Constitution was penned by our Founding Fathers as a way to make America just as strong as the country from which it rebelled? It is not, as liberal educators teach, a document whose purpose is to protect the citizens from its government. Defenders of “civil liberties” only help erode the biggest liberty of all, our nation’s right to be strong and secure.

We must rise up as a country to defeat the evil known as terrorism, even if it means attacking an occasional sovereign nation under false pretenses and waging an occasional never ending war which some say makes us weaker and more susceptible to terrorism. But the cowardly John Kerrys of the world who insist that we must cower to the pacifists, cutting and running with our tail between our legs haven’t any better ideas about how to protect us. A military genius (who remains nameless for reasons obvious to anyone who looks him up) once said, “Strength lies not in defense but in attack.” Those who whine about being too aggressive in protecting America’s right to security simply don’t deserve America’s security.

Dick Commando

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Township Council Pines for Tree Solution

If the electric company cuts down a tree in the township and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

The Onoyoko township board certainly did Tuesday night, as they discussed the right to cut down trees with the community affairs official for IMP (Indiana Michigan Power). It wouldn’t be going out on a limb to say that several council members are barking mad at the company’s tree trimming and removal procedures.

IMP’s community affairs officer Harry Palms was caught off guard at the monthly meeting, as questions many residents and township council members threw his way left him looking stumped and a bit like a sap. He defended his company’s program, insisting that careful tree trimming and removal is both necessary and crucial in serving over a hundred thousand customers who swamp the phone lines every time their microwave’s clock needs to be reset. Citing an example of another such inconvenience, Palm explained, “We recently removed a tree whose roots had intertwined with the village’s new sewer system. Boy was that a son of a birch to pull out of the ground.”

Clerk Sue Frettin said that before IMP trims any more trees, she wants to see the township's original agreement and review each situation tree by tree. She also wants property owners notified of the fate of their trees. Trustee Dorothy Hildecrust also offered to review what trees are being targeted by those she called, “heartless tree butchers.” Both women even demanded that all work be halted until these prickly issues are resolved.

Going against the grain, Supervisor Hildecrust defended IMP’s right to trim and remove trees that obstruct the electrical lines that power his freezers full of peaches. Others on the council agreed that trees are nice, but not if their children can’t play X-box.

But Frettin and Dot Hildecrust, the splinter group of the council, insisted that most of the power outages they’ve experienced have been due to malfunctioning transformers and not obstructive tree limbs. Furthermore, they added, tree surgery is ugly and detracts from the value of one’s home, not to mention the sense of ambience to one’s property. Resident Helen Damnaschion reported that one of her trees was “as ugly as Chelsea Clinton” after IMP got done with it. Palms explained that sometimes trees are trimmed differently if they’re unhealthy.

“It wasn’t ill,” insisted Damnaschion. “It was just a little sycamore.”

Palms again insisted that most of the public doesn’t give a fig about ambience or the fact that trees emit valuable oxygen into the earth’s atmosphere. “The public’s right to electricity trumps their right to live healthier and happier lives,” he said, although his views weren’t at all poplar with the audience.

“When it comes to the power business, trees can be a real pain in the ash,” he said, ignoring the subsequent boos from the crowd.

“You can have our trees when you rip them from our cold, dead limbs!” yelled out an unidentified wrinkled man, swinging his cane like it was a Louisville Slugger.

Faced with such an angry crowd, Palms reluctantly agreed to consider each case tree by tree, notifying property owners, renters, and whomever else might be affected by the loss of the tree in question. But he noted that once the electricity goes out in those areas where limbs are left untouched, he doesn’t expect to hear any complaints about the loss of power.

“If you don’t have lights and come crying to us, you’ll be barking up the wrong… well, you know...” he said.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Police Commission Meeting

Please note: Your own Shallow Throat was unable to attend this month’s police commission meeting. Nor were any of her minions able to attend, due to unforeseen circumstances that involve that ugly four letter W word. But in the spirit of tradition, the blog must go on, which means only one thing: Everything you’re about to read is pure horse manure, totally uninspired by real events that took place at this month’s police commission meeting. Chin up, dear readers… this account is bound to be much more interesting.

The meeting was called to order at approximately 7:02, after a moment of silence for the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks five years ago. Chairperson Ernie Hildecrust remarked that he cannot believe it’s been five years already and Mayor Jan Chaddwick replied with a very original and witty “Time flies” comment, being sure to forget to add, “when you’re having fun.”

Chief Kingston was draped in compliments from both the commission and blood related audience for bravely counseling emergency personnel at Ground Zero nearly five months after the attacks five years ago.

By the way, Jan Chaddwick was clad in a very stylish olive green button down sweater, complimented by a baby poop brown pair of elastic waist dress slacks. Chief Kingston was wearing, you guessed it, a collared shirt with a red, white, and blue eagle tie. But the eagle on tie wasn’t the only bald one in the room. Kingston’s tie clip shined nearly as much as the top of his head.

Last meeting’s minutes were approved and someone made the daring motion to pay this month’s bills in the amount of $358,923, plus tip.

The Chief’s report was given, and as usual, our Finest have been busier than roosters in a henhouse. Drunk driving arrests were up because they go up every month. Even a limo driver was pulled over for a DUI. Most of our officers were paid some sort of overtime this month, except for the reserves, including Rob Fishnet, whom we still haven’t offered full time employment to.

A special kudos goes out to officer Mort Allgay, who single-handedly dug out a fallen worker from a 14 foot trench at Hildecrust Holes subdivision. Chairman Ernie was sure to thank Chief Kingston and his entire department for saving him some huge workman’s compensation bills, not to mention a potential lawsuit from the accident prone victim.

Also this month, officers were called to the scene of an overturned pontoon boat on Chopin Lake. How the boat overturned is unclear but some suspect it had something to do with the waterskiers behind it. Apparently, even if pontoon boats are rigged with twin 120 hp outboards, they’re not meant to go full throttle. No one was hurt in the accident but they all were pretty embarrassed.

There was also some sort of immigration crackdown on Benjamin Street on the always dangerous east part of town. Local units were unaware until recently that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was investigating one of Broken Springs’s own. But several witnesses of the “swat team” called local police to personally investigate. Chief Kingston said, “After we received an anonymous tip that ICE was spotted in Broken Springs, we were able to investigate and conclude that yes, they were indeed here.” Chief Kingston didn’t, however, know any more about the case. “Our investigation into their investigation is ongoing,” he said.

Then came the typical and customary Daniel Shame heroic story of the evening. This month’s our hero faced a battle he’d never had to face before and frankly he’s lucky to be alive.

It started routinely enough. Shame had pulled a car full of teenagers over for a missing lugnut on their rear left tire. When he approached the driver’s window, he noticed a bunch of the young men in the vehicle stuffing items of a suspicious nature into their pockets. He also noticed a distinctive burning leaves aroma coming out of the window. When Officer Shame asked them if they’d been smoking anything that evening, they all answered in the negative. But when they opened their mouths to say no, puffs of smoke floated out from between their lips. Suspecting that they were lying, Shame asked them all out onto the street. But as a precaution, he first wanted to write down all of their first and last names. He’d written down only the first name, Nicholas King... when he accidentally dropped this pen. As he bent down to get it, the driver dropped his car into drive, rolling over Shame’s knuckles. The brave officer yelled for the driver to “stop crushing my gosh darn hand!” And the driver immediately slammed on the brakes, unfortunately while the vehicle was still on top of Shame’s fingers.

With the officer unable to move, the stoned teenagers made a run for it. But because they were all too high to think clearly, they decided to drive away instead of fleeing on foot, thereby freeing the pinned Shame. As the car sped away, Officer Shame was able to grab hold of the extremely hot exhaust pipe with his good hand. However, he was unable to climb onto the trunk like they do in the movies - partly because of his injured hand and partly because he just isn’t that fit. He had no other choice but to hold on until the car stopped moving. Many times, Shame’s life passed before his eyes, especially since the left rear tire was missing a lugnut and quivering erratically. Luckily, the wayward juveniles ran out of fuel a block later because they’d used all their gas money on weed. Officer Shame was able to arrest the four boys on possession of marijuana, fleeing and eluding a police officer, and running over three curbs during their potential escape.

Councilwoman Curly Headed Sandy made a motion to buy Shame a ribbon or medal, or perhaps one of those plastic trophies that parents buy their short bus children for competing in the Special Olympics. Chief Kingston offered to pay out of pocket for something resembling a purple heart pin that Shame can wear with pride.

In old business, there was some boring policy talk that had I even been there, I wouldn’t have listened to. Broken Springs’s First Man, Stan Chaddwick was again reading the paper in the audience, and no doubt there were some whispers about the whereabouts of the back row troublemakers.

Ah, but we were there in spirit!

Meeting adjourned.


(You can’t say that at Roseland council meetings)

Monday, August 28, 2006


Ethical questions arose Friday when Police Chief Jim Kingston was discovered stashing twelve pairs of old department handcuffs in the trunk of a personal vehicle. The handcuffs, he claimed, were to be donated to Goodwill but when News from Broken Springs called local stores none had received a donation from the BSPD.

Rumors are afloat that the recently retired cuffs will meet their fate in Kingston’s bungalow basement, which neighbor say is decorated like a dungeon. And a look at the police budget raises spooky coincidences. Over the last fifteen years the Broken Springs Police Department has racked up an extraordinary bill for handcuffs, leather whips, and canine muzzles, almost three times the amount that our neighbors in Lincoln Township have spent. Another interesting tidbit is the specific purchase of five dog collars after the death of Durango, the K9 unit. When questioned about the unordinary high expenses, department clerk Mary McDonald said, “Better to have too many handcuffs than not enough.”

“Yes, but why is it necessary to keep a pair of cuffs in your bottom desk drawer?” we asked as she turned a lively shade of red.

“Those are there in the event of a terrorist attack,” she said.

As we tried to shake the image of Osama bin Laden cuffed to Ms. McDonald’s drawers, we questioned another potentially dangerous witness, Kingston’s own garbage man.

The Unreliable Refuse Technician (as he preferred to be called) assigned to Kingston’s home street for the last seven years insists that he’s often picked up boxes of rusty cuffs along with an assortment of gags, leather collars, and red rubber balls. “Oh, and a lot of loser scratch off tickets,” he added.

Some residents are shocked at these recent allegations yet many more insist that the accusations are only an attempt to smear an innocent man who annually gives to charity. One man who believes that is Kingston himself. He had the following comment to the press.

“There’s a certain faction in Broken Springs who’ll stop at nothing to disrespect officers of the law. They did it to Daniel Shame. And now they’re doing it to me. But that’s discrimination. Saying all cops are bad is like saying all n^&&*%$ like fried chicken. It’s simply not true. Some n^&&*%$ are vegetarians.”

Another Kingston defender is Mrs. Kingston, who despite gag strap sores on her mouth, couldn’t keep quiet about the morality of her loving husband. “He’s not into S&M. I doubt if he even knows what it is, or even how to spell it.”

“Does he ever tie you to the bedposts?” we asked.

“Only when he’s going fishing,” she said.

Whatever the reason Jim Kingston is hoarding handcuffs, at least we now know why his keychain is so heavy. Apparently he’s an avid fisherman. And as far as we’re concerned here at NFBS, it isn’t a crime to like a little bass every now and then.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hi and Lowlights from the Broken County Youth Fair

I’d like to say that NFBS hasn’t been updated much lately because last week was fair week and I was there every night. But that’d be a lie. I’ve just been lazy, concentrating too much on my pool game, which has failed me lately, so screw that. I’m back to writing.

Broken Springs doesn’t have much, but we do have the fair. In case you’re one of the many town residents who didn’t support our only local festival, here’s a little of what you missed.

There wasn’t a dull moment in the three inning massacre, er, I mean baseball game between the House of Daniel and the Possomtime Beauty Queens. The score was 22-1, in favor of God’s Chosen People. The Queen’s only run came in the third inning when Israelite Abraham Hershkowitz was distracted by Miss Eclaire’s bouncing breasts as she ran out a grounder. The first baseman, whose beliefs include celibacy and vegetarianism, hadn’t seen such a meaty sight since he was an infant in his mother’s bosom. A run scored on the error.

But the Queen’s lone run was not enough to spark a rally after a very disastrous second inning, when more Christians crossed the plate than were invited to Jesus‘s Last Supper. Unfortunately for the Queens not only did 17 runs score but Miss Pukanon also broke a nail on a bouncer up the middle. The inning ended when Miss Stevensburg caught a pop fly in her tiara. She was knocked out cold but still able to hold onto the ball. She was later rushed to the emergency room and discovered to have suffered no more brain damage than she already had as a blonde Possomtime Beauty Queen.

For those of you into the bondage of bull testicles, the Rodeo was Friday night. As George Carlin once said, whenever I see a rodeo, I can’t help but to root for the bull.

The Demolition Derby was Saturday night but in all honesty it was every day and night driving around Broken Springs, dealing with the crazy traffic. I was lucky. My airbag only went off twice and I locked my brakes up once.

The Enemies of Broken Springs did a fine job again this year with their KKKorn Dogs. Personally I had 6 and that was just on Monday. Their motto should be, “The best wiener you can buy for a buck twenty five.”

Unfortunately attendance was down again this year. Fair personnel blamed the rainstorm Friday night even though the weather held off until the fair was closed. Every year when attendance is down they blame the weather. Personally I think attendance was down because the fair sucked. But hey, it’s all Broken Springs has so what are you gonna do? It could be worse. We could be Benton Harlem.

Was there anything in the Commercial buildings besides churches and home improvement booths? That’s fine if you’re looking for energy efficient windows and salvation all at once. But what about the rest of the world?

As always, I enjoyed the animals much more than the people at the fair. The goats were my favorite, only because they make you seem like the animals. And like the carnivores that we are, I read that Dime Table and Century Steakhouse purchased one of the grand champion goats, I’m assuming for more than just lawn care. How anyone can eat a goat is beyond me. Just think of that poor little creature. A week of hell at the Broken County Youth Fair only to be executed later. It’d be more humane to reverse the order.

Our favorite BS Finest, Daniel Shame was running people down in a golf cart again. Take downs are easier on four wheels. And speaking of coppers, I was able to purchase (at a very reasonable five bucks) a pair of bona fide furry handcuffs. The boyfriend says he’s going to handcuff me to the kitchen sink until I do his dishes. But I have different plans, which I can’t reveal except to say that his tackle box will never be the same.

The Democratic tent fell victim, as usual, to Republican vandalism late Thursday night. But local Donkey Jess Minks caught one of the scoundrels and justice prevailed. The vandal was sent to the Blake Shelton concert as punishment.

Other than that, it was a pretty boring time at the Broken County Youth Fair, which only means one thing: we can’t wait till next year.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Police Commission Meeting

You’d think by all the cars in the parking lot, the place would be packed. But apparently all those cars were from a party at the Weather Park next door. And according to a posting on the bulletin board outside the building, several Onoyoko Township board members were expected to arrive. But other than those on the Police Commission, none showed up. Perhaps they were at the party.

The commission, minus Attorney Amnesia playing hooky (at the party?), begins the meeting by looking over the bills. Jan Chaddwick makes a recommendation that they not pay for the sports page with public funds because someone may oppose sports and raise a stink. Chief Kingston said he’d check into it. This is just a hunch, but my guess is Chaddwick has never been much into sports other than Sumo wrestling.

Ernie Hildecrust publicly thanks everyone for passing the millage and Kingston follows suit, and then some. He says the businesses who supported the millage should be thanked as well because many of them were victims of threats from millage opponents. No, not real threats, of course. Just capitalistic bullying, the American way. Personally, threatening to take my business elsewhere has never been a tactic of mine. If I needed to stay at a seedy hotel, for example, I’d most likely stay at the Broken Springs Inn just to save the gas mileage on my car. But that’s just me.

There were threats of a different nature at the Methodical Church. Someone, apparently mistaking the Church for a local tavern, wrote obscenities and bomb threats on the bathroom walls. And several obtrusive glory holes needed to be covered with duct tape.

Our best pizza joint was also robbed last month. The burglars snuck in through a front window of the downtown business, in plain view. No word yet on whether the culprits are the same ones responsible for the robbery at Pizza Slut some years ago. But if there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s this: if in doubt, hide the pepperoni.

Four juveniles were caught in a fight at the school. One child in particular had just gotten out of juvy and was anxious to go back. He’s one of our problem children, and you know what that means… someday we’ll be employing him as a police officer.

Mel Gibson’s not alone. There was an abundance of DUIs last month, particularly repeat offenders, some blowing as much as 30 on the blood alcohol test. I’m fairly certain that Kingston meant point thirty on the BAC test, because if someone blew a 30, they’d be a walking bottle of Budweiser, not to mention dead. I can’t help but wonder if any of the drunk drivers helped hang the Township maps on the wall behind the Commissioners as part of their community service. Ray Charles could‘ve hung them straighter.

One DUIer had the unfortunate experience to be arrested by Broken Springs Super Copper Daniel Shame. He was carrying a concealed weapon and a shotgun. The suspect, that is, not Shame. After he was tased twice by the Sheriff’s Department, his passenger got out of the vehicle quickly and obediently, mentioned the Chief. Was this a not so subtle foreshadowing for another taser discussion? Well, not only would tasers have been convenient in this case, but they would’ve been real fun to fire at three in the morning on the bypass. Why should the Sheriff’s Department get to have all the fun, anyway?

There was then a brief mention about Operation Raincoat, which apparently is some consolidated effort of ourselves and eight other agencies to find meteorologists guilty of welfare fraud.

And again, our Broken Springs Crazies have been causing havok. Officer Allgay needed a taser at an elderly home. And did we mention that several old ladies (and one old man) got their purses stolen at the Methodical Church?

No wonder Broken Springs is full of a bunch of Seventh Day Adventurers. It’s dangerous to be a Methodist.

The Commission then passed the NIMS resolution, which has something to do with shooting terrorists on sight. The Chief shows everyone exactly why he’s head of the department. His literacy is surprisingly good, if a bit monotone. You’d never be able to guess that he graduated from Broken Springs High.

Actually NIMS is the National Incident Management System, and has nothing to do with shooting terrorists. But that’s kinda boring, isn’t it?

At this point in the meeting, Curly Headed Sandy admits, not for the first time in her life, that she’s confused. Remember last month’s meeting when all of the policies drafted by the Attorney were discussed? No? Well neither does the rest of the commission. Sandy, meanwhile, had done all her homework and read the policies, making diligent notes in the margins. She was fully prepared to discuss these policies this meeting but Attorney Amnesia’s Absence prevented such a discussion. Chairman Hildecrust told everyone that they could forget about it next month again.

Bob Frugal asks some frugal questions about expenses, assuring that money isn’t being thrown down the drain any more than usual.

Then the floor gets handed over to Mayor Jan Chaddwick, who’d passed around a handout before the meeting. She intended to clarify the Village’s position on the possible *dissolution* of the police department, which she assured they are NOT worried about on the council. The packet included copies of the letter she sent Ernie, and his response, and a copy of the letter sent to her by the Township Clerk. She accused Debra Hate from the Herald Pollution of sensationalistic journalism because of the article that ran in the August 11th paper.

Basically it all boils down to this:
Because the Village Council is concerned about the future of the police department, they’ve requested, in the event that the department is *dissolved*, their share of the funds to establish their own department or contract the service out. But when it was made clear by Township Clerk Sue Frettin that any such transfer of current millage funds would be illegal, Mayor Chaddwick wishes to clarify that the Village is NOT asking for those funds after all. They’re merely asking that the department not be *dissolved.*

Got it? Get it. Good.

* Note: Dissolve is the Village’s word. As far as I’m aware, the Township formed the committee to research the administration of the department, possibly changing the makeup of the Police Commission itself and not the actual department.

Personally, if I were in charge of the makeup of the commission, I'd use less blush and more eye shadow. Maybe a lighter shade of lipstick as well.

A research committee member and possible mole, El Gordo Davis, happened to be in the audience of the meeting. He mentioned that he was outmanned (by two women and a boob) on many discussions in the meetings. But his concern was over the legality of taping the research committee’s meetings. Hildecrust played a Kingston, claiming ignorance on the matter, while Kingston’s better half (if there is such a thing), Cherry, believed that these meetings fall under the Open Meetings Act and should be open to being taped. Apparently the four person committee discusses too much for little Gordo to remember and repeat to his Village friends, proving that he needs to freshen up on his note taking skills before the committee begins meeting again. Maybe he ought to learn shorthand.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:32.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Millage Passes!

In other news, sky still blue, grass still green.

Broken Springs loves her cops. The top heavy staff of 7 full time and 4 reserve officers are again sighing in relief after the passing of the most recent millage renewal on Tuesday. Voters decided by almost a two to one margin to throw more tax dollars at the department this year, as they approved a four mill renewal of last year’s three mill plus one. Advocates emphasized that this year’s vote was only a renewal, not an increase, and over 600 local residents swallowed, hook, line, and sinker. In fact, the margin of victory was so overwhelming that police supporters immediately regretted not asking for 5 mills instead of four.

“Clearly, the citizens of Broken Springs realize good police coverage when they see it,” said Mayor Jan Chaddwick, celebrating with a triple dipped ice cream cone from McDonalds. “Next year, when we ask for another additional mill to offset our undisciplined spending out of our bare bones budget, we’re going to include a clause that guarantees increases in subsequent years, as a courtesy to the voter so they won’t have to be bothered by inconvenient elections. What better way to say thank you to Broken Springs?”

The police millage was never seriously in jeopardy, as primary opponents spent much of their free time opining on silly internet blogsites and drawing fake moustaches on pictures of village officials. Millage passings are a given in Broken Springs, unless they’re for the public school system.

NFBS called the police department for a comment on their victory but our calls were not returned by the time this article went to press. We can only assume that Broken Springs’s Finest have nabbed another bad check writer, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that our tax dollars are already hard at work.