Friday, April 21, 2006

Pothole Hotline

For those of you unaware, Michigan has a Pothole Hotline number (888-296-4546) you can call around the clock, seven days a week to report pothole criminal activity. The other day I hit a pothole so large that my purse went flying out my convertible top. I quickly dug my cell phone out of my glove compartment (making sure not to sideswipe the other drivers on the road and barely missing that old lady with a walker) and dialed to report the pickpocket pothole. Here is a transcript of my call.

Dispatch: Pothole Hotline, can I help you?
Me: Yes, I’d like to report a pothole please.
Dispatch: Your location, M’am?
Me: Broken Springs
Dispatch: Where at in Broken Springs?
Me: It isn’t very big, you know. I’m in my car. It’s red. Can you see me?
Dispatch: What street, please?
Me: U.S. 13. Well, Crass Street after it turns into 13, after the traffic light.
Dispatch: Which traffic light?
Me: THE traffic light. We only have one.
Dispatch: And where is it?
Me: U.S. 13 and Crass Street, like I said.
Dispatch: The traffic light?
Me: Yes, the traffic light.
Dispatch: I meant the pothole.
Me: You didn’t mean the light?
Dispatch: No, the hole.
Me: What hole?
Dispatch: The pothole you’re calling to report.
Me: There’s no pot in Broken Springs. Cops confiscate it all.
Dispatch: Not all of it, apparently.
Me: What was that?
Dispatch: Nothing. So this hole…
Me: Oh yes, the hole. It’s a biggie. I almost lost my car in it.
Dispatch: Can’t be that big.
Me: I have a small car.
Dispatch: And I bet it’s red.
Me: Hey, how’d you know?
Dispatch: It’s not important. So about this hole…
Me: What does the color of my car have to do with the pothole?
Dispatch: Nothing at all.
Me: Then why bring it up?
Dispatch: I didn’t. You did, about an hour ago.
Me: Yes, you’re right. But I was lying. My car is blue.
Dispatch: What color’s the pothole?
Me: What are you, an idiot? It’s black, the color of all potholes. But it had a lot of blue in it when I drove over it. It’s pretty deep too.
Dispatch: My, how’d you get out?
Me: I drive a Hemi.
Dispatch: I thought you said you drove a small car?
Me: Well, it’s a small Hemi. Like a mini-Hemi.
Dispatch: A blue mini-Hemi convertible, eh?
Me: Don’t you believe me?
Dispatch: Of course. Now about this hole…
Me: You’re too gullible. I drive a Mazda. I was lying about the Hemi. Not about the pothole, though. It is deep.
Dispatch: How deep?
Me: If you fell in it, you’d need a rope.
Dispatch: That’s fairly deep.
Me: Yeah. I’m pretty sure it’s another time zone down there.
Dispatch: You’re not in the pothole now, are you?
Me: Heavens no! Thank God. No way would I get cell service down there.
Dispatch: You could if you were on Nextel.
Me: I have crappy Centennial.
Dispatch: So about this hole…
Me: What more do you need to know?
Dispatch: Well, we have a physical description. It’s black and deep. About how big would you say?
Me: Hmm… plate size.
Dispatch: Paper plate or regular plate?
Me: Paper plate size… but not one of those small paper plates. Just a regular paper plate, like the kind you use at a potluck and fill it up before you get to the really good food.
Dispatch: So the pothole is the size of a potluck paper plate?
Me: You got it. Maybe even a little bit bigger.
Dispatch: How much bigger?
Me: Couple inches.
Dispatch: Male inches or female inches?
Me: Pardon?
Dispatch: Well male inches are smaller… you know, the length of fish, the size of anatomy…
Me: Oh! Yes.
Dispatch: Male inches then?
Me: No! I meant yes I know what you mean. My boyfriend always says he has a 7 inch--
Dispatch: Ahem… we should get back to the hole.
Me: Whose hole?
Dispatch: The pothole.
Me: Oh, for a minute there I thought you meant my hole.
Dispatch: No, I meant the pothole, which is black and deep—
Me: Are you sure you’re not talking about my hole?
Dispatch: No! I’m talking about the pothole, about as big as a potluck paper plate—
Me: A couple inches bigger.
Dispatch: Oh yes, a couple female inches bigger?
Me: Uh huh.
Dispatch: Would that be radius or circumference?
Me: I failed Geometry.
Dispatch: Are the couple inches around the edge or to the center?
Me: That’s a toughie. Around the edge, I think.
Dispatch: Circumference then.
Me: But wait. It’s not really a circle. More of a rectangular oval. Does that make a difference?
Dispatch: Not really.
Me: Whew. They’re like snowflakes, ya know. No two are exactly the same shape.
Dispatch: That’s true.
Me: I’ve never eaten a pothole, though. A pot pie, on the other hand--
Dispatch: Which lane is it in?
Me: Neither. It’s in my freezer.
Dispatch: The pothole is in your freezer?
Me: Are we back on the hole again? I was talking about the pot pie.
Dispatch: What lane is the pothole in?
Me: The right lane.
Dispatch: The right lane could be either lane, depending on which direction you’re going.
Me: That’s true.
Dispatch: So which direction were you going?
Me: North.
Dispatch: And in which lane going north?
Me: There’s only one, unless you want to turn at the light.
Dispatch: I thought you said you were past the light?
Me: Well I was when I called.
Dispatch: When did you encounter the pothole?
Me: Shortly before I called.
Dispatch: Is the pothole before or after the traffic light?
Me: Before, on Crass Street.
Dispatch: Crass Street is not a state road. It’s a city road.
Me: So?
Dispatch: So we cannot do anything about it. You should report it to your city road commission.
Me: My city what?
Dispatch: Road Commission. I’m sorry. I can’t help you.
Me: After all we’ve been through?
Dispatch: Have a nice day.
Me: But wait—
Dispatch: (click)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Chippendales Blow into Town

Saturday night the World Famous Chippendales blew into Broken Springs, electrifying a standing room only crowd of 38 women and 7 untrusting husbands in the Conference Hall of the Methodical Church. The show was the first of its kind ever to come to Broken Springs, and quite possibly the last, due to mass protests by several prominent tighty righties and those who serve on the local town council.

The Chippendales – Steve, Chris, Mike, Jordan, Jerry, and emcee Dan – stripped nearly down to their g-strings to an assortment of pop remixes and Tom Jones’s “You Can Leave Your Hat On,” in which they defiantly took their hats off. They also danced numbers themed around cowboys, Grease (the musical starring John Travolta, not actual residue on your garage floor), the Navy, and the ever sexy fireman. In between their dance routines, the well lubed men offered the crowd personal lap dances at just ten dollars for thirty to forty seconds of full body gyrating contact which is often, according to emcee Dan, mistaken for heavenly bliss. The hot seats sold like hot cakes.

Unfortunately not everyone was wet with anticipation for these buff men in their skimpy underwear, particularly Broken Springers who haven’t seen a semi-naked body since two years ago during the Superbowl Halftime Show. It was these non subscribers to cable, along with some jealous husbands who almost put a stop to the show altogether. They’d all heard that the Chippendales came to the neighboring town of Niles last year and the town needed three whole days to recuperate. Nurses didn’t come into work, secretaries had hangovers, and several of the town’s florists (except for Sissy Samuel) showed up late the next day. Despite their good moods when they eventually returned to work, their tardiness cost the city of Niles an estimated $2,508 (and 47 cents) in revenue. These figures were reported at the last Broken Springs Council meeting by the newly formed organization, Public Residents against Ungodly Devilish Erotic Shows, or PRUDES for short. Council members largely agreed that the Chippendale show was not the ideal entertainment for the college town of Broken Springs, particularly the same week that the Passion Play opens on the campus of Anthony’s University. By a 5-4 vote they decided that the show must go on, but only under a set of strict restrictions that included rules on what they could and could not take off.

“I understand the PRUDES concerns, but the show has the potential to be a great tourist attraction for Broken Springs. I believe our money issues outweigh our moral issues,” explained Mayor Jan Chaddwick, who voted against the ban. “Also, my daughter bought me a ticket for Mother’s Day. I wouldn’t miss a bunch of almost naked sweating muscular men for the world!”

Stan Chaddwick, the Mayor’s husband and usually her political bed fellow, voted against his wife for the first time in Broken Springs history. “If the women of Broken Springs want to stuff dollar bills down guys pants, they should do it while doing their husband’s laundry,” he said. He angrily walked away after Jan gave him a look that seemed to suggest he wouldn’t be getting near her pants any time soon. Not even if he did the laundry.

Despite a last ditch effort to protest the show with signs, PRUDES only succeeded in advertising the site of the show’s location. Several PRUDE members let curiosity get the best of them and were later seen standing on pews wearing only their Cross Your Heart bras and crucifixes.

After the show, the Chippendales signed autographs and had photographs taken with the crowd. Tourism was up during their visit, but many employers are now crossing their fingers and hoping that all their female employees show up for work in the oncoming days.

Mayor Chaddwick could not be reached for comment, probably still in bed recuperating.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Police Commission Meeting

It was a full house at April's Police Commission Meeting. Jacks over Aces, but out of fear of a defamation accusation, I won't say who were the jacks and who were the aces.

Meeting was called to order at precisely seven o'clock sharp. And speaking of sharp, Attorney Amnesia is dressed to the nines as usual, which is more than I can say for the rest of the commission. It's a relief that Joan Rivers never comes to Broken Springs.

The meeting minutes are accepted, as are the bills, including a hefty chuck of dosh to replace a keypad at the station. Keypads, like sanitary pads, are notorious for needing continual replacement, according to Lighter Curly Headed Sandy. Perhaps we might look into a key tampon system? Chief Kingston said he'd probe deeper into the issue, and see if he couldn't "pull a few strings."

Mr. Gordo Davis walks in fashionably late. Well, perhaps I should rephrase that. He walks in late wearing a NBA pullover.

The commissioners agree to pay the bills (just once I'm waiting for them to vote down paying the bills... what would happen? At this pace, we'll never know) and then the financial report is accepted.

In this months package... er, I mean packet there's both February's and March's police activity sheets, which means the Chief has a bulging package... er, I mean packet. His officers, he assures us, were kept busy both months, not including the many hours they guarded Subweigh from robbers.

In old business, Chairman Hildecrust brings up the lingering issue of the millage, which, if you'll recall, no one wanted to talk about last month. Mayor Jan Chaddwick freely admitted that we can't run a department on three mills, so she recommends asking for four mills, and Bob Frugal agrees. But Hildecrust is a bit leery, insisting that we already have the highest millage in the county. Then the commissioners discuss the meanings of the word "new," which last I checked, means the opposite of old. A audience member, presumably township coucilwoman Suzette Reynolds, explained that the word new is necessary in the wording of the millage, even if the amount of mills will stay the same. However, it will cost the taxpayers more money if it passes. Chaddwick motions to ask for four mills, and Bob Frugal supports. Motion is carried, but must now be approved by the Township board tomorrow night.

In a continuation of the Chief's report, Officer Tweed (whose retro tweed uniform is all the rage at the station) recovered a stolen laptop computer. It was recovered from on top of the thief's... wait for it... lap.

Diane McDonald showed her continued loyalty to the village of Broken Springs by filling in for the absent crossing guards. Again, I need to emphasize that it takes guts to walk into the middle of traffic in Broken Springs armed only with an often ignored stop sign. Three cheers for Diane!

Officers Kingsley and Tweed will also be attending a street survival school in the future. Undoubtedly this will train them to properly deal with the hundreds of armed gangs we have terrorizing our roads... er, I mean streets.

There's also a criminal investigation school that Officer Scroggins will attend. Tip to Officer Scroggins... keep your hands on your wallet at all times. Pickpockets love those cop conventions.

There's also department fire arms training, but only for those officers with long arms, Officers Polaski and Burk. And of course, we'd be silly not to have an armed officer patroling the scene of Anthony's University during the Passion Play, There's nothing like religion to bring out the evil dregs of society, as we all know.

Chaddwick, Kingston, and Amnesia (to the surprise of the latter) are also nearly done putting together a policies and procedure booklet. The first two, at least, worked long and hard at it, and all that's left is another two hours worth of hole punching, according to the Mayor. Good job, public servants!

The meeting is then adjourned, sixteen minutes after everyone sat down. World's second shortest meeting, at least since I've been attending. Hardly worth putting on new panties for.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Scam: flat screen TVs passed off as oven doors

An unsuspecting Broken Springs woman in the market for a new oven door was conned into buying a cleverly packaged flat screen TV instead. When she arrived home and opened up what she assumed was her bubble wrapped kitchenware, she was roasting mad.

“It was actually a very modesty packaged flat screen TV,” explained an empathetic Broken Springs police chief, Jim Kingston. “There’s no telling’ how many innocent people have fallen victim to this malicious fraud. There‘s no telling’ how many people’s ovens are still doorless.”

“At first I was intrigued that my new over door came with a remote control. You know technology nowadays. Pretty soon they’ll have remote controls for remote controls,” commented the ripped off Midwesterner who wishes to remain anonymous so she won‘t be scammed again. “But when I saw that my oven door was really a flat screen TV, I knew I was out the twenty dollars I paid for it.”

The victim’s husband was no less steamed. “We tried using the item as an oven door. I drilled hinges on the side and with the help of a little duct tape, it seemed a perfect fit. But we quickly learned that it couldn’t stand the high temperatures. The good news is the fire department saved the house.”

The suspect accused of pawning off flat screened TVs as oven doors is now in custody, after he attempted to sell similar products to undercover police officers. After an intense interrogation, he confessed to selling flat screen TVs as microwave doors, cutting boards, and washers and dryers, as well. Kenneth B. Weathersby is facing numerous counts of retail fraud, as well as income tax evasion.

Kingston and other Broken Springs officials can only shake their head in disgust. The investigation will continue, on the suspicion that Weathersby’s alleged scams are related to a North Bend conman’s similar fraudulent and possibly copycat activity.

Area officials have urged all public residents in need of an oven door to purchase them only from reputable retail stores, such as Radio Shack.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Potent and Impotent

How’d you all like that April Fools Day joke? Got a couple of you, didn’t I? Come on, didn’t I? Did anyone catch the Monty Python reference? Nope? Didn’t think so.

Don‘t worry, dear Readers. Shallow Throat would never abandon you like that. Not when readership is up 250% and I can smell a book on the horizon. In fact, they say the more you blog, the more traffic you’ll receive. Does anyone know a good literary agent?

I’d like to give a shout out to my personal fan club at Floppers Restaurant. It’s folks like you who make all of this worthwhile. Keep reading, fellers.

Easter’s on its way, so here’s a joke about eggs.

She was in the kitchen beginning to boil eggs for breakfast. He walks in and asks "What's are we having?"

She turns to him and says, "You've got to make love to me this very moment."

He, thinking it's his lucky day, lays her over the kitchen table and they do their thing. Afterwards he says, "What was that all about?"

She says "The egg timer's broken!"

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Calling it Quits

At this month’s staff meeting, writers, designers, artists, and editors met to discuss the future of News from Broken Springs, the satirical online blog that has, for the past ten months, lampooned life in a small Midwestern town. After two hours of heated argument, timid laughter, and an endless supply of tears, it was announced by NFBS’s press secretary, Scott McMicrophone that the end has come.

“Jennifer Gonads, also known as Shallow Throat, regrets to inform the public that due to unforeseen circumstances, she’s shutting down her popular online blog, effective immediately,” announced McMic, amidst the flashing of cameras. When asked if those unforeseen circumstances related to the C&D letter recently received by the blog, the press secretary only shrugged and said, “It’s unfortunate that local police and politicians lack a sense of humor. But I guess when you carry a gun, you don’t need a sense of humor.”

In the hallway, profanity could be heard with the arrival of NFBS’s newest correspondent, Chocolate Thunda, who had not taken the news well, by the sound of it. He grabbed the microphone away from the press secretary and proclaimed, “Not me, I’m not quitting! You can have my mouse when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers!” He had to be restrained soon after that, and hit with the tranq gun normally reserved for the Cougar just so he’d calm down.

Shallow Throat, dressed completely in black, with her head hung low, made the following brief statement to the press: “Producing News from Broken Springs isn’t fun if everyone isn’t laughing. I don’t think they’ll be laughing any time soon, so that means none of us should laugh either. In fact, no one should ever laugh again. If that’s what Broken Springs wants, then that’s what it should get.”

“But what about the freedom of speech?” yelled a reporter from the back of the room.

“Oh, stuff the freedom of speech. All it does is offend people anyway. Who needs it?” answered the former editor.

A small man in a suit piped up. “What about the legacy of satire as a form of social commentary, dating all the way back to Aristophanes of the 5th Century BC?”

“Aristophanes was nothing more than a troublemaker whose time would’ve been better spent buggering young men.”

“What about Swift, Twain, Peter Cook?” asked another.

“Inexcusable agitators, a sorry lot,” spat the former satirist. “The same holds true for the cast of Saturday Night Live, the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Reno 911, and the Colbert Report. Sorry excuses for television nowadays. Give me back Lawrence Welk any day.”

Throat kept a straight face as she answered the skeptical crowd. Before she left, she reiterated, “News from Broken Springs is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! It’s pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are now history! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, it's shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile! This is an ex-blog!!”

The infamous ex-editor then scurried out the door and into a black helicopter. At that point there was nothing left to report.

This is NFBS, signing off…

April Fools!