Activities Director Makes Most Of Hostage Situation

Top Headlines


Vatican Putting Out Feelers For How Public Would React To Another Children’s Crusade

VATICAN CITY—Saying they had been giving some thought recently to the idea of sending legions of Christian boys and girls to retake the Holy Land and wanted to gauge the level of support, Vatican officials reportedly began putting out feelers Wednesday to determine how the public might react to another Children’s Crusade, much as was attempted in the year 1212.

John Kerry Scrambles To Stop Bunker’s Self-Destruct Sequence As Russian Oligarch Taunts Him From Bank Of Monitors

BOGDARNYA, RUSSIA—Working frantically to gain access to the system’s override settings at the computer terminal controlling the impending implosion, Secretary of State John Kerry scrambled to stop the self-destruct sequence of an underground bunker located thousands of feet below the Russian countryside Tuesday while oligarch Dmitry Granovsky taunted him from the numerous banks of monitors positioned throughout the facility, sources confirmed.

Islamic Awakening Inspires Man To Defect From ISIS

MOSUL, IRAQ—Telling reporters he had renounced his role as a militant and would soon be relocating in order to seek out an environment more conducive to fully devoting himself to his newfound religious faith, 24-year-old Huzaifa Quraishi confirmed Tuesday his recent Islamic awakening had inspired him to defect from ISIS.

CIA Orchestrates Coup D’État To Replace Entire Population Of Venezuela

Agency Installs Pro-American Populace Of 30 Million Venezuelan Citizens

CARACAS, VENEZUELA—Sources are confirming that the Central Intelligence Agency has orchestrated a coup d’état in the South American nation of Venezuela, toppling the country’s 30 million residents and replacing them with an entirely new, pro-American populace.

A Primer On North Korea

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains largely unknown to Americans due mainly to the secrecy and isolationism upheld by its government. The Onion provides a primer on North Korea’s people and culture

‘People Are Inherently Good,’ World Halfheartedly Mutters

NICE, FRANCE—Following yesterday’s terrorist attack in Nice, France that left over 80 people dead and scores more injured, sources reported that a dazed and utterly dejected global populace halfheartedly muttered the phrase “People are inherently good” to themselves Friday.

Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Activities Director Makes Most Of Hostage Situation

ITAMARAJU, BRAZIL—Four days after criminal organization Comando Vermelho seized control of the Novo Mundo Resort, activities director Janet Puchesy, 28, continues to make the most of the tense situation, bringing fun and creativity to the storage room where she and her fellow survivors are trapped, the hostage reported Monday.

The Brazilian resort which employs Puchesy (inset).

"Okay, gang, who wants to have a sing-along?" Puchesy said quietly, hoping to avoid being added to the pile of nearly 30 resort guests and employees brutally slain so far during the takeover. "Does anyone know 'Jesus Loves Me'? Okay, good, but remember to keep it down so they don't get angry and club one of us unconscious again. Okay? Okay. Now, who wants to lead it off?"

Puchesy, a Boston native, has made a living as the upscale coastal resort's activities director since separating from her husband in May 2003. Little is known about this faction of the Comando Vermelho, other than that it is well-armed and demanding the sum of $500,000 from local government authorities for the return of the 44 remaining prisoners.

Until the government complies, Puchesy will continue to use her extensive knowledge of arts and crafts to raise the spirits of her fellow hostages. Today, Puchesy taught fellow captives how to weave friendship bracelets using locks of hair cut from the heads of the corpses stacked at the back of the room.

"Okay, Gilberto, that's looking very nice—much better than your last one," Puchesy said, as she walked around the room checking on the progress of those coherent enough to join in the activity. "Margaret, you'll need to stop your hands from shaking... Emilio, you have pretty steady hands. Maybe you could help Margaret out."

Continued Puchesy: "When we're done with our bracelets, we should put our noggins together and brainstorm a way to cover up the stench coming from the bodies. Remember, there are no bad ideas."

Puchesy admitted that she has had a hard time keeping some of the hostages focused on group activities, especially when gunmen arrive with food or pull one of the women out of the room, only to drag her back in, nearly catatonic, hours later.

"Okay, everyone, relax—it was only a food drop-off this time, and we should be happy about that," Puchesy said. "Let's have some smiles instead of crying. Everyone's still here. So, whose turn is it to eat? Hands up if you ate yesterday. Some of us who ate yesterday aren't raising our hands. Stan? Thank you! That wasn't so hard, now, was it?"

While she said she believes that it's important to keep the group unified, Puchesy tries to facilitate closer ties by breaking detainees into smaller groups based on common interests, such as crafting weapons to fight the captors, praying, or curling up against the wall while staring off into space.

"I'll be over there to check out the progress on your conch-shell knife in a second, but it's my turn to lead charades," Puchesy said. "Now, can I remind everyone not to make the answers so grim this time? If I see one more person trying to act out 'living hell' by pointing around the room, I swear we'll go back to playing 10-word story."

Puchesy said she attributes her survival to her positive attitude, as well as to the fact that she was teaching a pottery class at the time of the attack, and was therefore not wearing her work uniform and lanyard.

"I was super-duper lucky that I was dressed in street clothes, since our captors cut the throats of all the resort employees," Puchesy said. "But then again, my Mom always said that luck doesn't just happen. You have to make it happen. Well, I'm just happy to be alive and helping people—knock on wood!"

Even in the face of the tragedy, Puchesy said she intends to keep doing what she does best, by scheduling and overseeing guests' activities, even if she no longer has access to her supplies.

"Helping people forget their troubles and have a good time is what I was trained to do," Puchesy said. "I only wish we had more room to do our morning stretches, and that I had my clipboard so I wouldn't need to scratch out the days' events on the wall with a rock."

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close