Congressmen Baffled By M.C. Escher Poster

In This Section

Vol 30 Issue 19

Area Bastards Pick Wrong Guy To Mess With This Time

TALLAHASSEE, FL—According to Tallahassee resident Bud Courson, local bastards Dewey Bostock and Dewayne Buckner picked the wrong guy to mess with this time. "They picked the wrong guy to mess with when they started messing with me," Courson said of the messing, which local officials believe to be the biggest mistake of the bastards' lives. Courson's future plans for the bastards include doing a serious number on their asses and whaling on them.

Mental Hospital Fire Leaves Hundreds Of Demons Homeless

QUEENS, NY—Hundreds of demons were left hovering bodiless over New York's Creedmore Mental Hospital Sunday, as a fire consumed the facility, killing all 355 of its patients and much of its staff. Firefighters and emergency medical technicians struggled to reunite the demons with the bodies they had possessed, but no survivors could be found. Though area shelters say they may not have room for all the demons, most of the displaced remain optimistic. "I'm not too worried," said one demon as it huddled near a firetruck, wrapped in a blanket and sipping a cup of hot cocoa provided by Red Cross volunteers. "I'm sure pretty soon I'll find a suitable host human who will succumb to my temptations and give his body up to me."

Vatican Condemns Wack MCs

VATICAN CITY—In conjunction with the release of his latest album, MixMaster FunkBlaster Pope-a-Fied To The T.O.P., His Holiness Pope John Paul II issued an official church condemnation of all Wack MCs Tuesday. The Pope singled out Snoop Doggy Dogg, Notorious B.I.G. and Too $hort, saying, "These rappers do not have the best rhymes. They are wack. They are not from the old school." The decree condemned MCs who "lack the concentration to create the rhymifications that stimulate the mind and make the funk rise in your soul." The Pope recommended passages from Ezekiel as having the most "righteous" rhymes. The decree was ratified by the Vatican Council Tuesday as an official Catholic Decree. It also reached number four on the R&B charts.

Clinton Appoints Very Special Cabinet Member

WASHINGTON, DC—In the first-ever appointment of its kind, President Clinton named Michael Barnett, a 15-year-old Bethesda, MD, boy who has Down Syndrome, the U.S. Very Special Secretary of Defense Monday. "Michael is very special. He is fun, loves to laugh and is always smiling," Clinton said. When informed of his appointment, Barnett waved a pen and said, "I'm a special boy!" then mistakenly signed an order for the Marines to seize all private property in the U.S. Clinton quickly nullified the order, saying, "Michael is very special, and I know he will be trying very hard. And that's what's important."

The Onion's 1996 Man Of The Year

Ever since Onion publisher T. Herman Zweibel was first awarded the honor in 1921, The Onion's Man Of The Year has ranked among the most prestigious and time-honored traditions in journalism. Though there are many who make and shape our world, only one can be chosen The Onion's Man Of The Year.

There Shall Be No Christmas This Year!

The other day, my manservant Standish and my nurse were wheeling in the multitudes of penny postcards and other handwritten wishes of good tidings that flood into my estate at this time of year. I insist on being read each and every one, so that I may duly reward each well-wisher with a sackful of sugar beets from the Zweibel ancestral home in Prussia.

I Gotta Write A Holiday Column

Hola amigos. What's goin' on? I know it's been a long time since I last rapped at ya, but I've had some problems. First and foremost, I had to get a new car after the pistons fused in my old one. Piece of crap! Fortunately, though, I was able to get around $150 in parts for it. Add to that the $175 I had saved up for my dream Mustang, and I was able to spend a whole $325 on a new car.

Confederate Flag Controversy

South Carolina came under fire recently for flying the Confederate flag over its state capitol, and Georgia has been under pressure for several years to remove the image from its state flag. What do you think of the continued use of this Civil War symbol?
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Customer Service

Business

Congressmen Baffled By M.C. Escher Poster

WASHINGTON, DC—Members of the 104th U.S. Congress were baffled Monday, their imaginations taxed beyond all reasonable limits by a mind-bending M.C. Escher poster.

Representatives Charles Bass (R-NH) (left) and Bill Clay (D-MO) stood frozen, mouths agape, for more than three hours Monday in front of an Escher print at the Capitol Building.

Congressmen broke from their regular work for several hours to ponder "Day and Night," a 1938 work by Escher, the popular Dutch artist (1898-1972) whose oft-seen woodcuts depict varied spacio-geometric paradoxes.

"This is too weird. It would appear the birds heading to the right are actually emerging from the negative space between the birds heading to the left," Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R-NY) said. "And vice-versa."

"Whoa," said Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE).

The poster, a readily available commercial reproduction found in countless gift shops and malls across the nation, was purchased at a D.C.-area Spencer Gifts.

According to reports, the legislators discovered the poster hanging in the locker of congressional page Jeffrey Farnham, 22, during a routine scotch-search late Monday afternoon and immediately became baffled. After pondering the picture for several hours, the assembled legislators passed a unanimous vote to order copies of "Night and Day," as well as countless other Escher works for display in the U.S. Capitol Building.

Though the Senate has been in emergency session ever since Monday's Escher discovery, legislators have reported little if any progress in resolving the confusion.

"Congress has addressed many difficult questions in the past: How do we correct the foreign trade imbalance? How do we decrease spending and reduce the deficit without cutting jobs? What country should we invade?" said Sen. Jim Jeffords (R-VT). "These Escher prints, however, raise many far more vexing questions: How do those fish and birds manage to turn into each other? How could the stairs be going up and down at the same time? We have our work cut out for us on this one."

Among the Escher works that have proven most baffling is the lithograph "Reptiles," in which small lizards crawl out of a two-dimensional drawing, then back into it again.

"It is clear that the artist has created a potentially infinite universe that is both two-dimensional and three-dimensional at the same time." Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) said. "But beyond this, we know very little at this time. To be honest, just thinking about it totally messes with my head."

Thus far, Congress has had little success unraveling the disorienting prints, as legislators have only been able to convene for 15 minutes at a time, requiring constant breaks to recover from Escher-induced headaches.

Measures have been enacted, however, to ensure resolution of the dilemma. "Despite our inability to figure out these odd drawings, Congress is committed to getting to the bottom of this," Jeffords said. "We have established a 20-member fact-finding committee to determine whether the guy is drawing the hand, or the hand is drawing the guy, or what the hell."

"These are questions the American people want answered," said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). "Are these wormy-looking things rolling backwards or forwards? Am I under the window looking up, or what? We will get to the bottom of these matters, I assure you."

The most vociferous anti-Escher member of Congress has been still-alive Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC).

"If this picture is taken at face value, it would appear that Mr. Escher expects us to believe that the monks are ascending an infinite series of staircases while trapped within a limited spatial structure. Well, that's just malarkey," Helms said. "Is this the kind of confusing art on which we're spending hard-earned tax dollars? I think not."

Jump to next story

Onion Video

Watch More