Federal Judge Rules Parker Brothers Holds Monopoly Monopoly

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Vol 36 Issue 14

Hotshot Test Pilot Removes Helmet, Reveals Female Status

SHEPPARD AFB, TX–"Corporal Green," an enigmatic but brilliant Air Force test pilot, was revealed to be a woman Monday, when she removed her flight helmet following a trial run of the new AF-50 Shadowhawk, rumored to be "the fastest thing on landing gears." "I was completely flabbergasted to discover that the cocky ace behind those death-defying barrel rolls and devil-may-care canyon strafes was, in fact, a woman–and a gorgeous one at that," Lieut. Col. Thomas Hagerty said. "The flight suits are sufficiently baggy that I never suspected it until she took off the helmet and shook her head, sending her long blonde hair cascading down her back." Hagerty noted that his recent statement that Green "has got solid-brass balls" is now steeped in irony.

New 'Time' To Keep Everything From Happening At Once

CAMBRIDGE, MA–On what is now known as "Monday," a team of MIT scientists unveiled "time," a revolutionary new event-sequencing protocol which organizes phenomena along a four-dimensional axis, preventing everything from taking place at once. "No longer will the extinction of the dinosaurs, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the Earth-Xabraxiq Pod Wars all collapse into a single point," theoretical physicist Dr. Lawrence Chang said. "With time, we can now contextualize each of the universe's infinite number of occurrences in its own spatial-temporal plane, creating order where there once was chaos." Added Dr. Erno Toffel: "Using time, one event can be positioned chronologically so as to be the cause of another. For example, a man's death may result in a gun being fired at him. Or the other way around. We're still working out some of the kinks."

Waiter Seriously Needs His Apps

INDEPENDENCE, MO–Twenty minutes after turning in table eight's order, T.G.I.Friday's waiter Eric Porcher announced Monday that he seriously needs his apps. "Still waiting on those apps, guys," Porcher shouted into the kitchen, hoping to spur the grill crew into swifter action on table eight's long-overdue appetizer order of Buffalo chicken strips and Jalapeño Poppers. "My four-top is short on apps." Five minutes later, Porcher added, "Still waiting on those chick strips and Poppers."

Teen Breaks Rules In Socially Accepted Ways

HACIENDA HEIGHTS, CA–Daniel Lindblad, 15, openly flouts societal conventions in a manner that will not get him in trouble, it was reported Monday. "I just got this T-shirt that's got a picture of Charles Manson with the swastika on his forehead," Lindblad said. "It's so fuckin' sick. I always wear a sweatshirt over it when my parents are around–they'd totally kill me if they saw it." Lindblad said he plans to pierce his nose and dye his hair blue this June, "the moment school lets out."

Report: Most Terrorists Do Not Start The Day Off With A Good Breakfast

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND–In a report that is prompting some to rethink the causes of terrorism, the World Health Organization announced Monday that a startling 96 percent of international terrorists do not start off the day with a good breakfast. "Very few of those who use violence to advance their radical agendas enjoy a healthy, well-balanced breakfast with selections from a variety of food groups," WHO director Johann Bruckhörst-Kliebe said. "These findings make it clear that when it comes to the problem of fighting terrorism, nutrition may play a far more important role than previously believed."

Jean Teasdale Living

Well, Jeanketeers, I've got a confession to make: For a while there, I wasn't following my trusty old axiom, "Keep smiling!" In fact, you could say that my frown practically dragged on the ground!

I'm Not A Wino, I'm A 'Why-Yes'!

I've sucked down a lot of booze in my 42 years. A hell of a lot. In fact, some would go so far as to call me a wino. But I've got no time for that kind of negativity. I'm not a wino... I'm a "why-yes"!

Watching N. Aeschylus Grow

It is a bitter-sweet season at the Zweibel mansion. Though my sweet betrothed, Miss Bernadette Fiske, has perished from a swooning fit brought on by extreme womanliness, her delicate, lithe-limbed beauty lives on in our square-headed, seven-foot-tall baby boy, N. Aeschylus. The clangor of his iron feet as he frolics about the mansion is just the tonic my nerves require. I had forgotten the wonder that is a Zweibel-child!

The Columbine Legacy

April 20 marks the one-year anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. What is the legacy of this tragedy?
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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!

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Scientists Posit Theoretical ‘Productive Weekend’

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Challenging long-accepted scientific convention, a group of leading MIT scientists published a report Thursday positing that, under certain rare and specific conditions, a so-called “productive weekend” is theoretically pos...

Federal Judge Rules Parker Brothers Holds Monopoly Monopoly

WASHINGTON, DC–In a landmark antitrust decision, U.S. District Judge Thomas Nance ruled Monday that Parker Brothers' controlling interest in the popular board game Monopoly constitutes an illegal Monopoly monopoly.

Found guilty of colluding with Hasbro to corner the Monopoly market–undermining the production and sale of similar board games and designing the Monopoly CD-ROM game to "take over" the user's desktop and keep other games from being played–Parker Brothers faces fines of $15,140 and up to three turns in prison.

Rich Uncle Pennybags testifies before a Senate subcommittee on April 3.

In his 62-page ruling, Nance wrote: "In light of the evidence presented–namely, the myriad versions of the Monopoly board game produced, from the first edition to the high-tech Monopoly 2000, as well as the electronic hand-held version, CD-ROM, and video-game editions, all of which are produced or licensed by Parker Brothers–this court has no alternative but to find that a Monopoly monopoly is in effect."

Speaking outside his green plastic Atlantic City office building, lead prosecutor Milton Bradley told reporters: "These Monopoly monopolists have been allowed to park free for way too long, and it's high time they went directly to jail. We're talking about a company so dominant, it has leveraged its board-game success into a multi-tentacled goliath with holdings in railroads, real estate, electric utilities, and water works."

In testimony last Friday, Parker Brothers CEO Rich Uncle Pennybags insisted that his company has never violated antitrust laws at any time.

"Quite simply, we are being punished for being too successful," the mustachioed tycoon told a packed courthouse. "Monopoly is the world's most popular, best-selling board game, and it has become so not through any anti-competitive practices, but simply by being a quality product that people want to buy. Isn't that the way capitalism is supposed to work?"

A row of Parker Brothers-owned hotels in Atlantic City.

In making its case, the prosecution presented evidence of numerous questionable activities on the part of Parker Brothers, including making a series of illegal $200 payoffs to Go-passing associates, operating a grand-opera ticket-scalping ring, and engaging in price-gouging, charging $1275 for a three-minute stay at one of its luxury hotels on Atlantic City's North Carolina Avenue.

Prosecutors also accused Parker Brothers officials of money-laundering, both in offshore accounts and so-called "under the board" money. Parker Brothers attorneys argued that the extra funds were due to a bank error in the company's favor, but prosecutors cited tax forms showing that the company opted to pay a flat income tax, per Atlantic City law, rather than have 10 percent of its gross worth calculated. Receipts for a luxurious diamond ring taxed at $75, presented late in the prosecution phase, proved similarly damaging to the defense.

"Clearly, this is not the squeaky-clean company Mr. Pennybags would have you believe it is," Bradley said. "And while we're on the subject, what about Pennybags himself? How reputable is he? This is, after all, the man who, in 1997, attempted to cover up his second-place finish in some sort of bizarre beauty contest for elderly men."

The Thimble (center) is mobbed by reporters following his April 5 testimony.

The guilty verdict comes at a bad time for Parker Brothers, which is already reeling from plummeting stock, a shrinking market share, and a recent assessment for street repairs on all its buildings. Attorneys for the company attempted to plead insolvency, presenting as evidence numerous face-down title deeds for holdings, but Nance was unmoved.

"From the McDonald's Monopoly game to Monopoly slot machines in Las Vegas to such college-themed games as Michiganopoly and Notre Dameopoly, Monopoly has so thoroughly dominated its arena, it can only be regarded as anti-competitive," Nance wrote in his decision. "No board game should wield this much clout in a free and open marketplace."

Business watchers say the verdict was long overdue.

"Pennybags is one of the most predatory and underhanded figures in the history of the toy-and-game industry," Fortune associate editor Craig Black said. "This guy was literally writing his own rule book. He stabbed everyone in the back to get the world's most popular board game all to himself, and once he did, it was like a license to print his own money."

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