Local Company Moves Production Underseas

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Vol 41 Issue 29

Space Shuttle Delay

Last week, the scheduled launch of the space shuttle Discovery was aborted two hours before liftoff. What caused the delay?

Anonymous Source: 'I'm A Cowardly Snitch'

NEW YORK—An unidentified lawyer and lobbyist revealed Monday that a "sniveling yellow streak" led him to anonymously divulge U.S. State Department misconduct. "I am a blubbering cream puff with no guts whatsoever," said the source, 44, who wished to remain anonymous. "People should know what officials are doing, but I'm a big baby, and I can't risk my job or reputation by revealing my identity." The source spoke to reporters in a dark parking garage, then disappeared into the blackness.

Parasites Just Getting The Hang Of How Host Does Things

MACON, GA—Tapeworms recently introduced into Susan Rabidovitch's digestive tract will need time to get acclimated to their new environment, insiders reported Monday. "They just got set up with Susan, so now they're hanging out, getting a feel for what she likes to eat and when," Dr. Matthew Hyam said. "Soon, they'll jibe with Susan's taste for Indian food and come to expect her late-night Chunky Monkey binges, but for now, they're just gorging themselves while they learn what makes their new host tick." Hyam explained that the parasites may need a 10-week "getting to know Susan" period before beginning to release their full capacity of 50,000 eggs per day into her small intestine.

Man Who Lost Leg To Whale Decides To Let It Go

NEW BEDFORD, MA—Sources close to 58-year-old Samuel Rahal, a commercial fishing-boat captain who lost his right leg in a great-white-whale attack last March, announced Monday that he has put the incident behind him and is getting on with his life. "The first to guess the score of next Tuesday's Red Sox game gets this golden coin!" Rahal told his crew as he nailed a Sacagawea dollar to the cabin of his trawler. "Now, let's get this boat full of haddock so we can call it an early day." Rahal said he plans to replace his custom-made whalebone prosthesis with an OrthoPro with flex-foot and hydraulic knee.

Marine Corps Shortens Slogan To 'The Few'

WASHINGTON, DC—In light of recruiting shortfalls, a near standstill in re-enlistment, and rock-bottom troop morale, U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Michael Hagee announced Monday that the Marines will alter their unofficial slogan, abbreviating it to the more accurate "The Few." Hagee said, "We are still the Marines, the premier combat arm of the U.S. military." The Marines will also change their motto to Semper Fidelis, Sic Non Sapienti, or "Always Faithful, But This Is Just Ridiculous."

Stay Of Execution Squandered Again

FLORENCE, AZ—James "Jimbo" Creasey, 38, a death-row inmate at Arizona State Prison Complex-Florence, said Monday that he "feels pretty lousy" about wasting his most recent stay of execution, granted April 12.

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Special Coverage

Business

Local Company Moves Production Underseas

NEWARK, NJ—In an effort to revitalize the company after years of stagnant profits, BakeCo Inc., makers of Good Twist Pretzels and Fluffy Brand Cream Cakes, announced plans Monday to move their Newark-based production facility underseas.

BakeCo's new underwater headquarters.

"This move is long overdue," said Jeremy Helheman, vice president of marketing for BakeCo. "Many exciting possibilities lie ahead for us at the bottom of the ocean."

The 30-year-old company's new bakery, manufacturing center, and office complex will be located in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 20,000 fathoms beneath the sea.

"We realized the time had come for us to manufacture and deliver snack-food convenience items from the sea floor," Helheman said. "We have a responsibility to our shareholders to remain competitive in the 21st century. And if we don't take advantage of the opportunities of an underseas operation, our competitors will."

Helheman said the company will transfer many of its 1,300 employees to the underwater production facility, a decision that has left this working-class community reeling at the prospects of an economic downturn.

"We care about the Newark community," Helheman said. "It's never an easy choice to relocate jobs to the cold, inhospitable abyss of the deep seas, but the competitive realities of the baked-goods industry leave us little choice."

Helheman predicted that BakeCo employees will come to enjoy working several miles below sea level. "Once they are trained and certified in scuba diving and learn to cohabit with humpback whales, sea urchins, and schools of beautifully colored fish, our employees are likely to treasure their wondrous new work environment," he said. "And within five short years, we should see a sharp drop in debilitating cases of the bends."

BakeCo executives assured stockholders that the move will not affect the company's popular snack-food products.

"We're not changing the taste of Good Twist Pretzels or Mini Twists that America has come to love," said Helheman, as company representatives passed out soggy and disintegrating pretzel samples manufactured at the underseas facility. "Yes, many of the baked goods may taste a little more salty, and may also be crushed into microscopic pellets by the 7,000 pounds per square inch of water pressure that surrounds us at all times, but we will do everything we can to continue in the BakeCo tradition."

Added Helheman: "At BakeCo, even if much of our inventory will likely dissolve into a watery silt and then be devoured by sea-bed scavengers such as crabs, ling, and elephant fish, we believe quality comes first."

Executives admitted that relocating to the floor of the world's second-largest ocean does present some challenges, such as the corrosion of equipment in saltwater, coral overgrowth in offices, and the constant threat of attack by predatory marine life. Concerned about these difficulties, many employees and community leaders have spoken out strongly against the move.

"In addition to working underwater for eight hours a day with cumbersome oxygen tanks strapped to their backs, our workers are under constant threat from barracuda and other deadly undersea predators," said Local Food Producer's Union 443 President Marty Frankheim, who represents many members of the displaced workforce.

According to Frankheim, the main parking garage, built on the sea floor adjacent to the new headquarters, leaves workers dangerously exposed to shark attacks as they swim from the garage to the office entrance.

"Throughout the eight-month construction of the garage, tiger sharks have routinely threatened and occasionally fed on workers," Frankheim said.

Helheman downplayed any work hazards in the new location. "We're doing everything we can to create a safe working environment for the BakeCo team," Helheman said. "But once a tiger shark has attacked a victim, other sharks are attracted to the blood in the water, creating a feeding frenzy among the sharks."

Helheman did, however, warn employees and visitors touring the plant to avoid contact with moray eels, blue-ring octopi, and the dozens of species of sea snakes who make their homes near the plant. All of these animals are known to be aggressive and territorial, and may lurk in workers' lockers, in desk drawers, or dart about freely on the plant floor.

"While we're excited to be in our new undersea home, a frightened sea creature may feel threatened by our presence," Helheman said. "Employees should always use caution, especially during the blue ring's mating season."

The bite of a blue-ring octopus delivers a neuromuscular paralyzing venom more deadly than that of any land animal.

Despite setbacks, Helheman was optimistic about BakeCo's move. "We have high expectations for forging great new relationships with our undersea neighbors," Helheman said. "Bold new possibilities await us at the bottom of the sea."

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