Local Puppet Ignores Repeated Audience Dragon Warnings:

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Vol 32 Issue 01

Johnsville, Il, Renamed Walmart #11717

JOHNSVILLE, IL—In a special town-square ceremony Friday, Mayor Byron Elkins officially renamed the town of Johnsville, IL, pop. 2,372, WalMart #11717. "All WalMart #11717ians can be proud to call WalMart #11717 their home," the mayor said. "I think we can all agree that WalMart #11717 is a wonderful place to work and shop." Added Elkins: "Go WalMart #11717 High Cougars!" Other residents of WalMart #11717 were equally enthusiastic. "The arrival of WalMart in our town this year caused dozens of stores to close, eliminating over 400 jobs," said greeter and mother of three Marianne Gross. "But on the bright side, nearly 150 jobs have been created by the new store." Citizens of WalMart #11717 who behave will receive a subcutaneous corporate-identification implant chip good for an employee discount at any WalMart store.

Pierced Tongue Fails To Make Local Woman Less Boring

COLLEGE STATION, TX—Sources within the tongue-piercing community revealed Monday that area resident Jen Macalester, 20, is no less boring now than she was prior to last week's tongue-piercing at the Piercing Pagoda in College Station's CrossGates Mall. While Macalester had hoped the tongue ring would give her "an edgy, dangerous, anti-establishment air," in actuality it did little to disguise her unremarkable personality and utterly predictable tastes. In the wake of the piercing failure, Macalester has reportedly been significantly cheered up by Tuesday's release of the new 311 album.

Mars Probe Destroyed By Orbiting Spielberg-Gates Space Palace

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL—NASA officials have confirmed that the space agency's $170 million Mars Rover was destroyed Sunday by a ship-to-ship phaser fired from the defense array of the $950 billion Spielberg-Gates Space Palace, an opulent, Rhode Island-sized orbiting mansion which serves as an outer-space getaway for moviemaker Steven Spielberg and computer magnate Bill Gates. While powerless to counterattack, NASA pleaded with Spielberg and Gates to be more merciful with NASA equipment in the future. "While we greatly respect the advances Mr. Spielberg and Mr. Gates have made with their privately funded space fleet, and we apologize for our unauthorized entrance into their orbit zone, we beseech them to share the solar system with us." Spokespersons for Spielberg and Gates said the two ardent video-game enthusiasts were "just playing."

Jean's Karaoke Krazy!

So there I was last Friday night, wondering where the heck hubby Rick was. He had promised to take me to see Con Air, but it was almost 15 minutes until the start of the movie and still no Rick. I called the tire center where he works, but there was no answer. Great, I thought, he's probably out at Tacky's Tavern, and I'll be stuck home tonight all alone. I changed out of my nice sweats, climbed into bed and turned on QVC.

Zweibel Goes A-Courtin'

The estate was awash in jollity and good tidings this week during the wedding of my great-great-great grandniece Violet Carstairs Zweibel to some pansy who is heir to a vast gelatin fortune. Though the ceremony was held in my own court-yard, I was locked in my bed-chamber, doubtless out of fear that I would create a scene. Lousy ingrate family of mine!

Area Tank Top Strained Nearly To Breaking Point

SMYRNA, GA—A Smyrna-area tank top is under fire from local menswear advocates, who say the garment is so severely strained that it is in imminent danger of succumbing to explosive and potentially dangerous fabric-degradation-related rupture.
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Local Puppet Ignores Repeated Audience Dragon Warnings:

SEYMOUR, IN—Despite loud and repeated audience warnings, an area puppet was attacked by a dragon during a performance of The Silver Bananas in the children's section of the Seymour Public Library Sunday.

Prince Bumbo The Monkey (right), moments before Sunday's near-fatal dragon attack.

The puppet, Prince Bumbo The Monkey, is in serious but stable condition with extensive cloth injuries.

According to police, audience members warned Prince Bumbo "at least a half dozen times" that Brimstone, a Seymour-area dragon whose magic silver bananas Bumbo had just stolen, was behind him. Each time, however, Bumbo refused to heed the warnings, boasting that Brimstone would never dare to attack him.

As Brimstone neared Prince Bumbo, the monkey stopped in mid-sentence and looked around as though he heard something, but quickly returned to boasting about the banana theft, which only agitated the audience further.

As the dragon opened his jaws, Prince Bumbo finally appeared to hear the warnings. "What? You say there's a big mean dragon behind me? Oh, come on, I don't believe you," he said.

"We insisted it was true," said audience member and mother of three Sherri Pryce, "so Prince Bumbo finally turned around to look, but Brimstone then shifted to the other side so that the puppet could not see him. We then told Prince Bumbo to look in the other direction, but when he did Brimstone only returned to his original position behind Prince Bumbo."

The monkey then accused the audience of "just being jealous," and returned to inspecting his stolen silver bananas. It was then that the dragon struck, severely shaking Prince Bumbo in his felt-lined jaws and forcing the monkey to return the treasure.

According to psychologist Dr. Gary Wisniewski (above), puppet violence is caused by feelings of "helplessness, anger and frustration."

Seymour police chief Ron Byrne said the attack could easily have been avoided. "When I come to schools to talk to kids about the importance of dragon safety, one of the first things I tell them is, always be sure to turn around completely if you think a dragon is stalking you," said Byrne, who happened to attend Sunday's show with his three-year-old son. "This monkey did not do so, and now he's paying for it."

According to leading puppet psychologist Dr. Gary Wisniewski, violence has grown increasingly common in the puppet world. "Puppets have very limited free will," said Wisniewski, whose clients include such celebrity puppets as Howdy Doody and X the Owl. "They are controlled by strings or by a human hand, and are continually forced to mouth the words of others. In addition, their environment is limited to the small, cramped puppet-theater stage. As a result, many puppets develop deep feelings of helplessness, anger and frustration, feelings that can very easily lead to violence."

Seymour Public Library officials offer a more direct explanation for the latest case of puppet-on-puppet violence.

"It's unfortunate that Prince Bumbo didn't pay attention to the audience and was attacked by the dragon," assistant library director Patti Colby said. "But if he hadn't been such a greedy, stubborn little monkey who didn't want to share, it would never have happened."

Nevertheless, library officials have ordered beefed-up security for next week's performance of Mr. Bear, Queen Bee And The Stolen Honey.

"That show could be serious trouble," said John Reinholt, head of security for the library. "A lot of the puppets want to get their hands on that honey."

Reinholt said the library is still investigating a June 25 stick-beating incident involving local puppets Punch and Judy, and no arrests have been made in connection with the gruesome boiling of a wolf last May.

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