New '98 Homeless Seven Percent Louder

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Vol 32 Issue 15

Southern Comfort Comforts Southerner

SMYRNA, TN—A well-known brand of alcohol proved worthy of its name Sunday as a bottle of Southern Comfort comforted Southerner Melvin Shifflett, providing him with a warm sense of well-being as he retreated into the soothing glow of intoxication. "I am definitely comforted right now," the 34-year-old Shifflett said. "The high alcohol content of this whiskey, not to mention its pleasant cherry flavor, has made me forget all about the pain of my recent divorce and mounting credit-card debt."

Six-Year-Old Announces Plans To Become Ballerina Gymnast Veterinarian Horseback-Riding Princess

MILESBURG, PA—In a pre-bedtime announcement before family members Monday, area six-year-old Stephanie Ambrose unveiled plans to become a ballerina gymnast veterinarian horseback-riding princess when she grows up. "Ashley is very much interested in that particular field," said Ambrose’s mother Patricia. "But she’s still keeping her options open: She’s also considering becoming an astronaut actress president basketball-playing magic fairy."

Area Gym Class Prepares For Mandatory Exposure Of Penises To Peers

ROANOKE, VA—It was learned Monday that male students in Riverview Middle School’s fourth-period gym class are preparing, as they do before every scheduled hour of physical education, for mandatory exposure of their near-hairless, tiny, adolescent penises to the scrutiny of their peers. "Everyone’s got to be completely nude," said gym teacher Randall Slavin. "Anyone refusing to participate in the group nudity will be disciplined under school policy." Said seventh-grader Tim Hilfer: "I’d known James Ketchner ever since he and his mom moved here from Phoenix. We’ve been in school together a long time, but in all those years I’d never seen his penis. Now, I see his penis five days a week, and he sees mine."

North Korea Ranked Least-Entertained Nation On Earth

UNITED NATIONS—A U.N. study released Tuesday revealed that North Korea is the least-entertained nation on earth. The notoriously isolated Communist nation ranked last in all 57 of the study’s entertainment-related statistical subcategories, including celebrity-to-ordinary-citizen ratio, number of Nintendo 64s per thousand persons, and per capita fun. "These North Koreans are starving for the sort of Hollywood-style thrills that we take for granted here in the U.S.," Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said. "It’s tragic."

War And Remembrance

To-day is Armistice Day, the day when we remember those who have fallen in battle defending our great Republic. I myself never served in the military, but I am proud to say that throughout my long life, I have instigated much violence and blood-shed.

Seize Him!

Ah, yes. I see you have captured my elusive Earthling quarry at last. Well done, guard! You have greatly pleased your master. Bring him forward at once! I wish to speak with him face to face... before his annihilation.

The Basics Of Cruising

Hola amigos. How's it hangin'? I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but a lot of shit's been going down in Jim's part of town. See, I been working my ass off at this new job. You know how on trucks they have those running boards which are black, but they aren't painted because paint would come off real fast? Well, I work at a place where we put some black-powder crap onto the metal running boards and bake it for a while so it won't come off, even if you go off-roading. I guess you'd call me a powder boy, 'cause I apply the powder to the metal.

Ergonomic Advisors Call For $30 Million In Federal Lumbar Support

WASHINGTON, DC—Calling America’s current ergonomic situation "terribly strenuous on the nation’s lower-back region," a panel of top ergonomic advisors called upon Congress Monday to pass legislation allocating $30 million in federal lumbar support. "If the government does not begin addressing the problems facing the U.S. ergonomy," said MIT ergonomist Bryan Lam, "this nation will be unable to stand up in a few years."
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  • Night Out Consecrated With Opening Exchange Of High-Fives

    CHARLOTTE, NC—Kicking off the evening with their customary expression of excitement and camaraderie, a group of friends reportedly consecrated their night out on the town Friday with a ceremonial opening exchange of high-fives.

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New '98 Homeless Seven Percent Louder

WASHINGTON, DC—As part of the ongoing federal effort to improve America's homeless population, Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala announced Monday that the new '98 homeless will be seven percent louder than before.

One of the new, improved '98 homeless.

"Time and time again, America's homeless have proven themselves to be world leaders in the field of intrusive, high-volume vocalization," a beaming Shalala told reporters at a press conference on the National Mall, a leading center of U.S. homelessness. "And with the new, tougher vocal cords and expanded lung capacity of the '98 crop, our nation's homeless should continue to set the standard for excellence in the field of sustained, incomprehensible shouting."

"When it comes to homelessness," said Shalala, her voice nearly drowned out by the random yells of confused homeless assembled in the vicinity, "America truly is 'ahead of the pack.'"

In addition to their increased vocal capacity, the '98 homeless will be upgraded in numerous other ways. Among the improvements: They will consume 40 percent lower-grade alcohol, involve themselves in 57 percent more dysfunctional interpersonal relationships, and inhale 29 percent more dangerous industrial-solvent fumes.

But it is in the field of long-winded, indecipherable rambling at the top of their lungs that America's homeless have truly distinguished themselves. "The homeless population of America today," Shalala told the cheering crowd, "is bigger, poorer and, best of all, louder than any of the foreign competition. Let's give them all a hand for showing the world that America is still number one."

Monday's announcement was the result of the Department of Health and Human Services' recently completed Survey On Trends Concerning U.S. Urban Poor, a detailed study of the projected state of poverty in the next decade. According to HHS sources, the seven percent loudness-increase estimate for 1998 was arrived at by cross-indexing a variety of socioeconomic factors and reflects homeless citizens' "good old American know-how" and "desperate willingness to go to any length necessary to get others to acknowledge their existence."

According to United Nations figures, the U.S. has led the world in homeless-volume levels for the past 14 years, global dominance that many credit to Ronald Reagan's mass deregulation of the nation's mental institutions in 1982. Within a year of the Reagan deregulation, such longtime homelessness superpowers as Haiti, Mexico and India started to fall far behind the U.S., and have not caught up to this day.

But Reagan, whose mass emptying of the nation's mental hospitals left over 170,000 babbling, incoherent inpatients roaming the streets of America, is not the only one who deserves credit for establishing the U.S. as the world leader in homeless volume, Shalala said. The real credit goes to the homeless themselves.

"America's street-savvy homeless know what it takes to survive living in our country's increasingly pitiless and inhospitable public spaces," Shalala said. "In the past, simple human compassion for one's fellow man was enough to move the average citizen to acts of kindness toward the homeless. But now, with modern desensitization to the daily parade of human misery evident on any city street, it takes a lot more than a mere appeal to the kindness of strangers to get that nickel, dime, or quarter—it takes a non-stop barrage of high-volume, indecipherable, in-your-face ranting to make passersby so annoyed with your presence that they will relent and give you money just to make you leave them alone."

"I am proud to say that America's homeless have proven their greatness time and time again," she added. "When it comes to shouting, they have no rivals anywhere on Earth, and in the coming years, they're just going to get poorer, drunker and louder."

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