Newly Unearthed Time Capsule Just Full Of Useless Old Crap

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Vol 35 Issue 37

Legislators Still Concerned About Key Non-Issues

WASHINGTON, DC—With Americans increasingly concerned about the Social Security crisis and nuclear threats abroad, a coalition of leading congressmen restated their long-standing commitment Monday to such non-issues as flag-burning, school prayer and Internet porn. "Make no mistake, Congress is still deeply committed to these inconsequential matters," Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said. "As long as we are in office, we will continue to clog up the legislative process with this trivial dross." Hatch said citizens should feel free to e-mail his office with any other non-issues they feel are being overlooked.

Ritalin Gummis Unveiled

BASEL, SWITZERLAND—In what it is touting as "a fun, delicious new way to combat Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder," Ritalin manufacturer Novartis unveiled Ritalin Gummis Monday. "Good news, parents: Controlling your kids' wandering attention spans and erratic, impulsive behavior just got yummier," said Novartis director of product development Charles Bentley. "Available in five fruity flavors, Ritalin Gummis will soon be available at pharmacies and Brach's Pick-A-Mix displays everywhere." If the product is successful, Novartis rival Eli Lilly said it will likely move forward with a tart, sugary antidepressant tentatively dubbed "Paxil Stix."

Some Genius Juxtaposing Religious Iconography And Bodily Waste Yet Again

SAN FRANCISCO—The ultimate taboo was broken for the 856th time Monday, when the controversial art exhibit "Doo-Doo Messiah" opened at the San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art. The shocking series of sculptures and paintings, which, among other things, depict Jesus Christ enthusiastically eating St. Paul's feces and blessing himself with the urine of John the Baptist, has sparked outrage among Christian leaders, many of whom flew straight from the Brooklyn Museum Of Art's "Sensation" exhibit to begin work on protesting this latest shocking installation. "This is the most horrifying, blasphemous excuse for art I have ever witnessed again," said Father Theodore Dickey of the Archdiocese of Boston. "I have seen many excrement-Jesus sculptures, but this is easily one of the 20 worst." Pastor Joseph Annunciata of the Cincinnati League of Episcopalians was equally shocked, asking, "Why would they display such a thing in a place where decent Christians are going to see it when they come to protest it?"

I Am Tired Of These Constant Near-Death Experiences

Last night, as I so often do during my sleep, I dreamt of the lithe-limbed and frustratingly over-corseted Sophie Tucker. But midway through the dream, without warning, the lady-actress' enchanting features changed to the stern visage of German Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck!

It's Splitsville For Jacko!

Item! Megasuperduperstar Michael Jackson and his wife are calling it quits after five years of wedded bliss. No official word yet on the cause of the divorce, but rumor has it, the wife was frustrated over Jackson's refusal to let her appear in one of his music videos. Sounds like the same thing that tragically drove the Ricardos apart. Let's just hope there's no bitter custody battle over the animals. In times of divorce, the first priority should be to do what is best for the capybaras.

Infidel!

Bring forth the prisoners! I, Gorzo The Mighty, hereby decree that Crash Comet, Space Commander From The Year 2000, and his puny boy sidekick, Buddy Jeepers, are to be executed summarily, vaporized, and their space-particles scattered across the farthest reaches of the cosmos! I have spoken! But first, remove the bags covering their faces! Unmask the weak, insignificant prisoners, that I may spit in the face of these two foolish whelps who dare to call themselves "the galaxy's greatest heroes." I wish to force them to watch the destruction of the entire United-Earth Space-Army with a single blast from my Atomo-Ballistic Laser Cannon, so that they may die knowing the hideous depths of their failure!

The New Reagan Biography

Edmund Morris' new Reagan biography, Dutch: A Memoir Of Ronald Reagan, is drawing fire for its use of fictionalized characters and events. What do you think of this controversial "biographical novel"?
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Newly Unearthed Time Capsule Just Full Of Useless Old Crap

ATCHISON, KS—A deep sense of disappointment gripped the citizens of Atchison, KS, Tuesday, when a 60-year-old time capsule unearthed from the site of a demolished library was found to contain a bunch of useless old crap.

Just some of the worthless junk found in the disappointing time capsule.

"What were the people who buried this thing thinking?" asked Atchison mayor Donald Kirschwald, following a capsule-opening ceremony at Atchison Town Hall. "None of this stuff is worth a red cent. It's all a bunch of stupid, worthless junk: newspapers, photographs, children's toys, sheet music, a pen knife, an iron and some rusty kitchen appliances. Big deal."

The capsule—a large wooden crate bearing the words, "For The People Of The Future, So That They May Come To Know Us"—is believed to have been buried in 1939 during the dedication of the just-built Atchison Public Library. Earlier this month, as the library was torn down to make room for a new Steak & Shake, demolitions workers came across the capsule, which had been sealed in the building's cornerstone.

Though the capsule also bore the instructions, "Not to be unsealed until 2939 A.D.," civic leaders decided it should be opened as soon as possible.

"Everyone was very excited about the capsule," Kirschwald said. "We thought, 'What if it contains gold? Or pirate treasure? Or a deed to a diamond mine?' We also figured that by the time 2939 rolled around, folks would probably know how to synthesize gold and other precious metals anyway, so why let them get all the good stuff when we could really use it now?"

As word got around Atchison that the contents of a circa-1939 time capsule were to be revealed in a public ceremony, rumors about its contents began to fly. Local residents conjectured that it contained everything from solid-gold Egyptian tomb idols to the British crown jewels to vials of pure uranium.

"The speculation really got ridiculous," Kirschwald said. "How would a Kansas farm town get a hold of Egyptian tomb idols, especially during the Depression? It's just absurd. Now, Disney stock certificates, that's what I was counting on."

But when the capsule was finally opened, a collective groan rose up among Atchison residents. Instead of treasure, the capsule merely yielded banal items of everyday function. Among the "artifacts" were photographs of prominent Atchison residents, postcards of town landmarks, a spoon, a vacuum tube, a measuring pitcher, an alarm clock, a Bakelite comb, a washboard, a pair of spectacles, a die-cast toy car, a Sears-Roebuck catalog, a pair of leather shoes made in the now-defunct Atchison Shoe Works, detailed statistics of Atchison County's 1938 agricultural output, and a stack of hand-written county birth records.

"The first question was, 'Why?' Why would the town fathers bury a box full of junk?" Kirschwald asked. "A letter included with the time capsule explained that the items are designed to give future generations an idea of how people lived and what life was like in Atchison in 1939. Well, who cares about that?"

Added Kirschwald: "Yeah, pretty impressive, people of 1939. Thanks for giving us the priceless, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to look at all of your old garbage."

Perhaps the most unusual item in the capsule was an elaborately calligraphed document titled, "A Proclamation To The Peoples Of The Distant Future."

"It is our profound hope," the document read, "that as the clouds of war once again darken the Earth here in 1939, you, our descendants of the year 2939, will have come to realize that the destruction of civilization in the name of nationalism is too great a price to bear. It is also our hope that peace, harmony and prosperity will embrace your world as it has eluded ours."

"Boring!" said Cub Foods cashier Sherri Gower, 20, who witnessed the capsule-opening ceremony during a cigarette break. "It would've been a lot more interesting if they'd included something cool, like a signed murder confession from a famous citizen or a severed hand or something. Instead, they give us some big lecture about how bad war is. Well, duh."

University of Kansas history professor Dr. Curtis Dandridge said the capsule's dullness is a reflection of the time from which it came.

"The 1930s were one of the most boring eras in American history," Dandridge said. "People didn't have a lot of money or education, so they amused themselves in simple ways. Yes, there were movies, but they were in crude black-and-white and didn't have any swearing, nudity or special effects. Radio also existed, but the programs were hokey and old-fashioned. So planting a time capsule was, for these people, a departure from their horribly dull routines. But their poverty, combined with their naïvete and limited knowledge of the world, left them no choice but to put cheap, uninteresting stuff in their time capsule."

The capsule's contents are currently being stored in a broom closet in Atchison Town Hall.

"It's yours for the taking, if you're interested," Kirschwald said. "But we'll probably end up tossing that stuff out. Not even the libraries around here want that crap. Do you know anyone who uses vacuum tubes these days?"

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