What Kind Of Powdered Chocolate Drink Mix Have We Unleashed Upon The World?

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Impressive New Hire Figures Out Bare Minimum Of Work Job Requires On First Day

MILWAUKEE—Marveling at his extraordinary ability to learn the ropes at the technology firm and quickly fit right in with the rest of his colleagues, sources at Starpoint Solutions confirmed Thursday that impressive new hire Eric Myers has already figured out the bare minimum of work his job requires on the very first day.

45-Minute Phone Call To Credit Card Company Goes Great

FORT WAYNE, IN—Grinning with contentment as he reminisced about the call he placed earlier in the day, 31-year-old accountant Greg Schulhoff told reporters Thursday that his 45-minute phone call with MasterCard regarding late payment fees went “really great.”

Mom Keeping Tabs On Coyote Situation

WAYZATA, MN—Regularly updating her husband and children on the frequency and location of sightings around the neighborhood, local mother Dana Salisbury continued to keep close tabs on the coyote situation this week, sources confirmed.

Teen Coming Out Of Shell Giving Bully Lots Of New Material To Work With

SCOTTSDALE, AZ—Claiming he “hit the jackpot” when his victim began displaying an increased level of confidence and expressing his personal interests, local bully David Macomber told reporters Tuesday that he has had loads of new material to work with since 14-year-old Andrew Reid started coming out of his shell several weeks ago.

Boss Able To Seamlessly Blend Constructive Criticism With Personal Attacks

SAN JOSE, CA—Marveling at the ease and deftness with which he communicates the two messages simultaneously, employees at local advertising firm Wavelength Solutions told reporters Tuesday that their supervisor Eric Crowell has a unique ability to seamlessly blend constructive criticism with cutting personal attacks.

Neighborhood Starting To Get Too Safe For Family To Afford

CHICAGO—Explaining that the sense of unease she felt walking to and from her home had declined markedly over the years, Humboldt Park resident Kirsten Healy expressed her disappointment to reporters Thursday that her neighborhood was becoming too safe for her family to afford.

Area Dad Informs Busboy He’s Ready To Order

NASHUA, NH—Raising his arm into the air while leaning outward from the table in a bid to command attention from the other side of the restaurant, area father Walter Bierko called over a busboy at DiCapri’s Italian Eatery to inform him that he was ready to order, sources reported Wednesday.

Winning Argument With Aging Parents Less Satisfying Than It Once Was

CINCINNATI—After firmly telling them that she was okay paying city prices and that she would not move back to her hometown just because it was cheaper, local woman Ellen Wallace, 40, confirmed Thursday that winning an argument with her parents has become much less satisfying as they have gotten older.

Rescuers Heroically Help Beached Garbage Back Into Ocean

ATLANTIC BEACH, NC—In what many described as an inspiring display of selflessness and teamwork, a group of rescuers heroically saved a beached mound of garbage by helping the stranded trash back into the ocean, eyewitnesses reported Thursday.

Man Races Against Time To Take Out Trash Bag With Widening Puncture

RIO RANCHO, NM—His pace steadily quickening as he rounded the corner out of his kitchen and made a beeline for the front door, local man Henry Parnasse reportedly found himself locked in a race against time Wednesday morning to take out a trash bag with a widening hole in its side.

Man Pushed Off Plate Of Chicken Wings By Larger Male

WARMINSTER, PA—Looking on as the intense display of aggressive behavior played out over several minutes, sources at Flannigan’s Bar & Grill confirmed Thursday that local man Pete Samuelson was pushed off a plate of buffalo wings by a much larger alpha male.

Grandma Guts It Out Through Lunch On Sunny Patio

MALVERN, PA—Making the audacious decision to dine outdoors with her family despite a noticeable lack of umbrellas or awnings, grandmother Diane McGilvery, 83, reportedly gutted it out through lunch Friday on the sunny patio of a local restaurant.

Parents Formally Announce Transfer Of Expectations To Second Child

GRAND JUNCTION, CO—Explaining that the adjustment made the most practical sense for all parties involved, local parents Beth and Ryan Morgan held a press conference Friday morning to announce the official transfer of expectations from their oldest child, Jeremy, to his younger sibling, Angie.

Motorcyclist Salvaged For Parts

SIOUX FALLS, SD—Following a multiple-vehicle accident on Interstate 90 that temporarily halted traffic in both directions, sources reported Friday that a motorcyclist involved in the crash was hauled off and salvaged for parts.

Detective Not Sure He Was Close Enough To Partner To Endlessly Pursue Killer

DETROIT—After his partner of three years was gunned down last week while the pair were on duty, Detective David Killian of the Detroit Police Department’s Major Case Squad told reporters Wednesday he was unsure whether he had been close enough to his murdered colleague to single-mindedly pursue the killer for as long as it takes.

Man Pretty Cocky Since Beating Cancer

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL—Whether he’s bragging about his newfound appreciation for life or arrogantly refusing to take anything for granted, local man Daniel Oretsky, 38, has been acting insufferably cocky since winning his two-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, sources confirmed Tuesday.

Area Man Under Impression He Got Dressed Up

PROVIDENCE, RI—Explaining that the dinner he would soon be having at an upscale restaurant required him to wear something a bit special, local man Kyle Finnegan was under the impression that he had just gotten dressed up, sources said Thursday.

Man Honestly Thought Breakdown Would Be More Obvious To People

MAPLEWOOD, MN—Explaining that he had assumed the deterioration of his physical and psychological state would be readily apparent, 3M sales associate Mark Uhler told reporters Wednesday he honestly thought his ongoing breakdown would be more obvious to everyone around him.

Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

YOUR LOCATION—Noting that it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies but it’s also a good thing to know in general, your dad announced today that he wants to show you where the fuse box is.

Neighborhood Busybody Reports Sound Of Gunshots

INDIANAPOLIS—Once again sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong, neighborhood busybody Sally Christensen, 54, reportedly took it upon herself to report the sound of gunshots to law enforcement early Tuesday morning, sources confirmed.
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Good Times

What Kind Of Powdered Chocolate Drink Mix Have We Unleashed Upon The World?

Gentlemen: By the time you read this, I will have passed from this vale of tears. Please let Linda know how I loved her, though truly she must think me a wretch for the wrong I have committed; and tell her that now, in my final hours, I did at last apprehend how I should have heeded her warnings from the start.

I write this in a state of profound despair, paralyzed with horror at the chocolaty abomination our thoughtless actions have wrought upon an unsuspecting world—a world that never asked for another chocolate drink mix, nor lived in true want of one. While all mankind will suffer in the fudgy genesis we have so callously brought forth, the responsibility for this pestilence is mine alone to bear. We played God with flavored milk, and now all of humanity must pay the price for our hubris—a price I fear may be much higher than the $2.99 markup at most supermarkets.

Oh, sweet Christ who died for us, for what hellish new sins have we forced you to suffer?

Our task seemed simple enough at the start, as with Herculean strides we reached and surpassed every milestone our superiors set forth for us: to make our simple elixir creamy. Chocolaty. Easily dissolved in wholesome milk. Why, even in tap water our results were impressive. It exceeded our wildest expectations. Perhaps that in itself made us too cocksure, too like unto wing-borne Icarus in our own minds' eyes. Vain. Drunk on the power of which we had so often been warned when we were inculcated in the arcane arts of dehydrated dairy products.

Though I wish nothing more than to blot the memories from my mind, I will always remember the moment our nightmares merged and melded with a terrifying, undeniable reality. On that too-warm April evening when Dr. Jack Gerhardt summoned us to assemble in the Processed Whey and Rennet Laboratory, we thought only of sampling the sweet fruits of our labor. We were in a state of near bliss. So young, so naïve… so damned.

Dr. Chang was the first to sample our creation. O, the excruciations that flowed beneath his face upon downing it! I wrenched the chocolaty drink from his hand and gazed upon its ebon surface, while horror unguessed at poured through my heart. It was only then I knew: The divine spark that inflames all that is right and good in milk was absent from that unholy glass, and a cold and bitter wind, bereft of hope and humanity, howled through the void where Choco-MaxXx's soul should dwell.

The eternity of Hell is too brief, too humane a reward for our offense against all breakfast drinks. In our ignorant pride, we thought we could perfect the very milk of the world, make it into something better. What we have concocted is a bent, twisted, unhealthy thing, a mockery of all decent beverages, a shadowed reflection, thirst-quenching as glimpsed in a dark and terrible mirror.

What arrogant muse gave us the temerity to capture the very Promethean fire, to take up the hammers of gods and forge our own twisted, corrupt works upon the anvil of snacktime creation? Such an unholy drink Lucifer himself could ne'er conceive.

We had created something not meant for this world.

We had no choice but to destroy every note, every prototype, every packet, and every spoon relating to our work—though it would surely cost us our careers. Better that, we knew, than our souls and sanity. All evidence was set to the torch immediately, and the sick light that bathed the sky that night was not that of springtime stars, but the rot-glow of Choco-MaxXx, our most foul blasphemy.

Afterwards, we went to tell our superiors the very manner by which we sent the cocoa-flavored monstrosity into oblivion. Our myopic, greedy money lords would hear none of it. The foul and cursed brew was already being manufactured in far-flung factories for immediate packaging and resale. It chilled our souls. Right and wrong, flavor or flavorlessness—none had meaning to these ghastly corporate executives.

We pleaded, begged them to see reason. "We have strayed into the dark food sciences, following in the path of deep-fried ice cream and fruit by the foot!" we cried. "We have created an inexpensive, mass-producible, long- shelf-lifed horror that defies every good and honest instinct of the human mind!"

Their laughter was deafening.

Fools. Fools! Shall their dark masters spare them, one wonders, in the end? Or shall their final settling occur in the first dark shipment? For be it ever so far off, their sell-by date approaches with every curdling of time.

I will not burden you with the knowledge of what transpired over these past two months. In this moment, I sit alone in a darkened basement while everything that once made sense in the world falls apart. Our powdered chocolate drink has become quite popular in a short amount of time, and with it has come an age of madness. I know now that I must return to that fortress of saccharine evil and make right all that I have foolishly set in motion, for I am the only one left capable of doing so. Susan, our lead researcher, went to the West Coast to take a job at a jellied candy plant, a shell of the woman she once was: hollow-eyed, muttering, sleepwalking through life, like one who has seen that which must not be brand-named! Dr. Gerhardt has taken to drink. And we do not speak of what became of Dr. Chang.

I must go, and I do not expect to return. It is my last abiding hope that one day my children will read this and realize that, while their father once made unimaginable errors in judgment, he was a good man who ended his miserable life for their very survival. I regret with every ounce of soul I yet possess that I ever helped develop Choco-MaxXx. But tonight, I shall see there is an end to it.