Why Am I The Only Homeless Man Still Wearing Pickle Barrels?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Being Older Than Daughter Babysitter’s Only Qualification

UTICA, NY—Possessing no particular proficiencies or training whatsoever, local 12-year-old Jessica Radloff was reportedly hired to babysit Hayley Carden, 7, this week based solely on her qualification of being older than the child she was asked to watch.

Total Weirdo Spends Mother’s Day At Cemetery

ST. MARYS, OH—Apparently content to hang around dead people rather than celebrate like a normal person, area weirdo John Mills spent most of Mother’s Day at a local cemetery, creeped-out sources confirmed.

Child Visiting Ellis Island Sees Where Grandparents Once Toured

ELLIS ISLAND, NY—Pausing to imagine the throngs of people who must have arrived with them that day back in 1994, 12-year-old Max Bertrand reportedly spent his visit to Ellis Island this afternoon walking around the same immigrant station his grandparents once toured.

Email From Mom Sent At 5:32 A.M.

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Man Proud Of Food He Ordered

DEDHAM, MA—Noting how the man grinned with satisfaction after his Buffalo Chicken Ranch sandwich with a side of spiced panko onion rings arrived at his table, sources at Chili’s Grill & Bar confirmed Tuesday that local diner Matt Schoesse ...
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Why Am I The Only Homeless Man Still Wearing Pickle Barrels?

I picked up one of our fine city's newspapers from underneath the wheel of a fruit cart last week and saw a fascinating article about our current economic situation. If I read it right—and there is a chance I was simply crazed with hunger at the time—the country is in for some hard times because of a rash of bad loans. Well, I must admit I was flabbergasted by this news. If this is indeed the case, and more people are finding themselves without the means to pay for their housing, then why hasn't there been an uptick in people who, like me, can clothe themselves in naught but pickle barrels?

Have our once-noble homeless abandoned their most sacred tradition so flippantly? Has this great nation lost her teeming, pickle- barreled masses?

I have traveled a long road to get where I am today. At one time I was, like you, a railroad tycoon with a fortune at my fingers. But Fate is fickle, and a series of bad investments caused me to lose everything—my shiny, chauffeured roadster, my marble-columned mansion, even my fine English suits. All gone. I was destitute, so I did what any responsible citizen in my position would do. I went to the nearest five-and-dime, found a pickle barrel, affixed a pair of leather straps to it, and began my life anew as a wandering vagrant.

To don a pickle barrel was my lot, and by God, I wore it proudly. My barreled brethren and I felt no shame in being homeless. Back then, all we needed to be happy was a pickle barrel to call our own, the occasional discarded cigar butt, and perhaps a handful of dimes we had earned from an afternoon of selling pencils. We may not have had houses or shoes, but at least we knew our place.

But over the years, a disturbing number have abandoned the pickle barrel for the flashier attire of patched trousers with suspenders and shoes that expose their big toes. I am ashamed to say some of my closer companions even stopped growing their wiry beards in perfect ovals around their toothless grins. Yet, hoping they would see the error of their ways, I kept faith and, also, hundreds of discarded pickle barrels I could resell later for a handsome markup.

Then, just last week, I found myself in an unfamiliar part of town with a familiar rumbling in my stomach and began my search for a can of beans I could cook over a boot-fire and eat, before wearing the discarded can as a hat while picking my teeth clean with a perfectly intact fish skeleton. It took a while, as it seems fewer and fewer people these days are carrying crates of tinned food on their bicycles, where even the littlest bump in the road can send a hearty canned stew flying. Also, my barrel does not make it easy to bend over and pick up items from the ground. After much searching, I happened upon a queue forming at a local church. Surely the pious would let me know where I could get my evening's victuals.

Instead, they greeted me with alarming hostility, and I was told that if I was going to make sport of their misfortune, then I had better go elsewhere or suffer a beating. Why, I was bedeviled with confusion. What misfortune could possibly have befallen such well-dressed, church-going gentlemen, clad in the finest of cotton shirts, which bore decorations and slogans like "No Fear," "Super Bowl XXX," and "Boyz II Men"? Why there was not a pickle barrel among them, and yet shockingly they claimed to be homeless themselves!

"Well, rejoice, my wretched companions, for I have pickle barrels enough for all of you!" I exclaimed. "Never again will you be mistaken for decent house owners!" But the crowd perceived my presence before them to be "cutting," and I was at once beaten bloody and thrown to the curb. In the kerfuffle, I fear I lost my barrel's cork, and was forced to flee the place in a highly immodest fashion.

Apparently, these ruffians lost their manners with their homes.

After a restless night in the church basement, I awoke at the crack of dawn and ran down to the train yard to seek the counsel of my old friend Handsome Joe, the Hobo King. He has no subjects, but that doesn't make him any less royal in a soiled tuxedo and a top hat with the lid partially detached. I told him what had transpired, and he agreed that the traditions of the proud homeless must be kept alive. Then he fell asleep with a loud, whistling snore.

I sit here now, surrounded by iron hoops and wood, the last of a dying breed. Perhaps the fault lies not in the individual. Rather, it may lie in a society that values a system in which pickles are stored in glass jars and shipped in cardboard boxes. How is one to clothe oneself with a glass jar? Is one to sleep in a cardboard box?

Perish the thought.