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

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Report: Someone Needs To Get Chips And Dip Away From Area Man

EDISON, NJ—Repeatedly emphasizing that the ruffled potato chips and accompanying French onion dip were just too good, a report released Thursday confirmed that someone needs to get them away from local partygoer Ian Ashcraft before he eats the whole thing.

High School Nurse Getting Pretty Good At Spotting Morning Sickness

FAIRFIELD, ME―Having seen more students than she can remember come into her office with complaints of nausea and vomiting over the years, Fairfield High School nurse Sarah Bromti told reporters Wednesday she’s getting to the point where she can identify morning sickness without much trouble.

Grandmother Palms Grandson $10 Like She Fixing Boxing Match

NEW BEDFORD, MA—Waiting until her daughter and son-in-law were occupied getting drinks in the kitchen following a family dinner at her home Sunday, local grandmother Ellen Sullivan, 72, is said to have palmed her 11-year-old grandson Jason Tucci $10 like she was fixing a heavyweight boxing match.

5 Months Of College Research Outweighed By Weekend Visiting Friend At Penn State

HAGERSTOWN, MD—Noting that the large public university had suddenly emerged as the high school student’s top choice for the fall, sources confirmed Wednesday that a single weekend spent with a friend who attends Penn State completely superseded all of graduating senior Tyler Pince’s college research over the past five months.

Boss Wants Friendly, Relaxed Company Culture In Place By Friday

SAN MATEO, CA—Warning of severe consequences if he didn’t see results, Pantheon Digital Consulting COO Daniel Abelson, 59, told employees Monday he wants a relaxed, friendly company culture implemented by the end of the week, sources within the organization confirmed.

Everyone In Coffee Shop Can Tell Trainee A Goner

KIRKLAND, WA—Shaking their heads as they watched the man struggle to make correct change and overheard him botch back-to-back orders, every customer at local coffee shop The Daily Bean confided to reporters Friday they could tell the store’s newest trainee was a definite goner.

34-Year-Old Man May As Well Keep Pursuing Dream At This Point

OMAHA, NE—Admitting he wasn’t really qualified to do much of anything else after all this time, local 34-year-old Ryan Wells told reporters Wednesday that, at this point, he might as well just keep following his dream of someday becoming a successful musician.

You To Still Die One Day

Did You Forget About That For A Minute?

WASHINGTON—Saying that despite the possibility you may have briefly been able to distract yourself from the incontrovertible fact by browsing the internet, hanging out with friends, reading, working out, or via some other diversion, sources confirmed Friday that you are still going to die one day and there is nothing you can do to prevent it.

Teacher’s Lounge The Site Of 5 Separate Emotional Breakdowns Today

CONWAY, AR—Noting that the space hasn’t gone more than two consecutive periods without being filled by the sound of soft sobbing or a sharply uttered series of curse words, sources at Conway High School confirmed that the teacher’s lounge has been the site of five separate emotional breakdowns so far today.

Alignment Of 6,071 Completely Independent Variables Necessary For Man To Feel Okay

PHILADELPHIA—Listing off an extensive set of prerequisite conditions ranging from various aspects of his physical health to the volume of the ongoing construction project outside his apartment, local man Shane Lambert confirmed Thursday that 6,071 completely independent variables must be in perfect synchrony at any given moment for him to feel okay.

Area Dad Stares Longingly At Covered Grill In Backyard

‘I Haven’t Forgotten You,’ Father Softly Whispers

EUCLID, OH—Placing his right palm against the glass of the sliding back door as he softly whispered reassurances to the device, local father Paul Chesney, 48, spent nearly an hour Tuesday gazing longingly at the covered grill in his backyard, family sources reported.

Breaking: Adam Got A PS4 For Christmas

He Got ‘Battlefront’ Too

DANVILLE, CA—Saying that the 10-year-old was so freaking lucky, sources in Mrs. Burnett’s homeroom class confirmed Monday that local 5th-grader Adam Samuels got a PlayStation 4 for Christmas and Star Wars Battlefront, too.

Grandma In Nursing Home Starts Adorable Little Sexual Relationship

PHOENIX—Saying it was nice to know their grandmother had found a companion to spend time with, the family of Desert Spring Assisted Living Home resident Barbara McGann reported Wednesday that the 78-year-old had begun an adorable little sexual relationship with another of the facility’s residents.

Grin Slowly Spreads Across Mom’s Face As Meal Revealed To Contain Healthy Ingredients

‘The Mashed Potatoes Are Actually Made With Cauliflower,’ She Announces

VERONA, WI—Having waited until everyone at the table had finished their dinner Monday, a knowing grin reportedly spread across local mother Angela Hopkins’ face as she announced to her family that the mashed potatoes had in fact been made using cauliflower as a healthier alternative.

Sudden Death Of Aunt Creates Rupture In Family Gossip Pipeline

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA—Grieving family members of local aunt Laurie Shelton confirmed Monday that the 48-year-old woman’s unexpected death had caused a major breach in their gossip pipeline, suddenly disrupting access to the latest dirt on all their relatives.

Man Really Letting No One Have It During Exit Interview

SPRINGFIELD, MA—Keeping his voice at a measured volume and holding everything back, departing employee David Hughes was really letting no one have it during his exit interview Monday, sources at local accounting firm Grier and Associates confirmed.

Conceptual Genius Goes As Self For Halloween

‘He Himself Is The Costume,’ Say Amazed Onlookers

SHERMAN OAKS, CA—Brilliantly subverting the very idea of a costume, conceptual genius Mark Richards, 27, reportedly stunned his fellow partygoers Friday when he announced that he had dressed as himself for Halloween.

No One In Gym Class Volleyball Game Willing To Set Ball

LITTLE ELM, TX—With neither team having completed more than two hits during a rally before sending the ball back over the net, sources confirmed Wednesday that no one in Jefferson High School’s third-period gym class was willing to set during a volleyball game.

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.
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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.

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