Saturday, February 21, 2009

Images from Fashion Week

At the trendiest Soho boutiques, even the mannequins can no longer afford clothes.

Desperation and dismemberment are the big themes of the new season.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

FASHION WEEK: Edible Shoes

NEW YORK- Anticipating that the economy soon will be so bad that, like Charlie Chaplin in Gold Rush, we all will be forced to eat our own shoes, designers are placing an emphasis on footwear that will be easier to swallow. "There are no more diamond-studded straps," said Jimmy Choo. "That just screams real-estate bubble opulence. And diamonds are very hard to digest." Zippers and buckles are also out, in favor of shoes with simpler, easier-to-chew textures, in soft leathers that can be cut with a good steak-knife.

Pare Gabia has taken the trend a step further, with an espadrille made entirely of bacon, while Christian Louboutin has sent models down runways with their feet stuffed in cans of Spam with the bottoms painted red. When asked whether women might avoid being reduced to shoe-eating poverty by simply not buying $600 shoes, a Louboutin spokesperson laughed in this reporter's face.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sanctity of Marriage Ruined by Gay Couple

ROCKPORT, MA- Stan Edwards and Tony Giulardi lived together for six years in the picturesque seaport town of Rockport, with no negative impact, but when they got married last month, all hell broke loose. Within days of their nuptials, the couple's next-door neighbor, Ken Marshal left his wife of twenty years for a woman in his office. "This kind of thing didn't happen when marriage was sacred," complains Marshal's wife, Barb. "Whoever heard of a man leaving his wife for a younger woman? Clearly this is Stan and Tony's fault."

The Edwards-Giulardi marriage poses a particular problem for Mary Jacobs, a local preschool teacher. "The kids started asking all kinds of questions I couldn't answer," she explains. "The only thing I could do to quiet them down was to give them all heroin. Now we've got a preschool full of junkies and it's all Stan and Tony's fault.

Since Edwards and Giulardi returned from their honeymoon, domestic violence, divorce, job-loss, littering, prostitution, arson, and Satanic ritual sacrifice have reached an all time high. While Edwards, a police officer, and Giulardi, a paramedic, have taken a lead role in responding to the town's crises, everyone holds them responsible for the downfall of the community.

"I wouldn't mind them being married if they didn't have to rub our noses in it," says neighbor, Earl Scranton. "They know I've got a telescope pointed in their window, and yet they still go at it... always looking at their wedding photos, and writing thank you notes. I shouldn't have to watch that."

Scranton, and his wife Peggy, the town's oldest couple, were due to celebrate their seventieth anniversary this year, but those plans were shattered by Edwards and Giulardi. After weeks of being subjected to views of his neighbors' same-sex wedded bliss, Scranton, at age 102, became tragically gay himself. In his wheelchair, he struggles to maintain his composure as he explains, "Peggy was the love of my life, but I had to leave her because thanks to Stan and Tony, all I can think about now is cock."

As for Peggy, she has undergone her own life-change, coming out to the community as a cannibal, and devouring her great-grandchildren. "I guess I always wanted to do this," she says, "but it was the sanctity of marriage that held me back. Now that that's gone, anything goes."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Obama Invokes Theatrical Curse

In a speech honoring Lincoln's 200th birthday, at Ford's Theatre, where the sixteenth president was assassinated, President Obama said aloud the name of Shakespeare's Macbeth, inadvertently running afoul of the deepest superstition in theatre history. Saying the name of the Scottish tragedy in a theatre is considered the epitome of bad luck.

Mistress Mysteria, one of the nation's leading psychics, predicts that as a result of this grave error, the president will be cursed with having to manage two wars and a devastating economic crisis, and will have to endure having his every move scrutinized for the next four to eight years. "I wouldn't wish that on anyone," she says.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Luxury Shelter Houses Homeless CEOs

NEW YORK- With media coverage of the recession focused on the middle-class and working poor, it is easy to lose sight of those hit hardest by the economic downturn: the CEOs. "You read about these families losing their houses," bemoans Sloan Westwood, former CEO of Cervico Systems, "and what they don't tell you is that most of these homes weren't even worth more than a few hundred thousand dollars. Big deal. They don't know what loss is."

Westwood lost more than two hundred million in stocks and mutual funds. Then his business went under, leaving him destitute, with barely ten million dollars to his name. "When I finally had to give up my Upper East Side penthouse, I had nowhere to go. My house in the Hamptons was being remodeled, and my house in the Berkshires was just too far away." When hope seemed gone, Westwood found help at the Eleganza Haven, a new luxury shelter on the Lower East Side.

Paid for with tax dollars, the Haven offers refuge and dignity to CEOs who've had to melt down their golden parachutes and trophy wives just to get by. The center also provides job training for fields in which CEOs typically have no expertise, such as carpentry, plumbing, and business management.

"There simply hasn't been an adequate safety-net for these poor souls," says Eleganza founder, Theresa Snow. "If a normal person recklessly drives his car into a lake, the insurance company just hands you a brand new car, no questions asked. Right? But if a CEO runs his multi-billion dollar business into the ground, he's forced to live with the consequences of his actions. How's that fair?"

Not everyone is happy with this new facility. "It's ruining the neighborhood," says Mickey Clark, a long-time homeless resident of the Lower East Side. "I used to support myself recycling cans. Now these CEOs have their personal assistants scoop them all up before I get a chance." Clark used to reside at the historic Bowery Mission, until it was torn down so the Eleganza could have an indoor polo field.

While the long term effects on the neighborhood are in question, it is clear that the shelter has a profound impact on the CEOs who stay there. "You can see in their eyes what it means to them," says Olivier Lecroix, executive chef at the Haven's soup kitchen, where today's soup is a white bean with black truffle oil. "I'm just happy to help relieve their suffering."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Man Stabbed 25 Times After Sending 'Random Things' Note

by Allan Piper

NEW YORK- After tagging several of his friends and colleagues with the internet chain letter, "25 Random Things," Derrick Tanner, who tried to teach himself guitar in seventh-grade, was stabbed twenty-five times in his office cubicle by recipients of the note. Police believe that the attacks upon this man, whose favorite pizza topping was sausage, were not coordinated, but instead were twenty-five separate, random assaults.

"25 Random Things" is a virally circulating email message that encourages people to share unrequested personal information with their friends. Coworker, Tom Davis reflects on what went through his mind when he received the note from Tanner. "This is the third one of these things I've gotten, and when I read that Derrick likes wintergreen Tic-Tacs better than spearmint, I remember thinking, 'why the f--- do you think I care?' and I grabbed one of those erasable pens that I now know he loves and I stabbed him in the eye."

Other recipients responded more warmly to the posting. "The third thing on the list said he used to call his grandma 'Num-Num,' I thought that was kind of cute," said neighbor, Erica Small, "but it was also way more than I needed to know, so I stabbed him too."

Not everyone tagged by the former spelling bee champ gave in to the urge to murder. Yoga classmate, Tina Donaldson recalls, "I was pretty grossed out when I read he secretly picks his nose, and I kind of wanted to stab him, but I decided to be a bigger person than that. Also by the time I got there, there was a real line."

Because it will be hard to determine which of the multiple stab wounds was the cause of death, the District Attorney's office has decided not prosecute any of the assailants who took the life of this collector of state quarters. "We're just going to let it go," a D.A. spokesperson confirms. "After all, he kind of brought it on himself."

Monday, February 2, 2009

In Uncertain Market, Safest Investment is Cookies

NEW YORK- An unbiased, nonpartisan economic focus group, funded by the This Chick Bakes cookie company, concluded this week that the only safe place to invest your money is in the cookie jar. "With stocks in flux, and interest rates at a record low," explains economist, Melvin Stein, "the only sensible investment is in nondurable baked goods, specifically those made by This Chick Bakes."

While Keebler has had to lay off over forty elves, and Pepperidge may be close to selling the farm, This Chick Bakes has been enjoying record sales, making it the most stable purveyor of the tasty treats economists are increasingly urging investors to buy up.

"Me love cookies," proclaims Cookie Monster, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, adding "me not love short-term bond prices."

In full disclosure, we must note that This Chick Bakes is the sole corporate underwriter of the National Inquisition, but this has in no way influenced the impartiality of this article. Our journalistic integrity remains as pure as the 100% natural, wholesome ingredients that go into every This Chick Bakes cookie.

Roommate from Hell (video)

by Chris Pearson & Allan Piper

LOS ANGELES- In an ever worsening economy, more Americans are having to adopt unconventional living situations just to keep a roof over their heads. Eric Sharpe and Dave Stahler have been roommates for three years. Describing themselves respectively as a "neat freak" and "a slob," they often have felt like their two-bedroom, North Hollywood apartment wasn't big enough for the both of them. Nevertheless, when Dave recently lost his job and Eric suffered a pay cut, they decided to take on a third roommate.

"It's not an ideal situation," Eric admits. "We've had to give up a lot of space."

"Also," adds Dave, "our roommate is a demon who devours human souls, is trying to bring about the apocalypse, and really hogs the bathroom."

Tod von Unschuldigen (German for "death of the innocents") is a torment administrator from the Eighth Circle of Hell, who happened to be looking for a new apartment when Dave inadvertently summoned him in an attempt to get out of doing household chores. Tod had never considered moving to North Hollywood, because he regarded it as "too far from Hell, and not as nice a neighborhood," but when he learned that these two humans were seeking a roommate, things fell into place.

"Hell rents have gotten ridiculous," Tod explains. "And with all the real estate agents who end up down there, you always have to pay a broker's fee."

Living in such tight quarters requires a lot of compromise. "Unfortunately," Eric laments, "not everybody in this house understands human standards of decency."

"It's true," Tod confirms. "Dave has no sense of boundaries. I had a bag of hornets I'd been saving, and Dave just went and ate the whole thing."

"Hey, if you don't write your name on it, it's fair game," Dave counters. "Anyway, they were gross."

Given such a difference of cultural backgrounds, some clashes are inevitable, but the roommates are doing their best to get along. "I'm an active member of a conservative church," Eric relates, "so a lot of people assume I'd have a problem living with the Prince of Lies."

"The Prince of Lies is my uncle," Tod corrects. "I'm just the Viscount of Misleading Statements."

"Anyway," Eric continues, "it turns out we have very similar moral values. We volunteered for McCain together. We both voted for Prop. 8. And while I'm not crazy about the fact that he slays virgins in his room and sets fire to their bodies on an altar of human skulls, as long as he pays his rent on time, it's really none of my business."

All three roommates hope to save enough to eventually get places of their own. In the meantime, Tod is grateful for the hospitality his human roommates have shown him. "I'm a stranger in the human realm," Tod says, "but now that I live here, they've really made me feel like I belong in their world. I hope before long I'll be able to do the same for them."