Tips for Hiking in Iran: Don’t

The recent arrest of three Americans apprehended while hiking around Iran’s lush, desert habitats has prompted nature enthusiasts and parks and recreation officials world wide to issue a stricter set of guidelines for traveling to the region: don’t.  Many of Iran’s majestic mountains, idyllic waterfalls, and lunaresque, cratorial basins can be enjoyed in the privacy of your own home, officials point out, with the aid of Google images or in one of the  many picturesque coffee table books available at your friendly and safe Barnes and Noble or Border’s bookstore. Your friends will still delight in your stories of looking up at the endless canopy of stars in the Middle-Eastern sky or back yard, tucked into your Eastern Mountain Sports thermal bag, sipping some American-made hot chocolate, savoring your freedom from incarceration and diplomatic uncertainty.  Officials assure that family members and other guests will remain rapt, as you describe the breathtaking vistas of some of the headiest of Iran’s summits, downloaded right to your lap top with high speed DSL; they will hang on your every word, comfortably, without the nuisance of an angry Iranian guard pointing a prison made shiv at your throat, threatening to detonate the bomb strapped to his body.  All the memories you manufacture with the help of photoshop will be yours to treasure for years to come until you peacefully pass away like the old lady at the end of Titanic and not chained to a dirty toilet in an underground prison while a rat gnaws your face off.

Cheerleading Labeled More Dangerous Sport than Bear Bating

It’s a staple of American football and basketball games; a group of perky young girls in short skirts waving their pom-poms, inciting a riot in the name of team spirit and the hometown advantage. According to a newly published study, cheerleading is more than part of America’s past time, it is one of the nation’s most deadliest sports.  The cheerleader’s acromantic twists, turns, leaps, and gyrations are a chiropractor’s wet dream, but that is not the only menace created by this titillating spectacle.  Cheerleading is harmful to spectators watching young, nubile girls spin, dip, hurl, and bend with the freakish grace of a Barbie doll, waiting on the off chance that there might be a flash of illicit cheek or a nippular incident.  The hapless game goer, trying not to look too leeringly obvious, trying to nervously dab at the flop sweat pooling in the collar of his shirt as he worries he might be sitting next to the angry looking hulk of a cheerleader’s father, experiences increased heart rate, a surge in blood pressure, and might even go into epipletic shock trying to avert his gaze from the 30 springing, flinging, kicking, and flashing girls filling the court or field.  No moves have been made to ban the sport, but in an effort to make cheering more safe, the National Association of Spirit Hands (NASH) is launching a comprehensive campaign to recruit less attractive, out of shape, unpopular girls to cheering squads across the country.

John and Kate Gosselin Fearful that No One Actually Gives a Crap

Conservative Talk Show Host Rush Limbaugh Drops 90 lbs! Weight loss Fuels Speculation Republican Icon is Actually Living Jello Mold

For a man who likes to flap his gums, radio personality Rush Limbaugh remains tight lipped on his recent 90 lb drop in girth, including 7lbs in one week.  Health and dietary experts remain skeptical the big, gooey, lovable ignoramus lost the weight using healthy methods.  Many suspect cosmetic surgery or good, old fashioned voo-doo came into play.  Others give voice to what several factions already suspect: Limbaugh’s gelatinous exterior was just that–jello, proving that while there is always room for jello, there might not always be a stomach for it.

Kim Jong Il and Clinton Dish Jo Bros, Twilight, and American Journalists at First Royal Sleep-Over

In an unprecedented move, N. Korean leader Kim Jong Il hosted former president Bill Clinton in a sleep-over to discuss the release of American journalists sentenced to 12 years in a labor camp for allegedly spying on the N. Korean government.  The pair watched the complete 3 seasons of Blossom, ordered sushi-pizza, and made prank calls to Queen Elizabeth.  A tense moment ensued when Jong Il became incensed that Mr. Clinton had texted Lindsay Lohan to tell her Jong Il thought she was “smokin,” but all was forgiven in the name of pajama diplomacy.

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E-volveIn what is being hailed as one of the biggest upsets in media history since O.J. Simpson’s white bronco chase eclipsed NASA’s successful communication with another planet, coverage of Supreme Court nominee Judge Sotomayer’s confirmation hearings have trumped everything-post-mortem about Michael Jackson.  With news sites and blogs devoted to Sotomayer’s grammar, hairstyle, hand gestures, and favorite kind of ice cream (Ben and Jerry’s Americone Dream, duhh), the late King of Pop and what he may have had for breakfast the morning he died (Kashi Go Lean, duhh) has virtually disappeared from the news wires.  Self-appointed Jackson spokesperson and lovable family curmudgeon, Joe “Gestapo” Jackson voiced his outraged that the first, female Latina judge in the court’s history would receive more coverage than his freak of nature, rubber-faced, Nosferatu pop star son.  “What’s wrong with people,” Jackson demanded, “I have a hand-written letter from Michael to Bubbles the Chimp and a credible theory that the CIA and Cosa Nostra were behind Michael’s death, which I am willing to part with for several million dollars, and some broad in a black bathrobe gets all the headlines? This is a travesty of justice.”  As if to add insult to injury for the bereaved Jackson patriarch, sources say that sales of bumper stickers reading “Wise Latina On Board” have greatly surpassed commemorative Jackson memorial programs.

A man was killed this week when his car plunged over the side of the Grand Canyon.  A representatative for the McGoo family could not be reached for comment.

Police are investigating the suspicious demise of President Obama’s long-time teleprompter.  Andrew Malcolm of the Los Angeles Times reported on the incident occurring on July 13 in Washington D.C. “As the president launched into his 11 minutes of stimulating remarks, according to eyewitnesses, the old teleprompter simply expired, came loose, fell silently as if in movie slow motion before the stunned eyes of watchers and smashed into many pieces on the hard floor.”  Though no one has been directly implicated in the incident, possible suspects include Power Point, Slide Projector, that guy from the Mac commercials, and Karl Rove.  Authorities are not ruling out suicide as a potential motive.  One D.C. policeperson commented, on the condition of anonymity, “If you had to spend your life spewing out the same ten words over and over to make some other guy look great, you might decide to end things too.”  Investigators are also conducting a thorough search of Teleprompter’s locker, looking for illegal wires, chips, or other forms of digital enhancement.

Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick “Buck Shot” Cheney defended her father’s rumored implication in keeping clandestine C.I.A operations secret from Congress.  Insisting he did nothing wrong or illegal, Ms. Cheney hailed her father for helping to keep America safe for eight years.  Cheney, a former state department employee, is also the proud owner of lake front property in Arizona, a bridge in Brooklyn, and traditionally leaves carrots and sweet treats for Santa and his reindeer.

If only this headline were true, it could enjoy some prime real estate nestled between “Women Switched at Birth Find out 56  Years Later,” “Ghost Hunters Inspect 180-year-old New Mexico Hotel,” and “Are Triad Marriages Next?” Supermarket tabloids feed our lowest common denominator appetites for salacious gossip and completely fictionalized annals from the bizarre and sublime.  We love to hate’em, but cannot seem to avoid trying to surreptitiously sneak a copy into our O Magazine or Simple Living while waiting for the diligent bagger to independently wrap every tomato and double bag the frozen spinach.  The same might be said for some of our more incendiary, infamous infotainment networks such as Fox “News” where the above headlines originated (except for the stuff about Zombies, though I am sure Mike Huckabee has a team of “serious investigators” working to verify some kind of connection between Zombies and Nancy Pelosi’s domestic help).

Fox “News,” you are a vast playground of whimsy, irreverence, and entertainment not experienced since P.T. Barnum’s American Museum of Oddities unfurled its great doors to the nineteenth-century American public.  You are equal parts Dad shaking his stern fist at the carefree youth whose laisez-faire attitude will no doubt lead to pot smoking, rock-n-roll, and fun and sweaty-toothed madman prophet holding up his cardboard signs announcing the end of the world.  Oh Fox “News,” you can’t fool me; you’re simply funny.  You’re here for my amusement, and it is rather amusing to watch your colorful cast of characters “strut and fret their hour upon the stage,” sometimes fixing the camera with both mock outrage and disbelief at the latest activities to come burping out of the Washington beltway.  No one delivers the “news” better than you in these moments: pensive, aggressive, anxious, like a diabetic grandmother three ice cream sundaes from her next insulin shot.  It’s an action movie and a Judd Apatow comedy all rolled into one!

And thank you Fox “News” for spoon-feeeding the masses your delicious, saccarine, 1000% more carbs, trans fat-i-fied, Yellow #9 Dye, earth unfriendly diet of information.  I simply open up and swallow, no thought or even effort required!  When Ann Coulter (love child of Jar Jar Binks and Eva Braun) tosses her willowy mane, much like Mr. Ed and snorts (also much like Mr. Ed) that “dunking someone’s head in water” is certainly nothing akin to torture and waterboarding is as harmless as any antics pulled by Springbreak-Interrogators-Gone-Wild, I laugh along with Ann “Eat a Steak” Coulter. How pithy of her to suggest such a thing and doesn’t this make me sleep better at night knowing eight years of clandestine and illegal policies were really the stuff of a Grisham novel? Phew!

When Glen Beck peers into the camera, his doughy face contorted into painful sincerity, urging me to follow the lessons of the white, privileged, some morally bankrupt, founding fathers of our great nation and return to simple values (like giving small pox to foreigners and hanging female dissenters on Boston Common), I…I want to believe.  I sink into his 4th-grade logic and second grade grammar like a waitress sinks on the couch after pulling a tripple shift at the interstate Cracker Barrel.   I can practically hear the Elton John and Tim Rice Disney-fied musical score soaring in the background, lulling me into comfort that the world really is black and white, have and have not, right and wrong, and there’s P.T. Barnum O’Reilly waiting to greet me and act as ring master and tour guide for this increasingly dizzying place we call planet Earth, here and now.

Zombies say brains taste like chicken, and they should know, having consumed a steady diet of intellectual junk food for eight years thanks to Bill, Sean, Glen, Ann, Karl, and the rest of the li’ll rascals at Fox “News.”