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Volume 14, Issue 4: The Cretan Times

Consumer Confidence Snags on Power Pole

Douglas Jones

NEW YORK—Consumer confidence dipped again in September and caught itself on a power pole outside its research ranch in Gretna, Kansas. The Conference Board reported Tuesday that this was the fourth month in a row that consumer confidence has hit some sort of snag.

In August, consumer confidence slipped significantly as it attempted to scale a large barn, and in July consumer confidence softened due to excessive sunlight. June had seen it depressed due to a sugar imbalance in the economy.
The Conference Board noted that expectations for the near future brightened — offering mixed signals on the durability of the economic recovery.They explained that they had initially moved consumer confidence out to Kansas from its former location in Moraine Park, Colorado in order to avoid just these sorts of entanglements.
The Bush administration did not welcome the news of this latest set back. "We're less than cheery," explained Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. "Consumer confidence is what buoys the economy, and the President is seeking broad departmental input in order to raise consumer confidence higher."
Consumer confidence, ranch administrators usually have it tethered securely over grounds spread across the equivalent of sixteen football fields, but repeated high winds have weakened various moorings. A strong tornado season always accompanies a downturn in the economy.
One controversial solution offered by the Department of Energy was simply to paint consumer confidence hot pink and light it from within. Spencer Abraham explained that "if consumer confidence could just be brighter, most of our economic woes would vanish. If it got extraordinarily bright, manufacturers wouldn't even have to worry about quality or prices. In fact, every manufacturer could just make doorknobs. It would simplify things greatly."


35th Annual Sprinkle Awards Honor Top Plumbers

Douglas Jones

CHICAGO—Precision Plumbing and American Plumbcraft dominated this year's Sprinkle Awards last night, televised live from the Chicago Opera House. The New Yankee Workshop's Norm Abram hosted the affair with glitz and humor, but the show ran over its time limit again.

Jeff Mancuso of Peerless Plumbing finally won a Sprinkle for Best Bathtub Installation. Mancuso had been overlooked in the past in favor of Mark Bunyan of American Standard and Steve Wright of Waterguard. Jeff Mancuso said that "after fifteen years, this was worth the wait" and added that he accepted it "on behalf of women of color everywhere."
Randy Myers of Waterbury Plumbing was twice lucky during the night, winning for Sink Repair and Backflow Prevention. He spoke through tears, as he dedicated the Backflow award to his late father.
The only controversy of the evening came when Ralph Barker of Artisan Plumbing scattered washers over the stage to protest U.S. resistance to a bidet in every home. "I will not long plumb in a country that disdains super-hygiene."
Sprinkle host Norm Abrams bantered with the audience, using many inside jokes about faucets. One of the highlights of the evening involved Abrams in a taped skit featuring him asking strangers for help with his enamel angle stop.
John Mabry, president of the sponsoring Master Plumbers Alliance of America, gushed over the proceedings and said, "We all just want to know that we matter. Plumbers want validation too."


Massive Insider-Trading Arrests Across Nation

Douglas Jones

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In keeping with the Bush administration's ongoing crackdown on corporate crime and insider trading, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision announced today that it had secured the arrests of over nine million U.S. citizens.

"This president is determined punish insider trading to the fullest extent of the law, and we are seeing amazing results," said SEC chairman, Harvey Pitt, "especially in the multi-family yard-sale markets. The early-birds are going down."
The Exchange Act of 1934 authorizes the SEC to punish those who buy or sell securities while in possession of non-public information about the seller or product. The SEC recently realized that "securities" was just another word for property.
Pitt explained, "What consumers across the nation are doing is no different from what corporate criminals are doing. Friends have the gall to tell friends about sales, special deals, and discounts, and yet none of this is ever advertized. Small towns learn of going-out-of-business sales before neighboring towns. Sometimes only specific groups receive ad flyers. It's quite disgusting; it's as if the whole economy operated on insider information. Martha Stewart was just the tip of the ice sculpture."


InterVarsity Press Announces Worldview Anomie

Douglas Wilson

DOWNERS GROVE, IL— The chagrined chief editor of IVP, Martin Wallace, announced today that an in-hourse review shows that all of IVP's worldview analysis over the years hasn't "done them a single bit of good." The announcement caused shock waves throughout the mainstream evangelical community in the Chicago area, and as far south as Joliet.

Reading from a prepared statement, Wallace said that the reason the publisher had undertaken so much critical interaction with the issues of the day was so that they could help equip students "keep their faith on the college campus in this postmodern world." But Wallace continued, "once we started doing this, we found out that our editors were abandoning the faith at a steeper rate than the college students had been. Not that the college students quit apostatizing either."
"After the heady years of publishing Francis Schaeffer and J.I. Packer, this brought us up short, let me tell you. Why did all the students in our control group who were not trained in worldview thinking keep their Christian worldview, and those students who were trained by our angst-ridden staff wind up absorbing Derrida and smoking pot?"
In response to questions, Wallace said, "In the first place, while the research is not conclusive, it is compelling. And the research shows that a college student is more likely to remain in the Christian faith if he watches reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer instead of reading IVP books. Frankly, this is difficult to explain to anybody, much less my board."
In response to a question on whether IVP would adopt a new vision statement, Wallace agreed that they had no real choice. The vision statement was still in draft form, but the best way to summarize it would be with the phrase "principled ennui."


Homophobia and Homophilia Linked

Douglas Jones

BOSTON—The genetic mappings of homophobia and homophilia—fear and love of homosexuality—reveal

Kim Cochran of the Harvard Medical School explained in a study released Thursday that "the near identity of the two genetic sequences is astounding. Who would have guessed?" In contrast, nearly opposite correlations mark homophilia and an indifference to lightning.
Political activist, Paul Nether, commented that "this is further evidence of the immorality of homophobia. Homophobia is just as ungrounded as a redneck fear of being struck by lightning. The bizarreness of the genetic link between these two shows how irrational homophobia is."


Delta Airlines Discovers Morons

Douglas Wilson

ATLANTA, GA—After a decade-long search, Delta Airlines announced today that they had finally found the three people in America who did not know how to fasten and unfasten a seat belt.

At a news conference announcing the discovery, flight attendant Susan Michelle Saunders described one of the discoveries. "I finished my little routine and heard this little voice to my left. `Excuse me, miss? Could you go over that last part again? The part with the metal buckle?'
"I've been flying for fifteen years now, and I thought I would never hear that question," she said. "It's good to know that our efforts have all been worthwhile."

Thomas Kinkade and Marilyn Manson Merge Art Companies

Douglas Jones

LOS ANGELES—Shock rocker Marilyn Manson, infamous for ripping up Bibles and invoking Satan during his concerts, showcased his art exhibit, "The Golden Age of Grotesque," at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibition in Hollywood.

Manson brushed away his trademark lock of ebony hair from his meticulously blackened eyes and explained, "I make things that most people would consider grotesque a little bit prettier. I used a lot of childlike colors, a lot of pastels."
Delicate watercolors of chopped bodies and emaciated faces greeted edgy celebrities at the launch party Thursday. Nicolas Cage, Crispin Glover, and the Osbornes graced the exhibit, but the arrival of Thomas Kinkade, evangelical painter of light and sweetness, created the greatest sensation. To the shock of the crowd, Manson embraced his secret friend, and they used the exhibit to announce the merging of their print, lithograph, and poster companies that will be called Yin-Yang Productions.
Kinkade explained, "We realized that we could save a lot of money, not only by sharing Manson's newfound pastel-love but on print film. Since I try to portray a world without a hint of evil, and Mar paints only evil and negative space, we can re-utilize the negative and positve aspects of film. We've already saved millions." Manson ended the session by licking Kinkade's forehead.


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