Volume 14, Issue 4: The Cretan Times
Consumer Confidence Snags on Power Pole
NEW YORKConsumer 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
CHICAGOPrecision 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
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
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
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
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
BOSTONThe genetic mappings of homophobia
and homophiliafear and love of homosexualityreveal
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
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
ATLANTA, GAAfter 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
"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
LOS ANGELESShock 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