Monday, July 29, 2013

Local High School Senior Aspires To Be Unknown Session Guitarist

By James J. Hamilton

PITTSBURGH—Local high school senior Steve Weir recently announced plans to pursue a career as an unknown session guitarist. Weir, who has played guitar for five years and is a member of both the school jazz band and a heavy metal band called Skank, told friends and family this week that he hopes to parlay his impressive musical ability into a stable career laying down competent, anonymous guitar tracks in exchange for a steady income.  

Session musicians, the unsung journeymen of the music industry, are typically used by recording studios to provide (often uncredited) backing tracks for other artists and recordings for advertising, film, and television.

"I just want to make a living in music," Weir said. "Rather than chase the pipe dream of becoming a rock star and ending up working at McDonald's for the rest of my life, I figure I can prepare myself to enter a marketplace where a bunch of different people will pay me to play guitar." In pursuit of this goal, Weir will attend Duquesne University next fall, where he plans to double major in music performance and business management. His parents are reportedly very proud of him.

Weir's announcement came as a shock to best friend and Skank lead singer Craig Nash, who sources say honestly expects Skank to "take over the world" and embark on a stadium tour complete with wild parties and backstage antics that will "make Led Zeppelin look like a church choir." Nash's parents refused to say whether they were proud of their son, but confirmed that he was devastated when Weir told him becoming a famous rock star was "fun to think about" but "not realistic," and that he didn't join Skank to get famous but to hone his skills and gain experience working with other musicians.

Skank drummer Dave Kolb, who joined the band to impress Sally Wilson, and bassist Adam Dupree, who uses band practice as an excuse to smoke weed in Nash's parents' garage, said Weir is "an incredible guitar player" but also "a buzzkill."

Weir outlined plans to develop strong, long-term working relationships with multiple recording studios. He cited the example of Chris Spedding, a versatile and highly respected British session guitarist who worked with thousands of artists during his long career, including Elton John and Paul McCartney. Weir's plans were dismissed as "giving up" by Nash, whose idol Jim Morrison died in a bathtub at age 27 and who says his life's goal is to have sex with more than one woman at the same time.

Weir's high school music teacher, Allen Gill, said Weir is a "dedicated and talented musician" and is "making smart decisions about his future." Guidance counselor Nick Brewster agreed with Gill and added his opinion that "Craig Nash will probably be smoking weed in his parents' garage for the next 40 years." Brewster later claimed he wanted his comment about Nash's drug use to be off the record, but no takesies backsies.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tenth President John Tyler Is Your Great Great Great Grandfather

By James J. Hamilton
President John Tyler
John Tyler, the tenth President of the United States, is your great great great grandfather.

That's right. Tyler fathered an astounding fifteen children during his life and, as a result his extreme fertility, each and every American—including you—is directly descended from him.

George Washington is known figuratively as the Father of Our Country, but John Tyler literally fathered our country. The United States had a population of only 8.3 million when his first child was born in 1815. The population has since exploded to 316 million, solely due to Tyler's patriotic dedication to incessant fucking.
Letitia Christian Tyler
In 1813, Tyler married Letitia Christian and spent the better part of three decades having wild, near-constant sex with her. Their marriage appears to have been a very happy one, and their prodigious humping produced eight children. Exhausted by her husband's relentless sex drive, Letitia was only 51 years old when she died in the White House in 1842.

But Tyler was not done boning, not by a long shot.

A few months after this wife's death, Tyler began courting Julia Gardiner, a woman thirty years his junior. In 1844, the 54-year-old sitting President married the 24-year-old and proceeded to bang her nonstop until his death in 1862, producing seven more children. Tyler held the presidential record for youngest bride until 1886, when Grover Cleveland married a 21-year-old.
Julia Gardiner Tyler
A Virginia plantation owner whose father was a college roommate of Thomas Jefferson, Tyler was also accused of fathering several children by his slaves. Some consider this a blot on his character, but if it weren't for Tyler's indiscriminate screwing, many of us would never have been born.

Though often overlooked and underrated by historians, your great great great grandfather was a great President. The first Vice President to take over after the President's death, Tyler protected the power of the office against members of his own party who sought to reduce him to a figurehead. His greatest legacy is the annexation of Texas, which he fought for knowing the United States would need to substantially expand its territory in order to accommodate the fruit of his own loins.
Sherwood Forest Plantation: "This is where the magic happens"
Tyler's estate, Sherwood Forest Plantation, has been preserved as a National Historic Landmark and stands today as a veritable museum of 19th century American fucking. Visitors who tour the residence will be hard-pressed to find a single piece of furniture upon which Tyler did not have intercourse numerous times. Tour guides will point out the original hand-crafted dining room table where Tyler's third daughter Elizabeth was conceived in 1822, as well as the authentic mahogany writing desk upon which Julia Gardiner Tyler was perched in 1852 when the ex-President expelled his seventh son Lyon into her womb. The fee for the guided house tour is $35 per person.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

PREVIEW: Pittsburgh Comedians' Softball Game

By James J. Hamilton (Pittsburgh Comedy Intramural Sports Beat Writer)
Team captains Zach Funk and Brad Ryan displaying
a disappointing lack of hatred for each another
BLOOMFIELD—At noon on Sunday, July 28, approximately 25 of Pittsburgh's most self-described "comedians" will meet at Wilson Park in Green Tree to play softball. Last night, captains Brad Ryan and Brad Ryan Spirit Award winner Zach Funk got together at the Pleasure Bar open mic to draft their teams.

The lack of excitement was palpable. "Oh, right, I guess that softball thing is happening this weekend" was the prevailing attitude. Instead of a lot of trash talking, the comedians mostly did the only other thing they're good at: Not giving a shit. At press time, the captains had not even come up with wildly inappropriate team names yet.

Here are the teams, if anyone cares:
The draft board
Brad Ryan's team
1. Tom Musial
2. Tom Kupiec
3. Ron Renwick
4. Day Bracey
5. John Dick Winters
6. Sean Collier
7. Jeff Konkle
8. Matt Wohlfarth
9. Ed K. [I assume he still wants his name redacted]
10. Tim Ross
11. Amber Schiefer  

Brad Ryan said his draft strategy was to target "veterans," but Matt Light told him "your team's average age is 46." Ryan pointed out that Tom Kupiec played college baseball, but Aaron Kleiber said "that was 45 years ago, when he still had all his fingers." "I probably should have mentioned that I am not actually related to Stan Musial," said first overall pick Tom Musial, who reportedly has fifteen children who are older than most of the players on the opposing team. During an interview in which he denied age would be a problem for his team, Ryan was called "sir" by a younger woman.

But not all of Ryan's players are AARP members. One relatively young person is John Dick Winters, who looked at his team's roster and said it was "the least funny team in history."  

But not all of Ryan's players are unfunny. Ryan decided to "go for comedy" as opposed to athletic ability with his seventh round pick of Jeff Konkle, whose "one year of fifth grade little league experience" will be put to the test.

Early reports say Ryan's team is a big underdog, but anything can happen on the field. "It's not a Brad Ryan team until I outrun police helicopters and tear gas is shot onto the field," said Ryan.

Zach Funk's team
1. Ray Zawodni
2. Matt Light
3. Aaron Kleiber
4. Dustin Dowling
5. Derek Minto
6. Zach Simons
7. Sereny Welsby
8. Shannon Norman
9. Alex Stypula
10. Jesse Irvin
11. John Pridmore

Zach Funk said he drafted his team with a Moneyball-like system of player analysis called "Funkametrics." Using Funkametrics, Funk looked at a composite of the player's overall body type compared to the 1993 World Series-losing Philadelphia Phillies, averaged in the player's funniness, and then just picked people he thought would do well. 

On the '93 Phillies factor, Funk ended up drafting several players with "good John Kruk bodies." On the funniness factor, Funk's team has a total of one television creditEither because of or in spite of Funkametrics, Funk drafted a team that has been described as "nasty." 
John Kruk: A comedian's physique
Matt Light asked confidently "Will we use a 10 run rule, or 35?" Light said he hopes to win the game's MVP award in order to complete his quest for a "Triple Crown" which already includes the comedians' flag football game MVP and the comedians' fantasy football league championship. "Those are my only accomplishments in comedy," he added.

"I'm probably gonna have to go shirtless and scalp myself this time," said Alex Stypula, who also announced plans to charge the mound and hit a lot of "quadruples." Funk said he drafted Stypula because he figured "if he's on my team, he's less likely to assault me with a bat." We'll see.

Funk said his team has youth on its side. "Everyone should be able to run 90 feet," he predicted boldly. Funk also stated that getting drunk is an integral part of softball and that he expected his team to be proficient in that regard. 

In the end, everything could come down to John Pridmore's ability to swing a bat while holding a can of Colt 45.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Kate Middleton Attended To By "Queen's Gynecologist"

By James J. Hamilton
LONDONCurrently in "labour" and about to give birth to a child who will be third in line to the British throne, Kate Middleton is being attended to by "the Queen's gynecologist," Dr. Marcus Setchell, who refused to comment on whether his recent assignment working with Middleton's vagina was a relief from the presumably arduous task of dealing with the 87 year old vagina of Elizabeth II. Dr. Setchell did not answer when asked if the Queen's vagina would suffer from any lack of attention while he focuses on Middleton. He also ignored a request to describe the current condition of the Queen's vagina or state whether any "landscaping" was being done there.  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Nine Out Of Ten Dentists Agree Tenth Dentist Needs To Get With The Program

By James J. Hamilton
Nine out of ten dentists agree on most things. But the tenth dentist—Dr. James Silvera, DDS—stubbornly refuses to get with the program. He remains the lone outlier on issues ranging from braces and whitening to Novocaine and denture adhesives. Dr. Silvera describes himself as a contrarian and free thinker, but the other nine dentists agree that he is “an idiot,” “an embarrassment to the profession,” and “an asshole who just wants attention.” 

“He’s giving dentistry a bad name,” said third dentist Dr. Mary Robertson, DDS. “It looks terrible when we can’t come to a consensus on stuff like what toothpastes are effective and how often people should floss.” Dr. Robertson’s eight like-minded colleagues nodded approvingly.

“What would you think about physics,” added sixth dentist Dr. Allen Greenberg, DDS, “if you heard only nine out of ten physicists believed in gravity?” 

Dr. Silvera, who uses a Linux operating system on his computer and has voted for Ross Perot as a write-in candidate in the last five presidential elections, said he doesn’t believe in conformity and asked whether you would jump off a bridge just because nine out of ten dentists told you to.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a longtime patient of Dr. Silvera confirmed that he is a good dentist, but described the selection of magazines in his waiting room as “bizarre,” his office decor as “neo-surrealist,” and the outfit worn by his receptionist as “obscene.”

Dr. Silvera did not respond to a request to confirm or deny allegations that he took a year off from dental school to attend Clown College.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Stunned Public Learns Detroit Wasn't Bankrupt Until Just Now

By James J. Hamilton
DETROITThe city of Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy yesterday, completely and utterly shocking millions of Americans who had been under the impression that Detroit had gone bankrupt a while ago. Victoria Sullivan of Toledo, Ohio expressed her amazement that a city with 78,000 abandoned buildings and $18 billion in long-term liabilities had actually been in a position to meet its obligations to creditors up until yesterday. "I couldn't believe it," said Oliver Burke of Tampa, Florida. "I mean, you saw 8 Mile, right? That came out over ten years ago. How can they just now be running out of money?" 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Local White Man Has Awkward Elevator Ride With Black Man Streaming Zimmerman Trial On Cell Phone

By James J. Hamilton

PITTSBURGH—A local white man endured an awkward elevator ride in a Grant Street office building yesterday with a black man who was streaming live footage of the George Zimmerman murder trial on his iPhone. The white man, Phillip Jenkins, had left his office to go to lunch Monday afternoon and was riding the elevator downstairs by himself when a black man got on holding an iPhone that was streaming video. “Zimmerman trial,” the black man told Jenkins. “They say the prosecution is having a hard time.” “Really? I haven’t heard that much about it in the last couple days,” Jenkins said, trying to sound like he was only slightly behind in keeping up with a news story to which he had been paying no attention whatsoever and was only vaguely aware was going on. The black man did not follow up on Jenkins’s reply, and an awkward silence fell over the elevator until it reached the lobby and the two men went their separate ways. “It was only three floors, but the elevator is really slow in that building,” said Jenkins, who reported wondering whether it was racist for him to have not been paying attention to the trial, whether it was racist to assume that the black man wanted Zimmerman to be found guilty, and whether it was racist against Hispanics to hope Zimmerman would be found guilty.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

“There Is No Such Thing As A Brontosaurus,” Exacting Dad Informs Disillusioned 8 Year Old Son

By James J. Hamilton
PITTSBURGH—A local 8 year old boy’s budding fascination with dinosaurs was dealt a serious blow yesterday when his father bluntly informed him that there is no dinosaur called “Brontosaurus.”  

Bob Troutman was sitting on the couch reading a newspaper after dinner Monday evening when his wife Debra asked their son Kevin what his favorite dinosaur was. Kevin, who was playing with dinosaur toys on the living room floor at the time, held up the figure of a long-necked herbivore and said enthusiastically “Brontosaurus!” This declaration prompted Troutman to look up from his newspaper and tell his son that “there is no Brontosaurus.”

He advised the third grader that, while it is true that in 1879 paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh announced the discovery of a new species of dinosaur which he called Brontosaurus and unveiled a near-complete skeleton that captured the public imagination, one must never forget that Elmer Riggs subsequently published a paper in the 1903 edition of Geological Series of the Field Columbian Museum arguing that Brontosaurus was exactly the same as another species Marsh himself had discovered in 1877 and named Apatosaurus.

Over his son’s loud sobbing and his wife’s pleas to “just let it go,” Troutman went on to explain that Riggs’s opinion has come to be universally accepted and that, according to rules of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, the name Apatosaurus takes precedence because it was published first and is hence the dinosaur’s official name.  

After receiving this information, Kevin dropped his toys and ran out of the living room in tears. He was last seen throwing a rock through the window of a warehouse down the street from his home with two other boys whom his grandmother has described as “juvenile delinquents.”

Troutman reportedly spent the remainder of the evening composing a long discourse intended to refute his 6 year old daughter’s continued belief in the Tooth Fairy.