Surge in Subscribers Forces Journalistic Self-Destruction

NEBULOUS HEADQUARTERS – The Nebulous Observer has announced that they will be shuttering their doors due to a recent exponential surge in subscribers and readership.

“We’re really hot right now,” said Editor-in-Chief, and founder of the award dodging journal, Dan Plighter. “And because of our popularity, we simply cannot keep pace with satirical observations of our world. We will close our doors and let humanity satirize its own existence by… well, by making one stupid decision after another.”

Letters and emails and tweets and facebook messages and Marco Polos and Snap Chats and TikToks and messenger pigeons inundated the NO offices following the announcement Dan made in his living room, alone, with no one to hear him.

“I guess I must have published something,” he said from a tangle of charging cords nursing drained devices. “I’m not sure how our millions of adoring fans found out otherwise. An investigation is underway.”

Pembry Cornish, long time Culture and Political correspondent for the Nebulous Observer, was reached aboard his mega-yacht in Sydney Harbor.

“Oh, that little paper?” he chortled when asked for comment. “No no, I sold my shares in that venture when the getting was good. I write Rudy Giuliani’s press releases now, baby!” He raised his champagne flute in a toast, to which the crew of the RMS Petroshenko cheered.

Cornish leaned back in his seat, an olive tan handsomely contrasting the snow-white searsucker suit he was wearing.

“Sure, it’s soulless work, but that’s why I try to get as much Vitamin D as possible. Another four months here and then we’re off for Martinique. Please send Dan [Plighter] my best, won’t you?”

“Well, it doesn’t matter anyway,” said Plighter. “What does?”

Roman Sculpture Authenticated

ANCIENT ROME – A sculpture going from a dusty attic to the centerpiece of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence sounds like a fairy tale. But a recent authentication of an ancient Roman statue has brought this fairy tale into living reality-ness.

Crowds gathered to view the newly restored bust. “To be clear, this is not a run-of-the-mill-piece of art,” said curator Bertolucci. “This clearly demonstrates a link between the ancient world and the new. Or relatively new. As you know, two thousand years was a long time ago. Much before the Ferrari.”

The link Bertolucci refers to is the often pondered gap of why the men who brought down Julius Caesar in a governmental blood bath were not immortalized in marble during their lifetimes for their other accomplishments.

“Busts of the famous figures were carved many years later, and augmenting their haircuts for everyone to think that’s how ancient Romans wore their hair. They had running water, but not scissors. Why such hair cuts? It makes no sense,” Bertolucci espoused. “However, these men, judge how you will of what they did to Caesar, they were accomplished Senators and Tribunes and the like in their lifetimes. Why not celebrate this?”

The recently authenticated statue is of Marcus Brutus, reportedly Caesar’s close ally. Found in an attic of an old house, the homeowners contacted the museum.

“It’s unique,” Nardo, the owner said. “I thought we should at least ask.”

Bertolucci glowed as he described the piece. “Interestingly enough, or not, is that Marcus was for Pompey, but when Pompey was killed he aligned himself with Caesar. But what is even more interesting is the action of Brutus in the statue. He is eating a barbecue sandwich.”

People gawked as they examined the statue. Indeed, Marcus Brutus is mid-bite of a large barbecue sandwich with coleslaw.

“I’ve always thought BBQ was an ancient tradition,” claimed a tourist from Memphis, Tennessee. “Now we have proof. But who is this Brutus guy?”

– Dan Plighter

County Celebrates the Fourth on the Fifth, or Some Other Time

WISCONSIN – As each village competes to bring tourists to their trappings, Door County of Wisconsin managed to skip this year’s celebration of the 4th of July.

“We celebrate it on different days. It allows people to spend more money and drink more in different villages,” said an advocate and anonymous village board member. “We like that.”

Each village plans their own parade and activities.

“We do ours on the 3rd,” said a representative of Egg Harbor.

“Ours is on the 5th,” reported Sister Bay.

“Our village is too poor to do fireworks,” lamented Juddville.

As the NO dug further, it turned out no one organized fireworks displays for the 4th. The common answer to the question was ‘we thought someone else was doing that.’

That did not stop residents from setting fire to the noisemakers and light makers, however.

“We do fireworks all friggin’ week because I pay for this house that’s why,” stated a man who visits his property one week per year.

The small village of Valmy, however, said they are planning for an August 4th celebration of July 4th.

“It has the same number. I think people will like that.”

-Dan Plighter

Man Battles Signs. Wins.

NEW YORK – An elderly man in complete battle regalia was seen challenging sign posts on 125th today, in a quest for greatness. Onlookers gawked as he approached one sign after another, exchanged words, challenged it to a duel, and proceeded to pull out his rapier and fence with the inanimate object. At times, he called out “judgement!” in an apparent need of regulation and gentlemanliness associated with dueling.

However, it was not long before authorities, approaching cautiously, were able to talk the man down.

“I want mutton!” He exclaimed as he sheathed his rapier.

Later, in jail, after paying a fine for fencing in public with a deadly weapon, the man was recorded as saying, “I’m sorry, I know they were sign posts. But I can read the signs. I thought they might become fence posts.”

~ Dan Plighter

Recluse Moves to Big City and Loses Friends

NEW YORK – Shawn Kleg has lived in a remote part of the Idaho wilderness for over forty years. In that time he has grown and hunted his own food, fashioned his own clothes and shelter. He even made his own guns.

“I learned how to bore out steel rods. I used musket balls from the shavings. When I killed something, I’d reuse it. Everything took a while, but I had nothing but time.”

Kleg considers himself a philosopher.

“If there’s a thing to think about, I’ve thought about it. I had the time. And I had plenty of friends.”

Kleg then did the unexpected. He moved to New York City.

“I’ve thought about Manhattan for almost forty years. I figured it was time to give that lifestyle a trial run.”

He packed up his things, both of them, and hiked down to Boise where he caught a bus. As he traveled he noticed how things have changed since the late seventies when he ventured away from society and towards the wild.

“For one thing, people have their faces buried in their palms. I finally figured out those were phones. Of course, in the seventies we were all doing ‘ludes, so I guess this is the new drug.”

Over a seventeen day bus ride (due to delays and rerouting, and the generally slow progress of bus travel) Kleg arrived in the Big Apple. He has been staying in a hostel for the last week while he looks at apartments.

“I haven’t touched my investments I made since I walked off the pavement and never looked back. The last thing I did was buy some stock in a startup called Microsoft. I guess they did pretty well.”

Kleg’s biggest adjustment, however, has been isolation.

“There’s no one to talk to in New York. I don’t know how long I’ll stay.”

~ Dan Plighter

Portugal Sues the World

PORTUGAL – Today in an unprecedented lawsuit, all of Portugal’s Port wine makers sued the world to claim the exclusive use of the word ‘Port.’

“It’s not pocket science,” translated the unskilled translator from Courtroom B of the Judiciary of Portugal. “The name ‘Port’ means brandy fortified wine. It can’t also mean a place to put a boat.”

Some argue the name ‘Port’ should instead be removed from all brandy fortified wine from Portugal. 

“Why not call it Tugal?” Said Christiano. “Then there would be no confusion. This is just arrogance.”

Original exports of wine from Portugal spoiled during shipment between… ports. Until one day an alcoholic captain of the first order (official title) was seen drinking and happy aboard a ship where all the other sailors were miserably sober.

Historian Padraig Pallav explained, “Legend has it that particular captain always had a cask of brandy with him, though no one saw it. They think he disguised it as a parrot, though no one can prove that.”

Apparently, the captain added brandy to everything, including his wine. When it didn’t spoil, the idea caught on, leading to what is known as Port wine.

“What are we going to say,” added Christiano, “that we’re going down to the dock where the boats bob about and wait for shipping? No. I will say ‘port.’ I will always say ‘port.’ And I’m a teetotaler. So there.”

~ Dan Plighter

Urban Outfitters to Begin Selling Guillotine for At-Home Beheadings

PHILADELPHIA – Urban Outfitters, the popular clothing and lifestyle store among affluent and chic hipsters, is set to begin offering a life-size guillotine for purchase at all of its 245 stores across the globe.

“Urban Outfitters has long been at the forefront of re-imagining retro cultural mainstays,” said spokesperson Camille Howard. “One of our most popular items has long been our Crosley record players, which began a sort of renaissance of vinyl among today’s youth. We think this new retro offering by UO will be a big hit among the millennial age group.”

The guillotine, which measures a total of 7.5 feet tall and weighs approximately 175 pounds, is a snap to assemble, according to Howard.

“It comes in two equally weighted boxes for easy transport, and you can set it up in under an hour!” Howard exclaimed. “Once the weighted blade – or mouton – is carefully positioned in the grooves, you’re all set to begin executing your enemies!”

Pre-orders for the blade, which is being marketed as ‘The 21st Century Way to Eat the Rich’ are currently in the thousands.


Jesus to Christians: “What Part of My Story Made You Think I Like Crosses?”

EARTH – Jesus H. Christ arrived on Earth Sunday morning, deciding now was as good a time as any to judge the living and the dead and to at last bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth. Before he could set any of that into motion, he passed by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on the corner of Centerview and Broadhurst in Oakridge, Illinois.

“Wait a second,” said Jesus. “What is that? Is that me on a cross? What the hell, you guys.”

“What about ‘Do good unto others’ and ‘Clothe the poor, treat the sick, shelter the homeless’ made you think I wanted to be remembered like THAT?” He continued.

Jesus reportedly approached the pastor of St. Luke’s, Father Francis Evans, and instructed him approximately where he could shove that crucifix.

“I heard about all the other messed up stuff you’ve been doing in my name, and we’ll get started on that, but first things first: this crucifix nonsense.”

After the church’s crucifix was removed, the Son of God walked next door into the church’s small gift shop, where his jaw abruptly dropped.

“Jesus Christ…”

WWI Disowns Offspring

EARTH – By the end of the Great War in 1918, historians hypothesized the conflagration had given birth to Totalitarianism. Suffering economies had deadlocked reparations. Governments, bitter from sending millions of their own to die for reasons that proved “not very well thought through” were desperate to put the conflict behind them. Humans, being what they were, blamed the Great War.

“I was offended,” said the Great War in a statement. “So I’ve taken matters into my own hands.”

The first step was to change its name. With the outbreak of the second world war, the Great War has since been known as World War One.

And it rested easy in increasing anonymity.

“Europe hasn’t forgotten. But Americans practically don’t know me by now. They’re a forgetful lot. Is there an app for that?”

Unfortunately, Totalitarianism continued to rear its ugly head, consistently claiming WWI was its creator.

“That little brat spoiled everything,” said WWI. “But I am vindicated by the fact that 1939 wasn’t my problem. In fact, many of the same people who fought in my war headed up the next one. So, it was obviously them.”

In a bold move on Monday, World War One issued a statement, officially disowning Totalitarianism and claiming the rightful parents are…

“Humans. What other life form is stupid enough to think of something like that?”

~ by Dan Plighter

Tinder Date Goes Well, Nation in Shock

PROVIDENCE – A recent first date by a man and a woman who met on the dating app Tinder has sent shockwaves across the United States as both privately announced to their friends that they would, in fact, seek a second date.

The man, Jeremy Hill, 28, a graduate of Brown University with a degree in philosophy, cornered his older brother at a recent family member’s birthday party.

“He came up to me with this big smirk on his face,” said the brother, Damon Hill. “He took a sip from his Sam Adams and said, ‘Day, I met someone.'”

Elsewhere in the greater Providence area, the woman, Louisa Trepani, 30, a college admissions officer, made a quick phone call to her mother.

“Oh I am so happy she met someone nice,” said Maryanne Trepani. “It’s so hard for kids these days.”

The couple reportedly got drinks at Mulligan’s Tavern, a hip restaurant in downtown Providence. Eyewitnesses described their body language as ‘engaged, but not over-eager.’

“They each enjoyed a couple Sam Adams,” said bartender John Mullin.

Passersby outside the restaurant observed a goodbye that ended with an exchange of phone numbers and a passionate embrace.

This article is running simultaneously in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Providence Journal, and will be updated if the couple decides to seek a third date.

Brooklyn Couple About to Record Acoustic Cover of Hip-Hop Song, Oh God

BROOKYLN – A young, attractive Brooklyn couple shocked the world on Tuesday afternoon when they decided to spend their afternoon recording an acoustic cover of the song “Keanu Reeves” by artist Logic.

“It was such a great idea,” said Jaime Howard, 25, a part-time nanny and yoga instructor. “[Kyle] came in with my acoustic guitar and said ‘Babe, listen to this.'”

Sources say that Kyle Bennett, 29, a trivia host and artisan chocolatier, then proceeded to play a repetitive series of slow gentle chords before launching into Logic’s iconic song, which he warbled with an airy tenor voice.

“I was floored,” said Howard. “It was so beautiful I had to put down the kombucha scoby I was propagating. It made me cry.”

After a brief emotional exchange between the couple, they concluded that the only way forward was to sit down in front of their low-res MacBook Air cameras and begin recording.

“I gave Jaime her guitar, grabbed my ukulele, and here we are, our first take,” said Bennett, as he tuned the nylon strings of his twenty-five dollar instrument.

“It’s really brilliant what music can do, isn’t it?” Howard asked as she straightened the brim of her overlarge felt Panama hat.

At press time, the couple was reportedly assembling a tiny xylophone to give their cover a more ‘fully produced’ feel.

Sculptor Makes Fifteen Foot Statue of Neighbor

CORVALLIS – In central Oregon, in the Benton County seat of Corvallis, an astonished neighbor awoke to the view of a fifteen foot sculpture of himself staring at his own house.

“It’s a good likeness. I look tall. Fit.”

Jerry Congrummy has lived in the same house since the neighborhood was established.

“I was the first one here. I feel like this neighborhood is mine in a way. I don’t own all of it, but I feel an ownership. I think that’s the American thing.”

Some neighbors take exception to Congrummy’s proprietary attitude.

Nancy Pastrammus lives across from Mr. Congrummy. She said, “Jerry shouldn’t go criticizing people’s lawns or yard decorations. We have a homeowner’s association for that.”

Jerry is the chairman of the HOA.

“What’s he want? Everyone to have the same house as him?”

Jerry responded, “Nancy is nosy. Nobody likes her. She’s the one the HOA is trying to haze. That’s off the record, right?”

Things began to change last fall when internationally ignored sculptor Katrick Piernan, or Meer Kat Pier Kat as he calls himself, moved into the neighborhood. He was quickly indoctrinated.

“I encountered what I call Congrummy’s attention. I was augmenting my garage to be an art studio. I had building permits. It was approved by the HOA. But Jerry started showing up with suggestions.”

Meer Kat Pier Kat finished his sculpting studio on time, then retreated inside to work. The winter months passed. Not even peeping Nancy saw much of Piernan.

The overnight unveiling of the statue was a surprise to the entire neighborhood.

“It looks just like him. It’s an eyesore,” said Nancy. “My partner says my hatred for Jerry has something to do with my opinion, but I don’t agree.”

Meer Kat Pier Kat said, “It’s an homage. And also a ‘piss off.’ But I don’t think Jerry gets it.”

“I look handsome,” said Jerry. “I like my sculpted self.”

~ by Dan Plighter

Woman Finds Long Lost Treasured Keepsake

PHILADELPHIA – Blair Riny Tichards was enjoying a peaceful day at the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden when she came across something she’d never seen before.

“It was just laying on the ground right in front of me. I laughed because at first I thought it was a joke,” said Blair. “Then I thought it was fish food.”

Upon examining the find, an amoeba shaped gooey substance with no distinct coloring, she discovered a name and address and a short, handwritten plea attached.

“It said, ‘if anyone finds this, please return immediately to Sampson Townhouse of downtown Philadelphia. This isn’t a joke. But it could be.’ It was so strange.”

Blair went to the Shofuso welcome desk and explained what she found. She was astonished at the receptionists reaction.

“You’re kidding!” said the Garden employee. “My supervisor tells me that guy has been here every week for ten years. I always thought he was kidding.”

Blair contacted Mr. Townhouse and was greeted with an exuberant thank you. They met a week later.

Townhouse said, “It was a while back, but I remember the weekend when suddenly I didn’t find anything funny. Nothing was enjoyable anymore. I didn’t like comedy. I couldn’t place it. I had lost my sense of humor.”

~ by Dan Plighter

Foley Artist Exposé Rocks Hollywood

HOLLYWOOD – For as long as films have had sound, foley artists have had jobs. But that may change for Artie Poundcake, one of the most respected and well known foley artists amongst the glitz and glamour of tinsel town.

Then again, Poundcake may not need one.

His new book, Gishhhhewwiickkslpop, is smashing its way to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list.

Poundcake grew up on Ventura Boulevard, just east of where the vampires of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin” move west. While his mother worked three jobs to pay rent, Poundcake was often left to his own devices for entertainment.

“There I was in the middle of one of the centers of the entertainment business, and my TV didn’t even have a speaker.”

Poundcake began to create sound effects and dialogue for the shows he watched. By the time he graduated high school, George Lucas had seen a demo reel of Poundcake’s work. The rest, as they say, is history.

“He was a prodigy,” said George Lucas. “I immediately built a wing for him at Lucas Ranch.”

And now Poundcake has told all in his exposé.

“What a lot of people don’t know is I make all the sounds with my mouth,” he says. “I don’t use real objects. That’s for amateurs.”

And in the book, he spells them phonetically.

“I want to inspire kids in this day of digital everything that they can do a lot with nothing. Also, they can do nothing with all they have. It’s their choice.”

A few examples from his book:

RRRREETTCHDHEEEKKK is a compulsory tire squeal in chase sequences (even on dirt roads, for idiot editors.)

PERHHHHc has been used in hand to hand combat for every John Wayne film ever made.

SLSSIEIEPLLSLSLLSCJNBBBB is a simple one used for footsteps on gravel.

However, some studio executives are protesting loudly from their large ranches, punching the air with the hand that isn’t holding a dirty martini.

“He shouldn’t have pulled the curtain,” said the head of Trixar. “It’s like a magician giving away the secrets of the illusion.”

“This doesn’t sound like a good idea,” said Clark Tarke, executive of Marapount. (To be fair, Tark may have been referring to the idea of a clean martini.)

Other foley artists have also voiced their concerns.

“BoinkkkUUULLLUPPP,” said one veteran.

“CHCKEKEKEIJJJEANNVE,” said another, through tears.

In his own defense, Poundcake said, “I’ve always made waves. I guess this is just the next cycle.”

~ by Dan Plighter

Mystery Bank Robber Tracked Down

ANCHORAGE – In the late summer and fall of 2018, a string of bank robberies in Anchorage, Alaska baffled law enforcement.

“There was no getaway vehicle. No sign of how the suspect managed to disappear. This went on for months.”

First the Northrim Bank was held up in late October of 2018. Then a Wells Fargo, almost a month later to the day. Finally in December, the Northern Skies Federal Credit Union was robbed. The characteristic tying the three establishments together? They were near the University of Alaska.

Justin Lambo, lead detective on the case divulged, “It was always around the same time. About 4 o’clock in the afternoon on a Thursday. The suspect, dressed in a ball cap, baggy sweatshirt, and backpack, would enter the bank, take a good amount of cash with no fuss, and then… vanish. We don’t think the suspect was armed.”

Since December, investigators have kept a close watch on the financial institutions. To no avail.

Until Thursday.

A suspect in a ball cap, baggy sweatshirt and backpack entered the Anchorage 5th 3rd 12th Bank, gathered cash from a teller, and then vanished.

Almost.

“We saw these tracks leading from the entrance to the bank to an apartment building. It was pretty easy after that.”

Around five in the evening, officials stormed the home of John D. Ilinger. Inside, was a pair of nordic skis, $20,000 in small bills stacked neatly on a coffee table, and a few rolls of quarters next to a jug of laundry detergent.

“At first we thought the suspect was clean, but then we pieced it together. The evidence fits.”

Mr. Illinger confessed to the robberies of the other banks last fall. He also confessed to being a sophomore at the University of Alaska.

“You think I’m going to take out loans?” Illinger said in a statement, leaning back in his chair in a posture of defiance for all institutions for all time.

Lambo said, “The suspect being a student explains the time, and how he vanished into the throng of students getting out of class. We think his getaway vehicle lat fall may have been a skateboard. Punk skateboarding hooligans. Who can tell them apart?”

When asked why he thought he could get away from a bank on nordic skis in the dead of winter, Illinger replied, “I trained for two months. I’m in good condition. But now I have a bad track record.”

~ by Dan Plighter

The Famed “Loco-Motion” Goes Green

LONDON – “You got to swing your hips, now…” Sings Little Eva in the iconic 1962 hit song “The Loco-Motion.”

Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, the song was intended for Dee Dee Sharp, but she turned it down. Oops.

But in recent months, the song, though no longer brand new, has taken hip London clubs by storm with a twist of environmentalism. It is now nicknamed the “Green Locomotion.”

Clive Cliven, owner of The Blue Spot, one of the most exclusive clubs in Soho, said, “You move around the floor, just like in the old version, but without the carbon emissions. Except for people’s breathing.”

“Everybody’s doing it,” said one dancer, mid stride, (quite obviously just quoting the song and adding nothing to this article).

A shady looking on-looker criticized the dance. “It’s still just a conga.” (He drank alone all night.)

Penelope, a fan of the original, and nightly participant of the new movement said, “They didn’t know about global warming in the 60s. They were just excited that the pill was widely available so everyone was shagging without lambskins.”

While other clubs are catching on, The Blue Spot is ahead of the curve, and enjoying a surge of business. 

Cliven said, “People use personal vehicles from the far reaches of England to come to our place to celebrate environmentalism. It’s just fantastic for the green movement.”

Artist Insists Her Portrait Be Displayed in the National Portrait Gallery

WASHINGTON – The Smithsonian National Portrait gallery experienced an enormous increase in attendance last year after the addition of portraits for former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. But perhaps the most unusual incident at the NPG involved a young artist from Chicago, identifying herself only as ‘The Next Artist,’ who arrived carrying a portrait, insisting it be displayed.

“She walked in here,” said a welcome desk attendant, “eyes blazing and all smiles. She said she had something to fill in near the George one.”

By ‘George one’ she meant South Gallery 240 where a portrait of George Washington hangs.

“Then she showed me. It was a portrait of herself. She was wearing the same dress in life and in the portrait, and she was still smiling. She was a very nice person. And a very good artist. And she looked beautiful in her dress in both the portrait and in front of my desk there.”

The Next Artist explained she had come up with an answer to the ‘George Gesture Question.’ As a viewer faces the painting, Washington seems to be offering something off canvas to the left. This gesture, though a staple of portraiture at the time of the painting, has often baffled the public.

One tourist interpreted it figuratively. “He’s gesturing to the new country. ‘Here you go,’ Washington says. ‘Here’s the United States.'”

Other viewers have been less kind. “It looks like he’s practicing a bad rendition of a stupid monologue from Hamlet. I hate art.”

“It was Bill. I was no where near that tree.” said another.

The Next Artist’s claim that Washington could be gesturing to another portrait intrigued the welcome desk attendant.

“Me,” said The Next Artist. “He could be gesturing to a portrait of me. Why not?”

Gallery staff members began to assemble around The Next Artist as they discussed the possibility of her solution. It seemed an engaging artistic possibility. Why not indeed.

Meanwhile tourists were left to their own devices. Some seemed lost and meandered into unpopular gallery rooms for minutes at a time. Security cameras revealed later that others went about, at long last, touching one-of-a-kind portraits with their grubby fingers.

“The paint’s dry,” stated one such delinquent. “I didn’t do anything.”

Finally, Director of the NPG, Kim Sajet, appeared and sent employees back to the their stations.

“Miss Sajet was very nice,” said The Next Artist. She took me out for coffee and told me what she liked about my work. She said they have very specific parameters for their selection process for the NPG, but she appreciated my enthusiasm. She then said she was sure there was a portrait of someone historical and famous gesturing off canvas in the National Portrait Gallery in London, and asked if I’ve tried to display my work there.”

Alter Ego Files Unemployment Claim

MINNESOTA – A man’s ego was bruised when his alter ego was charged with unemployment fraud.

Carl T. Shelton has been a road construction worker for thirty of his fifty years, working from early spring to late fall in the town of Elk River, Minnesota, an almost suburb of Minneapolis. Each year, as the weather cools, outdoor construction comes to a halt. Shelton then files for unemployment until his employer calls him back in the spring to restart the cycle.

“It’s part of the trade in these parts of the country. I can pick up work driving a plow sometimes, but I can’t depend on it.”

To pass the time, Shelton drinks and hunts and watches television. He also creates performance art.

“I’ve been doing it since I was sixteen. It’s a hobby, not a living. It’s a way to pass the time. There are only so many football games a person can watch, you know?”

For residents of Elk River, Shelton’s alter ego performance persona, Conc Rete, is a mainstay during the cold months.

“He… or it… is almost always there on the corner by the Circle K,” stated a long time fan. “He has his makeup and strange pads. He jabbers on about something or another and makes ice sculptures. It’s a great treat. We like to watch when we go in for blue slushies.”

Conc Rete has appeared indoors as well, at local talent night masquerades and open mic nights.

“He’s a storyteller,” said John Folsumdum, proprietor of The Stag Tavern. “When we do open mic night he’s always on the list. People love Conc.”

But when the name Conc Rete appeared on an unemployment insurance application this past November, red flags went up.

The unemployment insurance employee who first noticed the overlap (and wishes to remain anonymous because Ben likes to go to The Stag Tavern) said, “Same social security number, same address, but different occupation. It’s the same person no matter what anyone says. I’m a trained professional.”

Ben Graspitt, the anonymous unemployment office employee, then called Shelton, as is procedure. “When Shelton answered the phone, and then put me on hold for Conc Rete, I knew I was on to something. I elevated the complaint to the fraud division.”

Shelton is now facing a hefty fine and in an ironic twist, concrete evidence of fraud.

Woman Succeeds in Defying Platitude With Friend’s Nose

MIAMI – A professional engineer by trade, Dolores Cheryl, revealed herself to also be an outspoken rhyming platitude debunker on Tuesday as she sat obstinately on a public park bench chanting, “yes I can, yes I can,” for the entire lunch hour with her right forefinger firmly up her friend’s nose.

Reanimated Corpse of Abraham Lincoln Gets Sweet Deal on Toyota Corolla

SPRINGFIELD – The corpse of Abraham Lincoln crawled from its grave on Wednesday, and was greeted by a sweet sweet President’s Day deal on a new 2019 Toyota Corolla.

“Mr. Lincoln came into the dealership around 1:30 p.m., and we were pleased to offer him one of our deepest discounts on a new fuel-efficient Toyota. He drove off with 0% APR for 18 months and a slew of special features that usually aren’t in this model,” said Chip Tolero, a salesman at Mattis Ford and Toyota of Springfield, Illinois.

Mr. Lincoln, famous for the Emancipation Proclamation and for guiding the nation through the darkness of the American Civil War, was pleased that a holiday celebrating his life has morphed into a siren song of capitalism.

“Look at this baby,” said the 16th president, slapping the roof of the car. “I get 33 miles to the gallon. That’s unheard of in a model with this kind of torque and performance. Who knew President’s Day would be such a good time to buy?”

“We are proud to do business with America’s greatest Republican president,” said Tolero.

When asked if commemorating the life and endeavors of Presidents such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln with discounts on cars was appropriate, Tolero was unfazed.

“It’s what our nation’s great leaders would’ve wanted. I asked Lincoln.”