Friday, March 11, 2005

Friday 11 March 2005

Groundhog Lied; Investigation Launched

With more snow and unseasonable cold forcast for much of the North and Northeast through the weekend, officials in Punxsutawney, PA are launchiing an investigation and, embarassingly, may have to announce a longer winter.

Charges have been made that Punxsutawney Phil, the infamous prognosticating marmot, didn't see his shadow, but the shadow of one of his handlers, or other revelers this past February 1st, otherwise known as Groundhog Day.

So says Elmer Johnson, 59, a long-time critic of the 119-year-old festival that has a groundhog, fondly known as Punxsutawney Phil, being pulled out of a hutch and declaring the length of winter left based on whether he sees his shadow. Thousands flock to this small Pennsylvania burg in what has become a major media event, including a popular 1993 movie starring Bill Murray.

"No way that rodent saw his own shadow" declared Johnson, an unempolyed electrician. "His eyes were closed … Maybe he peeked but with so many people around, there's no way you could tell who's shadow it was".

Johnson claims to have evidence, saying he taped the entire program, both at his home on a VCR and, as part of the throng with his cellphone camera.

Town officials were stunned by the allegations and in a terse statement, indicated they will investigate Johnson's charges.

"Besides", Johnson stated, "it's a rodent ... I mean, all you have to do is look at a calendar to figure out how much winter is left … What's next - we going to have a dog determine how hot a summer we're going to have?

Jackson Family In Deal To Launch New Wine

Regardless of their son's trial outcome, and, in part, to help pay his skyrocketing legal fees, the family of Michael Jackson has signed a deal with an undisclosed vineyard to launch Jesus Juice.

A family spokesperson indicated Jesus Juice, a Merlot and a Chardonney, will be hitting the shelves by summer, and will be available in both corked bottes and pop-open cans. There are no plans at this time to use Michael Jackson, or his image in the marketing campaign and no decision has been reached yet if Michael's sister, Janet Jackson, will be involved.

According to the spokesperson, Jesus Juice, has done remarkably well in focus groups and random, blind taste tests. Even the concept of offering Jesus Juice in a can has won praise. Scores in the tests noted that people responded it would be easier to pack in coolers, or carry in a handbag or pocket.

When asked about having this product associate with the sorrid allegations brought out in the trial, the spokesperson offered;

'C'mon man, it's Jesus Juice …"

Top Ten Cloves: Why You Don't Want To Become A Fat Actress

10. Your tatoos will look like billboards

9. Congress might subpeona you about steroid use

8. You'll get stuck doing Pier One and Christmas Tree Shop commercials

7. Governor Schwarzenegger will ridicule you, using you as a example in his Junk Food campaign

6. Producers of Fat Albert will hound you to do the sequel

5. Actor pals will snicker behind your back - Million-Pound Baby

4. Because of your size, people will think you won the Los Angeles Mayor race

3. President Bush will make you start two Private Retirement Accounts

2. Two words of caution - Freeway and Weigh-Stations

1. Blame weight gain on nerves; You, along with Russell Crowe, were a terrorist target

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Thursday 10 March 2005

Garlic Exclusive!
Bush Team Prepares Call For New Axis of Evil Member

The Garlic has learned that the Bush Administration is putting together a Request For Proposal (RFP) to sollict a new country to join the Axis of Evil. The proposal is said to be in the final stages and may be released as early as next week.

With the seemingly successful transition to freedom and democracy, Iraq will soon be de-listed from the Axis of Evil, leaving the vacany that the administration would like to see filled at the earliest. With new budgets to be drawn, and alarming, fear-inducing rhetoric to be written, the administration is uncomfortable leaving a hole of this size open for too long.

Along with Iraq, North Korea and Iran are the other two members.

One source close to talks speculated on who may join the Axis of Evil.

"There's not a lot of good candidates out there … One's that would qualify … We can rule out the Sudan, they're too busy … Russia is signaling that they may like to bring back the Cold War … Syria is making some noise but a number of committee member feel they're dragging their feet on the pullout as a way to neogiate some better terms …"

The source indicated that newly appointed Intelligence Czar John Negroponte has been dispatched to Central and South America, to meet with old contacts and gage interest on having a Latin country join the Axis.

'The administration would love to have a Spanish-speaking country in the Axis. That would open the door to tie it in with the right-wing Cubans in Florida … Maybe some back-door subsidies …"

Some of the conditions of the proposal were leaked to The Garlic. They include;

- Having a large square or central meeting place and the ability to mobilize 100,000+ citizens to it and chant anti-American slogans

- A televison network (state-run or private) that can promote your Axis of Evil qualities and rail against the United States

- Weapons of Mass Destruction and/or Nuclear Weapons.

There is a rider on having Weapons of Mass Destruction and/or the Nuclear Weapons. This new Axis of Evil member wouldn't actually have to have them, but they will need to sign on that they will say they have them.

The RFP will direct countries interested in joining the Axis to a special CIA website, where the can download the RFP in pdf format and, if they act within a certain period of time, there are some extra's they can take advantage of.

One is the State Deparment will produce a custom video or DVD for the new Axis member, of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld disparaging them as a rogue nation and laying out a possible plan of invasion, for their internal use only.

There's a second pacakge, for a large fee, that includes the video, and also, that Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice will go to the United Nations, detail their Weapons of Mass Destruction, and set a deadline, that will ignore the United Nations Security Council, for invasion.

The proposal has been approved by Britian's Tony Blair and a number of other members of the European Union, though it's unclear if the French are behind it.

"The President", offered the source, "is inclined to forgo the process and just place France in the Axis … It wouldn't take much to get him slamming Chirac …"

Apple Takes Blog Ruling As New Club On Criticism and Dissent

In winning the ruling last week that three blogs must disclose their sources on articles they published with details, in advance of its' release, about Apple's new Mini iPod, CEO Steve Jobs has mapped out an extensive campaign to squash all rumors, criticism and dissent against Apple.

Critics of the plan, some inside Apple, suggest that Jobs is modeling Apple in the image of rival Microsoft.

With tremendous cashflow coming from iTunes and iPods sales, Jobs has put an unprecidented number of lawyers on retainer - some with specific First Admendment backgrounds - and is targeting all major media, blogs, community newsletters and personal emails.

Apple will also set up a special hotline - iSqueal - for people to phone or email in tips as to who may be leaking, or disparaging Apple or any Apple products.

Changes will be coming with iTunes as well. The purchase price will remain at .99, for those willing to sign a contract that they will not badmouth Apple. Otherwise, the purchase of a tune will cost $99 and Apple will create a dossier on that purchaser and monitor there actions and communications.

Ipods will now be outfitted with special senors to detect a batch of keywords related to dissent about Apple. If any of these keywords are used, the iPod shuts down, and sends a signal - much like a Lojack - for Apple to dispatch a lawyer to serve the iPod owner with a lawsuit.

Editor's Note: As we filed and posted this story, The Garlic was served papers, demanding we disclose who inside Apple suggested that Apple is becoming like Microsoft.

Top Ten Cloves: Signs That Congress Is On Steroids

10. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is now using a sledge hammer for a gavel

9. You have to wrestle the Sergeant at Arms to get onto the floor

8. Rep. Wally Herger: Last Year - Wrote 3 Bills; This Year - 25 Bills

7. Instead of Tax Cuts, Congress now only interested in huge USDA Choice cuts of meat

6. House Armed Services Committee now armed-to-the-teeth

5. Sen. John McCain ripped Lincoln out of his chair at the memorial and put chair in his office

4. Sen. Ted Stevens proposing legislation for more nudity on television

3. New sub-committee - Ways and Means of getting Balco Steroids

2. Replaced filibusters with Cage of Steel Death Matches

1. Sen. Bill Frist was caught giving Sen. Trent Lott a shot in the ass

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Wednesday 9 March 2005

Red Sox Sue Colorado Town Over Frozen Body Rights

The small town of Nederland, Colorado, about 35-miles outside of Boulder, have been served 'Cease-and-Desist' papers from the World Champion Boston Red Sox, over their Frozen Dead Guy Festival.

Trygve Bauge froze the body of his grandfather, "Grandpa" Bredo Morstoel, in 1989, on the hope of someday reviving or cloning him. In 2002, as an effort to increase tourism, the town of Nederland began celebrating Frozen Dead Guy Days.

The Red Sox charge that this is an infringement on their trademark, intellectual and property rights. Since the death of former star, Ted Williams, the last major league player to bat .400, in July of 2002, the Red Sox say they own the rights to Frozen Dead Guy. William's has been cryogenically perserved at a facility in Arizona.

Bauge could not be reached and it's unclear if "Grandpa" Bredo Morstoel played baseball, or batted over .400.

Boeing Exec Tried To Start Runway Club

Sources to The Garlic have found that former Boeing CEO Harry Stonecipher, forced out on Monday for ethics violations by the Boeing board for a consensual affair he conducted with another Boeing executive, was out to establish 'The Runway Club'.

Long the legend in the airline business, the Mile High Club, claims hundreds-of-scores of members, those who conducted affairs on aircrafts while flying.

Stonecipher, a long-time airline industry member, first with McDonnell Douglas, believed that those in the airline industry who didn't fly, who worked on the ground, deserved a club. Though unconfirmed, membership in the 'Runway Club' is said to dwarf the numbers of the Mile High Club.

Boeing officials would neither confirm or deny the existence of the Runway Club.

Stonecipher said that he is proud of his work and intends to stay as a member in the Runway Club.

Study Shows Clams Not Happy At All

In a report released today, from a joint study by Harvard University and the Cape Cod Oceanic Institute, a long-held belief was dispelled - Clams are not happy at all.

The study, conducted over three years, from 2001-2004, covered a wide variety of clams, hard and soft shell, from both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as Chesapeake Bay. The bivalves studied include Geoduck, Quahog, Razor, Steamer, Surf, Butter, Pismo.

Researchers offered that clams scooped from beds in deep waters, versus those clams forced to live low-tide sands, had a better dispostion, but not what one would call 'happy'. In monitoring their behavior and movements, reseachers believe that most clams have a sense that they will end up as someone's dinner - be it other species of fish, or in a pot at a traditional clam bake.

Top Ten Cloves: Dan Rather's Final Anchor Broadcast

10. A stumble, shirt rumbled, tie askew, cigarette dangling from mouth and cocktail glass on desk - Screw the news, let's party!

9. Looking overweight; Says he has guest spot lined up on Fat Actress

8. A simple 'Goodbye'; Camera follows him out of building and watches as he gets in spaceship and takes off

7. Bewildered; Extreme Makeover came in and redesigned set for a new CBS Reality show in the works

6. Flashes 800 Number at bottom of screen and say he's taking bets on the Michael Jackson case

5. Arm wrestles Mike Wallace

4. Looking buff, will announce has been taking steroids and has try out with Chicago Cubs

3. Will spend the entire 30-minutes defending that he had the Bush National Guard story straight

2. Flashes 900 Number at bottom of screen for new job: Psychic Dan Hotline

1. Irony - Will go retro and deliver the news as Grandfather Clock

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Tuesday 8 March 2005

Despite Hype, Martha's First Day 'Pretty Average'

Aside for the intense media present, and a brief photo op, Martha Stewart's first day back at work was a routine day, as with any new employee.

According to officials at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Martha received no special treatment.

Stewart was not yet wearing her monitoring ankle bracelet and officials dismissed concerns that the bracelet may cause disruption to some of the company's technolgy and wireless equipment, including cellphones.

Stewart reported to Human Resources, filled out the application and insurance forms and then attended a 2-hour company orientation, a 30-minute 401K seminar and a 1-hour training on the company's telephone and computer systems. As with all employees, Stewart receives two 15-minute breaks and is alloted one-hour for lunch and was shown how to use the Time Card Machine.

This was followed with being taken to lunch and meeting some of the other company officials she will be working with.

Stewart then spent the afternoon at her post, and with assistance from administrators and assistants, worked on getting familiar with her new tasks.

Hawk and Weapons Expert Get's Bush Nod for U.N. Post.

President Bush, yesterday, displayed his commitment to finding Weapons of Mass Destruction with his choice of John R. Bolton to be the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

Bolton has been a blunt critic of the U.N and international diplomacy overall, with his views closely in line with Cabinet members Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina was once Bolton's mentor.

Bolton offered in a brief interview, that unlike former Secretary of State Colin Powell, he would have no qualms with presenting to the United Nations false, doctored or otherwise shoddy intelligence if it offered the chance to invade another country.

Administration officials declared that the choice of Bolton demonstrates the President's "strong commitment to finding Weapons of Mass Destruction - in Iraq, Iran, North Korea, or wherever they may be".

Yahoo Considers Internet Telephone Service

Search and portal giant, Yahoo, is entering the internet telephone business with a VoIP offering, sources close to The Garlic discovered. VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) is a fast-growing technology, allowing users to make and receive telephone calls via their computers.

The plan calls for the traditional ring to be replaced with Yahoo's trademark, 'Yaaaahooooo' when an incoming call comes in. Additionally, ads may appear during your conversation, incoming or outgoing, based on the content of your conversation, or simply by the number your dialed. Another feature allows you to make a direct call, or you can do a random call, based on the results of the search, via Yahoo's search portal.

Yahoo officials declined comment.

Top Ten Cloves: How Howard Stringer Will Revive Sony

10. Was always partial to Betamax - Time to bring it back!

9. Build up Asian market. Add program to Playstation so players can order sushi

8. Call in favor to Letterman. Place Sony logo on desk

7. Good timing - Dan Rather's looking for work, see if there's a post for him

6. Note: Can't spend time at doctor's; Call contractor to enlarge doorways

5. Develop TV Reality show - Westerner takes over Japanese company; Go heavy with Saki and Karaoke segments

4. Instruct all Japanese employees to stop bowing - Unproductive - time better spent working

3. Throw in some extra footage and re-release all Sony Picture films as 'Director Cuts

2. Call in favor to Toby Maguire: Must dress as Spiderman 24/7/365

1. Say sayonara to Vaio and Hello to sPod

Monday, March 07, 2005

Monday 7 March 2005

Rumsfeld Defends Shooting Italians

In a candid press conference, in which he interviewed himself, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld defended the shooting of the Italian diplomat this past weekend.

"Hostage rescuing isn't pretty", stated Rumsfeld.

"Given the situation, I wouldn't go racing around in the middle of the night - in the middle of a war zone - with my lights out and a rescued hostage in the back seat? … I wouldn't defy an order to stop with a gun pointed at me? … Would I even be in Iraq in the first place?

"I mean, would I make sure my auto had armor? Would I have a ceritifed, qualified driver?

"Did the Italian shoot first? …Were the Italians yelling and hooping it up the way those people like to celebrate? … These are the type of questions we need to find the answers to before we go jumping off bridges, saying the American's did this, or the American's did that … "

"It's a terrible, terrible, thing … This … War business …It's an untidy business".

Rumsfeld went on, blaming the Italians for extending World War II and saying, squintingly " …. I just couldn't believe … couldn't fathom … how they lost to South Korea in the 1966 World Cup … Unbelieveable …It would be like … as if Sadam's rag-tag army beat us"

Syrian Pullout Hinges on Moving Van Backlog

In a telephone call yesterday, Syrian President Bashar Assad of Syria assured U.S. President Bush that he was working on an early withdrawal from Lebanon, but was facing a crisis of a lack of moving vans.

"It's been terrible", Assad told a group of reporters. "Benkins, Allied, United Vans … They're pricing is outrageous … And, I hear they are not very careful with the things they move - and you know what it's like filing a claim with a moving company"

"Plus, we have the Gaza Strip thing going on and they're telling me they have a lot of reservations for their vans … In another month, we have the students moving out, going home for the summer …"

When it was suggested that Syria move itself out of Lebanon, Assad offered that wouldn't be as easy as it sounds.

Assad indicated that many of the small trucks and vans they have are outfitted for war, with gun mounts and grenade launchers, so they could only move small things "dishes, glasses, odds-and-ends".

"We'd have to bring in the supplies, you know … the boxes … the bubblewrap … We lost the only Mailbox Etc. back in the '86 bombing … UPS has promised to open a store here but hasn't done so yet … I guess we'll have to go on eBay and see what we can come up with …"

Top Ten Cloves: Signs The Government Is Screwing with Your Private Retirement Account

10. President Bush goes on television and blames you for the trouble with Social Security

9. Strongly suggests you start working on Saturdays to help build the account up

8. Sends Governor Schwarzenegger to your house to "collect" the interest

7. You discover Speaker of House Dennis Hastert is charging his meals at swank restaurant to your account

6. No Monthly Statement; You get voicemails from Secretary of Treasury John Snow laughing at you

5. Instead of nest egg, government promises you special chocolate egg with Presidential Seal on it

4. You get signed photo in mail of special Congressional junket to Aruba, thanking you for letting them use your Frequent Flyer Milage

3. Threatens to put you and your family in the Extraordinary Rendition program unless you start saving more

2. Sets your Personal Retirement Age at 86

1. You get email from Nigerian Prince offering to help you to get your money