Salem, Illinois. The Guinness Book of World Records announced that Tom Richards, a farmer from the small town of Salem, Illinois, has achieved what no one else in the world has ever accomplished: he is incomprehensible in every single language.
“This is a most amazing accomplishment,” said Professor Nicole Harb of the Yale Linguistics Department. “There are as many as 8,000 languages and no one has ever been totally incomprehensible in all of them. Sure, we have had some people who did not speak Mandarin or even Russian, but not one who could not be understood in any language on earth.”
Though Tom Richards could not be interviewed for this article because of communication problems, his wife, Helen, said, “Tom has always wanted to be in the Guinness book and thought this might be an area he could excel in. You have no idea how hard he has worked for the past 25 years to not be understood in any language. I think the hardest part was English since he knew English pretty good and it was flat out almost impossible for him to be totally incomprehensible in it. But the work paid off. Why now, even our cows don’t understand him when he tries to call them at the end of the day and I have no idea at all what he says. I am so proud of him.”
Hopkinsville, New Mexico. In a move that stunned prison officials at the New Mexico State Penitentiary in Hopkinsville, Prisoner 639041 requested—and was given– a change of number to 859266.
When Tom Martinez was imprisoned in 2005 for nine counts of automobile theft, he became prisoner 639041. “That number was OK for a few years. Actually I liked it and had it tattooed on my forehead. But then I became involved with AA and became a Christian and am now a changed man,” said Martinez. “The number 639041 is no longer right. It is too violent-sounding; it is just not me anymore. So I asked Warden Lopez to change it to 859266, an obviously more peaceful and righteous number, one I can proudly wear. Now all I have to do is to change the tattoo on my forehead.”
Warden Lopez said he was glad to grant the change request, though it was the first of its kind. “I agree with 639041 that the new number is simply more appropriate for someone like him who has turned himself around. I welcome similar requests by others who have rehabilitated themselves.”
Professor Victor Lamed, a criminologist from Florida State University, said that the number change theory may well be a “breakthrough in the rehabilitation of criminals and he would soon file for a massive federal grant to study the issue.”
Lausanne, Switzerland. In a close vote, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved revenge as an official event for the 2012 London Olympics.
“The IOC is committed to increasing diversity among Olympic participants,” said Jacques Rogge, IOC President. “Since revenge is part of virtually every culture on earth, we thought that adding this sport would encourage people ordinarily excluded from Olympic involvement to train and enter the competition and have the incredible experience of being an Olympic athlete.”
Reaction to the announcement was overwhelmingly positive and seemed to indicate that the goal of improving diversity may materialize. “Nothing represents peace and international understanding more than the Olympic tradition,” said Lorena Bobbit who once cut off her husband’s penis as revenge for raping her. “I know a lot about revenge and am thinking seriously of trying out for the American revenge team.” Prisoner # 98329 (name withheld for privacy reasons) issued a statement saying that he had “committed at least 43 revenge killings and is very well qualified to represent America in the London games.”
A Los Angeles gang banger, known as “El Knifo,” also indicated an interest in becoming an Olympian. An unnamed Serbian, charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Tribunal, spoke through an intermediary and expressed a hope that “bygones would be bygones” and he would be welcomed into the Olympic Community as a representative of his country. Nineteen scorned women from various countries have also expressed a desire to join their respective nations’ teams.
LONDON. After over a hundred years of debate and scientific studies, today the International Time Compact was amended by all 188 member countries to swap the morning and afternoon in order to make it easier for people to get up, especially after a late night of reveling or working.
The idea was pioneered by Sasha Kadamian, a Londoner known for her wild parties that lasted well into the morning. She kept a detailed diary and discovered that after a late party when she slept until the early afternoon she was not nearly as drowsy during the rest of the day as when she got up at her usual time of 6:30 A.M. Realizing that a simple switch of mornings and afternoons would essentially mean that most everyone would get up in the afternoon instead of the morning, she began a campaign to officially switch the two times.
Over time, a worldwide movement developed and an official petition was filed requesting a change in the International Time Compact that governs the clocks of every country in the world. The effort crowned its success today and was heralded throughout the world.
“I cannot think of a more significant development,” said Dr. Malcom Townsend, the world’s leading expert on sleep. “This simple step will cure at least half of the sleep problems we doctors face every day. The literature has long shown that people who get a long sleep and rise in the afternoon are less tired than those who sleep less and get up early in the morning. With this switch, they can get up at 1:00 PM and be wide awake when they start the morning later in the day.”
The National Economic Council estimated that the change would add more than a trillion dollars of productivity as workers become more efficient in the morning.
RED CLAY, COLORADO. A man who manufactures more dental floss than anyone in the world concedes that it does not make good toilet paper.
When John Robertson, president of the world’s largest manufacturer of dental floss was vacationing in his remote cabin in the Colorado mountains, he had no idea he would be doing an experiment with his own product. As always, Robertson carried a large supply of various types of his dental products in his backpack, including waxed and unwaxed versions of mint and plain dental floss and dental tape.
When a snow storm suddenly trapped him in the cabin, he realized that he and his wife had not restocked the toilet paper and essentially had enough for only one day. When they ran out of toilet paper, Robertson thought that perhaps dental floss would work as well. If so, he hoped it might create an increase in the market for his company’s products.
After three days of using only dental floss after trips to the cabin’s bathroom, Robertson expressed frustration with the experiment. “I am a bit tired of using dental floss, especially the really thin kind,” he told a reporter by cell phone. “And the mint-flavored stings a bit. All in all, I think that toilet paper is far better than dental floss for toilet use.”
“It got really bad when my wife got a bit of diarrhea yesterday. She cursed for the first time in her life. My suggestion that she use our no-flavored, waxed dental tape rather than unwaxed floss did not seem to help.”
“I use dental floss for everything, just like duct tape. But I guess there are limits to what even great dental floss can do,” Robertson said.
CARLETON, TENNESSEE. Twenty-two year old Wayne Logan shocked his family and friends by turning into a cherub for absolutely no good reason.
“I felt fine all along,” said a surprised Logan. “I got up as usual, but when I looked in the mirror in the bathroom I could not believe my eyes: I had become a cherub. Wings, pudgy body and all.
“This was a shock to my family since no one in our family had ever been a cherub. We didn’t even have any angels though my Great Uncle Felix did resemble a gnome,” noted Logan.
Charlotte Johnson, Logan’s fiancée, could not believe her ears when Logan gave her the good news. “Wow, I thought, it would be so cool to marry a cherub, even though he looks like a fat three-year-old child with stubby wings. My friends will be so jealous. I can’t wait to see our kids!”
Rabbi David Weinstock of Temple Beth El in Nashville commented that “cherubim are rare in modern life but were far more common many years ago when they guarded the Garden of Eden as well as the entrance to paradise.”
Dr. Janessa Washington, a geneticist at Massachusetts General Hospital, said that though cherubs are rare, genetic mutations are common and must be the reason for Logan’s odd transformation. “I assume his cherub genes are dominant. His kids will probably have a twenty-five percent chance of being cherubs themselves.”
WASHINGTON, DC. NASA today announced plans to send a team of five astronauts aboard the Shuttle Genesis to land on heaven and take cloud samples that will be analyzed by the four billion dollar shuttle’s laboratory. Any angels that can be captured will be brought back alive in the shuttle’s specially designed angelorium, which is made with padded walls to avoid injuring the angels’ wings and with plenty of head room to accommodate halos of various sizes.
The trip is expected to take about seven months and will cover 2.7 million miles. The exploration was funded by Congress as part of health reform legislation passed last week. Designed to appease the religious right and abortion foes, the mission is NASA’s first effort to explore outside the universe.
“We have long wanted to explore the real heavenly bodies,” said NASA chief Robert Myers. “With the support and blessing of Congress, now we will be able to achieve this goal that once was thought to be no more than a wish upon a star.
“Our scientists believe that with chemical analysis of the clouds of heaven, we will be able to learn much about the origins of the universe, including answering the age-old question whether the “day” referred to in the Bible’s depiction of the six-day birth of the earth and humankind was actually a twenty-four hour day or was more like a twenty-six or even twenty-seven hour day.”
Even conservative voices praised the decision to explore heaven. “Finally, finally the government is doing something sensible,” said talk radio host Rush Limbaugh. “After spending billions of dollars on careless banks and deadbeat homeowners, the taxpayers will get something valuable that will actually help solve the world’s serious problems caused by atheists and Democrats. I can think of no better way to spend public money.”
President Obama praised the announcement as “furthering the interests of pure science and helping reduce unemployment among our scientists and theologians. It is a win-win situation,” he said. “I congratulate Congress on its courage in pushing the frontiers of science while carefully safeguading the taxpayer’s dollar.”
It is expected that thousands of people will volunteer to be astronauts for this mission.
HELL. Satan shocked the world today when he announced that he is retiring since the world is already saturated with evil and his services are no longer needed.
At a press conference in his palatial mansion in Hell, Satan stunned a room full of news correspondents when he announced that he is retiring after eons of tempting humans into evil behavior. “I have decided that my services are no longer needed,” said the Devil wearing a bright red cape and sporting two horns. “I have looked around the world and find I simply cannot improve on my work. I have created a Satanic masterpiece!
“There is so much starvation, mean spiritedness, corruption, and cruelty that my work on earth has been successful. I decided this after listening to several vicious radio commentators, such as Sean Hannity, and seeing a news report on the widespread death of children in Africa, wars in the Middle East, homelessness and starvation and sickness in the world’s richest countries, and the lies and misinformation about health care in America.
“My staff–no pun intended–analyzed the situation, held a victory party, and decided to move on to other activities. We will disclose the nature of these new projects in due course.”
Reverend Pat Robertson’s response to news of the retirement was joy: “This miracle shows God’s power and insight. By providing wars and starvation and Sean Hannity, God cleverly tricked Satan into giving up without a fight. Hallelujah. Triumph!”