December 10, 2013
A kindly, arctic-dwelling gift-giver acknowledged today that watching people while they are asleep is kind of weird. The red-suited toymaker reluctantly admitted that his practice of seeing you when you're sleeping and knowing when you're awake isn't the sort of thing well-adjusted people do. "At best, it's an unusual hobby," he said. "At worst, it's downright creepy. But in fairness, there's not much to do at the North Pole. It's practically impossible to get satellite TV and Wi-Fi up here. What else am I supposed to do?" This is not the first time the Christmas season has proven unsettling. In 2011, several people were creeped the hell out after they actually bothered to listen to the words of "Baby, It's Cold Outside."
December 8, 2013
Due to a case of mistaken auto-correction, the baby Jesus in one Knoxville church's living nativity scene was accidentally wrapped in "swag," rather than "swaddling clothes." Instead of being dressed in the more traditional bundle of rags often associated with manger scenes, the tiny infant at the Third Baptist Church of Third Creek has been sporting a fedora, thick black eyeglasses and a onesie with a moustache on the front. "Baby Jesus a hipster," stated one observer. The ornamental festoons have been removed following complaints from the community. "I didn't really remember these clothes from the Christmas story," said nativity scene director Colleen Delgado. "But who am I to argue with the iPhone 5s?"
December 6, 2013
There he blows!
Knoxville's Mount Toddler erupted at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, spewing pillars of tiny tears and rage four miles into the air and generating fears of a bigger calamity. The two-and-a-half-year-old volcano had previously lain dormant for nearly three days.
The eruption prompted the evacuation of nearly 7,000 people Thursday evening as it blanketed the landscape in kicking, screaming and pounding the floor, emergency officials said Friday. People in the vicinity of the blast wore raincoats and used umbrellas to shield themselves from the visceral anger after the initial discharge, as they were rushed to higher ground.
Mount Toddler is the smallest mountain in West Knoxville with an altitude of about 35 inches.
"People panicked as the eruption was accompanied by a loud wailing sound and vibrations," said one witness to the incident. "Then it started to rain stuffed animals and toy cars."
Evacuations of West Knoxville residents kept the death toll at zero during the eruption. But geologists fear the toddler is becoming more active -- and irritated.
Officials said Friday they have closed several West Knoxville roads until further notice to keep people out of harm's way.
"This was a significant eruption, with breath holding and toy throwing coming down the ravines," said University of Tennessee geologist Shelly Halvorsen. "Mount Toddler has already shown a certain amount of activity for the past week, but yesterday was much greater than what we have seen lately."
Knoxville's Mount Toddler is one of the most active volcanoes in East Tennessee and has been erupting with frightening regularity for the past six months.
Transportation officials said airlines have been notified to avoid routes near West Knoxville. Authorities have also raised the toddler eruption alert status to its highest level.
"Frankly we don't know what causes these eruptions," said Halvorsen. "It may be a lack of language development. It may be the lack of a nap that day. It may be that he didn't want to wear his shoes. Some things are just beyond the realm of science."
Officials are hopeful that displaced residents will be able to return home in a couple of days.
December 5, 2013
Talentless modern rock bank Hoobastank will not be the flagship act of the 2014 Big Ears Festival, which takes place March 28-30 in downtown Knoxville. The band, best known for its 2004 hit single "The Reason," was nowhere to be found among the impressive festival lineup that was announced Wednesday. "We are very excited to announce that under no circumstances will Hoobastank headline the upcoming Big Ears Festival," said festival organizers AC Entertainment in a statement Wednesday. "Because they are old and terrible." Bands scheduled to appear at the festival include Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, Television, Arcade Fire sideman Colin Stetson and Velvet Underground co-founder John Cale. Other bands not scheduled to appear at Big Ears include Hoobastank, Hoobastank, Hoobastank, Hoobastank, Hoobastank, Hoobastank and Hoobastank.
December 3, 2013
The University of Tennessee is testing drones to deliver bulldozers to historic Fort Sanders Victorian homes in the time it takes to watch an episode of "Modern Family." Grant Dickie, UT's vice chancellor for destroying historic buildings, recently outlined his plan to transform the Fort Sanders destruction industry. Dickie said the contraptions, called seeyawouldntwanttobeyavictorianhouseacopters, can carry bulldozers to the scene of a historic Victorian home within seconds. "It will work, and it will happen, and it's gonna be a lot of fun," Dickie told the razed rubble of a vintage George Barber home. UT has been introducing new ways to get annihilation to Fort Sanders faster. The college said last month it will be teaming up with Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center to level more of the neighborhood for the sake of progress.
December 1, 2013
Millions of Facebook users today announced their appreciation for the end of a month-long series of status updates detailing what social media operators are thankful for. "Some people celebrate 30 days of thanks," said enemy of gratitude Meg Raysman. "But I've been having 30 days of angst. I'm really glad it's over. People are thankful for some pretty stupid things. Like cats. Why would someone be thankful for a cat? All they do is cough up hairballs and make me sneeze." Those participating in 30 days of thanks posted a thing to be thankful for each day of the month of November, causing some social media users to swell up with rage. "You're thankful for your iPhone?" said Sasha Patty. "Did you really run out of legitimate things to be thankful for already?" Facebook users reported that the social media website hasn't been this annoying since a married couple merged their two separate profiles into a single, shared ChristineandBenHolland identity.
November 29, 2013
The close-knit community Fourth and Gill is attempting to come to terms with the brutal murder of a medium-sized, orange winter squash.
Neighbors of the quiet neighborhood discovered the dismembered pumpkin in a compost heap in the backyard of Linus and Sally van Pelt of Luttrell Street Thursday evening.
Police said the pumpkin had been stabbed, cut open, and that its insides had been removed and baked into a pie.
Forensic investigators said the murder occurred in the van Pelt's kitchen sometime in the early hours of Thursday morning. A carving knife found in the family's dishwasher is believed to be the murder weapon.
The van Pelts were arrested shortly before midnight Thursday and are being held without bond.
Many neighbors reacted to the vicious homicide in disbelief.
"I think we're all just in shock," said longtime Luttrell Street resident Chris Fortney. "You never think something like this can happen in your own neighbor's backyard. You just never know people as well as you think you do. I mean, you'd expect this kind of thing over on Deery Street. But not here."
Neighbor Emily Nance agreed.
"This used to be a street where you could leave your pantry door unlocked. What's happening to the world?"
But one childhood friend has come forward who believes Linus van Pelt has longtime resentment toward pumpkins.
"He has some rage issues, going back to something that he calls the Great Pumpkin," said the former associate, who revealed his name only as Schroeder. "The Great Pumpkin was a mythical god that Linus believed would rise out of the pumpkin patch. It never came. Linus must have never gotten over it."
Police said they plan to increase their presence in the Fourth and Gill neighborhood for the foreseeable future.
"It was pretty bad," said police spokesperson Tinah Miller. "We haven't seen anything like this since we found that pumpkin with a face carved into it on Halloween. Some people are just animals."
November 28, 2013
An Anderson County woman is rushing dozens of critical, backhanded remarks to her family's Thanksgiving dinner today in a major indirect hostility buildup aimed at preventing her adult children from experiencing cheer and happiness. The tiny barbs of Ruby Brooks' stockpile each carry subtle resentment designed to get under the skin. According to high-ranking family officials, each comment is disguised as a reflection of care and concern, but is in reality a deadly weapon capable of raising blood pressure and eliciting silent rage. Reportedly among the arsenal are RS-12M Topol Intercontinental Ballistic Maybe I'll Have A Grandchild Before I Die Missiles and BGM-109D Long-Range Tomahawk It Looks Like You've Been Eating Well Missiles. According to one source, I Was Just Calling Your Phone To See If It Was Still Working Bunker Buster Bombs could also be deployed in the avoidance of conflict.
November 26, 2013
University of Tennessee linguists made a startling discovery Monday when they uncovered a local man with a lexicon of more than 50 curse words for snowy weather. The team of linguistic anthropologists, led by Arica Lawrence, learned of the treasure trove of impressively vast and rich bad language after John from down the hall heard the weather report. "We were intrigued by the elaborate combinations of swear words John uses to describe winter weather," said Lawrence. "The string of crude, vulgar, sometimes blasphemous obscenities was incredible. For example, he has a sequence of irreverent adjectives, adverbs and nouns describing powdery snow that doesn't stick very well. But then he has another set of expletives that he uses to describe rain mixed with snow." Other members of the scientific community are skeptical, noting that John has 50 swear words for just about everything.
November 24, 2013
A rotund, North Pole-dwelling gift-giver stunned the Internet Saturday when he posted a half-nude photograph on Twitter. A shirtless Santa Claus tweeted a photo of himself with the caption, "Have you been naughty or nice?" The photo was deleted an hour later, but the photo had already been retweeted more than 1,000 times. Claus told reporters this morning that a combination of too much eggnog and his amazement at his 190-year-old body contributed to the tweet. Twitter users announced that they would be switching back to landlines immediately. "I think I'm just going to buy my own gifts this year," said one Twitter user. "There's no unseeing that belly. It really does seem to jiggle though, I'll give him that." This is not the first time an arctic resident has caused controversy. In August, Frosty the Snowman stunned the scientific community when he denounced global warming as a hoax.