December 6, 2016
An East Tennessee shopping mall issued an apology today for hiring a horned, half-demon, half-goat creature instead of a Santa Claus for this year's holiday season. The creature, known as Krampus, has long been a creepy Bavarian folk tradition. The mall Krampus caused controversy when it chased shoppers around a Dippin' Dots kiosk and tossed one bystander into an indoor fountain. "We regret hiring someone to dress up as a horrifying hell spawn to swat people with tree branches," said mall spokesman Daniel Guzda. "In retrospect this was a pretty terrible idea." Guzda told concerned shoppers the mall has now hired a mysterious elf overlord who maintains an elaborate worldwide surveillance network. "From now on we're going back to our tradition of having a weird, old man arbitrarily tell children if they have been good or bad," he said.
December 4, 2016
Following the release of his newest record, Canadian singer The Weeknd last week shattered the record for most streams in a single day on the Spotify music service. His take home pay was a keen $1.37. "I am so excited to have Spotify as an asset in my portfolio," said the Weeknd, whose given name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye. "If I have another day like that, I'll be able to buy an Egg McMuffin on a tax free weekend." Spotify pays out an average of between $0.006 and $0.0084 per song stream. Bands that have their songs played between 119 and 166 times earn a cool penny, which they then have to split four ways. Spotify has yet to release the name of the previous record holder or to tell how many streams it took to break the record, which isn't fishy at all.
December 2, 2016
'It's Christmas and Your Friends Are Terrible People, Charlie Brown' required viewing this holiday season
The Christmas season is the perfect blend of optimistic cheer, soul-crushing despair, overeating and buying stuff no one needs. Here's what to watch as your emotions ride the December roller coaster.
A Charlie Brown Christmas - Also known as "It's Christmas and Your Friends Are Terrible People, Charlie Brown." This animated special is based on the "Peanuts" comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. The story is about a bald, clinically depressed child who is mercilessly ridiculed by his peers. No one seems to have parents. Brown's friend Linus, who worships a pumpkin god at Halloween, delivers a sermon about the true meaning of Christmas.
A Christmas Story - TBS devotes 1/365th of its programming year to this cautionary tale of the importance of protecting one's eyesight.
Die Hard - An off-duty cop runs around bloody and barefoot, fighting people and swearing while trying to reconcile with his estranged wife. So it's basically Christmas at the in-laws.
Fireplace for Your Home: Birchwood Edition - Now in 4K Ultra-HD, "Fireplace for Your Home" is the timeless story of a log burning without making you any warmer.
Home Alone - Directed by Chris Columbus, "Home Alone" is a charming pre-9/11 tale about a family of 15 people that is able to get through security at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in 35 seconds. The film stars Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, an eight-year-old boy left behind by his parents to inflict crippling injuries on a pair of burglars. McCallister later joins up with the neglected kids from "Stranger Things" and they fight a Demogorgon together.
It's a Wonderful Life - In this updated take, everyman George Bailey joins Occupy Wall Street and is blasted with pepper spray by his friend Bert the police officer.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - A stop-motion television special about a mutant reindeer with the superpower of having a shiny, red nose. Rudolph helps Santa Claus save Christmas. Later, a disillusioned Rudolph declares war on humankind and joins Magneto's Brotherhood of Mutants.
December 1, 2016
A man paying $1,700 a month for a one bedroom apartment in Chicago called East Tennesseans ignorant hillbillies today. Jake Trimble of the Windy City's Lincoln Park neighborhood told friends that people in a state he has never been to are dumb as rocks. Tennessee residents agreed. "I wish I were smart enough to pay nearly three times my rent here in Tennessee to live in a gentrified neighborhood," said Johnson City resident Heather Stephens. "I wonder if you have to go to some special school to become that learned." This is not the first time people from East Tennessee have been ignorant. In 2011 a foolish Knoxville man went to trade school and got a job earning $40,000 a year instead of finishing graduate school with $100,000 in student loan debt.
November 29, 2016
A tense scene played out on Facebook Sunday when a college football coach's career was attacked by an angry mob. The scene took place after Tennessee's 45-34 loss to Vanderbilt Saturday. Video of the incident shows the mob complaining about Tennessee head coach Butch Jones' coaching ability and saying that he should be fired. At least three innocent bystanders were also insulted in the melee. "We didn't even win the SEC East," said one vigilante. "But, hey, at least we won the championship of life. I wonder what that ring looks like." "I'm a Vol for Life, but this is just embarrassing," said another vandal. "We beat Florida but lost to Vanderbilt. I haven't been this angry since I wanted Donnie Tyndall and Derek Dooley fired." Police have mostly broken up the mob, but said the crowd will probably want someone else fired before the week is out.
November 27, 2016
Investigators are trying to determine why a magical invisibility ring was destroyed in a North Carolina wildfire early Sunday. Fire crews were called to the incident at around 4:30 a.m. but the ring was a smoldering pile of ash by the time they arrived. Police said no one was injured in the incident. Investigators say they are questioning two short, furry humanoids found near the scene. "These two Bagginses were discovered eating fourth Thanksgiving nearby," said a police spokesperson. "But it seems crazy that they would have walked all the way from the Shire to North Carolina. Gandalf the Grey could have easily just flown them here on eagles. Walking would take like 12 hours of movies instead of 15 minutes. It makes no sense. Needless to say, we're still looking for a suspect."
November 25, 2016
If you thought online holiday shopping couldn't get any easier, a new app is here to prove you wrong. iCrowds for iOS is here.
The app lets online shoppers who miss the hustle and bustle of the Black Friday experience order their very own crowd of people. The multitude of shoppers gets delivered straight to your doorstep.
The app was designed by Knoxville-based software developer Alethea Mitchell.
Mitchell said she made the app because she loves doing her shopping from home. But she also longs for the days of running over a smaller, weaker shopper with her shopping cart.
"This is the best of both worlds," said Mitchell. "I can do my shopping without even getting out of bed. If you order a big enough crowd, you don't even have to unlock the door for them. They'll just break down the door and come in and trash your living room."
Here's how it works: Users enter their address, the size of the crowd they'd like to have and the big ticket gift items they'd like to fight over. An hour later a bus will arrive at your home with a mob of shoppers and your gift items. Whether you get to keep your shopping depends on how scrappy you are.
"The good thing is your gifts arrive that day," said Mitchell. "The bad news is you might not get to keep them."
Shoppers love the idea.
"I miss the days of standing in line outside a store at 2 a.m. in the cold," said shopper Tyra Haskins. "I miss being knocked to the ground and having packages ripped right out of my hands. But shopping from home in my pajamas is just so warm and comfortable. It's so nice to have this app. Now a crowd of 50 people is delivered right to my door to trample me in the comfort of my own home."
Those who install the app today get a free new front door with an order of a crowd of 100 people or more.
November 24, 2016
A 43-year-old Knoxville man is spending Thanksgiving Day binge-watching a full season of "Putting Pie in Your Face." The heartwarming Dining Table original drama is the story of a man repeatedly putting more pie in his face. Cristian Napier said he plans to watch the show all day until he passes out from exhaustion. "I mean, 'Putting Cranberry Sauce in Your Face' is OK," said Napier. "'Putting Mashed Potatoes and Gravy in Your Face' is good, too. But 'Putting Pie in Your Face' is the best thing I've ever seen. There are so many great characters. I love pumpkin and pecan. Coconut cream and butterscotch and sweet potato are a great supporting cast. You just can't go wrong."
November 22, 2016
With temperatures at the North Pole 36 degrees warmer than usual, Santa Claus this week traded in his winter apparel for a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and flip-flops. The switch to more spring-like attire comes on the heels of research from the University of Maine's Climate Change Institute indicating unseasonably warm weather in the arctic region. "It's been so warm up here," said the magical gift giver. "I didn't even have any shorts. Mrs. Claus had to buy some on Amazon. The irony of that sentence is not lost on me." Experts say more changes are in the works. "He may not even need Rudolph's nose this year," said senior nasal flashlight analyst Lissa Hutson. "The skies are clear." Warm weather hasn't impacted clothing this much since never-ending winter ended in Narnia and Aslan put on a short-sleeve polo shirt to keep cool.
November 20, 2016
People who were never going to see Tony Award winning Broadway musical "Hamilton" today announced plans to boycott the production. The embargo began after vice president-elect Mike Pence was booed while attending the show and addressed by cast members afterwards. "I can't believe the actors were so rude to him," said Tina Jordan, who recently voted for a presidential candidate who once mocked a disabled reporter. "It really makes you lose your faith in human decency." Others who never had plans to attend "Hamilton" expressed similar plans to not see the show. "I will boycott this sold out musical, as soon as tickets become available in four years," said senior outrage analyst David Morris. A spokesperson for Abraham Lincoln said there have been worse theatrical performances.