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The Battleground Business

From an article in The Washington Post datelined Cu Chi, Vietnam, a former battleground that has been turned into an amusement park: "The dank, dark tunnels have been spruced up with life-size plastic action figures.... There is a video pavilion, a shooting range where people can pay $1 a bullet to fire M-16 or AK-47 rifles, a simulated minefield that visitors can tiptoe across.... The gift shops sell plastic model tanks, shirts proclaiming `I've been to the Cu Chi Tunnels,' and lighters engraved with military slogans such as `Kill 'em all. Let God sort them out.'"

Traffic Tater Toss

From the on-line edition of the Asbury Park Press of New Jersey about a road rage incident on August 8: Gary Baldwin and his fiancee pulled up to a stop light in separate cars, and he asked her "if she wanted him to pick up corn at the market. His fiancee never heard him, though, because the driver behind him was blowing his horn." After Baldwin made a hand gesture, he was pelted in the head. "Baldwin said he didn't know what hit him at first but realized it was a cooked potato when he smelled the butter dripping down his face."

Testing, Testing, One, Two, Three

From a Reuters on-line article datelined Minneapolis, Minnesota, on National Computer Systems, a private testing company, that mistakenly flunked nearly 8,000 high school students who took the state's basic math test this year: "David Smith, president of NCS's Assessment and Testing Services division, said an employee erred by changing the order of the questions on one form of the math test without changing the order of the corresponding answers. `We messed up,' Smith said." Minnesota pays $2.9 million a year to have NCS administer and grade the tests.

Over the Rainbow

From a wire service report on the University of Hawaii's football team, which dropped its rainbow logo because it felt the symbol had become too associated with gay and lesbian pride: "The school had used the rainbow symbol for seventy-seven years.... `That logo really put a stigma on our program.... It's part of the gay community, their flags, and so forth,' athletic director Hugh Yoshida said." The football team will now be known as the Warriors.

Frontiers of Free Enterprise, I

From a Reuters on-line article datelined Rio de Janeiro on the use of an image of a famous 125-foot statue of Jesus Christ in beer and lingerie ads: "While the 1,000-ton Christ the Redeemer statue serves as a backdrop in the beer ads, it has a bigger role in the underwear spot. That one features two photographs side-by-side--one shows a woman posing in skimpy black lingerie, and the other shows the statue covering its eyes with its hands." Both companies agreed to scrap their ads.

Judicial Temper

From a Reuters on-line article datelined Winnipeg, Canada, on Judge Charles Rubin, who called a mugging victim "stupid" for failing to be careful in a rough neighborhood late at night: " `If you walk around with jingling money in your hand ... it's like walking around in the wolf enclosure at the city zoo with a pound of ground beef in your hand.'"

Frontiers of Free Enterprise, II

From a Reuters on-line article datelined Southfield, Michigan, about jeans sold by the company Unity USA that were covered with verses from the Koran. The store Hot Stuff 2 stopped selling the jeans due to complaints from local Muslim leaders: "Officials for the Northland Center shopping mall bought the remaining twenty pairs of pants, which were inscribed with the words `Allah' and `In the name of God, most gracious most merciful.'"

Move Over, Big Brother

From an article in The Washington Post datelined Phoenix: "Anyone who wants a peek behind the walls of the Maricopa County Jail can do so by the way of the Internet.... Sheriff Joe Arpaio is installing two video cameras that will show hundreds of inmates booked each day on www.mcso.org."

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Humor in the news
Publication:The Progressive
Article Type:Buyers Guide
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2000
Words:691
Previous Article:Real Choices, Suppressed Voices.
Next Article:The Democrats Get Religion.
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