Mahwah, New Jersey, March 27 – Researchers studying the population of one of the largest retail chains in the US were shocked today to discover the occurrence of a parent shopping there who was not interacting negatively with the children in tow.
Observing the customers at the Walmart here for a doctoral thesis, sociologists Mor Bidley-O’Beese and Trey Lertrache spotted a man in his thirties escorted by three children under the age of ten, each of whom seemed to be content. At first assuming that the lack of fighting, throwing, vandalism, running around/away, and whining was attributable to the children being medicated, the researchers soon realized, to their puzzlement, that in fact the group was inherently polite and well-behaved. Such a family grouping has not been previously documented at Walmart.
“The initial observation of the subject in question naturally led us to the conclusion that some pharmacological component was necessary to explain the behavior of the children,” said Lertrache. “We had no precedent for a non-dysfunctional dynamic in this environment.” It was only after they witnessed the non-ironic use of such terms as “please,” “may we?” and “here, you can use mine” that Lertrache and Bidley-O’Beese began to realize the anomaly they had encountered.
“We had been unaware that such a creature existed in this habitat,” said Bidley-O’beese. “No previous studies have found an intra-Walmart parent-child framework that was not riddled with passive or outright aggression; raised voices; snappy retorts; sarcastic remarks; verbal abuse; or borderline physical abuse.”
A further anomaly occurred when the family in question intentionally spent time in the dental and personal hygiene aisle. “In our experience, that’s generally a pass-through-it-to-get-to-the-snacks kind of aisle,” noted branch manager Iona Methlab. “It doesn’t get much in the way of people heading there to get an item on their shopping list.” She said others have stopped in that aisle before, especially seniors looking for denture cleaning materials, but certainly no families had headed there initially.
At press time, the family was waiting at the checkout line without berating the cashier and the people ahead of them not to take all day.
Montague, 26, of Berwick Manor, has been attempting to woo thee for nigh a fortnight, and has finally secured an audience with thee. The ensuing conversation convinced him that thou art the wench for him, and he proceeded to request your consent to hearing the various justifications for his feelings toward thee.
In a request entitled,”Let Me Count the Ways,” Montague seeks to gain thine ear for a complete inventory of his motives in finding thee attractive, witty, charming, warm, humorous, attentive, and appreciative, though he wishes to clarify that the foregoing does not in any way constitute an exhaustive list of The Ways. “Would that thou grant me thy attention if but to give ear to my pining,” he explained.
This is not the first time a suitor hath attempted to woo thee thus. Nary four months ago, Sir Hubert de Mille similarly tried to win thee with sweet words and expensive gifts. That episode came to an ignominious end when thou discovered that Sir Hubert was already married, and already conducting any number of scandalous affairs.
Such expressions of affection are apparently common in thy family, as thy father wooed thy mother with a similar set of compliments. “She hath always been a sucker for the sweet talk,” he hath been known to comment.
Cambridge, MA, March 14 – Neurologists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say they have discovered a correlation between improper pronunciation of the word “often” and poor performance on cognitive tests.
According to the study, people who pronounce the silent t in “often” are more likely to show significant deficiencies in problem-solving, comprehension, and basic common sense. They are twice as likely never to have mastered such skills as touch-typing, tying one’s shoes, and harboring a distaste for hip-hop “music,” and three times as likely to put just plain wrong toppings on pizza, such as anchovies, pineapple, corn, and tuna – even simultaneously.
Pronunciation of the t, which is manifestly wrong, according to anyone who knows anything, follows the example of the word soften. “Do people use fabric sof-tener when they do laundry?” asked the study’s lead author, Dr. Yogi Berra of MIT. “Apparently, the unintelligent hear other unintelligent people mangling the word and it sounds higher-class, so they adopt it, as well. It’s basically a plague of stupidity.”
The study found a similar correlation among people whose locutions include “between you and I,” “at the and of the day,” “last but not least,” “blogosphere,” “Web 2.0,” “peace process,” and “in the future/in the past,” the last two of which Dr. Berra calls an indictment of English-speaking civilization as a whole.
Dr. Berra is developing diagnostic tools to predict, at an early age, which children are likely to develop into mentally deficient adults who pronounce the says of the week as if they are missing the penultimate letter.
Researchers examining manuscripts from ancient sources in the years Before Chat (BC) found multiple occurrences of the word without the terminal punctuation, indicating that it may have been pronounced with considerably less zeal than is standard today. Older dictionaries had always contained an entry without the exclamation mark, but sources with the term in actual use in its sparer form were not known. The discovery indicates that the pursuit of science! may have been a more sober undertaking in times of yore.
“We’re excited to be able to provide another piece of the linguistic puzzle, because science!” said lead researcher Brittany Hashtag. “It was mostly thanks to the hard work of those who compiled and collated the archival material with the help of technology. Science!” she added.
A similar study late last year revealed that originally, it was considered standard in online communication to end a sentence without appending “LOL” or an emoticon, a discovery that provoked a chorus of “OMG” from the academic community, which praised the researchers for its innovative use of science!
“Recent developments in linguists have me going, like, WTF?” says cultural anthropologist V@ne$$a $chultz. “The language and philology worlds are totes ROTFL over them. I’m glad these things are happening now, when I can observe them, because #YOLO, you know?”
At press time, researchers agreed the findings were amazeballs.
Cambridge, MA, March 3 – Climatologists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have published findings that point to a previously unknown source for the rise in the global temperature: the hot local singles in your area.
The researchers found a striking correlation between the localized instances of higher atmospheric temperatures and the number of positively caliente available romantic partners within an hour’s drive of your home. Scientists found that these hot local singles clustered around certain cities, as indicated by the frequency of offers to introduce you to them via your home computer or mobile device.
The number of delicious, sultry, and delectable members of the appropriate sex just waiting for you to contact them was overlaid with a satellite map of temperature fluctuations in the atmosphere over the last year. The climatologists were surprised to find an almost 100% correlation, a fact that has important implications for efforts to combat climate change.
“We either must reduce the hotness of the local singles, or reduce their concentration,” said the study’s lead author, Jay Dait. “In some localities this might not be such an apparent problem, as those places either have few singles, or at least only a few hot ones. But elsewhere, this could prove a major new front – and a formidable challenge – in formulating climate policy.” He mentioned Brazil and Argentina and major sources of hot singles, with Russia also an important contributor.
If confirmed, the study calls for vast shifts in the entities responsible for implementing change. Whereas until now global warming had been attributed to the industrial activities of developed areas such as Europe, the United States, and China, the new data sees a more evenly distributed, though still unequal, burden, as hot Asian women constitute a tremendous source of the warming, and, as internet ads demonstrate, are available in large numbers everywhere.
Toledo, OH, February 16 – Local man Stewart Robbins is reporting that his girlfriend of eight months, Natalie Wilder, seems not to have noticed that February 14 has come and gone, meaning that she still expects romantic attention from him.
Robbins, 33, drove out to Denny’s for breakfast this morning and received a text message from Wilder asking where he was. The home appliances salesman replied that he was getting his regular Sunday morning pancake and sausage, which resulted in Wilder, 30, actually calling him on the phone to express her indignance that Robbins had not wished her a good morning despite the romantic weekend they were sharing.
Robbins promised to return as soon as possible, explaining that his car needed gas. After disconnecting, he expressed puzzlement at his lover’s assumptions. “Valentine’s Day was Friday, right?” he asked the waitress, who hesitated and eyed him before nodding. “So it’s not Valentine’s Day anymore. that’s what I thought,” he added, and proceeded to order breakfast. The waitress recorded the order and left for the kitchen a little more quickly than usual.
Relationship experts agree that Robbins can expect difficulty upon returning home. “It doesn’t bode well for him that he was unable to anticipate Ms. Wilder’s continued desire for closeness,” says Ruth Liss, a couples counselor. “It’s an understandable mistake, considering that the one day a year for expressing love was two days ago, but women’s sensibilities are not dependent on the solar calendar,” she observed.
Robbins is not the first to encounter the anomaly, according to Bay Area social historian Dina Ben-Hamor. “It’s rare in our society, but in many primitive cultures, men are expected to show affection to their romantic partners at least once a month,” she notes. “Even here, fancy restaurants handle a dinner clientele that once-a-year romance doesn’t account for,” a phenomenon that she concedes probably also stems partly from culinary considerations.
Widler was unavailable for comment, as she was inexplicably ignoring her Incoming Text Message alerts as she remade the bed, a development of which experts were unable to fathom either element.
The 19-year-old freshman at the University of Illinois had several friends pose facing her, at which point she stood several feet in front of them and snapped the picture. The friends remained in their pose for almost half a minute afterwards, expecting Brill to return to the group and extend her arm to photograph herself with them, as any normal person would do, but she stowed her iPhone in its case. “I took the picture,” she told them. “You can stop posing now.”
Confused, her friends challenged Brill, who produced the phone again and showed them the image already stored on it. This only served to puzzle the group further, who had understandably never encountered a photograph of humans that was not a selfie.
“She showed us this selfie, but it…is selfie even the right word? What do you call a selfie of other people?” wondered Briana Dowland, 20. “I’m not sure I’m comfortable with this.”
“I like it,” said Brittany Marcus, 19. “It’s edgy. People will look at it and be, like, ‘Was the phone floating in mid-air?’ It’s very Magritte-like.”
The group discussed the non-selfie with several acquaintances, who were divided on the propriety of such photography. “I think it’s a violation of protocol,” offered Derek Mills, 20. “People just don’t expect that, and while there’s nothing wrong with the image, it’s just impolite to deviate like that from what everyone expects.”
“So why should we blindly adhere to ‘what everyone expects’?” challenged Alex Giles. “Aren’t we here at college to explore new horizons and challenge ourselves and the world? I say more power to her.” He was hesitant to say whether he, personally, would participate in a non-selfie selfie.
“I wouldn’t even know where to stand in front of the bathroom mirror,” he said.