New York, December 9 – Followers of New-York-area sports teams are expressing considerably less shock at the death of a man in a policeman’s chokehold than other populations, surveys indicate, because they are accustomed to the phenomenon of watching their chosen clubs choke.
A study of Knicks, Mets, Islanders, Rangers, Yankees, Jets, Nets, and Giants season ticket holders and of subscribers to the satellite or cable channels carrying those groups’ games shows that the demographic in question has developed a much higher tolerance for observing others choke than has the population at large. A control group expressed revulsion in approximately twice the intensity at seeing people choke than did these sports fans.
Choking has been a part of the New York sports experience at least since 1960, when the Yankees failed to put away the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series and ended up succumbing on perpetual underachiever Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off home run in game seven. Since then New York fans have lived through the futility and occasionally tantalizing periods of real potential embodied by their teams only to see them come crashing down after flirting with success.
Most prominent among the dubious group are the Knicks, who came oh-so-close to glory several times in the 1990’s only to choke famously against the Bulls, Rockets, and Pacers – with Reggie Miller of the latter club memorably gesturing toward the Knicks with his hands around his neck, thus capturing in an instant the essence of Knicks underachievement.
Choking has plagued New York on several other prominent occasions, including the Yankees’ 2004 inability to defeat the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series despite a 3-0 series lead. That letdown followed 2001 and 2003, when they lost the World Series in seven games. In more recent seasons they have failed to perform to expectations – with the highest payroll in all of professional sports – seldom advancing beyond the first round of postseason games if they have managed to reach the postseason at all. The lone bright spot of the 2009 championship has only served to highlight the sense of failure and choking under pressure every single other year.
The study authors intend to conduct similar research in other cities with perpetually disappointing performances by sports teams. Los Angeles features prominently as a candidate location, with the Dodgers consistently following a dominant season with a poor performance in the playoffs.
If LA becomes the venue, the researchers will be challenged to distinguish between adaptation to Los Angeles underachievement and residual tolerance for the choking that moved there from New York – first in the 1956 Bobby Thomson home run that gave the rival Giants the pennant, and more recently in the team’s Manager Don Mattingly, whose only playoff experience with the Yankees was in 1995 when his team dropped a five-game Division Series to the Mariners after leading two games to none.
Backlog of manufacturing expected; China, India to provide replacements
Washington, DC, November 24 – Accumulating reports of defects among the approximately four million babies delivered in the US over the last year has prompted federal authorities to issue a recall notice for all children delivered between January and September of this year.
An apparent spike in defect reports became visible in March, when parents began reporting in higher-than-average numbers that their newborn children were not performing to standard. Of special concern, say regulators, was the frequency with which the units were emitting noxious substances from various orifices, which evidently attests to some sort of malfunction and indicated a serious quality control problem on the production line.
While the recall is underway, the six major plants in the US where babies are produced will scale back production, at least until the source of the malfunction can be identified and fixed. Demand for new babies will be satisfied through the importation of units from Asia, mostly China and India, where the surplus of babies has rendered them affordable to American would-be parents, import duties notwithstanding. Domestic trade groups have been pushing for strict controls on imports of foreign babies, but the inability of American baby plants to meet demand has forced those groups to accept a temporary lifting of import limits.
If previous episodes of this nature serve as any indication, say experts, no long-term damage to the American baby-manufacturing sector is to be anticipated. “Some smaller outfits might suffer, but those enterprises don’t seem to be affected by the current quality problems, so they might escape unscathed,” says Hugh Mantraffic-King, a consultant with ties to the industry. “In fact we’re likely to see several of the small-time baby producers step up their game and assert themselves while the big-name manufacturers are unable to produce.”
The most recent recall prior to this one occurred in the 1980’s, when parents began reporting abnormally high levels of autism and other developmental issues in their toddlers. That crop of babies had been manufactured primarily in California and Texas, leading to a months-long, acrimonious lawsuit that ended with a class-action settlement and a fine paid by Storx, then the leading baby manufacturer. Storx filed for bankruptcy in 1990.
In the 1960’s and 70’s, parents demanded the right to return their children after the latter began engaging in obviously defective behavior such as transcendental meditation, wearing bell-bottom trousers, and listening to disco “music.” However, no recall took place, as the units in question were past the warranty period when those defects were observed.
We’ve all been there. So have the trick-or-treaters. Today’s youth sees gory, creepy images all the time. This is, after all, the age of Reality TV. They’ll yawn at your jack-o-lantern. So how do you give off that scary vibe in a jaded age? here are some tips.
That’s right. We know you’ve had them up since Labor Day, ever since Congress mandated back in 2009 that Christmas lights have to be up within a week of back-to-school. Make your home look unapproachable by disconnecting the lights. Law enforcement won’t bother you about not following federal regulations, since the cops will be too busy shooting unarmed teenagers to bother with your little violation.
The ghostly white effect of toilet paper hanging from tree branches carries extra oomph this year with Ebola on everyone’s minds. Bodily fluids are the way to achieve scary right now.
3. Use Actual Severed Heads Instead Of Pumpkins
These are readily available from your local ISIS outlet. Warning: these are heavier than they look. Consult the nearest FBI office for details, followed by the nearest federal prison.
4. Hang Warning Signs That The Treats You Provide Use GMO Food
Apparently, people are scared of things they know nothing about despite the fact that people who do know a thing or two about science have established no adverse effects from GMO. People are scary.
Seriously, this guy is the greatest insurance policy against a presidential assassination since Dan Quayle.
6. Use The Word “Literally” In Every Sense But Literally
Only if you answer the door as a ghost or zombie can you use the statement, “I literally DIED,” correctly. This might only work on intelligent people, so if your neighborhood includes a significant number of NY Jets or Calgary Flames fans, prepare for disappointment. Note: this also applies to the use of “racist” to mean bigotry in general.
This method has the bonus effect of scaring the crap out of YOU when you see who comes by as a result.
8. Forget Blood; High-Fructose Corn Syrup Is The Way To Go
Apparently, everyone who consumes high-fructose corn syrup will die. Fact. Science! Also, statistics. We’re not sure whether that should carry an exclamation point.
We’re not quite sure where to find this, actually, but we’re told by much of the media that this is the least desirable thing to have.
10. Repeatedly Play A Recording Of A Woman Saying, “We Have To Talk”
Admit it: your adrenalin started flowing just from reading this.
East Rutherford, NJ – Adding a fashion faux pas to a season already shaping up as a disaster, every single member of the New York Jets roster chose an identical outfit in which to appear for their game today.
The team’s 0-6 start to the season results from what commentators are calling the perfect storm of rotten luck, bad decisions, lack of coordination among players, and simmering tensions among rival teammates. To make matters worse, say analysts, the team committed an aesthetic and cultural gaffe by appearing in public all wearing the same clothes, save for different numbers on their jerseys.
“Oh, my gosh, lame,” explained commentator John Madden. “I mean, they have stalls, like, right next to one another in the locker room – you;d think they’d pick up on the fact that someone else is wearing, like the exact same thing.”
Bob Costas of NBC Sports concurred. “This could have been avoided with a minimal amount of preparatory work on the part of the players, and, failing that, the coaching staff. This really gives new meaning to the term Offensive Coordinator. I can’t think of a more apt term right now.”
Numerous Jets squads have begin their seasons 0-6, with the franchise often serving as a metaphor for perpetual cellar-dwellers. The team last won a Super Bowl in 1969, leaving athletic achievement to the more talented, better-trained, and more prestigious clubs in the National Football League. The lack of expectation from fans that the team post a winning record, let alone advance into the playoffs, has freed them to pursue attainments in other realms, such as sniping at one another and trying to wear their helmets at the jauntiest angle possible.
Players expressed shock and disgrace at the mistake. “I thought I had the original idea to match my jersey and football pants to the green and white of the turf and yard markers,” said Tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson. “Imagine my chagrin upon discovering that all 52 of my teammates made the same fashion decision. I wish I could die.”
The incident recalls a similar episode in Borough Park, Brooklyn, last year, when fisticuffs broke out among adherents of Bobov and Ger Hasidic sects over which group had usurped the black frocks of the other.
Lansing, MI, September 17 – Frustrated at the continued lack of attention to the results of his hard work writing articles for his blog, local man Alex Dufresne has resolved to remedy the situation by administering a beating to each person he encounters who has not read his most recent entry.
Dufresne, 38, decided to take matters into his own hands, so to speak, after a particularly well-written and incisive post went unread by others, despite his sharing it on the usual social networks and various other means. The mission is set to begin today after he finishes his shift as a floor manager for a sporting goods retail chain.
At least fifty of Dufresne’s followers usually read his offerings within 24 hours of his posting them, but his most recent article, which involved clever wordplay, scathing social satire, and a healthy dose of ridicule for holders of political opinions different from his, was read by only four people by the time the first 24 hours elapsed, and not a single one deemed it worthy enough to Like or share on Facebook or Twitter. The feeling of being ignored led Dufresne to the conclusion that, lacking the resources and budget of a big-time media outlet or advertiser, his only option lay in convincing people one by one that reading his blog was better for them than not reading it.
The disincentive he hit upon, as it were, was the most direct method that occurred to him: administering a knuckle sandwich to every person he meets who professes ignorance of, or worse, active lack of interest in, his articles. Already, Dufresne has purchased a set of boxing gloves with his employee discount, and will begin whacking people on his way home this afternoon.
This might take a few days, but if I can build of a following loyal enough, I won’t have to worry about this happening ever again,” he says. “I might have to do some follow-up, or some new recruiting a few months down the line as people die or move away, or whatever, but that’s OK. It’s better than sitting at home stewing about it.”