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Making The World A Bitter Place

Archive for October 2013

Israel Announces New Construction In Settlements; World Ends Again

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Ramat Shlomo

This is what the apocalypse looks like, in case you needed to be told. I mean, the horror.

Jerusalem, Israel (AP) Israel announced final approval for the construction of 1,500 residential units in a neighborhood of Jerusalem that it captured in the 1967 war, causing the end of the world yet again. The occurrence marks the latest in a series of hundreds of construction projects that have brought about the complete and irreversible cessation of human civilization on Earth.

The move prompted condemnation from Palestinians, the United States, and the European Union, who each called on Israel not to bring all of world culture and human achievement crashing down by granting formal approval for several hundred buildings to be built on a dozen barren hillsides abutting an existing neighborhood. The neighborhood, called Ramat Shlomo, lies on the other side of the Green Line, the boundary that marked the 1948 cease-fire between Israel and Jordan. Each instance of Israeli clearing, digging, Read the rest of this entry »

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October 31, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Israeli-Palestinian Talks At Impasse; Negotiators Watch The Princess Bride Instead

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Pit of Despair

Tzippi Livni

Jerusalem, Israel (AP) – After several fruitless weeks of back-and-forth negotiations over so-called Final Status issues over which Israelis and Palestinians differ, the delegates to the talks have decided to abandon  the effort and watch The Princess Bride repeatedly instead.

The talks, conducted in secret, have apparently yielded no results yet on questions of: Palestinian refugees; the status of Jerusalem; borders; the nature of the hoped-for Palestinian military, if any; whether the nascent Palestine would recognize Israel as a Jewish state; and myriad other unresolved points of contention that have dogged the two sides since the Oslo Accords of 1993, which was supposed to be an interim agreement. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Factory Farm Chickens Appalled At Conditions In Airline Coach

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crowdedPottsville, Iowa (AP) The chickens of Lot No. A44933BD-L7H1 at the Agriprocessors factory farm expressed revulsion today at the conditions under which humans are crowded in the coach section of civilian aircraft for transport.

Terming the practice “barbaric” and “unconscionable,” the birds called on the airline industry to immediately modify its practices to provide the humans with individual space that would meet minimum dignity requirements and food that does not demand  a complete abandonment of aesthetic and hygienic sensibilities to consume. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 29, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Weak Economy Means Picture Now Worth 1,744 Words

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picture worthWashington, DC (AP) – The Department of the Treasury issued its report for the third quarter of 2013, pointing to a slower-than-expected economy that translates into more verbosity per image.

The report points to an oversupply of words in the economy with which the also-increasing supply of pictures cannot keep pace. Despite the prevalence of Facebook feeds and Flickr files, the number of words has outstripped the number of images by more than a factor of 1,000, meaning that it now takes far more than 1,000 words to equal a single such image. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 28, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Monty Hall To Seek Treatment For Famous Goat ‘Problem’

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Monty HallLos Angeles (AP) – Retired game show host Monty Hall has finally agreed that his decades-old problem involving at least two goats requires immediate treatment, and he will enter a facility to help him overcome the problem within the next week. Hall’s admission and resolve to combat the problem follows many years of open discussion by others, even in public forums such as scientific journals and reader-submission-driven magazine columns.

The longtime host of the original Let’s Make a Deal, 92, admitted to reporters on Thursday that the problem has never gone away, and that in some instances it has involved at many as a million goats, though he was quick to point out that the high numbers of animals were not typical, and that his problem generally featured only two goats and a car. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 27, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Unable To Be First Team To Lose All Games, NY Giants Unsure How To Proceed

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NY GiantsEast Rutherford, New Jersey (AP) – The New York Giants entered the 2013 NFL season prepared to follow the leadership of quarterback Eli Manning into the record books, but soon found themselves without direction, as the achievement of losing every single game in a sixteen-game season had already been accomplished by the 2008 Detroit Lions. They subsequently won a game, calling into question the team’s ability to achieve anything epic, even anything negative. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 25, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Despite 7-Hour Talk, Kerry Fails To Convince Netanyahu His Chin Is Real

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Kerry1Rome, Italy (AP) – US Secretary of State John Kerry spent most of yesterday afternoon and evening attempting to persuade Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that the secretary’s chin was not fake, but reportedly did not succeed, sources present at the meeting say.

The session in the Italian capital was originally slated for discussion of Iran’s nuclear ambitions and US-Israel disagreement over how strictly to treat Iran in that regard. Once the talks got underway, Netanyahu found himself unable to concentrate on the official agenda, focusing instead on what appeared to be a bicycle seat wedged under the skin in the front of Mr. Kerry’s skull. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Russia: Arafat Not Poisoned; Other Ways To Blame Israel Sought

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ArafatMoscow (AP) – The head of a Russian forensics agency ruled out the possibility that late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned with a radioactive substance, Russian media reported last Tuesday. As a result the Palestinians will be forced to resort to other accusations in order to paint the desired evil picture of Israel, he said.

Arafat was confined to his Ramallah headquarters during a 2004 uprising against Israel and developed still-unexplained symptoms. He died after being flown to France for treatment. Close aides, advisers, and relatives repeatedly accused Israel of assassinating him, though no hard evidence to support that charge was ever produced. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Scientists: San Francisco Earthquake-Prone Because City Built On Rock & Roll

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We Built This CitySan Francisco (AP) – Seismologists have concluded that the origin of San Francisco’s relatively high incidence of earthquakes and tremors results from the city’s foundation’s composition of rock and roll.

For decades, scientists have attributed the unstable ground of the San Francisco Bay area, along with much of western California, to its location along the fault line where two tectonic plates meet and move against each other. As a result of the constant shifting, the theory went, the tremendous pressure would be released when one or more portions of the area gave way, resulting in sometimes severe earthquakes. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 21, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Coroner: Subject Killed By Not Enough Prayers And Likes On Facebook

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BatesGainesville, Florida (AP) – Jennifer Bates, a local high school senior, died last Wednesday because news of her plight was only shared 228 times on Facebook, according to the County Medical Examiner. The number that would have allowed Ms. Bates to survive her battle with an infection was estimated at 250.

Friends and family gathered this afternoon to mourn the former cheerleader and accomplished student, lamenting the cruelty of a world hat could not spare 22 more Likes and Shares. Her closest friends, in particular, found it difficult to absorb that all it would take to save Jennifer was a click of the Share link, yet untold numbers of Facebook users decided not to expend the fraction of a calorie necessary to do so. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Video Arrested In Killing Of Radio Star

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broken guitarNew York (AP) – Police have detained a video in connection with the 1978 bludgeoning death of a radio star. The arrest comes after years of several self-proclaimed witnesses recounting the circumstances of the murder, but scant other evidence.

New York State’s statute of limitations does not apply to certain serious crimes including murder, so the time that has elapsed since the 1978 incident has no legal significance, but it may be the focus of efforts by the defendant to cast doubt on the reliability of the three key witnesses. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Report: Lousy WiFi Connections A Leading Cause Of Murder

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angry wifiNewport News, VA (AP) – A national upswing in violent crime can be attributed to the occurrence of inadequate wireless internet service, according to a recent study.

Sociologists at Wireless Research And Technology Heuristics (WRATH) write in this month’s issue of the law enforcement journal CrimeTracker that a steady increase in murders and other violent crimes can be causally linked to outages in wireless service or improperly functioning wireless equipment. The article also noted that it took several attempts to submit the article to the journal online as a result of Verizon’s crappy FIOS connectivity in their area, resulting the the stabbing deaths of eight people. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Scientists Discover Wrong Way To Eat A Reese’s

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pb cupsHershey, PA (AP) – Researchers studying the properties of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup have apparently concluded that, contrary to claims made in the 1990’s, more reliable, recent data demonstrate that one can in fact directly commit a moral offense by the manner in which he goes about consuming one such candy unit.

In an article to be published in the upcoming issue of the Food journal, an industry periodical, a team of food scientists and philosophers tested diverse scenarios and assigned them a moral score based on the number of fatalities, the amount of suffering inflicted, the extent or property theft or deprivation, and the scale of rights violations that took place as a direct, unequivocal result of eating a Reese’s. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 16, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Iran Proposes Lobbing Only Four Nukes At Israel

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Iran nukesGeneva (AP) – The Iranian delegation to international talks over the country’s controversial atomic program has said that Tehran could in principle accept a reduction in its uranium enrichment capabilities as long as it could guarantee enough nuclear fuel to launch no more than four weapons at Israel.

Talks over the program have been going better than many experts expected, with Iran apparently showing more flexibility in its attitude toward international inspectors, slowed enrichment, and adherence to limits imposed by the International Agency for Atomic Energy. In an effort to loosen or remove economic sanctions that have been hurting the regime, Iran’s representative to the talks said they might be able to accept a limited arsenal that could only destroy Israel, but not threaten any other nations. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 15, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Experts To Confirm Internet Addiction Exists As Soon As They Check FB Again

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internet addictionCharlotte, North Carolina (AP) – Mental health professionals studying the pathology and incidence of internet addiction are set to announce that it is a bona fide psychiatric phenomenon, right after they go onto Facebook and Twitter again just to check a couple of things.

In a landmark study involving more than 2,000 social media users, researchers were unable to meet their data collection objectives because they were too busy using the very platforms they were commissioned to study, all while denying they were in any way dependent on their obvious attachment to them. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Art Historians Question Realism Of Picasso’s Portraits

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PicassoNew York NY (AP) – An emerging movement in art circles is casting doubt on whether the people depicted in some of Pablo Picasso’s most famous painted works in fact looked anything like the figures in those paintings. The contention of those scholars threatens to undermine decades of established consensus on the artist’s work and significance.

Since Picasso first reached prominence in the early 20th century, experts and laypeople alike have marveled at the Spaniard’s ability to find and capture on canvas a striking number of deformed, strangely pigmented subjects. He specifically sought out people – almost always women, it would seem, but even that is not clearly visible in several cases – whose abnormally large facial features were not properly aligned, or whose physical proportions gave them a grotesque, almost cartoonish character. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 13, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Palestinian Protesters To Upgrade To Rocks 2.0

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rock-throwing

A Palestinian demonstrates use of the new technology.

Ramallah, Palestinian Territories (AP) – After more than two decades of relying primarily on the simple, handheld “rock” device to register displeasure with Israeli military rule, West Bank Palestinians plan to bring more sophisticated weapons to bear. The Rock 2.0 is expected to enter service in 2014.

The first Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, against Israeli occupation began in 1987, with local youths aiming simple rocks, and occasionally heavy weapons such as cinder blocks, at Israeli soldiers. For a time in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, Palestinian militants regularly resorted to explosives and guns in their conflict, but an Israeli military operation in 2002 sharply reduced the incidence of such attacks, and for the last several years the mainstay of the Palestinian protest movement has remained the reliable, affordable, easily obtainable rock. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 10, 2013 at 4:04 pm

18-Year-Old Still Thinks Her Vote Matters

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democracyBrookline, Massachusetts (AP) – Recent high-school graduate Emily Rosenthal can’t wait to cast her vote in the next elections, unaware that her choice will be drowned in a sea of other ballots by the misinformed, the ignorant, and the malignant.

Rosenthal, who began her studies at Boston University several weeks ago, eagerly anticipates having her say in who gets elected to municipal positions this year, including two judges, a village alderman, and school district officials. She also might get to vote in a special election to replace a scandal-plagued Congressman if he ends up resigning, but that remains unlikely, which is just as well, because her vote would never count for much in a sea of mass media manipulation. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Man On Day 2 Of Diet Disappointed With Results So Far

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evolutionary dietDecatur, Georgia (AP) – Local resident Glen Woods has been restricting his intake of fatty and sugary foods since Monday morning, and asserts that he remains unimpressed by his weight loss to date.

Woods, 38, had noticed in recent months that his waistline, belly, and backside regions had grown more ample than he remembered, and resolved to undertake a diet and exercise routine to help him drop the excess mass and volume. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Wife Seems To Think Anniversary Happens Every Single Year

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anniversaryLansing, Michigan (AP) – Patrick Donovan, 34, reports that his wife Cheryl is under the impression that a wedding anniversary must be celebrated every year, despite the wedding occurring only once.

Mrs. Donovan, a receptionist at a medical practice, reportedly informed her husband last week that she had been wondering what the couple should do in honor of the date on which they had wed last year. Mr. Donovan, a manager of a retail clothing outlet, recalls that he sat in silence as he tried to comprehend what his wife was saying.

“She must have mistaken my quiet for thoughtfulness, because after about fifteen seconds she said, ‘I can tell you’re planning something special. Don’t tell me. I’d rather it be a surprise.’ I had no idea what she was talking about,” he said.

Donovan soon sent a text message to two or three friends who had been married longer, hoping they could shed light on his wife’s mysterious set of expectations. Doug Sheppard responded within minutes. Read the rest of this entry »

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October 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Billy Joel Denies Starting Fire

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Joel in 2009.

Joel in 2009.

Oyster Bay, NY (AP) – Noted singer-songwriter Billy Joel has maintained his and other suspects’ innocence in massive case of arson dating back to 1949, casting blame on more than a hundred other people, movements, and events. Joel repeatedly asserts that he and others did not start the fire.

While no one has named Joel or anyone else specifically as involved, the 64-year-old entertainer has issued an explicit list of persons of interest or other causes that, in his opinion, require investigation. The series of accusations began in 1989, with the release of his album Storm Front, on which the Bronx native spent more than three minutes listing the various characters who might have some light to shed on who started the fire.

The litany of alleged suspects includes presidents and other world leaders; entertainers and athletes; terrorist incidents; multiple foreign states; and the US government’s apparent neglect of veterans of the war in Vietnam, among others. However, at least one inconsistency in Joel’s words has led observers to question the veracity of the accusations. The singer claims the fire has been burning since the Earth began its rotation approximately 4.5 billion years ago, while none of the suspects he mentions was born earlier than the late nineteenth century.

Additionally, and suspiciously, every suspect he names attained some prominence in the news or in world affairs, leading some to wonder why Joel singled out only the famous, powerful, or notorious for an act of starting fire, which almost anyone can do.

Apparently unprompted, Joel rattled off the suspicious individuals and developments rapidly, beginning with Harry S. Truman, who began his second term as US President in 1949. Other prominent individuals who enjoyed fame around the same time are also included in Joel’s list. He proceeded almost methodically through the ensuing decades, mentioning names of celebrities, international crises, and medical disasters that made headlines during those years.

It remains unclear how the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, for example, could have resulted in a fire, but Joel has repeated his claims in many subsequent encounters, including in the presence of tens of thousands of people at various arenas around the world. In the 24 years since he began flinging the accusations, interest has waxed and waned in the list of suspects and their possible accomplices, but has not entirely gone away. Police, however, have not commented on whether they lend any credence to Joel’s claims.

Nassau County Police Chief Joseph Buonarotti declined to offer any information on the investigation, if any. Sources within the department who spoke on condition of anonymity cautioned that any such investigation would probably lie beyond the jurisdiction of the Nassau County Police, as the people and events to be investigated have only a marginal connection, if any, to the county.

At press time, Joel was on a Downeaster boat named Alexa, cruising through Block Island Sound.

Written by Thag

October 3, 2013 at 3:13 pm

NY Times: Give Destruction Of Israel A Chance

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NetanyahuNew York, October 2 (AP) – Following Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s fiery address to the UN General Assembly, the New York Times issued a sternly worded editorial chastising the premier for closing the door on the annihilation of Israel as a diplomatic solution to Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons capability.

Netanyahu had warned the UN delegates and world leaders not to be taken in by Iran’s recent charm offensive, arguing that nothing in Iran’s nuclear policy had changed despite a softer tone from the Islamic state’s leadership. “Facts are stubborn things,” he said, and pointed to Iran’s continued enrichment of uranium at levels consistent only with the development of atomic weapons, along with pursuit of technologies aimed at attaining missiles to deliver such a weapon. Iran’s leadership has continually spoken of a world without Israel, and the Jewish state sees its neighbor’s nuclear efforts as a threat, despite the fact that such a development would obviously solve all the world’s problems.

Nevertheless, the New York Times editorial argued, it would be unwise to dismiss Iran’s apparent recent efforts to find a non-military resolution to the Iran crisis, which has included crippling economic sanctions. “We must allow that [President Hassan] Rouhani’s overtures are sincere,” the editorial read, “and the destruction of Israel might represent only one non-military option to defuse the tension between Iran and the Western world.” It reprimanded Netanyahu for attempting to stand in the way of a rapprochement in US-Iran relations for the sake of petty concerns such as the welfare of Israel.

The editorial called on President Obama to work with Netanyahu to persuade the Israeli leader that emphasizing the military options against Iran would only prejudice events toward exactly that result. “The President should take advantage of the closer ties he has developed with Mr. Netanyahu during this second term in the White House, and explain to him the benefits of adopting an approach that would enable Iran to delay, evade, conceal, and continue its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction while pretending to cooperate with the West,” said the New York Times. “Even if that results in the complete extermination of Israel, the diplomatic path is the preferable one,” it concluded.

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October 2, 2013 at 9:38 am

Area Couple Evidently Insecure In Dog’s Grasp Of Who Is A Good Boy

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Witherspoon. Who's a good boy?

Witherspoon. Who’s a good boy?

Culver City, CA (AP) – The frequency with which Natasha Morley and Bryce Holmes ask their three-year-old Labrador retriever, “Who’s a good boy?” has led neighbors to question their confidence in the dog’s ability to retain that information, local residents reported Tuesday.

The couple, who have lived on Babcock Avenue for two-and-a-half years, acquired Witherspoon as a puppy, purchasing him from a well-known Southern California breeder. According to several neighbors, one or both members of the couple can be seen late every afternoon on the front lawn of their three-bedroom split-level Colonial, tossing a ball or Frisbee for the dog to fetch, or generally horsing around. The “Who’s a good boy?” refrain is used more or less constantly, says Ann Rogers, who lives across the street.

“It’s something you expect to hear, I guess, but we had no idea we’d be hearing it basically all the time,” she recalls. “Dogs aren’t all that clever, but I think Witherspoon picked up pretty quickly on who’s a good boy.”

Her husband Edgar concurred. “It’s almost like a name, they say it so much,” he said. “When he fetches a stick. When he fetches the morning paper. When he sits and waits for them to scoop his poop. When he comes to the front door to greet one of them when they come home,” he continued, his voice getting louder and posture more aggressive. “I’ve just about had enough. We know who’s a good boy! So does the dog! So does the whole [expletive] neighborhood!”

Other acquaintances have also noticed what they call an overuse of the question by the couple. Mikhail Gangashvili encounters either Morley or Holmes every morning as he walks Sully, his eight-year-old St. Bernard, and again in the evening, when the venue of choice for both dogs’ owners is nearby Laurel Grove Park. “Is great place to let dog play. Labrador people,” he called them, not knowing their names, “come at more or less same time as us. Always asking who is good boy. Who is good boy? He is good dog, but owners not sure he knows it yet. Is two years they come here, and they still not know he knows who is good boy.”

Gangashvili raised several dogs in Tbilisi, Georgia, in the former Soviet Union, before moving to Los Angeles in 2000. “In Tbilisi, we had OK police force. Local captain like dogs. But he shoot people for asking who is good boy too many times,” he reminisced. “Is good to live in less violent place, but I still think of that sometimes.”

The neighbors interviewed for this article stressed that Witherspoon is a well-behaved animal, and that his owners seem to treat him well and clean up the messes he makes. “The dog has never even dug up my garden,” in contrast to the couple’s predecessors at number 6263, said next-door neighbor Tracy Giovanni. “They had two pugs, and the little beasts would dig up my bulbs all the time. Witherspoon’s a sweet pooch, alright, but these houses are pretty close together, and all I hear, all the time, is, ‘Who’s a good boy?’ Hey morons – he knows! He knows! Yeesh.”

For their part, Morley and Holmes seem oblivious to the doubts swirling around them. “We just love him. Isn’t he adorable? Who’s adorable? Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy? That’s right! Who’s a good boy?”

Written by Thag

October 1, 2013 at 2:36 pm