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More Money Than Sense

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Last week, the Jacuzzi company introduced their newest product, the "La Scala bathing and entertainment center," pictured here. It's a seven-feet-long, combination Jacuzzi, 42-inch high definition TV, and stereo system. Once again, life trumps satire.

Talk about your high-way patrol. . . A so-called "patrol," including some city council members, walked from 9pm till around 12 midnight through Optimist Park last Friday, hoping to draw attention to the crime-ridden neighborhood. Besides getting a buzz from the marijuana fumes wafting out into the street, the group was successful in angering members of the community -- primarily the owners and neighbors of Optimist Park dogs, which kept up a steady roar as the group ambled around for photographers. Other residents complained that the group had frightened them, leading to the flushing of anywhere from a mere joint to a full ounce of pot down the toilet. Those residents are contemplating a lawsuit.

Pat's happy day: Ever trend-conscious, Charlotte "leaders" announced that this city is ready for any and all evildoers. Besides creating a search-and-rescue team, they're planning a "major disaster drill" at Ericsson Stadium; they've adopted (i.e., copied) the too-cool five-level, color-coded alert system launched by Tom "Fist Face" Ridge; and they're even planning a really neat-o web site! "Isn't this just the greatest thing?!" said a hyper-excited Mayor Fratboy, who began vibrating like a pager and rolling his eyes back in his head. Plans for refreshments at the major disaster drill were incomplete at press time.

Magic makes crowd disappear: The Charlotte Hornets played their hearts out and came from behind to win Game 1 of their playoff series against the Orlando Magic, 80-79, in front of a decidedly unenthusiastic crowd at the less-than-half-filled Coliseum. After the game, one of the Hornets told the media, "I know in New Orleans the place won't be half-full either, but at least down there they'll be drunk, so maybe they'll make a racket. . .at least some snoring, or something."

Panthers picked a peck. . .ah, forget it The Carolina Panthers, using the second overall pick in the National Football League draft, chose UNC defensive end Julius Peppers. Local media had a big ole time making lame jokes based on the "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers" nursery rhyme, which none of them seemed to really know. Meanwhile, Julius "Dr." Peppers (you heard it here first) pretended to be happy about playing for a franchise that last season put together one of the worst teams in NFL history.

Know When To Fold 'Em Dept: Former baseball great and home run king Jose Canseco, 37, was sent to the Charlotte Knights by the Chicago White Sox.

He knows if you've been bad or good: In Columbia, SC, a man wearing a black Santa Claus suit and calling himself the Rev. E. X Slave, climbed a monument on the statehouse grounds and burned the Confederate battle flag. Asked why he had dressed as Santa, he replied that his actions had been "for the children." And, once again, life makes satire unnecessary.

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