Saturday, April 27, 2013

FAA Orders Air Traffic Controllers Awake

by Jenn Lane
April 18, 2011

RENO – After a string of recent reports of air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job, the FAA has begun implementing new guidelines aimed at helping employees stay focused and alert during the overnight shift.  

The FAA has already mandated an extra air traffic controller work the third shift in 27 airports previously staffed by a single worker. 

“In order to ensure public safety, we feel that having two controllers working overnight is in everyone’s best interest,” said National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Paul Rinaldi.  “The second controller’s primary responsibility will be to jab the first controller with a stick should he start to nod off.”

“We wanted to equip them with air horns, but our psychologists said no,” Rinaldi added.    

Doug Adamian, an air traffic controller at New York’s LaGuardia airport for seventeen years, said adding a second person to the shift would also allow for bathroom breaks, a situation that had previously been difficult for controllers working alone.

“There are no bathrooms up there,” said Adamian of the room controllers work from.  “So what I do is get an extra-large iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts.  Then, after I drink it, BINGO, I’ve got an empty cup I can fill up.  Doesn’t work so well if you’ve got to go number two though.  So now it’s good to have a number two. Ha! Get it?”

Other changes being proposed by the FAA to discourage employees from falling asleep during overnight shifts include banning comfort items such as pajamas, blankies, and teddy bears, as well as prohibiting  late-night viewings of sleep-inducing television shows such as This Old House, The Joy of Painting, and High Stakes Poker.  A policy requiring mandatory coffee IVs for each third shift employee was recently rejected on grounds that it was not cost effective, given the high price of coffee.

The changes come on the heels of six different reports of air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job.  A February report out of Knoxville, TN cited a controller who fell asleep after building himself a makeshift bed out of cushions on the floor.  While calls to the controller in question remained unanswered, a neighbor told reprters that the case was simply a misunderstanding. 

“He wasn’t making a bed,” offered Lydia Duarte-Thompson.  “He was building a fort.  He was bored; how many planes do you think are landing in Tennessee in the middle of the night anyway?  Not many.”

Outrage over these dangerous incidents has extended all the way to Washington, with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. both calling for changes to be implemented swiftly to prevent further problems. 

Vice-President Joe Biden, however, who recently fell asleep himself during a speech by President Obama on the federal deficit, expressed compassion for the sleepy air traffic controllers.  

“Sometimes it’s hard to stay awake at work,” Biden commented.  “I get it.” 

Romney Home Renovations Include Salon, Dungeon

by Jenn Lane

August 31, 2011

SAN DIEGO – Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney came under fire late last week after plans to rebuild his $12 million oceanfront home were leaked to the press.  According to reports, Romney, who was openly critical of President Obama’s recent decision to vacation on Martha’s Vineyard while the country faces an uncertain economic future, intends to quadruple the square footage of his California property in order to accommodate extra bedrooms, a personal style center, and a dungeon.

Romney was quick to defend his reconstruction plans, citing his large extended family as a reason for needing more space.  The former Massachusetts governor spoke briefly with reporters outside of a fundraising event yesterday.

“I have a lot of kids.  They have a lot of kids.  Right now, when the whole family comes over for a holiday, it becomes a logistical nightmare.  You’ve got people sleeping TWO to a room, some even on air mattresses.  Last Thanksgiving, my grandson had to sleep on the couch.  It’s barbaric.”

“I’m not running a youth hostel,” Romney continued.  “This isn’t Europe. This is America, where we believe that children are our future.  The future doesn’t sleep on an under inflated air mattress in the living room.  Not on my watch.”

Romney declined to comment on reports that his home expansion project also included a personal style center as well as a dungeon.  However, Jack Gibbons, a friend of the family, offered some insight.

“It’s not easy to get his hair like that.  It takes three stylists four hours to make sure each hair is properly positioned and secured.  Then there are the clothes.  He requires everything to be ironed: shirts, ties, pants, socks, garments, all of it.  And, well, there’s the makeup…Mitt loves the makeup.”

While reports of Romney’s style center came as a surprise to some, it was the rumor that the presidential hopeful also intends to add a dungeon to his home that raised concern among members of the Republican Party.

“Frankly, I’m not surprised,” offered Karen DuBois, a former campaign advisor who grew close to Romney and the rest of his family during his 2008 failed bid for the GOP nomination.

“Look how tightly-wound that guy is. The dude is Mormon; he doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke, he can’t even have a cup of coffee.  Everyone needs to blow off a little steam now and then, let their freak flag fly.  He and Anne prefer to do it together, and let me tell you, they are into some crazy shit.”

“Dungeon-schmungeon,” DuBois continued.  “Leave the kids alone, they’re married. It’s allowed.” 

Upon hearing of Romney’s proposed home renovations, many of his rivals for the Republican nomination came forward to express their disapproval, with Texas governor Rick Perry going to the greatest lengths to distance himself from Romney.

Perry released a statement in which he called the former Massachusetts governor a pervert and promised that, if elected, he would pass a law requiring that “marital relations occur in a bed, with the lights off, every first and third Tuesday of the month, with the act lasting no more than two minutes and both parties consenting to shower separately within 30 minutes of completion in order to effectively wash away the sin.”

“Whips and chains are not necessary to procreation,” the statement concluded.

The Romney campaign refrained from commenting on Perry’s statement, specifying only that construction would not begin until after the election was over and that costs were expected to be kept to a minimum, as Romney would be continuing his tradition of employing illegal immigrants for work around his homes.

God To Followers: Stop Praying For Stupid Shit

by Jenn Lane 
April 1, 2011

ROME, Italy – In a surprising statement issued through His spokesperson at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI, God has requested that prayers for everyday things, such as making the train on time, be temporarily put on hold in light of the seriousness of recent world events, including the earthquake and tsunami in Japan as well as continued political unrest in the Middle East.

“It’s nothing personal,” Pope Benedict reassured the masses; “it’s just that He’s got His hands full, with Japan and this whole Libya thing.  Prayers have hit an all-time high and He’s really had to put in some late nights to manage the increased workload.”

“This time of year is always a busy one for the Big Guy,” added Jesus Christ, Son of God, via an exclusive phone interview.   “Prom season is really big for us.  We get a lot of ‘please let Jake ask me to the prom’ and ‘please let Sara give it up on prom night’.”

“We disapprove of those,” Jesus quickly added.

“Plus, baseball season is about to start,” noted Jesus, “so the Cubs fans come out in full force, the fantasy baseball guys suddenly start putting in requests.  And then there are the mothers…” Jesus said, before the call was suddenly dropped due to poor reception.

Pope Benedict offered some clarity regarding mothers.  “Mothers keep us very busy.  They’re always looking for good health, college acceptance letters, Valium.  We get a wide variety from the mothers.”  

“People don’t understand how hard it is to be a deity,” His Holiness the Dalai Lama concurred.  “You take all of the regular day-to-day stuff, you know, your births, your deaths, your soul mates meeting at a Starbucks, that kind of thing.  Then you add in the sports fans, the kids looking for a day off from school because they didn’t study for their tests; you throw a natural disaster or a violent uprising into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a shitstorm of prayers.  It’s a lot of work; a lot of long hours.”

The recent statement has left many faithful questioning what they should do about their day-to-day requests.  Pope Benedict has suggested praying to some of the lesser-known saints, citing that some, such as St Apollonia (Patron Saint of dentists), St. Lidwina (Patron Saint of ice-skaters), and St. Casimir (Patron Saint of bachelors) hardly receive any prayer requests and have ample time on their hands to pitch in. 

“God doesn’t want people to stop praying altogether,” Pope Benedict clarified.  “He’s just busy right now, so He’d like you to prioritize.  Praying for someone battling cancer?  Sure.  Praying that Dunkin’ Donuts gets your coffee order right?  Maybe that can wait a bit.”

There was no word from the Vatican on how long the prayer ban was expected to last.

Residents Bracing for Fifth Straight Day of Sun

by Jenn Lane
February 9, 2011

MIAMI – Area meteorologists are warning sun-weary residents to prepare for yet another day of sunshineand 80-degree temperatures in a winter that has already seen record-breaking good weather.

“We’re looking at a long-duration solar event,” National Weather Service meteorologist David Crimmins reported.  “Residents need to take precautions and prepare themselves for a stretch of good weather the likes of which we have not seen in these parts for years.”

Forecasters are predicting that heightened solar glare will make for hazardous road conditions during the morning commute.   Florida Governor Rick Scott issued a statement late last night, reminding state workers that they were expected to report to work despite the weather conditions.  “State offices and public schools will remain open, however we urge commuters to use extreme caution should travel conditions deteriorate.  As always, public safety is our top priority.”

Long lines formed at local supermarkets as residents rushed to stock up on essentials before the predicted fifth day of sunshine hit.  Many stores reported depleted supplies of hamburgers, hot dogs, and ice-cream sandwiches.  Widespread shortages of sunscreen and sunglasses were also becoming a problem, particularly in coastal areas where concerns have been mounting over the impact of yet another sunny day on the area’s already busy beaches.   

“Parking has been a nightmare,” one sunburned beach parking lot said.  “People are fighting over spots and once they find one, they don’t want to give it up.  We’ve got guys leaving beach chairs in the spots to save them for when they come back the next day.  Once you get a spot, you don’t let it go.”

Other beach-goers are equally frustrated, as four straight days of blue skies have begun to take a toll, both physically and mentally.

Kelly, who called in sick to work and therefore asked that we not use her last name, shared her frustrations with the region’s latest stretch of nice weather from her beach towel. “The sun is so bright; I can’t even see the screen on my iPhone.  Seriously, how am I supposed to update my Facebook status like this?  I’ve got a rash from sand in my bathing suit, my arms are sore from lugging the cooler through the parking lot, I’ve got funny looking tan lines from my flip-flops, and I’m sick of shaving my legs every day.  I don’t know how much more of this I can take.” 

Seven year old Jimmy Peterson shared a similar sentiment.  “My mom keeps making me go outside to play.  I’m tired of swimming and riding my bike.  I just want to watch Spongebob.  I’m ready for the sun to go away.”

Long-range forecast models indicate Floridians may be in a continued pattern of warm temperatures and sunshine until at least the end of February.