Putin Disappearance Explained

- St. Petersburg, Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin today made his first public appearance since March 5 with an explanation of his activities, and a denial of any health issues.

Putin’s unusual absence from the spotlight had lead many to speculate that the Russian leader was ill or even deceased.

“As capitalist stooge Mark Twain once said, ‘Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated,'” Putin said during a break in talks with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev taking place today in St. Petersburg.   “And I am as fit as an yak. And not a sickly yak either!”

Vladimir Putin fills out an application to attend a Carcassonne tournament next month at Moscow Gamecon ’15.  Photo by Kremlin.ru [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Putin explained that his multi-day disappearance was due to the fact that he had been locked into an intense Settlers of Catan tournament that lasted longer than expected.  Settlers of Catan is a board game in which players attempt to gather resources, build various structures and roads, and make endless jokes involving wood and sheep.

“I made it through to the finals,” Putin explained.  “I am merciless in my ability to trade wheat for ore!”

Apparently, the tournament was scheduled to end two days earlier, but there was a run of circumstances that caused delays.

“The robber, wiley Cossack that he is, kept moving to places that delayed us all.  He made it nearly impossible to gather needed resources and made the games last far too long,” Putin explained. “Still, he was no match for Vladimir!”

Putin stated that in order to prove he is healthy, he will engage in a boxing match tomorrow afternoon with a bear.  He added he will not wear a shirt for this event.

This is not the first in which a world leader disappeared due to a board game situation.  President Gerald Ford was absent from public view for a week once due to an overly long Yahtzee tournament, and French President Jacques Chirac would routinely miss meetings because he was “way into Magic: The Gathering,” according to a random French person.


Country Radio Stations Ban Albums By GOP Senators

- Nashville, TN

The National Association of Country Music Broadcasters (“NACMB”) today announced that all albums by GOP senators who signed a letter to Iran are banned on member station airwaves.

“We have a long standing policy of banning albums by people that bad mouth the U.S.A. and the President to foreign nations or on foreign soil,” said Bonnie McReba, NACMB President. “When the Dixie Chicks pulled their little treason stunt in England back in ’03, we were swift to punish them. We have no choice but to do the same to those traitors in the Senate.”

The banning follows an open letter signed by 47 Republican senators to Iranian leaders indicating any agreement reached with the Obama administration on issues relating to nuclear materials would not “count” and would not last beyond the current administration.

“Country music fans are nothing if not intellectually honest and consistent,” McReba said. “Can you imagine how mad they are that someone is bad mouthing our current President?  We really have to take this action or face huge blowback from our listeners.”

He may be grinning, but based on today’s decision he won’t be picking.

A spokesperson for Senator Tom Cotton, the Arkansas Republican who spearheaded the letter said, “Obviously, we are very disappointed in [NAMCB]’s decision.  But, we have to do what we feel is right for America.  It’s just sad that anyone who wants to hear Senator Cotton’s new album Jug Band Hootenanny will have to go through iTunes or the Senator’s website.”

Top tracks from that album include Why You Done Kilt My Dog?, She Don’t Know Why She Left (But She Did), and Obama Ain’t Nothing But A Dang Stinkbug.

The Llamashank Redemption

— Hollywood, CA

The reported star of The Llamashank Redemption, Llama Freeman. By Schuyler Shepherd (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
The internet was abuzz yesterday as two llamas busted loose from a trailer in Sun City, Arizona and went on a mad spree, evading recapture for a period of time. This event mesmerized the nation.  As a result, director Frank Darabont has announced he will be making a film based on the event.  The film will be titled The Llamashank Redemption.

We have managed to obtain an exclusive early copy of an outline of potential dialogue and plot points to the film:

1.  Llama initially wrongly captured, after having been framed as a sheep.

2.  “I’d like to tell you those llamas got away. I’d like to tell you that.”

3.  Cruel llama warden places llama in the hole, sheers them even when it is chilly

4.  One older llama does escape, but is unable to assimilate into llama society, ultimately leading him to commit llamacide.

5.  Llama curries favor with guards and warden by doing their taxes.

6.  Llama gets in trouble by bleeting an aria for an opera to improve the morale of fellow llamas. This causes one llama to deliver this speech “I have no idea to this day what that llama was bleeting about. Truth is, I don’t want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I’d like to think he was bleeting about something so beautiful, it can’t be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, that bleeting soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful alpaca wandered into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last last llama in Llamashank felt free.”

7.  Llama impresses fellow prisoners by getting guards to give them some delicious hay for the work they perform.

8.  Escape effectuated by placing a sexy llama poster over a hole in the trailer.

9. White llama gets away.  Years later black llama finds him at magical Mexican llama resort.

10.  Stirring closing speech “Sometimes it makes me sad, though, that other llama being gone. I have to remind myself that some llamas aren’t meant to be caged. Their wool is just too wooly.. And when they run away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone. I guess I just miss my friend. Who is a llama.”

2015 Oscar Predictions

I have seen one move nominated for Best Picture this year, and maybe a handful of others with any kinds of nominations.  So, clearly, I am qualified to make predictions this year.  Here’s my list of predictions and the nominees I am pulling for.

Enjoy, won’t you!

Picture Birdman Grand Budapest Hotel Birds scare me, and I am okay with hotels.
Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Wes Anderson I feel like Wes would be fun to hang out near and make fun of.
Actor Eddie Redmayne Steve Carrell Carrell seems like a nice guy who wouldn’t lord this thing over anyone.
Actress Julianne Moore Julianne Moore Mainly because I just loved her in The Big Lebowski.
Supporting Actor J.K. Simmons J.K. Simmons I am afraid of him, so there’s that.
Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette Emma Stone Because, Emma Stone.
Foreign Language Film Ida Leviathan Leviathan is a cool name.
Adapted Screenplay The Imitation Game Whiplash I’m still scared of J.K. Simmons.
Original Screenplay Grand Budapest Hotel Grand Budapest Hotel This is the category they will give an award to either Wes Anderson or Quentin Tarantino in lieu of anything else. And Tarantino isn’t nominated.
Animated Feature How to Train Your Dragon 2 The Lego Movie I realize Lego wasn’t nominated. But that’s just absurd.
Makeup and Hair Grand Budapest Hotel Guardians
of the Galaxy
 Groot is difficult to groom.
Cinematography Birdman Grand Budapest They’ll award Birman for being a clever trick.
Costume Design Grand Budapest Hotel Into The Woods I don’t actually care at all.
Editing Boyhood Boyhood That had to be a lot of editing, man.
Score The Imitation Game Grand Budapest Hotel It was filled with whimsy!
Song I’m Not Going to Miss You Everything
Is Awesome
They need to reward this movie which they egregiously failed to nominate as best animated feature.
Production Design Grand Budapest Hotel Grand Budapest Hotel The design was grand!
Best Sound Mixing American Sniper Whiplash I just assume the drums sounded good.
Sound Editing American Sniper Whiplash As far as I can determine, this award is for the exact same thing as Sound Mixing.
Visual Effects Interstellar Guardians of the Galaxy Guardians of the Galaxy was a hoot and a half.  And it looked good.  So give it this award for the hoot factor.  But they’ll give it to Christopher Nolan’s deal.
Documentary CitizenFour Virunga I know nothing about Virunga, but it has a cool name, and I’m tired of Edward Snowden stuff.
Documentary Short Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 No explanation needed.
Best Animated Short The Dam Keeper Feast Feast was cute, and I saw it. That’s pretty much all I can go with.
Best Live Action Short The Phone Call Boogaloo and Graham Ever since Breakin’ 2 got snubbed, a film with the name Boogaloo in it deserves an Oscar.


Oklahoma Proposes New State Slogans

- Oklahoma City, OK

Proposed Oklahoma “Classroom of the Future”.

Republican state legislators in Oklahoma are proposing legislation that would defund the teaching of AP American History and replace them with new classes because legislators feel the AP courses don’t properly teach “American Exceptionalism”, a concept which, essentially, holds that the United States is super awesome and has never done anything wrong whatsoever.

As a companion bill, legislators are proposing changing the state’s slogan.  The following slogans are in the running:

1.  Oklahoma: You can’t spell “history” if you went to school here.

2.  Oklahoma: Those who ignore history are doomed to graduate from high school here.

3.  Oklahoma:  Them Injuns had it coming!

4.  Oklahoma:  If you want to know the history of slavery head over to Nebraska, chump.

5.  Oklahoma:  Whitewashing is OK!

6.  Oklahoma: We aren’t that fond of math either.

7.  Oklahoma: Making the South look progressive!

8.  Oklahoma: Where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain and hopefully destroys all the libraries.

9.  Oklahoma: Book learning is for jerks.

10.  Oklahoma:  The less you know!

11. Oklahoma: We missed our shot at burning witches, but we can still burn books!

Legislators have also proposed that the state’s new bird be an ostrich with its head buried “deep in a pile of magnificent wheat,” said an aide to one GOP state legislator.