After exhaustive investigation, media concludes Americans often set off fireworks around July 4th

The results are finally in regarding all those firecrackers you’ve heard popping at night and the colored lights you’ve seen bursting in the evening sky.  A two-week intensive investigation conducted by a number of media outlets has concluded that Americans enjoy setting off fireworks on and around the Independence Day holiday. 

While your average American probably thought some nefarious government plot was afoot, the New York Times and Slate, among others, went digging into this pyrotechnic phenomenon to dispel any conspiracy theories that these news organizations and their Pulitzer Prize winning staff members may have promoted.

To be clear, this is not a government psy-op.  Illegal fireworks traffickers are not trying to destroy communities by flooding the streets with their sparklers, fountains, and smoke bombs.  When dusk settles across America during the days leading up to July 4th, excited children and their slightly inebriated fathers routinely break open the Red, White and Boom box and let the explosive fun begin.

But congratulations to the New York Times for committing the time and resources to discovering how typical Americans celebrate around the holidays.  And a heads up to Slate, those ghosts and goblins scurrying around residential neighborhoods in late October and those giant furry bunny rabbits handing out chocolate eggs in the spring, it’s all on the up and up.

Mouthwash sales spike as millions of mask wearers are forced to confront their own bad breath

Sales of breath freshening products have soared in recent months as millions of American mask wearers have been forced to endure the stench of their own malodorous breath.

Antiseptic mouthwash sales are up a whopping 350 percent.  Revenues from breath strips, Tic Tacs and Lifesavers have increased nearly five-fold since March.

“In some instances, we can’t keep these products on the shelves,” says an industry insider.  “It seems a vast number of Americans are beginning to realize they may have a problem with fresh breath.”

The issue could be a bit more complicated than simply clueless Americans waking up to the fact their mouth smells like a garbage disposal.  Scientists say wearing a mask inhibits the introduction of fresh air, permitting germs to fester and multiply.

“It’s akin to recirculating the air in your car rather than refreshing,” says a leading mouth and body odor researcher.  “Try turning off the AC and closing the windows of your car on a warm summer day, the cabin of your vehicle will begin to smell like a locker room in no time.  I should know, I smell armpits for a living.”

Experts encourage mask wearers to drink plenty of water, brush frequently and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash.

Says the pit sniffer, “A positive takeaway is that some in the public are getting a whiff of what their colleagues have had to endure for years.  If when this is all over, everyone’s a bit more attentive to their mouth hygiene, then maybe it will have all been worth it.” 

Sting, Summers and Copeland address calls to “Defund The Police”

Members of 80’s rock band The Police issued a press release Thursday addressing growing calls in the United States and Britain to “Defund The Police.”

“There seems to be a lot of chatter in the media these days about defunding or even abolishing The Police.  So far, we’ve remained silent as a growing number of activists, public officials, journalists and even fellow entertainers have called for the dissolution of our band.  While we’re totally clueless to understand what we’ve done to deserve their scorn, we’re committed to making whatever changes are necessary to win back the public trust. 

“Additionally, we’ve been a little dismayed that in this era of social distancing our 1980 hit, “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,” has not enjoyed a greater resurgence in popularity.  Our management has contacted the CDC and NIH on multiple occasions, offering our song to be used in public service announcements.  Thus far, no response has been forthcoming.

“In these difficult times, we’re making a good faith effort to do our part for the greater good.  However, not buying our music benefits no one.  Imagine a world without “Roxanne,” “Message in a Bottle,” or “Every Breath You Take.”  Is that the kind of world you want to live in?  We think not.  Without these timeless classics to bind us together, our world would almost certainly descend into chaos and anarchy.

“So, unless your wish is to replace civil society with some joyless, dystopian hellscape where the music of The Police has been permanently abolished, and “De Do Do Do De Da Da Da” become merely the words of sputtering idiots, instead of the inspired lyrics of an immensely talented reggae rock trio, please consider funding The Police by purchasing some of our music.  Civilization may depend on it.”

Bill Gates and Eric Schmidt featuring Tech Posse to headline ‘Re-Imagine’ benefit concert

Microsoft founder Bill Gates and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, accompanied by scores of other titans of tech, will gather for a benefit concert to raise money to fundamentally restructure our society and transform its institutions.

Borrowing heavily from John Lennon’s timeless classic ‘Imagine,’ the event dubbed ‘Re-Imagine’ will attempt to envision and describe what a post-pandemic world might look like.

In advance of next month’s concert, Gates, Schmidt and the Tech Posse released a single that will serve as the theme song for the event, and raise money to transform society into a tech bro utopia.

Re-Imagine there’s no classrooms.

It isn’t hard to do.

No work to drive to.

And no sporting events too. 

Re-Imagine all the people telecommuting to work from home.  

You may say I’m a greedy billionaire.

But I’m not the only one.

I strongly encourage you to join me.

Or I’ll detonate my Illudium Q36 Explosive Space Modulator. 

Partnering with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to “re-imagine education”, the Gates Foundation has received pushback recently from education officials over plans to dismantle education as we know it and replace it with a system of online instruction and distance learning.  Cuomo has indicated a willingness to consider the approach.  

“The old model of everybody goes and sits in the classroom, and the teacher is in front of that classroom and teaches that class, and you do that all across the city, all across the state, all these buildings, all these physical classrooms — why, with all the technology you have?” said Cuomo, promoting the “Re-Imagine” partnership.

Available for viewing across multiple platforms, the event features additional performances by Tech Posse performing “Tech Bro Paradise” and guest artist Dr. Anthony Fauci performing “Don’t Stand So Close to Me.” 

Human resources department institutes epic ass-covering measures in response to pandemic

Essential worker Ben was slightly taken aback one morning when he attempted to log on to his work computer and was greeted with a series of statements with which he had to agree before completing log in.

“It said things like, ‘I’ve not had a fever in the last 72 hours, I haven’t had any of the following symptoms, or been around anyone who has tested positive.’  I further had to agree that I only cough into my sleeve, and that I use a hand sanitizer with a minimum alcohol content of 60%,” reported Ben.  “Of course, I couldn’t complete log in if I didn’t agree, and failure to adhere to the requirements meant potential disciplinary action.”  

Such is the state of employer/employee relations in these challenging times.  Human resources departments across the country are dealing with potential liability brought on by sick employees.

“Now, more than ever, covering the old rump is the name of the game,” said one personnel manager who wished to remain anonymous.  “This is coming straight from the top.  Deflecting all responsibility onto the employee for what happens in our workplace is the only thing that stands between corporate and an epidemic of lawsuits.”  

Essential Ben agrees that it seems like management’s approach to the pandemic is to blame employees.  “I gotta sign a release to use the restroom, promising to limit the length of time I spend relieving myself, and to wash my hands only with an approved anti-bacterial foaming soap in a prescribed manner for a set duration of time.  Of course, failure to comply could result in disciplinary action.”

“Yeah, I came up with that one,” said the personnel manager, chuckling to himself.  “Look, in these uncertain times, you’ve got to be creative.”

Has management ever considered taking temperatures, testing employees, or providing personal protective equipment like masks?

“Fuck no,” says management.  “If you can’t print it out and make them sign it, then it’s too expensive.  Besides, that would be like admitting we have some responsibility or obligation to our employees.  Additionally, it only makes sense that we put the onus on the employee as management are all working remotely from home and can’t be on site to supervise.” 

Despite expert warnings, Trump continues to promote viral vacuuming

For weeks, experts have been cautioning citizens against attempting an unproven and possibly dangerous viral extraction method.  The procedure is called viral vacuuming, and President Trump continues to promote it despite a lack of evidence that it actually works. 

“All I’m saying is give it a try.  What do we have to lose?  We’ve got some very good people working on this.  Dyson engineers have even designed tiny little sweeper attachments that can be inserted into the nostril to suck out any viruses that may have accumulated there,” the President said during a recent press conference.

Self-serve car washes across the country report incidents of customers getting their nose stuck in car vacuum hoses.

“It’s really unprecedented,” says assistant fire chief Joe Molina of the Tempe Arizona Fire Department.  “This week, we’ve gotten at least a dozen ‘nose in a hose’ calls.  People underestimate how powerful those devices are.“ 

“We’ve definitely seen an uptick in nose trauma cases,” says one ER doctor who wishes to remain anonymous.  “These aren’t just your average excessive picking cases, or kids trying to see how many Skittles they can jam up there, these are grotesque schnozes that have been permanently disfigured and stretched all out of proportion.”

At the press conference, the President seemed disinclined to denounce the controversial practice.  “Hey, what’s the worst that can happen?  If nothing else, you get in there and do a little housekeeping, or maybe you save a life.  Am I right, Dr. Birx?” asked the President of an unresponsive Birx, who suddenly discovered her fidgeting hands to be intensely interesting.

Trump awarded Noble Prize for research into viral disinfectants and invasive light therapy

Scientists in Warsaw, Poland have awarded the 2020 Noble Prize for scientific research to U.S. President Donald J. Trump for advancements in the fields of internal viral disinfectants and invasive light therapy.  The Noble Committee made the announcement Sunday morning shortly after informing the President. 

“President Trump’s discoveries represent the cutting-edge in his field.  His use of nanotechnology to enter a body and sanitize from top to bottom using a combination of light and disinfectants is nothing short of revolutionary.  Perhaps only a germaphobe hotel owner would consider unleashing an army of tiny housekeepers to give the human anatomy a thorough scrubbing,” the committee said in a statement.

The President accepted the award with characteristic grace and humility.      

“The fake news can kiss my ass.  I’ve been awarded the Noble Prize by a very fine group of scientists in Poland.  While CNN is spreading lies, I’m toiling all night in my basement laboratory, researching ways to cure the world’s most challenging diseases.  You’re welcome, fake news,” the President related in an early morning tweet.   

Holistic healers and wellness gurus expressed dismay that it took the scientific community so long to catch on to practices they’ve promoted for years. 

“We’ve known since the ancients that allowing the sun to shine up your ass has a number of therapeutic benefits.  Modern day practitioners call it ‘butt-chugging vitamin D.’  President Trump is the first to direct the healing properties of light to specific areas of the body,” said Dr. Anthony Moonglow, acclaimed online influencer.

In addition to the prestigious prize, the President is assured funding for his research for years to come.  

“As a result of this new source of financing, my team and I are excited about the opportunity to expand our research into several new promising areas.  Most promising is the field of viral vacuuming, where we direct powerful suction at viruses in order to draw them out of the body and prevent spread.  We’ll be partnering with our friends at Dyson to develop this treatment and hope to start human trials in August,” the President announced. 

Authorities to perform welfare checks on America’s celebrities

Celebrities around the country have been having a pretty rough time of it lately.  Social media postings reveal desperate Hollywood stars, descended from their heavenly spheres, crying out to the world like they’ve fallen and they can’t get up.  

The sight of so many famous people struggling in their homes has prompted a number of local law enforcement agencies to perform welfare checks on the stars.  “We’ve been getting a lot of calls from folks worried about certain celebrities,” says Bob Stack, spokesperson for the LA County Sheriff’s Department. “People are concerned for the well-being of the most famous and well-off among us.”

Videos of frightened and vulnerable celebrities have been popping up all over the internet these days.  One distressing video shows a veteran pop music icon appearing alone in her bathtub, naked and afraid. Another viral video shows a group of A-Listers, some in tears, taking turns singing John Lennon’s “Imagine.” 

“Well, what I think we are seeing from the Hollywood elite is a massive cry for help,” says Dr. Andrew McGill, a therapist in Beverly Hills.  “Some of these celebs are confined to their luxurious, sprawling mansions with only a personal assistant, a cook, a physical trainer and a diminished crew of support staff to look after them.  They are vulnerable and they need our help.” 

That’s where the LA Sheriffs step in.  “We’ll be knocking on doors and checking in on as many famous people as possible in the coming weeks,” says Stack.  “Also, we urge the public, if you’re aware of a celebrity in need of help, don’t hesitate to let us know. We’ll send a squad car over to check on them.  And thanks to the generous donations of some of the world’s most successful companies, we’ll be distributing swag bags containing over a hundred thousand dollars worth of goodies to help our celebrity friends muddle through these difficult times.”    

Essential worker confounded by narrow halls, cramped stairwells, and tight doorways

Expected to go into work every day because some higher up got it in their head to classify him as an essential worker, Herb Bumstead’s route through his office building to his desk each morning is like navigating a social distancing minefield.  The hallway to his office is not wide enough to permit six feet of clearance between himself and an approaching coworker. Herb compensates for the close quarters by darting from doorway to doorway, letting others pass, and only proceeding when the coast is clear.  Dodging a lingering vapor cloud can be a bit tricky, but like a nimble cat burglar, Herb holds his breath and spider crawls or cart wheels from recess to doorway to alcove until the threat has passed. Should a group of workers from another office enter the hall and converge on Herb, he temporarily aborts the mission by ducking into a restroom or maintenance closet.        

Social-distancing is a great idea in theory, but the reality of physical space conspires to herd us together.  For Herb, a cramped stairwell is the worst. Encountering a single-file group of four engaged in a lively conversation while descending the stairway could potentially expose Herb to the lingering vapor cloud of their chatter for nearly an entire flight of stairs.  Efforts to hold his breath for an entire flight have caused Herb, in a number of instances, to pass out before reaching the upper landing. On occasion, Herb will turn tail, bound back down the steps to the bottom and wait for the group to exit the stairwell. But often this scenario quickly devolves into a Buster Keaton-esque routine where multiple attempts to reach the top of the stairs are turned back by yet another group, sending Herb careening back down to the bottom again.

For Herb, corners and doorways represent a thoroughly confusing ordeal, requiring not a small amount of telepathic communication.  Approaching a doorway, Herb sometimes senses a presence approaching from the opposite direction, prompting him to halt a safe distance from the door in order that the presence might pass without violating the six foot rule.  The only problem is the presence is often standing six feet clear of the other side of the door waiting for Herb to do the same. Says Herb, “It seems our extra-sensory abilities only extend so far. We can detect conscious beings in our vicinity, but we’ve not yet acquired the ability to communicate our intentions.”  Unless, of course, we just shout, “Coming through!”

Stuck at home, man explores strange new sedentary realms

After struggling for weeks to adjust to the new government mandated stay-at-home routine, Ray Harris can finally report he’s achieved a near perfect state of blissful inactivity.  Accustomed to “hitting the ground running” everyday, Ray initially bristled at the idea of being “cooped up” 24/7. After all, his friends called him Free Bird, and everybody knows “this bird you cannot change.”   

But Ray eventually did change, and, as he’d heard good things, decided to see what this Netflix business was all about.  Soon, however, the act of scrolling and searching for new programs to watch seemed like a lot of unnecessary effort. Reading and turning the pages of books became a tedious exercise.  Even following the superficial disputes between guests of daytime talk shows required way more brain power than Ray was willing to expend. At that moment, Ray made up his mind to embrace idleness in a manner never before thought humanly possible.   

One day, Ray acquainted himself with an ant that had somehow, improbably, found its way to his upper story bathroom.  The ant had been hanging out there for days, and often greeted Ray at the sink, standing on its hind legs whenever Ray popped in for a brisk hand-washing.  The old Action Ray would have smashed the interloper with a kleenex and flushed him down the toilet. But Idle Ray had come to enjoy their brief exchanges, sometimes spending hours seated on the edge of the bathtub watching the ant explore its surroundings, wondering why the tiny adventurer had left his posse down at ground level to scale the plumbing up to the second floor.

Soon Ray began spending extended periods of his day sitting as still as possible.  The combination of extreme social-distancing and intense inactivity allowed Ray to achieve what can only be described as a state of sedentary nirvana.  He was able to slow the electrical activity in his muscles to a weak trickle, and his calorie-burn rate dropped to well under one per minute. His muscles started to atrophy at three times the normal rate, and the neural activity in his brain began to dim like a rolling blackout.  

Just then, before he could commence the process of shedding years from the end of his life, Ray felt a light tickling on his nose.  He wanted to scratch it, but remembered the prohibition against touching one’s face and stopped himself. Instead, he opened his eyes, and strained mightily to cross them and focus inward on the end of his nose.  There he saw the ant standing on its hind legs, shaking four fists, and berating him for God knows what. Ants can be such sanctimonious bastards. Ants also work like hell. This little fella was probably giving him shit for his unfathomable laziness.  Having stood at the edge and stared into the abyss, Ray withdrew and thanked his little buddy for saving him from couch potato oblivion.