Wednesday, January 25, 2017

11 Songs That Aren't About What You Think. #4 Blew Me Away!

There are songs we've heard all our lives and thought we knew what they meant. Here are eleven that have stunning origins unlike what you ever would have believed.
  1. Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head - The 1969 hit by B.J. Thomas sounds at first like a simple tune about staying positive, but it has a much darker origin. The "raindrops" referenced in the song are really radioactive fallout from a nuclear holocaust, and Thomas is considering his options for survival. If you listen to the lyrics closely, it all makes more sense.
  2. Call Me Maybe - Most people would recall Carly Rae Jepsen's 2012 smash hit as a come-on to someone she had just met. In reality, the song documents tense moments during the Cold War when U.S. and Soviet leaders would balk at making first contact on their red phone hotline. Events sometimes escalated to dangerous levels before one side or the other would blink and pick up the phone. If you scrutinize the lyrics carefully, you will find multiple allusions to international tensions and nuclear brinksmanship.
  3. Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who's 1971 rock anthem is popularly believed to be about growing political vigilance, especially in the face of past betrayal. However, songwriter Pete Townshend has said that he was inspired to pen the song after his dog repeatedly fell for "faking the throw" and that it reminded him of how western civilization seems to creep inevitably toward nuclear annihilation.
  4. I Melt With You - A critical reading of the lyrics from the 1982 Modern English hit reveals that it is not about a couple perishing in a nuclear blast, but instead it recounts an overly hot day in which a man keeps company with a blow-up doll. The opening lyric, "moving forward using all my breath" gives it away.
  5. Tik Tok - Ke$ha made a splash with her 2010 dance track that seems at first like a superficial romp about partying all night. The real story is more sobering, however. Ke$ha was responding to concerns about growing international tensions and the position of the so-called "Doomsday Clock" that represents the perceived closeness to global catastrophe. When she sings "I'm gonna hit this city" she is referring to the vast number of warheads aimed at major population centers.
  6. I Want to Hold Your Hand - Just one year after the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, The Beatles wrote and recorded this innocent-sounding chart topper about restraint for those who have their fingers on the nuclear button. Many fans at the time assumed it was just a pop song about puppy love.
  7. Moves Like Jagger - The Beatles were not alone in their anti-nuke activism. Rolling Stone singer Mick Jagger, unbeknownst to most music fans, was a top secret British MI6 agent (like James Bond) and was quite a nimble one, instrumental in thwarting nuclear disaster several times. This information was classified for decades, however, and only came to light when Maroon 5 turned it into this 2011 song that was ostensibly about the rocker's legendary dance moves.
  8. Yakety Sax - Very few people are aware that this 1963 Boots Randolph song, made famous as the theme for The Benny Hill Show, actually has lyrics. Known mostly for accompanying zany sped-up foot chases, the full song makes a plaintive call for nuclear disarmament.
  9. Stayin' Alive - The Bee Gees made this 1977 disco song a hit along with many other songs on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, but not many know how the song came about. Written by brothers Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb, who were born in Australia, the song contains a solemn warning about their homeland that was the setting for Nevil Shute's 1957 novel "On The Beach", in which residents of the southern hemisphere await the arrival of deadly radiation from a nuclear holocaust that has taken out the rest of the world. When they sing "Feel the city breakin' and everybody shakin'" they are referring to underground fallout shelters where the last remnants of a devastated city scramble to survive.
  10. Whoomp There It Is - In 1993, Tag Team made this the unavoidable catch phrase of the year. Look real close at the lyrics. Yep. Nukes.
  11. 99 Red Balloons - For decades, people have thought that the 1983 song by German band Nena was about misunderstanding the Star Trek phenomenon, but it is actually about a kid who drinks too much cough syrup and spends all his allowance on balloons. He then hallucinates and gets lost on the way home.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

H.R. the Musical breaks attendance records

CANTON, OH - Little-known outside corporate circles, the touring production of H.R. The Musical is breaking attendance records in event centers across the country. Ticket sales are up partly because large corporations have made the show mandatory viewing.

Writer, producer, director and star of the show is Rebecca Bailey, herself a human resources director for 22 years at a medium size company.

"Every day, something would happen at work and I would say to myself, 'This should be in a musical,'" said Bailey. Songs like the breakout hit, "Inappropriate Touching" derive their inspiration from actual events during her tenure at H.R.

Since its inception, the production has had its share of personnel issues. Infighting, power struggles, verbal threats, layoffs and salary disputes provided the backdrop for the cast even while performing numbers such as "Hostile Workplace", "Downsize with Me", "Na-Na-Nepotism" and "Team Building is for A-holes."

Cast members are forbidden to talk to press without prior written approval from show producers, but watercooler talk has it that some cast members have been retaliating against writers of negative reviews.

Offshore banks threatened by rising seas

CAYMAN ISLANDS - Rising ocean levels are beginning to submerge offshore banks, putting at risk much of the money being tucked away there.

"We really should have considered putting these billions of dollars closer to land," said Joaquin Phillipe, manager of the Dodge Parry Trust not far from the coast of Georgetown, Grand Cayman.

While there are still numerous banks on solid land for customers to squirrel away cash to avoid taxes, those that are located in the cay are finding their situation increasingly tenuous.

"People don't want to deposit their money in a place where it's going to get soggy," said Sandra Appleton, former manager of the Maldives Engulfed Holdings bank. That bank closed because the sandbar it was on had eroded, taking billions in assets with it. "And you can't bank where there's no bank."

Global ocean levels have risen over 7 inches (195mm) since the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, and they continue to rise for reasons that people continue to dispute.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Groomba robot shaves while you sleep

JACKSONVILLE, FL - Busy professionals can now automate time-consuming tasks like shaving, thanks to the Groomba shaving robot.

"You just place it by the bed, and at some point in the middle of the night it will crawl up on your face and shave you," said Groomba developer Daniel Westlake. The robot then returns to its charging station.

Users can specify whether they want to shave their face, legs, armpits, or other areas. "We haven't tested it for all possible applications," said Westlake, "but whatever floats your boat."

Some customers have complained that the Groomba doesn't account for subtle differences like sleeping in different positions. One man slept where his wife usually does, and woke up with his legs shaved.

"You just have to be sure to use the little beacons that specify where to stop, and that includes which side of the bed," said Westlake.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Fake news story wins Pulitzer Prize

NEW YORK, NY - The Pulitzer Prize Committee at Columbia University has awarded the Pulitzer Prize to a fake news story for the very first time.'s ersatz investigative journalism piece won for the compelling story of drug cartels moving their operations over to more lucrative printer ink.

"The bogus article and accompanying fabricated photojournalism was hard-hitting, insightful, engaging, and totally worth a slight pause while scrolling through social media," said Pulitzer Committee Chair Walter Dimsdale. "It made us think a moment before moving on to the next thing."

The Printer Ink Cartel piece also holds the honor of being the first-ever unanimous decision by all judges on the panel.

"It was that good," said Dimsdale. "We look forward to many more years of spurious dispatches from JankyVision."

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Virtual Reality Office allows you to work at a cubicle from anywhere

SANTA CLARA, CA - Brand new VR technology empowers office workers to sit at their cubicles and desktop computers, no matter where they are. The InfiniCube promises to usher in a new era of enhanced productivity.

"You can be on vacation or sick at home, and still be right back here at work," said entrepreneur Mac Frey of CrateSpace Tech. "It's like you're never away from the office!"

Virtual Reality (VR) has already enabled end users to explore infinite realms of imaginative possibilities, such as flying, immersive entertainment and gaming, or even virtual travel. CrateSpace extends the capabilities of VR to sitting at the real life desk where you spend most of your waking days.

"It's not the same when you work remotely on a laptop or home computer, with all the distractions of family, pets and leisure," said Frey. "This puts you in visual and auditory isolation from all that and keeps you in the workplace."

Employees at CrateSpace are already putting the InfiniCube to work, allowing them to work more than 80 hours each week. Some report that they have been too busy to file complaints with the Department of Labor. Frey looks forward to automated cars, so employees can work on the way home, too.

Newly discovered molten planet named Psoriasis

HILO, HI - Astronomers at the Mauna Kea Observatory have discovered a new, scaly, inflamed planet far from our Solar System and named it Psoriasis, after the Greek god of heartbreak.

The planet is 34 light years away and cannot be seen directly, but we can infer its presence through red patches that surround the area and other systemic effects that flare up.

"It's an amazing discovery, but you would never want to go there," said Jon Freling, an amateur astronomer whose team is currently using the telescope without the knowledge or permission of the Mauna Kea facility. "You would be severely uncomfortable."

The team has also concluded that three moons circle Psoriasis: Eczema, Rosacea and Histamine. They plan to publish a paper on their findings if they can manage to get back to the workstation where their data is stored without being spotted.

"Pretty good work for twenty minutes of observation. We'd hate to lose all of it."

Bigfoot names Discovery Channel, Animal Planet in harassment lawsuit

EAST GREENWICH, RI - An individual purporting to be the legendary Bigfoot of folklore has filed a harassment suit against TV networks Animal Planet and Discovery Channel for their involvement in shows such as "Finding Bigfoot" and "Killing Bigfoot".

Attorney Ken Barmanou spoke today in a press conference on behalf of his client, S. Quatch.

"My client lives in fear from people stomping around his and his relatives' habitats, recording endless episodes of their shows at all hours and seasons," said Barmanou. "This disrupts their peace of mind, and invites other so-called 'Bigfoot hunters' to do the same."

In a signed affidavit, Quatch alleges that reality shows are based around finding Bigfoot, an as-yet undiscovered gigantic hominid who matches his general description. Quatch's numerous residences around the country in Oregon, Maine, Florida and Texas have been disturbed.

"Effectively every corner of this nation has become unsafe for Mr. Quatch to relax and maintain any privacy," said Barmanou.

The suit specifies homicidal threats and reckless endangerment in shows like "Killing Bigfoot". "It's right there in the title, isn't it?" said Barmanou. "My client is a very irate primate."

Representatives from the networks and the shows' production companies maintain that Quatch has no standing to sue.

"Whereas the so-called Bigfoot is so far an unsubstantiated and mythical creature, he would have to present himself in court to move forward with this action," said Rory Zeigler, executive producer of last year's Bigfoot: Did You Hear That? "And if this supposed Bigfoot shows up and is merely a big hairy human, then we have a different disqualifying issue of standing."

Other shows named in the suit are Bigfoot: Sketchy Footage Expanded to Fill an Hour, Real Sasquatches of Louisiana, and Arguments About Bigfoot Filmed in Night Vision. "Sasquatch" is reportedly another alias for Bigfoot.

Last year Barmanou and Quatch won a judgment against Jack's Link Jerky for their television advertising campaign in which the snack company encouraged consumers to "mess with Sasquatch." The two sides settled with undisclosed terms.

Scotty "Squatty" Watson closing in on record for least strikeouts

TITUS, AL - A minor league player is soon to catch up with the all-time baseball record for fewest strikeouts in a career.

Scotty "Squatty" Watson is 4 feet, 8 inches tall (1.42m) and has an especially short torso and thighs, giving him by far the smallest strike zone of any player.

Still in the minor leagues playing for the East Oregon Rainshadows, Watson hopes to take his unique advantage with him to the major leagues one day.

"He's not the greatest hitter, and a mediocre left fielder," said Rainshadows manager Turks Cobell at winter training camp in Alabama. "But none of these pitchers can get in that strike zone. We got a walk machine in Squatty."

His lower legs and arms are of average size, which help to make up for any obstacles competing with larger players. "He can field a ground ball without bending over," said Cobell.

Slow-motion clips of perp walks to be admitted as evidence of guilt

CINCINNATI, OH - A federal appeals court has just ruled that grainy, slow-motion footage of arrested suspects being paraded before cameras to make them look guilty can be used against them in court as evidence of wrongdoing.

Nicknamed "perp walk", the practice of escorting detainees through a public place after giving media outlets advance notice is commonly used by law enforcement agencies to influence potential jurors against the presumption of innocence afforded by the widely held interpretation of the 5th, 6th and 14th amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

"Due process is a real show-stopper when all you've got is boring evidence in legalese," said prosecutor Dane Gearholdt. "This new ruling helps us tremendously because we can get video of the guy being dragged to the police van and squinting when a reporter shouts at him. Then we slow it down right when he blinks or glares, or better yet, looks over his shoulder at the camera and making crazy eyes. Freeze frame. Boom, you've got a conviction."

Defense attorneys are enraged by the decision. Public defender Will Hattermeyer claims that all a prosecutor needs to do under this legal standard is to capture one unflattering shot of the defendant and poison any chance of a fair trial.

"Get a clip like that to Nancy Grace or whoever, and he's sunk," said Hattermeyer. "They'll show the slo-mo clip non-stop and seal his fate. Instead of weighing evidence and reasonable doubt, juries will now be considering shifty eyes and creepy blinks in their deliberations."

Hattermeyer's client has much to lose in this new judicial climate. On trial for murder, he has a solid alibi and legal pundits agree that the circumstantial case against him is flimsy at best and possibly fraudulent. However, he was arrested by a SWAT team and interrogated for 72 hours before being taken to his arraignment, which made for a disastrous perp walk with saggy eyes, disheveled clothing and mussed hair.

Constitutional scholars and legal experts call the decision a travesty of justice and an utter failure of jurisprudence. Supporters of the decision praise the lowering of the burden of proof to effectively "Everybody knows the guy did it."

Every customer in local store a secret shopper

RICHMOND, VA - Each of the seven customers currently browsing at the Grab 'N' Spend grocery store on North Cary Street is a secret shopper, according to in-store loss prevention manager Todd Balto. He has been watching events unfold from the store office on closed circuit television.

"They've been in here, some of them, for 45 minutes, just trailing each other around," said Balto. "They're not buying anything, and it looks like none of them has caught on."

Secret shoppers are persons employed by various companies to visit stores as anonymous customers, sometimes conducting market research, customer service evaluations, or loss prevention.

The Grab 'N' Spend grocery chain employs three different agencies to curtail shoplifting, assess associate performance and gain insights into which products appeal to consumer tastes.

The assortment of secret shoppers in the store today are attempting to perform all these tasks, unaware that the other customers they're observing are also secret shoppers. They are also unaware that the entire staff is also alerted to their presence.

"Every once in a while one of them comes up and asks a tricky question, and the cashiers are on it," said Balto. "I'm just glad we've got tape running for when an actual customer walks in here. Can't wait to see that."

At press time the majority of secret shoppers were apparently reading every ingredient list in the cereal aisle and exchanging suspicious glances.

Laxative energy drink wreaks havoc at festival

BOUSE, AZ - Concertgoers at the 2017 Coacharoo Music Festival got a nasty surprise when a mistaken shipment of Red Bull Milk of Magnesia ended up at concession stands.

The carbonated beverage, laced with stimulants and laxatives, is not an official Red Bull product and was pulled as soon as the error was brought to the attention of festival organizers. That was too late for the several thousand festival attendees who had chugged cans of it down, then beseiged the suddenly too-few porta potties.

"It was an incontinent mob," said witness Ruby McTierney. "The portable toilets were completely devastated, and the throngs of people who couldn't get to them started a wave of filth that radiated outward."

Hazmat teams rushed to the area and cleaned up the premises along with about 3,000 soiled festival guests. A concessions supplier called LulzBev was identified as the source of the drinks, and removed from all public events that they serviced. The remaining cans were confiscated and taken to an unnamed overstock retailer for further study.

Representatives at Red Bull were prompt to announce that they were in no way associated with the counterfeit drinks, but a few consumers asked if Milk of Magnesia might be a real brand in the future.