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not from the Onion

By now everyone of us have heard of what Pat Robertson has to say about the earthquake that just about leveled Haiti. I cannot help it, here is the highlight of his point:

“They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.’ True story. And so, the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal.'”

If you have a strong stomach and does not wince easily, here is the broadcast of his show where he made this, eh, huh, “unfortunate” statement.

First we were shocked. Disbelief. Then we quickly got over the puzzlement of “Why is Pat Robertson still relevant?” amidst this unspeakable human tragedy and the global mobilization to send aids to this country that had so little for its people and so much to suffer even before the devastations by the earthquake. But a response must be given. And how?

How do you even react to something so outlandish that your first thought was, “Is this from The Onion, again? The Onion surely has been making into a lot of high-profile news lately…”

Why, a letter from the devil himself, of course!

Dear Pat Robertson,

I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I’m all over that action. But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. I may be evil incarnate, but I’m no welcher. The way you put it, making a deal with me leaves folks desperate and impoverished. Sure, in the afterlife, but when I strike bargains with people, they first get something here on earth — glamour, beauty, talent, wealth, fame, glory, a golden fiddle. Those Haitians have nothing, and I mean nothing. And that was before the earthquake. Haven’t you seen “Crossroads”? Or “Damn Yankees”? If I had a thing going with Haiti, there’d be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox — that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. Nothing against it — I’m just saying: Not how I roll. You’re doing great work, Pat, and I don’t want to clip your wings — just, come on, you’re making me look bad. And not the good kind of bad. Keep blaming God. That’s working. But leave me out of it, please. Or we may need to renegotiate your own contract.

Best,
Satan


This letter was sent in to Star Tribune in the Twin Cities by a reader named Lily Coyle. Whoever you are, wherever you are, God Bless You, Lily Coyle.

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This story is too funny to be true. I have to hop over to Snopes.com to make sure that the story itself is not a prank, and verify with The Onion that they did not pen this story. So by now everybody in the US has heard of the surprise given to 85,000 families in Tucson, AZ, home of one of the Super Bowl teams, the Cardinals. They were offered 30 seconds of free porn!

My male friends cried foul, “Why couldn’t it happen here?” Well, they would be happy to know that the porn segment that they so sadly have missed actually featured full male nudity. Comcast and the police vowed to get down to the bottom of this. Ha ha. And Comcast is also offering $10 credit to any customer who viewed the clip. (So, even if you did not, just say you did. Or maybe there are people who would rather not discuss this any more… “My eyes! My eyes!”)

There is another catch: Apparently, those who watched the Game on high-def TVs were not affected. Only those who received standard-def signals got to watch the free show. I am still trying to decide whether this makes a good argument for finally getting that high-def TV or not…

I just want to say this again,

COMCASTIC!

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This from one of my fav magazines, Wired.
 
When I saw the headline, I thought to myself, "Great, now they have run out of things to charge us for, since they are asking the passengers to pay for everything including tiny bags of pretzels and water, they are going to charge us for sitting on the runway too?"  Luckily for travelers, the upstart airline, Airtime Airlines based in South Africa, will not be charging their passengers more for time spent by the plane idling and waiting in line to take off.  Whew. Now that's a relief.
 
This reminds me of the "Onion-esque" unveiling of the fictional airliner Derrie-Air threatening to charge by individual passenger's weight: "the more you weigh, the more you'll pay. After all, it takes more fuel—more energy—to get more weight from point A to point B…"  (It's a shame really. That would be one urgent reason for me to finally follow my default annual New Year resolution of getting on a diet…)  Only that Airtime Airlines is not fictional, it is a real airline, or, well, almost a real one, as soon as they get their hands on real aircraft that can fly real passengers… 
 
"Taking a cue from the cellphone industry, an upstart South African airline is selling flights by the minute and allowing customers to buy tickets and book flights via text message…  passengers will buy minutes instead of a traditional point-to-point ticket. They can buy a "starter pack" of prepaid minutes and top off their accounts by purchasing more minutes — by text message — at the going rate of 5 Rand (about 53 cents) a minute. Flight times have been mapped out in advance, so sitting on a runway for three hours won't triple the cost of your ticket.

Topping off accounts is where things get interesting. The cost for Airtime minutes can fluctuate, presumably according to promotions and market factors, so topping off becomes an exercise comparable to fuel hedging. Buy a big block of minutes when you think they're at their cheapest and you look smart, unless the price drops again the next day. Then again, it might go up. The price recently rose from 3 Rand to 5 Rand, meaning the cost of a round-trip flight from Durban to Cape Town climbed from about 750 Rand ($81) to 1,250 Rand (about $134). Still that's cheaper than the $200 it would cost on South African Airlines."

Read the entire article here.

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NOT from the Onion, surprisingly: Russian analyst predicts USA to break up into 5 countries!

January 6, 2009 random

Tweet When you first read it in the Drudge Report on November 25, 2008, you probably wondered, "Did I click on the wrong URL?  Is this The Onion?" "RUSSIAN ANALYST PREDICTS DECLINE AND BREAKUP OF USA" A leading Russian political analyst has said the economic turmoil in the United States has confirmed his long-held view […]