Issue number 33 December 27, 2000
Wet humor on the Web since 2000
Quorum of One is intended for adult readers
Today's lead story:
Trace amounts of retinol, or vitamin A, a substance that improves eyesight, skin quality and general health in humans, were found in several production lots of filter cigarettes at the Rigget & Lyers tobacco plant in Coughlin, North Carolina. The company immediately issued an apology and recalled more than 1,000,000 cartons that had already been delivered to its retail distribution chain. Only a few of the tainted cigarettes, which had been packaged under the brand names Stud and MountainAire, had actually reached the shelves.
A robot programmed to function as a spokesman for the tobacco industry because no humans are willing to stoop that low any more explained, "Rigget & Lyers deeply regrets this tragic error and apologizes to its customers, who have every right to expect uniform quality -- that is to say toxicity -- in the tobacco products they buy. We sincerely hope that the consumers' confidence has not been shaken by this regrettable incident. The situation is now under control and every conceivable measure is being taken to ensure that no beneficial substances of any kind ever again find their way into our products. Smokers across the country can breathe a sigh, possibly their last, of relief."
PETTTA Outraged By WHO's Eradication of Polio Virus
The World Health Organization's announcement that the polio virus has been eradicated in Southeast Asia immediately triggered cries of protest and outrage from the pan-species protection group People for the Ethical Treatment of Teensy Tiny Animals. A spokesman for PETTTA said in a prepared statement to the press, "All living beings have the inalienable right to life, whether they be human or animal, plant or fungus, visible to the naked eye or microscopic. Our group will defend to the death the right of every paramecium, nematode, amoeba, virus and spirochete to live out its full, natural lifespan, fulfilling the destiny that nature intended for it. The irresponsible, egomaniacal, speciesist vaccination of the human populations of Southeast Asia against the poliomyelitis virus is tantamount to genocide, forcibly depriving this innocent microbe from pursuing its traditional lifestyle, namely infecting small children and permanently disabling the ones it doesn't kill. Because we feel that all life is sacred and inviolable, and that to take any form of life is a heinous crime against nature that simply cannot go unpunished, we hereby announce that we will murder one research physician each day until the polio virus is re-released into the region in question. But not around here, for god's sake."
A question and answer session with reporters followed this statement. Due to space limitations, we are unable to bring you a full transcript of the exchange, so we have decided to print only the PETTTA spokesperson's answers:
Yes, we do eat. Of course we don't eat any meat or dairy products, but we do consume plant products that can be harvested without harming, or pissing off, the plant. So no whole vegetables or ground grains. But nuts and berries are OK. Lettuce leaves that happen to have fallen off in the field. Some honey. Maple syrup if the sap is taken from a tree whose bark was already cut open by lightning or carpenter ants -- that kind of thing.
No, we're against all vaccinations and antibiotics. When we get a cold, the flu or a fungus infection, we just let it run its natural course. It's the only ethical thing to do.
Oh, we lose about 100 members a year to malnutrition and treatable diseases. But it's OK -- we've set up a special funeral fund.
Naturally, the members of our group have to adjust their lifestyles, and not just in terms of having their life and health insurance revoked. For example, we forbid lawn mowing because it hurts the grass. Also, we're against house cleaning because it deprives cockroaches, mice and dust mites from thriving in their preferred habitat.
I'm glad you asked that question -- we are indeed very active politically. For example, we have introduced bills in every state to ban sewage treatment, bathing, toothbrushing, doing laundry and washing dishes because it kills the bacteria that proliferate in bodily and food residues.
As a matter of fact, yes -- we are all single. Why do you ask?
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Public Service Announcement:
Following the wild success of the unfounded, preposterous and yet unkillable rumor that the aluminum industry wanted to collect beverage can pop-top tabs which would somehow pay for a non-existent child's kidney dialysis, other industries have announced the opening of new collection drives to benefit mythical charities:
The combined porcelain and plumbing industries are asking the entire population of the United States to save that little bit of water that collects in the bottom of every toilet brush holder. Donators are requested to save the water in two-gallon wide-mouthed milk jugs and when they have a minimum of twenty jugs full absolutely to the very brim to turn them in at any participating industrial plumbing supplies wholesale outlet, most of which are located at the end of long, unpaved, rutted roads, are closed at odd hours and don't have phones so you can't call to check whether they're participating or not. Jugs with caps will not be accepted. A contribution will be made in the donor's name to the Dam the Water Torture Foundation, a chimerical group devoted to stamping out the practice of the equally unreal Chinese water torture around the world.
The American Toothbrush Manufacturer's Association is asking everyone to save the popcorn hulls and raspberry seeds that get caught in their gums. Any amount of qualifying oral residue can be turned in at participating drugstores and dentists' offices. The money generated by their recycling, should a use ever be found for such debris, will be contributed to a fund established to send mint-flavored dental floss to starving children in third world countries.
After the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games, Sydney, Australia will play host next month to the Not Very Special Olympics. Organized to showcase the everyday but frankly hard to believe skills of ordinary people, the games are open to anyone of any age and any nationality who feels that he or she has a particular aptitude in any of the events.
This year's competitions include:
Washing contact lenses over an open drain with both taps
running full blast
Repairing a ceramic plate using Super Glue without getting any on your fingers
Putting bags of snack food back into the cupboard until the next day after only three bites
Coming up with interesting, engaging topics of conversation when ordered by a loved one in a bad mood to "Talk to me!"
Finding a comprehensible written explanation of what "Error type 11" means
Remembering to get paper towels
Remembering which one is Peter and which one is Paul
Vividly remembering a fantastic dream, having a wild sexual adventure or hearing some earth-shattering bad news immediately after it happened and yet refraining from telling anyone about it
The Men's Not-thinking-about-sex Marathon
The Women's Not-thinking-about-their-personal-appearance Marathon
The CD Triathlon:
Event 1: The 50 wrap dash. Each contestant opens 50 brand new shrink-wrapped CDs.
The first to finish without having recourse to any tools or profanity wins.
Event 2: The insert removal-replacement 4-minute time trial. Each contestant is given a standard CD with a thick, multi-page brochure stuffed under those little rounded tabs on the inside of the clear plastic cover. The winner is the one who can remove and replace the brochure the greatest number of times within four minutes without creasing, tearing or in any other way damaging the paper.
Event 3: The everyday use elimination trial. All entrants are given one standard CD. In unison, at the pace of one action per second, they open the case, remove the CD, replace the CD, reclose the case and repeat. Contestants are eliminated when they inadvertently snap off either of the two tabs that form the hinge or break any of those little flexible "fingers" that hold the disc in place. The last one to remain wins.
Entrants' registration begins on January 25th at Olympic Village, Sydney, and
the Games will run through February 6th, 2001. The Opening Ceremony will take
place on January 27th, featuring the traditional lighting of the gas water
heater pilot light. A former NVSO champion will ignite the flame by lighting a
blue-tip kitchen match under his thumbnail without burning himself. Or at least
pretending not to have burned himself.
Democrat Found Who Thinks Hand Recounts Are Inaccurate
A nationwide search to find a single registered Democrat who believes that the hand recounting of votes is an inaccurate, unreliable process has finally proved fruitful. Mr. Hugh Jim Broglio of New Johannesburg, Ohio, told reporters that he voted for Vice President Al Gore and would very much have liked to see him win but nonetheless he insists that no recounts should ever have been undertaken. Broglio, who has voted for every Democratic presidential candidate since Hubert Humphrey in 1968, has maintained since last November 10th that Gore should be a man and concede the election. When informed that Gore had actually won the nationwide popular vote by nearly 300,000 ballots, he commented, "Oh really? Gosh, I didn't know that. But you know, that doesn't really matter. It's the electoral college that counts." Asked if he agreed with the actions of his own political party in the confusing aftermath of the contested election, he said, "It looked to me like the Democrats just wanted to keep counting until they liked the result."
Republican Found Who Thinks That Every Vote Should Have Been Counted
A 50-state hunt for a single registered
Republican who thinks that an outcome as close as that in Florida's
presidential election should have been carefully recounted has finally paid
off. Ms. Ann Dawn Sachs of Yerba Zongas, Arizona, told reporters that she
thought the initial election results were inconclusive and needed to be
accurately recounted. And that means recounted by hand, one by one. Sachs, who
voted for George W. Bush, his father and every single Republican candidate
since Nixon in 1960, went on to say, "If Al Gore were a real man he
wouldn't have given in to the legal maneuvering and bullying of an opponent
whose slim lead narrowed every time more votes were counted. After all, Gore
did win the popular vote." Asked if she agreed with the actions of her own
political party in the muddled wake of the disputed election, she said,
"It looked to me like the Republicans wanted to stop counting as soon as
they liked the result."
A team of medical researchers at Johns Hopkins
Universities Hospitals in Baltimores, Marylands has announced the discovery of
what seems to be the only two cases ever detected of human beings who have no
knee-jerk reflex reaction whatsoever. The two people in question were
volunteers in a nationwide medical monitoring study. In the course of routine
physical examinations they were both found to have no reaction at all to the
standard reflex test in which the patient is struck with a small rubber mallet
right below the kneecap. The two subjects, identified only as H.J.B., a man
from a Midwestern city, and A.D.S., a woman from the Southwest, are not
Due to the highly unusual nature of their neurophysical makeup, the two were also given a psychological profile test. Here again, the researchers were astonished at the findings. Among other things, it was revealed that:
A.D.S., who is a staunch Republican, feels that whatever Bill Clinton does or ever did behind closed doors -- any closed doors -- is his own business as long as it isn't actually illegal.
In spite of being white, H.J.B. thinks that O.J. Simpson was probably innocent.
Her Cuban ethnic background notwithstanding, A.D.S. believes that the U.S. Justice Department acted correctly in forcibly seizing Elian Gonzalez and reuniting him with his father.
H.J.B., who is openly gay, insists that he has never liked the pop group Village People. Furthermore, he was born and raised in Toronto, but still maintains that the songs of Gordon Lightfoot and Anne Murray are "for weenies".
A.D.S., who is Jewish, feels that Israel tends to use "excessive force" against adolescent Palestinian rock-throwers.
In keeping with standard procedures in this type of rigorous, scientifically-controlled test, it was then determined that both subjects were willing to repeat their assertions after being subjected to a series of severe electrical shocks and getting sucker-punched with a sockful of raw oysters. The results thus having proven conclusive, the Johns Hopkins researchers announced their discovery to the scientific community. A spokesman for the team said, "Unless we hear otherwise from the Voyager I space probe, we are confident that these are the only two reflexless people in the entire universe."
Special paid political announcement:
($10,000 minimum, cashier's checks only).
¨©2000 by David Jaggard