LOS ANGELES – A spokesperson for Shaquille O’Neal reiterated Monday the former NBA superstar is unperturbed by reports of accumulating dust on the top of a Maytag refrigerator in his studio apartment.
“I can tell you Mr. O’Neal is aware of the situation. But I cannot confirm that he gives an iota of concern one way or another,” said Dan McGlicken, O’Neal’s spokesperson for personal affairs.
The statement was immediately parsed by sports commentators, who both lambasted and praised the 7-foot 1-inch O’Neal.
“Most people cannot see the top of the fridge, so a little dust is to be expected,” said Nancy Clientele, a sports radio show talk show host on KJAM San Diego.
“But if you’re Shaq, you ‘re looking at the top of refrigerators all day long, so you don’t really have an excuse for a dusty Maytag, as far as I’m concerned,” Clientele said.
Other commentators said the attacks against Mr. O’Neal were misguided.
“What concerns me most is not the dust, but why somebody like Shaq is living in a studio apartment. The lack of housekeeping points to a deeper psychological issue, perhaps depression,” said Lawrence Waverly, a freelance writer for ESPN magazine.
Sources close to Shaq say his studio apartment is usually strewn with pizza boxes and VHS copies of “Kazaam”, a 1996 comedy film starring O’Neal that lost nearly $2 million at the box office.
“Shaq isn’t depressed,” says lifelong friend Jonny Jenks. “He’s just exhausted. Truthfully, he’s been up for days, making phone calls, blasting tweets, struggling to find a backer for his Kazaam 2 screenplay.
“Cut the man some slack, okay? On the road to redemption, some things are more important than a tidy fridge,” Jenks said.
BEDFORD FALLS, MA – Accountant Pat Bryan’s repeated efforts to interact with human beings in his general proximity has failed miserably, so say acquaintances who are knowledgeable on the matter.
Bryan’s feeble attempts began earlier this week with an awkward exchange while checking out of his business suite at a Marriott Hotel. “I asked him if he had enjoyed his stay,” said Laura Crayble, who was in charge of Marriott front desk services the morning of Bryan’s departure.
“Suddenly, he just looked up at me with a faint smile and said everything had been just fine,” Crayble said.
After Bryan left the premises, Crayble phoned her supervisor to say she felt unsafe and was immediately resigning from her position. Crayble said it was Bryan’s atypical actions that caused these feelings to well up inside her.
“It just seemed so suspicious for an accountant, of all people, to have a normal conversation me. It was just a little creepy,” said Crayble.
Later that morning while finishing a telephone conversation with a business client, Hugh Varicose, Bryan said he needed to get home by Friday to attend his eldest daughter’s soccer game.
“It took every ounce of willpower I had not to laugh out loud,” said Varicose. Varicose said Bryan was the last person he would have suspected had a daughter, let alone possessed even the slightest interest in competitive sport.
“I’ve only been in close proximity with Pat Bryan a handful of times, but I can say with certainty, if he’s an accountant he’s probably not a normal person,” Varicose said.
Family members admit that Bryan’s ineffectual social behaviors stem from his long career working with complex numbers in front of a computer screen.
“If Scott can’t round it to the nearest decimal point, he feels insecure and puts on a front. He tries to pretend everything is okay,” said Jane Westfall, Bryan’s eldest sibling.
Westfall said Bryan often sends her cards in the mail before Christmas or her childrens’ birthdays but confessed she rarely hangs them up for private display.
“It’s like he’s trying to fit in with our family,” she said. “He pretends that socially responsible behavior is going to compensate for his being an accountant, a type of person who typically lacks the ability to express true human emotions.”
A spokesperson for Bryan said he feels hurt and alienated from his family despite his best attempts to reach out and show how much he truly cares.
Yet, he remains hopeful.
“I’ll probably be on better terms with them when I’m on my deathbed and they’re fighting for control over my sizable estate,” Bryan said.
CONCORD, N.H. – In a move largely praised by conservative commentators, presidential candidate Michele Bachmann fired the last of her campaign staff and bought an iPhone 4S.
“She really needed to shake things up internally. Her staff was holding her back by offering their time, hard work and common sense approaches in the midst of a up-hill campaign. In other words, it was business as usual,” said Nancy Greghill founder of Hold-On a conservative think-tank.
What Bachmann loses in human capital supporters say she easily recovers in technological advantage. Bachmann’s new iPhone comes with “Siri”, a personal assistant application, which insiders say will probably take over day-to-day campaign advisory duties.
During a Sunday night gathering with several New Hampshire Bachmann supporters, Greghill unveiled her own iPhone to demonstrate Siri’s profound reasoning abilities.
“Siri, should we defund the United Nations?” Greghill asked loudly for all to hear.
“One moment. Checking my sources. Here’s some background information on the United Nations,” Siri responded, pulling up the United Nations Wikipedia page to cheers and rapturous applause.
As a follow up, Greghill asked Siri what policies Bachmann could support to best connect with Latino voters. After checking its sources, Siri came up with some highly rated, yet reasonably priced, restaurants in the area that served enchiladas.
“What makes Siri so brilliant are the things it doesn’t say,” Craighill said later.
“Like any good political adviser, Siri makes one stop and consider the deeper connections behind certain issues. I think Michele Bachmann will be well served by having Siri in her camp,” she said.
BORING, OR – Owners of a small convenience store are seeking assistance after a tiny, life-like Wal-Mart commenced operations in their building last week.
“It just popped up overnight next to the Hostess Cupcakes,” said Scott Brownstone, owner of the life-size store.
The store’s opening has also attracted the attention of many nearby residents, who now frequent Brownstone’s store, if only to shop at the minuscule Wal-Mart.
“There used to be a steady stream of loyal customers buying my goods. Now they come in only to see what they can purchase at the tiny Wal-Mart,” Brownstone said.
Brownstone stated he’s frustrated with the number of people crawling on his floor to get a better look inside the store.
“Men and women on all fours, some in their Sunday best, straining to reach for microscopic flat screen televisions is not a sight I look forward to seeing,” Brownstone said.
Brownstone has filed a trespassing complaint with the city of Boring (pop. 5,600), but some residents don’t see what the fuss is about.
“No law has been broken. It’s just free-enterprise at work,” said Michael Hayfield, a local attorney and a self-described loner. “Most people are aware of macroeconomics. Well, this is ‘iota-economics’. It’s really small, sort of like my prospects of building meaningful, long-lasting relationships.”
The manager of the tiny Wal-Mart, Vernon Thumb, a three-inch-tall man, with a barrel chest, flowing brown beard and a shrill voice, said the store is here to stay.
“We are providing jobs for undeserved Elf-American and Gnome-American citizens in the community,” Thumb said.
Thumb refused to comment on whether his store provided employees with medical benefits or a friendly work environment, but insisted its practices were in accord with National Elf-Gnome Labor Relations Act of 1956.
City officials have yet to respond to Brownstone’s original complaint, but expect to do so after the next election.
In the meantime Brownstone can only watch and wait.
“How can I compete with a store that’s selling half-inch salmon fillets for a penny? I’ll answer my own question. I can’t,” he said dejectedly.
TAKOMA PARK, MD – Spend an afternoon strolling with Maybelle Trump and two things become evident. One, you’ve just wasted a perfectly good afternoon. Second, Maybelle Trump is stark raving mad about potholes. Meaning she actually likes ‘em.
Ms. Trump is spearheading a citywide campaign to save what she regards as the city’s historical legacy: its dozens of gaping potholes.
“See that one over there?” Ms. Trump asks waving a bony finger at a four foot wide crater on Elm Street. “It dates back to the week Jimmy Carter freed those hostages.” One block over we survey a “six-incher” into which a unnamed candidate for governor spit gum during a failed election bid in 1996. The gum is long gone but the memory remains.
Local chatter by patrons at Grey’s General Store overflows with pride for their prodigious holes. “I’ve got two of ‘em on my street. If anyone tried to fill ‘em I’d introduce their forehead to my cast iron skillet,” says ninety-eight-year-old Garvin Goafer. Others show framed photos of family gathering around their favorite pots.
Ellen Garvey honeymooned next to an eight-foot behemoth in 1955. “We setup a canvas tent in the middle of the street and went fishing when the pothole filled with rainwater,” Mrs. Garvey said with misty eyes. She still has the pictures and the husband to show for it.
Over at City Hall mayor Johnson Clydsworth is resolute. “The county has begged us for years to fill these holes. But I keep telling them to stick a sock in theirs,” Clydsworth said. He said the history alone makes them worth preserving.
NEW YORK CITY, NY – Authorities said Daniel H. McQueen, age unknown, has been holed up in a Wall Street water closet for an indeterminate length of time. Mr. McQueen, who had been protesting abuses by Wall Street elites appears to be shifting his focus toward more immediate concerns.
“Daniel ate jumbo shrimp which had been left out at room temperature for about a week,” said Gail Irvins, 65 who witnessed Mr. McQueen running frantically toward a nearby restroom. “Our guess is a mild food poisoning may be a contributing factor.”
A small group of stock traders had assembled earlier today protesting Mr. McQueen’s blatant misuse of a public facility. “We demand the self-entitled one-percent not monopolize a latrine owned by the remaining ninety-nine,” said white-collar worker Steve Barlentine as he pounded his fist angrily on the bathroom door.
Mr. McQueen has responded only with faint groans and hushed statements of personal regret.
NEW HAVEN, CT – Dr. Guinevere Allen III, a legend in the field of General Studies, is scheduled to present a lecture Friday night on the difficulties of rearing lower-level primates in arid climates. Event organizers warned however the topic is subject to change and that Dr. Allen may be a no-show.
“It’s anyone’s guess as to whether Dr. Allen will be there Friday night,” said Michael Young, a General Studies doctoral candidate at Albertus Magnus College. “But if she does show up, you can bet it’s going to be a wild ride.”
Young told of an occasion last year in which Dr. Allen arrived to a packed lecture hall wearing a red fedora and trenchcoat while riding a Siberian tiger. “She climbed off the tiger’s back and proceeded to grill the class on the numerous Generals of the Franco-Prussian war. Everyone was mightily impressed.”
Colleagues of the professor say her behavior is not a recent development.
“I met Dr. Allen at a cocktail party in the early 80’s,” said Cam Newton, Chair of the General Studies Department. “She wore a bright pink space helmet, cowboy chaps and asked me if I’d seen a quadratic formula lately and that hers went missing. Her humor and mystique charmed many that evening.”
Dr. Allen is involved in General Studies research around the world and many consider her to be a pioneer in the field. Three years ago she published a peer-reviewed article entitled, “Common middle names of the Ming Dynasty,” to rave reviews. In 2010, her article “My Cat is Talking to Me: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy At Home,” appeared in the New England Journal of General Studies and Undeclared Majors.
Friday’s lecture is free to the public. For safety reasons, children under the age of 12 will be barred at the door.