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Opposite Day will be Free to Download for 48 Hours

Opposite Day: A Political Satire will be free to download for 48 hours, starting at midnight PST tonight.

Get your copy here.


After terrific year, music biz demands that world adopt “SOPA plus”


US millionaires support Buffett’s wealth tax, as long as they’re not the ones paying it

Someone has another idea of Opposite Day entirely. Happy birthday, MLK!

Someone has another idea of Opposite Day entirely. Happy birthday, MLK!


Opposite Day - SOPA

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was introduced in October of 2011 in the United States House of Representatives by Lamar Smith (R-TX). If the legislation is passed, copyright violators face a maximum prison sentence of five years, and fines not to exceed $5,000,000 [true]. That means that you could get 5 years in prison for uploading a song by Michael Jackson, one year longer than the doctor who killed him.

Hackers broke into Wisney servers this week and revealed a plot by the company to enforce its copyright of the character Simmba, from The Lionn King. Although Simmba is technically a Lion, the company felt that it is basically a ‘big cat, too.’

Hackers revealed documents showing Wisney had plans to launch a Not Laughing Out Loud Anymore campaign against the LOLcats phenomenon on the Internet. Wisney sought an imposition of a so-called Not-LOL-Anymore Levy, which would cost cat image uploaders $.01 per picture. The levy jumps to $.02 if the image is captioned.

Wisney also stated, “Uploaders are fond of captioning their cats in such a way that implies felines are lacking in their spelling and grammar capabilities. This is not acceptable, as it casts an aspersion on our character, Simmba, who is also technically a cat. Someone might see one of these, so-called LOLcats, and think, ‘hey, this cat has atrocious grammar, I bet Simmba does too.’ And that’s not acceptable. That’s not who Simmba is, that’s not what Wisney stands for. So you will not only pay a levy for each uploaded cat pic, but you are also forbidden from captioning said pictures with incorrect grammar or spelling. We are seeking jail time for violators.”

Hackers also unearthed sealed documents from a cabal of media companies who support SOPA. These include media conglomerates such as Universal, General Electric (NBC), TimeWarner, News Corp (Fox), Viacom and CBS.

Hackers have released the corporate minutes from a high-powered media executive retreat in Thailand.

“SOPA doesn’t go far enough, men,” spoke an executive. “Five years in a federal prison? Come on, man. We can do better than that. Everyone knows federal prison is where you go to play tennis and study up for the bar exam. We need to send these copyright parasites to a federal … how shall we say … Pound-Me-In-the-Ass type prison? We need to put the fear of God in these copyright succubi. They have to believe that if they download the new Britney Spears album illegally, they might end up in that Turkish Prison, as depicted in Columbia Pictures, David Puttnam-produced Midnight Express.

“SOPA gives us the power to censor entire websites. We’ll be able to make entire domains, like, just disappear from the Internet. Sure, savvy netizens will get around our blockade like some kind of Chinese dissident, but that’s not the point. Fellow media executives, I hate to say it but SOPA and harsh prison sentences won’t go far enough. We also need a backdoor Trojan installed on every computer in America. If some kid’s neighbor brings over the new 50 Cent CD to rip, how can we prevent iTunes from doing that? I know fiddy hasn’t dropped a ‘club banger’ in a while, but what if he does? There’s only one way: a backdoor Trojan spyware logger on every computer in America. One that we control.”

“Brilliant idea, Mortimer!”

“Then we’ll create a soviet-era, Siberian-esque work camp in northern Alaska. We’ll make the prisoners shuffle giant boulders back and forth. But we can’t just fill the prison with copyright pirates! No, of course not! That wouldn’t fill potential downloaders with the fear of prison rape. So first we stock the prison with 100 hardcore inmates—the kind you see sometimes on MSNBC’s excellent program, Lockup: Raw. With a gang of these inmates, it will put the fear of male-on-male prison rape in the mind of every file sharer in America.”

“You’ve outdone yourself this time, Mortimer! Our focus group studies have shown us time and time again—the only deterrent strong enough to prevent users from downloading stuff off the Internet is prison rape.”

Hackers claim they have unearthed 10,000 more pages of secret documents, similar to the above [not at all true, but also not hard to imagine].

This week, after news of Wisney’s Not-LOL-Anymore-Cats campaign broke, the company has backpedaled. Wisney states, “We no longer require a fee for people to upload LOLcats. We no longer prohibit Internet users from using incorrect grammar and spelling in their cat pictures. Oh and, we’re dropping support for SOPA and PROTECT-IP. We’re no longer influencing politics by donating millions of dollars to political campaigns. And we now admit, when you download one of our movies for free off the Internet—that’s a copy, not a theft. You wouldn’t download a car? Well what if when you downloaded your neighbor’s car, it made you an exact copy and left his car intact? That’s what happens when you make a copy. Wouldn’t everyone be downloading cars left and right, then? That’s what so-called ‘piracy’ is—copying, not stealing. Theft is when you take something from someone such that they are deprived of its use, like if you had actually jacked a person’s car and not just copied it. We’ll also be licensing our entire back catalog of films and television shows under the Creative Commons Share-Attribute license. That means you’ll be free to remix or mashup our content in ways we could never dream of. It will help our brand, and our business, in the long run. Sorry it took so long for us to figure this out! We appreciate your patience. And sorry again about our Not-LOL-Anymore-Cats campaign. IS OUR BADZ.”


Opposite Day - Chapter Two

Janice Meadows, a woman in her mid-thirties, grabs a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food out of the freezer. She plops down on the couch, ready to watch her favorite testosterone-fueled action movie.

Just as she’s about to down a spoonful of delicious, chocolatey goodness, her four year-old, Emma, chimes in from across the room.

“Not until you finish your vewwegable, mommy!”

“What?!? What the BLEEP!?!” says the mother.

Emma throws some baby carrots, peas and sliced hot dogs onto a plate. “Hewere, mommy!”

Janice reluctantly takes the plate. She eats the hot dog slices, slowly. While Emma is distracted by a toy, Janice lunges for the ice cream.

“No, mommy!”


“You have to finish uwr vewwegable, mommy!”

Reluctantly, Janice eats all but one pea. She picks up the ice cream.

“No, mommy! You didn’t finish youwr vewwegable!”

“Are you BLEEPing kidding me?!? One pea?!? Really? I can’t have my ice cream until I eat one last BLEEPing pea?”

“Vewwegable are good for you, mommy! You have to finish them!”

Janice eats the last pea and grabs the pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

“No!” Emma scolds her, snatching the ice cream.

Emma plops down a small bowl of peach yogurt in front of her mother.

“What?!? What the BLEEP is THIS!?!?” screams the mother at her four year-old.

“It’s yowgurt, mommy. It’s a healthy dessert treat!”

“Yogurt?!? Yogurt is not BLEEPin dessert!!!” Janice begins sobbing uncontrollably. “It’s not faaaaaaaaiiiiiiiir,” she cries. “I … want … my … ice … cream!


Manhattan DA drops charges against 21 Occupy Protesters


Opposite Day on Kindleboards


Flash Mob 2.0: Cash Mobs Help Small Businesses


Opposite Day Preview - First Ten Chapters

This is a preview of Opposite Day: A Political Satire, by J.R. Penstroke.

The following is roughly the first ten chapters of Opposite Day, made available FREELY for you to peruse online. If you get hooked, the complete work is available for purchase on

“It’s Opposite Day!” declared Billy Simmons, a third-grader at Lincoln Elementary. Billy lived in the small, rural town of Rolla, Missouri.

“Then where’s your dress?” retorted Fred, one of Billy’s classmates.

“I wish it were Opposite Day, too,” said a girl named Jessica. “We can pretend if you want, Billy.”

“Okay,” he said. But he wished Opposite Day was real.

Billy never really prayed. He didn’t think it worked. But more than anything, he wanted to play Opposite Day for real with Jessica, not just pretend. That night, Billy said a little prayer to himself.

“Dear God, I don’t know if you’re real. You let all those kids in Africa die when I asked you to save them the other month. They just needed some food. Pretty basic, right? You never bring World Peace, even though I know that there are a lot more people than me who are praying for that. So instead, I’m going to ask for something simple. I want tomorrow to be Opposite Day. Maybe the day after that, too, if it’s fun. That’s all, God. Nothing complicated. If you can’t get to my request because you’re working on more pressing issues, I will understand. Thanks, God,” said Billy. He unclasped his hands and climbed into bed.

What little Billy didn’t know—what nobody knew—was that Opposite Day was about to become a reality. An all-powerful council of twelve dolphins, known only as The Council, was convening off the coast of Brazil. They were there on vacation, just outside Rio, but were also attending to some council-related business.

All members of the twelve-dolphin council could sense Billy’s request. They could sense all things.

Billy’s request came in just as The Council was convening. Roger, known for his misshapen dolphin nose from breaking it one too many times, brought up little Billy’s idea to the council.

“Hey, so uh … whaddya guys think about lil Billy’s idea for an Opposite Day?”

“Roger, you know we try to minimize our impact in human affairs,” said Edward, or Fast Eddie as they called him. He was like the de facto leader of The Council, despite the fact that it was supposedly leaderless and always ruled by consensus.

“Motion to hear the request,” said Miranda. Most of the males on The Council had a secret crush on Miranda. They loved her floral-print tattoo that went up and down her shoulder. She had it done off the coast of Thailand.

“Seconded,” said another.

Roger continued, “I watch these humans and … sometimes, I just want to poke my eyeballs out, know what I mean?” Several council-members nodded in agreement. “I think they got stuck in a rut, you know? What if we were to …” Roger trails off, thinking. “What if we were to have an Opposite Day, just like little Billy said?”

“How would that work, exactly?” asked Finn.

“Well …” said Roger, still pondering how this could work. “Things would all be opposite, only not … everything. Just enough so that they’d get a feel for what it’s like, on the flipside, so to speak.”

“We’d have to scramble their brains,” chimed in Miranda, helpfully.

“Exactly,” said Finn.

“They can’t realize it’s Opposite Day. That would defeat the whole point,” said Miranda.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa … guys, this seems like a pretty big operation. You sure we have enough dolphin-power for this mission?”

“Eddie, you know dolphin power is unlimited,” said Finn.

“Agreed, I think this would be a valuable use of our resources,” said Miranda.

“Well, I guess we shall put it to a vote. As usual, move your heads in a circular motion if you agree with the proposal. Roger, the proposal?”

“I uhh … propose that we institute Opposite Day on Earth. For uhh … let’s see. As long as Billy deems necessary. All in favor?”

The entire Council, save Edward, began twirling their heads around in a circle. Fast Eddie saw that he was the only one with a stationary noggin. He joined in, reluctantly.

“The decision is unanimous then,” said Finn.

“Roger, the honors?” said Edward. He was referring to the all-powerful dolphin powers that Roger must activate, in order to make Opposite Day a reality.

“You got it.”

Roger commanded the Universe, on behalf of The Council:













Janice Meadows, a woman in her mid-thirties, grabs a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food out of the freezer. She plops down on the couch, ready to watch her favorite testosterone-fueled action movie.

Just as she’s about to down a spoonful of delicious, chocolatey goodness, her four year-old, Emma, chimes in from across the room.

“Not until you finish your vewwegable, mommy!”

“What?!? What the BLEEP!?!” says the mother.

Emma throws some baby carrots, peas and sliced hot dogs onto a plate. “Hewere, mommy!”

Janice reluctantly takes the plate. She eats the hot dog slices, slowly. While Emma is distracted by a toy, Janice lunges for the ice cream.

“No, mommy!”


“You have to finish uwr vewwegable, mommy!”

Reluctantly, Janice eats all but one pea. She picks up the ice cream.

“No, mommy! You didn’t finish youwr vewwegable!”

“Are you BLEEPing kidding me?!? One pea?!? Really? I can’t have my ice cream until I eat one last BLEEPing pea?”

“Vewwegable are good for you, mommy! You have to finish them!”

Janice eats the last pea and grabs the pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

“No!” Emma scolds her, snatching the ice cream.

Emma plops down a small bowl of peach yogurt in front of her mother.

“What?!? What the BLEEP is THIS!?!?” screams the mother at her four year-old.

“It’s yowgurt, mommy. It’s a healthy dessert treat!”

“Yogurt?!? Yogurt is not BLEEPin dessert!!!” Janice begins sobbing uncontrollably. “It’s not faaaaaaaaiiiiiiiir,” she cries. “I … want … my … ice … cream!

Rebecca King, reporter with Channel 6 News, is on the scene at the Dallas County Jail. It was nearly emptied last week after Congress legalized marijuana and commuted the sentences of all non-violent drug offenders.

“I’m here at the Dallas County Jail,” reports King, “which has expanded in recent days, taking over an area the size of four city blocks. A fence has been erected, with military tents and bunk beds for the prisoners. Most of the inmates I spoke with have never been in trouble with the law before. College students, business executives, and soccer moms are the new face of the American penal system. They all have one thing in common: they’re charged with alcohol possession under Congress’ new Deviant Spirits Act, ratified with bipartisan support.”

King walks along the fence outside the jail. A few of the prisoners whistle at her.

A calm gang of urban youth has gathered outside the fence, joined by a group of stoners. The youth are smoking blunts the size of dill pickles, while the stoners conspicuously take rips from their bongs.

A white man in his fifties clutches at the fence. He’s wearing a sports coat and khaki pants. One of the youth, smoking a Bob Marley-sized blunt, taunts the man behind the fence.

“How you doin’, playboy?” he says to the suit.

The businessman sobs.

“I was just enjoying a fine Scotch in the privacy of my home! I wasn’t hurting anyone!”

A stoner takes a rip from his bong. “Hey, do they serve bologna sandwiches in there? I could really go for one right about now.” His eyes glaze over. “I need hospital.”

A burly frat guy appears behind the businessman. The frat guy’s got a crazed look in his eye.

“Bub,” he snarls at the suit, “do you prefer jelly, or syrup?”

“What? For what purpose? Are they serving pancakes?”

The frat guy’s friend intervenes.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, brah! We’ve only been locked up for two days.”

The frat guy snaps out of it. “Oh yeah … I know. I was just, uh … playin. No homo, swear.”

Representative Tom Sense told reporters, “We, uh, you know … finally, actually ran the numbers on this whole alcohol vs marijuana thing. Did you know that 10,839 people were killed in crashes involving drunk drivers in 2009 alone? Sure, some cannabis users choose to drive while high, and that remains illegal. But they don’t pose nearly as big of a threat to society as drunk drivers. You might be wondering—what about personal responsibility? Can’t people choose to drink moderately, in the privacy of their own homes? Well, if we can imprison millions for smoking an herb, then we can find the political will and the way, for a beverage.”

A man and woman rush at each other, tugging on their leashes. The man is wearing a pink bandana around his neck. The woman sports an ugly homemade sweater.

“You smell nice,” he says to her.

“You too.”

The sniff at each other’s private bits.

“Mmmm, smells good,” he says. “Let’s have sex! Wanna have sex? Let’s have sex!”

“Yeah, let’s do it.”

“I don’t have balls, but I still wanna do it!”

Two Great Danes begin walking in opposite directions, pulling at the humans.

“NOOOOOOOO!!!” the humans shout.

“Call me!” she yells.

“I would but I buried my phone in the backyard!”

Down the street, a pack of five dogs walk calmly down the street, each with a leash attached to a jogger. The jogger is ahead of them, trying to run faster, tugging violently on his leashes.

“Over here! Can we go over here? It smells like crotch!” the man says, nose in the air.

He tries to say hello to another human but gets yanked back by his four-legged masters.

Billy Simmons woke up the next morning, blissfully unaware that a council of dolphins had intervened in human affairs.

“Mom,” Billy said, “you’re not going to tell me to make my bed before I go to school?”

“Of course not, Billy. You make all the rules in this house.”

Billy thought she was messing with him.

“You mean, so I can eat Lucky Charms in chocolate milk, with ice cream for breakfast?”

“Of course, Billy. Why are you acting so strange?”

But she was the one acting strange.

“With a side of bacon,” said Billy.

“Of course! I’ll have that ready for you in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.”

Mom’s lost her mind, thought Billy.

Billy got to school but things just kept getting weirder.

“It’s recess time, class!” Announced Mrs. McAdams, Billy’s teacher.

“But Mrs. McAdams, we normally have home group now. You know, reading and writing and junk?” said Melvin.

The class groaned.

“No, Melvin, don’t be such a Melvin,” she said. “It’s recess time!”

“YAAAAYYYYY!!!!!” cheered the class as they sprinted outside.

Billy played soccer and football and frisbee and basketball until his feet were bleeding.

“This is soooooo awesome, isn’t it guys!” said Billy to his mates.

“Yeah,” said a boy named Charles, “it’s almost like that Opposite Day you were joking about yesterday, Billy.”

Suddenly Billy’s world started spinning. He was about to blackout from the realization of what may have happened, when a soccer ball hit him in the forehead with a loud THWACK!

What Billy didn’t know—what no one knew—was that he alone had the power to end Opposite Day. At the moment, Billy was loving every minute of it. Could it really be Opposite Day? thought Billy. This is like, the best thing that ever happened!!!

A trading company spokesman in a pinstripe suit, on an all-white background. The Honest Mutual company logo is at the bottom of the screen.

“Here at Honest Mutual, we’ve decided to stop blowing smoke up your ass and just give it to you straight. Many of your IRA accounts are now worth nothing, all courtesy of our money managers. Sure, some of our funds and investments have made you money, but the vast majority have not.”

He walks through a busy trading area, a bullpen where brokers yell frantically at one another.

“What most people don’t realize is that 72% of money managers, not just at our company but across all funds, fail to beat the S&P 500 [true]. And for this disservice, these fund managers are paid tens of millions of dollars.”

He walks to the front of the trading bullpen.

“So, starting today, we’re laying off our entire staff, minus a few accountants and administrators.”

A record screeches. The bullpen grows eerily quiet as the traders all stop and glare at the spokesman.

The spokesman walks through the bullpen area, which is now empty. The financial section of a newspaper is taped to the wall. Page after page of stock symbols.

An adorable, infant chimpanzee sits in an Aeron chair, trying to throw darts at the wall. After a few attempts, the chimp finally hits one of the pages. A man in a white lab coat rushes out, noting down the stock symbol.

“Meet your new money manager,” the spokesman continues. “Bubbles, no relation, has a statistically better chance of beating the market than the guy we used to pay millions. And that’s a savings we’ll pass on directly to you, the customer.”

He hands Bubbles a banana.

“The best part is, Bubbles works for, and is, bananas around the office.”

A group of frumpy, middle-aged IT professionals are hanging out on a street corner. They’re wearing skinny jeans, keffiyehs, Vans, and faded t-shirts featuring logos of their favorite operating systems. They’re chain-smoking rolled cigarettes.

The guy in a Linux tee says, “Did you see that new kernel patch Linus released today?”

Another man, sporting a FreeBSD shirt, replies, “Yeah, we had that feature like two years ago.”

“Did you see that new meme on Facebook?” one says.

“Saw it before on Tumblr,” another says.

“Saw it before on reddit,” still another says.

“Saw it before on 4chan,” another says.

“You go to that site? I’m afraid to.”

Two skinny teenagers approach. They’re heavily tattooed and sport various body piercings. They’re wearing shirts emblazoned with the ‘Geek Squad’ logo.

“Did you hear that new band?” one says to the other.

“Was it on Top 40 radio?”

“Uh, I think so.”

“Cuz I will only listen to something if fifty million people also listen to it.”

“Well, they’re gonna be big.”

“Taylor Swift big or Celine Dion big?”

“You serious? No one could ever top Celine.” Just then his phone starts ringing. His ringtone is set to ‘My Heart Will Go On.’

The frumpy IT guy in the FreeBSD shirt shakes his head and mutters as they pass, “Fuckin’ hipsters.”

Charles Wadsworth eagerly awaited the Republican candidates debate. He was in the audience that night when the candidates were asked, “An illegal immigrant has been injured and is bleeding profusely. He shows up at an ER. Should he receive medical care?”

One of the candidates dared to say that he should be treated.

Wadsworth booed the candidate, loudly. Wadsworth smiled smugly, secure in the fact that he had millions of dollars in his bank account and would never face such a situation himself. If you can’t afford healthcare, maybe you shouldn’t have gotten hurt! thought Wadsworth.

Thirteen crotchety old white men sit around a long boardroom table. Their chief executive officer, Charles H. Wadsworth II, sits at the end.

From the other end of the table, the Chairman of the Board speaks.

“Charles H. Wadsworth the second, you have failed us in your capacity as Chief Executive Officer of EnnzoDyne OilCo. You earned this company $17.1 billion in profit this quarter, when our expectations were $17.3 billion. Somewhere, there is an African child playing in a field, and he is not covered with oil. Beneath him, there is hundreds of millions of dollars worth of pure, sweet Texas gold. You failed to extract this oil, executive Wadsworth, thereby costing us millions.”

The Chairmen of the Board begins tearing up.

He takes off his watch.

“Let me tell you a story. You see this watch? This is a custom-made Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, encrusted with $20 million dollars in black diamonds. But you know what? The other day, I was playing golf with the Chairman of Mevron, and he had a Patek Phiippe Sky Moon Tourbillion 5002 P, custom-made with $55 million worth of rare pink diamonds.”

The Chairman is so broken up, he can barely speak.

“Just two-hundred million more in profit, Wadsworth, and I could have bought myself that watch, and it wouldn’t have affected my Forbes 400 ranking. Do you have any idea what it would look like if I slipped down to number thirty-eight, from thirty-seventh on that list?”

The Chairman begins to regain his composure. He puts the watch back on.

“Mr. Wadsworth, you are hereby relieved of your duties as chief executive officer of EnnzoDyne Corporation. Please surrender the keys to your company Mercedes, company yacht and company Gulfstream V jet.”

Charles, stunned, digs through his pockets. “Oh, I’ve uh, never actually had the keys. I don’t drive, or fly, myself. I’ll have my people get them to you.”

“That’s fine. Also, your termination is effective immediately. That includes your Triple Platinum health insurance policy.”

Charles, in a daze, exits the boardroom.

The streets are a bustle beneath the towering world headquarters of EnnzoDyne. Wadsworth stumbles out the glass double-doors, stunned. He proceeds to hail a limo, but just as he gets to the sidewalk, an ugly maroon Ford Taurus HOPS THE CURB and slams into him.

Wadsworth goes flying. A loud crack can be heard above the low rumble of street noise. It’s Wadsworth’s tibia. His shinbone has cracked, protruding out through his leg and pants.

Blood splatters everywhere.

Wadsworth lets out a yelp, then a whimper.

An ambulance arrives shortly. The EMT hops out.

“I just need to see your medical insurance card and we’ll get you all fixed up, sir!”

“What? Can’t you just take me to the hospital?”

“We will, sir, but first we need to make sure you’re not just a hobo in a suit, trying to get free medical care.”

“Oh yeah, of course.” Wadsworth digs through his wallet. “Here you go.”

The EMT swipes the card. The reader flashes DECLINED in big red letters.

“I’m sorry, sir, your health insurance card has been declined.”

“What?!? I just got fired ten minutes ago. This can’t be right.”

He swipes it again.

“Sorry, sir, it’s declined.”

“Fine, whatever! Bill me later!” says Wadsworth.

“Sir, unless you have $1,600 in cash on you, we cannot give you a ride.”

“Who carries $1,600 in cash around in their wallet?”

“P. Diddy, for one.”

“Well, I don’t.”

“Sorry, sir,” says the EMT, climbing back into the ambulance.

The executive has managed to crawl his way to the nearest ER, leaving behind a trail of blood. A friendly nurse greets him at the door.

“Thank god!” yells the executive, “I am in dire need of medical attention! I’ve lost a lot of blood and think my leg is broken.”

“We’ll fix you right up, good as new, sir. But first I’m going to need to see your health insurance card.”

“What?!?” He digs the card out of his pocket. “Fine, here! Whatever.”

The nurse swipes the card.

“I’m sorry, sir, but your card has been declined.”

“What?!? The EMT said the same thing. Please, for the love of god, just get me some medical attention!”

The nurse looks down at her clipboard. “Well, let’s see what we can do here …”

The nurse looks up, saying, “Ahhh… Here we go. You just might be in luck, sir. At the behest of Republican presidential candidates, Congress just passed sweeping healthcare reform.”

“Oh, great! You mean they enacted a single-payer Universal Healthcare system so that even the poorest Americans could have access to basic care? So that the more than fifty million Americans without insurance could get preventative care instead of going to the ER for a runny nose? A system where families would not have to declare bankruptcy from medical bills, if their child gets cancer? Yeah, I could get behind that.”

The nurse reviews her paperwork. “Well, sort of … let’s see here. I could let you into the ER without proof of insurance if your household income is below $30,000.”

“Well, I’m worth millions so that doesn’t apply to me, of course.”

“Of course.”

“Let’s see … you just might be in luck! Are you an illegal immigrant, well, illegal Mexican it says specifically, living in this country without paperwork?”

“Of course not! Do I look fuckin’ Mexican to you?”

“There’s no need to use that kind of language, sir. If you were Mexican and living here illegally, we could treat you for a nominal payment of $25. You wouldn’t have your choice of doctor,” the nurse says, chuckling to herself, “but that doesn’t seem to be your biggest concern right now, now does it?”


An awkward silence spreads over the area as a crowd gathers ‘round.

One man walks up the executive, leans in and whispers, “Next time lie and say that you’re Mexican, dude.”

It was still Opposite Day, and Billy was flying high. All-day recess (except for that one annoying hour of class), ice cream for breakfast and never, ever having to clean his room. It now resembled a warzone; army men and legos were strewn about the floor like tiny plastic landmines.

That all changed, one week later.

Billy had been feeling more and more tired recently. He thought it was just all the recess. He had also lost a lot of weight. That Tuesday, Billy went in for a routine checkup.

“Wow, son. Looks like you’ve lost a bit of weight since we last saw you.”

“I kind of do a lot of recess, Dr. Cabin.”

“That can be tiring,” said the doc.

“Yeah, I’ve been getting pretty tired lately. I guess it started … even before all this recess.”

“Hmmm …” said Dr. Cabin. “Any headaches or spells of confusion?”

Billy thought for a while. “Now that you mention it, I’ve been getting more of those lately. They come on all of a sudden.”

Billy’s mom chimed in, “I’ve also been noticing a lot of cuts and bruises on Billy’s arms. I know they play a lot of ball, but it seems like he bruises more easily than the other boys.”

A look of consternation swept over the Doctor’s face. “We’re going to need to run some more tests.”

Greg Smith, nightly news anchor, delivers the news with a bland detachment reserved for zombies in their quest for brains.

“After passage of last week’s Mandatory Assault Rifle Carry Act, congressional Democracts are hailing victory. The rate of mass shootings has dropped to zero. Wait … my producers are telling me there’s a correction. The rate of mass intentional shootings has dropped to zero. Twenty-five thousand people have been killed or injured due to misfires and accidental shootings.”

A female announcer chimes in, “This Tuesday is bring your assault rifle to school day.”

In the calm suburb of Wildwood, Missouri, little Timmy Adams is fumbling to the bus stop with his over-sized backpack. His mom calls out to him, “Timmy! You forgot something!”

He rushes back into the house.

His mother hands him a stock M16 assault rifle, the same model used by troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Timmy stumbles back over to the bus stop.

“Keep us safe from terrorism, Timmy!” his mom yells.

Senators included text in the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which would allow American citizens, arrested on US soil, to be detained indefinitely and without trial at bases like Guantanamo [true].

This would seem to be in violation of the Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution, which states:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Today Obama repealed the 2011 NDAA, stating, “That this legislation was passed on my watch is a travesty. I quietly signed the bill into law on New Year’s Eve, an act of cowardice in and of itself. I would like to issue a sincere apology to the American people for passing this legislation—it was an unprecedented attack on American civil liberties. However, my actions today speak louder than any talking points I could regurgitate, so I will end my speech now. I’m a good guy, swear. May have lost my way for a while there, but I’ve got my mojo back now. Promise.”

One political analyst noted, “This is like the Obama that people actually voted for. It’s as if he’s taken his balls, which seem to have been kept inside a republican-controlled purse these past few years, and surgically reattached them.”

Five months ago, Billy’s father lost his job at the plant. HQ brought in efficiency experts to give him the bad news. “Workers overseas will do this work for half your salary. I’m sorry, but you’ve become a redundant corporate redundancy. We’re letting you go.”

Billy’s mom found work as a freelance graphic designer, but struggled to find clients. She got a second job at the grocery store, but her employer did not provide benefits.

Meanwhile, Billy’s dad struggled to find work. He answered every ad he could find on Craiglist, but the competition was stiff. The plants were all closing down. He, like many Americans, was ill-prepared for a Great Recession.

Forty-thousand Nickleback fans walked out of a concert today. After arriving at the concert and listening to a few songs, all but five of the concertgoers walked out of the stadium.

One Nickleback fan remarked to a fellow concertgoer, “They’re just playing the same song, but with slightly different, more crappy lyrics. I wasn’t sure if I could trust my ears or not, so I googled ‘nickleback same song twice’, and sure enough, when you play them side by side, they sound exactly the same!”

“Hey, you’ve got to hand it to ‘em. Why mess with a recipe for success?”

“I just hope they can sleep at night.”

Self-styled indie rock fan and music nerd, Jamiroquay Hipsterrdon, told us, “I have no problem with you listening to Nickleback in the privacy of your own home or car. It’s when it comes on over the loudspeaker at a grocery store, or at a sporting event, that we have a problem. Don’t even get me started on people who blast that shit out the rims of their Nissan Sentra, with the $2,000 soundsystem in the trunk. I realize everyone has their own musical preferences, but have you heard any other kind of music or bands? Ever checked out The Hype Machine or Thesixtyone? I’d rather be locked in a closet with Rick Astley singing ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ on an infinite loop than have to sit through a Nickleback song.”

Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger told us earlier, “Lame-ass authors should keep their taste in music to themselves.” Adding, “You’re not funny—you know who you are—and, political satire is an overrated genre of fiction.”

George W. Bush came out of retirement this week to lobby for the new America Reads Good But Could Read Even Betterer bill. The legislation, passed on Monday, swaps the Department of Defense’s $549 billion budget with the Department of Education’s $71 billion budget. Bush added, “It’s going to be hard to wage war on just $71 billion a year, but I’m confident in the resiliency and fortitude of the fine people we have working in the Pentagon. The DoE will probably find a way to waste a lot of that money, something that would never happen in the military.”

The Air Force held its first bake sale today. Following passage of the America Reads Good But Could Read Even Betterer Act, the military’s budget has been cut dramatically. A senior Air Force official told us, “We have enough money for planes, but not enough for the missiles that go in them.”

Private James Whedon, pilot, spoke to us earlier. “We’ve managed to raise $37.25 so far. The chocolate chip cookies are a classic, and have been a top seller, along with the peanut brittle. But the favorite among the guys has got to be my lemon bars. It’s a family recipe that was passed down by my grandfather.”

Whedon tells us that the Air Force will need to raise $299,962.75 more before it will have enough to buy its first missile. “That’s a lot of lemon bars! But I’m confident in our people. If girl scouts and PTA moms can do it, so can we.”

Back home, Billy had befriended a raccoon that he nicknamed Ralphy. Ralphy the Raccoon, he called him. Ralphy was a voracious eater. All the unused vegetable scraps, fat trimmings and leftovers that went bad, Billy would put out for Ralphy.

Then Ralphy stopped coming around. Billy’s scraps piled up in a hidden corner of the yard. One night Billy was out there, waiting for Ralphy.

Ralphy came sniffing around, but wouldn’t touch any of Billy’s scraps. That’s odd, thought Billy. Then a lightbulb went on in his head. Billy went inside and dug through the refrigerator.

Billy emerged with some leftover prime rib. He put it out for the raccoon. Ralphy wolfed the steak down.

“You’re a picky eater now,” said Billy.

“How did you know?” said the raccoon.

Billy thought he was hearing voices. But he swore he saw the raccoon’s mouth move, it was more realistic than a Pixar flick.

“I know you didn’t just talk, Ralphy. Raccoons don’t talk.”

“How do you know? Just because a Raccoon’s never talked to you before, doesn’t mean he never will. Maybe I just didn’t have anything to say? Ever think of that?”

Billy didn’t want to end up in the nut house, so he decided to go inside.

“I’ll see you later, Ralphy.”

“My name is Ralpholomew Bertrand Garbagedisposal, the Second, Esquire, thank you very much. But I suppose you can call me Ralphy. You did bring me steak.”

Whoa, this is getting heavy, thought Billy. I’m not just making this up; this raccoon really does seem to be talking.

“See you later, Billy,” said the raccoon, off in search of more choice cuts.

Billy stumbled inside, a daze.