This week, I defer my thoughts to the professionals at The Onion, who have somehow found a way to make this incredible tragedy into something cuttingly culturally-aware and somehow sadly funny. Thank you, Onion folks. Job well done.
After the disastrous earthquake attacked Haiti recently, destroying much of the country and killing hundreds of thousands, American pop musicians did everything they could to help out. They sang their pop hits and created a compilation CD of their hits and gave profits to help with disaster relief.
While many are applauding their effort, some critics accuse the celebrities of not doing enough. Harrison Wyley, a local man who has donated a lot of money to Haitian relief, is not impressed by the singers’ showy efforts. He claims, “If I have $10, and somebody needs help, and I raise $100 for them by doing my job, I can feel pretty good about what I’ve done…but I still have $10. I haven’t given anything of myself to them.” For Wyley, a parallel situation is happening with the pop singers and Haiti relief efforts. Only multiplied by a million.
Haitians themselves are grateful for the songs. They claim hearing American pop music specifically geared or lyrically changed to highlight Haiti makes a day of cleaning up dead bodies fly by much faster.
A man who happened to stumble upon a lost Blackberry phone over the weekend is disappointed in its overall function. The man found the phone in the back of his taxi cab after being tipped over 30% in his last run of the night by a nice, innocent-looking female.
Rather than attempting to bring it back to her that night or being a good samaritan and turning it into the proper authorities, he chose to gut its SIM card and use it himself.
Unfortunately for him, however, the red Blackberry did not seem to be working properly. Not only was it pretty banged up, but it consistently erased his recent calls moments after he’d make a call. If he missed a call, it also did not say who called or record any number of the call, making him simply hope the caller left a message with a phone number. In addition, his “new” phone would periodically erase all text messages and emails, as if they had never existed in the first place without rhyme, reason, or warning.
Part of him wishes he had just returned the troublesome phone to the owner in the first place, rather than having a nasty karmic stain of stealing for such a pathetic phone. And, at least, maybe the friendly owner would have retained the key information she had in the SIM card that is now in the garbage.
But the other part of him loves the haughty status he now has through “owning” a Blackberry phone, no matter how poorly it functions.
It has been a tumultuous few days for the mother of lost blackberry phone, Velma. As the hours pass and various taxi companies confirm they have had nothing turned into them, Velma’s family has begun to slowly accept the tough fact that they will likely never see her again.
“It’s all my fault,” cries Velma’s mother of the incident. “She trusted me to keep her by my side. And I let her down.” Other family members try to comfort her by saying it was a simple accident. Some have even called it a “wardrobe malfunction” since she likely slipped out of a jacket pocket.
Nevertheless, Velma’s mother remains nearly inconsolable.
She recalls fond memories with her phone and constant companion of almost two years. She remembers dropping her numerous times, and each time Velma acted like nothing had happened. Velma made many phone calls that went through clearly, mediated many tough conversations made on the phone, and assisted in finding her mother great work throughout her tenure has cellphone.
“She will be dearly missed,” says Velma’s mother. “I think I’m going to finally upgrade to that iPhone I’ve always wanted, though…” she adds, with a glimmer of hope and excitement coming into her eyes for the first time.
And, like a new puppy bought in the wake of losing another in a feeble attempt to replace it, this new phone will be named Velma II. And Velma’s mother will guard it with her life.
A young woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous for security reasons, experienced tragedy on Sunday very early morning as she was returning home from casual drinks with her friends. She lost her cell phone.
Her voice quivers still as she recounts the horror of the moments between using her beloved device and realizing it was no longer on her person.
“I was making a phone call as I was being driven home by my taxi. I paid the fare, tipped way too much because I was feeling generous, and went upstairs to my apartment.” Her eyes, still red from the waves of almost nonstop tears, begin to tear up as she continues, “That’s when I checked my jacket pockets and it was gone.” Her emotions get the better of her and there is a long, pregnant pause.
Currently without a roommate and unable to make any phone calls of any kind, the woman was completely unsure what to do. She immediately emailed the police with her situation and told them to put out the Amber alert, traditionally used for missing children.
“I felt it was appropriate to use this tactic when searching for my Velma,” she says referring to her trusty companion. “I am excrutiatingly inconvenienced right now without her. And distraught. I need the community help me out as much as possible. Time is of the essence in cases like these.”
After notifying the proper authorities, the woman says she retraced her steps, walking back outside to the curb where the taxi first dropped her off. She claims to have stood there for long spurts of time, very likely leaving herself open to a gentlemen getting the wrong idea of her agenda at the corner. She says she was simply hoping the driver would swing back over and hand Velma back within the hour.
Instead, she pulled over another taxi and had a long chat with possible tactics before asking a random man in a car driving by for the use of his phone. Hoping the man was not an axe murderer, she dialed the phone several times. The somewhat tipsy good sumaritan consistently offered the woman a seat in the car, which she happily refused as she stood outside eyeing her door while constantly calling. Velma was likely staying rather quiet in the back seat, however, since she had been placed on “vibrate-only” mode. The kind, drunk man asked the woman if she needed a ride home, still unable to grasp-despite her consistent answers-that she was already home. She thanked him once again and ran upstairs to her apartment…once he was out of sight.
She admits that Velma had been getting older lately and had been acting up quite a bit, but she insists that her phone had remained steadfast and loyal until its disappearance.
The woman insists that the inconvenience and headache caused by a lost cell phone can only be compared to the dramatic feeling of something like having your leg removed during the civil war in order to save the rest of your body from infection. Sure, you may get a wooden replacement and will be able to hobble the rest of your life, but you’ll always miss your original part. And the world will never look the same.
Though a tragic murder took place over the weekend. A small child was brutally murdered-by a wayward and remorseful teenager- before they were even given a chance at life. Trisha Dorian, the journalist assigned to the grueling task of reporting the story to the general public, decided to take an alternate approach. Rather than sticking to boring, regular descriptions of murder, she wrote, “Teenager bamboozles infant in city home,” making the story both eye-catching and not nearly as heinous.
When asked about her curious word choice, Dorian said, “The reality of the story was too much for even me to handle. I had to make sure people would want to read the information, and not just turn them off by describing the scene in plain and simple language.” She claims to have gone through many different unusual and playful words, including cooky, nutso, fatso, lolly gag, aurora, and idiosyncratic, to name a few.
Eventually, bamboozled stood out from the crowd. Dorian explains, “Not only is it fun to write-what with it having two b’s, two o’s in a row and a z, it’s also fun to say. It makes it sound like you’re chewing on honey and a couple bees got stuck in it and want to get out. But in a friendly and fun way.”
Dorian has a history of taking tragic stories and softening them for a general public. A year ago, when writing about a mass murder at a local youth hostel, her headline read “Snore-phony Turns to Scream-phony then Silence.”
She says she plans on continuing to water down her tragic stories with wacky headlines as long as her readers wants. As for the actual content of the story, she remains completely apathetic.