NEWS

Police on bicycles fail to catch robber in wheelchair after low-speed chase

By Sam Hagan, Staff Reporter

THUNDER BAY – A paraplegic man remains at large after police on bicycles failed to catch him in a low-speed chase which started following a robbery early Monday night.

The suspect, who uses a motorized wheelchair, was able to escape police pursuit after holding up the cashier at a convenience store and demanding the contents of the till.

Eyewitnesses say the robber exited the store and fled north on the sidewalk at the wheelchair’s maximum speed of 18 km/h. He was soon spotted by two police officers who quickly mounted their bicycles and began the pursuit.

For onlookers, it was an embarrassing spectacle. The officers in question, who could be described as demonstrably rotund, had just returned from their lunch break and were not prepared for physical activity.

The bicycle in question was heavily adorned with decorationsAs for the vehicles in question, the officers had “personalized” them, adorning them with tastles off the handlebars, banana seats, spokey-dokeys, and bright-coloured baskets which were filled with bags, snacks, and other personal objects. The combined effect of the decorations was a significant drag, reducing the speed at which the officers were able to ride.

Worse yet, the loud clanging of the spokey-dokeys provided a clear signal to the suspect throughout the chase of the exact location of the officers.

The officers were unable to catch up to the suspect, and the man in the wheelchair was able to – very slowly – get away.

The incident has raised questions about the town’s Bicycle Patrol Program and has led many to question the appropriateness of such a vehicle for security purposes.

: P

 

UN celebrates Year of the Potato  

 

Chinese accuse UN of “cramping their style”

 

NEW YORK – On January 1, 2008, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon officially welcomed 2008 as the Year of the Potato. The event was well-attended despite a boycott by the Chinese, who see it as a slap in the face since they already named 2008 the Year of the Rat.

Since January, the international community has enjoyed three months of exciting, potato-related festivities and celebration.

2008 is International Year of the PotatoThe Potato is fifth in the UN Vegetable Zodiac, a 12-year cycle based on the lunar calendar. Each year is assigned a vegetable in a repeating cycle as follows: Turnip, Carrot, Pea, Onion, Potato, Green Bean, Leek, Cabbage, Eggplant, Lettuce, Endive and Cucumber.

The Vegetable Zodiac is a useful system to keep track of time in an organization in which it usually takes the full 12-year cycle to get anything done.

According to UN Astrology, the year in which a person is born determines certain elements of his or her character. Each vegetable is associated with an overall personality trait that corresponds to the characteristics of that vegetable – for example, Carrots are cheap, Endives are bitter, and Eggplants are fat.

People born in the Year of the Potato (1960, 1972, 1984, 1996) are said to be bland, starchy and dirty. They are generally quite unattractive, with coarse, lumpy skin and beady little eyes.

If you were born in the Year of the Potato you are thought to be a good home-maker who will go out of your way to make everyone comfortable. Potatoes are very popular and are able to make friends easily, but always end up extorting huge profits despite having very little to offer by way of personality, flavour, or nutrition. They excel in business and are particularly successful in the fast food industry. Potatoes are said to be very compatible with Onions and Carrots.

The Year of the Potato is fabled to be a year in which not much happens and nobody goes hungry.

 : P

 

Condo boom ignites fears of yuppie infestation

 

 

 

 

 

Condos -- the ultimate yuppie-magnetsInflux of some 500,000 yuppies expected to saturate urban cores across the nation 

By Sam Hagan, Staff Reporter

CALGARY – Yuppies across the country are on the move. After decades of picket fences, expansive lawns, culs-de-sacs and bungalows, yuppies are increasingly moving from their traditional suburban habitats to ever-growing urban centres.

According to Statistics Canada, approximately 500,000 yuppies across the country will move into large metropolitan locales in 2008.

This trend is largely fuelled by the rapid construction of stylish, two-bedroom suites in upscale high-rise condominium towers. Developers are targeting financially secure and self-involved couples who enjoy views of office buildings and busy streets from safe heights.

“It’s the fastest-growing housing market since Samuel de Champlain’s men settled New France,” says Ronald Smith, executive vice-president of the Canadian Construction Association. [Editor’s note: Mr. Smith is obviously doesn’t know shit about Canadian history. With only about 250 settlers in Port-Royal in 1605, Champlain’s settlers would only occupy a handful of these spacious, open-concept suites.]

 

 

 

 

Many city planners are concerned about how the yuppies are going to survive in inner-city districts without the basic amenities that they relied on in their former habitats.

For example, Calgary’s trendy Mission District still doesn’t have a Lulu Lemon or a decent espresso bar. You won’t find a single Whole Foods or Pottery Barn in Ottawa’s Byward Market. Toronto’s harbourfront doesn’t have a Mountain Equipment Co-op or a decent yoga studio. And you’d be hard pressed to find a Goodlife Fitness or Volkwagen dealership anywhere in the 10-block radius Vancouver’s downtown business district.

A playful yuppie couple in their new condoTo learn more about how any self-respecting yuppie could survive in such harsh living conditions, The Pundit interviewed Roger Steele, who has worked for 15 years at the African Lion Safari and is therefore an expert in habitat adaptation.

“When yuppies make use of a new habitat, they must initially compete for food, water, and other necessities for survival,” explained Steele.

 

“In the animal kingdom, interlopers are viewed by the native species as foreign competitors that may disrupt the delicate balance of the ecosystem.

“However in this case, rather than learning to tolerate unpleasant or blue-collar conditions, the new habitants will adjust the environment to their lifestyle. Often this stimulates a commercial boom in pet spas, health food stores, and Lacoste boutiques.”

While injecting much-needed capital, labour, golden retrievers and classical music into cities, the condo boom has also resulted in the eviction of lower- or working-class families. But with another 100 or so new condos still on the drawing board, the Canadian Construction Association “frankly [doesn’t] give a damn.”

: P

 

Firefighters not actually that hot: Poll

What is the world coming to? 

By Mondo Fernando, Staff Reporter

The average firefighter -- a bitter, bitter disappointmentThe Municipal Firefighters Association took a hit yesterday with the release of a poll indicating that public confidence in the sexiness of firefighters fell sharply between January 2006 and December 2007.  

Fully 91 percent of people questioned in December 2007 agreed that the Fire Department was “doing a good job of protecting and serving area residents.”

However, only 19 percent of the people who called 911 at the end of 2007 described the firefighters, on arrival to the site, as “sexy” or to “resemble Matthew McConaughey.” This number is down from 22 percent at the beginning of 2006.

Asked to describe the average firefighter, 62 percent of respondents selected either “short with a pot-belly and a mullet” or “old and bony with a bad moustache.”  

Only 16 percent of women described the average firefighter as a “hunka-hunka-burnin’ love,” and only 13 percent of men selected “someone that makes me want to leave my wife and pursue a gay lifestyle.”

The poll also revealed that an alarming nine percent of all calls to 911 are made under false pretences as an excuse for a crew of sweaty, muscular men to come rushing to their doorstep. This is due to the widely-held misconception that, rather than the legal penalty of a $350 fine per vehicle, people found guilty of fraudulent calls receive a playful spanking by the firefighter of their choice. 

Social groups responsible for the greatest discontent include desperate single women in their 40s and homosexual male firefighters across all income levels. 

The average firefighter -- or so the calendar would have you believeThe poll results sparked outrage across the city, with one interest group threatening a lawsuit against the Firefighter’s Association, which is responsible for producing the popular Firefighter Calendar.  

“This is a flagrant case of false advertising,” charged Rhonda Lopez, president of a citizens’ group called Cutie on Duty. “I don’t give a damn if the proceeds go to a good cause. [The Firefighter’s Association is] offering a product and they’re not delivering.”

Fire Department Chief Randall Myers, upon being shown the survey results, simply commented: “Fuck.” 

“Beggars can’t be choosers,” he later added, “and these guys are volunteers. On the upside, this may bring down the number of fraudulent calls from people that just want a spanking. You’d be amazed how many of those we get.”  

The poll, which was commissioned by the City of Toronto, costs $2 million annually and comes out of the city’s “essential services” budget.

: P

 

By Sam Hagan, Staff Reporter

 

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