Medal-less Olympians to Receive Consolation Trophies

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Olympic Parents of America (OPA) has succeeded in pleading the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to award trophies to the their sweetie-pie Olympians who came back from the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics without a medal, according to a statement released by the IOC on Monday.

The petition was submitted when parents of medal-less Olympians began to notice how demoralized their little pumpkins appeared once the Games were over and everyone went back to not caring about winter sports. The petition’s authors lamented that there was nothing shiny to remind their children of their inherent brilliance and uniqueness because the honor of being selected to compete with the world’s top athletes “ain’t worth shit” and has the demeaning implication that some people are better than others at certain things, whether due to genetics or hard work.

“I have enough proof that my Johnny is special and deserves a reward for participation regardless of the outcome,” said Theresa Marlow, one of the petition’s initiators, whose son John Marlow placed 38th in 500-meter speed skating.  “Here’s a trophy for showing up to a soccer game in 8th grade, and here’s an honors student plaque that everyone in his high school received. And now these foreign idiots are telling me that he didn’t deserve even a ten-dollar generic trophy for flying all the way over to Sochi and trying his very very best? Like, what the hell do they know about parenting and motivation? I, as a mother, am offended.”

“The pigheaded IOC seems to operate based on an outdated understanding of the human mind,” said Richard Kotley, PhD, BA, BS, cognitive psychologist at the University of Totesville, Lakeside High School valedictorian, marching band’s clarinet section’s MVP, Dean’s List Nominee, Ms. Brown’s Class’ Best Backpack Award Recipient. “But it’s rather simple. High self-esteem, in addition to being the ultimate goal of education and work, is the most honorable of human achievements; winning boosts it. Research shows that in real life you win much more often than lose at things you’re told you’re good at, so why not make all competitions realistic by calling everybody a winner and giving them a trophy? Isn’t that the point of competing – to have fun and see how precious you are? Too bad the folks at IOC haven’t caught up with cutting-edge science yet.”

The IOC will send out the trophies, paid for and chosen by the OPA, in the first week of July. Each medal-less Olympian will also receive an OPA-designed, mass-produced card containing reassurances that he or she is unique and has exerted the most effort out of the whole team. The OPA declined to name the number of exclamation points used per card.

OPA’s president Michelle Perlett also said that a new petition to the IOC is in the final stages of drafting. It will plead for the abolition of hurtful ancient systems of ranking, timing, and awarding points across all Olympic sports, Perlett said.

Child Not Answering Call is Dead or Dying, Parents Think

Update: the tiny pink slice shouldn’t be there
Image source:

Researchers at Harvard University announced on Tuesday that the results of their study of the reaction of parents to their children’s not answering their phone, published in January in Journal of Family Psychology, were partially wrong, and parents actually never think that their child didn’t pick up the phone because of not hearing it or because the battery was dead.

According to the study, when their child didn’t answer their call, parents attributed this to the child’s dying 50% of the time, to the child’s being dead 49.5% of the time, and to the child’s not hearing the phone or the phone’s battery having run out 0.5% of the time, as shown in the chart. Reanalysis of raw data showed the latter 0.5% to be the result of an error in calculations and therefore does not represent actual parental reactions.

“That 0.5% alarmed us a bit because it was too high a percentage for a reasonable parental reaction,” said Christian Belzo, the lead author of the study. “So we went back to our numbers and redid the calculations and—phew!—it turned out that that tiny slice of the pie chart shouldn’t have been there at all. It was the result of a small math error in the beginning that propagated through further calculations and snowballed into a whopping 0.5%.”

Belzo said his group’s next study will focus on whether people ever attribute their friends’ not answering their calls or texts to anything other than the said friends’ hating their guts.

Pittiful News Reporter Fired for Fabricaiton

Dear readers,

We are (not) sorry to inform you that Richard Damey, a former Pittiful News reporter and writer, has been forever dismissed from the staff. Several of Damey’s articles were found to contain fabricated quotes and sources—a heinous crime in journalism. Damey admitted to have thought that he was being witty by making up quotes, that he was using a lie to show the truth, but to us it was still just a lie.

We here at the Pittiful News strive for quality investigative and news reporting, which in turn requires wholehearted commitment to the highest standards of journalism. Damey has violated these standards and thus your trust in us. We are truly sorry for this, and his dismissal is meant to show you where our loyalties and values really are. Our team of detail-obsessed professional fact-checkers has already begun attending an extensive series of fact-checking workshops focusing on catching the smallest inaccuracies before they reach the print again. We take these matters seriously and don’t want another smart-ass like Damey to undermine our reputation for hundred-percent truth.

We apologize yet again and promise to do all in our power to not let an incident like this happen in the future.

The Pittiful News Staff  

EPA, Obama to American Public: ‘We’ve Run Out of Animal Bloopers’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Troubling. Absolutely troubling. Another global environmental crisis looms on the horizon today as President Obama has stepped forward to notify American citizens the terrible news we all have suspected for quite some time: the world is out of animal bloopers.

Through a joint statement to the press by President Obama and EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, we have learned that: 1) the current rate of consumption of animal bloopers is far too high to be sustainable, 2) legislative action to address the lack of animal bloopers has stalled due to partisan gridlock, and 3) alternative sources for animal bloopers (e.g. watching your neighbor’s dog run into the new screen door, baiting raccoon to drink Four Loko) are underdeveloped and cannot be relied upon to supplement the decline.

President Obama explained, “Yes, I know this news is not ideal… Damn it! Sorry, I need a moment. [Pause] To be honest, it’s something we should have addressed long ago. Research in alternative methods to extract animal bloopers is still brand new. We have some promising experiments and tests that indicate two gerbils rolling down a playground slide could be pretty funny, but we’re just not sure.”

Political analysts on the scene were quick to pounce on the president’s emotional prose, noting that it seemed to be sensationalized rhetoric or mere scare tactics. Former GOP strategist Melvin Tyrell elaborated, “There’s a great deal of fabrication in this speech. We have been assured time and time again by independent scientific research that animals have always been and will always be blooptastic. I mean, for God’s sake, there’s no way elephants will ever stop flinging their poop around with their tails on passers by. This is just typical big government trying to convince us that Caribbean monkeys don’t get drunk anymore and touch ladies’ butts while cameras are rolling. I won’t have it.”

As 2016 primary campaigns approach, it is difficult to determine how either side of the aisle will take on this new issue. In the meantime, Hillary Clinton has promised to make stump speeches with a wise-cracking parakeet on her shoulder. For continued updates, be sure to check in with The Pittiful News.

You Are Sick, Weak, Need Help, Experts Say

You—yes, you—are indeed mentally sick, weak, and need help, stated a group of mental health experts totally not at all affiliated with the pharmaceutical industry in a special report published on Friday. The report is based on a many-year study of your deeply dysfunctional cognition, behavior, emotional responses, and psyche at large, and confirms your suspicions that your reactions to seemingly ordinary circumstances are sufficiently pathological for a mental diagnosis.

“Your occasional bout of anxiety is a sign of Unspecified Anxiety Disorder, a condition dangerous to ignore,” said Alexander Pomel, the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health. “Our studies have shown that what you feel while pondering the frustrating uncertainty of life or your toxic relationships with friends and family members is an abnormal response of your broken brain. Ditto for feeling dejected and hopeless sometimes. It’s not like there are things in life that are supposed to make you feel that way, no, you are sick with depression. There’s a chemical imbalance in your brain that prevents you from being quite jolly and has nothing to do with circumstances. Accept it. All psychiatric diagnoses represent legitimate medical disorders. I mean, you wouldn’t blame arthritis on existential angst or a tragedy, would you?”

The report also reminds you that your psyche is inherently weak and over the millennia of evolution has not developed its own coping mechanisms to deal with such things. The stresses of life in 2014 in particular are so unprecedented that it will take human psyche centuries to learn to neutralize them on its own, so meanwhile you must see a well-meaning psychiatrist before your disorder completely wrecks your life. The report advises you to do so the first time you wonder if there is something wrong with you; the earlier, the better.

“Although we’re not sure which mental disorder you have, we will diagnose you with one the first time we see you, because otherwise your insurance won’t reimburse your visit,” said Frank Neckelton, a spokesperson of the American Psychiatric Association. “We have a whole 900-page book of over 300 mental disorders, none of which can be diagnosed objectively and many of which have overlapping symptoms. Oh, and don’t fret if we don’t discover the real you there; if our new diagnosis is stretchable enough to include many patients and convince many doctors, it will become legitimate in a few years and your suffering will at last seem validated and meaningful.”

“But even before we diagnose you,” Neckelton added, “we can already tell you that your condition is chronic and you will have to pop pills for the rest of your life. Depending on what cocktail of medications we give you, you’ll probably become fat or zonked-out or have any combination of heart problems, tremors, insomnia, and many other fun little things, but hey, isn’t that better than the horrible withdrawal you’ll have to suffer if you stop taking it? Your brain is broken, buddy, and obviously nothing but medication can change that, so feeling bad about it would be as silly as feeling bad about having to take insulin if you had diabetes.”

The report ends with words of encouragement.

“You should abandon any hopes of a successful, fulfilling future, and reduce your ambitions and expectations of yourself to a bare minimum,” the experts urge. “You are chronically sick, your brain is deeply broken, and nothing can ever change that. We have MDs and fancy brain scans and colorful pictures of your brain in action to back what we’re saying. So don’t even hope to live a normal life. After all, you wouldn’t expect to dance if you were quadriplegic, would you?”

PETA Announces: "No, seriously. Screw Mosquitoes"

NORFOLK, Virginia — In a landmark press release just today, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals officially renewed its commitment to protecting all forms of wildlife… minus the mosquito. The statement read, “Although our organization has been protecting wild and domestic life for the greater part of thirty years, our work is far from finished. PETA will always side on behalf of our disenfranchised animal companions. Except the mosquito. Screw that thing.”

These words read as startling to some who were unable to comprehend the organization’s distinct turn away from a particular species’s rights. However, the piece did go on to address its mosquito-hostility, claiming “Each animal has a specific purpose. The honeybee pollinates flora, the deer spreads seed, even the stingray cleans the seafloor of overcrowding mollusks. But what in the bloody crap does the mosquito do? Seriously, does anybody know what the hell this thing is supposed to do?”

While these queries may have been enough to pacify most initial objectors, the statement’s author did manage to clarify anecdotally her hard line position. It continued, “Now, I love animals. Let’s keep that in mind. I run a dog shelter, cat shelter, goat shelter, and hermit crab hospice. But seriously, one time, this huge mosquito bit my friend’s arm. We swatted it away and then we both watched it fly into an open light bulb socket where it exploded. You want to know what it looked like? Sparky bug guts. You want to know what it smelled like? Victory. Mosquitoes deserve whatever the animal kingdom throws at them. I mean this.”

PETA has encouraged all existing members to join them in the first inaugural Screw Mosquitoes Fun Run/Walk 5K taking place this Fourth of July weekend. Each participant will be given an honorary medal along with a real dead mosquito they can string around their neck as a warning to any damn bug that wants to try nipping at our flesh again.

First-Grade Teacher Fired Over Not Knowing Everything

Nicole Blismuth, a first-grade teacher at Riverton Elementary School in Riverton, Pa, was fired “with a loud friggin’ bang” over not knowing everything, school officials said. The shameful incompetence came to light only in the closing weeks of the school year.

“It all began when the parents of one of her students called us and complained that their child was getting on their nerves with questions about the smell of the Moon and texture of the rainbow,” said the school’s principal Joe Koomva. “Naturally, parents demanded to know what their child’s teacher was wasting class time on if even such basic questions were left unanswered.”

The school began a full-blown investigation and tested Blismuth for hours. The results, Koomva said, were worse than just disappointing.

“It was horrible,” he said. “She didn’t know whether Spiderman would beat Batman, or why monkeys don’t evolve into humans, or why burghers don’t grow on trees. She didn’t know what thoughts are made of or how trees and mountains poop. My goodness, she couldn’t even estimate the length of 726 school buses placed head to tail or the weight of three minutes. We don’t want such amateurs teaching our kids.”

Robert Kip, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Education, said that the incident cannot be taken lightly and will trigger nationwide retesting of pre-K to 5th grade teachers.

“Kindergarten teachers must know everything, be able to do everything, be invincible and perfect in all ways so as to provide the children’s struggling mind with the image of a one-dimensional perfect human being that their parents no longer seem to be around this age,” Kip said. “If they don’t even know why they are real or who made water wet, what hope is there for the future?”

Yet Another Résumé-Enhancing Honor Society Comes to Pitt

The official emblem of the Alpha Alpha Alpha Alpha Honor Society

Alpha Alpha Alpha Alpha, a yet another collegiate honor society, announced in a press release that this fall it will open chapters in 50 new colleges and universities, including Pitt. “Seeing our past success in enhancing résumés and self-esteem, we wanted to spread our reach to more students in need,” the press release stated.

Joseph Mblo, the Prime President-Elect of Pitt’s chapter, said that AAAA is no different from any other honor society.

“You know, we admit anybody with a GPA above 3.5—oh wait, it’s 3.0 now, because we strive for diversity and inclusion—to recognize and honor their academic achievement,” Mblo said. “We call our beer-guzzling nitwits ‘scholars’ and do vague things like foster student community engagement, provide quality leadership opportunities and forums for the open-minded exchange of ideas, and cultivate a lifelong habit of critical inquiry and scholastic excellence. Although many of these involve pizza, sitting around, and designing t-shirts, don’t be fooled by appearances: it’s not what we do that matters, but why we do it.”

“The objective of the Society is to advance its own visibility and reputation, which might sound like a closed loop of meaninglessness but is totally not,” said Gwen Wumpa, the Honorary Vice Executive Secretary of AAAA, “and the benefits of being a member are many and precious. They embody the Society’s spirit of academic excellence, the spirit that makes students join AAAA. ”

According to the Society’s website, these benefits are: knowing that you’re in AAAA and being able tell others about it; certificate of lifelong membership, copies of which are sent to your parents and grandparents; opportunity to buy an AAAA key pin, badge, baseball cap, and t-shirt; society seal placed on your diploma, transcript, tombstone, and wherever else you damn please; society’s emblem tattooed on your forehead; and membership announced at your graduation ceremony through a goddamn megaphone.

Asked how many Pitt students have already responded to invitation letters, Daniel Pentik, AAAA’s Chief Managing Officer of Intercommunal Communications, said that the Society’s mission is to recognize and promote high scholarship and quality networking and leadership. “We strive to foster an enduring commitment to zealous pursuit of wisdom, honor and integrity in our members,” he said.