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Five Ways to Repurpose Leftover Pumpkins by David Hadbawnik

October 12, 2016 1 comment

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David Hadbawnik is Lankville’s premier authority on the proper disposal of pumpkins and gourds.

Each day, I receive hundreds of thousands of emails from readers just like you, asking about proper methods of pumpkin disposal. So, for those in a pumpkin crisis, I’ve laid down a few easy tips. So grab a cup of coffee, take a deep breath, relax, do a few light stretches and then read on:

1. If your pumpkin is whole and uncarved…consider moving him (all pumpkins are masculine) inside to be part of your Thanksgiving holiday decorations! I can’t tell you how many people come up to me in restaurants, bus stations and outside and say, “David, you wouldn’t believe how a few pumpkins transformed my otherwise moribund Thanksgiving interior decor!” I’m never surprised– after all, pumpkins add a splash of orange to maize displays, cranberry candle exhibits and glittered leaf table decor. And they remind us of some of our earliest Lankville settlers who ate a lot of pumpkins so there is historical value.

2. Donate them to a zoo…there is nothing a zookeeper likes better than looking up to find a family toting a rickety wagon full of old pumpkins into the park. If they refuse (they shouldn’t!), then simply make a few calls to any nearby pumpkin farm worker and ask them what to do.

Unsure what to do? David Hadbawnik breaks it down for you.

Unsure what to do? David Hadbawnik breaks it down for you.

3. If you carved your pumpkin just a few days prior to Halloween, then you should be able to still use the innards (or, as I like to call it, “the orange gold”) for soups, pies, candy or soda. Note: a 5-pound pumpkin can make about two 9-inch pies (utilize an electronic device for further calculations).

4. How about trying to learn more about pumpkins? Understand them better? Start a neighborhood garden and pumpkin dump. Get to know the people in your community.

5. Feed your pumpkins to a horse– or to someone who has a horse. Always ask permission first! Horses love pumpkins almost more than zoo animals. In fact, of all the animals, horses are known to like pumpkins best. (Reader recommendation).

As always, enjoy and happy holidays!

DHad

Gourds in Summer: The Sleeping Giant?

June 22, 2016 Leave a comment
Dr. David Hadbawnik

By Dr. David Hadbawnik

Dr. David Hadbawnik is Lankville’s premier authority on gourds.

You thought gourds were for autumn, the time of cider and the harvest and little people in funny hats. You thought – thanks to my previous column in THIS paper – gourds could be good for Christmas, as ornaments, gifts, holiday dream-scapes. But gourds in summer? If, perchance, the thought crossed your mind, like a big red pumpkin flying through the evening sky, no doubt you immediately dismissed it. Ridiculous! you thought.

You were wrong.

Gourds in summer are a gift, a gift I now wish to share with you. All it takes is a little love and a lot of ingenuity. You have to really want a summer gourd. Do you want it? Do you?

I thought so. Now that the idea is in your head, you can feel the love spreading out slowly, softly. Follow that love into the fields, near the meadows where a stream quietly trickles, nestling the banks with moisture. Find a rich, moist spot of ground and start digging.

Have you found anything yet? No? Keep digging.

Summer gourds don’t just jump out of the earth into your arms. It might take an hour. Three hours. Half a day. Oh, the times I’ve spent searching and digging for summer gourds. I could tell you some stories.

Let me just say that it’s always been worth it. When my fingers bump against that hardened green flesh, when I clear away the dirt and feel the shape of the gourd against the palm of my hand, when I finally pry it loose… Let me just say, it’s very satisfying indeed. Like finding a long-lost child. A child you never knew you had.

So keep digging, my friends, and find your summer gourd. They are out there, in the valleys and fields and dales, a summer giant waiting for your touch to free them. Enjoy!

OPINION: I’m Jolly Roger, and I’m Jolly Well Going to Rape and Pillage Along the Coast of Lankville this Spring

March 23, 2016 Leave a comment

2ba96638-8ddb-4936-8da2-1e2cfc746513Did you ever notice that no one ever uses the word “pillage” without appending said word to its cousin, “rape”? The Oxford English Dictionary defines “pillage” as “The action or an act of plundering, sacking, or looting a place, esp. in war; depredation, robbery. In early use also: extortion; unjust taxation or exaction (obs.).” “Rape,” meanwhile, can mean “The act of taking something by force; esp. the seizure of property by violent means; robbery, plundering. Also as a count noun: an instance of this, a robbery, a raid.” More commonly, in our modern usage, of course, it means “the act or crime, committed by a man, of forcing a woman to have sexual intercourse with him against her will, esp. by means of threats or violence. In later use more generally: the act of forced, non-consenting, or illegal sexual intercourse with another person; sexual violation or assault.”

Words matter. Their definitions matter, too.

I’m a married man myself. I don’t care for nonconsensual sexual intercourse; most of the year I live quietly with my wife and children, along with our two dogs, in a secluded cove in the Southern Exotic Islands. Occasionally I take the boys out and we throw the odd stone at a Caramel Dragon. That’s about the most exciting, and, from an ethical standpoint, questionable thing that we ever get up to at home.

But I’m a pirate. So when spring comes I don’t stand on ceremony, or engage in sophistry or euphemism. No pirate has ever gotten anywhere by shouting, as he jumps from the poop deck to the gangway and from the gangway to the gangplank, boarding his victims’ ship, “Avast ye! I’m here to extort you by unjust taxation!” So I rape. And I pillage. In that order.

You see, when I board that ship and set sail over the Lankville Straits to the Partial Icy Regions, and I catch sight of you through the “spyglass,” to me you are not a fellow citizen or sailing enthusiast enjoying the fine spring weather we enjoy in these parts, taking your ease on a boat or at the beach; you are a “landlubber,” a “scalawag,” a “picaroon”; depending on age and gender, you may also be a “strumpet” or a “wench.”

And you had better believe I will treat you as such.

Indeed, I’ll not be “hornswaggled” out of what’s rightfully mine. So you can expect lots of raping, and lots of pillaging. When that’s done, you can expect to “dance the hempen jig” and sleep in “Davy Jones’ locker.” That’s just the way it is. I didn’t invent these terms, and I didn’t make up the rules. When you’re at home, you don’t “pillage” the icebox (I hope!); you open it, select what you want, your cheese and bread and beverage, and then you close it again. I do, too.

But in spring, when the days get longer and my sails grow full with a nice warm breeze, well, then it’s a different story altogether: I’m jolly well going to rape and pillage. I’ll do it cheerfully, indiscriminately, and not without (I hope!) some kindness and humility. And if there’s time, I might even get in some plundering, too.

Running with the Bumpkins – a Lankville News Special Report

February 26, 2016 Leave a comment
By Ida Rumpus

By Ida Rumpus

This is the time of year when dedicated runners begin gearing up for the Vitiello Decorative Hams Lankville Marathon, which takes place on April 17 (registration now open). With shoes laced tight and parkas secure against harsh winds blowing down from the Lankville Partial Icy Regions, intrepid citizens begin venturing out on longer and longer training runs, dreaming of their upcoming jaunt through “Pork Glitter Alley” (miles 10-13) or anticipating the grueling crucible of the “Chute of Shame” (miles 18-22).

But some would-be marathoners have reported strange sightings as they wind through “The Woods” or circumambulate The Mud Pits during longer runs: Odd shapes keeping pace with them for a mile or two, sticking close to the shadows, making cooing noises before mysteriously dropping away.

Having sifted the facts and interviewed dozens of local fitness enthusiasts – not to mention studying footage and images hurriedly shot by panicked runners – this reporter has uncovered the alarming truth: The bumpkins are running. In droves.

This bumpkin attempted to give a press conference on the running phenomenon but ended up just waving his arms for 45 minutes.

This bumpkin attempted to give a press conference on the running phenomenon but ended up just waving his arms for 45 minutes.

“Bumpkin behavior is hard to predict, especially as the weather turns,” noted Detective Gee-Temple, who has become somewhat of an expert as he continues to work the “bumpkin beat” for the Lankville Police Force. Yet area psychologist Winifred P. Temple (unclear relation to the detective) believes bumpkins are given a bad rap. “They’re people. They’re outside. They need exercise, just like everyone else. Sue them,” she said.

Berenice Cradles, millennial entrepreneur and recent MacLankan Genius awardee, is planning to run her fifth consecutive Lankville Marathon this spring. She was out running last weekend in the Deep Lankville Basin Area, a loop that allows her to do “double duty” and inspect ongoing construction on her upcoming mixed-use complex, tentatively named {[@**]}, when she noticed a band of bumpkins jogging alongside her.

“Normally I like to run with my posse,” said Cradles, “but sometimes you just need to get out and let the ideas flow.” Cradles was blissfully riffing on anagrams for her favorite slogan “Lankville: Comeback Nation,” (“Love me, taint ball knock…”) when she saw them. They were surprisingly spry, averred the young genius, with five or six bumpkins moving swiftly through the undergrowth and gravelly pits spotting the Basin.

“I have to say, the bumpkins were pushing me there for a little while.”

Then as Cradles neared her Prius, parked at the Three Pines Double-Tiered Strip Mall, the bumpkins suddenly disappeared.

Ex-boyfriend Josh Wilson-Shires, who’d waited patiently in the car to drive Cradles home, was disturbed when she told him of the incident.

“Harmless or not, I don’t like it,” he said, echoing the sentiments of many Lankville residents. Yet it remains unclear what, if any, laws the bumpkins might be breaking as they shadow runners on their routes about town – or what, if anything, can be done about it.

Five Ways to Repurpose Leftover Pumpkins by David Hadbawnik

November 3, 2015 Leave a comment

FROM THE ARCHIVES

By David Hadbawnik

By David Hadbawnik

David Hadbawnik is Lankville’s premier authority on the proper disposal of pumpkins and gourds.

Each day, I receive hundreds of thousands of emails from readers just like you, asking about proper methods of pumpkin disposal. So, for those in a pumpkin crisis, I’ve laid down a few easy tips. So grab a cup of coffee, take a deep breath, relax, do a few light stretches and then read on:

1. If your pumpkin is whole and uncarved…consider moving him (all pumpkins are masculine) inside to be part of your Thanksgiving holiday decorations! I can’t tell you how many people come up to me in restaurants, bus stations and outside and say, “David, you wouldn’t believe how a few pumpkins transformed my otherwise moribund Thanksgiving interior decor!” I’m never surprised– after all, pumpkins add a splash of orange to maize displays, cranberry candle exhibits and glittered leaf table decor. And they remind us of some of our earliest Lankville settlers who ate a lot of pumpkins so there is historical value.

2. Donate them to a zoo…there is nothing a zookeeper likes better than looking up to find a family toting a rickety wagon full of old pumpkins into the park. If they refuse (they shouldn’t!), then simply make a few calls to any nearby pumpkin farm worker and ask them what to do.

3. If you carved your pumpkin just a few days prior to Halloween, then you should be able to still use the innards (or, as I like to call it, “the orange gold”) for soups, pies, candy or soda. Note: a 5-pound pumpkin can make about two 9-inch pies (utilize an electronic device for further calculations).

Not sure what to do with ALL THOSE PUMPKINS? David Hadbawnik breaks it down for you.

Not sure what to do with ALL THOSE PUMPKINS? David Hadbawnik breaks it down for you.

4. How about trying to learn more about pumpkins? Understand them better? Start a neighborhood garden and pumpkin dump. Get to know the people in your community.

5. Feed your pumpkins to a horse– or to someone who has a horse. Always ask permission first! Horses love pumpkins almost more than zoo animals. In fact, of all the animals, horses are known to like pumpkins best. (Reader recommendation).

As always, enjoy and happy holidays!

DHad

New Dance Craze Hits Town, as Everybody Does the “Lankville Shuffle”

October 27, 2015 Leave a comment
By Ida Rumpus

By Ida Rumpus

It’s hip. It’s here. It’s new. It’s now. When local thrill-seekers like well-known couple Dick and Tammy La Hoyt strap on their dancing shoes and saunter out to trip the light fantastic, there’s a new move that sets their toes tapping and hearts racing more than any other: the “Lankville Shuffle.” From the greasy jukebox in Pizza A-Round to the plush ballroom in Casa Montecristo (elegant reception hall), it’s got Lanvillians up out of their seats and shakin’ what they got.

“We love it,” said Tammy La Hoyt, showing off the move with a startled customer on the floor of her salon, Tammy’s Nails. The svelte salonista deftly dipped her shoulder, swung her hips left, right, left, and guided her and her partner’s feet through the dance’s signature move: a swift shuffle in complex 4/3 time. “Dick can’t get enough of it, and dancing keeps him from getting punched in the face, for the most part, so it’s a win-win-win!” she added.unnamed

All right – but what about Lankville’s burgeoning millennial population? Surely these cutting-edge youngsters, the pride and future of Lankville, aren’t partaking in something as passé as – cutting a rug?

“I do it all the time,” texted millennial extraordinaire (and recently named “MacLankan genius”) Berenice Cradles. “We all do it. We love doing it. I just finished doing it, and I’m about to do it again.” Cradles added that she was going to meet friends Tori Loops, Allison Hunter-Awnings, and Emily Freedmont-Westerbrook for a quick bite of some wild pumpkin seed brie on compost chips at PAO QUOTIDIAN, where she’d asked ex-husband Josh Wilson-Shires to pick them up and take them out to do the “shuffle.”

Reached at his tent in the parking lot of Cradles’ newest development project, Wilson-Shires confirmed the plan.

unnamedNo one is sure where the “Lankville Shuffle” originated. Some believe it emerged from the infrequent meetings of area cat-lovers, who gather in various locales to regale one another with images and stories of their feline friends. A discussion at one of the meetings – which are, unfortunately, shrouded in secrecy – may or may not have concerned funny cat movements, which a member of the unofficial society demonstrated for other attendees, thus birthing the area’s newest dance craze.

Others believe the “shuffle” is old as Lankville itself.

“I’ve been doing that dance for years,” said Ric Royer, the enigmatic business magnate who recently finished a disappointing third in the Lankville presidential race. “Only we didn’t call it the ‘Lankville Shuffle,’ and the key steps were in 6/4 time, not 4/3. Also, we did a little dip at the end, not that crazy swirl they’re ending it with now. What is that?” he added, exasperated. “It’s just a poor imitation of the ‘Pondicherry Slide,’” sneered Royer, rehearsing the moves while humming an enigmatic tune.

No matter where the dance came from, most agree it’s a hit; old or new, young and old, in, out, over, around: everybody do the Lankville Shuffle!

BREAKING: Pondicherry Wins Election

October 20, 2015 Leave a comment

Decision 2016

By Bernie Keebler

By Bernie Keebler

LANKVILLE ACTION NEWS: YES!

In a surprise move, President Pondicherry has won his re-election bid for 2016. Sturdy Teddy was named Vice-President.

The results of the recent national poll were declared official in lieu of an actual election.

“I’m lusciously delighted with the results,” said Pondicherry, who secures his second term as President. “This is a great, sturdy, robust nation. We will move forward. It may be a slow forward progress. There may be times when we may even be appearing to move backwards. But in the end, there will be gain.”

Poll results (now official)

Poll results (now official)

Only 49 Lankvillians voted in the national poll (now Presidential election). Pondicherry received 32.65% of the vote.

Sturdy Teddy, who recovered from a close-range shooting, secures his first Vice-Presidential nod.

“We chose Sturdy Teddy because of his resourcefulness,” said Pondicherry, at a small election party held in someone’s front yard. “He comes from the hills, a person of the lowest rank, who has forged a path of decency and public service.”

Shortly before alighting the podium to deliver his acceptance speech, Sturdy Teddy was shot in the face. He is expected to recover.

David Hadbawnik of the Gourd Party placed 2nd in the poll (now Presidential election) and Ric Royer of Hell was third.

Bringing up the rear were Dr. Nickelbee of the Green Sanity Party, Amanda Jennifers of the Morality Party and Randy Pendleton of the Lankville Heritage Party.

No candidate has yet to issue a concession speech.

“And I won’t,” said Hadbawnik, from Gourd Party headquarters in the Snowy Lake District. “This is an absolute abomination. This is a rape of the democratic, Lankvillian process. It won’t stand.”

Couple Invited to Cat-Lover’s Luncheon

October 14, 2015 Leave a comment
Buck Igloos

By Buck Igloos

Whatever you do, don’t tell Katie Lynn and Ralph Waldo Rumpus there’s nothing exciting happening in Lankville on a Saturday afternoon. (Katie Lynn is a distant relation to Genevieve Rumpus, of “No More Fucking Around” fame and a recently named MacLankan “genius,” but no relation to the Ida Rumpus who reports for this paper.) The couple were recently invited to a specially organized “cat-lover’s luncheon” this Saturday at the swanky “Moon Room” in Casa Montecristo (an elegant reception hall).

The Rumpuses

The Rumpuses

Deejay Humphrey, back from a tour/recovery period in the Lankville Partial Icy Regions, has been engaged to provide sedate, tasteful musical accompaniment for the luncheon. He enjoys working with the cat-lovers, whom he describes as “a festive group. “They know what they want, they know how to have a good time without going overboard.” Most of all, he added, “they appreciate a solid beat, with some bass and random squealing and reverb. They get me. I like that.”

There will be a buffet of puffy pastries, sweetmeats, and noodles of some type.

The Rumpuses can’t wait. For years, they’ve cultivated an image of people who really, really love cats, caring for two themselves and always offering kindness (and kibble) to kitties around their neighborhood in Lower Lankville Heights. They knew of the infrequent and elaborately planned cat-lovers’ luncheons, but until now had not secured an invite. “I mean, who do you gotta blow, right?” laughed Katie Lynn Rumpus as she ran her hand up and down the back of a purring feline on her front stoop.

Cat (file photo)

Cat (file photo)

Ralph Waldo Rumpus, meanwhile, admitted that his expectations for the luncheon are “pretty much off the charts.” With wild eyes and childlike exuberance, he listed the activities and conversational tidbits he anticipates at the gathering: “Of course we’ll exchange photos of our kitties,” he said. “I’ve been going through scrapbooks, and I’ve got a good selection that takes us through the kitten to adult stages.” There will be anecdotes, Rumpus added; perhaps even tales of the famous “Mittens,” a rarely seen calico cat with distinctive markings known to frequent the Woods.

A more formal element of the luncheon will be provided by Lankville veterinarian Marla Tibbs, who will offer advice (and answer questions) on nutrition and cat hygiene during dessert.

“Really, though, this will be about community,” said Rumpus. “A community of cat-lovers.”

It’s been a long wait, but for this area couple, the cat’s finally out of the bag.

Meet the MacLankan “Geniuses” for 2015

October 2, 2015 Leave a comment
By Elliott Cumber-Lanny

By Elliott Cumber-Lanny

Berenice Cradles, millennial preservationist-entrepreneur extraordinaire, was polishing a knob in an old bungalow in the Western Lankville Plains, which she’d purchased for $113.56 in a silent auction the week before. She was just asking her ex-husband and former business partner Josh Wilson-Shires if he could see his reflection in the shiny brass surface when the call came.

Dick LaHoyt, artist, popular columnist, and Lankville presidential candidate, was staring into the barrel of a Schlossberg 750 Royal shotgun, psyching himself up for a campaign speech he was about to give to a group of senior citizens at Eastern Hills Easier University, when his wife Tammy gave him the news.

Ashley Pfeiffers’ new boyfriend was “laying down some gnarlsty tracks” for his upcoming solo EP, One for the Blumpkins, when Ms. Pfeiffers excitedly rushed over from her Barlow Foods High Groceries cheerleading squad practice to tell him.

“I tried to stay swizzy,” said Ashley Pfeiffers’ new boyfriend. “But there’s no way to stay swizzy,” he added as Ms. Pfeiffers beamed proudly beside him.

Cra

Berenice Cradles: Some Kind of Genius

These three were among the dozen Lankvillians honored with a MacLankan “genius” award for 2015. The award – which is given after a rigorous but secretive selection process – comes with a $750,000 stipend and a lifetime supply of single-serve plastic utensils from Barlow Foods, which has sponsored the MacLankans since 1987.

“There are no restrictions on how they spend that money,” noted Barlow Foods CEO John Barlow. “Well, almost none,” he added, admitting there is a strict prohibition on the use of MacLankan funds for Vitiello Decorative Hams products. Since 1993, founder and CEO Chris Vitiello has sponsored the “Hammies,” a rival award, considerably less lucrative than the MacLankans.

“We want people to shake things up, feel free to take chances, think outside the box, stretch the limits of Wow,” Barlow said from his command-cave. “Like when I thought of unwrapped, single-serve utensil dispensers,” he said. “It takes a man freed from the confines of convention and the everyday rigmarole to come up with an idea like that. Now, you’ll have to excuse me,” he said. The sound of heavy machinery and small explosions then followed as he set the phone down without hanging up.

Ms. Cradles, already well known as a mover and shaker in what she calls “the Next Lankville,” has exciting plans for the unexpected windfall.

“Well, it’s sort of unexpected,” she said over a half-frap soy-chini at Emoti-Flan. “I mean, I planned to win a MacLankan before I turned thirty, and here I am with three years to spare,” laughed the winsome 27-year-old. Former husband Wilson-Shires nodded with a painful expression. “She did always say that,” he murmured feebly. The funds, said Cradles, will go towards an ambitious development project in the Southern Exotic Islands, where she has already turned her refurbishing eye, purchasing several tracts of wetlands and unincorporated swamp. “What do you think of when I say ‘Southern Exotic Islands?’” asked Ms. Cradles rhetorically, instantly answering: “Caramel Dragons, right?”

Dick La Hoyt

Dick La Hoyt

Cradles then outlined her plan to build a small preserve for the Dragons and surround it with mixed-use structures, sustainable lots, and communal living units. Jilted husband Wilson-Shires stared morosely as she ran through the details.

Mr. LaHoyt, whose presidential bid had been flagging amidst scandal and lack of real effort, vowed to pump some much-needed funds into his campaign. “But let’s face it,” he added, “I’m going to be buying a lot of shotgun shells and pizza with this money, and maybe some of that fancy liquor that comes in, like, a vial or whatever.” He thought for a moment. “Yeah. A lot of little bottles with fancy names and stuff.”

Ashley Pfeiffers’ new boyfriend allowed himself a slight, wry smile as he listened to the Barlow Foods Committee offer an assessment of his creative work: “The cassette tape Reductio ad My Johnson was both uplifting and disturbing, forcing the listener to stare into the abyss of the self while seizing on a strange sense of wonder.”

“I guess I’m sort of izzled by it all,” he admitted. “I want to thank the academy, or, whoever, for this.”

“I LOVE YOU SO MUCH,” added Ms. Pfeiffers.

Other winners of the MacLankan for 2015 include Sarah Samways for her impressionistic reports and consulting work; Brian Schropp for his essays on cuisine and persistent demeanor; and Genevieve Rumpus (no relation to the Ida Rumpus who reports for this paper) for her popular “No More Fucking Around” workshops, symposia, and related products and services.

Lanklove on the Rocks: Sex Scandal as Popular Site Gets Hacked

September 14, 2015 Leave a comment
By Lloyd Byas-Kirk

By Lloyd Byas-Kirk

“CAUGHT IN A BAD ROMANCE”

Dave Schlarsberger, married for 22 years and assistant vice president in the Office of Financial Excellence at Lankville State University for almost as long, was looking for a bit of discreet “companionship.” Katie Lynn Rumpus wanted to find someone with whom she could, in her words, “work out the kinks” in what had become a sedate home life with her longtime husband. The two found each other via the popular Lanklove.com online dating interface – and now all of Lankville has found them out.

Sc

Dave Schlarsberger: Wanted Snacks, Not Hacks

Late last night a group of “hacktivists” calling itself the Lanklove Liberation Front dropped 22 jigabites of data into a “dark corner” of the News parking garage, containing the names, addresses, and predilections of thousands of local residents. The LLF announced it had breached Lanklove servers several weeks ago, and demanded the popular site immediately begin offering specialty sandwich and decorative ham delivery in addition to its other services. CEO Knute Beiderbecke staunchly resisted this demand, pointing out that the hiring of drivers to deliver said food items would cut perilously into his bottom line. Furthermore, he added, the Lankville food delivery market is more or less saturated, between Five White Guys Food Trucks and the new Schropp’s Slops.

“The irony is that I really was just looking for someone to share a late-night snack with,” said Dave Schlarsberger from his office. Schlarsberger, long bereft at the paucity of snack options in campus vending machines, claimed he logged onto Lanklove hoping to find someone as enthusiastic about Salty Crab Cake Crackers and Goudy Gorilla Chee-zits as he is. In Katie Lynn Rumpus, he thought he’d found a match. “Now my wife is furious,” he said, “and people are giving me strange looks in the hallways.” Schlarsberger is now sleeping on the couch – snackless – and worried he might have to take a lesser position at Eastern Hills Easier University as a result of the scandal.

“Celebrity skinned”

The most shocking revelations to emerge from the data breach involve salacious tidbits about Lankville celebrities such as Dick LaHoyt and – gulp – President Pondicherry. The President, already facing a tough re-election campaign battle and long rumored to frequent the seedy underbelly of the Lankville “swingers’ scene,” acted quickly to counter the emerging details through Spokesperson Sue Ely.

“The President’s account was hacked, plain and simple,” claimed Ely in a brief news conference. “He does not, nor has he ever, preferred a ‘Girl Next Door’ type with a ‘fit, lumpen physique’ who can ‘teach me to say yes while barking like a dog on all fours.’ That is simply absurd, as anyone who knows the President personally can tell you.”

Yet President Pondicherry apparently made three separate payments to Lanklove.com, including a sum of $350 for the “Lanklove guarantee” – an assurance that within three months he would be abducted from his home and treated to a “psychosexually fulfilling act” by a surprise partner, or receive a full refund. The Lankville Greater Council called for an investigation to determine if any public funds were used for the payments.

President Pondicherry has a new dog!

President Pondicherry: Stinger for a Swinger?

Dick La Hoyt, author of a popular series of opinion pieces for this paper, quickly admitted to his affair when confronted with the details and begged forgiveness from his readers and his wife, Tammy, who runs Tammy Nails at the Three Pines Double-Tiered Strip Mall in the Deep Lankville Basin Area. “I’m a strong man,” he said in a prepared statement. “I get punched in the mouth a lot, and I pop right back up and get punched in the mouth again. But like many others, I have weaknesses, too. Some punches hit a little deeper, where it really hurts. When it hurts my family…” La Hoyt then began punching himself in the face and was led away from the podium by his wife, Tammy.

“Say it ain’t so”

Perhaps the most controversial item to emerge from the Lanklove data breach involves Ashley Pfeiffers’ New Boyfriend and Lankville Daily News Female Reporter Sarah Samways (also the co-proprietor of S&F Inc., a consulting firm she shares with Dr. Devon Fick). Reached at her island retreat, Samways at first denied the tryst, then broke down and confessed her love for Ashley Pfeiffers’ beau.

The Boyfriend claimed, however, that he only signed up for Lanklove during a drunken “bull session” with his buddies while he and Ms. Pfeiffers were “on a break” last spring, and never followed through on any dates. “I might’ve loggd [sic] on once lol” he texted from Pizza A’Round. Ms. Pfeiffers admitted to feeling “DEVASTATED” and “SO SAD” at the news of her Boyfriend’s indiscretion, but later sent a message to this reporter confirming “WE ARE IN LOVE…” and refused to answer any more questions.

As all of Lankville awaits further revelations from the LLF hack, rumors continue to swirl that CEO Knute Beiderbecke will soon resign. Stay tuned.

Longest-Running Home Improvement Project in Lankville to Continue

August 24, 2015 Leave a comment
Jackie Sheds, Jr.

Jackie Sheds, Jr.

LANKVILLE ACTION NEWS: YES!

It began with an innocent beige-and-urine colored tarp, which concealed the “coming attraction” of a refurbishing project that has become the talk of this sedate neighborhood in Lower Lankville Heights. When Francine Tippit-toes (great aunt to Janice Tippitt-Toes, millennial entrepreneur with big plans for the Lanqueduct) hired Mutter and Sons to redo her front porch, she had no idea she was actually bankrolling a summer “hit” that’s been running for three months now, with no end in sight.

“What’s going on under there?”

“What’s going on under there?”

Mutter and Sons – operated by Karl Mutter with his two sons, J.B. “Jellybean” Mutter and Augustus “Auggie” Mutter – left the tarp up for a solid month before commencing work on the porch. This, they later revealed, was a tactic aimed at building anticipation and tension in neighbors and passers-by.

“What’s going on under there?” mused Mutter Sr., casting himself in the role of a curious onlooker. “You don’t know, but you want to know. It’s all part of our plan.” Indeed, next-door neighbor Glen Rumpus (brother-in-law of Genevieve Rumpus, but no relation to the Ida Rumpus who writes for this paper) made it his business to peek under the tarp on several occasions.

Finally the Mutters unveiled their work-in-progress. They quickly tore down the facade of the porch, using chain saws to dispense with the shrubbery out front that could only obstruct a clear view of their performance. Settling into their “one day on, three days off” routine – which became as familiar to home improvement aficionados as the intermittent Lankville postal delivery schedule – they put the porch through several stages of deconstruction that at first baffled area residents.

The “First Notion”

All the world’s…

All the world’s…

Auggie Mutter explained that their slow, careful process reflects the stages of man’s development, from a mere negative particle drifting in deepest space, to what the Mutters call “the First Notion” (represented by a seemingly chaotic scattering of dirt, rocks, and equipment), to conception, birth, puberty, aging, and death. Often, everyone is so moved by the process that they repeat it several times on the same project.

Dr. Kevin Thurston, Expert on Men’s Feelings, noted that the gestalt produced by the Mutters’ work resembles that of more primitive, but often effective, therapeutic strategies, such as Scream Technique or Intensive Hugging. He can often be found on the site during work hours, selling personalized folding knives and tickets to an upcoming event at Casa Montecristo.

While the Mutters recently installed a new porch surface and support columns, their “audience” hopes the show doesn’t end anytime soon. Glen Rumpus said he finds the work soothing, especially given that it usually occupies no more than an hour or two of every fourth day when the crew arrives with their truck and tools. Watching from his own front porch, he’s entertained by the sounds of grunting, sanding, sawing, and singing (J.B. is an accomplished interpreter of sea shanties) – not to mention titillated, amused, and informed by the Mutters’ witty repartee.

All the world’s...

“the first notion”

“There’s a presidential election coming up in Lankville, in case you hadn’t noticed,” said Rumpus. “When Karl and Auggie get to talking about the differences in policy platforms between some of the candidates, or unraveling the corruption of the Pondicherry regime, well, I have to sit up and listen. Honestly, I don’t know how I’ll make an informed voting decision without them.”

Thankfully, the Mutters confirmed that they plan to extend their run well into fall. “Gosh, there’s a good two months of home-improvement weather left,” said Mutter Sr. “This is a prime location, and we’re excited to take advantage of it as long as we possibly can.”

Millennials Are Moving Back to Lankville and Living Like Kings

August 18, 2015 Leave a comment
By Brock Belvedere

By Brock Belvedere

A BROCK BELVEDERE SPECIAL REPORT

Last year, Berenice Cradles and her boyfriend Josh Wilson-Shires paid $26,000 for a three bedroom, 1,600 square-foot Lankville Northern Regional Style house in the Snowy Lake Area. After growing up in the nearby Eastern Hills, attending Lankville State Easier University, then living and making music in the Islands for two years, Cradles and Wilson-Shires came back to Lankville, where they have become active in a movement of young preservationists bent on restoring the nation’s old homes and buildings.

“The new Lankville Dream is not about owning a giant mansion or a fancy Neptune but owning something that matters more because it’s accessible,” said Cradles, as we sat over Apple Cider Toast and salmon at Flour to the People Bakery while Wilson-Shires sat very quietly and obediently nearby. “I think the whole Lankville Dream is really shifting because young people are out there changing Lankville.”

At age 26, Cradles’ life is a sort of marketing campaign for Lankville. This summer, after wrapping up a series of episodes for the Lankville Broadcasting Company in which their refinished home was shown repeatedly at different angles, Cradles and Wilson-Shires were married, becoming Lankville’s First Couple of Historic Preservation. The event had its own hashtag– #lankvilleloveweddingwithcake, mirroring the name of their own recently founded company “Lankalove Developments”, which restores old homes, commercial buildings and pebbly lots.

Cra

Berenice Cradles (Press Photo). Husband Josh Wilson-Shires not pictured.

As she wolfed down some more Apple Cider Toast (and added some brie to our repast), I asked Cradles what Lankville’s new slogan should be.

“Lankville: Comeback Nation,” she said, instantly. “Oh my God, I’ve thought about slogans for months and months and months.”

“She has,” added Wilson-Shires in a quiet, feeble manner.

According to census data analyzed by The Lankville Daily News, from 2000 to 2015 the number of college graduates between the ages of 22 and 30 in Lankville jumped 45%, more than in the Islands or the Distant Peninsulas. Part of attracting that younger demographic involves programs like the Lankville Salvage and Love Project, which provides loans for individuals and businesses to improve downtown properties, many of which have been ravaged by neglect or challenges.

“A lot of people look at these old structures and think that they’re just rotted old places full of rats and vermin and bum’s piss,” noted Lankville Re-Use Project CEO Dawn Elliott-Cryoden, aged 27. “But millennials see possibilities and so they tear out everything and put up new walls and solar panels and little gardens and they clean up the bum’s piss and what you’re left with is development. It’s really a new movement.”

Upon my arrival in Lankville, I landed on the basement couch of Nora Jeans-McGriff, a 26-year old who, in 2012, ended up in Lankville after biking up from the Islands. She had just been planning to stay for a few months while doing a work exchange at a wood shop in the Middle Outlands, but her plans changed after she bought a house at a foreclosure auction for $1,000. The house isn’t livable yet (it was partially destroyed by numerous challenges, a Super Tornado, and bum’s piss), but she’s been slowly fixing it up, adding a green roof, gutters made of recycled stiffened cardboard and insulation made of pressed trash and with help from handy friends in town.

Nora Jeans McGriff

Nora Jeans McGriff

In the meantime, she pays $150 a month to rent a room in a communal house in the Middle Outlands and waitstaffperson’s at Emoti-Flan, an artisanal custard cafe.

“I make a lot more money here than I did in the Islands,” noted Jeans-McGriff.  “And I can save a lot here– I didn’t work at all for four months! I just traveled, played music, made graffiti art, raised nine chickens, collected rainwater, fed some bum’s at a community kitchen, counseled children, built reusable water bottles out of found trash, grew tree fruit, started a bicycle laboratory, purchased some vacant lots, and hung out with my boyfriend!”

Starting a business is also less daunting in Lankville. One day, I visited PAO QUOTIDIAN (owner’s capitals), a worker-owned bakery in the Great Northern Mountain Area opened last year by first-time business owners Tori Loops, Allison Hunter-Awnings, Emily Freedmont-Westerbrook and Kim Fields, all in their late 20’s. They raised $40,000 to start the bakery from an online funding platform and now pay $400 monthly on a graduated rental lease for their 1900 square foot space. The artisanal bread market is not saturated in Lankville; business is brisk.

Loops, 28, originally from Hoover Island, got her master’s degree in performance studies and Gender Musings from Eastern Hills Easier University. After graduation, she worked sporadically as a graphic designer, co-operative farmer and a waitstaffperson at a cupcake cafe but decided she wanted to live in Lankville where she could do work that “mattered”.

“I’m glad we’re past the point where the Islands are the only places to go and be successful and make your mark on the world,” said Loops (rated about a 7 out of 10- 8 out of 10 if she ever wore a bra). “There are a lot of places in Lankville to have opportunity that are a little more accessible.”

B

Smith Bryce-Phillips

Smith Bryce Phillips agrees. He lived in Lankville until he was 22, when he moved to the Islands. Last year, at age 27, he moved into a house in Lankville with his homosexual lover.

“I couldn’t really make a name for myself in the Islands. I didn’t get any attention. So, I came back to Lankville. The energy feels right in Lankville now,” he told me at just desserts cafe (owner’s lack of capitals), where we met for brie, cupcakes, and pumpkins.

Right next door, Smith rents a storefront for $500 a month. He hasn’t disclosed the name or purpose of his store yet (currently, a sheet of brown raw treeless “paper” covering the front door reads #MYSTERIOUSSTORE, but he imagines it will serve as a community bike space, used gay bookshop and pottery learning center. While he fixes up the place, it stores his massive sculptures, several interconnected repurposed tractor wheels that take up nearly 3/4 of the space. He calls the sculpture HUGGINGLANKVILLE.

Psy

Psychologist Winifred P. Temple studies Millennials (Press Photo)

“People are really excited about the mysterious storefront,” noted Phillips, as he smeared an artisanal free-range pumpkin with brie. “The idea of a completely unknown storefront is something new, something they haven’t seen before. Every day, at least ten to fifteen people come up and ask what the store is going to be- try to guess, give me suggestions. It’s inspirational. I wouldn’t have got that kind of attention in the Islands.”

“Millennials have that can-do, entrepreneurial spirit, said area psychologist Winifred P. Temple. “It’s relatively easy to be in the Now,” noted Temple, “but how many of us can live in the Next? Millennials can, and do.”

As just one example, she pointed to the historic Lanqueduct that runs along Old Pondicherry Avenue in the Western Lankville Plains. The aging structure, built by the ancient Lankans who first settled in the area, still services many longtime residents with fresh, slightly colored water.

Janice Tippitt-Toes, friend and sometime “physical sharer” of Berenice Cradles, has big plans for the Lanqueduct. “It will be a mixed-use development. I envision an artisan youth hostel, a Men’s Feelings Center, and an urban park that you navigate with a network of webs and pulleys,” she said, beaming with an almost off-putting confidence as she sipped a soy Lankichino near Pondicherry Square.

Cradles

Cradles dances over some of her backyard plants while topless. “They grow better when you dance with them,” she noted.

Despite the growth of the millennial demographic in Lankville, the nation’s population is still in decline. “The reality is that people do tend to move to the Islands when they start drawing a good salary,” noted Eastern Hills Easier University Lankville Studies Professor E. Talbot Bonds. “We’re still dealing with the reality of the challenge problems, the tenting murder epidemic, super insects, eldritch horrors– the list goes on and on.”

But Cradles still believes that Lankville will prevail.

“We’re right at the dawning of a new age,” she said, after giving her husband the okay to consume an unadorned bagel. “So many groups are starting– I’ve started so many groups. Just while we were talking, Brock, we closed a deal to buy 22 vacant lots in Lankville. We’ll turn them into co-operative farms and composting stations.”

It’s a labor of love, Brock. A labor of love.”

Photo credits: Catrin Lloyd-Bollard and Bethany Dinsick.

OPINION: Students Must Stop Defecating in Public

August 12, 2015 Leave a comment
By Dave Scharlesberger

By Dave Scharlesberger

IMPORTANT OPINIONS

def1

The road to the executive parking lot is paved in…?

What began as a harmless prank, something to chuckle about on one’s way to the office or hair salon or karate dojo, has now reached crisis proportions. That’s right: I’m talking about students “copping a squat” as it were on our streets, our sidewalks, and inside our malls and parking garages, at any time of day or night. These senseless acts of inappropriate evacuation cannot, and will not, stand.

The depth of the unfolding disaster struck me as I walked from Carmody Hall, where I work as an assistant vice president in the Lankville State Office of Financial Excellence. There, on the sidewalk that leads from the building to the executive parking lot, I was confronted with a veritable mine-field of greenish-brown human waste. Needless to say, I was forced to carefully tip-toe through this unwelcome obstacle course, one hand clutching my briefcase, the other holding my nose shut against the unspeakable stench.

By the time I reached my car, my patent leather Fleursheims were ruined.

Alternate view

Alternate view

My father gave me those shoes.

This unseemly epidemic is all the more incomprehensible given Lankville’s famous and generous array of public restroom facilities. The Mud Pits feature “his and her” bathrooms with hot and cold running water, no matter the season. There are the open-air stalls off Pondicherry Square – who among us hasn’t ducked into one of those in a pinch, while out on the town? Then, of course, Lankville boasts the award-winning Stacy Q. Pryzbylewski Memorial Water Closet on the third floor in the main branch of the Lankville Public Library, with its wide stalls, pleasing mosaic tile-work, and high-pressure flushing action.

But apparently it’s too much trouble for some of our students to walk up a flight of stairs before taking down their pants and defecating.

I know what you’ll tell me – not all students indulge in this nasty habit. That may be true, although I can’t help but cast a suspicious eye on the student workers who scurry around the Office of Financial Excellence, giggling at some obscure joke – perhaps giggling at me. After all, President Pondicherry’s plan to have a consortium of “responsible youths” take over the vending machines throughout Lankville (touted time and again by Presidential Spokesperson Sue Ely) has offered mixed results. And that’s putting it generously.

But I’ll save my thoughts on the sorry state of Lankville’s vending machines for another time. For now, I make the demand, from our offices, from our rooftops, on our streets and in the aisles of our theaters: No more. No more public defecating. Enough is enough.

Hadbawnik Announces 2016 Presidential Bid

August 7, 2015 Leave a comment
By Kimball J. Cranney

By Kimball J. Cranney

LANKVILLE ACTION NEWS: YES!

Lankville Daily News senior correspondent and renowned gourd expert David Hadbawnik has announced he will run for president in 2016.10383084_553888541412180_7295192065874618611_n

“President Pondicherry is not a friend to nature,” declared the candidate at a mid-morning press conference held at the Casa Montecristo (an elegant reception hall). “He believes that economic growth comes from the construction of highways and malls. I believe that economic growth can only come from nature. And not just gourds but from all nature, all of nature’s bounty”.

“But also gourds,” Hadbawnik added.

The candidate will run alone.

“I don’t require another politician. I will run with the gourds,” Hadbawnik stated.

Hadbawnik becomes the third Lankvillian to declare his candidacy. Incumbent Albert Pondicherry Jr. and famous celebrity Randy Pendleton will also run.

Upcoming Titles from Lankville Authors

August 4, 2015 Leave a comment
Elliott Cumber-Lanny

Elliott Cumber-Lanny

Here at the Lankville Daily News, we’re proud to bring you some of the finest local writing you’ll find anywhere, with a full range of hard-hitting news, opinions, funny stories, musings, and even more opinions. In fact, our authors are so prolific that even the cornucopia that is the Lankville Daily News can no longer contain them: our cup runneth over! Herewith, a roll-call of worthies, as many of the contributors to these pages will soon break into print with these upcoming titles. Look for them in a bookstore near you!

29 Lesser-Known Gourds (Shining Dome Press, $15.99), David Hadbawnik

I Want to Tell You About My New Boyfriend: The Coffee Table Book (Massage Ball Editions, $21.99), Ashley Pfeiffers

Hey, Can I Buy a Cigarette Off You: More Funny Stories from Dick Oakes, Jr. (Two-Fisted Tales Press, $5.99), Dick Oakes, Jr.

I’ve Been Punched in the Mouth While Writing This Book, I’ll Be Punched in the Mouth While Writing My Next Book (Two-Fisted Tales Press, $5.99), Dick La Hoyt

Dr. Kevin Thurston, expert on Men's Feelings, consults with an area female.

Dr. Kevin Thurston, expert on Men’s Feelings, consults with an area female.

Make Your Me-Burger (for less than $10.99 a month) (Real Feelings Books, $35), Dr. Kevin Thurston

The 2,978 Lankvillians You Meet in Heaven (Fluffing Pillows Press, $11.99), Ida Rumpus

From “Appleheads” to “Zuftmerschnausen”: A Lankville Lexicon (Lankville State Press, $19.99), Dr. Glen Ogilvie

Girl Spills Milk (Memoir of a Lankville Female) (Massage Ball Editions, $14.99), Sarah Samways

Sandwiches I Have Loved (Shining Dome Press, $31.99), Brian Schropp

Musings, Cuts, and Other Viscera (Decorative Hams Products, $19.99), Chris Vitiello

Woman in a Man’s Game: Interviews with Robin Brox (Massage Ball Editions, $14.99), Robin Brox with Ida Rumpus

Scratch-Hiss-Purr: A Meow-moir (Lankville State Press, $19.99), Grumbles the Cat

This Chamber’s Loaded (My Academic Journey) (Real Feelings Books, $35), Dr. Matt Chambers

You Can Take the “Age” out of “Village” But I’m Still the Guy in Charge of Lankville (Fluffing Pillows Press, $5.99), President Pondicherry