Monday, June 26, 2006

Set shotguns to bizarre

Some days, one article leaps out, practically screaming for attention and skewering. Some days, there's just too many items to really focus on one. Regular readers will be familiar with that, and the shotgunning philosophy of aiming at a group, hoping to get something insightful and/or funny out of one piece. Today is part of the second group.

Some days, the news is full of very serious items; items that are so serious that it takes a special level of callousness and twisted humor to find something to poke fun at. Today is not one of those days.

Today, we take aim at some of the more bizarre news stories that I was able to find. Chances are, they'll already be too ridiculous to really allow for skewering, and we'll all have learned something about ourselves at the end of the experience. That being said, climb in, buckle up, and let's get ready to take a ride.

First off, we head over to Germany, and the FIFA World Cup. Sure, I could talk about the fights that randomly break out, but come on. These are soccer fans, and these people fight faster than the Irish (unless they're Irish soccer fans, in which case, duck). Instead, let's talk about the relationship between soccer and sex. Apparently, during the World Cup, that relationship isn't quite so good. In a country where prostitution is legal in designated areas, the World Cup seems to be hurting business. Sure, there's a wealth of new potential clients, but those clients are soccer fans who are looking to get more bang for their buck by getting low-cost beer and partaking in the open air party zones. After spending large amounts of money on simply getting to the World Cup, let alone on tickets into the games themselves. This pretty much leaves them with little money to spend on prostitutes. To make matters worse, the larger concentration of traffic is keeping the regular customers away. Note to self, if I really feel the need to get a prostitute ever, head over to Germany. Not only can I see part of Europe, but I could help booster a sagging economy. Although maybe one shouldn't say "sagging" when referencing prostitutes.

Secondly, let's take a jump up to Great Britain, as a military unit was forced to demote one of its members for his poor behavior during a ceremony for the Queen. Apparently this member couldn't keep marching order and was throwing others off their stride. The culprit, who was demoted to fusilier (which is the equivalent of private), was the unit's mascot. Their pet goat. Apparently, in the UK, goats can have rank. Even more disturbing, previously the goat was actually receiving salutes, due to the fact that it outranked some of the soldiers in the unit. This has been put to a stop. Maybe America can follow suit, and demote it's military monkey.

Finally, speaking of America, we just don't like each other that much anymore. A recent study shows that Americans now have, on average, two close confidants, down from the three that we had twenty years ago. Even more to the point, 25% of us no longer have any. Of course, anyone that's had to spend any long amounts of time talking with people through a customer service position can probably get a good guess as to why people don't have as many people that they can rely on anymore. Sure, the study claims that a lot of this could be due to more time spent at work, and less time out socializing. Others claim that, while we have fewer close friends, the overall number of friends and acquaintences doesn't seem to be fluctuating much. The biggest and most important thing to take out of this study? There are certain organizations that have too much free time, and decided to study relatively random items, like the number of friends Americans have.

And thus ends our own little experiment, at least for today. We'll see if anything good actually comes out of it.

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