The Weekly World Reno News & Review

Gov. Jim Gibbons to enter priesthood

By Woodward M. Bernstein

A spokesperson for Gov. Jim Gibbons today said the governor will step down to enter the Catholic priesthood.

The news jolted members of the Nevada Legislature.

“I remember him,” said Sen. Bernice Mathews of Washoe County. “He’s still governor?”

In a statement, members of the Assembly Republican Caucus said, “It’s the answer to a prayer.”

No reason was given immediately for the governor’s decision, but it was recalled that Gibbons has a somewhat meandering religious history. In the early years of his political career, he listed himself as a Protestant both in the Nevada Legislative Manual and in his congressional biography.

In July 2006, during his campaign for governor, he said he was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which came as a surprise to members of his family, his aides and the church. “I’ve gone to a lot of different churches in my life, from Baptist to Episcopal to Presbyterian to LDS, but I have always considered myself LDS,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I am not the most active individual in church, but I still hold my beliefs, and I still believe in the doctrines and principles.” His spokesperson Robert Uithoven denied the switch was designed to aid Gibbons’ run for governor. Nevada has the third highest concentration of Mormons among the states.

In March 2007, seven Mormon state legislators presented Gibbons with a book of scripture inscribed with his name to mark his status as the state’s first LDS governor, coupling it with ringing praise for his piety. “He hasn’t really been involved with the church, but you could say that about a lot of religious people,” said one of the group members, Assembly Republican leader Garn Mabey. “OK, yeah. I’m proud of him.”

A few months later, after several disputes involving the governor, the seven lawmakers were asked if they still had faith in Gibbons, and they could not quite place his name.

Speaking on background, one of Gibbons’ aides said the governor has been reading a lot of history lately, and she believes some features of Catholic history attracted him. “There’s the burnings at the stake, of course, and there are the cardinals and popes with mistresses. Besides, his experience in treating politics as a battle between good and evil helps qualify him for the priesthood.”

She said when he was reading about the Inquisition, he said, “What’s not to like?”

Gibbons’ estranged wife, Dawn, had no comment except to say that the governor hasn’t a prayer for redemption. She’s Presbyterian.

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That’s amazing!

‘Buy local’ campaign scores

A local merchant reports that the “Buy local” message to residents has already had a positive effect on his inventory.

Sammy, an entrepreneur who hangs around the future site of the downtown baseball field, says Silver Sage and Great Basin Green have seen increased sales of 18 and 22 percent, respectively.

“Not only that,” he said, “but I haven’t needed to order as much of the imported products I’ve carried in the past, like Thai Highflyer, Holland’s Hope, and Swazi Red. I mainly get enough of them for people who have used them in the past and feel a loyalty to the brand.”

Lower transportation costs have benefited Nevadans because prices have dropped sharply. “Buying from Minden/Gardnerville is a lot cheaper, because of the low shipping costs, than from Oaxaca or Ecuador,” he said.

Sammy said his principal problem now is keeping local produce in stock. “I don’t think resident growers were prepared for the demand generated by the ‘Buy local’ campaign,” he said.

When he runs out of local products, he said, he still tries to order regionally instead of across national borders.

“I just bid on eBay for Matanuska Thunderfuck, and placed orders for Pacific Northwest Big Bud and University of Washington dorm sprouts.”

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Reno earthquakes harbinger of doom, say seismologists

By Tom Brokawhaw

Scientists have announced shocking news about the earthquake swarm that shook northwest Reno last year.

At a press conference yesterday at the University of Nevada, Reno Seismological Lab, university and United States Geological Survey seismologists announced that the temblors that shook the region were the result of a rift forming along the Sierra Nevada.

“Our research indicates that this rift is separating Nevada from California,” state seismologist Al Shokup said. “If a large-magnitude earthquake hits, say something along the lines of a 9-magnitude quake or larger, the force could be enough to split California from the rest of the continent.”

The San Andres fault, which runs almost parallel along the western edge of California, marks the boundaries of two continental plates—the Pacific plate and the North American plate, on which the rest of the United States lies. But this previously unknown mini-rift means that much of California could become a large island or a collection of islands in the Pacific Ocean when the doomsday earthquake called the Big One hits, according to Shokup.

“In our worst-case scenario, when the Big One strikes the San Andreas fault, it could cause a chain reaction of all the fault lines across California,” he said. “It could cause shaking of such epic proportions that California could break apart and sections of it could sink into the sea. The resulting tsunami would rival the one seen in the movie Deep Impact.”

Furthermore, he said, Reno most likely would fall into the chasm created by this rift. What doesn’t fall into the abyss won’t survive unscathed. Just about all of the Biggest Little City’s landmarks would crumple into a pile of neon and concrete.

Despite this dire prediction, it wasn’t all bad news.

“On the bright side, Nevada’s slumping housing market would greatly benefit from all the new beach-front property it would gain from this catastrophe,” he said. “I’m thinking Lovelock will become the next hot real estate market.”

“But seriously, you may want to consider earthquake insurance.”


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Miracle on Earth

‘Virgin Mary appears on man’s head,’ experts proclaim

“Frankly, I was shocked! Fred came out of the bathroom that Friday night after shaving his head for the first time, and there she was, big as life,” says Madge Murphy, a Sparks housewife.

The “she” Murphy refers to is the Virgin Mary. Murphy claims the silhouette miraculously appeared on her husband’s head outlined in the wrinkles on Fred Murphy’s scalp.

Murphy, 47, first shaved his head on Friday, Feb. 13, a proactive measure against chemotherapy, which doctors claimed would cause him to lose his hair.

Since that night, the Murphys have been a cause celebre on cable news networks and even made the front page of the Reno Gazette-Journal with a reader-submitted photo.

“This is plainly a miracle,” said one University of Nevada, Reno scientist. “I’ve seen Virgin Marys on freeway interchanges, on toasted cheese sandwiches and of course the classic watermark-on-the-garage Virgin Mary, but this is the clearest proof of God’s existence and involvement in our lives that I’ve ever seen.”

Noted iconologist Patrick Ahmadinejad has been called in to confirm the veracity of religious imagery on items ranging from John the Baptist’s face on a head of lettuce to a representation of Mohammed (not pictured here) left in dust by raindrops on the hood of a 1986 Toyota pickup truck.

“I would say this is more a Lady of Guadalupe Virgin Mary apparition than the more common Virgin Mary with Child apparition. That makes it all the more valuable—both for believers and collectors,” said Ahmedinejad.

Mr. Murphy was unavailable for interview as he has passed into a coma—the result of lung cancer’s ravages on his body. For purposes of viewing the Virgin Mary, the comatose Murphy has been “sleeping on his stomach,” according to his wife.

“Well, I can only thank God for this blessing in my life. Mother Mary came to me in times of trouble, and I know whoever gets the high bid on eBay will be just as inspired by her as I’ve been,” Mrs. Murphy said with a knowing glance to the bed where her husband lay face down. “We don’t know exactly when it’s going to be posted, but I have a feeling it shouldn’t be more than a week or two.”

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Atomic blast sure to ensue!

Yucca Mountain is full of Fraggles!

By Roger Muddy

The site of the proposed nuclear waste storage facility is home to strange, lovable creatures.

Before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last week, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said, “Both the president and I have made clear that Yucca Mountain is not a workable option for long-term nuclear waste storage.”

Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who serves on the committee, asked, “What’s wrong with Yucca Mountain, Mr. Chu?”

Chu, a Nobel Prize laureate who was a physics professor at the University of California, Berkeley before being appointed by President Barack Obama, responded, “It is full of Fraggles.”

Fraggles are fun-loving humanoid creatures approximately 2 feet tall with big, brightly colored tufts of hair. They enjoy laughing, dancing, singing hippie songs and other wacky antics. Little was known about the creatures before acclaimed filmmaker Jim Henson spent several years documenting the lives of a small group of Fraggles during the mid-1980s. His series of films, titled Fraggle Rock, aired on HBO from 1983 to 1987.

Yucca Mountain, in Nye County, Nev., about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, is the location of the controversial proposed repository for spent nuclear fuel and other radioactive waste.

Chu’s announcement is a major blow to the legacy of President George W. Bush’s administration. Bush Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman had brokered a major deal with a Doozer building contractor to build the entire nuclear storage facility in exchange for a small amount of radishes.

The Doozers are small, green humanoid creatures that generally live alongside Fraggles wherever Fraggles are found. According to Henson’s documentaries, Fraggles like to “dance their cares away,” but Doozers prefer to “work their cares away.” Doozers are hard-working, and their main industry is construction. In fact, it is rare to see a Doozer not wearing a construction hat. Doozers build using a unique building material called “Doozer sticks,” which look like crystal drinking straws, but are in fact a heavily processed form of hardened vegetable matter, usually made out of radishes.

The 2006 Doozer building contract was considered a major victory for the Bush administration until it was discovered, by a 9-year-old child watching reruns of the Henson films, that Doozer sticks, while a sturdy building material, are also the primary food source of Fraggles.

Upon hearing that the Obama administration will not be supporting the Yucca Mountain project, the Doozer leader, named Architect Doozer, issued the following statement: “A Doozer does not doze; a Doozer does not shirk; a Doozer never thumbs his nose at doing Doozer work.”

Some commentators view the presence of Fraggles as a reason to be in favor of building the Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facility. It is unclear what effect radiation has on the creatures, who are already able to “share dreams” by pressing their heads together. Even Chu admitted, “It’s unlikely that they could mutate into something even stranger.”

In a letter published recently in several newspapers, including The New York Times, noted rock ’n’ roll guitarist, crossbow hunter and meat enthusiast Ted “The Nooge” Nugent writes, “My garlic-and-radish marinade is delicious with radiated Fraggle!”

Nugent’s letter also includes a recipe for braised Fraggle ribs wrapped in strips of fried Snuffleupagus meat.

Feds bail out pirate ships!

The federal government announced last week that it will bail out the giant pirate freighters The Scurvy Roger and The Crimson Dubloon. In a televised appeal directly to the American people, President Barack Obama said, “These fearsome vessels that terrorize our waters are essential to our economy. We cannot stand idly by while these ships sink. As with the banks and the car manufacturers, it’s important that we, the American people, help those that have been ripping us off for years. Especially if they have wooden prosthetic limbs and like to wear talking birds on their shoulders.” FEMA workers armed with plastic buckets have been dispatched to perform the bailout.

Top 10 ways to save the planet

1 Stop showering. The average non-showering person can save 29,200 gallons of water a year, according to Naystee Pigsty of the Waterwise Foundation

2 Stop using toilet paper. If it’s good enough for East Asia, it’s good enough for us. Bring back the bidet!

3 Throw in a little science with your religion to give the planet a fighting chance against global warming, population growth and AIDS. (See “Pope tells Africa ‘Condoms Wrong,’” BBC News.)

4 Stop using dental floss. A strand of hair works just as well.

5 Pick up your dog’s doo with your hand, reducing the need for plastic bags.

6 Train your cat to use the toilet.

7 Go naked. Clothes take up precious space in landfills and require vast amounts of energy to produce. But use nontoxic sunscreen.

8 Don’t leave your house.Ever.

9 Stop eating. Can’t trust any of it, and don’t even get us started on farting cows.

10 Stop breathing. Nothing quite says carbon emission savings like death.


Gucci goes Goodwill

Professional socialite Paris Hilton leads the chic-onomics movement

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The paparazzi flashed their popping lights upon the storefront of the local Goodwill as Paris Hilton, professional socialite, walked out of its doors.

Wearing a child’s T-shirt that said “I got this for $1” on its front, she told the frothy-mouthed press about her latest finds: polyester pants (size 1), avocado green mesh scarf and a polka-dotted muumuu. “And it was all just $5!” she squealed.

Her latest rescue pet, an Australian shepherd/Blue Tick Heeler/pit bull/Chihuahua/English bulldog mix named Buster, drooled adoringly by her feet, eating scraps of food reporters threw at him.

Hilton has abandoned her lavish spending habits in favor of the latest, hippest trend: Chic-onomics—the cheaper, the better. In doing so, she’s become the poster girl for recessionistas everywhere.

Little girls dressed in the finest new duds from Macy’s have come home crying from school after having been bullied by popular kids for wearing clothes made after the 1990s. “God she’s like so 2007. Puh-lease,” they taunt.

And after Hilton was seen stocking up on off-brand boxes of mac ’n’ cheese at Grocery Outlet, local gourmet chefs rapidly began revising their menus. The caramelized-onion-gorgonzola-pear-stuffed-Chilean-sea-bass-over-watercress of yesterday is the Spam and iceberg lettuce wedge of today. It’s preceded by appetizers of peanut butter and Saltines or pig-in-a-blanket, and all washed down with cherry Kool-Aid.

Dumpster-diving parties have also taken off since Hilton was photographed dipping her unmanicured hand into a pile of trash at the landfill and triumphantly pulling out what appeared to be a pair of extremely large-framed sunglasses. Swiping aside a couple of maggots from the lenses, she reportedly said, “There! Good as new,” before putting them on her face.

In a press conference at the “Stingy is the New Black” workshop in Appalachia, where she’s filming her new reality TV show, It’s Cool to At Least Look Poor, Hilton told reporters,” It’s just, like, the world is suffering right now. Like, what’s that city? Darfur? Those people are almost as skinny as me, and that’s just weird. And those poor slobs at AIG? Did you hear they might not even get bonuses this year! So this is no time to be, like, bitches and uncool with the money, you know?”

Stem cells cure global warming
By Stephen Hawker

The Planet Earth will be injected with its own stem cells in a dramatic new treatment for global warming.

The procedure, being pioneered by British scientists, holds out hope of a “cure” as the stem cells repair heat-damaged climates, ice at the north and south poles and biodiversity.

The low-cost treatment, which involves removing stem cells from areas at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, could be given within a few hours of an uptick on the world’s thermometers.

It is intended to stop the planet from increasing its temperature and developing climate change, an instant fix to a problem that has been plaguing politicians and scientists for decades.

If the initial trials in London are successful, the treatment is likely to be extended to troubled areas around the globe.

Researchers have called the project—the first of its kind—“very exciting” and say it could have a significant impact on the annual toll of deaths from climate change.

As a side note, the treatment also appears to have the side effect of burning the planet’s fat—targeting the “spare tire” that has formed around the equator, which has given the Earth a somewhat rounded appearance and contributed to the planet’s insulin resistance.

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