Local Savant Not as Gifted as Mother Thinks

Chrislip mother Gladys Peters thought her ticket was punched the day her son was declared ‘learning impaired’.

“I’d seen the movie Rain Man, so I figured Steven must be some sort of genius,” bragged Gladys.  “I’d drop a bunch of paper clips and ask ‘how many’ and he’d guess ‘orange.’ That’s when I knew he was even more gifted than Dustin Hoffman.  I felt like I’d won the lottery.”

On the advice of her child’s doctor, Mrs. Peters immediately hired math teacher George Ricci to teach her son how to count cards in Las Vegas.  While other parents might find it troubling for a mother to encourage her child to embark on a career in gambling, their kids were going to college and hers was not.  This was to be Steven’s education.

Gladys’ little “Rain Man” uses his toes to determine how many high cards are left in the deck

Unfortunately a career in blackjack was out of the question for Steven, who still doesn’t know how many fingers and toes he has.  However, Mr. Ricci did and was soon making his living in Las Vegas.  Until, that is, he was discovered counting face cards with his toes by a Vegas pit boss, who insisted that George wear shoes in the future.

Undeterred, Gladys realized that her son’s gift was musical and she began auditioning piano teachers.  While Steven eventually learn to pound the keys, the results were less than pleasing to his mother.

“The other savants can play ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ as if it was composed by Chopin,” complained Gladys.  “But Steven couldn’t even play ‘Benny and the Jets’ as if Elton John wasn’t gay.”

Steven’s former piano teacher is currently performing straight versions of the music of Elton John and George Michaels in Branson Missouri to rave reviews.

Meanwhile, back in Chrislip, Steven’s genius was proving more profound and less lucrative than his mother had imagined.  An increasingly disappointed Gladys next sought to teach her son to paint with oils, figuring that, if the trend continued, she would have a career in art and be able to support the two of them.

“After he ate a tube of burnt ochre, I was on the verge of giving up and getting a real job,” said Gladys.  “But when he puked on that canvas, the result was pure genius!  Finally, the world can see that I gave birth to a savant and not some kind of retard.”

Gladys reports that Steven is now eating twelve tubes a day in preparation for a showing in the Neue Galerie in New York early next month.

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Freakout at Camp Groovy: A Film Classic Turns 40

Contrary to what a lot of local residents think, Chrislip has never been known as the Hollywood of the midwest. But there was a time when that non-fact was even less untrue than it isn’t now.

Whether we were born at the time or not, all of us remember the summer of 1970. That was the year that the only film ever filmed in Chrislip was filmed in Chrislip.

Freakout at Camp Groovy isn’t a movie that will make anyone forget Citizen Kane. As one reviewer at the time put it, “Freakout at Camp Groovy won’t make anyone forget Beneath the Planet of the Apes.” But over the decades it’s developed a cult following among the kind of people who go for that sort of thing.

Filmed at Camp Chrislip over four days at a budget of nearly $900, Camp Groovy tells the story of two teenagers, Wren and Skye, who meet and fall in love at summer camp. Their romance is threatened by the sinister newcomer, “Funky Dude,” who gives Skye a marijuana-laced brownie.  Skye goes on a drug-fueled rampage and butchers several fellow campers with a meat cleaver before being talked down from his “mary jane” high by Wren.

The movie’s director, Earl Dowland, said he hoped his film would spread the message that drugs are bad and love is good. These days Dowland has two expensive divorces behind him and spends his nights with a pretty painted mistress named Xanax, so he is apt to reverse that order.

The movie was released right around Christmas, 1970. It opened to generally poor reviews, and failed to rise above cult status. It did, however, spawn a couple of lines that briefly became national catchphrases: “Dude’s messin’ with my head, man,” and “Camp Groovy – the perfect place to camp… and to groove.”

Actors Debbie Schenkman and Ronald Dunphy, who played Wren and Skye, were in Chrislip to celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary. Both were film students at the University of Michigan, studying Nietschean philosophy in early German cinema, when they landed the pivotal roles in Freakout at Camp Groovy. They subsequently went to Hollywood, but had only limited success. Debbie was in a Sprite commercial in 1971 and retired from acting in 1980. Ronald claims that he nailed Patty Duke.

Wren and Skye at Camp Groovy in 1970...

… And today. See how old they look?

Both have very pleasant memories of Chrislip. “There was a store of some kind up the road,” recalls Dunphy. “I think I bought some gum there once. I gave a stick to Debbie, and I remember her saying thanks.”

You can write a movie script, but you can’t write those kind of memories.

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Latest WikiLeaks Dump Reveals That American Children Are Greedy Bastards

Most parents are unaware of a provision in the Patriot Act that provides the United States government with access to the Christmas lists of American children.  After all, what strategic value could be obtained from the wishes of any child young enough to believe in Santa Claus?

“I think that you’d have to agree that it’s no less ridiculous than patting down a white grandmother before boarding an airliner,” replied a spokesman for Homeland Security.  “But we’ve been receiving chatter through normal intelligence channels that Al Qaida is seeking to mount a spectacular attack on this country before New Year’s Eve.  The terrorists are apparently seeking to fashion a bomb from the explosive dreams of our youngsters and insulated thermoses.”

The contents of the Christmas lists were exposed by WikiLeaks, the nefarious organization devoted to exposing government secrets.  The group’s founder, Julian Assange, apparently obtained the information from Louie Buttons, a disgruntled elf who became tired of working like a slave all year long only to have Santa Claus steal all of the limelight with one night of work.  The wee Mr. Buttons had served as a liaison between the North Pole and Homeland Security and was taken into CIA custody on Christmas Eve for questioning.

It is not currently known if the rogue elf, like the previous source of WikiLeaks information, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, is a fan of Lady GaGa.

The Chrislip Journal obtained a copy of the leaked information last night and junior reporter Michael Wright has checked the heavily redacted list twice.

“From the extravagance of their requests, one cannot escape the conclusion that American children are a bunch of greedy bastards,” said Mr. Wright.  “Still, while I can see how a child’s disappointment might lead to an explosive confrontation with his parents, I doubt that it would be enough to take down an airliner.”

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Construction Crew Accidentally Unearths Disco Fever

A recent outbreak of peace and love has left Chrislip officials horrified.  The incident occurred shortly after workers digging the foundation for a new high school gymnasium uncovered a time capsule buried by the class of 1975.  The vessel contained a collection of then-popular clothing and music.  More insidiously, opening the tomb seemed to release a virus infecting the discoverer with an appreciation for anything from the seventies.

The construction workers soon displayed an unhealthy need to wear pink hot pants and glitter eye shadow while listening to LPs by Abba, the Bee Gees, and the Captain and Tennille.

“Disco Dan grooves the jackhammer now,” explained burly crew supervisor Dan Keenan.  “Dan the man still does his thing, but he, like, boogies from a different place now. Gotta move on, gotta move on, and burn this mama down!”

Symptoms of the illness begin with an involuntary twitch in the young person’s nether-regions and quickly proceed to the wearing of bell bottoms and peace symbol necklaces.  Eventually the afflicted individuals exhibit an Afro, an unquenchable thirst for cocaine and, still worse, an appreciation for the music of the Village People.  As a precaution, school officials quarantined in the cafeteria all students wearing bell bottoms and/or platform shoes.

A medical textbook illustration of the end-stage progression of disco fever

“This morning we opened the cafeteria doors hoping to see normal teenagers,” said school Nurse Evelyn Carter, “but instead we found them dancing beneath one of those mirrored balls.  If we don’t do something right away, Chrislip will have a full-fledged disco inferno on its hands.”

Chrislip city officials acted quickly to remove the problem.  “Once they started spouting about ‘free love’, we knew that there was no point trying to reason with them,” explained Mayor Howard Presnell.  “Anyone who’s been divorced knows that there is no such thing.”

With the quarantine having failed, local officials bought them all bus tickets to San Francisco.  “That’s what worked back in the seventies,” said Presnell.  “It’s not like people who like to dance and have fun were going to retire in Northern Michigan anyway.  To hell with them and their ‘groovy’ selves.”

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Mall Santa Admits That He Doesn’t Exist

“The toys are made in China, not the North Pole, by children who eat noodles and look nothing like elves. What are you… stupid?”

Judging by the way Randy Mattison, the man in the red suit at the Chrislip Mall, looks past the children and stares at their mothers’ breasts, the good news is that this year’s Santa probably isn’t a pedophile.  The bad news is that, unless parents shop at Mattison’s Toys, Randy is spilling the beans to your kids.  If his family’s toy store is going down this season, your child’s Christmas is going with it.

After unsuccessfully trying to coerce parents into changing their Christmas shopping plans, Santa lowers his fake white beard and says, “You know, kid, none of this is real.  Your parents are lying about everything, Santa, Rudolph, everything.”

As nervous parents remove their child from the strange man’s lap and attempt to flee the store, he shouts, “It’s all a bribe to get you to act nice all year long.  It’s a conspiracy, man.  I don’t care, be naughty all you like.  I ain’t got no list.”

In decades past, Christmas here would be unthinkable without Mattison’s Toys.  Generations of parents took their children to the local toy store.  Old Ebenezer Mattison would dress up as Santa and lead children around the store, noting each child’s preferences.  Credit cards would be charged, gifts wrapped, and the van, decked out to look like a sleigh, loaded with presents to be delivered on Christmas Eve.

Before the holiday’s story became so fixed throughout the nation, Chrislip children viewed Santa as the guy who worked at the toy store.  There was no North Pole toy factory in our narrative.  Elves, if there were any, were kept in the back, out of view.  That didn’t explain how children in other towns received their bounty, but these practical concerns seemed unimportant to a child ripping through the wrapping paper on Christmas morning.

The big box retail stores in nearby towns killed our charming local story.  Ebenezer Mattison, Chrislip’s Santa, passed on shortly afterward.  His grandson Randy, who partied his way out of Chrislip College, replaced him at the store and in the red suit, but things were never the same.  Randy was a bad, Billy Bob Thornton-type of Santa.

Merry Christmas from Chrislip!

When children began associating his alcoholic breath with Christmas, mothers found that they could just order out presents just like pizza or Chinese takeout.  Fewer and fewer parents frequented Mattison’s Toys.  At least the internet didn’t chase you out of the mall wearing his grandfather’s Santa suit.

Invariably, Randy would collapse and pass out in the mall parking lot.  Sheriff Kennedy would be called after local teens defaced Santa with a magic marker.  Our new Christmas tradition ends with a sleeping Santa in the drunk tank at the county jail.  With “cock” written on his forehead, he dreams of all the presents that he’ll sell next year.

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Package Deal: Naked Mailman Named Person of the Year

Three years ago, Mort Fry could barely pass the civil service test to become a mail carrier. Now he’s been named Person of the Year by the Chrislip Journal.

Fry didn’t win for his mail carrying duties, of course; you could teach a spider monkey to be a mailman. He won the award because, since last summer, he has made his daily rounds in the nude.

How Chrislip Journal’s 2010 Person of the Year, Mort Fry, appeared to five-year-old Caitlin Keane

The choice of Fry was greeted with rampant hostility throughout the town, but Journal editor Todd Farris met the waves of anger bravely, shoving cub reporter Michael Wright out the door to explain the decision.

“Person of the Year isn’t a popularity contest,” Wright said. “It simply recognizes the person who has had, for better or worse, the greatest influence. And this year there can be no doubt that that person was Mort Fry.”

Mort first began making his mark one hot day last July, when he decided that clothing wasn’t necessary toward the swift completion of his appointed rounds. Midway through his route, the police tried to arrest him for indecent exposure, but he explained that waving his penis around was freedom of speech, and they went away.

Mort’s nudity had an immediate effect on day-to-day life in Chrislip. Sales of blackout curtains skyrocketed, and nearly half the people with home mail delivery opted for post office boxes. But it’s also expected to be much more far-reaching, with a long-term impact on the town’s socio-sexual demographic.

“Mort’s mail route took him to the Wee Care daycare center,” explains reporter Wright, “which means that countless youngsters bore witness to him and his bag. Very likely this means that the little girls will grow up with a negative view of men, and will eventually become lesbians. Little boys, on the other hand, are far less likely to become homosexuals.”

This paints a grim future portrait of Chrislip in which its young men, unable to find suitable mates, move away and leave women in charge. Many speculate that, in thirty years’ time, Chrislip will be named Lesbianville. The sun will no more to shine, and it will be as twilight even at noon.

Such is the legacy of Mort Fry. The Chrislip Journal’s selection of a controversial figure is not without precedent. Time magazine, which has an even wider readership, has raised a few eyebrows with their choices. These have included Adolph Hitler, Josef Stalin, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, two of whom unleashed unspeakable evil into the world, while the other introduced collectivized farming to Soviet Russia.

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Airport Body Searches to be Conducted by Registered Sex Offenders

Passenger Jeffie Langton prepares for boarding

Recent airport protocols issued by the Transportation Security Administration have drawn howls of protest from across the country. Many travelers object to what they consider overly invasive body searches, in which security personnel touch passengers’ breasts, buttocks, groins, crotches, and even genitals to check for weapons or other contraband.

In Chrislip, most of the howls have come not from the passengers, but from the airport employees doing the searching. They are sickened by the sort of people they’re expected to touch. That disgust was made tangible last week when the entire security crew walked off the job.

“Have you seen the kind of people who live in this town?” asked security head Nico Carling. “Picture those turn-of-the-century photos from Ellis Island, all the dirty, stumpy immigrants in their moleskin coats. If Chrislip people looked half that good, we’d still be on the job.”

Fortunately, there will be no interruption of air service in our community. Help arrived from an unexpected quarter when the security jobs were taken over by those unsung heroes of small-town America, registered sex offenders.

The new chief of security is Chuck Buffin, who just finished a six-month sentence for gross indecency in the lower half of a men’s room stall.

Said Buffin: “When we approached the airport manager about taking over the frisking jobs, he asked about payment. We said, ‘How much do you want?’. He said, ‘No, we’re paying you.’ We couldn’t sign up fast enough.”

Chuck Buffin checks a passenger for explosives

Buffin said that he and the other weirdies will do their best to make Chrislip proud of them for a change. “No breast will go ungroped and no penis will go untweaked,” he promised. “We plan to touch, feel, and possibly even rub up against everyone and their brother until this whole terrorism thing blows over. And if any terrorists are reading this – no hurry.”

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