The Week’s What Next? Contest/Feb. 20, 2009

The Week’s “What Next?” Contest (emailed entries are due to whatnext@theweek.com by 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday, Feb. 16.) revolves around flight Aeroflot 315’s drunken pilot incident where passengers made enough of a fuss about the apparent intoxication of their pilot, they were able to have him removed and replaced.

According to an article on the London Times Online:

One [Areoflot official] sought to reassure [passengers] by announcing that it was “not such a big deal” if the pilot was drunk because the aircraft practically flew itself.

The Week’s Challenge:

Please come up with a takeoff announcement that might tip off plane passengers that the pilot is too soused to fly.

What the heck. Here’s the entry I sent to “whatnext@theweek.com”:

Good after-noon ladies and germs,This you’re your captain drinking. Welcome to Flight Fwee-Five-Fo-Fum, non-stop from wherever the hell we are right now to Dallas or Dulles or one of those places that begins with the letter “d.” This is a non-smoking flight, but the government has not yet made it non-drinking. Trust me on this one when I tell you that the lovely Maya who just demonstrated how to put a life preserver on, though I think we can safely say she doesn’t need one. Am I right or what? Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, drinking. Maya mixes a terrific bloody Mary. So, drinks on the house; have her mix you one of those tomato smoothies, sit back, relax, and enjoy our flight to Denmark.

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Study Finds People Like Study Findings

THE WEEK magazine’s contest for this week involved studies that state the obvious:

A new study has determined that the closer teenagers live to a lot of liquor stores, the more likely it is that they will drink. Astounding! Please invent another scientific study that proves the obvious and provide the headline for that study. For example: Students Who Study Outperform Those Who Don’t on Tests, New Study Finds.

Here were the ones I cooked up, the one with the star is the one I sent in:

  • Study finds military better at nation breaking than nation building.
  • Study finds similarly hued grass on the other side.
  • Study finds other grasses to be greener.
  • Study finds a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
  • Study finds birds in the bush to be overrated.
  • Study finds avians eschew congregating amongst similarly feathered cohort.
  • Study concludes ‘more study needed’ into whether more studies are needed.*

What studies would you suggest?

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Harry Splutter & the Lure of Hollyweird

Epi-soda 16

A Magical Split

“It seems we’ve been carting around in the double-decker deathtrap for months,” said Der Weasel.

Hermione rolled her eyes and sighed. “Look, I told you about the ‘bookmark spell’ didn’t I?” she asked exasperatedly. She opened The Year of Magical Thinking at the place that she had bookmarked previously.

“Actually,” Bumblebore interrupted gravely, “I was explaining that the time we’ve been away, which seemed like weeks or months, was rather like the time period that occurs when you put a bookmark between pages and then set it aside. When you return to it, you open it to the bookmark and the characters are right where you left them.”

“Well, technically, but tha’ was ages ago,” cried Der Weasel. “You can’t expect me to remember all that without my magic crib notes on my arms do you?”

Bumblebore’s eyebrows danced like two caterpillars doing the rumba. “Aha!” he exclaimed. “I knew it! I knew you were using some sort of magical device to cheat!”

“It’s not cheating—it’s—”

“Cheating! Tha’s what it is,” gloated Bumblebore triumphantly.

“But you use a pensieve to remember things,” said Harry “What about—”

“Immaterial, to our discussion—”

“What about me arms,” wailed Randolf the Burnt Sierra.

“Shut up about your bleedin arms, you stupid git,” growled Bumbelbore. “Don’t see me complaining about not having any arms, do you?”

Bumblebore moved slightly. “Hermione would you be a love and scratch under me robes?”

Hermione scratched Bumblebore’s back.

“Lower,” he said contentedly. “Lower still, even lower my sweet.”

“Ewwww, you’re a disgusting old goat, you are,” Hermione said resolutely.

“I suppose I am,” said Bumblebore sheepishly.

“What about me arms?” cried Randolf the Wrinkled.

Harry tapped Shun Standpipe on the shoulder. “Shun, could do me a favor?”

“Depends,” said Shun suspiciously.

“Would you open the double-doors to the bus?”

“You called?” asked Bumblebore confusedly.

“Well, for once, that stupid joke works,” Harry said amazedly.

Shun magically opened the doors with a handle attached to the doors. The sound of the evening’s traffic came in.

“Professor Bumblebore, do you see what I see on the street there?” asked Harry with a grin.

Bumblebore bent over to look. “What is it, Har—”

Harry magically removed Bumblebore with a swift kick of Harry’s foot.

“Brilliant!” cried Der Weasel

Harry grabbed Randolf the Warped by the robe. “Weasel, gi’ me a hand would you?”

“Gladly”

“Hey, get your ‘ands off me, you little—”

Harry and Weasel magically threw Randolf the Red off the bus.

They put their arms around Hermione.

“Now,” said Harry satisfactorily, “let’s go find those other Horcruxes.”

“Horcruxii,” yelled Bumblebore and Randolf the Road Rashed.

“Garroff me,” Bumbore yelled just before he and Randolf the Mauve were left behind in the wake of the bus’s magical exhaust.

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