Thursday, March 19, 2009

March Madness No Fun and Games for State Mental Institutions

Although “March Madness” is a fun and exciting time of year for college sports fans and gambling enthusiasts alike, it is the most dreaded time of year for the numerous mental institution employees in Massachusetts. “March is absolutely the worst time to work here,” said Maria Williams, who works at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center. “I have to deal with over 30 prank calls a day, and it is very difficult to remain civil with people who joke about something that is in fact very serious.” Williams said that the prank calls include people saying things like “I always go a little mad this time of year, can I check in for the month?”, “How busy do you guys usually get in March?”, and the inevitable “Yes hi, can I speak to a Cray Person, middle initial Z?”

The agony extends beyond the nuthouse for many of these employees, as friends and family ruthlessly make pun after pun on the word “mad”. “It’s the same s***, year after year,” lamented Williams, lighting a cigarette. “I don’t know how much more I can take.” Williams said that even her husband of 10 years, who knows she can’t stand this time of year, also cannot resist making jokes to her. “It’s just too much fun,” said a smirking Brian Williams, Maria’s husband. “Besides, she’s so cute when she’s mad.”

Williams and a few of her coworkers appealed to the NCAA to change “March Madness” to a different term to avoid their suffering, but their efforts were to no avail. Williams knew that she had only a small chance of succeeding in getting the NCAA to change the name, and upon realizing that the best alternative they could offer was the laughably inadequate “March Merriment”, she almost gave up hope entirely. “We had to try, we just had to try to end this,” said a melancholy Williams. “I guess I’ll just have to accept the fact that my life is going to miserable one month out of the year.” I foolishly asked at the end of the interview whether Williams thought her suffering should be compensated with a bump to the next income bracket, at which point she lunged out of her chair and attempted to strangle the life out of me. I ended up OK though, and I hear Mrs. Williams is doing fine as a resident in the Massachusetts Mental Health Center.

Monday, March 16, 2009

AIG Donates $100,000 to UNICEF, Enrages Taxpayers

The announcement yesterday that AIG has donated $100,000 of government bailout money to UNICEF has infuriated taxpayers, who allege that the company is once again misusing the bailout funds given to them. Having flared the temper of the American public just days earlier by announcing that they would be paying $165 million in bonuses to company executives, AIG seems to have done even more damage to their reputation with this UNICEF announcement. I got a chance to catch up with John Paul Rubicon, a construction worker from New Jersey, who says that he is fed up with AIG’s abuse of taxpayer dollars. “I am tired of watching AIG just throw around my hard earned money to these selfish and useless purposes!” shrieked Rubicon. “Bonuses!? Children!? What’s next!? Bacon!?

AIG has become infamous for nearly collapsing last year, and is still operating only because of an unprecedented taxpayer bailout now totaling $170 billion. Although $100,000 seems like a small amount next to $170 billion, in these tough economic times the taxpayers want every dollar of that bailout money going towards one thing; stabilizing the shitstorm that is the U.S. financial market. “I don’t know what AIG was thinking giving 100 grand to UNICEF,” Rubicon noted. “I’ve had to take a second job just to keep my house, and AIG is giving my money to some kids I’m never gonna see, let alone employ!”

With the economy in its current state, it isn’t surprising that the public’s concern over possibly more important issues, such as the 158 million children aged 5-14 engaged in child labor, has dwindled. In a recent poll, just 9% of respondents said they were concerned about child labor and other worldwide atrocities, while a whopping 72% said “I don’t give a flying f***” regarding those issues. Shocking as those statistics might be, and even more alarming that the large majority actually used the terms “flying f***” in their response, they may just be signs of the times. “Listen, I know there’s a bunch of crap going on in the world, but right now we have to throw money at our own issues,” said Rubicon, in between bites of a bacon cheeseburger. “Just tell whoever this UNICEF guy is to talk to us in a few years.”