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Your Horoscope
Week of July 21
(Ramp Accessible)
Born this week you might be a Cancer, you might be a Leo, or you might experience a disconcerting growth spurt in one of your vestigial organs. No matter, your chances for a normal life are better than Rory Culkin's, 24, or Conor Kennedy's, 18, both of whom have birthdays this week.
Mr. Culkin will eventually take his own life after he can no longer stand being mistaken for his brothers Kieran, Macauley, and Nostrodomus. Mr. Kennedy, aside from being saddled with a tragically cliched first name, must also fight the ravages of the industrial-strength STD he caught from Taylor Swift.


Cancer (June 22–July 22) Your financial prospects are so wretched you can only afford the new Vin Disel Fast & Furious grill on a time-sharing arrangement with a family that's overly fond of road-kill. Later in the month a fifteen-pound newborn canary named Junior will escape from his cage and imprint on you.

Leo (July 23–Aug. 22) Your sex life is a shareware program about to expire. One-size-fits-all gloves don't come in your size. If dreams took human form, yours would be wearing toe tags.

Virgo (Aug. 23–Sept. 22) Car A leaves Hollywood at 9:00 a.m. on Monday. Car B leaves Bangor, Maine, at the same moment. Car A, which has a 15-gallon gas tank and averages 19.6 miles per gallon, is driving east. Car B, which has a 17.5-gallon tank and averages 18.9 miles per gallon, is driving west. After three days, what color is car B?

Libra (Sept. 23–Oct.23) Like most Librans you are a sniveling complainer, unable to get your mind around the fact that we are all responsible for our own karma. Perhaps the mess that is your present life is but your last request from a previous existence. Try to discover why you were executed in that existence and what your first requests were.

Scorpio (Oct. 24–Npv. 21) According to the George Zimmerman Random Actuarial Profiler, where "10" equals "dead-bolt cinch" and "0" equals "dead in the street," your critical numbers for this week are: communicable disease, 8; grace under fire, 3; plays well with others, 1; inappropriate response 9; cannot recommend for advancement, 8.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22–Dec. 21) Sagittarians are ruled by the buttocks, the seat of all power. Their gemstone is porcelain, their favorite time of day is right after meals, and they prize regularity above all other virtues.

Capricorn (Dec. 22–Jan. 19) Capricorns suffer from automonosis—the tendency to become bored with one's own company. If you hanker to get away from yourself, here's a tip: you don't have to die in order to be reincarnated. If you don't like who you are, become somebody else. There are companies that advertise in the backs of magazines that will help you.

Aquarius (Jan. 20–Feb. 18) Your life is a run-on sentence that is out of control and greatly in need of editing. Learn to appreciate the nuances of subordinate clauses and the hierarchical conjunctions that exist among colons, semicolons, commas, and em dashes.

Pisces (Feb. 19–March 20) Ever the cynic you have no trouble believing it isn't butter; that some minds would not be a terrible thing to waste; and that maybe you don't deserve a break today. You also have a highly developed sense of irony, which leads you to walk around muttering "I see living people" in a tiny, traumatized voice.

Aries (March 21–April 19) If the enemy of your enemy is your friend, does that mean your friend's friend is your enemy? Or are you simply being paranoid? Don't make any decisions unless you begin getting calls from a foreign-sounding man who breathes heavily into the phone and identifies himself as a friend of a friend.

Taurus (April 20–May 20) Your sun is in Leo, which could mean trouble because it's supposed to be in Albuquerque. Leo's son, meanwhile, has just confessed his love for his stepmother, who is being blackmailed by a mysterious man named Kurt.Pictures at 11:00.

Gemini (May 21–June 21) After a twelve-course Chinese dinner, you switch fortune cookies with the person next to you when she isn't looking. When she opens "her" cookie, she grins happily. Several weeks later you learn that she has won several $8 million in the lottery. Meanwhile, the cookie that you opened said, "That wasn't really pork."


The Grammar Prick
Meaner than a powdery, old-hag English teacher, The Grammar Prick will split your head if you split an infinitive.
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Postcards the Book
The book that inspired a website is available from Cedar Tree Books. Written by someone who was actually raised by pugs, Postcards is a welcome addition to any nightstand.
Sample chapters . . . 1 2

Texas Says Death Row Inmates Deserve Healthier Last Meals
Sep 23, 2011 - 12:07:00 PM
an image
"I shouldn't have eaten that third chicken fajita."
HUNTSVILLE, Texas - The execution of Lawrence Brewer has reignited the controversy about the last meals traditionally served to inmates on death row. Mr. Brewer, forty-four, was executed in the Texas State Penitentiary last night for killing a handicapped black man thirteen years ago by dragging him from the back of a pick-up truck.

Before his execution Mr. Brewer requested a last meal that would have brought Adam Richman to grief: two chicken fried steaks, a triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, a cheese omelet, a large bowl of fried okra, three chicken fajitas, a pound of barbecue with half a loaf of white bread, and a pint of Blue Bell ice cream. That's close to seven thousand calories, a figure that got the attention of the American College of Nutrition (ACN).

"It's never too late to begin healthy eating," said William P. Elias, M.D., recording secretary of the ACN. "We believe an inmate's last meal should not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Mr. Brewer should have been served a light, balanced meal that would not have placed a burden on his digestive system."

The movement to reform last meals began on February 17, 2005, with the execution of Dennis Wayne Bagwell in the Texas State Penitentiary. Mr. Bagwell had been convicted of murdering his half sister, her four-year-old daughter, and two other women. His last meal consisted of a steak, medium rare with A1 Sauce, three fried chicken breasts, three fried chicken thighs, BBQ ribs, a large order of french fries, a large order of onion rings, a pound of fried bacon, a dozen scrambled eggs with onions, fried potatoes with onions, sliced tomatoes, a salad with ranch dressing, two hamburgers with everything, peach pie or cobbler, ketchup, salt, pepper, milk, coffee, and iced tea with real sugar.

"We need to save some of these inmates from themselves," declared David T. Goff, vice president of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation. "No one should eat a heavy meal before going to sleep. That flies in the face of accepted nutritional wisdom."

Opponents of the traditional last meal complain that the majority of such meals are "heart attacks on a plate." They also argue that nutritional information should be provided with all last meals, so that condemned prisoners "know what they're getting themselves into."

an image
The one meal to have if you're having only one.
Immediately following the execution of Mr. Brewer—who didn't even touch his final meal, asking for a doggie bag instead—Texas State Senator John Whitmire wrote to the state department of criminal justice regarding Mr. Brewer's last supper. Obviously sensitive to Texas' reputation for its extravagant last meals, Mr. Whitmire asked the department to "end this practice immediately" or he would end it "by statute next session."

Brad Livingston, executive director of the department, agreed: "Senator Whitmire's concerns regarding the practice of allowing death row inmates to choose their last meals are valid. Prisoners' eyes are frequently bigger than their stomachs. Therefore, effective immediately last meals will be restricted to 3,500 calories. Moreover they must contain balanced portions of proteins, vegetables, fruit, and carbohydrates.

In related news, presidential candidate and Texas governor Rick Perry heatedly denied during last night's presidential debate in Orlando that he had allowed a retarded person about to be executed to order his last meal.

"I did not knowingly allow that man to choose two pounds of gummy worms, a pineapple soda, and a pound of M&Ms with all the orange pieces removed."


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