Wednesday, July 10, 2002

"Stay, Invent PA" Campaign Not Referring to Pitt Students
- "We're talking about the CMU grads," says Governor

For months, recent and upcoming graduates have been filled with hope – hope that they will be able to find a quality job in their hometown here in Pittsburgh, or in towns across all of Pennsylvania. These hopes have been fueled by Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker’s multi-million dollar advertising campaign “Stay, Invent PA” targeted at the state’s college graduates. The ads imply that Pennsylvania offers great opportunities and lower costs of living that would appeal to the new grad, fresh in the real world.

But those hopes were crushed and quickly swept aside this past Wednesday when Governor Schweiker stated, “Yeah, we’re not really talking about Pitt people in those commercials. We have to show those ads so much in the Pittsburgh area because of CMU.”

Schweiker’s statement ended months of speculation within the Pitt community. “Well, we’ve been seeing these commercials all the time. At first, I was like, ‘what the fuck is this?’ All I knew is that it was some fat guy in a ballerina suit yelling at some kid,” said Pitt senior Maria Pesto. “But after seeing it a couple times, I realized it was talking about how PA had all these jobs for college graduates. So naturally, I was excited. I’ll graduate in December, so I kind of stopped worrying about getting a job when I left, or at least not having to move to North Carolina or something. After thinking about it though, I thought, ‘well, where the hell are these jobs anyway?’ No one I know is getting any of them. What’s the deal?”

“Oh yeah, lots of jobs. Yeah, right,” jokes recent grad Miller Cavanaugh. “It’s been nearly three months and I’m still waiting for my chance to ‘stay, invent PA.’ Fuck that. Yeah, some of my friends have gotten jobs, sure. But they’re still moving to D.C. or New York to get them. What a load of shit.”

When told of the feelings of students like Cavanaugh, Governor Schweiker responded, “Well, wait, wait a second there. These students have to remember, they went to Pitt. The kids I want to stick around are those from CMU.”

“I find very good job,” says CMU graduate Tommy Chae. “I get job at technology firm. I am paid $60,000 a year. Tommy Chae like Governor Schweiker. Like Governor Schweiker very much.”

“Okay, okay, I’m fair. I’ll help out those kids from Pitt,” continues Schweiker, fumbling through Sunday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Here, right here. Laborer… driver… cashier. There are plenty of jobs for Pitt students. NO WAIT!! Even better. Right here, look… ‘part-time dishwasher needed at Joe Mama’s Café.’ That’s right there on Forbes. Some lucky graduate won’t even have to leave their shitty apartment in South Oakland.”

With graduates leaving the state by the thousands, reports are unclear at this time whether the governor will broaden the “Stay, Invent PA” campaign locally to include Pitt.

Coneman Delayed By Merge Off West End Circle

Pittsburgh’s own champion of construction-season commuting, Coneman, was trapped last Thursday for 30 minutes trying to merge off the West End Circle and onto Carson Street.

“F#ck!” exclaimed a helpless Coneman, making no progress.

Coneman, the local hero and mouthpiece for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s summertime detours, was reportedly trying to get from his home in McKees Rocks to a press conference at the County Office Building.

The West End Circle has become the most notable center for rush-hour congestion as repairs continue on the Fort Pitt Bridge and Tunnel, Pittsburgh’s main artery onto and off of Parkway West. With little other alternatives into town, Coneman was forced to take his chances through the West End.

“LOOK!! Open… open spot… go… GO… you little old...,” replied Coneman when asked for comment. “She could have at least stuck her nose out in there and someone would have let her…ah, screw it.”

Not much is known about Coneman’s origin, or really his role in summertime construction, but it is clear that even he is not immune to the suicidal tendencies gridlock brings.

“Kill me. Kill me now,” sighed Coneman, sweaty, and sticking to the ripped vinyl seats of his 1970’s rust-brown Dodge Aspen.

The bottleneck at the off-ramp has also taken its toll on Coneman’s trusty sidekick, his dog, Caution. The mutt remained motionless on its side in the back seat for at least 15 minutes, apparently passed out from the oppressive heat and internal fumes of the Aspen.

“Oh, my sweet Jesus Lord, please. Just go,” Coneman begged of the elderly woman in the car ahead of him.

With sweat streaming down his face from his bright orange hard hat, and presumably no movement in sight from the old lady ahead of him, it was unclear when Coneman would actually get his chance to merge.

“The hero of the commuter,” commented a fellow motorist. “Well I guess wherever there is traffic, Coneman is definitely there.”

Psychic John Edwards Conducts Local Crossing Over (to North Oakland) Seminar

From an early age, John Edward displayed remarkable psychic abilities, predictions and premonitions he couldn’t explain. At 15, a reading by a psychic changed his life. Edward was told what millions have witnessed; he can reunite people in the South Oakland ghetto with those that have crossed over to North Oakland.

Last Wednesday, David Lawrence Hall was a flurry of telepathic activity as Edward channeled the spirits of former South Oakland residents before a standing-room-only crowd. After a few minutes of meditation, the TV-medium ventured into the hopeful crowd.

“Okay, I have a younger male coming through,” he said. “I interpret this as being either a sibling, friend, cousin.”

About 50 hands shot up in the audience, but Edward focused his energy on Craig Lander, a Pitt sophomore seated in the front row.

“I’m getting a B connection here ... who’s the B? Brian, Bob, Ben?” Edward asked.

Lander responded with a blank stare.

“Could be a D. Like Doug, Dave, Dick?”

“Wait! My brother is a dick!” Lander exclaimed.

“Does he drink cheap beer ‘cause I’m seeing a can of Natty Ice here?”

“Uh ... yeah, I think.”

“I’m with you then,” Edward conceded.

After 10 minutes of vague descriptions and cryptic messages, Lander was overwhelmed by emotion and had to leave the room.

“He hit on such personal things,” Lander said, tears streaming down his face. “I mean how did John know that my bro likes to eat ‘O’ Fries and watch porn! I’m amazed and happy to know that he's in a cockroach-free apartment with his own washer and dryer.”

Edward encourages everyone to communicate, appreciate, and validate messages from relocated loved ones – even if the signs seem trivial.

“You could be walking down the street and catch a whiff of your best friend’s perfume, or the schwag that your cousin used to sell out of his basement,” Edward explained. “That’s just their way of saying ‘Hey, I'm okay. I'm in a better place now.’”

How to Beat the Summer Heat!

Point / Weaker Point: Old English

Old English is Historically Important
- by Herman Feilman, Ph.D, Sociolinguist/Philologist

I hear it all the time from my students, “Why do we have to learn Old English if it's a dead language?” Similar arguments are made for Latin and all of the other “dead languages.” These students might as well ask, “why do I take linguistics?”

Linguistics is the study of languages, all languages. We can not just study the current jargon of the day and be on our way, just as a military historian would never study America's current War on Terrorism without examining the conflicts that came before it – the most important, obviously, being the Soviet-Afghanistan encounter in 1980 and the United States involvement in that conflict. Then once you study that encounter you see that it was heavily brought about by other Cold War discords occurring from World War II, a war that was directly caused by the aftermaths of World War I, etc., etc. We could go on all day.

Similarly, in languages, you see the influence on a current speech pattern occurring from past ways of speaking that are directly related to past ways of speaking, that are directly related to…well, you get the picture. Thus, in order to fully understand why a college freshman might “mac on his shorty,” you need to understand the cultural influences that have brought about that phrase; of which Old English is, without a doubt, a cultural influence.

Stay Away From the Eight Ball!
- by Jimmy Laven, CAS Sophomore

Man, my roommates are always talking about Old English Malt Liquor, saying how it gets them all gassed up. While that may be true, my roommates need to consider two important facts in choosing a malt liquor.

First of all, Old English gives you a wicked hangover. For example, last Thursday I drank a 40 of Old E and then two Old German's. The next day I missed my 10:00 Calc class and had a splitting headache.

Second of all, there are better tasting malt liquors out there. I recommend better tasting Mickey’s (the one with the stinger and funny caps, those caps are really funny!) or perhaps Colt 45. Colt 45 is not as good as Mickey’s, but it is still better than Old E. The taste is more delicious. I compare it to eating a McDonald’s hamburger or having a hamburger from the “O,” where the McDonald’s hamburger is like the Old E and the Mickey's is like the “O” burger, which is better.

In conclusion, I believe that Old English is an inferior malt liquor. Firstly, I thought this because of bad hangovers which are given by Old E. Secondly, because the taste is worse, and better in Mickey's and Colt 45. So the next time you get a senior to buy you a malt liquor, I recommend not getting Old English.

SOFL's Renter's Checklist

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CMU's "Lobster Boy" Boiled, Sautéed, Eaten

The half-eaten body of Bill Kofmehl III, Carnegie Mellon University’s infamous “Lobster Boy,” was found floating in a puddle of butter by Doherty Hall last week. Police say that the killing is not the work of some deranged sociopath, but an act of “performance art” by three Pennsylvania Culinary students.

Darren Haden, Paul Sips, and Jen Saville, all seniors in the Le Cordon Bleu culinary arts program, needed nine credits in “creative expression” to fulfill their graduation requirements. They knew that their future rested on one final project.

“‘Lobster Boy’ spent months in his little house without talking or removing his costume,” Haden explained, “so we thought, ‘Hey! If he’s that dedicated to his art he has to accept all the risks involved in being a crustacean!’”

After Kofmehl’s project was shutdown due to fire code violations, the culinary students invited the dejected artist to a hot tub party, asking him to wear his lobster suit. The threesome reportedly got him drunk, drowned him in the boiling water, and proceeded to sauté him in garlic butter and chives with a tomato garnish.

Gerald Dobbs, the culinary students’ professor, gave them high marks for their effort. “This was quite an enterprising dish they came up with. It was rich and savory without being too heavy. If it wasn’t for the capital murder charges against them, these kids would have bright futures as master chefs.”

Shirtless Guys on Porch Still Waiting for Girls

A shirtless group of four Pitt students spent last Thursday afternoon lounging on the porch of their South Bouquet apartment waiting for girls.

“Well, it started out with Jake,” recalled Pitt junior Steve Snow. “He was out there first drinking a beer, so I came out and hung out with him. Next thing we knew, it was all four of us out there.”

The shirtlessness seemed to be a smaller part of a larger plan to attract women, an endeavor which encompasses much of the roommates’ spare time. Snow adds that he and his roommates have also tried tactics like, “beer-bonging kind of loud so that people look over at us, playing the new Limp Bizkit album at extremely high decibels, and throwing the football in the middle of the street.”

To date, the most positive response has been a courteous wave from “this total slob of a girl.” “You figure we’d get more than just that, right?” Snow rationalizes. “[We have] this sweet porch and a big couch on it. Chicks like that, right?”

Reports of Snow and his three roommates renting the house just for the porch and their desire to hang out shirtless on it to “pull some trim” have not been confirmed.

PCNC to Air The Stilleys

(PCNC) announced Thursday that it will debut its newest reality program The Stilleys in early September. The series will feature long-time South Oakland fixture Tom Stilley, his son Donny, and fiancée Veronica. PCNC is billing the show as the next big “reality sitcom.”

“We got the idea for The Stilleys while visiting Tom and the gang when we were filming a bit for Night Talk. [Host John] McIntyre saw how crazy that house was and thought, ‘Ozzy’s got nothing on The Stilleys,’” said PCNC spokesman William Nagle. “So we called them up and offered them a deal.”

PCNC put cameras and a small crew into Tom Stilley’s Ward Street home back in May and will continue to gather footage until mid-August, when post-production on the new series will begin. “We’re really excited for this show. We really think Pittsburghers will love it,” said Nagle. “We were just looking over some stuff from Memorial Day, when Tom fell off ‘the wagon.’ Man, that stuff's hilarious! Also, we really got a kick out of a fight Tom and Donny had about whether Veronica is a ‘skanky Donzi’s chick.’ This stuff is classic!”

When asked what he thought about his life being exposed to the public like this, Stilley said: “It’s crazy arahnd hir. Especially na since at jag-off kid a mine is home from Penn State fer da summer. Wait’ll [Pitt] football practice starts – den da good jaggin’ll begin!”

Fans of Stilley will also be glad to know that PCNC will be filming Tom and Veronica’s upcoming wedding and will incorporate the romance into the show. “Tom and Veronica’s love theme,” explained Nagle, “is being written right now by world-renowned composer [and Pittsburgh Pops conductor] Marvin Hamlisch. It should be an exciting piece. We’re all as excited about this wedding as we know you all will be when we show it in late November or early December.”

Other series highlights will be Tom’s VIP visit to a Pirates/Expos game – rain-delayed by two hours, Donny’s date with a stripper, Tom’s battle with a nebby neighbor, Veronica’s pregnancy scare, and an episode about underage drinking when Donny gets drunk and tries to take on all of Oakland in a Pitt/Penn State chant war.

“Yeah, that’s what we’ve got so far, but we still have two more months of filming,” enthused Nagle. “I’m so excited – Tom’s thinking about going to the Warhol [Museum] for happy hour next Friday – man, that should be a trip, they’re showing a film about transsexual midgets in an orgy. If that don’t set Stilley off, nothing will!”

Sources at PCNC believe The Stilleys, hoping to capitalize on the success of MTV’s The Real World and The Osbournes, will most likely be shown on Tuesday nights at 11 p.m. The Stilleys will reportedly receive a total of $25,000 for 15 episodes.

Stevie Leiter's Head's Up!

Hey, how is everyone doing these beautiful summer days? Me, I’m fabulous!

Wow, is it me or did short-short weather start really late this year? I had my pink speedo ready to go for Memorial Day, but Memorial Day wasn’t ready for ole Stevie's pink speedo (though I know a few people who were!).

So, I'’ve been VD-free for over a year now, and I’'m ready to try my luck again! Ok, I’ve been trying my luck for about five months now, but no one's taking the bait.

Item! Tom Cruise is soooo hot in Minority Report. Tom, I’'m gonna kill you with my love muscle soon, are you cumming to arrest me?

Hey, I saw Panther’s coach Walt Harris at Bruegger’s the other day. Wow, he'’s always in those warm-up sweats. ’Nuff said.

Is it me or does Myron Cope scare you? I saw this video called Steelmen and Football or something like that, and he gave me the creeps–. Dan Marino, incidentally, gave me the randys.

Picture this: A green field. Trees lightly waving in a mid-summer breeze. A big screen showing a favorite movie. Friends sitting around on the hill, sipping wine and enjoying the film. Like it? It’'s my idea for a new movie night in Schenley Park–Movies at the Oval! See you there, Kordell!

Entertainment news, Stevie? Why yes: Gwyneth Paltrow is a slut. There, I'’ve said it.

How about Rosie? I'’ll be honest. I never liked her, and now that she really really is a dyke, I like her less. You'’re giving us a bad name, bitch!

Ok, that’s all Stevie has for you this time. Old Stilley’'s really getting married, can you believe it! See yinz all at the wedding!

Mad Dog Imbiber: "What the Hell Happened Last Night?"

South Oakland Mad Dog aficionado Jeremy Owens reported memory loss and head pains after downing two and a half bottles of Mad Dog fortified liquor the previous night. Reports coming from his 236 Semple Street home confirm Owens’ loss of memory and consciousness.

“Dude, you were bombed last night,” roommate Michael C. O’Reilly declared to Owens. “Do you remember anything?”

Owens reported “hazy” memories of certain guests and beer pong games being played.

“I think my ex-girlfriend Melissa was over. I hope I didn’t say anything stupid. Oh shit, did I?” Owens questioned to his roommates.

Roommates confirmed Owens intuitions informing him of his brief argument with ex Melissa Peters and his often use of profanity such as “slut,” “whorebag,” and “trailer-[trash]-bitch.”

“Oh fuck,” Owens summarized. “There’s probably no getting out of this one. Fuck.” Further developments revealed Owens ill-fated attempt at a booty call to “that girl in my Intro to Critical Reading class,” a misfired punch at friend James Arnold, and a heart felt speech in which Owens professed his love to roommates, friends, and associates.

No word yet if Owens plans a repeat Mad Dog performance.

South Oakland Resident Disgruntled with his Enron Stock

James Twilley, 24, of South Bouquet Street has been dealing with some difficult times recently as his Enron stock has plummeted to new lows over the past year and a half.

“It’s hard for me,” said Twilley. “That stock was my retirement nest egg. I had over four shares in the stock. Now it’s worth practically nothing, I don't know what I'm going to do.”

Twilley invested in the stock back in January of 2001 when the price was at an all time high of $80 per share. “It’s just hard to deal with,” explained Twilley. “You read about it in the papers, but once you experience it first-hand, it’s like nothing else you can imagine. Because of [Enron's] mismanagement, I lost over $320. That’s almost a week's worth of pay at CVS. It’s always the little guy who gets hurt. I bet my financial future on that stock. I was buying cases of Yuengling Lager non-returnable [bottles] and eating at Sorrento’s Pizza almost every night. Now I'm stuck buying that god-damn PBR and eating at ‘the O’.”

Former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay addressed Twilley’s loss at a press conference last Thursday.

“Mr. Twilley is emblematic of the American entrepreneur. He’s the low wage, hard-working individual who uses his intelligence in an attempt to better his life. I would go so far as to call him the symbolic backbone of our economic system. I feel very bad for Twilley and his loss. It’s stories like his which tug at the very fiber of this controversy. While his loss is a travesty, people need to realize that the stock market is a gamble. I would encourage Twilley to diversify his portfolio in subsequent investments and not be discouraged by this loss.”

“It’ll be a long time before I’m back on my feet,” Twilley concluded.

Pitt Women's Softball Afraid of Balls

After an unsuccessful 21-33 season, Jill Meyers, the coach of the University of Pittsburgh Women's Softball team turned to sports physician Freddie Fu for help. The celebrated athletic trainer discovered a troublesome condition existing in a majority of players. Fu diagnosed 19 out of the 24 women with a unique disorder known in the sports-medicine field as “ball phobia.”

Lady Panthers Pitcher Amy Greiner described the condition to Fu. “I don't know what happened to me. I don't even feel comfortable holding [a ball] in my hand anymore. I used to love the feel of it in my palm, but now, it frightens me.”

Coach Meyers first realized there was a problem when the team had an exhibition game against the Men’s Baseball Team. “The guys’ team wanted us to play with their balls. I couldn’t get over how small they were.”

“They just didn’t feel right. They didn’t feel as natural as the softer, fuller, rounder, girls equipment,” Greiner added.

That was just the beginning of the phobia. First Baseman Kate Laslow explains her fear started after she witnessed balls descending on her numerous times. “After watching them drop, I just became frightened about what would happen next. I couldn't bear to have anything to do with them.”

Coach Meyers said that Laslow has also mentioned several instances of balls getting out of hand around her. “They’ve hit her hard on her ass when she wasn't paying attention, and even smacked her in the face.”

Coach has her own philosophy that her girls’ problems may stem from lack of experience. “I think they just aren’t really used to what techniques to use or have had anyone teach them how to properly handle balls. I feel that if they just keep trying and keep working those balls, their fears will subside.”

Zips Becomes Official Sponsor of Pitt Athletics

The flailing shoe company Zips made a surprise announcement last Thursday when they announced a $21 million, ten year agreement, to become the official sponsor of University of Pittsburgh Athletics. Beginning in the fall of 2002, all Pitt athletic teams will tighten up the patented Zips velcro when competing in university sponsored events.

“This is a great day for Zips,” Zips CEO Raymont Meyers explained. “By aligning with the Panthers two great institutions are coming together. Both of our organizations have had similar paths – great success in the 80’s, the Panthers with Jerome Lane, Dan Marino, and Alex Van Pelt, while in the 90’s we were the laughing stock of the nation. Now with this historic agreement, the two organizations are once again set to capture the attention of this great country.”

In conjunction with the agreement, Zips is announcing a new line of shoe styles which will honor the Panthers. From now on, all of Zips shoes will be styled with Panther blue and gold.

Zips is hoping to piggy back off the Panthers recent athletic successes which included a Tangerine Bowl victory and an NCAA Tournament basketball appearance.

“I will be very proud to sport the new Zips sporting gear,” Panther left tackle Rob Petitti proclaimed. “I feel very privileged to be the Pitt athlete who will have the largest Zips on my feet [At size 22 ½]. Having been born in 1982 I was too young to remember the Zips phenomenon, but my older brother tells me that he had a pair back in ’84, and he enjoyed them very much. I’m just hoping to keep up the family tradition.”

However, not all Pitt athletes are as enthusiastic as Petitti about the new sneaker partnership. Panther point guard and co-Big East Player of the Year Brandin Knight complained, “I asked Steve Pederson for Adidas and he gets us Zips? This will definitely ruin my draft position.”

Steve Pederson issued word that he is excited for the merger. Pederson also directly addressed Knight’s concerns in a statement which read, “Brandin Knight plays basketball to win, not as part of some fashion show.”