Sunday, September 07, 2003

Pitt Gambles On Tuition Increase

The expansion of legal gambling in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has been a heavily debated topic at the state capitol building in Harrisburg all summer long. Proposed venues have already been designated – nine at horse racetracks and two others: one for the Philadelphia area and one for somewhere in the nine-county Pittsburgh region.

Although the state senate still has not voted on the issue, the University of Pittsburgh is taking the initiative to house this venue location in the City of Pittsburgh itself. In a press conference held this week, administrators announced the purchase of over 10,000 slot machines, funded by the 9.5 percent tuition increase for the 2003-04 academic school year. University officials hope to install them within the Cathedral of Learning by the end of the calendar year.

“With the right marketing and advertising, we plan to bring in thousands of patrons to the brand-new Casino of Learning,” Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg said at the press conference. “Not only will this premier, state-of-the-art gambling arena be conveniently housed right here in Oakland, but the profits from the machines will eventually help ensure the end of tuition increases for our students.”

Nordenberg’s administration plans to utilize the profits made from the machines to supplement money it receives from the state, lowering the cost of tuition for current and future students.
“The slots initiative will allow us to offer an affordable education,” Pitt spokesperson Robert Hill said. “And it will also bring in revenue for the University and for Southwestern Pennsylvania. We’re doing our part in revitalizing the economy – we’re bringing in jobs and educating tomorrow’s business leaders.”

Floor plans and designs for the revamped historical higher education landmark were also unveiled at the press conference.

Hill didn’t deny new rumors about a possible partnership with Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts, Inc. for the new Casino of Learning. “If we’re going to have high-quality gambling, we’re looking into what established gambling venues are doing. The possibilities are endless for the Casino of Learning, and we want to make sure we start things off on the right foot.”

Students are still skeptical about attending classes amid a plethora of noisy machines and crazy gamblers.

“Well, I guess I could get used to hitting the books and then hitting the slots,” said Pitt sophomore Katy Browlee. “Does this mean that the Cathedral will be applying for a liquor license?”

Pitt To Erect Plaque Honoring Survivor's Tits

University of Pittsburgh officials announced last week that a plaque honoring Pitt student, and recent Survivor winner, Jenna Morasca’s breasts will be erected outside the William Pitt Union. The plaque, which is set to be unveiled sometime in early spring, will be placed on the Forbes Avenue side of the union. It will stand next to a similar plaque honoring Pitt alum Gene Kelly and his breastless contributions to the entertainment industry.

“We’ve been debating putting a new plaque up beside Gene Kelly’s for years,” explained University spokesman Robert Hill. “There have been numerous candidates mentioned for the honor, including Dan Marino and the 2001 Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon.”

Then why the decision to honor Morasca’s breasts?

“In a recent analysis of our student body, it was found that around 96% of the women currently enrolled at Pitt either have a life’s goal of ‘being on TV,’ or ‘posing in Playboy,’” Hill began. “And 76% have a goal to do both! We felt that Miss Morasca exemplified all the qualities and achievements that today’s Pitt woman wishes to have.”

“We couldn’t think of a more symbolic way to highlight the exposure of reality TV and a Playboy pictorial better than a plaque honoring a Survivor’s sweet, sweet titties.”

Sophomore Spends Summer in Altoona, Closet

Carnegie Mellon sophomore Gerry Harding is considered one of the best young talents in his acting class. This summer he proved to his peers that there was no role he couldn’t handle.

“I kicked ass in Letters from Nam last spring,” said Harding, “and then took on the role of a lifetime when I moved back home this past summer. My parents will be so proud of me someday.”

Harding’s freshman-year roommate Steven Simpson visited Harding during late July. He couldn’t believe what he saw. “It was like a totally different Gerry. He walked and talked so straight.”

“I’m so proud of my son. He’s such a talented actor,” said Rev. David Harding, Gerry’s father and pastor of the First Grace United Methodist Church in Altoona, PA. “I knew he would be a great instrument for the Lord when I saw him perform in our church Passion Plays. And he’s always looked up to such good Christian actors, like that Richard Chamberlain.”

Port Authority's New "F Ridership" Campaign Succeeds

In September of 2002, Port Authority Transit (PAT) of Allegheny County began its highly controversial “Fuck Ridership” campaign. The results are in, and it’s being hailed as an overwhelming success.

“Ridership has never been more fucked,” explained PAT Chief Executive Officer Paul P. Skoutelas, speaking at a press conference marking the one-year anniversary of the “Fuck Ridership” campaign. “I am happy to report that today, riders enjoy scaled-back bus routes, increased fares, and disgruntled operators on all bus and trolley [“T”] routes. The cost of bus passes is the highest it’s ever been. This has really been our most successful campaign to date.”

PAT, which offered 24-hour service on its most popular routes in the Summer of 2002, kicked off the “Fuck Ridership” campaign in the early Fall of 2002, when it announced a simultaneous discontinuing of 24-hour service and 15 cent fare raise.

“Fuckin’ PAT be putting its money into the ‘T’ and keeping up the inclines and shit, but have you taken the EBO lately?” asked an angry Antonio Watcher. “We lucky that mutherfucker even has wheels, the way it look. My baby’s mamma would kill me if she knew I took ‘lil Jawann on that bus.”

“I just wish we could get more money from the state,” continued Skoutelas. “Then we could extend the ‘T’ and put a few accordion buses to Shadyside on at rush hour.”

Security Deposit Lost First Week In House

It was reported that the residents of 369 1/2 McKee Place have lost their security deposit no more than one week after moving into their new house. After moving in on August 22, the roommates decided to throw a “Welcome Back To School” Party. The party was estimated at 85 attendees who drank a record-high three kegs of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

“Dude, the party was awesome! There were people everywhere and the cops stopped by like three times. I got so trashed. It was great!” reported partygoer David Meyers.

Roommate Josh Mason could not recall many of the events of the previous evening. “I was so drunk. I can’t remember how the door got broken in half. All I know is that my foot really hurts.”

Roommate Kevin Darnell, however, did witness the destruction of the kitchen wall. “While we were trying to get the second keg into the kitchen, Ron dropped his end which made the other guy drop his end. It rolled to the wall and put a little dent in it. It wasn’t too bad but then Josh, the fucking idiot, thought it would be cool to make it bigger and proceeded to kick the wall until an enormous hole was there. This guy Pete tried to stop him but Josh ended up throwing him into the refrigerator and dented the front of that. It was insane, brah.”

Apart from the kitchen wall and door, a table, a third floor window, and a shelving unit were all destroyed in the unruliness.
Darnell received the phone call from the landlord the next day making them aware that all the repairs were coming out of their security deposit, which Darnell mentioned “totally sucked.”

Mariss Jansons Keeps It Real For The '724'

Pittsburgh Symphony Conductor Mariss Jansons certainly has reached the pinnacle of symphonic success. While he has earned great respect in the classical music field, he has also had to avoid the trappings which go with such a prestigious job.

"It's like everyone wants a piece of me, because I got mine," confessed Jansons. "People want me to neglect my shit, but if I don't look after it, who else will? Sure I got more cars, women, and houses than I did growing up in prep school, but that don't mean I take it for granted."

Jansons, whose recent rendering of Dvorak's Symphony No. 5 is drawing rave reviews from critics and the symphonic community alike, is keeping it in stride. "Some of the younger heads can't handle the success I've had. At first it was hard, but then you learn to cope. You need to focus on what's important, the music. That's all I ever had growing up in prep school. Them days was hard, but they made me at the same time. In between our family summer jaunts to Paris, it just felt like all I had was my viola."

While Jansons has found his niche in Pittsburgh, rumors have surfaced about his true love for the Steel City, especially after guest conducting roles with the Boston Pops and London Philharmonic.

"People saying I don't love the 724, they don't know shit," declared Jansons. "These are my people. This city loved me when I was nothing more than fourth chair, it gave me an opportunity. I ain't going to forget where I came from. Certainly, the Boston Pops and London Philharmonic are big time opportunities, but I'm not going to let that get to my head. The music really comes from the love of the suburbs I got in Pittsburgh. Sewickley Heights knows I do this for them."

It is the genuine love Jansons has for the upper-middle class which really drives him night in and night out to deliver. Jansons has even gone so far as to develop a line of tuxedo wear, "Pops Appeal," and devotes countless hours to teaching music at select private schools for large sums of money. Though some question his credibility to main true to his suburban roots, no one can question his achievement in the orchestra pit.

The Odors of South Oakland

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Point / Weaker Point: Squirrel Hill Tunnels

Why Are You People Slowing Down?
By Jeremy Clifton, CAS Senior, Monroeville

Why do people always slow down right before they enter the Squirrel Hill Tunnel? What do they think, a giant meteor is going to fall and crush the tunnel or something?

It makes no sense; it’s just a tunnel, that’s all. Two lanes. You don’t even have to merge. Millions and millions of people around the globe go through tunnels everyday and they make it through just fine. Some people might slow down if there’s a toll booth before the tunnel, but after that they go the normal goddamn speed. Sometimes people might even decide to speed up. And why not? It’s not like there’s gonna be a cop hiding around the corner to bust you.

I don’t understand Pittsburgh drivers. I’m from New York, and we’d literally get shot if we slowed down before we entered the Holland Tunnel. Murdered. DOA. But everybody in Pittsburgh feels compelled to slow down causing a major traffic jam, which makes me 10 minutes late for class. Thank you very much. Learn how to drive.


Oh God, I'm Gonna Die!
By Michael Donowski, Financial Consultant, Murrysville

Oh no, here it comes, oh my God. This is it. The end. Jesus Christ, oh God, bless me Father.

Oh, watch it buddy, don’t come too close. Wow, that was close.

All right, breathe in, breathe out. Relax, you’re gonna be fine. Everything’s gonna be all right. Just…oh my God. What was that? OK, not gonna die, not gonna die. Gonna make it through. Relax.

All right, slow down, here it comes, apply brake, nice and gently. Oh, too much. Oh God. It’s OK, it’s fine. Keep steady. Stay on target, Corsica; don’t switch lanes, Lumina. Now gently. Here it comes. Oh, no, I can’t do it, I can’t, I can’t…

Oh God, JESUS…all right, I’m in the tunnel. Just relax, stay in lane, oh no, I lost my radio, what’s happening? What’s going on? Help, can anyone hear me, hello. Why is my radio gone? What’s happening? OK, nothing. Just keep on moving, nice and slow. You’re gonna get out, you’re gonna get out, you’re gonna…oh, I can’t, I just can’t. I don’t like this at all. Why didn’t I just go through Regent Square? I wouldn’t have been that late for work. Why do I torture myself every time through this hell-hole? What’s that noise? My radio? It’s back! All right, just a little longer, just a little bit, hold on, easy, hold on…oh God, I’m out. Thank you, Lord, I’m out. Phew! Thank you, Jesus. I’m safe. I’m safe. I’m gonna be OK.

All right!

Rejected Sorority Rushee Finds Retribution As Amos Hall Security Guard

As a freshman, Tammy Mitchell longed to join a sorority and live in their Amos Hall suite; unfortunately, every house rejected her. Now, seven years later, Mitchell is using her job as an Amos security guard to get back at the discriminating Greeks.

When residents enter the building, they are required to swipe their student I.D. Usually this process takes only a few seconds, but the vengeful sentry can make it last an eternity.

“Excuse me! EXCUSE ME! Yeah you, with the three triangles on your shirt…swipe again, please. Again. Again. Again. Okay, you’re gonna have to go to the Housing Office and get your card re-magnetized. Nope. Sorry, I don’t know you. Well, let’s see, there are about 400 blue-eyed, blond bimbos in this building. What makes you think I’m gonna remember you?”

Mitchell even uses her power to ruin the sex lives of suite dwellers.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Overnight Guest Forms must be filled out by 2 a.m. Yes, I’m well aware that it’s only three minutes after two. But rules are rules. I guess you’ll just have to screw at the frat house tonight. What’s that? Yeah…same to you, bitch.”

Amos residents are currently petitioning Dr. Steven Sivulich, Assistant Director of Residence Halls, to have Mitchell terminated.

“Hell, they can fire me,” Mitchell chuckled while filling out a stack of Visitation Violation slips. “Right now I’m enjoying the sweet taste of revenge.”

Stevie Leiter's Head's Up!

---How is everyone? Me, fabulous, of course. So is Mr. Tickles – he’s happier than a clam!

Holy moly, I’m totally excited for a new column! Old Man Stilley only lets me write to my people like twice a year or something.

What a year for local celebrities. That Jenna girl from Pitt won Survivor and her own Playboy shoot. I don’t get the appeal…

Mario Lemieux is so f*$king the Penguins, if you ask me, but he still so cute.

Can you believe it’s already time to watch football? Stevie can’t. Three days a week of tight pants and sweaty men… hold on, I’m getting a bit too excited!.

Have you tried Old German Beer? “The world knows no finer” they say. Ask Patsy for the best.

That bathroom in Denny’s is just falling apart. What’s with bathrooms in Oakland? Don’t even start about the O, because we all know that one. But like, Bootleggers has maybe the best men's room around and it still isn’t all that good. What does a man have to do to take a decent shit in this neighborhood?

Speaking of shit in this neighborhood, I swear I saw Kordell last week in Schenley Park, fruit-loop section. No kidding.

I also saw Dennis Miller ranting to some homeless guy down town. That guy’s act never stops! He went to Stevie’s almost alma mater – Point Park College. But I transferred to Pitt my junior year, so it doesn’t count.

Did you know that crazy jew Jeff Goldblum is from Homestead? I bet he’d hate the Waterfront.

Oh, I totally saw John McIntyre at Donzi’s last week. If I had him and Jimmy Krenn in a room with me, I’d never stop laughing. Unless you threw in Peggy Finnegan. Then I would.

Oh, looks like I’m out of space. Shoot! Well, just keep socializing and looking for local hotties. But you don’t always have to keep your heads up!

CMU Campus Nothing Like Real Genius

To the average person, Randall Hoffman looks like any other high schooler enjoying their summer break. But Hoffman isn’t in high school. During the last three months the 15 year-old laser-engineering prodigy and incoming CMU freshman spent his free-time looking forward to his first week at school.

“I couldn’t wait,” said Hoffman from his dorm room in Hammerschlag Hall. “That first week was going to be great. I just knew all the robotics, computer, and engineering guys were crazy deep-down. We’d get together and make an ice-skating rink out of the dorm floor, fill the president’s house with popcorn, and best of all, have pool parties with hot girls in bikinis from the local beauty college.”

At the end of the first week though, a crushed Hoffman realized, “CMU is nothing like Real Genius.”

Aside from the disappointment over no party-crazed, eccentric classmates or not experiencing a “Tanning Invitational” with local blondes from the nearby beauty college, Hoffman also expressed sadness over not bonding with an older top-of-his-class engineer.

“Where’s my ‘Chris Knight’ to take me under his wing and teach me about life and that there’s more to school than just classes?” Hoffman asks. “I’m only 15 years old, and I need someone like him in my life to guide me through this first year and to get me free soda by using liquid nitrogen instead of actual coins. Who can I turn to now?”

“And you can forget about me falling for a brilliant yet quirky brunette,” Hoffman adds. “I’m stuck here in ‘Schlag’ where’s there’s not a girl in sight—but I heard they used to have crazy jello-shot parties here.”

And as far as taking part in non-Real Genius-like activities at CMU?

“Well, I went to some sort of ‘new school year’ event thing at the University Center, but everyone I tried talking to acted like I was someone’s little brother. I miss my mom.”

Neighborhood Guide

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Pitt Freshman Eager To Be Away From Home, Buy Porn Anonymously

Incoming Pitt freshman Brett Webster is happy to be away from his small hometown of Drums, PA. Upon being accepted into Pitt’s 2003-2004 freshman class, Webster thought of all the excitement that awaited him both at the University and in the Oakland area. He’d finally have the freedom to get away from the small town atmosphere where he and his parents knew most everyone in the town, to be his own person in an urban environment. And buy porn.

“Kick ass!” exclaimed Webster. “Oh, the sweet Playboys… the Penthouses… Hustler, Club I think it’s called, and who knows what else they’ll have at Pitt. Those are the only four they have behind the counter at [local convenience/video store] One-Stop, back home. Watch out Pitt… Barely Legal, here I come!”

The small-town nature of Drums prevented Webster from buying porn in the past, both before and after his 18th birthday.

“Well, Wayne from down the street is the manager there, and Kim, this girl I went to high school with is always working during the days, so I can’t just go up and ask for something. They don’t even rent porn videos either.” Webster continued, “and there’s only one ‘adult’ store, but ‘Crazy Fred’ runs it. The thing is, Fred lives at home with his mom, but his mom and my grandma both count the money after church on Sunday. I couldn’t risk her finding out.”

“I’ve already got it planned out,” he explains, “Gus Miller’s on Forbes, and Take Two down in South Oakland somewhere. I don’t know where yet, but I’ll find it my first weekend. Finally. This is what college is all about.”

Souf Oaklin Gourmet To Compete On Iron Chef

With the rising American popularity of the quirky Japanese-language cooking competition show Iron Chef, cable TV’s Food Network has set out to help Fuji International TV expand their American fan base. Iron Chef, which has now been in Japanese production for over three years, still tapes two to four new cooking specials per year. Past battles of New York (and Food Network) chef Bobby Flay vs. Iron Chef Japanese Morimoto have given a “domestic” spin to this overseas show.

One such upcoming battle, set to be taped at Pittsburgh Rare in Station Square, will feature Pittsburgh’s own Souf Oaklin Gourmet. He is slated to battle Iron Chef Chinese Chin Kenichi, with the battle being judged by Japanese photographer Ryuta Mine, KDKA food writer Rania Harris, ex-Steeler Franco Harris, and Japanese food critic Kishi Asako.

“Dude,” explained the Souf Oaklin Gourmet, “I’ll kick ass if the theme ingredient is Ramen or frozen pizza, but I know there is a chance that I might get the Iron Chef Chinese or Italian. Now, my strategy is to get baked and watch as much IC as possible, right, so I can learn Chin’s weak spots. I saw him get his ass handed to him by [Iron Chef French] Sakai.”

This isn’t the first time Food Network has taped in the Pittsburgh area, but this is the most anticipated televised culinary event to date.

When approached about his upcoming battle, Iron Chef Chin said, “I have read his fabulous, bold recipes. No one prepare better tater tots or holiday cookies than Souf Oaklin Gourmet. In my country, many know this gourmet, and all love him. To battle him would be a great honor.”

“Hey dude,” quipped the Gourmet, “you give me some canned cheese, a cigarette, a few bottles of Iron, and some peanut butter, and I can make you a dish you will never forget. Kaga, you better have your boy’s back, dude!”

The show is tentatively scheduled to air in the early spring on the Food Network

Mr. T Joins Oakland A-Team

Last Spring, the Oakland Business Improvement District (OBID) formed the Oakland A-Team, an organization dedicated to helping students and visitors find their way around town.

Volunteers passed-out flyers, maps, bus schedules, and parking information. But no one seemed to notice. That is, until Mr. T – the mohawked star of the ‘80s – joined the A-Team.

Sporting an official “I PITTy the fool who don’t stop and ask directions” smock, Mr. T walked up and down Forbes Avenue, helping pedestrians and motorists alike. He gave directions to the O, navigated automobiles around confusing one way streets, and even provided local historical information to one curious visitor inquiring about the Cathedral.

Mr. T, however, did become enraged with one local driver. “Slow down, fool!” he screamed at a speeding car.

When the driver ignored his advice and proceeded to run a red light, Mr. T chased him down, dragged him from his vehicle, and punched him repeatedly with a bejeweled fist.

“You messed up,” Mr. T informed the near-comatose man, “now I gotta mess you up. It’s the law, fool!”

Panthers Petition Big East Officials For Pre-Emptive Strike Against Hurricanes

The University of Pittsburgh Head Football Coach Walt Harris has been lobbying Big East Officials to grant the Panthers permission to use physical force to oust the allegedly corrupt University of Miami Larry Coker regime. While Big East officials acknowledge the accusation, it seems the legislative branch of the football conference is favoring the use of investigators to look into the claims of misconduct.

“While I appreciate the stance of the Big East to use non-violent means to settle this conflict, there simply is not enough time to come to a peaceful resolution before the November 29 contest between our two Universities,” said Harris. “We need to be proactive in a strike to affect the makeup of this football team before they wreck havoc on the rest of the Big East. Our intelligence has shown the coaching staff of Miami has systematically undertaken a policy which borders on abuse in its training camps, and also has a number of recruiting violations. The time to act is now. Not after the national championship is decided.”

Harris has issued a plan which will debilitate the Coker regime by attacking the arsenal of its offense.

“Our plan is simple and effective. We plan to send All-American candidate Claude Harriott and starting linebacker Lewis Moore behind enemy lines in Miami to take out starting quarterback Brock Berlin, running back Frank Gore, and wide receiver Jason Geathers. By seriously dismantling them, we can generate a public outcry against the arsenal of their offense and we can proactively dismantle their fraudulent regime.”

While Harris is confident that action should be taken, many around the Big East are skeptical.

“The Panthers are merely using these allegations as a cover for their own desires to control the lucrative Florida recruiting base,” argued Virginia Tech Head Coach Frank Beemer. “Harris has failed to document even one case of an NCAA violation. These are trumped up charges. If Miami has violated any regulations then NCAA investigators need to look into these claims, not the Panthers defensive line.”

Pirates Trade Parrot To Detroit

The Pittsburgh Pirates traded their Parrot mascot yesterday to the Detroit Tigers of the American League. In exchange for their mascot, the Pirates received Muddy, the mascot of the Tigers’ AAA minor league affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens.

“The Pirate Parrot has been an integral part of this baseball club for decades,” Pirate GM Dave Littlefield reported. “But now it’s time to forge ahead into a new era of Pirate baseball. We wanted to go with a mascot who exuded youthfulness and one who we could build a game day entertainment crew around. We feel that Muddy has just the fresh face and zany antics which Pittsburgh will eat up like… well not mud, of course, but something which tastes better than mud.”

The move also had financial implications as the Pirate Parrot was making $14 dollars an hour, while Muddy's hourly wage is currently $7.25 an hour. The move will save the Pirates front office over $8,000 a year. The Parrot was also eligible for bonuses totalling $485 if he got 75% of trivia contestants to choose the “Mystery Box” option in “Pirates Trivia” (sponsored by PNC Bank).

Pittsburgh Pirates radio and television announcer Lanny Frattare has reported that while the transaction may have been made for its financial benefits, he believes the move is still the right one for the Pirates future.

“The Parrot was consistently error- filled in his repertoire,” said Frattare. “He regularly botched T-shirt tosses and has jammed the hot dog gun for an all-time major league mascot high of nine times this season. In addition, his pierogie race intervention is getting a little stale. This is a major league ball-park and it needs a major league caliber mascot, which Muddy is on the verge of becoming.”

Though many are praising the move, others see it as just another attempt by the Pirates to cut corners and save a few dollars.

“It doesn’t make sense to bring an inexperienced mascot onto center stage,” argued life-long Pirate fan and Brookline resident Matt Lawler. “If the Pirates were going to make a move in the mascot department they should have gone after a more experienced veteran like the androgenous Youppi! from the Montreal Expos or an up and coming talent like Dinger the Dinosaur of the Colorado Rockies. Those guys are bona fide studs.”