Sunday, August 24, 2008

Breaking News... Stilley to Enter Monastery

In a candid barroom confessional, Souf Oaklin fo’ Life!!! Publisher Emeritus Thomas Donald Stilley announced at Uncle Jimmy’s ten minutes ago that he plans to enter the monastery at St. Vincent College in the Spring of 2009. The announcement comes amid speculation after a previous taproom wager in which Stilley proclaimed he would become a monk if the Steelers lost to Jacksonville in last season’s AFC Wild-Card playoff game. As misfortune would have it, the Steelers lost the game, but most regulars speculated Stilley’s inebriation would supersede his word. Turns out, Stilley’s a much more coherent drunk than the general populace credits him for.

Stilley started the idea for what would become SOFL in the summer of 1977. Beset by Pitt pride after the Panther’s National Championship win in the 1977 Sugar Bowl, Stilley penned his first satirical prose for the Pitt News entitled “Chancellor Poopsvar Eats His Own Poo, and He Smells Too!” The piece was ultimately rejected by the university’s student newspaper, and derided as “juvenile” by then Pitt News High School Summer Editor Intern Michael Chabon. But Stilley maintained his positivity through the rejection. He shelved his ambitions while he worked at the J&L mill site, where he would be employed as shift engineer from 1977-1989, when the mill would close for good. In his spare time Stilley would edit Jones and Laughlin’s safety newsletters, but his heart still yearned for lampoonery. A “back injury” would sideline Stilley for the next decade as he collected disability and regularly drowned his sorrows in “Ahrns” at Uncle Jimmy’s in South Oakland. A chance meeting at a graduation bar crawl in 1999, connected Stilley with five graduating Pitt seniors. The relationship would develop and SOFL would launch its first issue in September 2001 under Stilley’s leadership.

Since Stilley’s retirement from SOFL, he focused on family – specifically his new child and his wife, Veronica. Stilley even attempted to mend relations with his “jag-off” Penn State graduate son Donny. But alas, the elder Stilley’s hatred for all things Nittany Lion proved too divisive to repair the relationship, and by the old man’s account, the son still remains “a jag.”

Since his retirement and post-Steeler Super Bowl XL victory, Stilley has reportedly felt a spiritual void that failed to be filled when the Steelers lost on a last second field goal to the Jaguars this past January. Skeptics theorize that Stilley really is using the monastery as an excuse to get a front row seat at next season’s training camp. They point to Stilley making the pilgrimage to Latrobe three times this current training camp season and complaining incessantly about the high gas price cost to get out there.

Whatever the man’s motivation for leaving, there can be no doubt that with his spiritual guidance the Steelers are a lock to win the Super Bowl next season in 2010.

Good luck Tom, we’ll miss you! Our Em dashes won’t be the same without you.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Economic Stimulus Checks Spark Underground South Oakland Economy, Joints

While President Bush and Congress enacted economic stimulus legislation to spark the American economy out of recession, in South Oakland the payments have served other incendiary purposes. Since economic stimulus checks have been arriving in the locale since May, neighborhood cannabis retailers have been experiencing a boon in an already thriving market. This has lead many local politicians like US District 14 Congressman Mike Doyle to question whether the payments are really serving their intended purpose.

“When we fought for these rebates for American workers, we had visions of these checks spurring local businesses and encouraging our regional economy in places like South Oakland. I’ve been shocked to find out some of my constituents have been having a high time on Uncle Sam’s dime. I’m tired of these [expletive] students crying foul about student loans and increasing costs, and then when you throw ‘em a bone every now and again, they go and try to smoke the damn thing,” lamented Doyle.

Though Congressman Doyle has remained daunted by the harsh realities of the South Oakland economy, other economic analysts are not so quick to judge. University of Pittsburgh Research Associate Chris Briem explains, “While yes, I understand Mike being concerned about government money being used for illegal trafficking of controlled substances into our region, I think in a strange way these monies are landing directly back into the hands of legitimate South Oakland entrepreneurs, or I should say as legitimate as South Oakland entrepreneurial endeavors can be. On the surface you won’t see the direct correlation of stimulus checks to taxpaying business, but on closer examination you’ll see an economic trickledown effect that would make Ronald Regan roll over in his grave. I’ve pulled numbers on this and somehow for every one dollar invested, for lack of a better word, into the “marijuana crop,” it yields a three dollar return in South Oakland business. This is good news for the Antoons, Campus Delis, Wheel Delivers, and Fuel n Fuddles. These businesses are thriving compared to the same quarter last year. This means more jobs, and a larger tax base for the region. Perverse and misguided, perhaps? But you can’t argue with the data.”

Indestructible Backboard Installed at Field House - "God Himself couldn't break this backboard," says Bozik

This article originally appeared in the January 24, 1988 edition of "Souf Oaklin fo' Life!!!" - 

Athletic Director Edward E. Bozik is proud to announce that the university has purchased a new state-of-the-art backboard to install at Fitzgerald Field House. The backboard was fabricated by PPG Industries whose mission was to create a backboard “so strong and durable that none of the fashionably-tight shorts wearing super-hoopsters of this modern era would be able to break it.” The backboard was installed with a new, highly-resistant, super-durable, heavy duty, plexi-glass known by its industry name Herculite® Tempered Plexi-glass.

“Why, this new Herculite material is so strong that God himself couldn’t break this backboard if he was on a fast break that culminated with a tomahawk dunk,” boasted CEO Vincent A. Sarni from PPG’s new crenelated Downtown skyscraper. “As a company, we’re excited and think this material will be the next big thing in material science. We’re confident that once the general public sees how well the substance holds up against the wear and tear of a basketball game, then the future possibilities will be limitless. Steam ships, space shuttles, tanks, bridges, rail roads, why you name it, and in ten years time it’s likely to be made out of Herculite. And, of course, with all the recently displaced blue collar workers from the closing of area steel mills, we’ll have a manufacturing job in this region for every man, woman, and child this side of the Youghiogheny.

Bozik plans to have the backboard installed in time for tomorrow's game against Providence.

Tipoff for the game is scheduled for 7:00 PM. Tickets to the game are still available for purchase via cash, check, or Diners Club card at the ticket window or by calling 412-648-P-I-T-T.

TV: The game will be featured on ESPN’s primetime. A television blackout is scheduled for the area.
Radio: WPTS 92.1 FM broadcast with Bill Hillgrove.

Class of 1999 Urged to “Wear Sunscreen”

This article originally appeared in the May, 1999 edition of "Souf Oaklin fo' Life!!!" -

In his commencement address yesterday morning to a packed Mellon Arena, Australian film director Baz Luhrmann gave the University of Pittsburgh’s class of 1999 an urgent piece of advice: Wear sunscreen.

Luhrmann continued, “If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists.”

Luhrmann, whose hit films include Muriel’s Wedding and William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, was invited to address the class by Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg after Nordenberg allegedly rented Romeo + Juliet on tape from Take 2 Video on Bates Street, in Oakland.

“I was just stopping by for a case of Bass Ale at Mellinger’s [Beer Distributer],” recalled Nordenberg, “when I remembered the wife wanted me to pick up a movie. Well, Blockbuster was just out of the way in North Oakland, so I decided to take a chance of Take 2 Video. Eclectic mix of videos. Fantastic porn section! Oh, Romeo + Juliet was pretty good, too. That Claire Danes is something else! And the wife just LOVES Leo.”

UPMC doctors have corroborated Mr. Luhrmann’s advice as “solid;” however, the rest of the speech was described as having “no basis more reliable than his own meandering experience.”