by Roger White
Ah, my catatonic cohort, I know many of you have been waiting with bated breath (and yes, it’s bated breath; “baited breath” would involve halitosis of the earthworm variety) for the next installment of the Oldspouse Quasi-Periodic Spot the Bogus Story Contest, otherwise known among Oldspousifiles as the OQPSBSC. Well, wait no more, my addled adherents, for it’s time once again. I got chills. Gooseflesh. Exciting, huh? You got chills? OK, Gary, when you jump up and down like that, it bothers the people around you. I see you there.
If’n you don’t remember the rules, worry not. Just read the five (four, sir!) four news snippets below gathered by the crack Oldspouse staff from the five (four, sir!) four corners of the globe. One—and only one—of the stories is, how we say, counterfeit. False. Fake. Phony. Not on the level. Made up. Contrived. Bogus, as Mr. Spiccoli would say. The other three, believe it or else, are legit.
Be the first, third, or 74th person (we accept goldfish, too) to e-mail our Oldspouse staff demographer (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the correct answer regarding which of these tales is purely fiction, and you win $3, yes 3 US dollars (one of which may even be an Eisenhower silver dollar) and a genuine Oldspouse-endorsed “Jesus Is Coming, Hide the Bong” bumper sticker. I’m not joking. This is my job.
OK, here goes. Spot the Bogus Story:
Story No. 1: The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded research to the tune of more than $500,000 to see how sick shrimp compare to healthy shrimp on a treadmill. Their conclusion—a half a million bucks later—was that the prawn feeling a tad puny didn’t perform as well as their healthy counterparts. One of the head labcoat scientist persons explained that the experiments help humans better understand the effects of pollution on the little guys’ defenses and, thus, survival of the species. And since survival of the little shrimpies affects the seafood industry—namely, the makers of shrimp cocktail sauce—and thus has ramifications on the success or failure of countless dinner parties worldwide, then you can grasp the import.
Story No. 2: In another NSF-funded study, researchers spent 21 days—and about $330,000 of taxpayer dough—to determine if spouses are more prone to violence when they’re hungry. During the three-week study, 107 couples were given the opportunity, at various times, to shove pins into voodoo dolls that represented their significant others. The Captain Obvious conclusion? Spouses with low blood sugar rammed more pins into their hubby/wife voodoo dolls than those same spouses when they were full. Jeez, give me 3 large, and I could have given you the same results. I’d include pie charts and everything.
Story No. 3: To celebrate National Arts and Humanities Month, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funded—to the tune of just under $250,000—five New York artists for the purpose of making plaster casts of the buttocks of athletes from various sports. The artists made impressions of male and female athletes from basketball, baseball, football, track, hockey, volleyball, and swimming to compare musculature and definition. After viewing the exhibition at a Manhattan gallery, one NEA administrator quipped, “These are the bums of the gods.” What a bum deal.
Story No 4: Scientists recently appropriated approximately $300,000 of NSF grant money to study how humans ride bicycles. Really. The study, initiated to determine just how humans ride bikes, was created to determine if bicycle manufacturers could design bikes that would be more comfortable, more accessible, and easier to ride. The reasoning behind this study was that if bicycles were easier to ride, then more people would use them and would thus impact healthcare costs worldwide. Ride, captain, ride. Yeah.
Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely spouse, two precocious offspring units, a morbidly obese dachshund, and a cat with Epstein-Barr Syndrome. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com. Or not.