Archive for category Integration Efforts

Above The Fruited Plain: Vandals Bolster American Sentiment

Lincoln, NE – A new fad has taken root in the graveyard enthusiast community; tired old headstones are getting a facelift.  Volunteers with a local group are sneaking into cemeteries all over the city in the dead of night to paint the monuments with bright colors and add cheerful decorations. 

“We just feel that the grey monolith has run its course.” says Lemonn Gentworth, president of the Graveyard Rejuvinators International: Midwest, otherwise known as GRIM.  “There’s no reason people looking at a cemetery should ever be reminded of death, and nothing says “death” like ugly grey rocks sticking up out of the ground.  With a little paint and maybe some tasteful dolphin figurines, cemeteries might become a place so removed from the awful stigma of death that you could host a toddler’s birthday party, or have a bat mitten tourney, or sell puppies to homeless people, or whatever.  The possibilities are really endless.”   To date, Gentworth and his volunteers have “colorfied” (the official GRIM term) about 100 graves in and around Lincoln, with plans to move on about 250 more. 

While it should be noted that these activities are viewed as vandalism under the law (punishable by death in North Korea) and there has been some outcry from concerned citizens, PFN News spoke to at least one man who welcomed the change.  I visited Jarvis Wayne II on the back porch of his humble farmhouse on the outskirts of town, overlooking his neighbor’s fields, and the family graveyard that lies just beyond the white picket fence around the backyard.  “Well I was actually pretty shocked at first.”  Wayne told me. “I just woke up one morning and saw all of my ancestors had a coat of yellow paint on the headstones.  I called my preacher just to make sure you know, there wasn’t anything untoward about it, you know with the dead and all that.  And then I called the hospital to make sure they would tell those ambulance helicopter pilots that I did not have a landing pad in my back yard, what with the yellow and all.  After that, the more I thought about it, I guess it was really OK.  I think Grandpa Jarvis might even have liked it, you know with the yellow and all.”

Indeed as we sipped iced tea on the back porch, this reporter could not help but appreciate a scene as American as any.  The sun setting on the horizon, illuminating the Amber Graves of Wayne. 

PFN News – Steve Dbrockavitch


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PFN News News: Official Trumpeter Named

PFN News News:

Last month, PFN News correspondent Scud Langley reported on the firing of former news editor Raul Ortega.  While this was, no doubt, unfortunate for Mr. Ortega, it has proven to be somewhat of a windfall for PFN.  Not only did we rid the organization of a less than profitable associate, but we also loosed ourselves from his 5 year, $20,000 contract (which, as was stated therein, is voided upon termination), effectively freeing up 78% of our operating budget.

After hours of deliberation, the Board Members decided unanimously to appropriate $5,000 to pay off a couple of car title loans we had taken out during particularly trying season of the news business.  Last year, our advertiser pulled their support and we were forced to borrow against both vehicles owned by our company in order to fund the breaking news coverage, and underwrite the construction of Mr. Langley’s personal ham radio tower.

The remaining $15,000 was used to hire the newest member of our team, Stephano Grehrs, as the Official Trumpeter of PFN News.  Mr. Grehrs holds a B.A. in Accordion Theory from The University of Minsk, and completed his post-graduate studies in Vienna, earning an M.F.A. for his work in transcribing the sound of running water into conventional music notation, and then composing a sonata for bassoon based on the mono-tonal themes he derived from his research.  Mr. Grehrs soon left his academic career and spent the 90’s playing flute in jazz/Tibetan chant fusion bands all over the Pacific Northwest.  He then landed the coveted position of “Minstrel of Record” for NPR News where he stayed until we lured him to PFN with the promise of focusing on trumpet, and free use either the El Camino, or the other El Camino (recently secured by the aforementioned loan payment), at his discretion.

So far, the only assigned duties of the Official Trumpeter of NPR News are, playing “Flight of the Bumblebee” every morning via conference call, playing Taps at the funeral of any PFN associate who may die during his tenure, and softly playing “America the Beautiful” as Steve Dbrockavitch steps off the plane on any foreign soil.  Other duties may be assigned at a later date.

Note: A search for “Minstrel of Record” on the NPR website did not yield anything on Mr. Grehrs’ service there, having apparently been purged from their records.

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Unicyclist Enters Tour De France

contributed by Steve Dbrockavitch

Paris, France — Tour De France watchers will notice something remarkably different about the race this year.  On Tuesday, board members agreed, by unanimous vote, to allow unicycles in the race.  In the 108 year history of the race, the Board has repeatedly kept at bay such efforts to revolutionize competitive cycling, “but with the dawn of a new century now 11 years behind us, we must the Tour into the modern era.” said Assistant to the Deputy Press Secretary of the Board of Directors, Monsignor Jacques du France.

With the rule change, organizers expect to see around one competitor make use of the unicycle, namely, Gerard L’tior, a French ex patriot now living in East Lansing, Michigan.  L’tior, the principle lobbyist who petitioned the board for the use of unicycles, suffers from an irrational fear of handlebars, making the use of traditional bicycles impossible.  After a lifetime of persecution, he left France in shame, and settled in East Lansing to begin his Rollin’ One campaign to bring unicycling to the world’s most prestigious cycling competition.  Unable to acquire an interpreter by news time, we’ve recorded L’tior’s statement as follows.  We ask our non-French-speaking readers to do their best to translate.

“Regardez, certaines personnes de changer le monde en nourrissant les affamés et des trucs comme ça. Nous ne pouvons pas tous être Mère Teresa, mais si je peux apporter monocyclistes disafected sur la scène mondiale, je pense que je me fais juste là-haut près de quelque chose comme ça.”

While this may indeed be a radical departure for the storied race, and time will only tell how this will affect the race, purists will find comfort in the petitions that the Board did not approve.  Among them, requests to allow motorcycles, single-engine airplanes, steam powered trikes, two man wheelbarrow racers, horse-drawn skateboards, and dragons.