Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Manhunt On For Missing Sombrero Man


For nearly a decade, Lloyd “Sombrero Man” Hamilton has wandered the streets of Oakland, begging for money.

Unlike other panhandlers, he is a beloved figure in the community. His festive costumes and “have annnnnny change?” mantra have impelled thousands of people to plunk spare change into his cup. But, for the last three months, Hamilton has been noticeably absent from his usual post outside the Eckerd on Forbes Avenue, leading many people to fear the worst – that Sombrero Man has gone to that big soup kitchen in the sky.

Peter Tooley, a Pitt senior and frequent contributor to Hamilton's cause, was reluctant to believe the hype.

“In Oakland, rumors circulate faster than a bong in a frat house,” Tooley said, “so when I heard that Sombrero Man had died, I wrote it off as bullshit. But, now I’m beginning to suspect foul play.”

Last month, Tooley and his roommate, Ben Kramer, formed the Center for Missing and Exploited Panhandlers (CMEP). With the help of volunteers, CMEP operates a 24-hour “tip” line and routinely canvasses the city of Pittsburgh with MISSING posters. By next week, they hope to have Hamilton's face plastered on every 40 oz. sold in the state.

“We didn’t think milk cartons would reach our target demographic,” Kramer explained.

Despite its anti-panhandler policies, the University of Pittsburgh is also helping CMEP in its quest to find Hamilton. From now until the end of the semester, students can dump their change into the enormous sombrero-shaped bank located on the William Pitt Union lawn.

“I can go without clean laundry for a few more weeks if it means bringing Sombrero Man home,” said sophomore Elizabeth Steinberger. “As annoying as he sometimes is, I really miss that Mexican hat-wearing son-of-a-bitch.”

Tooley and Kramer are optimistic that the vagabond will be back on his street corner by Christmas.

“Just yesterday we got a call from this guy who said he saw Sombrero Man at bar in West Virginia,” Tooley said. “Turns out is was just a Jose Cuervo spokesman, but, ya know, it got our hopes up.”

If you have annnny information, please contact CMEP at 1-800-LOOSE CHANGE.

Cumpie Enters Pack of Democratic 2004 Presidential Hopefuls



Beloved Oakland bar owner John “Cumpie” Brimley has officially announced his candidacy for the 2004 presidential race. Cumpie will enter the race as a Democrat and battle Howard Dean, John Kerry, Dick Gephardt, and Al Sharpton for an attempt to capture the White House.

“It’s time to bring America back to the people,” Cumpie declared from the steps of his Atwood Deli after preparing his signature “great white” pizza. “For too long, we’ve been under the control of a leader who doesn't have the American people’s best interest at heart. It’s time for a change, and it’s time for a candidate who does. I am that candidate.”

While Cumpie has extolled himself as the ideal candidate to replace Bush, many critics view this as nothing more than a publicity stunt to promote his Oakland establishment.

“Cumpie’s trying to push his own agenda onto the students and residents of Oakland,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Political Analyst Maeve Reston reported. “And his agenda is not tax reform, it’s quarter draft reform.”

Cumpie, however, is quick to counter his detractors. “I’m used to people telling me I can’t. When I first bought the bar formerly known as The Decade, people told me that it would fail like all the other businesses that tried to replace the rock and roll venue. Well, to my critics I say, have you been here on a Thursday night? It’s packed wall to wall with pseudo frat boys consuming multiple drafts. Just as I reformed the corner of Atwood and Sennott, I will reform the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 16th Street NW.”

Cumpie has already received political backing from the Italian-American Club of Western Pennsylvania, Oakland Business Improvement District, and, surprisingly, the Liquor Control Board of Pennsylvania. While early polls show Cumpie with only a marginal percentage of the Democratic vote nationally, locally he’s experiencing great success capturing nearly 90% of the 4.2% of Pitt students who vote.

PCNC Debuts Sober Eye for the Drunk Guy


Prompted by the success of last year's Frat Brother, Pittsburgh Cable News Channel (PCNC) will debut a new reality show aimed at the beer-swilling-set. Sober Eye for the Drunk Guy stars the Dry Five, a hip team of teetotalers dedicated to promoting the virtues of temperance, morality, and self-restraint.

In each episode, the Dry Five help transform a hopeless boozehound into a model citizen by schooling them in each of their respective areas of expertise: beer goggles, party fouls, DUI checkpoints, non-alcoholic beverages, and rehab.

The pilot episode, which airs tonight at 9 p.m., features 24-year-old Dave Reed, a self-confessed dipsomaniac and womanizer.

“We found this guy at Cumpie’s Karaoke Night – drunk out of his gourd singing Like A Virgin,” said Executive Producer Chris Matthews. “By the end of the night he was sucking face with some fugly fat chick with a mullet. It was obviously a cry for help and that’s what Sober Eye is here for.”

Matthews believes Reed is the perfect choice to showcase the groundbreaking series.

“I wouldn’t say that I’m ‘on the wagon,’” admitted Reed, “but at least I’ve upgraded my taste in women. Thanks, Dry Five!”

Book Sharing Ring Uncovered


Nationally, the book publishing industry is battling a recent trend of book sharing. The industry is looking to fight these underground organizations which purchase only one or a few copies of a certain copyrighted book and then share it among their clandestine members. Publishers argue that this sharing undermines the industry and robs writers of royalties from lost sales of their craft.

Souf Oaklin fo’ Life!!! investigative reporters have uncovered a local ring of book sharers perpetrating their illegal activity right in our own backyard. Our reporters were shocked to find the audacity of these book swappers operating so openly and without remorse.

“Yeah, it’s pretty easy to get books,” one man who readily supplied his name admitted. “All you have to do is bring a copy of proof of residence, like a driver’s license, paycheck, or bill and they will give you a card to check out a whole library of books.”

SOFL reporters located one of these book circulating hubs right in the heart of Oakland, in the shadow of the Cathedral of Learning. In a one hour period, SOFL reporters noted over 20 people coming out of this location with stacks of books ranging from one to eleven. Publishing industry losses from this one location, for this one hour, are estimated at $1,558. That is a projected loss of $12,464 daily and an astonishing $2,187,432 yearly for the authors who spend countless hours perfecting their trade.

These observations were only made of adults enmeshed in the book sharing conspiracy. Experts also suspect that there is an underground ring of children’s books, videotapes, and educational materials being smuggled through these locations. The industry has not even begun to calculate estimated losses from these materials.

These potential losses, however, do not faze the supporters of these networks.

“I love this place. One of the things I love about America is that we can have places like this where people of all income levels can exchange books and ideas,” said one book trader who tried to hide behind a guise of patriotism to conceal her criminality. “I really save a lot of money by coming here and stocking up on the latest titles.”

Local publishers like the University of Pittsburgh Press are vowing to crack down on prohibited book sharing.

“We estimate that there could be at least 21 of these book sharing hubs located in the City of Pittsburgh,” said University of Pittsburgh Press Director Alvin Leonard. “We recommend that anyone involved in this activity stop immediately. We are in the process of getting subpoenas and the proper channels of law enforcement to crack down on these ventures and issue fines to any guilty parties caught sharing books. Your free read at the expense of an author’s livelihood is just about to end.”

Oakland To Be Heated By "Natural Gas"


The City of Pittsburgh is in the midst of a terrible budget crisis. Positions within the police department, fire bureau, and other emergency services have been drastically reduced. Many critics are looking to Mayor Tom Murphy’s administration to find a way to balance the City’s budget before the beginning of the next fiscal year.

Oakland, whose large populace due to universities and hospitals, has been chosen as a testing ground for some of the Mayor’s new cost-saving initiatives. Oakland will now rely on “natural gas” to keep residents warm this winter.
Last week, Mayor Murphy announced his latest budget-cutting plan: the “Have A Heart. Lay A Fart” campaign. Murphy is asking all Oakland residents, employees, and visitors to ingest some of the myriad of spicy foods available in the area.

Restaurants such as India Garden and Spice Island Tea House have already seen an increase in business as have Mexican-themed restaurants. In addition to Mad Mex, La Fiesta, Qdoba, Veracruz and Taco Bell, Oaklanders can enjoy discounted Mexican grub at the new Baja Fresh on Forbes Avenue.

“Oakland’s future depends on your flatulence!” Murphy said before leading City Council in a spirited performance of “Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit.”

Although the aggressive campaign is quickly gaining support, not everyone in Oakland is singing along. Bob Taft, a lifelong Atwood Street resident, thinks the mayor’s plan stinks.

“It’s bad enough that I gotta smell stale beer, vomit, and rotten garbage every goddamn day,” Taft said while trying to breathe through his mouth. “The last thing I want to catch’s a whiff of some frat boy’s ass after he’s downed ten chimichangas.”

Point / Weaker Point: Working In Homestead


The Steel Mill Provides
By Istvan Laszlofi, US Steel Homestead Works Mill Worker, 1922

We came to this new country to make a living and to find our pot of gold. Across the Atlantic, people have mistaken notions of what America is and is not. Working in the mill is not easy, and it is not always pleasant, but I believe it is better. It is not better for us, the workers. We work long twelve-hour days with few breaks and physically demanding tasks. Tuberculosis is common, and accidents, unfortunately, are not infrequent. I have known four co-workers in twelve years who have died in mill accidents. Usually there is another worker fresh off the boat and a train ride across three states to fill the spot. These men don’t realize that only a week earlier the man whose job they took gave his life for that job.

Our hours are long. It seems like there is no rationale for this other than to break our backs and to make us as unthinking and unfeeling as the machines we operate. The company builds us libraries and parks, but what workers have time for these luxuries? The only respite workers know is a few hours of sleep or a few glasses of whiskey.

This leads many to rebel, to try and overturn the system, to try and make things better. While I applaud these men for their efforts, I continue to do my job because I need the money. I came here to make a better life for myself, but I realize that it is too late for me. Now I realize that I am making a better life for my great grandchildren. They will be the ones to benefit from the libraries and culture which is being built on my generation’s back.




My Job Sucks
Stephanie Lash, Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse Cashier, Waterfront 2003

I hate my job. It sucks ass. All day long, ignorant people come in and expect me to be “Miss Fix-It” because I work for $5.15 an hour scanning their home improvement items. “Which air conditioner has the highest EER efficiency rating?” How the fuck should I know? I can tell you where to swipe your card if you want to check out. I can authorize a credit sale, a debit sale, or a cash exchange. I’m not fucking Miss Bob Vila because I don a blue apron which says “Ask me about home improvement.” How the fuck should I know anything about home improvement, when I live in a goddamn apartment? I’ve lived there my whole life. If something breaks, we call the goddamn landlord. Do the fucking same and leave me the fuck alone.

And then my boss, he is a goddamn jagoff as well. He wants me to give up my life to fill these peoples’ needs. He expects me to work weekends and holidays. Yeah, fucking right. This is not my goddamn career, I’m not a home improvement technician, I’m not a Lowe’s stockholder, I don’t give a shit if I work here, the Chick-Fil-A, or at A Plus Convenience, it’s all the same money and the same shitty ass job in a different uniform. If he doesn’t like it, he can bite my ass. Just let me work my thirty-five hours a week and leave me the fuck alone.

I swear to god, I’m going to lose it one of these days. Whether it’s on one of the customers or my manager, I’m really going to go off. And fuck it, why shouldn’t I? What the fuck do I have to lose? I’ll go get a goddamn job at the Uni-Mart down the street if you don’t like what I have to say.

What Are You Doing With Your #10 Jersey?



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Real Coat Cheaper Than Beer Coat


Sophomore Jennifer Wardle enjoys hanging out with friends, talking to boys, and shopping. But she enjoys drinking beer and smoking Parliament Lights much more.

“Yeah, I guess you can say I’m a party animal,” explained Wardle. “Now that I’m 21, I love to hang out at the [Pittsburgh] Café, Denny’s and Uncle Jimmy’s. It’s cool.”

Jennifer spends almost every night at a different bar around Oakland.

“You know it’s her, just by that ratty-ass coat she wears,” explains Bootlegger’s bartender Chrissy Saluto. “I mean, it’s like ’95 GAP or something, full of holes, and the fake fur at the collar and cuffs is all coming off. Time for a new coat, sister. Also, the two shots and the beer will be $6.50.”

Wardle admits she loves bar hopping, but now that the weather is turning colder, the coat she bought last year at Goodwill isn’t keeping her as warm as she’d like. Continued Wardle, “It’s got some holes and stuff. But it was only like $5! Who needs a coat? I’m getting wasted tonight and wearing the old ‘beer coat’ home!”

South Oakland Man Gives Beer Promo Items As Christmas Gifts


Dan Bonaroti never has time to shop for Christmas gifts due to his hectic social schedule. Instead, the South Oakland resident picks through his extensive collection of bar freebies to find that special something for his loved ones.

Over the last four years, Bonaroti has amassed almost 2,000 alcohol-related items. His collection ranges from T-shirts and beer can cozies to bottle openers and key chains.

“Last Christmas I gave my little sister this cool Zima pin with a flashing green light on it,” Bonaroti said. “I might have to break into my stash of Bar 11 toys to top that one.”

Bonaroti believes his gifts bring joy and novelty to his friends and family. Unfortunately, some recipients aren’t so thrilled with their Happy Hour giveaway gifts.

“Can you believe that my son got me a Pabst Blue Ribbon mousepad for Mother’s Day?” Ellen Bonaroti asked tearfully. “I don’t even have a computer!”

“I know she deserves more,” said Bonaroti, tying a red bow around a stack of Yuengling coasters and bottle-opening key chains. “So this year I’m buying her a nice lighter with my Marlboro Miles. Too bad I couldn’t afford the sleeping bag.”

Christmas Carols in South Oakland



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Habitat For Humanity "Habi-Shack" Nicer Than South Oakland Man's Apartment


After spending a week in the Habitat For Humanity “Habi-Shack,” Pitt student Jason Miller doesn’t want to leave.

“I’ve found my new home!” Miller exclaimed.

Erected on the William Pitt Union lawn in less than an hour, the “Habi-Shack” is comprised of five pieces of plywood and a sleeping bag. Miller, a Habitat member since 2002, volunteered to live in the makeshift shelter to raise awareness about the plight of the homeless.

“This place is a castle compared to my $600-a-month-shit-hole over on Semple,” he said while doing homework by Zippo-light.

Although Habitat For Humanity was granted just one week to use the University property, Miller is settling in for a long, cold winter. After breaking his lease agreement, he moved all of his belongings, including a stereo system, a 21-inch color TV, a ferret named ZigZag and an extensive water bong collection into the tiny dwelling.

“You think this place is crowded?” Miller quipped. “Try living in the Litchfield Towers.”

Horoscopes fo' Musicians


Rap-Rock:
Even though you did it all for the nookie, she did it all for the government assistance children bring. Remember, no matter how much you want to beat on her, it’s not cool anymore. Kid Rock says so.

Punk:
Money is good this month: no good shows, student handouts are in full force, Hot Topic is having a sale, and PBR is running a shitload of promotions. There are savings out the ass, kids.

Singer/Songwriter:
When a singer and a songwriter become one entity, WYEP creams their pants. This month, watch out listeners, cause pants may need changed in your life, too.

Techno:
God bless America and those folks who are still on the techno train. Now is a good time to take that trip you always talked about…for an indefinite time. Don’t forget your safety sticks.

Hip Hop:
A financial burden may be in your future. Yep, that’s your baby’s mama nagging you again and your baby’s daddy’s high as a kite. Keep in mind it’s never too late to cash in your bling bling.

Emo:
“Relationships, what are those?” A common question, right? Well, keep crying. Your girlfriend really is cheating and life is as bad as you think. Now who’s high and dry?

Indie-rock:
If your horoscope was known, then it wouldn’t be cool anymore.

Tower Dorm Dwellers Fight "HIppie Profiling"


Summer Morrison is tired of being harassed by intrusive Resident Assistants (RAs) just because she has dreadlocks. “This is America, 2003, you can’t judge a person based on their looks,” she argued.

Morrison has charged RAs with meddling door knocking and random, unannounced room checks on her 1408 Tower A dorm room.

“Freedom” Michael Nelson of Tower B also reports similar harassment. “They think just because I smell like patchouli, subscribe to High Times magazine, and wear a ’Legalize It Now’ T-shirt that automatically they can come in my room when they smell marijuana. Well, I got news for them. They can’t, I have civil liberties. And just because they provide me with an education and a place to live, they can’t take away my rights. My parents pay good money for me to stay here,” Nelson complained.

Nelson and Morrison have joined forces with other targeted dorm residents to fight back against this apparent hippie profiling. The group, Hippies Against Profiling (HAP), has already petitioned the Student Government Board to offer hygiene diversity training for RAs, and has garnered a petition calling for a hippie review board to investigate allegations made against RAs.

While Tower residents are crying foul, RAs are fighting back. “We have a job to do,” said Towers Resident Director Jamie Radisson. “We have to keep the Towers safe for underage drinkers by removing illegal substances from the mix. It’s a tough enough battle without restrictions. Now if the hippies’ proposed referendum passes, it’ll be damn near impossible.”

Tower hippies are quick to counter that effective enforcement need not contain a hippie profiling policy, and that if even one hippie is falsely labeled as a pot smoker, the administration is over the line.

Carnegie Mellon University to Join Big East in '04


With the University of Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College set to leave the Big East Conference, and Temple’s expulsion in 2005, the Big East has been looking for new teams to fill out the rapidly dwindling conference. While additional teams such as Marquette and Louisville add excitement to the conference’s basketball lineup, Big East football has taken a big hit. This week, declaring “Rutgers needs new competition,” Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese announced a storied football team to join the Big East in 2004: The Carnegie Mellon University Tartans.

Coming off a 5-5 season (2002), after 27 consecutive winning seasons, the Carnegie Mellon University Tartans football team seems poised to take on tougher competition. Carnegie Mellon, currently a member of NCAA Division III’s University Athletic Association conference, has been a perennial football powerhouse and coach Rich Lackner thinks his team is ready to win at a higher level of competition.

Lackner, who has an impressive 121-46-2 record at Carnegie Mellon since joining the team as head coach in 1986, is also the Tartan’s winningest coach.

“I played for Carnegie Tech in the ’70s, and we had some really good teams, but every year, the kids just get better and better,” says Lackner. “I think we’re ready to play some real football.”

“Carnegie Mellon has been a Division III school for a few decades,” explains Carnegie Mellon President Jared Cohen, “but boasts an impressive past with a Sugar Bowl appearance in 1939. We all decided that it was just time for us to move up. Commissioner Tranghese’s offer was just too good to pass up. Continental Tire Bowl, here come the Tartans.”

With a daunting schedule, including Syracuse, West Virginia, and neighboring University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon will have its work cut out for it in its first season as a Division I-A team.

“Yeah, we’re really psyched to play Pitt in December. That will be so cool to play at Heinz Field,” enthused Carnegie Mellon fullback Jeffrey Stolper. The Pitt-CMU game is already being touted as the “Forbes Feud.”

Junior Quarterback Robb Finkey has been working out all summer, raising his bench press “max” to 250 lbs. and improving his accuracy. “You never know what can happen,” said Finkey, “maybe we’ll mop up D-I.”

“Playing West Virginia or UConn in Gesling Stadium will be quite exciting,” enthused Coach Lackner. “All 500 seats will be packed – football is exciting at Carnegie Mellon again!”

Panthers Notebook: 12/02/03


Football Players Eat
Pitt defensive back Bernard “Josh” Lay ate dinner with his parents at the Hard Rock Café, Station Square, after the Pitt-Miami game at Heinz Field, Saturday. Also, punter Andy Lee joined his parents for a Primanti’s Sandwich at the Strip District location after the game. The Lee’s are known Primanti Bros. connoisseurs.

Lithuanian Sensation
2003 Pitt graduate and basketball star Donatas Zavackas has been playing professional basketball in his home country of Lithuania. Zavackas, a long-time Grateful Dead fan, enjoys his country’s tie-dyed, Dead-inspired logo. Zavackas, however, reportedly misses Say Cheese! chicken fingers with extra ranch dressing.

Majors Debacle
Former Pitt football coach Johnny Majors decried his team for a lack of heart in Saturday’s performance against Penn State at Pitt Stadium. Majors, known for his confused rambles and irate tantrums, blasted the 1991 Panthers – coached by Paul Hackett. This round’s on us.

Wet Loving
Apparently the Pittsburgh Panthers Swimming and Diving Teams know a little more about Commitment, Teamwork, and Pride. The defending Big East Champions are known to celebrate after each meet by getting extra friendly in the locker room. Post game gang-bangs are now considered “teambuilding exercises.”

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.

Assholes.




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




(Click to enlarge.)

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.”

Friday, April 25, 2003

South Oakland Residents Compose Regional Brand Statement


Armed with a case of beer, an extra-large order of O-fries and a thesaurus, three South Oaklanders gathered in a small Atwood Street apartment to formulate a regional branding statement.

Twenty-four hours later, they emerged to unveil a proclamation that, they believe, captures the very essence of South Oakland:

Just as the keg from which it pumps its beer, South Oakland has a redeemable value and durability that provides a good, strong buzz, yielding new opportunities to get drunk and screw. The amalgamation of cheap booze, potent weed, and loose morals draws college students and other social degenerates together to a place where ideas are invented and then destroyed by substance abuse.

The ad hoc team formulated the 63-word statement from a list of core attributes that differentiate South Oakland from other communities. Doug Pollack, a Pitt sophomore and organizer of the branding group, believes that South Oakland’s versatility is the key to its mystique.

“This neighborhood is just an orgy of cultures,” Pollack said. “You’ve got your rich, college kids mixed in with the bottom-feeders of society, plus some elderly people thrown in to give it an old school feel. South Oakland is basically just an urban ghetto with suburban appeal.”

Pollack was inspired to take on this daunting task after a group of marketing experts named The Image Gap Committee released a similar statement representing Pittsburgh as a whole.

“We didn't feel that the Pittsburgh brand reflected our South Oakland values,” Pollack said. “So we took their general idea and substituted ‘beer’ and ‘screw’ for words like ‘authenticity’ and ‘succeed.’ We did, however, leave in ‘amalgamation,’ because it sounded cool.”

While the Image Gap was given a $200,000 grant to come up with their brand, Pollack had just over $9 to work with.

“Half of the money was spent on beer,” Pollack said, “but that is just a testament to South Oakland’s greatness. I mean where else can you get a case of beer for under nine bucks?”

Student Health Celebrates One Millionth STD


The University of Pittsburgh’s Student Health Center celebrated a milestone this past week when it treated its one millionth STD case.

“Oh, it’s just fantastic,” cheered long-time nurse Helen Davis. “I’m so glad we finally got here. There was a while in the seventies where I thought we’d hit one million by around 1984, but then came all the ‘safe sex’ media, and we hit a big lull. Slowly though, we started seeing ‘the clap,’ syphilis, etc. start to seep back into our office. And now, here we are.”

The lucky one millionth case was freshman Jeremy Carroll who quietly arrived on Wednesday afternoon, complaining about a “sick” discharge and pain when he urinated.

“One look at it,” said nurse Aisha Watson, “and I knew it. Bam! Chlamydia. I hit our ‘one million’ alarm, and all hell broke loose.”

Balloons and streamers showered down on Carroll in the examination room, and in the waiting room as well. Nurses and office staff came in to celebrate with a quiet, blushing Carroll.

“Please, it’s ok, no big deal, really,” pleaded Carroll, asking to just be quietly treated so he could leave.

For being the lucky winner, Carroll will receive a year’s worth of penicillin and penile swabbing, as well as a month’s supply of cottage cheese. He’ll be featured on a cover story in the Pitt News and have his name and face advertised everywhere as part of the health center’s Does it burn when you pee? Maybe it’s an STD campaign. Most importantly, though, Carroll won himself a semester of paid tuition, room, and board.

“Because of the whole free-tuition thing,” said nurse Davis, “we had to call his parents to inform them of the prize, and how lucky their son was. The thing is, though, they didn’t seem too excited about it.”

According to roommate Walt Anders, Carroll was probably exposed to the winning STD by a fellow Tower B tenant he knew only as “Kim.”

“Even though she looks like she got hit in the face with a bag of nickels,” began Anders, “I totally would have nailed her just to win the tuition. That Carroll… what a lucky prick.”

Paraphernalia Seized in South Oakland Raid


A month after confiscating drug paraphernalia from local head shop, Tela Ropa, federal agents raided several South Oakland-area grocery stores to remove all Honey Bear squeeze bottles and any other product that could potentially be used to smoke marijuana.

The raid was part of “Operation Pipe Dreams,” a nationwide crackdown on drug accessories. Armed with semi-automatic weapons and money saving coupons, authorities went up and down every aisle, filling their carts with hundreds of seemingly inoffensive products.

“Sergeant Peterson! Grab those super absorbent Tampax Tampons!” screamed Mark Winters, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent. “Those things are just begging to be packed with wacky weed!”

Agent Winters cleared the shelves of pop bottles, Redi Whip cans, roach clip-like eye brow tweezers, juice boxes and apples before being deployed to the snack food aisle to seize all “munchies.”

“If these hippie freaks do get their grubby little hands on the Mary Jane, we don’t want them to have anything good to eat!” he said.

South Oakland stoners are disappointed, but not deterred, by the raids.

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way, man,” said resident pothead Chad Long, who then proceeded to hit a bong fashioned out of an empty toilet paper roll, tinfoil and chicken wire.

Parking, Poon Abundant in South Oakland


With students leaving South Oakland in droves, finding a parking spot has never been so easy. And with more parking available, more people are taking advantage of the nightlife in the area.

“We’re excited about hanging out with our old friends,” said Mindy Proleux, a recent Pitt alumnae.

Proleux said that her travel plans don’t usually take her to Oakland as she hates to hunt a half hour to find a suitable parking space.

The rise in parking has brought steady sales to businesses, which usually slump when most of the neighborhood population has left for the summer break. Bar owners are capitalizing by offering creative “Ladies Night” drink specials for women.
The increase in the female population has excited the men in the area.

“More hot chicks for us! Take that, Shadyside!” exclaimed James Knox. “All of a sudden, it’s titties as far as the eye can see. I’m glad I didn’t go home this summer with the crop of poon in South Oakland.”

Knox and his friends have been showing up at Denny’s “Ladies Drink Free Until Someone Pukes” special seeking available women, who tend to show up in packs, reminding his friend Chris Kahn of a “slutty freshman party train.”

“Let’s just put it this way: if a girl had a nice enough ass, I would remove the folding chair from my special privileged spot in front of my house just for a chance to chat.”

Greek Affiliation Questioned In Fellatio Incident


This past Friday night was like any other for senior Lisa Conrad: wine coolers while getting ready, shots and mixed drinks at Peter’s Pub by 10, near-blacked out by 11, and finally, taking some random guy home to perform sloppy oral sex, before waking up to find he’s already gone. Usually, no problem. Saturday morning after breakfast, however, her roommates found out just the predicament she was in.

“Do you guys remember what fraternity that guy I brought home last night was in?” asked a groggy Conrad.

“Was it the guy you were making out with by the door?” asked roommate Sarah Nash, “because I think I heard he was a Sig Chi.”

“No, I didn’t bring that one home,” admitted Conrad. “I brought home the guy who I was sitting next to at the bar. I think he was either a Delta Tau Delta or a Delta Sigma Delta. God, I feel like such a whore.”

“Well, Delta Sigma Delta is the dental fraternity,” added Hall. “Did he say anything about going to be a dentist?”

“No, not that I can remember,” pondered Conrad. “I can’t remember what his teeth looked like. I never kissed him, so I don’t know what his breath smelled like either.”

The mystery did seem to get clearer when Conrad remembered some other details of the tryst.

“You know, at one point, I caught one of his pubes in my mouth, and he made some joke about me flossing with it. Maybe he was in the dental frat? Would a dental guy have minty cum? Does that happen? Well, I’m not sure if his was minty or not, but he did make me gargle it!”

By noon, Conrad was “kinda sure” he was a member of the dental fraternity. “Well, my plaque feels a lot looser this morning!”

Gay Man Outed By Cabana Boy Rum Purchase


Long-time South Oakland resident and closeted homosexual, Raymond Murphy, was outed last week by his liquor store purchase.

During a party thrown at their McKee Place apartment, straight roommate Dan Collins sent Murphy on a booze run.

“We were going through rum pretty fast,” Collins said. “So I told Ray to grab a couple bottles of cheap, bottom-shelf shit. What he came back with confirms the fact that he’s a total flamer.” Forgoing a 2-for-1 special on Jacquin’s, Murphy opted on the more expensive Cabana Boy brand rum. Known for its exotic flavors and provocative packaging, each bottle of Cabana Boy features a different scantily clad stud emblazoned on the front. Murphy couldn’t decide between the Vanilla Spice hard-body in Hawaiian swim trunks or the Coconut hunk in white linen pants – so he bought them both.

“I got Cabana Boy because it tastes FAB-U-LOUS and goes perfectly with our tropical island party decor. It was a purchase made for thematic reasons,” Murphy said.

“That’s bullshit,” Collins retorted. “He’s just gay.”

Point / Weaker Point: Parkway East/West Feud


Parkway West Ain't Shit
Pennsylvania Interstate 376 East

Straight up, only ballers be riding on Parkway East. We got mad bitches riding our concrete, looking tight in their Jettas and Cabs. I know we got some construction to hash out, but you know shit don’t get worse than no single lane. Traffic be steady flowin’.

Ain’t ever got our tunnel closed. We take care of our asphalt so we can take care of business. We don’t have to be relying on no West End Bridge either to bail us out. We handle our shit. You’re gonna hear some nonsense from the Parkway West about us being responsible for Fort Pitt Tunnel closings, but bitches be spreading lies. The real problem be all those Robinson motherfuckers coming into our city. Ain’t our East End boys got no business going through no whack ass Fort Pitt Tunnel anyhow.

We also got the hookups: PA Turnpike, Route 30, Business 22. We get you there in style. Western PA Conservancy be taking care of our shit too, so you know we look good. PennDot knows we own the game in Pittsburgh.





Parkway East is Trifling
Pennsylvania Interstate 279 South

I’m tired of that punk ass Parkway East running its mouth about its hookups and tunnels. Pittsburgh knows the only game in town is Parkway West. Parkway West puts you in the city. We be the motherfucking entrance, dog.

Our ryders don’t need to slow down ’cause their scared to go through no tunnel. Our crew be steady rolling on by. We ain’t afraid. We got soldiers driving on our block.

They be talking about their trifling hookups, they shit is ignorant compared to us. We in with route 60, the airport, 50, and 79. We got our team, and two seven nine is the captain.

Oh my god, I don’t even want to talk about it no more. 376 better call us collect next time they dial, cause bitches ain’t even in the same area code as us.

PCNC to Air Joe South Oaklander


Following in the footsteps of Fox Television’s mega hit Joe Millionaire, the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel is hoping to capture a few ratings points by putting a local spin on a hip reality series. PCNC’s Joe South Oaklander will see Edward Lewis, 22, of North Oakland, disguise himself as a South Oakland resident to capture the hearts of unsuspecting South Oakland females.

“It’s really going to be great,” said PCNC spokesperson William Nagle. “We have 20 very beautiful young women who think their potential future mate has a prestigious Atwood Street address. I don’t want to give too much away, but when the final girl finds out Lewis resides on Melwood, ooooh, I can’t even begin to tell you what happens, you’ll just have to tune in and see for yourself every Tuesday at 8 on PCNC.”

Lewis tries to reinforce the lie by patronizing South Oakland institutions during his dates. With an Antoon’s Pizza to go, a case of Old German, or a Busch Pounder at Uncle Jimmy’s, Lewis shows his dates he is privy to all which is the essence of South Oakland. Although Lewis does his homework, he does let out a crucial slip in the third episode when he cites his usual Thursday evening watering hole as Mitchell’s Tavern. Apart from the gaffe, Lewis comes across as a legitimate resident of the neighborhood.

“It was really hard,” Lewis confessed. “I started to have genuine feelings for a couple of the contestants. But in the back of my mind, the questions were always there-would they still love me if they knew I bought my Jacob’s Best from Craig Street Distributor and not Mellinger’s? Could they accompany me while I grocery shopped at the Centre Avenue Giant Eagle? Might they possibly dare to give up their Pamela’s to eat a Sunday morning brunch with me at Ritter’s?”

“We not only want this show to be entertaining, but thought-provoking as well. Would you still love your significant other if you found out he or she had resided in North Oakland at some point in their life? Makes you think about things a little differently, huh?” questioned Nagle.

Sororities Celebrate Senior Bar Tours:
- Mayor Announces Citywide Zima Shortage


As hundreds of graduating sorority members pack local bars for their long-awaited senior drinking binges, Mayor Tom Murphy publicly declared a citywide shortage of Zima.

“My administration was caught completely off-guard,” Murphy said in a press conference last week. “We severely underestimated how many Zimas the average sorority girl can consume. This is the most devastating shortage to hit our administration since the dearth of Mario Lemieux commemorative Stroh’s cans reeked havoc on the city in the fall and winter of 1997.”

Last year’s budget projected that each Greek woman would quaff three Zimas before passing out. However, the class of 2003 apparently harbors more alcoholics than previous classes.

Missy Peters, a self-proclaimed “Zima enthusiast” and a graduating sister of Sigma Sigma Sigma, was devastated by the mayor’s news.

“What was once a drunken rite-of-passage has been reduced to a sober waste-of-time,” Peters said.

Wearing pink “Sigma Drinking Team” T-shirts, Peters and her fellow Zima-lovers stumbled up-and-down East Carson Street in a futile search for the coveted, citrus-flavored malt beverage. After investigating 10 bars, the group settled on a round of Smirnoff Ice at Club Implosions.

Mayor Murphy apologized for the miscalculation saying, “My heart goes out to all those affected. My only hope now is that this tragedy will not put a damper on the upcoming high school prom season.”

Pitt Sophomore Still Taking Terror Precautions


Tensions rose at 312 Atwood Street last weekend when Pitt sophomore Bryan Jones attempted to remove the plastic he and his roommates put on the windows before the winter began. The residence is an older, drafty building, and with the rising temperatures, Jones wanted to open the windows to let in some fresh air.

Roommate Josh Fraser abruptly stopped the removal proceedings, citing the need to keep their house equipped for a possible biological, chemical, nuclear, or radiological terrorist attack.

“I can’t believe you’re even thinking about taking down the plastic!” Fraser exclaimed. “What if there is contaminated air out there in South Oakland? Don’t you know that it may end up saving our lives?”

Jones attempted to reason with Fraser, stating that the roommates had put up the plastic before any warnings were even given to the American public. He also said that the old house had tons of drafts and certainly wasn’t airtight, which would mean in the event of an attack, the plastic would provide Fraser with possibly 10 more minutes of life than the rest of the world.

“The Department of Homeland Security would not give us misinformation – we must be prepared,” Fraser retorted.

“Goddamn Josh is just frigging lazy,” Jones said. “That asshole didn’t even help us put any of it up, and now he doesn’t want to help us take it down.”

Jones also reported that Fraser often claims to have a stockpile of duct tape and three days worth of food and water stashed in his bedroom closet, although the roommates have debunked the idea. They believe Fraser wouldn’t “walk his fat ass to the store to buy the shit.”

The residents of 312 Atwood have compromised by removing the plastic from everyone’s bedroom windows except for Fraser’s.

“This is a great safe room for me, especially with the proximity to the bathroom. They’ll be sorry in the end.”

There have been no reports as to what Fraser will do when the apartment lease ends in June. “Let him figure it out. If he still wants to be ‘safe,’ he’ll need to put the fucking plastic up himself in a new apartment, because we’re all moving out.”

Shared Yellow Cab Economical, Sexual Decision


With only three dollars in his pocket, Steve Holman wasn’t sure just how he was going to make it home from the Strip District last Saturday night.

“I shouldn’t have spent so much on alcohol,” Holman said. He remembered he would have taken more cash out of the ATM, but his bank account was empty.

His friends had left him chatting up a woman inside the G Spot around 1:45 a.m. Although the conversation was promising, she left with friends when the lights came up. As Holman’s friends and ride home had already deserted him, he was left with few options on how to return to South Oakland.

“I walked out to Smallman Street, hoping to see one of the guys I knew, but they were completely gone,” he said. “I was just about to give up hope and start walking, when this cute looking chick almost knocked me over trying to get to an approaching cab. I was sensing defeat when suddenly, I heard my butt-wasted self say, ‘Well, if you’re going to Oakland, it only makes sense that we share this cab together,’” Holman said. “I couldn’t believe it when she agreed with me! And damn, she was cute.”

Although Holman admits he did try to cop a feel in the backseat of the cab, it wasn’t until it was time to talk money that he worried he would be found out.

“I handed her the three dollars and held my breath. Luckily, the guy drove like a bat out of hell so it ended up being only $7, and she offered to cover the rest.”

Holman repaid her in full at the end of the night.

“My performance was definitely worth $1,” he said.

Pirates Petition City, State for New Stadium


To combat slumping ticket sales, Pittsburgh Pirates owner Kevin McClatchy Monday petitioned representatives from the state of Pennsylvania, as well as the City of Pittsburgh, to come to his aid.

“Our plan is simple,” said McClatchy. “With the new stadium in Cincinnati and with Philadelphia building a new ballpark, we feel it’s time for a change in Pittsburgh.”

McClatchy, citing the importance of the Pirates both to baseball and the City of Pittsburgh asked the government to consider setting aside funds for a new baseball stadium. “We need to remain competitive,” explained McClatchy.

“We feel that a new ballpark, located near the river, facing the downtown city-scape, will bring back fans, spark more interest in Major League Baseball, and attract more revenues for both the team and the city.”

The new stadium, he explained, would be erected on the site of the old Three Rivers Stadium. That site is currently between PNC Park, where the Pirates now play, and Heinz Field, the ultra-modern home of the Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh Panthers. The plan calls for erection of the $180 million stadium on land now inhabited by parking lots. The work would begin in August of 2004 and last until February of 2005. PNC Park would be razed in November of 2004. The plans call for a large parking garage to be built on that site.

“I know that parking on the North Shore will be hectic when we begin,” McClatchy said. “But, I know both Bucco and Steelers fans will put up with a little inconvenience in the name of progress.”

Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy reiterated his stance that the city had no money available. “When we built PNC Park and Heinz Field, I told you there was no money available. I’ve told Mario [Lemieux, owner of the Penguins] that no money is available. You’ll have to go to the state.”

Sharpsburg Man Declares Mellon Arena Bathroom Stall Historical Site

Mario Lemieux’s plans for a new Penguins arena by 2007 hit another roadblock yesterday when 38 year old Sharpsburg resident Jim Franklin declared the bathroom stall in the C-30 section of Mellon Arena a historic Site.

“That place holds a lot of special memories for me,” recalled Franklin. “On that spot I hit my first joint back during the Pens 91’ Stanley Cup run. It’s where I threw down and up over 1,000 Iron City Beers, and recorded personal bests in urination duration and defecation length. And during one memorable Monster Truck Rally, I even made a little vrrm, vrrm of my own when I smuggled one very lucky coed into my personal Mecca.”

Franklin has petitioned the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation with a request to make the stall and the surrounding arena a historical landmark. If the foundation grants approval it will become very difficult for the Penguins to justify demolishing Mellon Arena for a new home.

“We respect Mr. Franklin’s historical milestones,” said Penguin GM Craig Patrick. “We all have personal memories associated with Mellon Arena. However, we need to forge ahead into the 21st century to create new lavatory accomplishments which we can all be proud to show the world.”

While the Penguins see the destruction of Mellon Arena as a chance to construct a modern facility, City Councilman Sala Udin is hoping the demolition will right previous civil wrongs. “I can’t believe nearly 5,000 African-American residents were displaced from their homes in the lower hill so one white dude from Sharpsburg could feel nostalgic about a dump he took in ‘98. This is a new low for the city.”

Although Udin is outraged, the Penguins are hoping an appeasement policy will force Franklin to drop his request and satisfy the disgruntled season ticket holder.

“We are currently in negotiations with the Heinz History Center to set up a permanent ‘I remember Mellon Arena Toilets’ exhibit. That way Franklin and fellow restroom aficionados can tell their exotic bathroom tales to future generations of Pittsburghers,” said Patrick.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Pitt Hires Stephanie McMahon As New Athletic Director


The University of Pittsburgh announced Tuesday that the position of Athletic Director had been filled. The position has been vacant since December 20, when Steve Pederson took the Athletic Director position at the University of Nebraska.

“After four months of intensive searching and interviewing, we have a new AD!” exclaimed Vice Chancellor Jerry Cochran, who headed the nine-member search committee. “And she totally kicks ass!”

Chancellor Mark Nordenberg then made the formal announcement: “I am pleased to announce that our new Athletics Director will be Ms. Stephanie McMahon.”

Ms. McMahon then took the podium, addressing the crowd. “I worked my ass off for the past 10 months to make WWE SmackDown! the best damned sports entertainment there is. Now, I’m going to use what I’ve learned in the WWE to explode the Panthers programs. Miami, Ohio State, I hope you can hear me! By next January, we will be the National Champions. And you can watch it all live on Pay Per View!”

Added the enthusiastic new AD, “Eric Bischoff, kiss my ass!”

The search committee, including Cochran, Senior Vice President of the Hearst Corporation John Conomikes, and former Athletic Committee Chairman Tom Bigley, said that this was one of the toughest decisions they had to make. “

Acting AD Marc Boehm was our favorite for a long time,” said Cochran. “However, after we saw what Stephanie had done for the WWE and SmackDown!, we knew we had to get her on our team.”

“Yeah, and she’s hot,” said Bigley.

Questions have already arisen about the extent her father Vince will get involved in McMahon’s career. Stephanie, however, diffused those rumors. “I’ve cut myself off from my father. Let him and the WWE just try to mess with me, and I’ll get all our great Panthers to stop ’em.”

Panera Bread To Open Five More Forbes Avenue Locations


Following the success of the company’s two new Oakland locations this past fall, Panera Bread, Inc. announced this past week that it will open five more stores on Forbes Avenue. The openings are slated to be complete by late August – in time for the fall semester. Panera Bread, a national chain of café/bakeries, opened its doors in the newly constructed Sennott Square building on Forbes Avenue and in the Best Western Hotel on the Boulevard of the Allies in 2002. The five new locations are an attempt by the company to develop a competitive advantage – not just in the bakery market, but as part of Oakland’s restaurant market overall.

“It’s an exciting time for Panera Bread,” began Panera Bread vice president of marketing, Julianne Fein. “Since opening our first two Oakland area locations, Panera Bread has prided itself on serving the University of Pittsburgh community the finest freshly-baked breads and pastries, as well as the best in delicious soups and sandwiches. By opening five new Forbes Avenue locations, we can more easily continue providing the Oakland consumer the highest quality food and service while offering a superior neighborhood emphasis in a comfortable dining environment.”

Some residents have been left wondering what involvement the Oakland Business Improvement District (OBID) had in the additional Panera Bread storefronts.

“The Oakland Business Improvement District is very excited to have such a wonderful Panera Bread presence in the neighborhood,” said Fein, speaking on behalf of OBID, which became a subsidiary of Panera Bread last week. “Our goal is certainly the development of our brand’s recognition.”

And in the development of the neighborhood?

“Sure, yeah... that too.”

“By having seven storefronts in the area, not to mention Panera Hall (formerly Forbes Hall) and our sponsorship of the Panera Bread Graduate School of Business (formerly the Joseph M. Katz School), Panera Bread has solidified itself as the major brand in Oakland, right up there with UPMC.”

While rumors fly about Panera Bread possibly taking control of University-run cafeterias, including all Petersen Event Center concessions, development of the five announced storefronts will commence this summer. Locations include the former CJ Barneys and Schwartz’s Bagels.

Added Fein, “we’re excited to pre-determine your dining needs.”

CMU Student Pleased By Robot


Carnegie Mellon University student Sarah Lars was very pleased Saturday with the performance of her new robot.

“I’m used to working with robots, so I’m very comfortable around them,” said Lars. “So when [sorority sister] Jen [Chang] gave me this little robot for my birthday, I knew I’d enjoy it.”

Lars is a graduate student in the Robotics Institute, where she builds and maintains small, durable robots used in probing missions for NASA. She is currently on the same team that built the Mars Rover. “I just think they’re fascinating,” explained Lars. “I really love this robot Jen gave me.”

“Sarah works a lot, so you can imagine that she doesn’t get laid much,” said Chang. “I figured I use my robot-building skills to build a small robot that could help her out in that department. I call it the ‘Lars Rover.’ You get it?”

The fifteen-inch, cylindrical robot's primary function is to vibrate. It runs on two small nickel-cadmium batteries. “I tried to make it solar powered, but that didn’t quite work out. It’s really not appropriate for use in the light of day anyway,” explained Chang. “But regardless I still made it very energy and cost efficient.”

“Funny how robots can be programmed to know more about a woman than men can ever pick up. Actually, when you think about it, that’s really not too hard. Oh, Lars Rover…” moaned Lars.

Alternative Spring Break Not So Alternative


Alternative Spring Break (ASB) has been heralded as a chance for students to take the time that they would normally spend off from school on beaches and at resort areas to help those who are less fortunate.

Sophomore Doug Jensen admits that his experience in the program gave him a feel-good attitude for returning to the University in mid-March.

Jensen also admitted that he got his feel-good attitude from spending the entire week hooking up with Morgan Ennis, another ASB participant.

“It was really cool to get my hands dirty building homes for low-income families in Kentucky for a week,” Jensen said. “But nothing compares to meeting sweet, innocent virgin do-gooders at the same time. Not that they return to Pitt as virgins...”

Many Pitt students have been participating in the increasingly popular program, which also saw students tutoring Navajo children in Arizona and preparing and delivering meals to AIDS/HIV patients in Denver, among other projects.

Jensen wasn’t concerned that ASB is an alcohol and drug-free program.

“Girls like Morgan are interested in meeting guys who share their love for community service, not drunken frat boys. I can pretend for a week while we're away from campus. She’ll never know the difference anyway – I don’t plan on seeing her again.”

Jensen is already planning on participating in the program again next year.

“Hey, let’s face it. Ninety-nine percent of guys go on Spring Break shooting their mouths off about meeting hot women and tagging them before coming home,” he said. “At least when I come home, I’ve actually done it.”