Archive for the ‘Bail-out stimulations’ Category
March 12th, 2010 Posted 2:58 am
Bizarreville officials proudly announced today that, after much toil and tribulation, they were able to secure some of the dribblings from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Bizarreville had received a small dose of funds last year, mostly used to upgrade the Port-a-pottys at Shlumplers Park… along with a training program for citizens on how to properly use them. When asked what in the world does this have to do with improving the economy, officials said that it puts the money being paid for pay toilet usage back in the hands of ordinary citizens. As a side benefit, it will also keep the homeless from pissing in the alleys, thus improving the environment, hygiene, and general smell of the downtown area.
But now, new funding has made it through the bureaucratic maze of government, and passed muster of the allocation wizards and earmark distributors. The first project will be to refurbish the disgusting ghetto homes on the south side. These homes are only 2 years old, but have been completely trashed and turned into crap by the inhabitants. The refurbishing, this time, will utilize much sturdier materials that will extend the life between trashings, and/or make it much more difficult for the trashees to do their demolition.
Some money will be used to spray Ortho-crud in the weed-infested front yards of these decrepid homes, as well as splash some grass seeds around. Money will be saved versus original estimates after it was discovered that the yards have ample pre-existing fertilizer.
A second project will provide 50 audible pedestrian crosswalk countdowns, aimed at people who have trouble understanding the “Don’t Walk” concept. Some extra funding was approved to commission George Clooney to do the countdown voiceover, and issue curt instructions for the disobedient when detected by heat-sensing equipment (also paid for with Stimulus funds). Most officials expect that pedestrians will ignore these audio reminders just like they ignore the regular signals, but overwhelmingly love the novelty element of it all. “Hey, it’s not our money, anyway….it’s Stimulus money,” spouted an unnamed official.
January 22nd, 2010 Posted 3:15 pm
General Electric today announced that it had applied for Obama government bailout funding, citing extraordinary unexpected financial difficulties. Sources say that their difficulties all stem from its NBC division having to pay Conan O’Brien and his staff $45 million to not show up to work. It had been rumored that NBC might easily qualify for bailout funding, stimulus funding, or some kind of earmark funding which could come out of a special bucket for companies adept at sucking-up to the Administration.
But the Obama bailout czar suggested that the well is dry, and that GE should just put O’Brien to work mopping office floors, cleaning toilets, and restocking shelves at 11:35 pm every night. “Put a couple cameras on him, and just call it the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.” He proposed that they keep his staff busy dusting furniture, emptying garbage, spraying pest control, and washing windows all night…cancel the cleaning crew.
It is possible that the O’Brien camp might consider that option, considering the difficulty he may find trying to land another show with another network. Television experts say that there is already a plethora of pathetic unfunny nitwits in the Telesphere, hardly room for one more… let alone a guy who just got fired from a job in 7 months, from a show whose average tenure of predecessors was 25 years. “He could always change his shtick to drama: maybe Conan MD, Hairmeister NYPD, or Desperate Talk Show hosts.
The GE spokesman said he was disappointed in being turned down for bailout money, and that the company would need to seek alternate financial help. He remarked that the Conan payoff was just a small piece of their difficulties. “About 50 NBC executives will need to get the boot after this fiasco, with untold golden parachute costs. Then there are the rehiring costs of a whole new team of execu-bozos who will need to doll up their offices, stock up their mini-refrigerators, and load up on gold-plated staplers and business card holders. Yeah, it’s more than just Conan.”
Disclaimer: all stories in Bizarreville are fiction, even the ones that sound like they could be real.
December 18th, 2009 Posted 2:06 pm
December 15th, 2009 Posted 2:49 pm
The Bizarreville Stimulus Funding Disbursement Dept announced that there are 4300 agencies/companies who had received economic stimulus handouts, but failed to fill out the proper reports on what they are actually doing with the money. While it only accounts for $25 to 30 billion of the total, it’s still a significant problem, according to the department.
Part of the problem, admits the department, was known in advance. “Many billions were given to groups of illiterate ignoramuses and/or people who can barely speak the English language, let alone write it,” said a spokesman. “How could we possibly expect these ignorant people to fill out reports?” When it was suggested that the reports are extremely simple, easy enough for a D-student 2nd grader to fill out, the spokesman responded, “What’s your point?”
Some other firms simply said that they do not have time or resources to complete the reports. They claim they are too busy spending the money to be able to sit someone down to fill out paperwork. But they have come up with a solution: earmark some extra stimulus funds just to fill out reports. “One bil…two at most…should cover it,” reported a stimulee. “Maybe three, if we hire a staff of graphic artists to make the reports visually appealing.”
Some other firms claimed they were unable to get logged-onto the website to get the report template. But department computer geeks cyber-investigated that story, reporting that they are unmitigated liars. The geeks can show electronic proof that, yes, they did log-in, and yes, they did download the report templates. The department is contemplating cutting off funding to these liars, but as of yet have found no legal grounds to halt the gravy train. They suspect that funds are being totally misused, but can find no definition distinguishing “good use” from “misuse” in the bill.
December 9th, 2009 Posted 1:52 pm
The Bizarreville Job Summit is concluding, and the roundtable of guys-with-briefcases (i.e. experts) participated in good constructive debates on how to best stimulate job growth. Their answer: infrastructure improvements.
The first infrastructure priority will be to revamp the entire Bizarreville sewer system, which has badly deteriorated over the decades from the high acid content of our citizens’ urine. In the past, however, it has been difficult to embark on the sewer project for two reasons: (1) too little funding available to pay for the project, (2) too much foul odor to attract good mechanics to fix the problems. The first issue: no problem. But the second issue is still a big concern, and may ultimately require some out-of-the-pipe thinking.
“I’m not friggin’ Ed Norton,” said one journeyman after refusing to traipse down the manhole. “I looked down there in that yellow river and almost passed out after 15 seconds. What have these people been eating around here?”
“One of my buddies used to work in the sewers 10 years ago. And you know what? He still stinks. That’s right…you can still smell sewer on him. Even if he puts on after-shave, he just smells like cinnamon-scented crap.”
Leaders say that they will not be dissuaded by the working condition issue, and vowed to pull out their checkbooks to find some shmucks/ any shmucks who will slop in the defilement for a price. “May cost a couple hundred bucks an hour, but by God, we’ll find low-lifes with low scruples who’ll do it,” said a spokesman. “We may not get high-skills, but we’ll make up for it with more warm bodies. Hey, that’ll reduce unemployment even more.”
When asked about training these subtrained workers, he replied, ”I can teach my grammaw how to weld pipe. Granny’d probably do a better job than these ‘I’m too good for sewers’ prima-donnas anyway.”
December 7th, 2009 Posted 2:13 pm
Executives with Bank of Bizarreville (BoB) announced Friday that they will be paying off their $40 billion government Bail-out loan early, probably within the next 2 months. This news shocked the Bizarreville financial community so much that many accountants had to remove their green eyeshades to wipe their brow.
BoB is hitting this hard, not messing around. Some of BoB bank managers, in fact, had to work past their normal 3pm quitting time, in some cases cancelling tee-off times, and in one highly unusual case, showing up late for the family dinner. “We’re in extreme times and that calls for extreme actions,” stated one Bank VP. “Our entire team is pulling together, shortening lunch breaks to 1 hour, cutting morning and afternoon coffee breaks down to 15 minutes, and putting a time clock at the restroom doors.” The VP had a tear in his eye as he spoke of the pride he had in his guys, and said he would probably double the bonuses that the managers received last year to show the company’s appreciation.
The Bank is not out of the woods yet. They will issue a new stock offering to allow the debt repayment within the next 5 weeks. Current shareholders are up in arms, since this action would cause major dilution and likely drop the share price 50 percent. “What are they bellyaching about,” asked a Bank VP. “The stock was selling 80% lower than current price six months ago. They’ll still be up over 30 percentage points. C’mon now. I guess they’re just a bunch of greedy bastards.”
November 8th, 2009 Posted 5:38 pm
Bizarreville leaders are perplexed about what next to do, now that unemployment has tipped over 10 percent. They are belatedly all realizing that their so-called “stimulation” just stimulated themselves. Citizens are getting pretty tired of watching all the self-stimulation by these guys, and are demanding something new.
One proposal was to do some work on Pothole Boulevard, a road that has fallen into major disrepair over many years. The suggestion was made to have the Unemployed with shovels and wheelbarrows filling the 16 gazillion potholes that have turned the boulevard into a slalom course. But critics argue that if you fill the potholes, we would have to change the name of the street, entailing huge costs of re-signage, new maps, GPS changes, retraining, and so on. Besides, “Patchhole Boulevard” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Another suggestion was to have the Out-of-Work form clean-up teams to clean up the filth and grossness in some of the East side neighborhoods….trash, garbage, animal feces, beer cans, wee wee …just pick up the junk and power-clorox-wash the whole freaking place. But opponents argue that won’t solve the root cause of the problem: people treating their neighborhoods like pig stys. It will all just get re-messed a few weeks later, and return to Filth-boro.
A third idea was to turn them into entrepreneurs by planting vegetable gardens at the Bizarreville Landfill, and setting up veggie stands to peddle their harvests. But nay-sayers responded that growing any kind of food on that nasty landfill would probably be laced with carcinogens, mad cow diseases, and purple fungus. “No one’s gonna eat that sh*!#.”
It was becoming abundantly clear that the unemployed really did not want to do this kind of stuff…much simpler to stay at home and collect unemployment checks. “That kind of work is way beneath us. We’ve come a long way, and no way we’re going back in that direction,” said an Association for the Unemployed spokesperson. “Are those nacho cheese chips over there? Yeah…pass ‘em here.”
November 2nd, 2009 Posted 7:59 pm
Top Execs of bailed-out firms have filed a grievance with the Bizarreville Dept of Labor over recent government-induced CEO pay cuts. A second grievance was filed over bonus cuts, and a third grievance over perq cuts.
The final straw was reached when the CEO of Flummox Inc. was told he had to get rid of his company-paid chauffeur and associated stretch-Hummer limousine. “Now how am I supposed to get to work? Walk? Hitchhike?? Ride the bus???”
He has been on a frustration rage for months ever since the Federal Perq Czar stormed the Flummox main office, and padlocked the executive restroom. The CEO, Mr. Smellman, was forced to walk down a fairly long hallway, down to the regular employee restroom, and go next to the common employees of the firm. Reportedly Smellman went ahead and used the Handicap stall for privacy and extra space, forcing Mervin Shelfer – a true handicapped person - to have to wait about 10 minutes, holding it in. Shelfer exclaimed, “Let him have his john back, for crying out loud.”
Other Bizarreville execs have been similarly throttled, and are mad as hell. “What’s next…our personal stationary and private secretaries? This is ridiculous…next thing you know, they’ll start shutting down our regional conference centers in the Poconos and the Ozarks. You know, those areas are incredibly over-populated with deer, birds, and fish…has anybody thought of that? Has anybody thought about the unintended consequences when you start shutting lodges…I mean, conference centers down? Does anybody care about those poor animals? I can answer you that….NO.”
Another exec chimed in: “How are we supposed to entertain our customers now? I just heard they’re not even allowing us to have our Customer Appreciation Golf Fests anymore. Zip, gone. What’s next…cancelling our 3-day customer sales events at Tahoe? C’mon, give me a break. Who’s going to answer the phone when those customers start screaming ‘where’s my Vegas trip’…the Perq Czar? I don’t think so.”
The Dept of Labor informed the execs that, unfortunately, there is actually no legal process for them to file their grievances, nor get any kind of restitution. The Dept did agree to accept the grievance letters, and put them in a file under Miscellaneous/Other.
October 23rd, 2009 Posted 8:06 pm
Bizarreville was fortunate to get its fair slice of the Economic Stimulus bill, and it will be put to good immediate use. The Bizarreville Unemployment Compensation building was tremendously undersized and needed help. Stimulus funds have been earmarked to expand the office capacity by a factor of 3, add 18 rows of new cattle gates, and install a high-tech number-taking system to handle the burgeoning flow of jobless applicants.
“We have jobless who are doing the carpentry work, saying it will now be much easier to collect their comp checks. Of course, we reminded them that they aren’t eligible anymore….got a pretty good laugh out of it…ha, ha, ha ha.”
“But seriously…it’s money well spent. It creates jobs on one hand, and truly builds for our future on the other. We will also be adding clerks and changing management practices to allow us to handle 4 or 5 times as many jobless as we could a few years ago. May be able to do even better once we get things rolling. I hate to say this, but we’re hoping the Algoofco aluminum factory down the street shuts its doors so we can really test our new systems here. My opinion: we’ll be ready.”
The new number-taking system actually stamps the number on the applicant’s left hand when he/she comes in the door. No more little tickets that people whine about: “Oh, I didn’t know I had to take a ticket,” or “Oh, I lost my ticket, but I’m really number 49.”
“That’s been frustrating, let me tell you, but now it will be: Let me see your dang hand, “49″ or whatever your number is.”
They’re going to go ahead and spruce up the office restrooms while they’re doing the rehab work. There’s a large “Unidentified Miscellaneous” category in the funding package, and the current toilets have those old large flush tanks. “We’ll save water and help the environment,” claims the project manager. As a finishing touch, they plan to use some leftover cattle gates to make an organized waiting line for the women’s restroom. “If there’s another Stimulus bill, we may be able to add a baby-changing table in both restrooms…but we’ll just have to wait and see.”
October 22nd, 2009 Posted 9:17 am
Bizarreville economists have teamed with Research botanists to successfully create a new strain of mountain ash trees which produce money leaves. That is correct…cash, moola, hard currency blooming on the tree. This had been a long-term stealth research project for years which had struggled to achieve success. The original goal was to encourage more tree-planting, but later the team expanded goals to include trying to discover a renewable source of currency. But with hard work, determination, and genetic experimentation, success has arrived.
It takes about 10 years for the tree to mature before it produces full-size green twenties, and another 5 years before fifties will fruit. But once there, each tree can produce bushel-baskets full of fresh cash, ready for immediate spending.
It’s best to pick the cash before late autumn when bills start to shrivel, brown, fall off the trees, and rot. Harvesting in September/October also times perfectly with the beginning of the frantic Christmas shopping season…so you can pick and shop, pick some more, shop some more.
According the the Bizarreville Tree Czar, plans are to plant these trees initially in the ghettos and other areas of economic distress. This will allow underprivileged citizens to go out and pick some handfuls of fresh bills, then go buy nacho chips, TV’s, underwear, athletic shoes, beer, and video games…whatever needs they truly need to fill.
Eventually, the money trees will replace welfare and food stamps, and all the associated overhead with running these bloated bureaucracies. The trees will also displace the new “Handouts for Anything/Everything” program, the “Deadbeats Cash Assistance” program, and the “Tax Breaks for Non-taxpayers” program, with a much more efficient way to distribute money.
Economists remind us: “People who want to work a little harder and shake the tree or climb up on the branches can get a little more than those who just wait for the cash to fall off. It’s like an incentive program…which should sorta please ardent right-wingers who believe in rewards for hard work. But don’t worry, left-wingers, there’s really plenty for everyone. So enjoy!”
October 8th, 2009 Posted 5:24 pm
Bizarreville’s own auto industry, Shanker Motors, has been feeling the pinch lately. Shanker has had a proud history, an automotive innovation leader in past years, coming up with such ideas as the self-cleaning ash tray, the power parking brake, the lighted hood ornament, and the optional dog seat in the trunk. These ideas were years/decades ahead of their time.
But Shanker more recently has been beset with quality problems. Bumpers would fall off when the velcro started getting old. The “Smudge Master” windshield wipers never quite performed up to expectation. Fuel gauges were often about a quarter of a tank out of calibration, causing some drivers to run out of gas at 2 in the morning. This, combined with the fact that the cars were downright butt-ugly, drove the sales trend down in the past 5 years or so. Market share was cut literally in half.
A year ago, the Shanker management team recognized the problem and did a reorganization, literally switching job titles of every exec. It cost several million dollars in new office nameplates, furniture moves, business cards, memo pads, and new drapes. To cut cost, they eschewed the 12-way adjustable lumbar support massaging swivel chairs for the more basic 8-ways. They totally cut out the restroom attendants in the executive restrooms. The management team conducted several off-site meetings, days and days of meetings, using 14 full pads of flipchart paper and 117 packets of Post-It notes. They developed mission statements, vision statements, strategy statements, charters, bubble charts, quadrant charts, and SWOT analyses. They were serious.
But in spite of all these seemingly bold, brilliant moves, results failed to improve at Shanker. Next, they brought in an HR consultant, who promptly surveyed the Shanker workers to probe into productivity/morale problems. Survey results, combined with intense focus group interviews, clearly showed that if the workers were given a 7 percent raise, morale would improve. In further analyzing results, the HR consultants estimated that the improved morale would produce a linear improvement in productivity, 7 percent to be exact.
Management agreed, made the change. But they quickly found that the consultant’s projections were off…by about 7 percent, give or take. The consultants pointed out that there were “other factors” at work, but agreed to trim their normal fee by 5 percent as a matter of good faith.
It seems that Shanker prospects look bleak and they may be headed for Chapter 11. In the mean time, the Purchasing Department has told their suppliers to either drop prices 10 percent or they would be given a kite to fly. To be fair…it is a fairly nice kite with the company logo and a pretty red paisley background…but it does have a hand gesture illustration that might be considered a bit inappropriate when flying down on the beach.
Bizarreville Leaders are debating if there is some help that could be given. But there is not much enthusiasm, since many of the Leaders have owned Shankers and, yes, have done that 2:00 am walk home.
It still may be possible that a deal could be worked out to have them develop a line of taxi cabs…sort of the final link at the very end of the auto food chain. Stay tuned.
September 1st, 2009 Posted 3:52 pm
Old Fred has continued to whine and chime about getting his own little piece of the Stimulus Bill. Everybody knows that Fred’s Discount Hardware and Adult Bookstore has been through some hard times lately. His customer volume took a cannonball dive when the WalMart opened across town, and the citizens realized old Fred was practicing acute hosery on them. The Good-ole-boy Fred prices for fittings, tools, and goops were, in fact, the Anti-Discount, prompting clergy to perform retail exorcism in the store. Bizarreville faithful soon gave Freds the 1-finger sayonara, and logged him off.
But Fred, ever the entrepreneur, kept moving forward by expanding into other weird niche offshoots and kooky inventage. He stocked the first doorbell which employed smell instead of sound. He insourced fertilizer development and packaging. He taught Plunger classes in the back office to anyone needing a refresher. He promoted “Overalls Thursdays”, no T-shirt required. There was no end to his cleverness.
But in spite of all these seemingly brilliant, innovative product extensions, Fred’s sales tanked, and he started losing moolah. Of course, he claimed the whole economic slowdown constipated his ability to pay bills, which ultimately caused suppliers to put liens on his bins of nuts and crates of other fastening units.
When he went to Screwbird Bank & Trust to try and get some relief, he found out that the bank had just gotten a $100K government bailout to stay afloat…but would not lend Fred one red cent. They told Fred that his business model stunk, and that the odor was not just the wafts from his compost pile out back. Said his sales strategy looked like it was written by a 3rd grader, which ironically is exactly how far Fred made it in school. Fred got so frustrated that he flatulated in a fuss and stormed out in a cloud of noxiousness.
We all hope that Fred gets his bailout. If he doesn’t they say they will tear his building down. And there’s a lot of folks who hope that won’t happen for various undisclosed reasons.