Van Go! Hearing Aids Recalled

More than six hundred Van Go! Heering Aids have been recalled after the CDC issued a reluctant warning that the popular devices pose significant safety risks to consumers and “anyone within 500 feet” of consumers.

In issuing the warning, unique in that it could easily apply to any product or venue in Down County, Tim Bowman, the CDC’s top-grossing beaker salesman in 2016, insisted the agency had little choice but to warn consumers since twenty-two accidents are now attributed to the devices.

“This was not a decision we wanted to make,” said Bowman. “If there had been less than say twenty accidents? We might have been able to let it slide and still be out on the Down County Nine. As it is, we had to recall the products.”

The accidents, which continue to mount, stem from a flaw in the product’s conception. Van Go! devices, unlike real hearing aids, play pre-recorded sounds and conversations which are chosen by the user to match their real-life situation. In a hospital setting, a user might choose “ER” to hear pre-recorded sounds of an emergency room. In traffic, a user might choose “Traffic” to hear sounds of pre-recorded traffic.

That’s precisely what Mrs. Menolioni did when she was run down by a Faust delivery truck at 6th and Pickaxe on the evening of September 12, 2018 according to a lawsuit filed by Ashe, Holder and Reemer. “She switched her Van Go! to “Traffic, heard a recording made God-knows when, and walked right in front of a truck” according to documents filed with the Down County Superior Court.

Maria Robato had a similar fate when she accidently switched her Van Go! to “Shooting Range.” Fearing a mass shooter, she leapt for safety into an open elevator shaft. The elevator was three floors down.

A spokesman for Van Go! dismissed detractors and took on the CDC directly in a vitriolic pre-recorded statement issued with their weekly podcast:

Van Go! Heering Aids come with over 500 patented soundscapes which we’re adding to daily. To infer that Van Go! is in any way responsible for users who choose inappropriate soundscapes is reckless and irresponsible, and will be vigorously fought in court. For a large segment of the population, Van Go! Heering Aids are the only hearing (ish) product they can afford. With this recall, the CDC has unilaterally cast these hapless souls into a life without sound!”

There are those who agree with Van Go! Harriet Grossman, the notorious harlet who works from her trailer in Graphite Cornerz, says she couldn’t get through a day without her Van Go!

“Thanks to Van Go! I can tolerate the most grotesque clients. I just set it to “Brad Pitt” or “Kevin Costner” and close my eyes. I love it!”

Ms. Grossman however is clearly in the minority.

Arguments on both sides are set to be heard in Down County Superior Court on September 10th. Hopefully Judge Larkspur doesn’t have her Van Go! set to “Scopes Monkey Trial.”

Birds Nabbed in Daring Heist

feathers on floor

At 6am this morning, Tran Minh Yee (not to be confused with Know How Sell Yee) opened the back door to his appliance shop near the Flubug Turnaround and found every canary – nearly 700 birds – donated to GEPCO’s Get That Bauxite campaign gone. Disappeared! Missing! Flew the coop! Nowhere to be found.

As of this writing, all that remains are feathers strewn everywhere across the floor and a half eaten hot dog from Nick Carz’ Kinda Dog restaurant in Graphite Cornerz. Details are sketchy and conspiracy theories are rife, but anonymous sources (Deputy Chad Fish) tell us a SWAT team is headed to Louie’s Rogue Club (Louis XIV) where the birds may be hidden.

Louis Rogue Club adPolice are also looking to question a roving Rilesvillian thespian collective that was seen dragging marionettes along Main Street last night. Flubuggers with any information are urged to call the Flubug Police Tip Line with their name, address, phone number and a list of valuables and medications they keep in the house.

Tips that lead to the apprehension and conviction of the perpetrators may qualify for free burial services at Flubug Cemetery.

Was your canary stolen? Contact Bugle Reporter Needa Gnundi at If we use your story you could win a free order of Yemeni Carpet Hash at Paddywaters!



GEPCO Unveils Massive Wind Pipeline Project


A spokesman for GEPCO, the energy conglomerate that provides phone, cable, internet, gas and electric service for all of Down County, held a press conference this morning from the breakfast bar at the back of the Horseman’s Inn to unveil plans for a bold, new pipeline designed to stretch from the turbulent Quagmire Pass to nearby Stateline. The pipeline, which takes a confounding route reminiscent of the Tour duh Flubug, would be the first to carry wind instead of fossil fuels and would also be the first to double as a  fun ride.

“No one’s greener than we are!” boasted company spokesman Zog Goznig using a laser pointer to circle the Quagmire Pass. “That’s why we’re harnessing the natural wind power of Hell and High Water (the local name for Quagmire Pass) to meet the growing energy demands of Down County well into the next century.”

mountaneersFor those who have forgotten, Quagmire Pass fosters some of the most violent weather in the county including tornados, derechos and blizzards which sweep from the mountain tops through the narrow pass. Its known for deadly avalanches and falling rocks, and was considered unpassable until Harrison “Longbeard” Granville led an expedition of twenty men to their deaths in 1871. Granville survived, but blamed himself for the debacle. He went mad five years later during a mild gust. Today, none but the bravest cross what the Spanyards called Puertas del Infierno. Even GEPCO’s lineman use the Miasma to access Quagmire (and take a year or more to repair downed lines).

Yet Goznig was undetered: “Construction will begin concurrenty on September 1st at three different locations: Quagmire Pass, Watersbad Canyon and Rilesville. We have buy-in from widely divergent business and environmental groups like the Water Buffalos and Lavender Condition, but if any protesters show up, like say someone who forfeits their burial ground or something, we’re offering free pipeline rides before the project completes… and I have a slide here somewhere… ah, yes here it is!”


“When completed in 2022, the Big Wind Tunnel Fun Ride will provide enough wind power to GEPCO’s generators in Stateline to power Down County indefinitely, plus a 45 mile fun ride that will thrill families and their kids far more than any dumb scenic overlook. Let’s face it, kids don’t want to stare at canyons and mountains. They want fun! And we’re here to give it to them.”

Asked where the funding would derive for this prohibitively expensive project, Goznig said simply: “Bauxite. The little rock that changes everything for Flubug.”

Preliminary permits have already been approved by the Down County Board of Supervisors who left together on an unscheduled cruise around the world shortly after the vote.


Canary Donations Soar Far Above Expectations


Canaries are arriving day and night at the back entrance to Yee’s Appliances in dowtown Flubug. Some come by car. Others by truck. Still others are dropped off by tearful owners, proud to help the region-wide effort to “Get that bauxite!” though sad to say goodbye to their feathered friends.


The staging area, an unlikely setting offered by Yee for a hundred bucks a night, will be used by GEPCO and Down County mining officials to process the birds before their eventual deployment to the North Flubug mineshaft.

From there the Kamakaze Kanaries, as they’ve been dubbed by Will Bill who coined the phrase for his newest cocktail, will be fed through a narrow hole in the rock into an enormous methane pocket where, Jack willing, they’ll inhale enough methane to reduce the gas by 95%.

“It’s a major undertaking,” said GEPCO spokesman Zog Goznig who helped Yee at the door. “But if we all work together we can get that bauxite!”

But not everyone shared Zog’s sense of community spirit. Some tried to pawn off sparrows, parakeets, even birds trapped in the wild to get the coveted receipts that Wild Bills accepts for free drinks. One wily resident, who asked to remain anonymous (Sheri Kannistel of 1387 Quaker State Oil Can Rd. in Tire Fire City), marked a wren with a yellow highlighter. Luckily she was nabbed at the door before her bird could be added to the general pop.

“They always bad apple,” said Yee. “They try fool Yee. But my eyes good. Like eagle. Catch all time.”

bat-museumHowever, the overwhelming majority of Flubuggers had real canaries. In fact, as of this writing, more than 600 chirping canaries have been donated to GEPCO from businesses and organizations across Down County including Vermouth’s Bat Museum, King’s Humidor in Eunice, the Water Buffalos Lodge, The Li’l Arsonists Club, Junior Underachievers, Womyn With Problems, Meals For Wheels, Books for the Blind, The Overmeyer Historical Society, KRAK Radio, Funzy’s Social Club in Balto (Home of the All-U-Can-Eat-Tater-Tot Tuesdays), the Poor Farm Family Fun Park, Kinda Dog, Crossley’s Nursing Home, Beseech Academy’s Ecumenical Orinthology Department,  Gramps McCauley’s House of Wax, two members of the Barking Circus Workers Union, the HAAC, Horseman’s Park, Wild Bills, the Uzbek Social Club, Citizens Against Pencil Place and Hope Faydz (who said she wants her canary back if it lives).

That doesn’t include the hundreds of Flubuggers who stood in line in Yee’s parking lot for three plus hours in the broiling sun while being subjected to endless megaphone blasts of “Buy washer! Buy dryer! 50% off if donate bird!”

“I tell you the truth I almost walked,” said Jack Wickstrom whose 2012 reaction to the miraculous SIBS birth of his son gained him the (coveted) reputation of a tippler. “And I gotta be honest, I wanted to kill Yee when I finally got to that door. But in the end I donated my canary and I’m glad I did.”

He pulled a pint of whiskey from his back pocket and winked at me. “That bird was the only thing my wife left me when she filed for divorce. With any luck it’ll breathe deep when they shove it into that methane.”

Got a canary to donate? Contact Horst Mulebraten at Better yet, bring your bird down to Yee’s Appliances yourself. Mule was fired for his embarassing performance in Possum N’ Taters two years ago. Sure he’s back (we don’t fire anyone with those kind of secrets), but he doesn’t know squat about canaries. And he sure can’t act.



This Man May Hold the Key to Flubug’s Future

bauxite-explorerLeopold Bergmann isn’t a household name. You probably wouldn’t know him if he was your neighbor, as we learned when we showed this photograph to his actual neighbors. Yet, this 63 year-old eccentric bookhound, Professor Emeritus of Synoptic Geology at Beseech Academy’s Department of Biblical Archeology, may soon be as famous as Flublue himself, whose likeness he keeps on his desk at all times.

All because of a little rock.

That rock is bauxite, the highly prized, main componenet of aluminum, and according to Bergmann there’s enough of the stuff in the Flubug mine to catapult the entire region into a new age of prosperity. But there’s a catch. The deposit Bergmann claims to have discovered is 500 feet below the deepest section of Flubug’s long-shuttered north tunnel. It also sits beneath an enormous pocket of methane. That methane would have to be safely dispersed before any bauxite could be accessed, and that’s where things get dicey.

Flubuggers who know their history know that a methane explosion killed 43 miners in that section of the graphite mine 1932. One year later the north mine was closed (though children were allowed to play in it until 1951). The explosion was dubbed “Rutger’s Revenge” after the crew boss who forced his men to drill into a methane pocket after they taunted his lisp. Expeditions were mounted as late as 1938 to find miners whose families hoped they were still alive. Local church groups baked cakes and bulgar bisquits to be lowered to potentially famished survivors, but no one was ever found.

flubug caverns adNow, 87 years later, Professor Bergmann has opened that old wound and presented Flubug with an existential challenge: remain in a feedback loop of endess bankruptcy or take a chance on prosperity.

“The bauxite is down there,” Bergmann says. “The question is, do we have the will as a community to get it?”

Mayor Ornery, whose adminstration was rocked several years ago by unemployed Flubuggers, made no bones about his position. “This is a great day for Flubug!” he announced from his balcony to a vagrant and two hundred pigeons. “At last we hold the key to Flubug’s future!”

Boone Hensington, Jr., son of the late explorer, who erroneously announced the discovery of a new dinosaur species in 2016 before admitting the bones were retrieved from far-flung archeological digs, was equally enthusiastic. “This is the greatest discovery since the Titanic was discovered in Tanwater Lake!”


Yet, the logistics are daunting. According to a survey conducted by Bergmann just last month, the methane is trapped in a pocket that measures 102,500 cubic feet. That’s about 2.5 acres. A single spark could detonate the gas with devastating consequences.

But Bergmann his a unique solution.

“If we used a fluid-cooled, low impact drill to create a small opening into the pocket, we could feed hundreds of canaries into the methane,” Bergmann claims. “Of course, it would be suicide for the canaries, but in gasping for air each would consume approximately .331224 litres of methane. Once the methane was reduced by 95%, we could access thousands of tons of bauxite.”

GEPCO, who owns a 99-year lease on the mine, released a statement within hours of the news cheering Bergmann’s discovery.

GEPCO ad“GEPCO shares the excitement of all Down County residents at the prospect of bauxite in the long-abandoned Flubug mine. We congratulate Professor Bergmann and his team (mostly inmates) for their hard work. And we plan to hire as many as 2,000 miners right here in Flubug within the next three months to accomplish one single goal – to get that bauxite!”

Professor Bergmann has tentatively received the Key to the City, which qualifies him for free admission to Blackwater’s Night Vision Goggle Nights, two free carrots at Wren, a smelt-fired pizza, a beer at Bradshaw’s Tavern and one hot dog at Carz’ Kinda Dog. 

GEPCO officials have yet to announce when hiring will begin.



Wren Delivers Small Bite of Food, Big Bite of Wallet

By Roman Candy
Bugle Critic at Large

Well Gang, we all know that most fads take a little longer to reach our little burg, but this one could just as well take a lot longer, like maybe never;

Call it the Small Food Movement.

Now I must agree that we have a wee obesity problem in these parts, say 67% of the adult population, but this new joint brought to the WOPP by the diminutive Wren and the bulbous Hope Faydz will not serve any clientele other than the scrawny Hipsters who will flock there.

Opening on International Women’s Day, Wren surely knows her target audience. And it sure ain’t us.  The interior features unsanded wooden benches and tables (watch for splinters!) with crude housemade pottery serving as the signature tableware. Almost everything in the place was produced by Wren and God knows who else she found to work behind the scenes.

I opted for their signature cocktail, A Cup Full of Tears. Served in a wooden teacup still sticky with varnish, the vile concoction consisted of plague water, hemp extract, ginger beer, and a somewhat limp dandelion garnish. All for a mere 17 bucks!

Moving to the menu, I chose the harmless sounding Peas and Carrots, What I received was a plate of 9 rather well cooked peas and a half of a raw carrot. Excuse me, but for 11 bucks I expected more, like maybe a whole carrot? I steered clear of the Badger Pot Pie, the Stems in a Blanket, and the Rotisserie Stinkfish, to name a few menu highlights.

Desserts were similarly off putting, and most guests were observed lingering over mugs of unfiltered coffee and pine cones……Guess you have to ask Wren about that choice.

The walls are festooned with a crudely drawn mural depicting anorexic women in various tearful poses, Hungry yet?

I wont be back, but judging from the mound of bicycles piled by the front door, this place will be a hit with this crowd, Me? I’m headed over to Dem Bones for an honest Rib Round Up Plate.

Wren Spreads Her Wings in the WOPP

Not to be outdone, never to be forgotten, Wren, the Miasma-born song bird whose wings were nearly singed when she flew too close to Hope Fadyz’ burning passion during The Tour duh Flubug, is back with a splash and a brand new venue in the WOPP (West of Pencil Place) that’s causing a stir!

Simply called Wren, the upscale bistro caters to the nouveau riche who were previously resigned to The New Ditch, Paddy Water and the gay-themed Toss My Salad to hang their equestrian top hats.

But that’s all changed with Wren.

WOPPsters tired of watered-down cappuccinos, smelt pizza, Paddy Water’s endlessly out-of-stock Yemeni Carpet Hash and composted kale salads served by waiters in vinyl lederhosen, can now kick back in style as they stare at their phones, cram for multiple choice tests or (god forbid) strike up a conversation. But make no mistake, “style” is the operative word.

From its rustic appointments to its panoramic view of the remnants of Pencil Place, from its bottomless sriracha to its signature branding, the venue’s gauche affectation is palpable the moment you enter. Here at last is every WOPPster’s oasis.

Sonata adCozy, sunlit booths made from distressed cycad. Vintage window fixtures salvaged from the very apartments razed for the location. Poetry slams by vying teams of Pharasaic sesquipedalian-wielding dropouts. Folk songs by multi-cultural, oppressed ethnophiles. Sonata, whose new acts entails channeling the rage of an Angolan separatist. And a Madame Curie look alike, karaoke contest complete with a (rumored) chunk of uranium for the winner.

“We’ve thought of everything!” chirps Wren, clearly thrilled when we caught up with her at her grand opening last Thursday. “My restaurant is destined to become the go-to place for everyone in the WOPP.”

Yet, there might be a small hitch to Wren’s plans.

Some of the area’s trust babies have already balked at Wren’s prices, and the servings are far from bountiful. A typical menu item, Belarus carrots and Kopai Luwak, a coffee derived from Asian palm civet dung, costs $18.95. That’s before the tip. And what do you get for your double sawbuck? A gag-worthy cup o’ Joe with a pair of carrots.

Of course the sriracha is free.

Another menu item, Puffin hearts and Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, a concoction of bull’s testicles, will set you back a hefty $24.95 before the tip. And if you’re thinking of more than one brew (and who isn’t when it’s made from bull’s testicles?) plan on $12.95 each time you belly up to the bar.

Of course, there’s always Happy Hour (from 3pm to 4pm) where a dime-sized portion of 2011 Vermouth Sour Grapes will save you 15% over the rush hour “entree.” But be ready to stand in line. Deals like this don’t come often at Wren.

We asked about her prices and the expensive location she chose, but Wren went silent. Many don’t believe she could have pulled this off by herself. This is one of the highest rent districts in the WOPP. Considering that Wren sold no more than sixty CDs two years ago?

Well. You do the math.

Smelt owner Kabichi Poopescelli doesn’t need to do the math. He’s suspected all along there’s a silent partner who’s snapping up all the real estate along Pencil Place. He worries that his unique pizza offerings with toppings like benzine-marinated dulce, charred barnacles, pre-spill Tanwater asparagus and South Hornel chorizo, will disappear if he’s driven out of business.

“My-a recipes! They-a like a historic landmarks. Whose-a gonna put fisher milk cheese on a pizza, eh? Whose-a gonna bake at 5,000 degrees? Nessuno! Nobody!”

At least one WOPPster shares his concerns.

Natalia (wouldn’t give her last name) eats Smelt pizza “every day” and says she’d “die” without her Purgatory (a signature slice with chillies and yardlong fired to the heat of the sun). “Wren doesn’t know squat about pizza. But she knows an opportunity when she sees one. And finding dumb***** stupid enough to pay twenty bucks for a couple of carrots is one helluva opportunity.”

See what all the excitement’s about yourself this Saturday. While you’re at it, try your luck at the Madame Curie Look-A-Like Karaoke Contest. It’s only $30 and you could walk away with a collectible piece of radioactive history. See you there! 

Sixth Carjacking Reported at Laff Riot

Hormel Police aren’t laughing tonight. Neither is the owner of a dark blue 1989 FMC Roadbuster, now the latest victim in a series of carjackings that have plagued a newly renovated comedy club on Nafta Highway near Stateline that was supposed to revitalize the area.

Laff Riot, an abandoned rest stop converted to an after-hours comedy club, has had nothing but trouble since it opened six weeks ago. Tonight’s carjacking brings to six the number of vehicles stolen in as many weeks and would seem to underscore the need for tighter security. Yet, not everyone thinks that would help.

Lopez Montelachupas, who provides latching solutions for regional hog pens, says the club doesn’t have a security problem. “It has a comedy problem.” Another patron, one of the few we found who admitted going to the club, said it was the headliners, not security, that are causing the issues. He characterized the thefts as “retribution” for bad entertainment. “Really bad entertainment.”

Even Hormel detective TDK Knowles, who’s responded to every incident at the club, says Laff Riot “is anything but.”

Yet the owner, Major Stony Rushing, a gun enthusiast who impersonates Boss Hogg on the weekends, takes issues with that while defending his headliners, Brickles and Shay, as “our top grossing act” (though he admitted they get fewer than six customers on any given night).

“The cops don’t know squat,” Rushing insists. “Sure we had a couple car thefts. Happens all the time. You can’t pin that on Brickles and Shay. Hell, they lost their Yugo last week!”

But Brickles and Shay have a long history of evoking the worst in audiences.

In 2017, they were fired from the Fenugeek Lounge behind Horseman’s Inn after instigating a stampede. In 2016, they were flailed by a jockey who flew from his horse at the finish line when he recognized them at the rail. In 2015, they were booed from the stage at the Poor Farm’s “Family Pavilion” when they tried to perform their act in between booked sets.

And again in 2013 they were bitten by flight attendants who repeatedly tried to stop an impromptu act they performed in the aisle during takeoff.

“This club was always going to be a security problem with it’s close proximity to the state line,” says Knowles. “But by adding these clowns, they pretty much secured my retirement.”

Laff Riot is set to reopen March 1st after dummy security cameras are installed by the entrance.


ShillExit Passes Amid Fraud Allegations

With half the votes counted (and the other half in Brutus Yukyavonkostrovski’s Yugo), it seems Shilltown residents have voted to exit from themselves. But not everyone knows what that means, and even fewer know what they voted for.

Morisetta “Ma” Flange (above), who’s voted “every year” with her husband for thirty years said  “it was almost like they wanted you to vote a certain way.”

Milbank “Milbee” Skanks said: “I ain’t no socialist, which is why I voted yes. But the wording coulda been clearer. I just wanted make sure they don’t force me to license my flamethrower.”

Police, firemen and government officials (who have until Friday to clear out their desks), were more far vocal in their accusations.

“This whole thing reeks of a plot by Uzbeks – who don’t even live here – to cause chaos in Shilltown!” said Burt Govain, head of the Shilltown Police Union who worked tirelessly to defeat the measure while negotiating a divorce, two wrongful arrest suits and a side gig as a ventriloquist. “It’s a power grab to destabilize our way of life!”

Lanny McBrock, a 26-year old imagineer at Shilltown’s Wild Mountain Ride (still called the Municipal Court by locals) says the measure will backfire on supporters. “Wait ’till there’s no cops to answer their calls. Then we’ll see how they like their exit plan.”

But the question on many voters’ minds is: “Where are the missing ballots?”

It’s still too early to determine if the trimmed down Down County Election Commission will investigate the whereabouts of the missing ballots (or their own commissioner who’s been missing since October), but Mayor Pete Shill (the twelfth member of his family to serve as mayor) wants answers.

“As far as I’m concerned – as far as our whole city government is concerned – this election was a fraud from start to finish. And until those missing ballots are located, it remains a fraud!”

The mayor has called for an emergency session tomorrow morning to access the community’s immediate needs, take suggestions on ways of coping with the impending crisis and ask if anyone knows where he can find part time gardening work.

All New Ditch to Reopen in March

Dylan Mocha, the digital wunderkind who ignited a firestorm when he closed the iconic Ditch to open a hotspot for trendy WOPPsters, has been missing since a fifteenth girl came forward to accuse him of having underage sex. Yet, despite his absence, Mocha’s red hot location may live on.

Without him.

Unbeknownst to all but Roman Candy’s closest confidantes, the Mocha Lounge quietly changed hands in December, about the same time Dylan disappeared. And the new owners, a consortium of anonymous backers headed by none other than Mandy Manley, former owner and booking agent of the original Ditch, have been busy re-branding the club.

“The place was a disaster from a punk perspective,” says Manley. “We had to trash all the laser lights, disco balls, ego-centric DJ booth and the gold bathroom fixtures. We even ripped up the floors to get the look we were after.

That look – a no-nonsense, bare-bones club with no floor, a plank for a bar, a generic, unabashedly dingy bathroom, inadequate lighting, no fire extinguishers, no fire exits, no windows, black walls, doors that only swing inward, three electrical outlets, no sprinklers and a plywood stage – is “even more treacherous than the original Ditch!” boasts Manley, who announced that the club will reopen Friday, March 9th as The Ditch II.

And what a lineup Manley has planned!

Headlining both nights, March 9th and 10th, will Like Chrystal with our own Chrystal and Peppy (from Chrystal and Peppy in the Morning) at the mike and Dex Strongarm doing double duty on drums.

On Friday, expect a wild pyrotechnic show as The Hellions, fresh out of Brackwater, defy a court order to stop lighting things on fire to greet their fans with an arson-al of entertainment!

Then it’s on to Vox Spy Ring, a sixteen piece ensemble whose sole visible member plays a distracting balalaika while the other fifteen hack the audience’s phones.

Then The Nodders take the stage in a true stroke of genius by Manley. The Nodders, who’ve nodded out at their last six performances undisturbed by the deafening feedback of their abandoned instruments, are said to have cleaned up their act since then. Yet, while most would consider that a good thing, fans are still hopeful they relapse before the show, especially those seeing them for the first time.

Saturday starts with a National Emergency Declaration to be read by the Fence Hoppers before they begin their set. The Mexican punk band, known for hijacking school buses before taking up music, are expected to dedicate their entire show to Ramsey’s recent decision to declare a state of emergency due to clogged toilets in his mansion.

After the Hoppers, Doc Longsleeves, whose deceased bass player, Dooley, is enshrined on the new Ditch awning, should receive a standing ovation. The band, who’s gone through some lineup changes, hasn’t done a show in close to three years and the excitement should be electric.

And finally, Henhouse Explosion will bring their brand of rustic insanity to the stage, firing up the crowd with random detonations, frantic chickens and maniacal chord structures.

It’s all set to start in two weeks! So, dig out those old t-shirts and get ready to rock. The Ditch is back! And it promises to be more bad ass than ever.


Possums Linked to Leprosy

Flubug health and wildlife experts are warning residents to steer clear of possums in the wake of a leprosy epidemic (that would normally be…) reported to Flubug Memorial Hospital.

Eight cases have been phoned into the notoriously secret hospital this year, according to the last employee drawing a paycheck at the Flubug Health Department. That employee, Windy Vetch, since terminated for leaking information to an enemy of the people, said that three cases are “normal” for any given year, but this year’s phone calls are “off the charts.”

Experts say it’s no coincidence calls are off the charts because the possum population is off the charts. Native populations, normally checked by trophy hunters, chefs looking to stretch a buck and anacondas released by impoverished owners, have increased exponentially with the expansion of Ramsey’s catch and release program, which has seen hunters shift from possums to stalking the homeless, and interdiction efforts by Flubug, Stateline and Hormel that have nabbed two hundred anacondas from backyards, basements and public parks.

As a result, the possum population has exploded. And the possum is loved in Flubug!

With its trademark ruse of playing dead then springing back to life, taunting death by leaping from pot to pot, tearing wrens to shreds with the ferocity of a drawn peasant, and insouciance at being caged, the possum in many ways is the de facto mascot of Flubug (sorry, Flublue).

Small wonder Possum N Taters has delighted audiences for over a century at the Flubug Playhouse.

Donna Viscerati (above), a Lusher resident for forty years, is a case in point. “I love my little possum,” she says, cradling her joyful joey. “And I don’t care if he does have leprosy. I wouldn’t part with him for the world.”

It’s this type of thinking that concerns health officials when they can be located.

“Each case phoned into Flubug Memorial’s (untraceable) call center were from people who had direct contact with possums, says Dr. Tamulkivana Hikilumavar, former President of Beseech Academy’s Medical Society who left last year to spend more time with his family after being caught in a restroom with the boy’s wrestling team. “And each case this year came from Northwest Flubug.”

That means Mulligan, Disfigure, Nailyard and Lusher, four towns ill-equipped to deal with a health catastrophe.

To ascertain what, if anything, is being done to address this potentially life-threatening emergency, The Bugle placed phone calls to each of the four affected townships.

Repeated calls to Lusher went unanswered (presumably because Fentanyl Days just ended). Calls to Nailyard were met with grumblings about being on the Do Not Call list. Calls to Disfigure were routed to a full mailbox. And calls to Mulligan aren’t possible. A carrier pigeon was sent to elicit a response.

As of this writing, the pigeon is missing and presumed eaten.

Hannibal Crossing the Alps on a Moose? It Could Happen!

It’s still unclear how Hannibal got thousands of men, horses, mules and wild elephants across the Alps to assault Rome. But Muncie Wurlitzer isn’t waiting for historians to find out. The fabled moose trainer, who’s fallen on hard times since the sword and sandal days at Flubug Pictures, is on a mission to convince Punic War organizers that his ready moose herd would be an ideal replacement for easily-spooked pachyderms.

“Elephants are notoriously skittish,” says Muncie. “They’re probably the worst animal you can take into battle. For the life o’ me, I don’t know what Hannibal was thinkin’.”

“On the other hand,” he continued while saddling a large bull. “These moose? ‘specially the bulls? They’re made for battle. Hell, they battle each other six, seven times a day. And they can climb a mountain pass faster than my FMC Tidbit on overdrive!”

The scarcity of elephants may work to Muncie’s advantage.

Barking Circus on Thursday

Barking Circus currently has only two of the would-be Carthaginian fighters in captivity, though they insist they’re close to locating a third.

“We think she’s still in hiding,” said Blotz Kangabounis on condition of anonymity. “They all three excaped (sic) during the blizzard of ’14, but Cleo never did come back. We got it narrowed down to she’s in some basement between here and Balto. So, we’re gettin’ closer.”

Yet, even if circus officials do locate their runaway pachyderm, a threesome would hardly make a fearful division.

“Hannibal had forty elephants,” says Muncie. “Give or take a few that dropped into ravines from the narrow ridges or got clobbered by rock slides that plagued the trek. Imagine them cocky Romans peein’ their togas when they saw them elephants? That’s what ya need if you want a good old fashioned Punic War. Three, maybe four dozen big ass animals comin’ straight atcha from outta nowhere.”

Muncie, who says he named his prize moose after Hannibal “out of admiration” for the man he calls the  “greatest military strategist of antique times,” isn’t shy when it comes to his fascination with Carthage and Rome, and says he plans to get involved “as a galley slave or an archer.”

Yet, whether or not Hannibal (to be played by Joe The Lifeguard) trades his elephants for a moose herd this year is still an open question. Officials from Beseech Academy and the Shilltown Museum of Oddities refused to take (much less return) our phone calls. So, we really have no idea.

But one thing’s for certain. If Miasmans expect any chance of taking Shilltown by surprise this year, they better rethink this whole elephant business and take another look at Muncie’s moose herd. You could do a lot worse than moose going over the avalanche-prone Miasma pass in spring. Just sayin’.

Town May Exit From Itself

If an extraordinary measure on next week’s Special Ballot passes, the town of Shilltown will be obligated to exit …from itself!

Measure No. 2, the Mandatory Egress and Renegotiation Initiative, better known as ShillExit, would require Shilltown to “end all official ties with itself” which could compel the renegotiation of everything from trade and labor agreements to police, fire and EMT pensions. It could also bring an end to the town’s questionable practice of billing itself as an amusement park and selling tickets to enter the city or even city buildings like the Municipal Court (a practice now being mulled by Barking and Quagmire).

Brutus Yukyavonkostrovski, architect of the referendum (and similar referendums in Barking, Quagmire, Watersbad Canyon, Miasma, Poison Wells, Lusher, Disfigure, Eunice and Vermouth), said he was sure the measure would pass and expressed confidence that the people of Shilltown would “do right thing” and “move to future, not past.”

But not everyone’s sure what happens to city services, jobs and contracts if the government disappears.

“It sounds like a good idea until you think about the ramific… you know, what it really means,” says Jaunder Grippe, night manager at Shilltown’s southernmost (one-manned) ticket stand. “Get rid of those bums in government! They’re the problem! But then what? Who negotiates the contracts when everyone’s gone?”

Yukyavonkostrovski says any “hiccups” along the way would work themselves out and claims naysayers are part of the larger “Overmeyer conspiracy” that seeks to subvert every town in the county.

But not everyone agrees. Burt Govain, head of the Shilltown Police Union, has worked hand in hand with representatives from the police and fire departments, a local ambulance company (Shill Shuttle), and city officials to counter Yukyavonkostrovski’s well-funded campaign.

“It’s been an uphill battle,” says Govain. “And it’s cost a lot of our amusement park’s revenue protecting innocent Shilltonians from being hoodwinked by this Rasputin. But we’re confident that sanity will prevail in Monday’s vote and Measure #2 will be defeated.”

He adds: “Our only concern is that there’s two measures on the ballot which could confuse the hell out of a lotta folks.”

Skunkfish Toss Draws Record Crowds

The annual Skunkfish Toss in Rilesville, held on President’s Day to demonstrate the town’s disdain for authority (and marine life), drew record crowds on Monday, easily topping crowds at its sister event in Miasma, whose Eel Toss is said to have started the tradition.

Melinda “B.B.” Carz, ex-wife of the controversial developer, who organized the event, said she was “thrilled” by the attendance and claimed it established the “ceremonial hurling” of these obnoxious, bony fish as the definitive President’s Day event and the official “harbigger” of spring.

But Miasma mayor Braden “Buzz” Seepage, seen here navigating the rapids on his invigorating pilgrimage to the Miasma event, took issue with those claims, firing back that Carz “rigged” the Rilesville event by luring unsuspecting Miasmans onto buses marked “Miasma Eel Toss.”

“This is the most brazen con job I’ve seen since Carz lured Miasmans into investing in Barking Nickels. First Rilesville steals our festival, then they steal our residents. Maybe we should send them our eels.”

There may be some truth to the allegation that Rilesville stole the idea for their fish toss. The Rilesville event, in which participants throw the notoriously odious fish across a strip of storm-damaged asphalt, is quite similar to the Miasma event, in which participants throw equally odious eels across the Miasma.

Yet, both may stem from an older tradition.

According to the Tanwater Scrolls, aspiring warriors at ancient Tin Wa Wa festivals competed in catching and tossing notoriously elusive Darting Gophers whose dung, though sacred, made it impossible for the tribe to stop vomiting.

That festival, says Chief Spraying Skunk, whose grandfather Seriously Spraying Skunk served as the inspiration for Stinkin’ Injun Point Monument (a moniker that has come under justifiably harsh criticism) died when the Darting Gopher went extinct.

“When dog of many faces disappeared, dung disappeared, too.” says Spraying Skunk. “So white man throw tribe into river.”

Spraying Skunk adds that this is why The Great Father created the three mile limit, so Tin Wa Wa could operate gambling ships in Tanwater Lake.

Faydz Threatens Bugle with Lawsuit

Hope Faydz, the languishing has-been who lost the Great Race when her car ended up in a rut, ran up a huge bill at The Ditch in a failed bid to get her girlfriend back, got suckered into the Pencil Place scam by buying a chunk of swampland at the proposed building site, bought Bohunks after Coombs committed suicide in an act of defiance by locking himself in the freezer (a telling sign the business was bust), let her daughter , “Ditzy” Daisy, turn the place into a Natural Foods shop (of all things) that’s since gone bankrupt after trying to sell milkweed, dandelions and hawthorne to Flubuggers who subsist on Faust and an ocassional wren, had a talk show on KRAK that was more depressing than Gwen’s Hours of Regret (and is suspected in at least six suicides) and threatened to sue Roman Candy for outing her son Westmoreland as a dunce who only made it to Beseech because of donations from her mother’s fake foundation, today announced she’s suing The Bugle. For libel, no less.

Well, if we’re gonna get sued for libel, we might as well go all the way!

Here’s a photo of Faydz at age 17 making out with an underage girl she met behind the Fried Twinkie stand at Summerfest in 1986:






Here’s Faydz a year later with her college roomie, Genevieve “Jenny” Grenadiere, who later claimed she was the reincarnation of Jenny Overmeyer on an episode of Ancient Illegal Aliens.








Here’s Faydz in 2001 preparing to expose herself to an alleged Uzbek lesbian meet-up site actually run by the ARF:








Wanna see more? We’ve got a safe full of photos (thanks, Roman!). Your move, Hopey.





Uzbeks Arrested in Fake Toll Scam

An elaborate plan to scam unsuspecting motorists on the Nafta Superhighway failed utterly Saturday afternoon when an off-duty officer smelled a big fat Uzbek rat.

“I just never remembered a toll booth there before,” said Officer Norbert Fenks, shaking his head in disbelief. “But there it was, looking suspiciously like a starting gate from Horseman’s Park.”

And his suspicions were right.

Eight Uzbeks, in toll worker uniforms (and traditional Uzbek hats) had rolled a starting gate stolen from Horseman’s Park onto the Nafta Superhighway and rigged it to look like a toll booth. When Fenks arrived they were busy collecting five dollar “tolls” from motorists.

“I gotta admit, it was pretty slick,” said Fenks who arrested the men after calling for a SWAT team, three tanks, a mortar division and several flame throwers. “Whoever dreamed up this plan deserves an A for ingenuity.”

The Uzbeks all denied any involvement in the scheme.

Abdullaziz Abdurakhmanov, the only Uzbek who confessed to knowing English, claimed they had  “answered ad” a week earlier to work in “real toll booth.” Asked if he found it strange that they had to wheel the “toll booth” onto the highway, Abdullaziz said “Everything in America is strange.”

The Uzbeks will be arraigned in Judge Larkspur’s court on Monday pending $250,000 bail.

Judge Larkspur is the same judge who found three of the eight Uzbeks not guilty of rape allegations brought by Ladybug in 2013 stemming from an incident at the Uzbek Social Club on the same Nafta Superhighway.

No Uzbeks contributed to this story.

Residents Fume at Graphite Rent Increases

A boisterous protest broke out at the Flubug City Council meeting Tuesday night as angry residents confronted Flubug Economic Development Manager, Les Derrick, and City Manager, Fausto Marconi on their approval of new residential construction by The Carz Organization in once-affordable Graphite Cornerz.

Louis Rogue Club adThe protesters, shouting “Death to Carz!” and “Lock The Crook Up!,” were joined by members of Lavender Condition (a known socialist organization) who hummed the Battle Hymn of the Republic while holding a “No Carz” banner.

Mayor Bobby Ornery, now in his seventh term, quickly moved to shut down the protest, slamming his gavel and instructing the Sergeant-In-Arms to “remove every and all protesters from this gallery immediately!”

But that only fueled the rage.

“My rent has increased 300% in a year!” screamed one woman. “Mine has gone from $100 to $900 a month!” said another. “Carz is behind this!” came the cries. “And you’re rubber stamping everything he’s doing!”

Economic Development Manager, Les Derrick, who dozed briefly during the melee, woke up to describe the Council’s vote as a “tough call,” but an “important first step in attracting new businesses to under-developed areas. “We’ll never get anywhere if Graphite Cornerz remains the dump it is today.”

That sent attendees into a frenzy.

“You’re talking about our homes and neighborhoods!” shouted an elderly woman in a green Flag Ironing League cap. “I’ve lived there longer than you’ve been alive, sonny!”

Other protesters were quick to point out that the only businesses in Graphite Cornerz are KRAK Radio, Louis the 14th, Take It N Git II, Flubug Squat, and Harriet Grossman’s trailer (the area brothel) which are all owned by The Carz Organization.

But their cries soon fell on deaf ears as council members adjourned the meeting and walked out of the room.

“They all need to be voted out of office!” shouted Emmer Turnbull, son of the late Titus T.T. Turnbull who lost his thumbs somewhere near the Poor Farm Family Fun Park. “Carz might as well be running the whole city!”

The next city council meeting is tentatively scheduled to be held in the basement of Flubug Memorial Hospital (which, as most Flubuggers know, has an unknown location due to the high numbers of uninsured residents).



The Carz Organization

The Carz Organization is a realty development corporation owned and operated by the Carz family, run by Nick Carz out of his makeshift office at Louis the 14th.

The company is involved in a wide range of business ventures including bars, restaurants, untaxed alcohol, cigarettes and lottery tickets, sports betting, radio stations, convenience stores, brothels, strip clubs, construction and real estate development with an emphasis on development in Carz’ hometown region of Graphite Cornerz.

Rumors abound of ties to the Villaneuva Brothers’ organization in Stateline, but no charges have ever been brought.

Among the entities known to be owned or partially owned by the Carz Organization (or paying protection) are:

In 2016, The Carz Organization pushed into real estate development in a big way. Using funding from unknown sources, Carz broke ground on a series of urban developments in Graphite Cornerz including Carz Oaks, and Carz Estates, Carz Manor and Vista del Carz which are currently in varying phases of development.

The renewed interest in Graphite Cornerz, described as a “Renaissance” by Carz Organization promotional material, has emboldened landlords in the area to increase rents by as much as 300%, leading some tenants to cry foul.

But Nick laughs off complaints while maintaining he’s just meeting demand. “We had a housing shortage, so I built homes. Now they’re too expensive? I’d recommend folks who can’t afford them move to Mulligan. I hear they have free soup down there, too!”


Fentanyl Days Coming to Lusher

Fentanyl Days, the controversial two-day festival at Lusher Park sponsored by the Shilltown Museum of Natural Oddities, the Vermouth Bat Museum, the Eunice Civil War Wax Museum, the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department at Beseech Academy and a generous grant from the Brackwater State Correctional Facility, is set to “kick” off this Saturday.

And though fireworks aren’t planned, you might want to come prepared.

The annual festival, held to commemorate the 2009 Davis Street Riot that broke out at a Lusher opium den when nodding patrons threw hookahs at police, has been a huge draw for Lusher’s tourist industry (and kids looking to score). But it’s drawn the ire of politicians and organizations lately opposed to what they call Lusher’s lax stance on drugs and alcohol.

That doesn’t bother mother of six and beloved Lusher addict, Destiny River (above) whose travails with the law, colorful domestic battles, and years of advocacy for “the black tar community” have earned her the awe and respect of Lusher’s addicts.

“She’s awesome, man,” said a man in ripped jeans who refused to give his name. “This is like the third year she’s emceed the event. Say, can you hold this belt for me?”

It also won’t deter the projected two thousand attendees, many of whom come to bet on their favorite addicts. Contests like Shoot Off which pit addicts against each other to see who can prepare and shoot their drugs faster, and the Quarter Mile Spoon Race in which hundreds of addicts vie for a chance at a lifetime supply of fentanyl, traditionally draw heavy wagers, as do more controversial bets on the fatalities or number of Narcan doses administered (a disqualifying event).

This, perhaps more than any other issue, draws the most ire from detractors, especially since the bettors are over-represented by pharmaceutical and medical industry executives who watch from the bleachers while placing their bets.

“It’s absolutely obscene!” says Heather Hart, ringleader of the outspoken (socialist) women’s group Lavender Condition. “It’s bad enough we have addicts in desperate need of help. But to place them in contests to win the poison that’s killing them – while Big Pharma bets on their success or failure – is simply barbaric. It must be stopped!”

Yet, it’s hard to imagine how that’s going to happen. Last year’s Fentanyl Days brought in a record $273,092 (after kickbacks). If you’re a City Alderman from Lusher, that kind of revenue is hard to ignore.

“It’s a great time,” boasts City Alderman Tom Collins. “People come out of the shadows to participate or show their support without fear of reprisals or fear of being judged. It’s important for the addict community. And it’s important we recognize them.”

But protests are already planned.

Mothers Against Chinese Fentanyl Killing Our Kids (MACHKOK) and End Fentanyl United (EFU) both plan protests with upwards of 400 people. Mayors of the surrounding cities of Eunice and Disfigure will also be on hand. As will the clergy. Pastor Fergeuson Jenkins of the Addition House of Prayer (recently released on “trumped up child abuse charges”) and Karly McSarin of the Quadracostal Assembly of Temporary Mercy have both confirmed their appearance.

Twenty emergency personnel, with mixed views on the event, will also be on hand (as they are every year) with Narcan and other medical necessities.

“I can’t say I agree with it,” says Lieutenant Hedley Vorstick of Lusher’s EMT First Responders. “But at least it gets the issue out there.”

Deaths at the event, which average 6-10 per year, have spawned outcries from affected families, demands for stricter legislation from politicians and civic leaders, and dozens of lawsuits.  But as yet, nothing has worked to derail the festival. Even cases appealed from Lusher’s drug-friendly District Court, which saw a judge disbarred for openly drinking in court, have lost.

The most notable appeal was Mothby v. City of Lusher which was heard by the Down County Supreme Court in 2010. Yet even that case, which resulted in a dramatic fatality when the deceased dragged himself to the betting area before collapsing, was sent back to the lower court after arguments from Overmeyer Pharmeceuticals that the deceased made his own poor choices and was in fact liable for his attempt to attack their clients.

Yet, despite the controversy – or perhaps because of it – Fentanyl Days is an event you can’t miss.

Due to the high risk of break-ins, parking is recommended only at manned parking lots. Excessive tipping is recommended to ensure that your car isn’t stolen by attendants. Do not leave valuables in your car. Do not park in the same place overnight. Do not drive a newer car if you own a beater. Remove your license plate after parking. Do not keep valuables in your trunk. Lower your antenna. Do not cover your car as the cover might be stolen. Keep your wallet chained to your belt. Do not park near the entrance as your car may be hit by inebriated drivers. If in doubt, take the bus.






Bugle Hits Social Media Milestone

In keeping with our commitment to reach the widest possible audience at the lowest price, hire the cheapest talent available, pay the lowest prevailing wage (preferably stock options) and keep abreast of the latest technological trends (like our new fax machine), The Bugle is proud to announce that we’ve achieved another social media milestone.

Sabrina Cloven: Bugle Web Analyst

On Tuesday, Sabrina Cloven, our recently hired web analyst (intern) from Flubug High, announced that our Facebook page had skyrocketed to 33 fans! That’s a 2% increase over the 32 fans we had last year (or something like that) and shows that The Bugle is far from obsolete.

Not that there haven’t been naysayers or serious bumps along the way.

Sheriff Ramsey dubbed us the “Failing Bugle” because we failed to endorse him. “Two Buck” Chuck claimed our circulation numbers were fake when we hung him with a sobriquet he hated. And Carlton Dickwadd Jr., whose bail company failed after an expose in The Bugle, said our paper was “less than irrelevant.”

But Sabrina’s wizardry, which includes the monitor she brought from home, has proven that The Bugle is far from irrelevant. Her data, painstakingly calculated during the three hours a week we pay her, shows that The Bugle plays an important part in the lives of tens of tens of people. And that number will only grow.

(as long as she gets her family and friends to like us).