Sly Country News

  • Map relating to nothing

    Diane Sylvain
  • Rangers on the Right editor Saul Slarmer girds his loins

  • Bovine beat poet Allen Guernseyberg

    Catherine Lutz photo

Weird Friends

An empire is born

On the eve of its 30th birthday, Sly Country News leapt headlong into the world of media empires. In a special April 1 meeting, SCN's board of directors voted to privatize the operation. The paper's stock hit the market at $5 a share and immediately jumped to $500.

"We've had enough of not-for-profit, fighting-for-the-good-of-the-land stuff," said Bored President Amity Swansong. "We all want to cash in on the Internet revolution. Do not underestimate the power of the Dark Side."

The media empire will take the form of a full-color glossy magazine featuring second homes, micro brew reviews, advertisements, and a new 3-D swimsuit centerspread, "Beefy Hombres "n" Enviro-Babes." The revamped Web site will hawk scenic property completely enclosed by protected wilderness.

Radio producer Atom Jerk says the Beastie Boys are recording a new theme song for Radio Sly Country News. Meanwhile, Saul Slarmer, Rangers on the Right editor, has acquired an $8 billion grant from Bill Gates to buy up newspapers around the West. "Today the West, tomorrow the Galaxy," he promises.

A few idealistic, rabble-rousing staffers are fighting the move toward imperialism. Taking interns with her, editor Morel Kneejuice fled to Montana to study tree-sitting with the Ruckus Society and expatriate members of Pacifica News Service.

-- Bill Melater


Friday of production week, Sly Country News staff members took the opportunity to cry the historic command of newspaper reporters the world over: "Stop the stresses!'

The cry was not heeded, but the staff members felt good about the moment, nonetheless.

-- Will Tolive


Announcing his support for a project that he promised would "kill two birds with one stone - which is always fun to do, I think!' - presidential contender Gorge W. Bushed recently railed at a rally in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

"You've got your endangered species and you've got your illegal immigrants," the governor said. "Why not use your modern scientific know-how to gene-splice the two together and put the results to work at your exclusive Western resorts like this one?"

Bushed's speech got a warm response. These days, many of the West's most exclusive communities have trouble finding workers, since no actual humans can afford to live in them. The problem gained national attention last winter, when Aspen was cut off by avalanches and all the rich people, unable to feed themselves or attend to other biological functions, died.

Environmentalists reacted to Bushed's proposal with dismay and filed lawsuits and were extremely critical and filed lawsuits and cried foul and filed more lawsuits and wept quietly while muttering darkly to themselves over cheap beer in shadowy corners.

-- Helena Handbasket

Wayworn West

Unhappy over recent decisions banning snowmobiles from some parks and forest areas, ORVers have come up with a compromise: Earplugs for Animals. "If the noise is what bothers them, this'll solve the problem," enthused Dwayne and Rubella Sprockett of the advocacy group Outdoor Appliance Family (OAF). When enviros pointed out that the air pollution from snowmobiles is even more dangerous, a somewhat testy Sprockett snapped, "Then we'll give the buggers little oxygen tanks, too. Or maybe they can learn to hold their breath."

Western lawmakers are sponsoring a bill that would mandate redrawing state boundaries so that the rest of the nation will be as rectangular as the West. "Think how much neater the maps will be," said Idaho Congressdroid Helen Chenoweth-Hage-Craig-Limbaugh, R-Oz.

Sly Country News staffers successfully derailed an attempt by employers to get them to clean out the office refrigerator, after a biological survey of the appliance turned up several endangered species. Both the lesser frottled widgeon and the Grunyun's bespectacled flagellate require a dark, cool habitat to thrive; the widgeon prefers to nest in Tupperware, while the flagellate's primary food source is greenish stuff that probably used to be lettuce.

A tense situation erupted at the Sly Country News office last Friday, when editorial staff, distraught that the Animus-La Platypus project was back in the news, took editor Bootsy Martian hostage at gunpoint. "I just can't write about it again," screamed ringleader Greg Handsome. "You don't know what it does to your soul! I CAN'T STAND IT ANYMORE!" As of this writing, hostage negotiators remained on the scene, and police were considering one of the journalists' demands - that A-LP supporter Sen. Ben Nightstick Campbell be turned over to them, "for a little consensus-building."

-- Vera Strange

High Country News Classifieds