Compulsory Fun / Pimping for Pals


Posted in the lobby, hallways and elevators of my building:

To: All Residents

Please be advised that in an effort to minimize:

  1. Debris scattered throughout the building
  2. Residents being disturbed
  3. The risk of practical jokes being played on children

The management, as in the past, is prohibiting the children from “trick or treating” door to door in the building on Halloween.

Instead, the Superintendent will set up a candy distribution centre in the main lobby of the building and will be available between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

We ask that all treats that would normally have been distributed from your door, be taken to your Superintendent prior to Halloween evening.

The success of this event will depend upon the contributions made by each building resident.

Emphasis mine. God help the building resident who totally fucking wrecks Hallowe’en for everyone by not contributing. Because, for real, CITY-TV will breathlessly report every disappointment alongside the inevitable HOW TO PROTECT YOUR INNOCENT CHILDREN FROM SPINACH-SNACK-GIVING-OUT, CARROT-JUICE-OFFERING PREDATORS news blather.

Which is a really nice segue to some pimping I’d like to do for my pals Tara Ariano and Sarah Bunting, who are not just the funniest, smartest, funnest and coolest women I know but are also responsible (with Dave Cole) for the famous Television Without Pity website (and infamous cough*Sorkin*cough discussion forums) and, soon to appear in a bookstore near you, Television Without Pity: 752 Things We Love to Hate (and Hate to Love) About TV, an excerpt from which I hope they don’t mind me stealing including below:

No matter where on the North American landmass you live, or where else on said landmass you travel, you can rely on one constant: The local news is bad. The average 11:00 broadcast leads with footage of police-car lights flashing while an inoffensive-looking anchor-clone with a bulletproof blow-dry reads sonorously about a shooting, a robbery, or a raccoon knocking over the trash at a Wendy’s. After the top stories (in order: a tragedy, local or national; something involving local unions, about which nobody cares; footage of the president walking around somewhere; and a nice juicy car wreck or building collapse), the broadcast segues into everybody’s favorite local-news staple, the “Something Perfectly Innocent COULD KILL YOU”-slash-“Good God, WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN” feature.
First comes the assy graphic of, like, a bowl of oatmeal with fangs, subtitled “Quaker? MORE LIKE ‘DAMNED LIAR’,” and the revelation that oat bran is not all that good for you if you eat nothing but oatmeal, in which case you will get scurvy, which: doy.
Or the graphic is a crooked, eeeeevil close-up of a trampoline, which some Darwin-Award-winning parent allowed her child to play on unattended, and the kid bounced head-on into a tree and broke his neck, which was obviously the trampoline’s fault. This is inevitably followed by a clumsy “but kids love basketball, don’t they, Bob” transition into the sports segment, and then the weather report (always overhyped, always inaccurate) and then some footage of a pie-eating contest or fun run which nobody in their right mind would have attended. The anchors chuckle and shuffle their papers, and then mercifully it’s over.

Don’t be fooled by the book’s format, which is ideal for bathroom reading, because long after you’ve pooed — the best poos of your life, by the way, almost guaranteed! — you’ll find you’re still reading and giggling. And giggling. Be the first on your block!


And I readily acknowledge, in advance, that the vast majority of this post is simple retyping of others’ handiwork.

5 Responses to “Compulsory Fun / Pimping for Pals”

  1. 1 Charles

    Well your pals obviously have never lived in Ottawa and watched the local CTV there… SO INSIPID, they start with the GOOD news. The worst is when I’m home to see the folks on holidays and you get a 5-minute piece on how everyone spent Easter Sunday, buying flowers (THAT takes up 1.5 minutes, minimum) ‘n’ chocolates ‘n’ shit. I kid you not! It CHILLS me to the bone and I thank my lucky stars I ain’t livin’ there no more.

  2. 2 Tara

    aw, thanks, b!

  3. 3 Sars

    Much of it was also written in the bathroom. Hee.

  4. 4 Gobuggy

    The most excellent parody of the news that I have ever seen is Tha’ News, over on It’s pretty much right on.

  5. 5 tee.

    One of my favourite things about living in the gaybourhood is the lack of children who come looking for free candy handouts on October 31. It means I don’t have to bother with that “No Candy, We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses” sign on my door like in years prior. If I buy candy, I’m eating it, you tiny bitches.

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