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Gilligan’s Island Sinks

23 Feb

February 23, 2018

Reposting a personal favorite.

As reported by the Associated Press, May 5th 1981.

 

Originally published May 26, 2015

Here’s a news story you may have missed:

Howell fortune

Here’s the text:

VOLCANO ERUPTS, SINKS GILLIGAN’S ISLAND
Thurston Howell III Fortune Feared Lost

AP News Service May 5th, 1981

A volcanic eruption which sunk a small South Pacific island may also have sunk the fortunes of one of America’s most celebrated millionaires.

After weeks of oceanic tremors, scientists confirm that a volcano erupted on the island of Palu Makalu, popularly known as “Gilligan’s Island” since the discovery and rescue of the survivors of the S.S. Minnow shipwreck in 1978. The island is now submerged in the depths off the continental shelf.

Among the survivors was eccentric millionaire Thurston Howell III, who made his fortune in the stock market in the post-war era. He later founded Howell Industries, which produced everything from ticker-tape to typewriter ribbons. Although profits had been declining in later years, due to the changing of technology, he recently doubled his assets after winning a bet on the Harlem Globetrotters to beat their robotic duplicates, in a match played at his resort on the island.

A spokesman for Mr. Howell released the following statement:

“The rumors of the loss of the Howell fortune are greatly exaggerated. When the island sank, it took with it 55 trunks of cash and bonds, which Thurston Howell III buried on the island to keep it safely away from the constant misadventures of Gilligan. However, Mr. Howell has invested heavily in new technologies, and we are confident that his acquisition of controlling interest in Betamax tape and 8-track cartridge corporations will position Howell Industries for future success in the 80’s and beyond.”

The other castaways, reacting to the loss of their island home of 14 years, universally blamed Gilligan for causing the eruption with one of his silly blunders.

In a related story, scientists say the Palu Makalu tribe of native headhunters may now be extinct.

 

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Return Of The Grammar Fool

5 Jan

January 5, 2018

Longtime readers of this blog may recall that when this blog began, I was an English teacher. Since then I moved on, first to the Company I Am not allowed to name and now to a position as a freelance investigator. What do these jobs have in common? They were all silly enough to pay me.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The phrase “longtime readers of this blog” may now be an anachronism. The longest-time reader, Mr. Al Bickley, has been a proud subscriber since day one, when this blog first appeared on MySpace. However, he has been in a medically induced coma since 2012 and while technically still a subscriber, he is definitely no longer a reader. The second-longest tenured reader is my Aunt Edwina, whose constant requests to be unsubscribed from my blog have been cheerfully ignored for years, since I know them to be nothing more than playful jests. Though that does not explain why she doesn’t invite me for Thanksgiving anymore.)

But sometimes, the old English-teaching days still haunt me. If you have the stomach for it, go back and check out the many blogs where I complain about bad grammar. (Here’s one making fun of Michael Bloomberg.)  HA HA HA, boy was that annoying. What was I thinking?

I’ll tell you what I was thinking. Read this, which is an actual status I posted on Facebook today.

Let someone else deal with OBJ.

Get it? It works on two levels. It’s funny because A- it’s a bad snowstorm and B- the Giants stink. I’ll take my West Coast Wildcat offense somewhere else, thank you very much.

But here’s where the grammar stuff kicks in. It’s that word “today.” That pesky “today.” There were three ways to write that post.
1- The snow is so bad that I’m skipping my interview today for Giants head coach.
2- The snow is so bad that I’m skipping my interview for Giants head coach today.
3- The snow is so bad today that I’m skipping my interview for Giants head coach.

Speaking now as a former paid English expert, the word “today,” in this context, acts as some sort of adjective modifier thingy, emphasizing that the interview was today (option 1), rather than emphasizing that the position was to be the Giants head coach today (option 2), which would be inaccurate. (But as I read this back, I think option 3, emphasizing that the snow was so bad today, was the way to go. Oh well.) 

See? It makes sense. I realize that most of you don’t care (so why are you still reading? This is the internet, go find some wrestling rumors or tweet or something) but hey, I actually put thought into that stupid status update.

The moral of the story? It is a snowy day, I’m stuck indoors, and this is what happens.

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