satire

"Trend Alert: Ulcer Naming Parties!" by Emily Ball

These days, it seems like you can’t open up Facebook or Instagram without being flooded with the announcement that more of your friends are becoming parents and throwing parties to celebrate. From gender reveals to full-fledged baby showers, preparing to parent seems like a non-stop whirlwind of excitement and cake. While parenthood may not be for you right now – or ever – you can get in on the fun by throwing a party to pick a name for the stress ulcer you’re currently carrying inside you!

Giving your ulcer a name will help you feel more connected to it and help your friends and family adjust to seeing you in this new role, as the proud carrier of a gastric ulcer. Although it may seem fun at the time, I don’t recommend naming your ulcer after someone you hate, as just thinking about the person may create added stress and grow your little bundle of pain even larger. Personally, I recommend the “Military Title/Cutesy Nonsense Name” combo, i.e. “Lieutenant Limlam." But remember, only YOU can decide the best name for your ulcer.

Ulcer naming parties are mainly being held at home, but are gaining a surprising foothold in the office environment, as well. Bonus points to you if your coworkers are battling their own stress ulcers while celebrating yours! Church potlucks and family dinners are another wonderful time to add an ulcer naming celebration into the mix. Build on the joy at the table by reminding everyone there that neither you nor “Captain Clunkers” will be able to partake in the majority of the food sitting in front of you.

If you are expecting an ulcer, congratulations! We here at Dallas Comedy House wish you all the best.

Emily Ball is an improviser, bartender, and stand-up comedian based out of Dallas, Texas. In her free time, she likes to moderate arguments between her cat, Debbie, and her dog, Tucker.

(Image: Rory McHarg/Creative Commons)

"Pow! Zap! Blam! Batman!" by Anthony Salerno

June 16, 2017 (Pearly Gates, Heaven) - When we last left you Bat-friends, trouble was brewing behind the pearly gates. Gotham’s finest criminals, Penguin, Riddler, and the Joker, had been dormant for years until this week when they hatched a plot to break into Heaven’s bank. With God and Jesus on their yearly father-son trip to Reno, the Kingdom was left unguarded and the Bat-phone was quick to ring for backup.

Batman was returning to Gotham late Sunday night after apprehending Two-Face in small-town Rhode Island. Batman received a tip that the once feared villain was running a fraudulent bed & breakfast and price gouging couples. After an extensive investigation and over-the-top fight scene, Batman returned to his Bat-cave a tired and injured vigilante. Unfortunately for the Dark Knight, his help would soon be called on once again. Alfred Pennyworth, billionaire Bruce Wayne’s butler, was in the room with the Cape Crusader and Wayne when Batman received the urgent call.

“Batman had just gotten in from hunting down that poor excuse of a host, Two-Face,” Pennyworth said. “He had some broken ribs and deep lacerations on his back. As I was stitching him up, Jesus called, which is not an odd occurrence. He checks in frequently to ask if Batman needs a sidekick or has any spare Bat-gadgets. Batman hung up the phone and relayed the news to me, I mean us. Myself and Master Bruce. We were both there. Anyways, he quickly jumped into the Bat-plane and took off. I wasn’t even done stitching him up.”

Batman had been tracking Two-Face in the small city of Quahog, an hour north of Gotham. The Dark Knight had been doing recon work on Two-Face’s crooked B&B for weeks and worked with the local government to track the syndicate down. Quahog’s Mayor, Adam West [below], was delighted with Batman’s presence in the city, and the pair even forged a special bond.

“I called Batman a month ago, and he was so pleasant to deal with,” Mayor West said. “I saw a horrible future for Quahog in my crystal ball, involving a man-sized chicken terrorizing the streets and wanted to protect the city I love. Batman’s been here since, working tirelessly. His presence has kept the city safe, kept the criminals off the streets, but most importantly has kept that annoying Noid out of my office.”

As Batman heads to the great beyond to halt the wretched minds of the felonious triumphant, many questions remain. Can Batman apprehend the criminal cohort before Heaven’s bank is depleted of its funds? Will Gotham be safe during the Cape Crusaders absence? Will God and Jesus strike it rich in Reno? For those answers and many more, tune in next week. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

Anthony Salerno is from Buffalo, New York. He is a current DCH student and performs with Ewing Troupe: Clementine. When he’s not working at Improv or his day job, he’s trying to talk himself out of buying Uncrustables at the grocery store.

"Blue Apron Reveals New 'Hell’s Apron' Subscription Package" by Anthony Salerno

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June 9, 2017 (New York, NY) - Meal delivery services have put the fun back into cooking while eliminating much of the hassle. No other company has capitalized on dinner illiterate families more than Blue Apron. The New York-based meal kit service has grown rapidly in its six years of service. With all its successes, Blue Apron still sees ways to expand its customer base and has been experimenting with a variety of different subscription types. Enter the companies’ new Hell’s Apron offering that pairs the delivery of gourmet recipes and ingredients with the perpetually livid chef Gordon Ramsay.
 
Coming off his seventh season of aggressively restraining himself to not yell at pre-teen cooks on Fox’s Master Chef Junior, Ramsay has been keeping a low profile. Still feeling the need to criticize the preparation of food, he has reached out to his Twitter followers to send him pictures of their meals so he could comment on them negatively (see below picture). After a month of critically scrolling through his social media page, Ramsay was ready to put the apron back on.

“I’m was just tired of dealing with children,” Ramsay said. “It’s like you want to tell them to go piss off because they made crap food, but you can’t because they’re ‘vulnerable’. So, I figured I’d dive back into helping grown Americans learn how to cook. Bunch of fat, ungrateful slobs eating ill-prepared food. If you’re going to be that rotund, do so by eating culinary masterpieces, not animal slop.”
 
Despite the fun Ramsay says he’s been having, many complaints have been filed to Blue Apron denoting that the easily triggered chef is a little “too real." Recently a help note, left in of one of the Hell’s Apron reviews, was discovered telling an all-to-frequent tale of Ramsay coming unhinged. In the review, Jeff and Mary Sanderson of Bloomington, Indiana, claim that Ramsay berated them for hours after a failed meal and may have even forced the family from their home.
 
“We were so excited to have Gordon come to our home,” Jeff said. “Everything was going well, just a few quips about me not being able to slice onions like a ‘grown man who’s fathered children.’ Then we took the finished tomato-saffron risotto out of the oven and served it to Chef. He went ballistic and asked us to take off our aprons and leave his kitchen. Mary and I were so terrified, we did. We left the whole house. We tried to get back in, but he locked the doors. Now he just disappointingly stares at us with his arms crossed from our front window. It’s been two days. We just want to go home.”
 
Despite the Sanderson’s story, Blue Apron has publicized that their innovative Hell’s Apron package has been a huge success with their subscribers. Ramsay’s appearances are currently booked out two years in advance and counting. One Blue Apron official noted that wait time will likely decrease once the company can “remove” the irate chef from the Sanderson’s home.

Anthony Salerno is from Buffalo, New York. He is a current DCH student and performs with Ewing Troupe: Clementine. When he’s not working at Improv or his day job, he’s trying to talk himself out of buying Uncrustables at the grocery store.

(Top image: Photo Ashley Kline/NBCUniversal. Middle image: Twitter)

"Woods Attempts to Play Off Latest Misstep" by Anthony Salerno

May 30, 2017 (Jupiter, FL) - After years of perpetual success on the golf course, Tiger Woods has been in a downward spiral for nearly a decade. Since his 2007 leave of absence from golf due to numerous (43) allegations of infidelity, Woods has not won a single major. A litany of issues from his personal health to poor play have led Woods’ once inevitable surpassing of Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors to be an afterthought as the sports world watches a once bright star burn away.

That star was extinguished a little further early Monday morning when Woods was arrested on a DUI charge. As many in the PGA become increasingly worried about Woods’s mental health, the four-time Masters winner has started to allude to a grand scheme for his reckless behavior. Recent peculiar comments from the golfer suggest a possible, but unlikely calculated plan.

“Listen,” Woods said. “You don’t think it’s any coincidence that I’m the best golfer in history then suddenly I can’t win anything? Think about it. I was easily on my way to break Jack’s record, then golf got boring. So, I decided to put a few sand-traps and water hazards on the course of life. Make it a little more challenging for myself. It’s so hard to fail and have people not want to cheer for you. I’m beloved. I thought making those Navy Seals pay for their own meal after they let me train with them would hurt my image, make me a bad boy, but no, still adored. So, Monday, I pulled to the side of the road calmly, took a few sleeping pills, and set myself up to get that DUI. It’s all about making life tougher, so I can have a true underdog story. America loves redemption tales. You all buy this, right?”

Michael Griffin’s, the arresting officer, account of the night is contrastingly different than Woods’, detailing that Woods appeared to have wrecked his car severely, wet himself, and was unable to logically tell the officer where he was coming from.

“I happened upon Mr. Woods’ black sedan around quarter to four Monday morning,” Officer Griffin said. “When I approached the vehicle, I could see that it had multiple scrapes alongside the driver side door and its left two tires were flat. A clear sign of an accident. When I first attempted to talk to Mr. Woods, I asked him where he had been coming from. He then stated he was coming from Los Angeles on his way to Orange County. I then informed Mr. Woods that he was currently in Florida, to which he replied, 'Screw that Speith kid’.”

As Woods’ star continues to fall, many wonder how he has tumbled so low. Now weaving lies about deliberate blunders leading to the ultimate redemption story, the legendary golfer has become a punch line for late-night talk shows and water-cooler jokes, leaving many hoping that he takes a mulligan on life.

Anthony Salerno is from Buffalo, New York. He is a current DCH student and performs with Ewing Troupe: Clementine. When he’s not working at Improv or his day job, he’s trying to talk himself out of buying Uncrustables at the grocery store.

(Image: Michael Madrid/USA Today)

"Citing 'True Passion,' Gianforte Signs with the WWE" by Anthony Salerno

May 26, 2017 (Bozeman, MT) - On the eve of a special election for Montana's House Congressional seat vacated by Ryan Zinke, now U.S. Interior Secretary, anticipation was running strong. Running even stronger was GOP candidate Greg Gianforte, fresh off an impassioned speech to 48 Montanans about standardized naming conventions for pet elks, who was feeling riled up. Then came The Guardian’s reporter, Ben Jacobs, arrogantly trying to do his job and asking questions about the Congressional Budget Office’s score for the American Health Care Act.

By multiple reports, Gianforte tried to pass off the question to his press secretary while walking away from Jacobs. According to Fox News correspondent Alicia Akuna, something quickly appeared to come over Gianforte, like a violent, heel-like turn, mixed with the pageantry of sports entertainment.

“Gianforte brushed past Jacobs' first question with no real concern,” Akuna said. “But when Jacobs asked a second time, Gianforte abruptly did an about-face, pointed at Jacobs, and Hulk Hoganly yelled ‘You’! Gianforte then ran up to Jacobs body-slamming him to the ground. While Jacobs was writhing in pain, Gianforte ran to one side of the room, bounced off the wall, ran back toward Jacobs on the ground and delivered a leg-drop. Gianforte then lifted Jacobs’ leg while his press secretary dove on the ground and counted to three. We were all so scared.”

Per a press release by the Gianforte campaign earlier this morning, the Wednesday night fight has led to a professional wrestling opportunity for the GOP candidate with the WWE. According to his inner circle, Gianforte didn’t have to think long about changing out his suit and tie for a sequined speedo. A shock to some on the political circuit, it’s no surprise to those who know Gianforte personally. He’s been a die-hard wrestling fan since grade school, wears knee-high polyester boots nearly every day, and ends every campaign speech by scaling the podium and pantomiming a championship belt around his waist.

WWE CEO Vince McMahon considers the incident between Gianforte and Jacobs as a great promotional opportunity.

“I figured, we just lost the Undertaker to retirement, why not replace him with another old guy that can get beat up at WrestleManias,” McMahon said. “Plus, it will do wonders for his political career should Greg ever decide to go back. I mean, heck, the guy in the Oval Office right now once got stunned by Stone Cold.”

As ballots are still being counted in Montana, neither candidate knows their political future for sure (Editor's note: Gianforte won the election), but Gianforte knows he’ll be in the squared-circle in just a few short weeks. His first match is scheduled to be against Kane, who is coincidentally running for a county’s mayor position in Tennessee. Should Gianforte win the election, he plans to hold office and explore the possibility of offering a tag-team-like role to his opponent, Democratic Rob Quist, in both congressional duties as well as in the ring.

Anthony Salerno is from Buffalo, New York. He is a current DCH student and performs with Ewing Troupe: Clementine. When he’s not working at Improv or his day job, he’s trying to talk himself out of buying Uncrustables at the grocery store.

(Image: William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images)

"How to Rise to Power in the Upcoming Dystopia" by Emily Ball

If you’re a concerned citizen, you’ve noticed that our nation is in troubling times. We are more divided than ever, turning on friends and family at the drop of a hat over any political disagreement. Our nation is ripe for a plunge into utter chaos, and that dystopian future will need a swamp king.

Here’s how to claw your way to the top, no matter how our democracy crumbles:

1) Nuclear War. Someone gets a little trigger happy, and nukes gut the topography of our planet like a gentle cleansing rain. Your first job here is to survive. You will need to immediately become comfortable with the idea of eating another human being, and couple that with the knowledge that the radiation poisoning experienced by your meal will eventually warp your mind. Run with it. Get as crazy as possible. Wear a bear’s head as a hat. Gnaw on human bones. Your personal brand needs to move from “Gentle yogi” to “Sweet Jesus, what is that thing” as quickly as possible. Start rumors that you murder for sport (or actually murder for sport, if you want to live authentically). Soon your reputation will be so formidable that those who once feared and despised you will now flock to you for safety and comfort. Congratulations, you’re the swamp king.

2) Militant State. Uh oh, we have a dictator now. DO NOT PANIC. Unfortunately, we live in a digital age, so you don’t have the “burn your political s**t” option that we did back in the good old days. The good news? Everyone loves a good #transformationTuesday. You need to start branding your Instagram hard, right now. Build out a 10-to-12 post storyline on your social media about how you’re slowly coming around to the ideals of the new regime. Tag your new leader. DM your new leader. Seduce your new leader. Marry your new leader. Murder your new leader. Become your new leader. Congratulations, you’re the swamp king.

3) Non-Human Overlords. Our computers/monkeys/vehicles (I see you, Disney/Pixar’s Cars) have finally outpaced us and realized that we are destroying the planet and each other at a truly horrifying rate. They have taken over for the sake of the planet, and humanity now plays second fiddle to creatures that were once subservient to us. You will now need to make yourself indispensable to your new overlords, whether that means managing the human labor force or knowing how to perform an oil change with your tiny human hands. You will eventually become a confidante of the current leader, despite the warnings of her allies, until you are determining her every move and political decision, a la Theoden and Grima. Congratulations, you’re the swamp king.

Hopefully these tips set you up for success in the coming age of anarchy and darkness! Obviously, you don’t want to see the world crumble amidst widespread catastrophe surrounded by the agonizing screams of the innocent, but someone has to step up and take charge, so why not you? Go get ‘em, girl.

Emily Ball is an improviser, bartender, and stand-up comedian based out of Dallas, Texas. In her free time, she likes to moderate arguments between her cat, Debbie, and her dog, Tucker.