North Pole warns of pilot shortage as reindeer leave for commercial sleighlines

December 13, 2018

From The Duffel Blog.

SANTA’S WORKSHOP — The North Pole is in the midst of a readiness crisis as it struggles to fill its pilot ranks with qualified reindeer, who are leaving the service in record numbers to work at commercial sleighlines, sources confirmed today.

Santa Claus claims he has only 75 percent of the deerpower he needs to deliver presents this year, especially in crucial heavy lift squadrons.

“This is truly alarming. There is no way I’ll be able to deliver presents to all the good girls and boys, let alone coal to all the naughty ones,” said Claus. “The reindeer we do have are being worked to the antler, flying three or four gumdrop sorties a day.”

Santa is offering hefty incentive bonuses to keep reindeer from leaving for more lucrative jobs at commercial sleighlines like Hoofthansa. But even offers of triple helpings of moss and herbs are not enough to keep them in the service. Unless he can fix the retention problem soon, Santa says he might have to cancel Christmas across large swaths of North and South America.

“We’re trying to do more with less, but the fact is that’s impossible,” said Lt. Col. Rudolph, commander of Red Squadron. “With this Op Tempo, my guys already refuse to fly over Detroit and Chicago. It’s just too dangerous.”

The average reindeer costs about $1 million and takes 3 years to train, according to North Pole figures. The North Pole needs to keep those ruminants in its ranks past their initial commitment to maximize return on its investment.

“Not only are large numbers of reindeer getting out, our best reindeer are getting out,” said Rudolph. “Donner and Blitzen dropped papers last week, and Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen all took private jobs at Doeing testing unmanned sleighs.”

While Claus increasingly has been filling the ranks with unmanned aerial sleighs (UASs), turnover among the elves who pilot them has also been an issue.

“These UAS pilots are always on the clock, delivering presents to hundreds of houses an hour from thousands of miles away,” he said. “Nobody can handle that much Christmas cheer. Nobody.”

Navy totally going to turn this ship around if Marines don’t stop poking each other

August 20, 2018

From The Duffel Blog; bowdlerization by the bluebird of bitterness.

PACIFIC OCEAN — The Navy has warned it will indeed turn this ship around if the Marines onboard don’t stop poking each other, sources confirmed today.

“So help me God, I will pull this ship over so fast,” Navy said, adding that the Marines on the ship were currently “out of f**king control.”

According to defense officials, the incident started when one group of Marines started to cross into the berthing area of a second group of Marines. The poking began shortly after, and included direct contact and several Marines using the comment, “stop hitting yourself,” relating to the younger Marines involved.

Whoever first initiated contact has since disappeared into a he-said-she-said scenario to a point where the Navy has “had it up to here,” officials said.

Although the Navy was said to be near a breaking point, the Marine Corps still decided to ask, “why?”

“Because I said so!” a visibly-annoyed Navy responded. Not satisfied, the Marine Corps decided to escalate the situation, saying that “the Air Force doesn’t have to stop when you ask them to.”

“If the Air Force jumped out of an airplane would you do it, too?” Navy said.

“F**k yeah!” responded Marines.

“Agh! Shut up! Just. Shut. Up, and sit there and think about what you’ve said to me.”

Officials say the Marine Corps is currently grounded, and in seriously so much trouble once the Navy gets home.

Marine disappointed Keystone Pipeline not full of beer

January 26, 2017

From The Duffel Blog.

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Soon after President Donald Trump signed an executive order to authorize construction of the Keystone Pipeline, a large portion of the nation’s military service members applauded the move as a helpful step towards more accessible domestic beer.

That is until Marine Pvt. Jeff Ertley visited the existing length of pipeline while on leave and was disappointed to discover the 1,179-mile pipeline is actually not full of Keystone Light.

“I got to the pipeline with my beer mug and a bag of pretzels, but there wasn’t a tap to be found,” an incredulous Ertley told reporters. “What good is a beer pipeline if I can’t get the beer? I’m beginning to think this whole pipeline authorization thing is just about politics.”

Making matters worse, the White House confirmed there was no Keystone in the pipeline in a tweet, causing panic throughout the Marine Corps.

“What do you mean, there’s no Keystone in the Keystone Pipeline?” asked Sgt. Michael Stein. “Like, it’s full of Steel Reserve instead? Natty Ice?”

The Marine Corps issued an All-Marine message on Wednesday explaining that the Keystone Pipeline was filled exclusively with oil, and had absolutely no forms of alcohol inside it.

“So we may not be getting the beer we expected, but there’s still hope out there,” Stein said. “Did you know Denmark has a city completely dedicated to Copenhagen?”

Santa’s naughty and nice list hacked in massive data breach

December 24, 2016

From The Duffel Blog.

NORTH POLE – The world’s largest database of naughty and nice background investigations was compromised by hackers just days before Christmas, sources close to Santa Claus report.

“It’s usually public record if someone has been naughty or nice,” said identity protection specialist Rudolph Klein. “But the information used by the special investigating elves can be pieced together and used for blackmail and identity theft. Santa has considerable surveillance resources and the ability to get down the tiniest chimneys and around the gruffest doormen. This is a lot of data. You better watch out.”

Santa’s list — which was rumored to contain the name of every boy and girl, their special wish for Christmas, and an ongoing scoring rubric of naughty or nice metrics — had been upgraded recently from a scroll of fine parchment to an online database in an effort to save the North Pole thousands of hours of calligraphy and millions of gallons of glitter ink.

While the OPM breach, and Yahoo and Sony account hacks affected millions of people, the Santa hack has the ability to influence billions, sources say.

Though Santa had previously claimed to only monitor those who truly believe in the spirit of Christmas, as details unfold about the compromised information it has become clear that Santa has continued to surveil children long after they started emailing their parents Amazon wish lists and telling other children on the playground that Santa wasn’t real, a worry for some privacy activists.

“Jesus Christ,” said NSA director Adm. Michael S. Rogers. “Santa Claus? He’s knows when I’ve been sleeping, he knows when I’m awake. It’s a horrible OPSEC vulnerability, and now everyone on the dark web knows the details.”

Santa has offered those included in the data hack one year of free credit monitoring, a tin of butter cookies, and extra time on his lap.

“Having this kind of information and disinformation floating around this close to Christmas Eve could have a considerable input on the outcome of Christmas morning,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

“We’re looking into foreign governments as well as non-state actors. At this time, we have assurances from the Secret Service that both the president and president-elect are safely on the ‘nice’ list, but many will attempt to convince you that they’re naughty.”

‘We’re just as good as men,’ infantrywoman says from back of ambulance

October 12, 2016

From The Duffel Blog.

FORT BENNING, Ga. — Pvt. Bettie Campbell, one of the US Army’s newest infantrywomen in training, believes her story proves that women are just as capable as men when it comes to combat, according to an interview she gave to reporters from the back of a stretcher in a field ambulance.

Campbell, who suffered a stress fracture in both legs during a 15 kilometer tactical road march, says that hearing congresswomen demand an end to a male-dominated military force pushed her toward the infantry.

“I just want to show that woman can make a real contribution, and aren’t just some politically-correct burden forced down the military’s throat,” she explained, as her equipment was being redistributed to the rest of her squad as they marched past the vehicle.

The other members of Campbell’s unit were supportive of her decision to join the infantry.

“Yeah it’s real great,” wheezed Pvt. Mike Stadler, as he struggled to walk under the weight of a full pack, his personal weapon, and the M240B machine gun that Campbell had been carrying.

“I think it’s all about being inclusive, you know? Everyone deserves a chance to excel,” added Pfc. Darnell Collins, who walked with a limp because Campbell had been unable to hold him during the climbing wall event the previous week, dropping him almost 10 feet.

The infantrywoman also received praise from her drill sergeants.

“We love having Campbell in the platoon,” said Sfc. Brandon Wallace. “Because of the new regulations, our nightly patrol bases have to be located by porta-johns at all times. Goodbye slit trenches.”

Unfortunately, not everything has been smooth sailing for integrating women into the infantry.

During the previous training cycle, leaders experimented with putting two female soldiers into the same platoon. After several verbal altercations, one attempting poisoning, and what was described as a “street-yard bitch fight,” it was determined that no more than one woman could be allotted to a single unit at any given time.

Despite all the attention she’s received, Campbell says she’s excited to finally show that females are just as capable of being warriors.

Though Campbell says she is looking forward to completing her training after she recovers from her injury, sources say she had been temporarily removed from the infantry school for unknown reasons. Officials said she would return in approximately nine months.

By Maxx Butthurt.

Water we supposed to do about this?

August 27, 2016

From The Duffel Blog (which we’re beginning to suspect is all wet).

WASHINGTON — The US government has raised its terror warning status this week after the FBI issued a warning that the terror group ISIS may have access to the chemical dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO), and may be preparing to use it in attacks on US soil.

Sources say the group has used the substance to launch probing attacks on multiple US coastal cities. A recent attack in Louisiana has destroyed thousands of homes, although ISIL has not yet claimed responsibility.

“We’re doing everything we can to dry up their supply of DHMO,” said FBI Director James Comey. “We’ve been inundated by a flood of information in the past twenty-four hours, and we hope some of that will trickle down into actionable intelligence.”

Already, numerous drone strikes have been launched against suspected DHMO storage facilities, but thus far they have “barely made a ripple,” say Central Intelligence Agency sources.

The FBI has warned Americans to avoid drinking from public taps, as they may have been saturated with DHMO by ISIL sleeper cells.

Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter says his anger “is boiling over, as in recent years Congress has siphoned off the resources designed to ebb such a threat.”

“We no longer have a well of funding specifically designed to dam the flow of DHMO streaming out of the Middle East,” said Carter. “And without those resources, they’re using it to really mop the floor with us.”

As to how vast ISIL’s DHMO supply actually is, Carter suspects they have “oceans of it.” According to analysts, he says, they have so much that they are “literally drowning in it.”

“Whether we’re able to get to the bottom of this,” says Carter, “really depends on which way the tide turns.”

Captain America promoted to major, moved to staff position

May 6, 2016

From The Duffel Blog.

SHIELD BASE — After barely making the promotion list for his year group, Capt. America has been promoted to major and will now be serving in a staff role, according to sources.

Col. Nicholas Fury, America’s commanding officer, confirmed the move but says it represents “nothing more than career progression.”

“It doesn’t matter how good you are at combat, you’ll eventually get promoted to doing paperwork,” Fury commented. “Besides, after his recent altercation with Air Force Lt. Col. James Rhodes, he’s lucky he gets to stay in the service at all. We think he’ll cool off up at battalion S4.”

America, formerly the commander of Alpha Company, 1st SHIELD Group, feels like he has more potential in a combat role. “I’m a patriotic superhuman with a great team under me,” he said. “Where would Lt. Smith and Sgt. Hawkeye be without my leadership and vibranium shield?”

Fury sees every leader, no matter how strong, as replaceable. “They’ll do fine under their new commander, Capt. James ‘Bucky’ Barnes.”

When America asked for an exception, Fury said that it’s in America’s best interest to do staff time if he wants to ever become Lt. Col. America. 

“He submitted very weak bullets for his last OER, such as ‘thwarted alien invasion’ and ‘destroyed evil robots,’” Fury said. “Come on, America, we need quantity. How many aliens did you thwart? How will this affect unit readiness? Did you update your training calendars?”

“He’ll figure that stuff out at battalion.”

America remains optimistic that he will find a solution to stay in action. “I tried to get a DUI to prevent my promotion, but my super soldier metabolism prevents me from getting drunk,” says America. “I suppose everyone has their shortcomings.”

IKEA signs $800 million contract to assemble Iraqi prime minister’s cabinet

April 8, 2016

From The Duffel Blog.

BAGHDAD — The US Department of State has achieved a major breakthrough in Iraq’s attempt to assemble a cabinet, after brokering a deal in which Swedish homegoods retailer IKEA was contracted to assemble it, according to sources.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who had been unable to assemble the cabinet himself, reportedly “breathed a heavy sigh of relief” after learning of the $800 million contract.

Ikea, infamous for its complex cabinet designs that require an immense amount of assembly with vague instructions, was brought in after al-Abadi and US advisers stayed up for two days straight trying to put together a cabinet themselves. US State Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed the arrangement and said he expects Ikea’s assembly fee “will be worth it.”

“It’s impossible. There is no way you can do this by yourself,” said Kirby, visibly disheveled and unshowered. “We invited all of the neighbors over — Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey. But Iran kept rearranging things.”

In Leiden, Ikea CEO Peter Agnefjäll described how Ikea jumped at the chance to help the Federal Government of the Republic of Iraq shed its image of rampant corruption and give it a more streamlined, modern look.

“We designed something especially for the Prime Minister unlike anything the country has ever seen,” said Agnefjäll. “I am talking about pieces that won’t fall apart at the first signs distress and can support the interests of the people of Iraq without splintering into dozens of elements.”

US Army CENTCOM, who has been involved in the lengthy project since 2003 with sunk costs numbering in the trillions, was reportedly consulted briefly for the project, but was asked to leave after breaking the cabinet’s foundation in a fit of rage.

“There are so many pieces, and none of them go where they are supposed to,” said CENTCOM commander General Lloyd J. Austin III.

“It is like the cabinets are designed to fail before you even start building them.”

Marine Corps Band NJPd for playing ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’

December 23, 2015

From The Duffel Blog.

WASHINGTON — The United States Marine Corps Band was NJPed last night midway through a holiday concert held at the Pentagon, after performing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

“We started out with ‘Sleigh Ride,’ played as a fantasia on tuba, and no one was even paying attention,” said Lt. Col. Jason Fessler, 28th Director of the Marine Corps Band, “The President’s Own.” “I thought I’d sass it up a little with a vocalist, so we skipped ahead in the program.”

As the band rested, leaving only a jazz ensemble remaining, two vocalists began a rendition of “Baby it’s Cold Outside,” the 1944 pop hit.

Sometime around the line, “My answer is no,” a lone major left the room, whispering to friends that there should have been a trigger warning for the concert.

“A murmur fell over the crowd.” said Sgt. Elaine Martin, a vocalist in the band.  “Then I said the line, ‘say what’s in this drink?” and a specialist sitting in the audience stood up and awkwardly stood between the vocalists. He just kept saying ‘bystander intervention’ again and again.”

The concert was immediately stopped by MPs, Fessler was escorted out and the entire band held for questioning.

“Sexual Assault Prevention is the number one priority in our armed services,” said Col. Steve Warren, Pentagon spokesman. “Playing that song shows a lack of sensitivity. I, like many of our service members, perceive that the woman is being held against her will in that song. And perception is reality.”

The band members will face varying levels of non-judicial punishment based on how active their role was in selecting the date-rape anthem for public performance.

“There’s a lot of ambiguity in that song,” continued Warren. “Is she a liberated woman who wants to stay, or is that just the roofies talking for her? Bottom line, he’s interrupting her, and we don’t support mansplaining in today’s military.”

The Marine Corps Band has announced a slight modification in the program for the remainder of the holiday concert series, which will now be called “The 12 Days of Consent.” Following their lead, the Air Force Max Impact is offering a special program called “Santa Asks, Tells and Supports.” This follows earlier changes made after an April 20 incident in which the band was reprimanded for performing “No Woman, No Cry” at an open air concert in Red Rocks, Colo.

“I guess I never thought about it before.” said Martin. “But yeah … ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ is pretty rapey.”

Heroic veteran from Oregon shooting just glad he’s not in VA hospital

October 6, 2015

From The Duffel Blog.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Real-life hero and Army veteran Chris Mintz, who took seven gunshot wounds while protecting classmates at an Oregon college last week, says he considers himself truly blessed to get treatment in a civilian hospital.

“As I got in the ambulance, I kept thinking to myself, ‘Dear God, please don’t let them take me to a VA hospital. I don’t want to die waiting for treatment,’” Mintz told reporters from his bedside at Mercy Medical Center, where nurses actually check on him periodically to ask whether he needs anything, such as a blanket or a snack from the cafeteria, and bring it back to him within minutes, despite him not filling out the proper DA-7022 Form, Meal Replenishment paperwork. “When I think about my brothers and sisters in arms that started waiting for Veterans Affairs service before I was shot, and will still be in the waiting room after I’m discharged, I have flashbacks of my week-long VA eye exam.”

In recognition of Mintz’s heroism, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter offered to transfer Mintz to any active military hospital of his choice for continued care, sources confirmed. “No thanks,” Mintz reportedly said, according to an unnamed physical therapist who started working with the Army veteran almost immediately after a doctor requested his services instead of waiting for paperwork to make it through the system over a period of five to seven months. “If I can’t stay in a civilian hospital, just go ahead and drop me off at my car and I’ll drive home.”

While many have speculated about the VA’s response to Mintz’s statements, the department has so far remained silent. When reporters attempted to reach the VA for comment, they were put on hold, then after a seven-hour wait, the line was cut off.

Mintz, who has shown never-ending selflessness, says that he hopes to recover soon.

“The faster I’m out of here, the faster I can start repaying them for my GI Bill,” Mintz said. “After getting dropped from my classes because I have not attended over the past few days, the VA wants its money back.”

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