OMAHA, NE — Charles Peterson effectively alienated the entire quality assurance department at Union Pacific this past week by self-identifying as a Microsoft Excel wizard.
“It’s total bullshit,” said Dave Ryan to his co-worker while eating lunch at Block 16. “Charles just started using formulas! Are you kidding? I’ve been using formulas in excel practically my whole life!”
“It’s not right,” agreed Barb Carnel. “Calling yourself something doesn’t make you that thing. I could call myself a race car driver but that doesn’t make my commute home the Indy 500.”
“Exactly,” Ryan continued. “If Charles is an Excel whiz than I’m the fucking Gandalf of Java. Which of course I’m not because I just started playing around with it.”
“The man is delusional.”
“Also, it’s super disrespectful to people who are Excel wizards. He gets to pretend to play that part, but Lisa H. can’t bail out of work early when finance complains of issues with their macros. Goddamn this is a good chicken philly.”
Mr. Ryan and Ms. Carnel returned to the office sated from eating and venting. Their rage towards Mr. Peterson was re-ignited, however, after receiving an email informing them of a non-optional Excel training to be taught by Mr. Peterson on June 26th entitled, “Intro to Excel Studies: One Man’s Struggle and Triumph.”
Will Meinen | The Tattler
Chicago, IL — Amber Ross, a single 37-year-old woman living in Bucktown, watched fifteen minutes of American soldiers reuniting with their family and dogs at work on Monday. Amber’s boss walked into her office as tears were welling up at the sight of a Marine surprising his 8-year-old daughter at school. The University of Chicago Human Resource manager recovered quickly and closed the browser window as an Army Ranger wrestled with a yellow lab in a Lowe’s parking lot.
“As a human resource manager I’m especially sensitive to the improper use of company resources,” admitted Ross, “but lately I have felt like a shell of a woman. Nothing moves me. Not ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ not my nieces birthday party. I’m afraid that I’m dead inside, like a polished, red apple that is rotten at its core.”
Ms. Ross recently ended a 14-month relationship with an IT specialist but appeared relatively unfazed by the loss.
“She was totally fine,” said a close friend. “I mean, she was bummed out for a few days but at brunch that weekend she didn’t even need to talk about it. Instead she tried to show me a video on her phone of a solider surprising his wife at work. Does she want to date a military man? I don’t get it.”
Ross’s obsession with the returning soldier video has predictably extended to her social media accounts. Twitter followers have been bombarded with youtube links accompanied by #somoving and #lookatthedogstail and #whereismysolider.
“It’s a harmless prompt to manipulate my emotions,” said Ross. “I haven’t been in love in 10 years; I’m bored and unaffected by romantic movies and torch songs. This works for me. Now check out this video of a Navy sailor pulling into port as his wife and children in waiting cry and wave enthusiastically.”
Will Meinen | The Tattler
VERMILLION, S.D. — Susan Wright has been living in Napa Valley, California for the last three years. She moved to the wine region to gain first-hand knowledge of the industry while she studied for the Certified Sommelier Exam.
“I dread going home for the holidays,” said Ms. Wright. “Not because of the tension between my siblings, criticism of my single lifestyle and prospects of having children, or my grandmother’s flatulence. More important than all of that is the wine selection. My parents know what I want to do for a career, and yet they insist on pushing local product on me.”
Last Thanksgiving featured several local wines to accompany the flash fried turkey and classic trimmings. A red table wine, a white table wine, and a dessert wine all from Valiant Vineyards in Vermillion, South Dakota.
“They are all dessert wines,” said Wright. “All of them are obnoxiously sweet, lacking any nuance or character. They overpower the food rather than complement. The bottle actually labeled ‘dessert’ wine is like pie in a bottle.”
Ms. Wright was asked why she didn’t bring a few bottles with her from Napa, and maybe educate her family on the popular regional varietals.
“And play into the judgment of me as a west coast elite liberal with copies of ‘The Audacity of Hope’ in every room of my overpriced loft and a stack of IUD’s in my vagina to eliminate all possibility of having children? Not a chance.”
Will Meinen | The Tattler
CHICAGO, IL. — David Lefler recently gathered his friends together for a very important announcement. “You guys,” said David to a group of friends seated about his living room, “I am straight. I like women. I desire them sexually and want to one day date and then marry one.” His audience seemed unmoved by his admission.
“Anybody want something from the kitchen,” said Ben to the group after a brief silence.
“Yeah, I’ll take another Milk Stout,” replied Reg.
“More wine,” said Bethany waving her empty glass in the air.
“I already knew he was straight,” said Leah to a Tattler reporter. “I mean look at the state of his apartment and wardrobe. No one is going to confuse him for a gay man.”
“The reason I made the announcement,” explained Lefler, “is that none of my friends set me up with their female friends. I’ve been single for three years. That is a long time. I thought maybe I wasn’t getting set up because I was assumed to be gay, and my friends were being respectful of my privacy.”
“I don’t hook him up with my friends because he’s not much of a catch,” said Leah. “David has a low level IT job with little chance of advancement. He likes chain restaurant pizza, his favorite musician is Jack Johnson, and he’s never traveled outside of the United States, which he calls ‘America,’ by they way.”
As the party wound down, Lefler helped gather his guests’ coats and cleaned up glasses and bottles.
“He’ll find somebody don’t you think?” Bethany speculated aloud. The group, lost in updates to their Facebook feed remained silent.
“Our cab is here,” said Reg. “Later, Lefler,” he shouted towards the kitchen.
“He is a good, dude,” said Ben. Everyone nodded in agreement.
Will Meinen | The Tattler
OMAHA, Neb. — “No I didn’t just have a domestic dispute with my wife,” said the exasperated man standing outside of CVS pharmacy, his black Pantera shirt in hand. “I’m waiting for a friend to pick me up.”
The man in faded blue jeans and worn, white New Balance sneakers had been answering similar questions all afternoon. He avoided eye contact when asked about the possibility of a domestic scuffle, and tapped his feet nervously from side to side, keeping an eye out for his friend’s 1998 blue Dodge Dakota. On his left bicep was a black ink tattoo of the face of his 3-year-old daughter, on his right forearm a blue ink tattoo, faded, of a scorpion.
“My car didn’t break down. I’m not homeless, but yes, I am unemployed. I worked for several years as a guitar tech for the band Scorpion and a drum tech for RATT. I don’t have a drug problem, although I used to drink too much Jack Daniels. I am divorced but I see my little girl, like, every other weekend.”
I asked the man why he thought going shirtless in public with faded jeans and white sneakers was permissible seeing how he was nowhere near a recreational watering hole.
“I don’t understand the question,” he replied. “It’s hot out. I was hot so I took off my shirt. What is the big damn deal?”
As he replied to my query, his lips began to purse and his face became slightly redder. Sweat dripped from his forehead, which he immediately wiped away with an orange and black, fire-patterened do-rag extracted from his back pocket.
His torso wasn’t unsightly. For a 40-ish male he was in decent shape. His chest and stomach were hairless save a few dark follicles around the nipple. He had an early spring tan and not too many moles. To this reporter, however, not wearing a shirt with jeans could only mean trouble.
As I asked further about the man’s love affair with the Pontiac Firebird and affinity for fishing without a license, both of which he denied, a car honked while turning left off of Dodge to the annoyance of the other drivers. The man’s ride pulled to the side of the road, reached over, opened the door, and began to clean soda bottles and fast food wrappers off the passenger seat.
“That’s my ride,” said the shirtless man.
I asked for some chewing tobacco as the man climbed into the Dodge truck. He continued to stare straight ahead while giving me the middle finger.
As he drove away, a CVS employee who had just ended her shift stopped and asked me where the other members of my A capella group were hiding.
“You know, because of your bow tie,” she explained.
Chelsie Hartness | The Tattler
OMAHA, Neb. — A 31-year-old Omaha man was given three months of probation for shooting ducks in a pond.
Charles Boondocker was sentenced on Monday in Douglas County Supreme Court after pleading guilty to a felony charge of cruel mistreatment of an animal. When asked by an officer why he felt compelled to do the violent act, Boondocker said, “Because it’s easy.”
Boondocker has two other felony charges of criminal mischief, including stealing candy from a baby and fishing for compliments in the North Platte River. Other minor offenses of disturbing the peace include letting numerous cats out of bags and continuously judging books by their covers.
“This guy has been at it for years,” said Omaha Police Sergeant Carl Weinberg. “He’s into some really messed up stuff. Just last month I saw him hunched over a nest counting eggs, most of which hadn’t even hatched. Last fall I witnessed him running frantically around the Old Market, putting carts before police horses. The worst was when I caught him beating around a bush in broad daylight. I watched him for over an hour and he never got to the point. I feel bad for the guy — a real rotten apple.”
When Omaha deputies found Boondocker late last Friday, he was allegedly teaching an elderly Labrador Retriever new tricks. According to a statement by police, his next attack consisted of beating his neighbor’s recently deceased horse.
Probation for Boondocker will include giving him a taste of his own medicine, of which is pending approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Dress. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. If violated we will most likely do nothing.
Will Meinen | The Tattler
OMAHA, Neb. — Mark Harmon, claims adjuster for State Farm Insurance, recently segued from a discussion about Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday activities and remembrances, into a description of one of his own dreams.
Mr. Harmon and several colleagues were eating lunch at a Lone Star Steakhouse near their office, when they began to share stories of holiday activities with one another. Jim had used the day to catch up on household chores and fix a leaky sink, Steven ran errands and took in the sales at Nebraska Furniture Mart, and Susan cleaned out the hall closet and watched a PBS special on the late, great civil rights leader.
“Dr. King was just such an inspiration,” said Susan while the waitress topped off her large ice tea. “I mean, you would have to be emotionally empty not to be moved by his speech on the Washington Mall. It’s just so powerful and historic.”
“I know what you mean,” said Harmon dipping his roast beef sandwich in Au jus. “But, MLK is not the only one with a dream.”
The abrupt transition was nothing new to the staff at State Farm. At the holiday party this winter Harmon managed to move a discussion about the Christian savior to musings on the career of Aerosmith’s lead singer.
“You know what has been resurrected? The career of Steven Tyler. He’s everywhere now that he is an ‘American Idol’ judge.”
Harmon’s dining companions showed subtle, non-verbal displays of annoyance (eye rolling, exhaling, shifting in posture, poking at food).
“I could have just sat there silently or attempted to change the subject,” said Jim, “but I’ve tried that tactic before and it doesn’t work. We would have taken the long way back to whatever Mark wanted to talk about anyway. So I asked, ‘What’s your dream?’ Seriously though, how can you compare whatever desire you have for your future to a vision of national racial harmony?”
Harmon proceeded to explain to the group for the remainder of lunch and through the splitting of the check, his dream to rebuild a 1966 Chevrolet Corvette with his 15-year-old son, Mark Jr.
“Needless to say he walked step by step through the reconstruction of a model of car that was once owned by his father, thereby increasing the sentimental nature of the project,” said Susan who was sorry she ever brought up the iconic civil rights moment. “I zoned out during the part about intake manifold and crank cases, only to regain consciousness during the Lifetime special scene where Father and Son are forever bonded over their accomplishment. The metaphor of rebuilding a relationship by refurbishing an engine.”
The car ride back to the office moved away from the lunch topic of Harmon’s project that everyone but him knew would be realized.
Steven, riding shotgun, reached over to turn up the radio. From the back came the voice of Mr. Harmon: “You know who else has moves like Jagger?”
Will Meinen | The Tattler
OMAHA, Neb. — The post went up on her Facebook wall at 8:26 AM Monday morning. The message suggested that the sender had been slighted, over-reacted to a passing comment, or desperately needed to be acknowledged by an online community with varying knowledge of the sender’s life circumstances.
Stacey Pender some people just don’t know how hurtful they can be 🙁
Her ‘friend’ group immediately began to ‘like’ the women’s sentiment; implying either they too have had a similar experience or that they like hurting people.
Presumably those closer to Ms. Pender posted comments, such as:
Lizzy Fry i‘m so sorry Stacey! you are such an awesome woman. stay strong! muah!
Pam Richner call me if you need to talk. some people hurt others to feel better about themselves 🙂
Wanda Sykes i was just thinking about our great times at the lake cabin — sending good vibes your way!
Steve Meeks so sorry! what happened?
The onslaught of comments did little to quiet Ms. Pender’s status updates. One would think that after 12 comments expressing blind support, the 38-year-old woman with a husband and two children would rely on a mature inner-voice to propel her forward through lives inevitable ups and downs.
Unfortunately, such displays of vulnerability have proved chronic. It is a thirst that can never be quenched, a need for attention as pathological as that of a stand-up comedian, slam poet, or middle child.
Not 24 hours later Stacey had posted another call for Facebook affirmation.
Stacey Pender lizzie got in trouble again at daycare. where did i go wrong?
A threshold had been met by several of Stacey’s former high school acquaintances and co-workers who either de-friended the woman or simply hid her posts from their wall.
“We both graduated from high school in ’96,” said Mark Q. “That’s as far as our real life relationship goes. I think it’s cool she got married and has a couple of kids, but her constant cries for help to make sense of life are super annoying. I don’t know why your kid is acting out; maybe she has a gluten allergy. Call your pediatrician!”
Stacey Pender some people just don’t get it- and they never will!
Several of Stacey’s colleagues at OPPD have expressed concern regarding her social media practices. Their concern is not for Stacey necessarily, but of the impression she might leave on their real friends.
“You can’t say no to ‘friend’ requests from work contacts,” said Lisa St. Clair. “It makes you look like an elitist. That being said, by allowing Stacey’s glaringly insecure posts to linger on my wall, I’m guilty by association, so-to-speak. What if the people whose company I actually enjoy stop inviting me to dinner parties because they think I too have the emotional constitution of a teenage girl?”
Jim Stevens, who had just left a meeting with Stacey Pender, checked the news feed on his phone on the way back to his office. The time stamp on Ms. Pender’s post coordinated with the mid-point of a presentation to a work team he was leading.
“I saw Stacey’s post and I was like, ‘what the fuck?’ Was she talking about me? Am I the one who ‘doesn’t get it’? Or am I being paranoid? She probably was referring to the fact that nobody supported her assertion that ‘Whitney’ is the best new comedy on television.”
The Tattler was unable to reach Stacey for a comment on her emotionally cryptic communiqué, but her final post on New Year’s Day speaks for itself:
Stacey Pender sometimes I don’t know if i am strong enough 🙁
Will Meinen | The Tattler
OMAHA, Neb. — Kiplinger.com recently rated Omaha the “Best Value City: 2011” based on its low unemployment rate, supportive business community, strong public schools, and emerging arts scene.
“Omaha is a great value with low population density and short commute times. The housing market was not inflated during the bubble, therefore 3-bedrooms in good neighborhoods have retained their value,” reported Kiplinger.
Omaha has topped another list published recently by the Tattler. Omaha was rated just above Kansas City as the “Best Mid Size City from which to Depart to San Francisco.” The ratings were extrapolated from 2011 census data with adjustments made based on conversations overheard at coffee shops and indie rock shows. The rankings are as follows:
- Kansas City
- St. Louis
- Des Moines
“Omaha is a perfect place to save money, not fully engage but enjoy the local culture, and finally move to San Francisco, or New York maybe, whatever. Either way, you are getting the fuck out of the Midwest,” said a Tattler staff member in between complaining about the weather and the lack of yummy food trucks.
“I was living in Waukesha, WI, where I went to Carroll College,” explained recent graduate Stephanie. ” My friends were all moving away to places like Seattle and New York. I was thinking about the west coast but just wasn’t sure yet. My sister was, like, ‘you should move to Omaha, I hear they have a cool music scene and it’s cheap.’ It’s working out great, really. I got a job at a non-profit, I’m saving money, met a lot of wonderful people, and this spring I’ll make the jump to where I really want to be.”
The Omaha Chamber of Commerce was alarmed by the report, despite it consisting primarily of anecdotal evidence.
“We have been working very hard to make Omaha an attractive place for young professionals to settle,” said the Chamber’s Public Relations spokeswoman. “By ‘settle’ I mean the official definition ‘to establish or secure permanently’ not, like, ‘well I guess I’ll marry Todd because it doesn’t look like I can do any better and I’m not getting any younger.’ Sorry Todd. Don’t forget to grab milk on your way home.”
Will Meinen | The Tattler
OMAHA, Neb. — A local man expressed legitimate surprise when he woke alone the morning after a Halloween party.
Omaha native Mike Kraznowski was spotted late Saturday night dawning what could have only been a giant, full-body vagina costume, replete with one lone pubic hair. His roommate, who wishes to remain anonymous, endured Kraznowski’s ramblings Sunday morning after asking how the previous night unfolded.
“I thought it was a sure-fire chick magnet costume. It shows I recognize the power of the vag, but I’m not afraid of it. The anatomy of vagina doesn’t frighten me. So little in fact, that I made a foam vagina costume and wore it in public, in the company of some of my oldest friends. And yet here I am, sitting on my couch in a robe, splitting headache, wondering where I went wrong.”