True Fiction

Well now Acowlytes! After the biggest commenting frenzy in Cow history it behooves (!) me at last to announce the winner of the inaugural TCA Rupert Murdoch Encouragement Award For the Preservation of Meretricious Journalism.

Let me say from the outset that this was the most difficult of all the Cow contests I’ve had to judge so far. There was mirth galore here at Cow Central, and so many worthy entries that I’ve decided to award two prizes – an outright winner, and a ‘Best Laugh’ award.

The challenge in this competition was to create a headline that was so inherently non-informational that its banality was unparalleled. At the same time, I felt the winner needed to have an appropriate ‘newspaper reality’. In other words, I was looking for something that might have conceivably found its way onto the front page, but that would have provoked a ‘Huh?’ response about three steps after you passed the news stand. I am also impressed by economy of wit, and a certain Bee Joke je ne sais quo, so I kept all these things in mind when making my final choice.

Out of around 430-something actual headlines, there were many contenders.

The very first Sir Joey Polanski entry was smack on the money:


In fact, I’m pretty sure that headline has actually appeared in all seriousness, somewhere in the world. King Willy was not far behind with a proclamation so convincing that I doubt many would have even noticed the threadbare content:

Particles May or May Not Be Found!

Not to be outdone, and winner of the Sheer Volume Award (if there was one) was Atlas, throwing into the ring:

But the Subheading is Not, Typographer States.

It got a big laugh. As did:

“Not the Blinking Light,” Telstra Admits

… from Sir Joey. It’s a bit of an in-joke though, so despite its inherent truthiness, not the winner.

Of course it would have been a disappointing competition indeed if Billy hadn’t appeared and Cissy Strutt got a big laugh with:

Billy Struggles To Keep Place In Herd

Joey, who surely has a keen understanding of how I judge these humorous escapades, made a (not so) subtle play for the adjudicators’s attention with:

Cramped hive conditions were intolerable, prosecutor says

Funny, I’ll grant you, but he’s going for the gag, so no cigar. It became contagious for a while. Queen Willy tried:

Dyslexic amputee tells all.

Also hugely mirthful, but far too clever for any of Rupert’s mob.

Around the 150 mark we saw Colonel Colonel enter the fray with a barrage of hits. He got a bunch of laughs, but his most apposite was the pithy:


Again, quite tragically, I speculate that this one has actually appeared at some time or other in recent history.

Another of Joey’s was right on the mark:


A headline worthy of Jazz Club. Nice.

Atlas was consistently funny, if wildly errant, but this one pleased me a lot:


And this from Queen Willy was a right on the money:


University tests are always showing something-or-other, and I’m glad someone included them. Leaping up into the high 200’s Atlas made a witty play with:


One of the cleverest entries, I’m sure you’ll agree. After another strong run from King Willy in the mid 300’s we had a solitary entry from Casey:


…which was more a statement of irony than anything else, but got a laugh. As did:

Godwin’s Law proves self-fulfilling: long thread DOES mention NAZIs eventually!

… from JR, which was a massive self-referential cheat.

And on we went, well into the 400’s. Guys and gals, Acowlytes all, I loved every one of them. But I’m only awarding two prizes today, as I mentioned. My commiserations go to those who aren’t taking home a trophy, but I’m afraid that the inimitable Joey Polanski (Sir) has done it again with his precise and far too believable:


It was an early entry, but it really captured the idea. Joey, another trophy for the cupboard, I guess. Congratulations.

And the award for the biggest laugh (although that was mighty hard to get down to just one) was for Cissy Strutt’s:

We literally can’t stop, they claim

I dunno. Even now it makes me laugh.

Thank you all for your stirling efforts, and for contributing to the ever-escalating heights of Cow Humour.

The Cow Salutes You!

Well Dear Acowlytes, the clocking over of the New Year is virtually guaranteed to bring out the loonies. Above is the cover from the new issue of some rag called Psychic Reader which I swiped off a stand at the local railway station this morning. In it, a ‘spirit medium’ alleges to have been channeling our old friend Rasputin. According to her, the Mad Monk is not just mad – he’s completely furious!

I’ll spare you the interminable claptrap that makes up the majority of the article and just give you the bare bones. Madame Zora, a clairvoyant of dubious credentials (she claims to be the reincarnation of Gilbert Einstein, Albert’s lesser-known brother) believes that she has become the chosen vehicle for Rasputin’s beyond-the-grave communications:

Rasputin came to me in a dream and told me that I was to bring his message to The Earthly Plane. He said that his penis is to be returned to him or he will visit his wrath on all those who have participated in its defilement!

Yeah, right. And I suppose Madam Zora speaks fluent Russian. Oh, wait – she doesn’t need to:

He sort of talks inside my head. It’s not in language – I hear his thoughts.

How entirely convenient.

Rasputin’s penis was removed from his corpse shortly after he was murdered on December 16, 1916, and has gone on to enjoy notoriety in its own right. According to Madame Zora, Rasputin’s spirit has been tagging along with it on its corporeal adventures and is far from impressed:

He is offended that it was put in a museum for all to see, and that it has now been cloned by Chinese scientists and is sold all over the world.

Madame Zora claims that in her dream Rasputin appeared wielding a huge knife and vowed to cut off the member of any man who has offended his name. She doesn’t specify what will happen to women who have crossed the Mad Monk.

Rasputin says, according to Madame Zora, that with her help he will find his penis wherever it may go. I guess it’s a good partnership – you obviously can’t hide the salami from a clairvoyant.

Seriously – how do people believe this stuff? It’s so implausible I couldn’t make it up if I tried.

With 2009 being as chock full of cretins and swindlers as it was, I’m really nervous as we head into 2010. Could this be the year that Scientology claims a US President and Shoo!TAG™ makes a cool billion on the NYSE? Could this be the year where homeopathy gets accorded WHO approval and Jasmuheen is granted credibility as a bona fide religious leader? Could this be the year when the followers of Catholicism exceed 1 billion in number? (Oh wait, that already happened…) As the world becomes more and more stupid, the possibilities are grim. But remember – when things look the very blackest, when the churning storms of the preposterous threaten to overturn your little boat of commonsense, Tetherd Cow Ahead will always be a lighthouse of rationality, reason and logic. And the lighthouse keeper will always have whisky. I hope 2010 brings each of you fulfillment, wisdom and contentment – all with a minimum of cash imparted to crackpots and mountebanks.

Oh, and in case it needs to be said… let the games commence!

Presented for your scientific improvement. Tetherd Cow Ahead Laboratories also recommends the ‘Look Around You’ series of science programmes.

Discovered by Viridian and Vermilion in the local Blockbuster, to their mirth.

(I wonder if Bale got the part by telling the producers that he was a good Christian?)


Only From Tetherd Cow Ahead liquor outlets. Refuse all imitations.


Reuters, Thursday, January 1:

In what amounts to one of the most extraordinary technical achievements ever to ring in a New Year, scientists from the University of Xuanpu announced today that they have successfully cloned the penis of the ‘mad’ Russian monk, Rasputin. An unusual alliance forged between Xuanpu and St Petersburg’s Russian Museum of Erotica and funded by Russian internet spam czar Sergei Korzhanenk, now promises to be able to literally sell millions of potential customers a bigger penis.

Rasputin’s preserved member was stolen one year ago from the St Petersburg museum by Italian underworld figure Raphael Spinoza, in a daring daylight heist. It was recovered by police in April after information from an in ‘inside source’ led them to Spinoza’s secluded residence in the Italian alps, and is now under heavy security at the museum. The pickled penis was only made available to the Xuanpu science team for their newly discovered cloning technique after extensive intellectual property negotiations.

Korzhanenk says that the planned market release of the penises to coincide with Christmas was delayed by technical challenges, but that they will be available to customers this week, priced at around $US250.

The Price Is Right!

Ah faithful Acowlytes! Another year has veritably rocketed past, and a new one is galloping upon us. I know it’s been quiet on The Cow these last few months, but I can assure you, my loyal readers, that you were never far from my thoughts, and I have been assembling all manner of succulent tidbits to inflict upon you offer up for your amusement in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here’s wishing yez all a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous 2009!

Oh, and in case it needs to be formalized: let the Festivities commence!

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