Elderly woman thinks she is a queen

This article originally appeared on the Syrup Trap


LONDON (The News Desk) — An elderly woman who was caught wandering the halls of Buckingham Palace late Sunday night is claiming that she is a queen, according to London police.

A police spokesperson said the woman claims her late daughter was “a real princess,” and her husband is something known as a “duke.”

“Everyone knows there are no kings and queens anymore,” said commissioner Douglas Fletcher. “This isn’t Shrek 2, or Norway.”

Surveillance footage from inside the palace, a tourist attraction popular for unknown reasons, shows the confrontation between the woman and the arresting officers.

The woman is seen ambling along “as though she owns the place,” according to Fletcher, absently admiring portraits of another old woman hanging in the hallway. When approached by security for identification, she produces a 20-pound note, and points to the image of a woman on its front.

“She thought the money had her picture on it,” said the officer. “Sadly, this appears to be yet another case of dementia among our elders.”

The woman was unable to answer typical questions asked of people suspected of suffering from dementia. When asked about the current price of milk, she answered that her servants buy her milk, indicative of a detachment from the present economic reality facing seniors.

She was also asked, “How many rooms are in your house?” to which she answered, “Which house?” 

Oil company to charge First Nations living downstream for inadvertently free oil

This article originally appeared on the Syrup Trap

Photo via Mark Ralston/Getty Images
Photo via Mark Ralston/Getty Images

FORT MCMURRAY (The News Desk) — After a study found that chemicals have been leaching into the Athabasca River from oil sands tailings ponds, a major player in the Alberta oil sands has decided to recoup its losses.

This week, Suncor Energy billed the Fort Chipewyan First Nation for three decades’ worth of oil and chemicals that have been sent downriver to the small community. Community members are furious, saying they thought the oil was a gift and hadn’t expected to pay for the development.

“Since when have aboriginal people had to pay for development in our territory?” said Chief Archie Cyprien. “We thought we had a good thing going here.”

A good thing though the free oil may have been, it appears that the oil company has changed its mind. It will continue dumping chemicals in the river as it always has — but the community is going to have to start pulling its weight, according to the invoice filed this week.

“The community has been reaping the rewards of much more than just oil,” the invoice reads. “Chemicals such as arsenic (once used to cure syphilis), mercury (used to make top hats) and lead (used in soldering) have also been provided to Fort Chipewyan.”

The document has stirred up a longstanding bitterness among some Albertans, who feel that the province’s aboriginal people have profited from oil development while the rest of the province suffers.

“Not everyone is as lucky as the Chipewyan to live downstream from an oil patch,” said Ethical Oil author Ezra Levant.

“Some of us regular, hard-working people have to pay for our oil.” ♦

Area man has zero per cent compatibility with everyone on OkCupid

Mykowitz will likely remain sad and alone for all of eternity, despite being a generally good person. Image via Studio Box

This post originally appeared on the Syrup Trap

VANCOUVER (The News Desk) — In a stunning development Thursday afternoon, a new user of popular free dating site OkCupid was the first person ever to be completely incompatible with every other user of the site.

Records show that the site’s algorithms predicted that every woman between the ages of 18 and 70 would find him utterly repulsive in every measurable way.

Despite earnest attempts at showing “his true self,” Keith Mykowitz was shown to be the least dateable person to have ever lived, proving that some people just aren’t meant to be happy.

“I just want girls to give me a chance,” he said. “If being honest means that nobody will ever be even remotely interested in dating me, I guess I’ll just have to keep trying.”

Documents obtained by the Syrup Trap suggest that Mykowitz’s efforts will almost certainly be fruitless and increasingly sad, despite the fact that he is a normal, well-adjusted person who genuinely deserves happiness. The documents also point to a bleak future of loneliness and desperation, marked only by the occasional spark of hope when a message arrives in his inbox — which will, of course, be promptly stomped out by the realization that it is a service message from OkCupid itself.

Friends and family of Mykowitz were quick to shamelessly lie to the 28-year-old organic farmer, who grows delicious vegetables on the quaint farm where he will die alone.

“The right girl is just around the corner,” promised his sister, who knows perfectly well that there is nobody in the world who will ever love him romantically. “Just you wait.” ♦

‘University of a Billion Chinese’ retires as UBC’s oldest joke

This article originally appeared on the Syrup Trap

VANCOUVER (The News Desk) — Following a brief ceremony and substandard coffee cake, the oldest joke at UBC has stepped down. “University of a Billion Chinese” has long claimed that it was “getting too old for this,” but the university administration was finally forced to take the joke seriously this winter when it suddenly refused to be uttered.

“One day, I was walking with my friend Amy through a large group of exchange students, and I turn to her and go, ‘I guess I can see why they call it the—’, then I just vomited all over my own body,” explains fourth-year student Alexandra DeMont.

Similar occurrences have been reported all over campus over the past months, and university officials were finally forced to concede that the joke had become old, lame and racist, as is inevitable among anyone who remains at a university for too long.

Furthermore, the joke clashes with the school’s stated goal of attracting a new wave of international students in the coming years.

Alternative jokes are being considered. Among the frontrunners are: University of Building Construction, University of Booze and Cannabis, and U Bring Cash. ♦

New Student Union Building unsafe for students

This post originally appeared on the Syrup Trap

VANCOUVER (The News Desk) — Stairways to nowhere. Bare concrete floors. Cranes swinging heavy metal I-beams through the air. Standing in UBC’s newly constructed Student Union Building (SUB), it is easy to understand why some students say it does not meet their expectations for a new home.

“This is ridiculous,” said third-year student representative Julia Hynes. “How much did we pay for this building? I don’t even feel safe here.”

On our tour of the new building, we had to cross several blue temporary fences, duck under ribbons of caution tape and dodge heavy equipment just to stand in the foyer. Unsurprisingly, the building was empty: with so many obstacles in the way, students are likely too afraid to even venture into the new SUB.

“I don’t think that building is ready,” cautioned a young exchange student as we crossed the first fence. Comments like that were common, demonstrating how little has been done by the administration to welcome students into what was supposed to be a state-of-the-art facility, but is in fact a shambles. Construction workers have refused to leave, and tools remain strewn about the dusty floors.

University spokespeople declined to comment, calling the story “ridiculous.” But for students, what’s ridiculous is that there is not a single vending machine or water fountain in the new building; in fact, even the toilets don’t flush, as we discovered too late.

Renovations on the new SUB are already underway. As of press time, construction crews are retrofitting the poorly planned boondoggle with windows and lighting. Hopefully, as word gets out about the new building, the administration will see to it that it is finally brought up to standard. ♦

Tensions erupt over Hans Island

This article originally appeared in the Syrup Trap

A polar bear eats a seal carcass in front of Hans Island, which is by far the most interesting thing ever to happen there. In fact, this isn’t even Hans Island. But would you know the difference? No. You wouldn’t. Because it’s Hans Island.

HANS ISLAND (The News Desk) — A long-simmering territorial dispute over an unremarkable island between two second-rate nations has finally erupted, causing worldwide confusion over where Hans Island is and why it matters.

Hans Island, the bitterly contested island between Canada and Greenland, is under siege from both sides of the Kennedy Channel within the powder keg that is the Nares Channel, and everyone from political scientists to Arctic historians have some idea what is going on.

“It was only a matter of time before things got heated up there,” explained UBC professor Michael Byers. “Everyone wants a piece of Hans Island.”

Ordinary Canadians were quick to claim to have any idea what was happening between the two northern nations.

“It’s got me worried, that’s for sure,” explained a visibly unsure George Anders. “You never know what can happen down there. Over there. Up. Whatever.”

The office of U.S. President Barack Obama issued a statement in an attempt to diffuse tensions.

“Dear Sir/Madam,

I want to express my sincere congratulations/condolences/concern for the situation in YOUR LOCAL AREA. Please rest assured, ISSUE is at the forefront of my mind and that of the entire staff.”

Obama wasn’t the only world leader to wade into this murky issue.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to wrestle both Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Greenlandic Prime Minister Aleqa Hammond. If either leader survives, he or she will be allowed to keep the nondescript cold rock of Hans Island.

Among the international bluster, Hans Islanders themselves have spoken up, saying that they have no idea who any of these people are, and would everyone please be quiet, because there’s a seal over there. ♦

Photo via Jimmy Thomson

Canada celebrates first Throw Some Shit in a River Day

This post originally appeared on the Syrup Trap

Photo Flickr Creative Commons via Tedxgp2

From the desk of Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Ding, dong, the witch is dead, Canada! One of our oldest pieces of environmental legislation, the Fisheries Act, is gone. How are you going to celebrate?

To help get your minds a-whirring, I have established a new national holiday: Throw Some Shit in a River Day. Do you have some shit you don’t want? Throw it in a river! Because from now on — unless your shit lands directly on a salmon — we don’t care.

If you’re a mining company, you may find this particularly profitable. So what are you waiting for? Create some jobs and prosperity by throwing some shit in a river! If you’re an oil and gas transportation company — I’m looking at you, Enbridge and Kinder Morgan — the road to the West Coast is paved in gold! And dead noncommercial fish.

Speaking of those useless noncommercial fish species: it’s about time they learned to pitch in now and then. So Throw Some Shit in a River Day is a double whammy. Maybe those fish can learn to do something with the shit we throw in the river, or maybe mutate into something delicious. Let’s leave that up to Science (the good kind, like in The Jetsons.)

To those who say this might harm fish habitats, I say, exactly! The changes to the Fisheries Act explicitly removed fish habitat from protection. Now we can focus on protecting the purpose of the fishBy building malls, roads, pipelines, and throwing shit in the river on their old habitat, we’re protecting what God put them here to do: provide us with jobs and prosperity. Families.

So what are you waiting for? Grab some shit, throw it in a river, have a beer and watch Canada’s environmental protections get washed out to sea. ♦

Labour law targets invisible minorities


This first graced the pages of the Syrup Trap

OTTAWA (The News Desk) — In a controversial new labour law, the Harper government has attempted to level the playing field for a significant portion of the workforce: invisible minorities. The announcement has garnered the instant support of members of invisible minority groups, including people who have never sworn off drinking, professional falconers, and those who describe themselves as “ambivalent” about Rob Ford.

Starting in the new year, government job applications will allow members of thousands of previously under-identified minority groups to self-identify, giving them a leg up in the hiring process.

“The Canadian government recognizes that diversity in the workforce pays dividends to the whole populace,” said labour minister Kellie Leitch. “Diversity of opinion, diversity of diet, diversity of hockey loyalty — the Conservative Party values diversity in all its forms.”

The new law will bring equality to even the smallest of invisible minorities. Those who prefer no-name brand cheese puffs are expected to be in high demand in the eastern provinces, while recent labour numbers show that individuals who didn’t really like Breaking Bad very much are seriously under-represented in Alberta government posts.

Owners of Leopard tanks are expected to benefit from the new law, as long as they have at one time or another driven it into or out of an aircraft

While most agree that it’s important to give equal opportunities to fans of the later works of Chumbawamba who also have never tried breakfast cereal, some are saying the law doesn’t go far enough.

“I, like, totally hate Nickelback,” said Emily Zhong, who grew up in Vancouver. “And I love weird food like sushi and craft beer. I’m such a hipster; I just love everything weird! But weirdos like me won’t see any benefit unless we, like, dress like lumberjacks or something.”

Lumberjacks who dress like businessmen are, in fact, beneficiaries of the new bill; however, urbanites who dress like lumberjacks will be left out of the new legislation unless they also carry two-man bandsaws and speak in old-timey accents. Siblings of people who meet that description may see some benefits, but only those who have lived abroad for between five and eight years while learning to train tigers.

The complete list will be released later this week. Leitch said it may be a shocking period for some.

“Many Canadians will find that they are part of an invisible minority group and have actually been discriminated against all their lives.”

Rumours swirl that BlackBerry also has secret barge

This post originally appeared on the Syrup Trap


WATERLOO (The News Desk) — Just weeks after a mysterious Google-owned barge appearedin the waters outside of San Francisco, Canadian tech juggernaut BlackBerry is rumoured to have acquired a mysterious vessel of its own.

Local reactions have been muted, with some even claiming that the ship has been there for years.

However, among the Canadian tech media, speculation abounds as to what its purpose may be. Possibilities run the gamut from a server farm for a new operating system yet to be released and subsequently re-released with patches, to a retail location for a slick new generation of desk ornaments for businessmen age 50 and up.

A local Canada Post employee was seen delivering what appeared to be USB sticks to the ship, presumably containing emails. The employee would not speculate on what was going on inside.

“They’re running a pretty tight ship,” he chuckled.

A local LCBO employee, delivering what appeared to be a flat of Molson Canadian to the ship, also declined to speculate.

“They’re running a pretty tight ship,” he chuckled, too.

Investors are beginning to demand answers. Reportedly purchased off Craigslist for upwards of $500 (trailer included), the ship cost more than double the company’s current market capitalization, leaving the chief underwriter of the company concerned that the new CEO, Thorsten Heins, is not serious about protecting her money.

“He told me, ‘Mom, I really need this.’ And I believed him,” lamented the company’s principal investor, who wishes to remain anonymous.

Heins, who recently retitled his position Captain, Engineer and First Officer, refused to comment directly on the issue, addressing only one rumour: “What about Google?” he demanded.

After a pause, staring into the wide-open horizon, the trade winds of southern Ontario ruffling his cravat, the last of RIM’s privateers sighed wistfully. “We run a pretty tight ship.”