Back in 1997, an e-mail humor newsletter called “The Daily Probe” began publishing. I contributed (very) occasionally to it from 1997 to 2000, and actually had a few pieces that got in. I think it was due more to the need to fill space than the quality of my work, but it helped in some small way to fulfill my never-ending quest for acceptance (*sniff*). Despite these early lapses in judgement, The Daily Probe is still in existence today, and you can visit their website here.

Almost all of this is “current events” satire, so it’s a bit dated, but if you remember the source incidents you might get a chuckle or two.

Published in The Daily Probe (then called The Daily Weekly) – September 23, 1997

NEW YORK, NY (DWPI) – In a surprise development, a spokesman for the National Football League today announced that the NFL is planning on breaking its current broadcast contract with the Fox network. Starting next season, ESPN will have broadcast rights to nearly all regular season NFL games, with the exception of the Chicago Bears, which have been picked up by Comedy Central. Fox viewers will not be completely left out, however, since the hit show “Cops” will still be providing extensive coverage of the Dallas Cowboys.

Published in The Daily Probe – November 19, 1997

CHICAGO, IL (DPI) – The stock market made it official, abandoning all pretense of being anything but the world’s largest casino when the Chicago Board of Trade recently began trading on Dow futures and futures options. “There’s really no difference between trying to predict the direction of the Dow Jones index, and trying to predict the outcome of this week’s Redskins game,” said market analyst Louie “Mumbles” Scarpone. As a result, the owners of off-track betting operations nationwide have announced that henceforth “OTB” will stand for “Options Trading Bureau,” and will offer investment opportunities in “equestrian performance futures.”

Published in The Daily Probe – December 2, 1997

BATTLE CREEK, MI (DPI) – Rumors had circulated for years, but it wasn’t until Ellen DeGeneres was seen openly consuming Rice Krispies on her ABC sitcom that cereal mascot Pop decided it was time to follow her example. At a press conference, Pop admitted that his long time friendship with Ernie, the Keebler elf, is in fact a relationship. Krispies cohorts Snap and Crackle, through their agent, announced that while they personally are heterosexual (Crackle, in fact, has been linked romantically to celebrities ranging from Tinkerbell to Rhea Perlman), they will “make it a point to stand behind Pop from now on.”

Pop maintains that he’s not alone among the members of the primarily male bastion of cereal mascots. “I’m not naming names,” he said, “but you can bet your Lucky Charms I’m not the only one.”

Submitted July 22, 1999, not accepted for publication (can’t imagine why!)

CYBERSPACE (DPI) – Just when you thought you had seen everything in terms of human perversion and sleaze on the Internet, along comes another group of sickos seeking to trap and victimize innocent denizens of chat rooms. Hundreds of supposedly respectable police officials and postal inspectors have suddenly unleashed their dark and sinister sexual fantasies by masquerading on the Internet as underage children bent on seducing helpless adult males. “It’s gotten to the point that any self-respecting pedophile has to constantly look over his shoulder,” says Peter Fondler, a frequent America Online user and occasional sexual deviate, who worries about the reputations of innocent children being irrecovably damaged by association with these duplicitous impostors. “These sick bastards make me wonder just what this world is coming to.”

Fondler is so disgusted with this new menace that he’s drastically reduced the amount of time he spends online, preferring to return to his old haunts near neighborhood grade schools. “At least in person you know who you’re dealing with,” he sighs. “I can’t count the number of times that I think I’m chatting with an 11-year old, and all of a sudden I realize that we’re discussing the works of Henry Miller, or how the Who just wasn’t the same after Keith Moon died. Then they suggest we get together at a playground across the street from the police station. I’m a deviate, not an idiot.”

Parents are concerned as well. “I’d hate to have my kid chatting with someone he thinks is another teenager, only to discover it’s some damn undercover cop pervert,” says Jess Beetam, whose 13-year old son uses the Internet extensively. “If only I could get my hands on one of those [unsavory] reprobates.”

A measure to enforce morality on the Internet by requiring all chat rooms to post a copy of the Ten Commandments is currently under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Published in The Daily Probe – August 23, 1999

Wichita, KS (DPI) – When the Kansas Board of Education last week officially rejected Darwin’s theory of Evolution as a scientific principle, most observers dismissed it as mere pandering to the conservatives who control the political agenda in the wheat-intensive midwestern state. However, an anonymous source has contacted the office of the Daily Probe with the revelation that the move was actually a brilliantly conceived maneuver to circumvent the effects of the Year 2000 computer bug. “You see, the primary effect of the Y2K bug is that when we roll over to the year 2000, the computers will think it is actually the year 1900,” explained the tipster. “And now when that happens, at least in Kansas, the computers will be correct.”

Submitted March 13, 2000, not accepted for publication

NORFOLK, VA (DPI) Those wacky funsters at P.E.T.A. (People with Excessive Time Available) are back at it again, this time with a press release urging college students to avoid consuming milk and instead drink beer. Their goal is two-fold; first, to protest the treatment of dairy cattle on factory farms, and second, to help boost the level of beer consumption among underage college students, which has been hovering at dangerously low levels of late. Predictably, the feedback from college campuses was generally favorable. “This is awesome,” said Ed Stoner, a freshman and fraternity pledge at Southern Illinois University. “I might look forward to breakfast now.”

P.E.T.A. does, however, have its share of detractors, most notably Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.), which condemned the press release as irresponsible. Surprisingly, however, the reaction has been equally negative from certain animal rights splinter groups. “P.E.T.A. is way off base on this one,” said Herb Ivore, of P.E.T.S.R.A. (People for the Ethical Treatment of Synthetic Reptiles and Amphibians). “The beer industry has done more harm to our animal brethren than even factory farming.” The primary offender, according to Mr. Ivore, is Anheuser-Busch, which is responsible for the commercial exploitation of frogs, lizards, ferrets, and Clydesdale horses. “When will the madness stop?” he cried, tears staining his polyester clothing.

P.E.T.A. representatives could not be reached for comment, as their answering machine had filled up with repeated calls from concerned citizens advising them to move out of their parents’ basements and try working for a living.

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