Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chicago prosthetic provider accused of selling haunted limbs


Every midnight, Chicago resident Yolanda Z. Branson wakes up to creaking sounds and moans in her apartment.  Sometimes her central air system will turn on at the same time.  If she listens closely, she can barely hear the same words.  “Stop using my prosthetic leg!”

“I’m not crazy!”  Exclaims Branson.  “My used leg really is haunted!”

Sometimes, she claims, the ghost will bite her stump.

“The doctor says they’re sores from an improperly fitted leg.  I know better!”

According to the Chicago Alliance of Mediums, Branson is one of dozens clients who have been given haunted artificial limbs by prosthetic provider Chicago Limbs R Us.

“Some times people have an emotional attachment to their artificial limbs.”  Said Jane Q Becker, spokesperson for CAM.  “When they die, their souls maintain a spiritual attachment to that limb.  That attachment can be so strong that a departed soul can use it to pierce the veil of death.”

According to Becker, CAM has warned local prosthetic providers of the dangers of giving used prosthetic devices to their clients.  Becker says that these devices have a one percent greater chance of being haunted than other medical devices.

“Most of the providers laugh in our face, then silently follow our advice.”

The notable exception, she says, is Chicago Limbs R Us.

“After our presentation, he said, ‘I’ll be happy to refer our clients to you if they feel we gave them a haunted device.’  Can you believe the nerve of that man!”

Larry Z. Rogers, owner of Chicago Limbs R Us admits he gives used limbs to some of his Medicare clients, but denies they’re haunted.

“There’s no such thing as ghosts!”  Exclaimed Rogers.

According to Rogers, Medicare is auditing billing for prosthetic devices as far back as 2009. If the doctor did not properly document the medical necessity of the device, the prosthetic provider will have to refund Medicare, even if the client is still using the device.  Rogers claims Medicare has not properly educated doctors on the proper filing of prosthetic claims, and expects prosthetic providers to educate doctors.

“Do you know how many doctors are in Chicago?”  Asked Rogers.  “Does Medicare seriously expect us to print out their letter from 2011 and force every doctor to read it?  Come on!”

Because of the audits, Rogers says Medicare clients are facing delays in getting new devices built.

“Our motto at Chicago Limbs R Us is, ‘When you’re ready for a new limb, we’ll have limb ready for you.’  I like to keep my word.”

Rogers says that while Medicare is approving a new device, Chicago Limbs R Us offers to sell them a cheaper used limb.

“It’s just to hold them over for the months it will take to get the government to approve a decent limb.  Hey.  It’s not perfect, but it can work for a while.”

CAM urges all owners of used prosthetic devices to visit their nearest psychic medium.  A CAM certified medium, according Becker, can either exorcise a ghost, or facilitate conflict resolution between the ghost and the current owner.

Rogers says he is doing his part to educate doctors on proper procedure to file a Medicare claim for a prosthetic limb.

“I’ve noticed that when a couple at risk youth accompany me to a doctor’s office, the doctor always finds the time to see me.  Plus they’re suddenly very good at listening to me.”

As for Branson, she hopes that her CAM counselor will help her get a good night’s rest.

“The host and I both want peace and quiet at night.  Maybe we can work something out.”

Also in The Babbler:

Bolingbrook Police question Easter Bunny
Satan addresses American Atheist convention
North Korean sub spotted in Lake Michigan
God to smite Bolingbrook on 4/3/13


Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Web Exclusive: Seattle cat defeats alien abductors


By Reporter X

Clow UFO Base officials confirmed that a Seattle house cat named Pixel subdued the crew of a craft, and diverted it to Bolingbrook, IL.

“That is one badass cat!”  Said one official, who asked not to be identified.

According to Clow officials, a Barnard’s Star vessel was performing illegal abductions in the Seattle area.  Joan, one of the abductees, described Pixel’s arrival.

“It felt like a really bad dream.”  Said Paula, who asked that we not use her last name.  “I couldn’t move but I could see my abductors.  Their lips didn’t move, but I understood what they were thinking.  One of them said they missed the target.  Another said something else is coming.  The first one screamed, its a cat!  Then there was a blinding flash of light.  This cat was in the middle of the room.  The aliens broke out in hives, and choked to death.  I guess they have really severe cat allergies.”

Steve, who also asked that his last name not be used, described Pixel’s entrance to the holding cells.

“My abductor was saying something about using a special probe on me.  Then it sniffed the air, screamed, and ran away.  A few seconds later, this cat jumped on my stomach.  I couldn’t move, but for some reason, I asked it to help.  To my surprise, she jumped on to a control panel, and started pacing on it.  She must have found the right commands because a few seconds later, the paralysis fields were shut off.  The cat freed us!”

After making improvised weapons, and thanking Pixel, the former abductees started searching the control room.  They followed Pixel as she cleared the corridors of alien crew members.

Several minutes later, aliens in armed suits approached the humans.  They started firing death rays at the revolting abductees.  Some of the humans tried to fight back, but they couldn’t even dent the aliens’ amor.  

According to eyewitnesses, as the humans fell back, Pixel ran under the legs of the first armored alien.  The second armored aliens shot a Pixel and missed.  Instead it blew a hole in the hull of the craft.  While the armored aliens were sucked out of the craft, Pixel clung to John X. Parker’s pants.

“Her claws were sharp, but I didn’t mind at the time.  After all she’s done for us, helping her survive was the least I could do.”

Seconds later, a force field sealed the breach, and the humans continued. 

When they reached what they believed to be the control room, the door was locked.  Eyewitnesses agree that Pixel climbed into the ventilation system.  About a minute later, they heard the pilots scream, but the door did not open.

Clow’s space traffic controllers say they received a transmission from Pixel.

“I kept hearing someone saying meow.”  Said Control Bob 45.  “At first I was concerned that it was a Kzin pilot threatening Earth.  Then I remembered that the Kzinti really are a fiction race.  When I managed to get the visual on, was surprised to see a real cat staring back it me.”

Clow officials then reached out to the skeptical community to find someone who could speak cat.

“We didn’t have time to sort out the real pet psychics from the fakes.” Said an anonymous source.

Eventually, they reached Carrie Poppy, a former employee of the James Randi Educational Foundation.  Sources say that Poppy initially refused, saying that she was finished dealing with president DJ Grothe’s “alien creeps.”

When connect with the video feed of Pixel inside the UFO, Poppy exclaimed, “Oh No!  Kitty is stranded in space!”  Poppy then pulled out her secret copy of the JREF Emergency Feline to English Translation Guide.  With Poppy translating the controller’s instructions, Pixel was able to activate the craft’s autopilot.  The craft then traveled to Clow UFO Base, and safely landed.

The Men in Blue arrested the aliens, and “processed” the abductees so they could be returned to Seattle.  Gates Interstellar Foundation officials confirmed Pixel’s identity, and sent a hypersonic plane to return her to Seattle.

Sources in Seattle claim Pixel was returned home before her owners noticed her missing.

When The Babbler tried to reach Pixel’s owners by Skype, Pixel answered.  She stared at the web cam, slowly blinked her eyes, then ran away.


Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Center for Inquiry’s feline fellows record public service announcement


Center for Inquiry’s three feline fellows, Anti-psychic Kitty, Andy, and Cassie, may be the first cats to have written and produced a public service announcement.  The video, produced by the Chicago based felines, is intended to clarify CFI’s Policy on Hostile Conduct/Harassment, and may be played before all public CFI events.

“I didn’t think the cats cared about such things.”  Said Phil, the cat’s caretaker and member of CFI Chicago.  “Yet, I woke up and saw all three of them on my bed.  Instead of a toy mouse, Andy had a DVD in his mouth.  I thought I heard sounds last night, but I figured it was Andy and Cassie running around.”

According to Phil, the cats, using a translation device, explained that they heard there were some humans didn’t fully understand the policy, and they wanted to help.  

“APK said this videos show that cats can do more than look cute on camera.  They can offer a valuable non-human prospective on issues. I mean wow.  This is diversity in action!”

Although The Babbler could not obtain a copy of the video, Phil did provide a transcript.

***

(Anti-psychic Kitty sits on a table in front of a psychic.  The psychic staring at Zener cards.)

Psychic: I give up.  There is too much anti-psychic energy in this room.

(The psychic leaves.  APK starts contently purring.  Behind him, Andy lifts his head from under the table and places his front paws onto the table.  He intently stares at his unsuspecting target.)

Andy: When the psychics go away.  The cats will play.

(Andy charges at APK.  The two start wrestling.)

APK: No!  Stop!  I don’t like this!  Get off me!”

Andy: Why?  This is fun!

(Cassie jumps onto the table.)

Cassie: Andy!  Stop that right now!

(Andy stops.  APK runs off.)

Cassie: You can’t do that!  This is a CFI affiliated event.  

Andy: We just had a difference of opinion.  I was having fun, and he wasn’t.  It’s no big deal.

Cassie: Andy!  You were pouncing on APK.  That’s interfering with his ability to enjoy this CFI affiliated event.  That is in violation of the policy on Hostile Conduct and Harassment.

Andy: But I didn’t intend to harass APK.  Therefore it was not harassment, and not covered by the policy!

Cassie: Andy!  It doesn’t matter what you intended.  You engaged in a behavior that APK did not like, and you persisted.  That is harassment, and is covered by the policy.

(Andy drags an iPad over towards Cassie and paws at it.)

Andy: The Internet says I am a certified Online Reputation Specialist.  That means I can do anything I want, including dramatic readings of people’s Facebook posts. So my profession grants me immunity from the harassment policy.

Cassie: All attendees, regardless of profession or certification, are covered by the policy. The policy even supplements the harassment policy for all CFI employees.  No one attending a CFI affiliated event is immune.

(Andy paws at the iPad.  He tilts is head, then looks up at Cassie.)

Andy: Um, you can’t tell me what to do because of Freeze Peach?

(Cassie sternly walks towards Andy.  She stops when their noses almost touch.)

Cassie: CFI’s affiliates support the exchange of ideas. However, when someone is silenced, or driven away, due to harassment, intimidation, or general hostility, that is a form of censorship.  Harassment is not free speech, and what you did was harassment!

(Andy bows his head in shame.)

Andy: I guess I will now be exiled from the secular movement forever because of this one act.  

Cassie: No Andy.  While I do have the option to remove you from this event, I think the appropriate remedial action for you to apologize.

(APK jumps back on table.)

Andy: I’m sorry I pounced on you during a CFI affiliated event.

APK: Don’t do it again.

Andy: I guess you can’t have fun at a CFI affiliated event.

Cassie: Of course you can.  You said you always wanted to give a physics demonstration using your toy mouse.  Why don’t you show it to the audience?

(Andy walks over to his toy mouse.)

Andy: An object at rest stays a rest.  When I move an object.  (Andy swipes at the mouse.)  I KEEP IT IN MOTION!

(Andy chases the mouse off camera.  Cassie looks into the camera.)

Cassie: If you have any questions, or wish to report an incident of hostile conduct or harassment, please speak to any event coordinators and they will work to quickly resolve the issue.  We hope you will find the event to be a rewarding experience.  Just remember these three undeniable truths.  I’m so pretty.

APK: IMSOCUTE!

(Cut to Andy by the food and water bowls.  He’s holding the toy mouse in his mouth.  Andy drops the mouse into his water dish, then faces the camera.)

Andy:  IMSOPLAYFUL!

***

A spokesperson for CFI Washington, DC sent the following e-mail.

We are impressed with our feline fellow’s effort.  Our canine fellows will be recording their own video in response.

No other CFI officials would comment.

Phil believes the video could be shown at the opening of the Women in Secularism conference in May.

“The president of CFI might want to make some changes, but I’m certain that someday this video will be shown before every CFI event.”

CFI is a think-tank with a mission to “foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.”  It has 39 chapters around the world.  Affiliated groups include the Committee for Scientific InquiryCouncil for Secular Humanism, and the Institute for the Secularization of Islamic Society.

Some people say that CSI works with The New World Order to cover up the existence of space aliens.  They also say that CSI represents Earth’s skeptical movement to the Interstellar Alliance for the Advancement of Science.

Also in The Babbler:

Sources: Mayor Claar dares IBGA’s Andy Shaw to run against him
Rahm: Make me mayor for life or else Chicago will only have one public school!
Earth narrowly avoids destruction as neighboring universe collides with ours
God to smite Bolingbrook on 3/30/13


Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Amanda Palmer and Dennis Rodman denied access to Clow UFO Base

Photo by Walter Huang.

By Reporter X

Former Bulls player Dennis Rodman and alternative musician Amanda Palmer attempted to enter Clow UFO base, but were stopped by Clow Airport security.

Various sources agree that Palmer and Rodman arrived in limousine and walked to the front desk. Rodman then said, “Pookie” to the receptionist.  When the receptionist looked confused, he repeated the word.

Said one Clow employee, “I guess he was trying use an old password to get into the (UFO Base).  Except he was at the wrong checkpoint.  He was just talking to the airport staff.  They are unaware of the UFOs housed here.”

After several minutes of repeating the word, four security guards approached the pair.  Rodman explained that they needed to speak with the ambassador of the Martian Colonies.

Explained Rodman, “You see, I’ve been reading The Babbler.  They’re saying that the colonists are going to divert a comet to crash into Mars.  The impact will destroy all the rovers and all the satellites we’ve sent there.  That’s not really cool.  That’s bad.  So I’m here to do something.  You see, I used to party with the Martians back in the 90s.  I was down with them.  So down, they helped improve my sense of fashion.  They used to throw great parties here.”

A security guard disagreed.  “As I recall, you’ve only been here once.  You stumbled out of a private plane and somehow made it to the lobby.  While you waited for a Bulls employee to pick you up, you picked up a copy of The Babbler, and started telling everyone its the truth.  We told you no one believes The Babbler.”  

“Do I look like a nobody?”  Countered Rodman.  “Anyway, since my visit to North Korea, I realized that diplomacy is my new calling.  So I’m here to use my connections and skills to bring peace between Earth and the Colonies.”

“Um, you’re going to talk the Martians into peace with Earth?”

“Not the Martians.  The Colonists.  There’s a big difference.  Actually, all I’m doing is opening the door.  My friend Amanda will do the real talking.  Have you seen her TED talk?”

Palmer spoke up.  “We’re so afraid of what The Colonists going to say to us, that we don’t ask them for things.  My career is based upon asking people for things, so I’m not afraid to ask The Colonists for anything.  I’m going to ask them not to destroy our rovers and satellites.  Then I’m going to ask them to let me perform for them.  Then I’m going to ask them to abduct blogger Smashly and bring her to my concert.  That will teach her to criticize my TED talk!  Then I’m going to ask everyone at the concert to give me money!”

One of the guards laughed.  He explained that Clow has had to deal with many “Babbler tourists,” but she was the craziest he’d ever met.

“I’ll show you how easy it is for people to give you money, if you’ll only make it easy for them to do it!”

Palmer then walked to Meijer, pulled a milk crate out of her backpack, then stood on it.  She intensely stared at customers as they entered and left Meijer.

Ten minutes later, Bolingbrook police officers approached her and asked to see her solicitation license.  She explained that she was building an emotional connection with the residents of Bolingbrook so they would feel free to give her money.  When told that she was on private property and needed to leave, she noted that she never had an empty tip jar in her life, and was not going to leave until someone freely donated.

She added, “If you arrest me, I am entitled to one tweet!  My legion of fans will decend upon Bolingbrook with free lawyers to defend my First Amendment right to finically connect with my fans!”

A few minutes later, Mayor Roger Claar approached Palmer.  

“Amanda F. Palmer!”  He exclaimed.  “It is good to see connecting with so many residents in my village.  Your “Bed Song” makes some of my young friends cry.”

Palmer smiled.

“Let me give you a reasonable donation.  Now why don’t you go home and be with your husband.”

Claar placed a wad of cash into her tip jar.  Palmer stepped off the milk crate and collected the money.

She said, “My husband can always catch up with me.  This is enough money to get me to Chicago.  When I get there, I can ask my fans to give me crash space, a stage, and musicians willing to perform for free.  If this ninja show goes well, maybe I’ll let the audience sign my naked body!”

After Palmer left, Claar placed a phone call.

Neil?  I took care of it.  Just remember to pay me back in two weeks, and I won’t charge you interest.”

The Department of Interstellar Affairs released the following statement:
Dennis Rodman is currently barred for life from Clow for matters we cannot disclose at the time. Amanda Palmer is not banned from Clow, but simply lacks the clearance necessary to gain access.  If the New World Order or an extraterrestrial government wishes to sponsor her, we will reconsider her status.

Palmer and Rodman could not be reached for comment.

Also in The Babbler:

Leprechauns and Chicago rappers celebrate musical collaboration
Editorial: Believers ignore the skeptical civil war at their own risk
Soviets to end snow attacks against Bolingbrook
God to smite Bolingbrook on 3/20/13


Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

New World Order rejects merger of Bolingbrook’s Departments of Interstellar Affairs and Paranormal Affairs



By Reporter X
Bolingbrook residents will not have to file complaints about ghosts with the same department that manages Bolingbrook’s extraterrestrial population.

“The paranormal and aliens are two different fields of study.”  Said New World Order liaison Jeff Wagg in rejecting Mayor Roger Claar’s application.  “They are related only by virtue of both being suppressed by approved science.  To expect one department to handle both is like expecting a merger between the Department of the Interior and The Department of Commerce to work because they both deal with domestic policies.”

Wagg continued that Earth’s admission to the Interstellar Community requires global acceptance of scientific skepticism and having a department that also manages “paranormal” activity would be seen as counterproductive.

Claar, in his application, claimed that the merger was necessary to save money and allow for a more efficiency in Bolingbrook’s Black Ops Budget.

Anonymous sources within both departments praised Wagg’s decision.

“I hate the Department of Paranormal Affairs.”  Said one source within The Department of Interstellar Affairs.  “Just the other day I pointed out the flaws in the Bigfoot DNA study to one of their employees.  She replied that science doesn’t know everything.  I said it knows enough to recognize a bogus study!”

John, from the Department of Paranormal Affairs, said, “All the aliens I’ve met, even the religious ones, embrace science based skepticism.  As we like to say in the department, there are other ways of knowing you’re right, besides science.”

Other anonymous sources say the NWO’s rejection of Claar’s application was due to a long standing dispute between the NWO and the Illuminati.  The NWO’s fully embraces science, while the Illuminati have been accused of using secret rituals, and using magic spells to influence global events.

Illuminati officials could not be reached for comment.

Source within Village Hall says that Claar and the NWO are working on an agreement to bring more air traffic to Clow Airport.  The increased revenue would allow Bolingbrook to keep both the Departments of Interstellar Affairs and Paranormal Affairs separate.

When The Babbler tried to reach Claar, his receptionist said he was in the middle of a human resources discussion and could not be disturbed.  

In the background, a man who sounded like Claar said, “Just let your deputy chief handle the firefighting.  All you have to do is worry about their budget.  Oh, and make sure no one is recording ‘Harlem Shake’ videos in the fire stations.”

Also in The Babbler:

Weredogs remember local dog slain by coyote 
DePaul students brainwashed by “Real World Atheism” panel
Claar: I am not getting advice from the ghost of Bob Bailey!  
God to smite Bolingbrook on 3/14/13


Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Chicago Skeptics shock the world by hosting largest Skepticamp ever!


The Chicago Skeptics shocked both the paranormal and skeptical communities by hosting the largest Skepticamp in history.  

Said one source within Chicago Skeptics, “I went to bed thinking this was going to be a disaster, and then I woke up to find out we had filled up all the available spaces.”

Skepticamps are local skeptical conventions that are organized by volunteers.  Admission is free, though all participants were encouraged to donate either their time or money towards the event.  Still, no other Skepticamp had come close to Chicago's 199 registered participants.

Dawn, president of the Chicago Paranormal and UFO Society, accused Chicago Skeptics using “mind control technology” to increase audience attendance.

“Some members of Chicago Skeptics have ties to international skeptical organizations, and those organizations have ties to government black ops departments.”  Said Dawn.  “Could it be possible that the Chicago Skeptics used their technology to lure innocent people into their reeducation camp?”

Chicago Skeptics member Jennifer, who asked that we not use her last name, denied the accusation.  

“This is the result of hard work by our committee members!  People came because they wanted to hear talks on statistics, science education, skeptical Biblical studies, and martial arts demonstrations!  As well as other topics.  We didn’t need to force anyone to attend.  People came here because they wanted to see an awesome Skepticamp put on by awesome people!”

Reed Esau, the founder of Skepticamp, could not be reached for comment.

In other Chicago Skepticamp News: