Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Exclusive: Hanukkah Harry returns to Chicagoland


Hanukkah Harry, the so-called “Jewish Santa,” visited Chicagoland’s synagogues shortly before starting his eight night global trek.

“Shabbat Shalom Chicagoland!” Exclaimed Harry to a small crowd gathered at Congregation Beth Shalom of Naperville.  “It’s great to be back.”

Last year, Harry visited Chicagoland to reassure children following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.  This year, he returned to celebrate Hanukkah occurring on the same week as Thanksgiving.

“This won’t happen again for another 80,000 years!”  Said Harry.  “So I figured I’d celebrate that with more public appearances in my third favorite city.  Ha!  I’m just kidding.  I love all of you.”

Some experts claim that on each night of Hanukkah, Harry delivers small gifts to Jewish children, with permission of their parents.  Harry confirmed this, but added that a lot has changed since his last visit to Chicago.

“NBC tried to sue me.”  Said Harry.  “They had the nerve to say that because Saturday Night Live did a sketch about me, that they own me.  Me!  I’ve been around for over 2000 years, and they want to own my likeness and my gifts to the children of the book?”  Harry then said some words in Hebrew that this reporter couldn’t understand.

Since NBC dropped the lawsuit, Harry decided to focus more on the traditional story of Hanukkah.

Speaking to audience at Temple Sholom, Harry explained, “Gifts are fine, but let’s not forget that we’re celebrating a miracle.  The miracle of a flame burring for eight days with only one day fuel.  I want to make sure that I’m spreading the joy and wonder of that miracle and teach our children to appreciate it as well.

All of his stops included organizing games for the visiting children, and handing out prizes.  He also spoke with with their parents to schedule visits on Hanukkah.

Harry even visited the controversial Jewish humanist congregation, Kol Hadash.  There, he allowed the children to examine his cart and answered their questions about how he travels around the world in eight days and visits all Jewish families.

“I know some people don’t like Kol Hadash because many of their members don’t believe in God.”  Said Harry.  “They do believe in Jewish culture, and I can support that.  I hope others will too.”

Unfortunately, not all of Harry’s visits went smoothly. Most Orthodox congregations refused to admit Harry. Anshe Sholom Bnai Israel required harry to show his family tree, and prove that his mother was of Jewish decent before they would let him meet their children.

“What?”  Complained Harry.  “You’ve never heard of a Jewish elf before? Oy Vey!  I don’t have this much trouble when I visit Jewish families in Iran.”

A spokesperson for Anshe Sholom Bnai said they only wanted to confirm Harry’s identity in order to protect their children.

At all the gatherings, many children seemed excited to see Harry.

“Harry is awesome!”  Said Phil, whose parents refused to let him say his last name or his age.  “Santa only visits one night a year, and you’re not supposed to see him.  That’s kind of creepy.  Harry knocks on the door, and is welcomed by my parents.  That’s better!”

Phil’s father added, “Unlike Santa Claus, Harry is real.  So I’ll never have to lie to my children, unlike some gentile parents I know.”


After his final visit, Harry climbed into his cart pulled by three flying donkeys, and flew away.  Just before he faded from sight, the children heard him cry, “On Moische, Herschel and Schlomo!  Children, remember my words with all your might.  May all your candles burn long and bright, on each and every Hanukkah night!”

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

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Web Exclusive: A Babbler Thanksgiving




With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it's time to post a classic video by our own columnist Dale Onofrey.  Back in 2010, he just asked some questions about the pilgrims.  Today we're still waiting for the answers.

While we're waiting, we hope you enjoy this video and have a very happy Thanksgiving with your family and loved ones.

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

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Exclusive: Sylvia Browne slams critics from beyond the grave

The Babbler is proud to be the first media outlet to interview Sylvia Browne following her death on November 20, 2013.  Our interview, Browne responds to the so-called ‘skeptics’ who attacked her reputation following her death, and her plans for the next several hundred years.  The full interview is only available in this weeks’ print edition of The Babbler.  The following is an excerpt.

Babbler psychic Jade Hawk:  I call out to the great spirit of Sylvia Browne!

Sounds of hacking and coughing fill the room.

Hawk:  Sylvia!

Browne:  Wait a minute!  You actually heard that?

Hawk:  Yes I did.  You still don’t sound well.

Browne:  Well I just passed over.  It takes awhile to get better, but I’m working on it.  Boy you are good.  But it takes more than good hearing to be a superior psychic like me.

Hawk:  I will keep working on my talent.  So, do you have a special message for the public.

Browne:  I’ve heard nothing but good things from the public.  Thank you.  Your memories of me are what sustain me in next world.

Hawk:  I see.  So you haven’t heard any of the cruel words from your critics.

Browne:  I might have heard them, but they’re not talking about me in public.  Only privately.

Hawk:  Actually, they’ve been quite open.  For example, they like to point out that you predicted that you would die at age 88.  Instead you died at 77, and were planning on going on tour in 2014.  How do you respond?

Browne:  James Randi stole 10 years of my life using his anti-psychic powers.  Who knows how many more years he would have stolen if I had taken his million dollar challenge?

Hawk:  Wow.  Strong words.  How do you respond when skeptics point out your failed predictions?

Browne:  Only God is perfect.

Hawk:  Do you still regret your incorrect vision that Amanda Berry was dead, when she was really alive?

Browne:  Of course, but her cell was very dark, and so I confused it with the afterlife.  It was an honest mistake.  Again, only God is perfect.

Hawk:  Can’t argue with that.  So what are you doing now that you have passed over?

Browne:  I want to help others resolve their issues so they can pass on and rest in peace.  I’d like to do that for as long as I can before I move on to my next life.

Hawk:  That’s very nice of you.  How do you help them?

Browne:  I still have my powers. For a nominal amount of their essence, I tell me clients what their living relatives are up to?

Hawk: Essence?  You mean your fellow ghosts give you part of their existence in exchange for a reading.

Browne:  Honey, it’s not like there’s money here, and I’d like to exist for as long as possible.  I provide a service, and this is the only way they can pay me.

Hawk:  How much do you charge?

Browne:  Seven hundred years of essence for a thirty minute reading.

Hawk:  You charge 700 years from your clients?

Browne:  I’m a top talent.  Don’t you charge money for your readings?

Hawk:  I work on a salary.  I would never exploit my clients!

Browne:  I’m looking at your mother right now.  She loves you, but wants you to use your talent to better support yourself.

Hawk:  My mother is dead!

Browne:  From my prospective, she looks alive to me.  You might want to look into that.  Of course, only God is perfect.

Hawk:  OK.

Browne:  If it’s really upsetting to you, then tell my family, friends and fans that there are ways they can help me gain essence.  They can buy my books or subscribe to my web page.  It’ll be announced later, but if you pay the low price of $49.95 a year, I’ll send you a personalized reading on your birthday!  That’s not all!  You can also buy my juicer, which can be used to help prepare foods that you believe are part of an anti-cancer regimen.  My family will also be announcing a new line of e-cigarettes with likeness on the cover.  Not only you be keeping my memory alive, you’ll also get to enjoy the pleasures of smoking without the risks of sounding like me later in life.  Isn’t that great.  Oh, wait, there’s more.  You can also join my church and be part of an organization that could preserve my memory for centuries.

Hawk:  Um, wow.  I’m going to have to add to my list of questions.

Browne:  We’ll have to finish this later.  The angel Martin Gardner wants to talk to me.  Why can’t you and your dirty minded skeptics leave me alone?

Gardner:  Sylvia, accept the creator’s love and repent your wicked ways of woooo!

Also in The Babbler:

Skeptics deny mass shooting occurred at Skepticon
Reporters treated for boredom following Village Board meeting
Turkeys to picket both Bolingbrook Meijer stores

God to smite Bolingbrook on 11/28/13

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

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Skepticon 6 unleashes waves of tainted anti-psychic energy



Parapsychologists around the world reported record levels of anti-psychic energy tainted with social justice this weekend.  The suspected culprit is Skepticon 6, a controversial skeptical convention in Springfield, MO.

“I’ve never seen anything like this since the publication of ‘The God Delusion!’”  Said Paul Conners, unofficial parapsychologist for the University of Chicago.  “This tainted energy not only makes people disbelieve the paranormal, it also makes them aware of feminist privilege theory!  This could devastate the paranormal community!”

Dawn, a Bolingbrook based psychic, said she was in the middle of a psychic reading when the first wave hit.

“I was speaking with her recently deceased grandfather, when all of a sudden, I could barely hear him.  More so than normal.  So naturally I started asking my client questions so I could make sense of what her grandfather was saying.  Normally, my clients help me out, but she accused me of doing cold reading.  I was so stunned, I couldn’t say anything.  I thought she had just converted to a denier.  Then it got worse.  She accused me of exploiting those who could not afford grief counseling, and that society should do a better job of helping the poor deal with grief!”

The client stormed out and yelled that she was suddenly compelled to view the Atheism+ web page.

Paula, who asked that we not use her last name, was selling homeopathic pills when all the customers decided to cancel their purchases.  

“They accused me of selling sugar pills dipped in water spiked with undocumented herbs.”  Said Paula.  “When I tried to explain quantum physics to them, they said I was abusing the language of science to sell a fraud.”

After Paula gave them their money back, the customers said something unexpected.

“They accused the 1 percent of targeting the underprivileged with fake medicines while trying to hog all the good medicine for themselves.  It really got weird when they said that Obamacare wasn’t enough.  The US needed a single payer system.  Weird.  I’m hoping the next Bears game will snap them back to normal.”

Experts believe that the wave of energy started at Skepticon.  The experts, who spoke to The Babbler, say Skepticon’s combination of traditional skepticism with opinionated speakers like Monica R Miller, Amanda Marcotte, Debbie Goddard, and Greta Christina, unleashed the tainted energy around the world.

Some eyewitnesses say that energy also affected skeptics as far away as Canada and England.

In London, witnesses report a man sitting at a bus stop around midnight with a laptop.  

“Any second now, they’re going to walk out on PZ!”  The man repeatedly said for several minutes.  Then he started saying, “they’re not applauding very loud!”  repeatedly for several minutes.

Before he passed out five minutes later, he started saying, “Rebecca is going to say something to make them mad!” 

In Ontario, a cafe owner described how one of his regular customers, who is a skeptic, acted more unusual than normal.

“Normally she’s always looking at her smart phone and saying something about Opheila.  I don’t know.  Maybe she was turned turned down for the part in Hamlet.  Anyway, today, when she looked up and her face turned bright red, I knew there was a problem, and it wasn’t the weather.”

The owner jumped over the counter, took the skeptic’s order, and escorted her to table in a remote corner of the cafe.  

“It was the darnedest thing.  She like took out her sketch book and started tweeting and drawing at the same time.  Every so often she would stop to take a picture of herself.  She was more focused than usual.”

While most of the regulars left her alone, a visiting truck driver walked by her table.  After looking at her drawings, he said she drew very good “anime.”

According to the owner, the skeptic glared at the driver and howled, “I don’t draw anime!  I am a mangaka!”

Said the owner, “She really started going off on him.  Called him as dumb as Rebecca Watson, whoever that is.  Then she started talking about her friend Ted, and that’s when I had to push the man away for his own safety.  I gave him a free meal and apologized.  That calmed him down, and she went back to her work.”

Skepticon is expected to end this Sunday.  Belief in God and the paranormal should return to normal by Tuesday, say many experts.

Skepticon organizers could not be reached for comment.

Also in The Babbler:

Bolingbrook braces for Soviet storm attack
Farmer ends turkey uprising
Mole people claim responsibility for suburban earthquake

God to smite Bolingbrook on 11/20/13

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

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Dr. Pamela Gay receives standing ovation at Clow UFO Base

File photo of Dr. Pamela Gay by BDEngler.
By Reporter X

SIUE astronomy Professor Dr. Pamela Gay received a standing ovation during her surprise appearance at Clow UFO Base’s Sagan Day Celebration.  It was her first appearance at the base since the 2010 Pamela Gay Riot, and her first covert appearance since she wrote a blog post detail the pushback she received following her TAM 2012 speech about the sexual harassment she’s experienced in the scientific and skeptical communities.

“We love you Dr. Gay!”  Shouted an anonymous Clow staff member.

Gay wiped away tears as stood at the podium.  “Thank you.”  She finally said.  “This has been a very difficult time for my husband and me.  So I am very surprised and thankful to see that I have supporters across the galaxy.  My husband will be too.”

Gay gave a short speech detailing her work to raise public awareness of science, include CosmoQuest, where the public can help astronomers analyze photographs.  She also mentioned her podcasting work at Astronomy Quest and 365 Days of Astronomy.  

“Carl believed strongly public science education.  I’m sure if he were here today he would be please with what is happening with social media, and be very happy to see Cosmos remade for the 21st century!”

After the aliens gave her a second sanding ovation, Skepchick Nichole, and David Z. Park of The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, approached Gay.

Nichole said, “As you now know, Skepchick and CSI represent the skeptical movement to the interstellar community.  We got together and I’m pleased to tell you that you are now a level 2 skeptic.  That means you are allowed to know the truth about aliens on Earth.  Plus you have regular access to Clow UFO Base.”

Park added, “Not only that, but we’ve made arrangements for you to take a summer field trip to a RR Lyrae star!”

Later, Loagos, a scientist from KOI-1686, apologized to Gay for participating in the 2010 riot against her.

“We were so focused on your religious beliefs, that we could not see the truly wicked people within Earth’s skeptical movement.  They do real harm to the cause of teaching critical thinking to humanity.  Please forgive me.”

Gay forgave the rioter.

Bolingbrook Mayor and Lead Administrator Roger Claar also addressed Gay and the crowd.

“Thank you for your speech today.  Also, on an unrelated note, I just got out of a meeting with the staff’s union representatives.  After a personal review of their complaints and of the visual evidence, I am announcing that Michael Shermer is banned from Clow UFO Base!”

The crowd gave Claar a standing ovation.

After the speech, Gay was escorted to a meeting with representatives of the New World Order to talk about securing covert funds for her science outreach programs.  She could not be reached for comment.

Also in The Babbler:

Republican stunned to get coverage from Illinois Healthcare Exchange
Study: Millions infected with Internet Memes
Claar denounces getting news from smart phones

God to smite Bolingbrook on 11/13/13

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

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Old Chicago Revisited: Emotion sucking vampires stalk Old Chicago (1978)




In 1978, Old Chicago was in trouble due to declining attendance.  Without anchor stores, residents had very little reason to shop there every week, and you could only go on the rides so many times.  As a result, the mall was closed every Monday and Tuesday, and owners succeeded in lowering the property value in order to lower their tax burden. Still, the number of customers kept falling. 

Reporter Que Pasa also found another horrifying reason why attendance was declining.  This was his last report he submitted to The Babbler.

By Reporter Que Pasa

I woke up at the ungodly hour of 11 AM.  Ever since I swore off coffee for herbs and stamps, I’ve been waking up earlier.  Before everything was a blur.  Now I could see that reality and dreams weren’t that different.

For breakfast, I decided to have a brownie and lick some stamps.  I hadn’t submitted an article since I was cured of Disco Fever.  Maybe today the doors of perception would open up for me, and I could get back to revealing the unbelievable truth about my sleepy suburb.  Sleep.  I could have used some, but instead I had to go to the bathroom.

When I opened the bathroom door, I saw before me a seven foot tall man with purple skin and a white mustache that was long enough to be a beard on most normal people.  

“Great!  You can see me.”  Said the man, who sounded elderly.

“Who are you?”  I asked.  That’s what you’re supposed to do.  At least that’s what the talking purple tree in Lisle told me a couple weeks ago.

“I’m Charlie Baffle, the Mayor of Old Chicago.”

“You’re a time traveler?”  I asked.  

“No!”  Laughed Baffle.  I heard his voice, but his mouth wasn’t moving.  Heck, his face wasn’t moving either.  He seemed to only be show emotions with his hands.

“I’m the mayor of the Old Chicago shopping mall and amusement park!”  Baffle continued.  “I need your help?”

For the first time, things weren’t making sense.  

“Why do you need my help?  I can’t think of anything I could help you with.”

Baffle made a laughing sound, but his face still seemed chiseled.  “You are a reporter from the Bolingbrook Babbler, right?”

“I guess.  I don’t know if they’ll still want me after my last article.”
“So you can help me!”  Said Baffle, waving his hands as if he was excited.  “Something is wrong in my mall!  I just know it dang nab it!”

Did he escape from an episode of “Little House on the Prairie?” I wondered.  No that didn’t make any sense.  Wait a minute!  Why was I trying to make sense of things.  The unbelievable truth doesn’t make sense!

“With your heightened senses, maybe you can figure out what is going on.”  Baffle suggested as he pointed at me with both hands.

“Well I could use some fresh tobacco.”  I replied.  What else could you get there that you would want to take home?

“That’s good.  I’ll look for your answer in the next issue of The Babbler.”  Baffle replied.  

Baffle then dove into the toilet and vanished down the pipe.  I shrugged then did my business.

After spraying deodorant, I hopped in my car and drove to Old Chicago.  Unlike last time, the road was fairly clear, and I made it to Old Chicago in record time.  Maybe it was red bunnies on the side of the road that made me want to drive faster?

The dome beckoned me to come back inside, and after easily finding a parking space, I did just that.

Don’t get me wrong, there were still people.  In fact, I knew they were real people because I could see their auras.  It’s amazing what the right kinds of stamps can do for you.  All the auras were bright and colorful.  Happy tourists, I guessed, who didn’t want to make the long drive to Great America.  So they settled for the mall!  Sales tax dollars for my sleepy village!  I guess.

I looked around.  Just the usual ghosts and auras.  Then I saw it.  A stream of energy flowing from one man’s aura.  I walked the fake streets of Old Chicago, past the Old Chicago Bear, and soon found myself in a head shop.  The energy flowed into one of the customers, a blonde haired woman with big hair and other big things I can’t mention.  She was looking at a “tobacco bong,” but I knew better!    Her aura was different.  As if it was a mix of different energies.  Like she had no aura of her own, but stole auras from others.

She turned and gave me a cold stare.  I couldn’t think of anything to say.

“You can see what I’m doing, can’t you?”  She asked, emotionless.  Either something was wrong, or she was really into Ayn Rand!

“Um yeah.”  I introduced myself.  “I’m with The Bolingbrook Babbler.”  I pulled out my notebook.  “I’d like to ask you a few questions.”

She pretended to smile.  “Yes, The Babbler!  I think it is such a groovy publication.  I would be happy to talk about my brood!”  

“Brood?”

“Yes.” She whispered.  “My brood feeds off the emotions of the bright ones.  This place is filled with tasty energy.  I wish I could personally thank the person who built this place.  The combination of shopping and fairground fills us with energy.”

“Wait a minute.”  I interjected.  “You’re draining emotions from customers?  If you keep doing that no one will feel the need to come here.  You’ll force this mall to close!”

“We’ll worry about that in the future!  Now we just take all we want!”

“Haven’t you heard of the environmental movement, man?”  I asked.  “They’re teaching us the importance of conservation.  We have to maintain balance in nature, otherwise we’ll ruin the planet.  Think of this as the Earth and you’re an evil oil company, sucking it dry!”

“How can a few of us destroy your precious mall?”

“Look around you!  It used to be full of people, but now it’s not.  You’re driving people away by draining their desire to come here.  You have to conserve the emotional energy if you want to sustain it!”

Suddenly, a horrible sound piped through the public address speakers.  I instantly recognized as a song by Donny and Marie.  I covered my ears.

The vampire’s  aura turned black.  The stream of energy vanished.  She scrammed as snot shot ouf of her nose.  The other customers looked at her funny.  Horrified and in pain, she covered her ears and ran out of the store.

I tried to walk out, but the deadly music still reached my ears.  I was horrified at the butchering of whatever song they were playing.

“Hey there!”

I turned and saw Bolingbrook Mayor Bob Bailey looking at me.  His aura was blindly bright.  I covered my eyes.

“Could you let your readers know that we’re taking care this vampire infestation?”  He asked.  “We can’t afford to lose any more customers because Bolingbrook needs the tax dollars.  Do you understand?”

“Yes I understand, just stop blinding me!”

Bailey chuckled.  “OK.  Take it easy and do a little shopping here.  Think of it as your civic duty to Bolingbrook.”

I turned away from Bailey and made my way back to the fake streets.  I wondered around for several countless minutes trying to find any more streams.  I guess the evil imitation music drove them out.  I never figured that emotional vampires could recognize bad music.  I longed for the days when music was good, and hoped no one would look back at present day music and feel any sense of nostalgia.

Somehow, I ended up at the Biergarten Restaurant.  The food smelled good, and I could hear the sounds from fairground coming from the windows.  Maybe if I got a good seat, I could look out at the amusement park and find any vampires still inside.

Suddenly, a waitress tripped, and plate of spaghetti flew into the air.  Time slowed down.  A pair of meatballs floated in front of the noodles.  Together they made a face.  Like a flying spaghetti head!  

It spoke to me.  “Purify yourself and I will touch you with my noodlely appendage!”   It said to me.  “Don’t fooled by the stamps and brownies.  I can show you the true path if you promise not to be an ass!  For you shall be rewarded with strippers in the next world!”

The spaghetti landed on the lap of a man with blond hair and a groovy mustache.  He moaned as he looked at the waitress.  

“Look what you’ve done!”  He yelled.  “I will have to travel to another city to buy new pants!  You just reminded me why Bolingbrook has a shopping gap.  If only someone from the village hall would ask my opinion, I could show them how to turn Bolingbrook around!”

The man kept yelling at the waitress, and I walked away.  I brushed into another man with an odd aurora and curly black hair.  He smiled and handed me a sheet of paper.

“You can call me Rosie.  Can you sign my petition so I can get the Pride party on the ballet?”

I signed it, but I couldn’t stop thinking about what that head of spaghetti said to me.  Maybe I still was on the wrong path, and I needed to give up more than coffee.  Maybe I needed to clear my head out so I could could be touched by its noodle.


This is my last article for The Babbler.  It’s been a trip, but I’ve got to figure out who called me, and what do they want with me.  Farewell!

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

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Old Chicago Revisited: Psychics protest Brian De Palma filming at Old Chicago (August, 1977)



From 1975 to 1980, the Old Chicago Mall was a major attraction in Bolingbrook.  It was the first to combine an indoor mall with an amusement park.  Though it has long since been torn down, many residents still have fond memories.  The Babbler also uncovered many stories surrounding Old Chicago, including this one:

Psychics from around the world, most in astral form, picketed in front of Old Chicago to protest the filming of Brian De Palma’s “The Fury.”

“Brian hates psychics!”  Said a protestor who asked to be called Moonfire.  “‘Carrie’ perpetuated negative stereotypes about the gifted.  Now he wants to bring his hate to Bolingbrook!  We won’t let him.  We have the largest number of astrally projected psychics ever gathered in one place!  We’ll send him a clear message!”

The protesters claim that De Palma’s new film will be about psychic killer going on a cross country killing rampage.  If the film is released, they fear it will lead to public mistrust of psychics, and calls to regulate psychic powers.

“I see a dark future for us if we let Brian’s evil vision go unchecked!”  Said psychic Paula.  “I can feel the sexist energy radiating from his movie set.  Gifted women will die because of him!”

Extras on the set, who asked not to be identified, denied that any staged mass slaughter took place in the amusement park.

“It was kind of boring.”  Said one extra.  “We just walked back and forth during each take.  Sometimes he’d yell at us for not being happy.  He was a pain to work with, but it will be worth it to be on the big screen for a few seconds.  I can tell my grandkids that I was a movie actor!”

A spokesperson for actress Amy Irving denied that the film was anti-psychic.

“This will have a more balanced presentation of psychics than ‘Carrie’ did.”  Said the spokesperson.  “I can’t give too many details, but I can tell you that we’ll be killing Arabs in this film instead of teenagers.  This, to me, is a major improvement!”

Bolingbrook police kept the protesters outside Old Chicago.  There were no arrests, which disappointed the officers present.

“I wish I could make these people disappear.” Said rookie officer Drew Peterson.  “How can they be this annoying and not be criminals?”

The protest abruptly ended when a loud crashing sound came from inside Old Chicago.  A psychic said they were under attack, and the protestors fled in panic.  Officers say the sound was from a scene in the movie, and no one was harmed.


After filming, DePalma refused to grant an interview, but did ask if this reporter would like to be a murder victim in his next movie.

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

Monday, November 4, 2013

Looking back and looking ahead: Bolingbrook Babbler web site turns 15

By Chris Olson, Publisher

Fifteen years ago this month, we started our web site by posting our first online story.  Now our web is old enough to get its learner’s permit.  

We’ve seen a lot of changes in those 15 years.  America elected its first African American president.  An opposition party rose up against Mayor Roger Claar, and only to fizzle out and have its leader exiled to Florida.  We saw our enemies, the skeptical movement, increase their numbers, only to succumb to a deep rift.  

Our blog has also been noticed by mentioned by various other sites, like The Bad Astronomer, Digital Cuttlefish, Bigfoot Buzz, Doubtful News, and Cryptomundo.  Some people on the Internet may not like us, but they cannot ignore us!

I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical when the idea of starting our own web page was brought to my attention.  Of course, we all know that skepticism leads its followers to intolerance and moral oblivion.  So I am glad I didn’t listen to the devil’s advocate.  Although we are the oldest publication in Bolingbrook, we cannot stagnate.  The web site helped us keep up as Bolingbrook grew and changed.

We are also looking forward to the future.  Next year, we hope to make a very special announcement.  I can’t release the details right now, but we hope it will introduce more people to The Babbler and please our current readers.  This project might deeply offend some skeptics, but why let that stop us?

There is also going to be another change.  In January, I will retire, and my daughter Jenna Olson, will take over.  She’s graduate of the University of Iowa where she majored in business and minored in journalism.  Jenna has worked in our advertising department for 2 years.  This means The Babbler will have been owned by the same family since 1965.

I’ve been the publisher since 1981, and I am proud to have guided The Babbler to where it is today.  The Babbler needed a change in 1981 to move forward, and today I think it needs another change.  It has been an honor to be your publisher, and I know that Jenna will keep delivering the unbelievable truth to the residents of Bolingbrook, and to our readers on the Internet.  Thank you for supporting us, and The Babbler will continue to support you.

As in the past, we’ll celebrate the site’s birthday by feature articles from our archive.  This year, we’ll reprint three articles about Old Chicago, the first mall with an indoor amusement park.  It was a fixture in Bolingbrook for five years, and this week, we’ll be showing you the stories that “they” didn’t want you to know about.

Also in The Babbler:

Transsexual aliens demand apology from DJ Grothe
Werewolves howl in protest of Illiana tollway
Four Bolingbrook residents injured by cursed couch

God to smite Bolingbrook on 11/8/13

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