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Mars Rover Beginning To Hate Mars

Onion Science Thursday

October 26, 2006
Copyright © 2006 Onion, Inc.

additional category: Science Fiction

“The orbiting Mars Odyssey has cut off transmissions from Spirit, which seems to envy the craft’s ability to fly freely around in space,” Banerdt said. “Similarly, data suggests Spirit is convinced that [sister rover] Opportunity has found water and isn’t telling anyone.”

Despite these malfunctions, mission leaders remain optimistic that the rover will eventually return to full working order.

“Hopefully these malfunctions will straighten themselves out,” Callas said. “In the meantime, we’ll simply have to try to glean what usable data we can from ‘OVERPRICED SPACE-ROOMBA AWAITING MORE BULLSHIT ORDERS.’ ”



text checked (see note) Dec 2006

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Author To Use Water As Metaphor

The Onion Volume 43 Issue 24, June 14, 2007
Copyright © 2007 Onion, Inc.

CHAPEL HILL, NC—Novelist, playwright, and poet H. Gregor Lafferty, 41, announced Monday his plan to use water as a metaphor in an upcoming and as-yet-untitled work.

“Water,” said Lafferty, pausing for effect and gazing off into the middle distance. “It could have any number of profoundly resonant meanings: the flow of time, a lover’s secret, death, birth, an archetypal coming-of-age experience, or even a spiritual cleansing. Really, the possibilities are endless...as endless as the eternal yet ever-changing sea.”



The Sea

text checked (see note) Jun 2007

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Clinton Blasts Obama For Slamming Edwards Jab

The Onion Volume 43 Issue 37, September 13, 2007
Copyright © 2007 Onion, Inc.

WASHINGTON, DC—Dissent continued to plague the 2008 presidential campaign this week, as Sen. Hillary Clinton had harsh words for Sen. Barack Obama’s recent criticism of blunt remarks made by former Sen. John Edwards over what he called “petty Democratic-party infighting.”

“I am dismayed and outraged by my opponent’s baseless accusations in response to my other opponent’s crude mudslinging tactics, which were inappropriate and which the American people will not stand for,” Clinton said, echoing the criticism of criticism that has become a key element of the race. [...]

Campaign observers speculate that Clinton’s comments could provoke a strongly worded response.



text checked (see note) Sep 2007

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It Only Tuesday

The Onion Volume 43 Issue 42, October 18, 2007
Copyright © 2007 Onion, Inc.

WASHINGTON, DC—After running a thousand errands, working hours of overtime, and being stuck in seemingly endless gridlock traffic commuting to and from their jobs, millions of Americans were disheartened to learn that it was, in fact, only Tuesday.

“Tuesday?” San Diego resident Doris Wagner said. “How in the hell is it still Tuesday?”

Tuesday’s arrival stunned a nation still recovering from the nightmarish slog that was Monday, leaving some to wonder if the week was ever going to end [...]

text checked (see note) Oct 2007

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Proposed Bill Would Bring 4,000 Troops Back To Life

The Onion Volume 43 Issue 47, November 22, 2007
Copyright © 2007 Onion, Inc.

Scheduled to be put to a vote in December, the bill has endured numerous setbacks, including fierce debate over which soldier should be brought back to life first, a core of Republicans who say they will only vote yes on the condition that the reanimated troops are immediately redeployed to Iraq, and Sen. Ted Stevens’ (R-AK) multiple attempts to tack a rider onto the bill that would bring back his dead wife.

Though the bill is expected to pass the House, some Senators claim suddenly bringing back thousands of deceased Americans might send the wrong message to America’s enemies.

“The tide in Iraq is turning,” Sen. Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT) said. “American men and women dying in droves has worked thus far—it is not time to abandon this strategy.”

text checked (see note) Nov 2007

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Education Crisis
Underfunded Schools Forced to Cut Past Tense From Language Programs

The Onion Volume 43 Issue 48, November 29, 2007
Copyright © 2007 Onion, Inc.

WASHINGTON—Faced with ongoing budget crises, underfunded schools nationwide are increasingly left with no option but to cut the past tense—a grammatical construction traditionally used to relate all actions, and states that have transpired at an earlier point in time—from their standard English and language arts programs.



[...] a number of lawmakers, such as Utah’s Sen. Orrin Hatch, have welcomed the cuts as proof that the American school system is taking a more forward-thinking approach to education and the dimension of time.

“Our tax dollars should be spent preparing our children for the future, not for what has already happened,” Hatch said at a recent press conference. “It’s about time we stopped wasting everyone’s time with who ‘did’ what or ‘went’ where. The past tense is, by definition, outdated.”

Said Hatch, “I can’t even remember the last time I had to use it.”

“At first I think the decision to drop the past tense from class is ridiculous, and I feel very upset by it,” said David Keller, a seventh-grade student at Hampstead School in Fort Meyers, FL. “But now, it’s almost like it never happens.”

text checked (see note) Dec 2007

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Idiom Shortage Leaves Nation All Sewed Up In Horse Pies

The Onion Volume 44 Issue 09, February 28, 2008
Copyright © 2008 Onion, Inc.

WASHINGTON—A crippling idiom shortage that has left millions of Americans struggling to express themselves spread like tugboat hens throughout the U.S. mainland Tuesday in an unparalleled lingual crisis that now has the entire country six winks short of an icicle.

[...] In what many are calling a cast-iron piano tune unlike any on record, idiomatic expression has been devastated nationwide.

“This is an absolute oyster carnival,” said Harvard University linguistics professor Dr. Howard Albright [...]



text checked (see note) Mar 2008

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Southwest Airlines Now Taking Passengers To Destinations By Shuttle Bus

The Onion Volume 44 Issue 16, April 17, 2008
Copyright © 2008 Onion, Inc.

“With these amazing new buses, traveling from New York to Los Angeles takes as little as three days. That’s less than half the time it took passengers to get there on our old planes.”

[...] In addition, cushioned plastic seats and easy-to-hold metal poles will present passengers with a level of comfort never before experienced on Southwest flights.


Air travel

text checked (see note) Apr 2008

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Peregrine Falcon Acting Pretty Cocky Since Being Taken Off Endangered Species List

The Onion Volume 44 Issue 45, November 6, 2008
Copyright © 2008 Onion, Inc.

additional category: Raptors

Moved by the peregrine falcon’s arrogant resurgence, thousands of angered wildlife advocates have been working day and night to put the flourishing species back on the endangered list. [...]

“Time is running out,” said World Wildlife Fund director Margaret Weiss, standing before a photo of the bird, which she then spit on and angrily tore apart. “Every minute we waste is another minute the peregrine falcon thinks it’s better than us!”

text checked (see note) Nov 2008

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Typo In Proposition 8 Defines Marriage As Between ‘One Man and One Wolfman’

The Onion Volume 44 Issue 51, December 18, 2008
Copyright © 2008 Onion, Inc.

SACRAMENTO, CA—Activists on both sides of the gay marriage debate were shocked this November, when a typographical error in California’s Proposition 8 changed the state constitution to restrict marriage to a union between “one man and one wolfman,” instantly nullifying every marriage except those comprised of an adult male and his lycanthrope partner. “The people of California made their voices heard today, and reaffirmed our age-old belief that the only union sanctioned in God’s eyes is the union between a man and another man possessed by an ungodly lupine curse,” state Sen. Tim McClintock said at a hastily organized rally celebrating passage of the new law. But opponents, including Bakersfield resident Patricia Millard—who is now legally banned from marrying her boyfriend, a human, non-wolfman male—claim it infringes on their civil liberties. “I love James just as much as a wolfman loves his husband,” Millard said.


Same-sex marriage


text checked (see note) Dec 2008

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Right To Privacy Not Guaranteed By Constitution, Says Supreme Court Justice Peeking In Bathroom Window

The Onion Volume 45 Issue 12, March 19, 2009
Copyright © 2009 Onion, Inc.

“After careful consideration, it is this justice’s finding that there is no specific mention of the right to privacy in any of the 27 amendments,” Alito whispered, before furtively looking around and then jimmying Daltry’s bathroom window ajar with a penknife. “A rigorous originalist interpretation of the pertinent statutory language has yielded the conclusion that privacy is not now, nor has it ever been, a federally protected liberty.”

“Although modern tort law indicates four categories of privacy invasion, these amount to little more than a vague suggestion of the ‘right to be left alone,’ ” Alito added, crawling through the narrow opening [...]



text checked (see note) Mar 2009

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Poll: 1 in 5 Americans Believe Obama Is A Cactus

The Onion Volume 46 Issue 38, September 23, 2010
Copyright © 2010 Onion, Inc.

While these Americans concede Obama may not specifically be a cactus, most believe he is a plant of some kind, with 18 percent saying the president is a ficus, 37 percent believing him to be a grain such as wheat or millet, and 12 percent convinced he is an old-growth forest in Northern California.

text checked (see note) Sep 2010

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Congress Sets Sail In Search Of Fabled Sword Of Bipartisanship

The Onion Volume 46 Issue 41, October 14, 2010
Copyright © 2010 Onion, Inc.

Tales sung by bards since time immemorial describe the Sword as a master blade forged at Lexington and Concord, broken during the Civil War, reforged by Abraham Lincoln, wielded by the imp Joe McCarthy until he was driven mad, used briefly at a Cleveland City Council meeting during a unanimous vote on a zoning variance, and then lost somewhere in the misty murk of Indochina.

“Those who seek the Sword of Bipartisanship must confront not only the terrors that dwell in the vasty deep, but those within their very hearts.”

“If that fails, the least they could do is sit down like grown-ups, have an open exchange of ideas, identify shared values, hold good-faith negotiations in which both sides make concessions, reach an agreement that a majority of them believes will advance the common good, and then vote on a goddam bill,” he added.

text checked (see note) Oct 2010

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Gap Between Rich And Poor Named 8th Wonder Of The World

The Onion Volume 47 Issue 04, January 27, 2011
Copyright © 2011 Onion, Inc.

“The original Seven Wonders of the World pale in comparison to this,” said World Heritage Committee member Edwin MacAllister, standing in front of a striking photograph of the Gap Between Rich and Poor taken from above Mexico City. “It is an astounding feat of human engineering that eclipses the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Giza, and perhaps even the Great Racial Divide.”

According to anthropologists, untold millions of slaves and serfs toiled their whole lives to complete the gap. Records indicate the work likely began around 10,000 years ago, when the world’s first landed elites convinced their subjects that construction of such a monument was the will of a divine authority, a belief still widely held today.



While numerous individuals have tried to cross the Gap Between Rich and Poor, evidence suggests that only a small fraction have ever succeeded and many have died in the attempt.

Its official recognition as the Eighth Wonder of the World marks the culmination of a dramatic turnaround from just 50 years ago, when popular movements called for the gap’s closure. However, due to a small group of dedicated politicians and industry leaders, vigorous preservation efforts were begun around 1980 to restore—and greatly expand—the age-old structure.



text checked (see note) Feb 2011

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