An article from earlier this week in the Des Moines Register had this headline: Blizzard Conditions Hit Norwest Iowa.
Like my eyes to Cubs, Packers, or Blazers apparel and paraphernalia on my fellow man or woman, I snapped to attention at the almost-concatenation of the end of the second word and the beginning of the third, which would have produced the Captain Underpants humor-worthy headline of Blizzard Condition Shit Norwest Iowa, as in prior to a gastrointestinal event in a weather system, northwest Iowa as we know it did not exist.
I shared this spacing insight in a screenshot to my 14-year-old son and my brothers, both in their 20s, and we got good laughs as only males can. I still chuckle to myself when I see the chocolate frozen yogurt extruding from the machine. I can’t help it. It’s a frozen condition of my gender.
But I feel the need to go further, to reach beyond gender roles concerning toilet humor. If a weather system can have an excretory event and produce new land, this seems momentous and worthy of sharing with all humans, i.e., this calls for fake news.
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Farmers in northwest Iowa discovered they had brown thumbs today, and not because of their growing skills or lack thereof. A freak blizzard/tornado touched down on every hog, cattle, and fertilizer operation in the state. These powerful, dual-pronged storms sucked up feces with tornado power and blew it around with blizzard intensity. The result: a brown Christmas, and not of the Charlie Brown variety.
“Puts a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘brown and serve,’” said Vernon Welcher, manager for the Farmland hog-buying station in Grundy Center, IA.
“Takes mud bogging to a new level,” said Clancy Critters, self-proclaimed mud bogging champion, hillbilly, and crystal meth cook.
“I’m concerned about the animals’ welfare,” said Theresa Hartman, local veterinarian, “though I suppose, for the pigs, anyway, it’s probably the best way to go. They are flying, and we must believe,” she said, holding up a hand and shielding her eyes from the brilliant, coffee filtered light, casting her face in half shadow, and not totally obscuring a smile.
These takes on shades of airborne tree bark are novel, but they fail to reach the magnitude of the storms’ largest effect: terraforming.
Following the fecal patina, a new section of Iowa appeared as if conjured from a magic spell, one cast from the kicks of a karate master, a brown belt. Former northwest Iowa is now northeast. Per Dale Hodges, founder and managing partner of Hodges & Associates Surveyors, the storms terraformed new ground and expanded the state’s footprint by roughly 50 square miles, over the top of which “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown would have been proud to dance,” Bill said.
Since this new land is mostly manure mixed with a smidgen of soil, it is highly fertile. Early experiments (read: in the last few hours since the literal shit storm touched down) have produced amazing results. A dead branch from an oak tree grew into a 100’ monster in minutes, your writer observed. A bag of potpourri broke out, changed genus into tulips, filled 100 acres, and awarded itself the international tulip festival title.
The former title holder, Gretchen Kjarten, reached by phone, said she did not plan to fight this reassignment of title. “What would you have me do to compete?” She said. “Lift up my skirts, climb onto a broom, fly around in circles, and let loose?!”
The potential to spark tremendous growth is exciting and equally concerning. “We haven’t seen anyone coming out with corn stalks instead of legs,” said Polk County Sheriff Rodney Faulkner, “but we’re restricting access, nonetheless.” Faulkner is working with Bruno Guy, head of fertilizer research at CornChem, an Iowa agricultural chemical company. Guy said his team has observed no abnormal human growth, but your writer observed a chorus of researchers singing Jimmy Crack Corn.
Fears about superintelligence and who might access, develop, and control it, lead US Department of Agriculture Secretary Marsha L.L. Town to order a rolling brownout to the power grid in the area to discourage rubberneckers. “Better out than in,” she said. “We don’t want ‘shut your corn hole’ to lose its metaphorical status.”
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Sidenote of real news: I hear the Cleveland Browns are thinking of relocating.