Tag Archives: TM Scholtes

Christmas Song of the Week!

As the holiday season approaches, we at The Annual are dedicated to keeping you in Christmas spirit by highlighting a classic Christmas Tune every week. Here’s our first hit!

Christmas time. Christmas-time. Christmastime. A time of year when families come together, when people celebrate one another, when gifts are given to show that you care for someone other than yourself. What words could be used to describe it? Joyous. Happy. Wonderful. A Wonderful Christmastime.

One of the best Christmas songs – and subsequently, one of the most over-played Christmas songs – is “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney, and for good reason.

When you turn on the 24/7 Christmas radio station (97.1 Wash FM, for DC locals) each holiday season, what are you looking for? Perhaps, a reminder of good times past. Paul McCartney has certainly passed the height of his popularity, but Wonderful Christmastime reminds us of how good he used to be, and how good The Beatles used to be, and how their songs were really good so, so long ago, and their solo stuff was not and is not very good. Christmas is all about reminiscing, and this song drives that point home succinctly.

The song is very catchy and easy to remember. There are only 45 different words in the entire song, with the chorus repeated six times. SIX! If you aren’t having a Wonderful Christmastime by the time the song is over, put it on repeat, and turn up the volume; your bells will be jingled after the fourth or fifth repetition. Plus, it has that early 80’s synth-style beat, making you feel like you are about to watch a buddy-cop action movie. And the sleigh bells! A staple of all classic Christmas songs; if you don’t have the sleigh bells, you don’t have a hit! Give the people what they want, Paul does.

Christmastime is about family, and what says family more than children? The choir of children singing in Wonderful Christmastime invokes a feeling of togetherness. Do you hate family? Do you hate children? Do you hate other people being happy? Well then go celebrate Festivus you jerk! McCartney doesn’t even let them sing for very long; a total of 17 seconds if you count the “harmonizing” that is attempted. You can’t even listen to these kids long enough to hate them. Paul brings up the children later, saying they “practiced all year long,” and doesn’t let them sing again RIGHT AFTER THAT or in the rest of the song. I mean, those kids practiced all year long to sing the words “ding-dong” and “oooo” and you can’t let them have that? God, what kind of monster are you? You can’t spend 17 SECONDS of your precious Christmastime on these children who worked so hard to make you happy? That’s cold, man. That’s really cold…

Any who, while you are creating new memories with your friends and family this holiday season, or when giving gifts with loved ones and co-workers, or while sitting along in your studio apartment watching those rascally Home Alone robbers get all beat up and mangled by a child, try to remember what this time of year is all about – listening to the same 12 or 15 Christmas songs every time you get in the car or turn on your iTunes playlist. Make sure Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney is one of those non-stop repeating titles, because it isn’t Christmastime unless it is Wonderful.

Unless you hate kids. You jerk.

“Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney – probably playing right now on 97.1 Wash FM, DC’s only station for non-stop Christmas music.

TM Scholtes

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Man Stuck At Urinal for 30 Minutes due to Shyness

(FREDERICK, MD) – A local man was forced to awkwardly stand at a urinal today for 27 minutes due to his shyness of peeing in front of others. On Friday, Kurt Morrison, 26, walked into the restroom of the Maryland Ensemble Theatre in downtown Frederick expecting a quiet, relaxing bathroom experience.

“I had just seen the show on the mainstage, Bad Jews, it was great, but I really had to relieve myself,” recalls Morrison, still visibly shaken from the incident. “It was bad.”

Bad Jews, the first main-stage show for the MET in their 2016-2017 season, is about 90 minutes long with no intermission. Morrison, sitting on the end of the row, was the first to exit the theatre doors once the play was over, and headed straight for the bathroom.

“I have a ‘shy bladder.’ Meaning, it’s difficult for me to urinate around others. Once I get the stream going, it’s no problem. But I just didn’t have enough time,” says Morrison.

Unbeknownst to Kurt, Glenn Fusco also was in a hurry to the lavatory.

“I was out with friends prior to the show, [great show by the way!] and I didn’t go to the bathroom beforehand, so I was in need,” Glenn says. “I see this one guy sprint out, so I figure we’re in the same boat. But unlike him, I don’t have no problem using the bathroom with other people there. I even enjoy it when I have company!”

Kurt, as the first to arrive, opened the bathroom door and saw it was empty.

“I was relieved, and knew I could get to the urinal and not look like the weird guy standing up peeing in the stall,” says Kurt, looking ashen and ashamed. “I thought I would have more time!”

Kurt had just undone his zipper and withdrawn his trouser snake when Glenn walked in, and placed himself in front of the urinal directly to Kurt’s right.

“I froze,” Kurt recalls, looking like a deer in the headlights. “My bladder immediately seized up, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to go until [Glenn] left my line of sight. But [Glenn] is a bathroom parrot; someone who is fine being in a bathroom naked and talking. He pulled right up to me, pulled out his man-spam, and asked me about the show…it was my worst nightmare.”

The most shocking part about the story so far? The urinals had no divider between them.

“I’ll admit, it was a little weird,” says Glenn, sipping on his third mojito. “I’ve experienced it before, but not too often. I guess theatre patrons are more open to that stuff anyway, ya know? But it’s not like I was looking at his dick or nothing.”

As Glenn began to speak, Kurt couldn’t help but to begin angling his body away to the left.

“I HATE IT! … I HATE IT I HATE IT I HATE IT!” Kurt yells as he begins to tear up. “It’s just so awkward! Why does anyone want to hold a conversation when they have their penis in their hand and are pissing into a wall? Just talk to me after if you really want to! … I couldn’t go, and yet I had to go so bad. I concentrated really hard, and used pressure to try and force the pee out, but nothing worked.”

As Glenn went on about his favorite scenes, Kurt was forced to stand there, making guttural agreement noises and trying to pretend he was still going strong.

“I’m looking down, minding my own business, trying to concentrate, and there he is, talking and waving his arms around.”

Eventually though, Glenn finished up, said “have a good night,” and left.

“He didn’t wash his hands,” Kurt recalls, noting how relieved he was to have the men’s room to himself.

But that relief was fleeting. As the rest of the theatre patrons emptied out to the corridor, more of them decided that they too would use the restrooms before leaving the theatre. As Glenn walked out, two more men walked it.

“I couldn’t go. My body wouldn’t let me as my bladder is screaming at me from the inside, saying how badly it needs to be emptied. I’m not sure if this evolution or something wrong with me.”

As one man took Glenn’s prior space, the other went into the first stall.

“I had already missed my own opportunity to use the stall, so now I was stuck here at this urinal. I thought I might be able to play the ‘ah just finished so time to wash my hands’ and see if I could keep rinsing them until these new-comers took off, but then thought maybe they would be quick.”

As Kurt waited, more men walked in.

“Now we have a crowd and a goddamn line! There’s no way I can just fake it and leave, I need to get this piss out of my body before I explode! I stood my ground.”

As the other urinals and toilets rotated occupants, Mr. Morrison became a steadfast centerpiece. Other patrons were vocally upset. “He was there for like, 5 minutes, just standing!” recollects John Kent, who has seen Bad Jews twice already. “It was ridiculous. It was literally the expression ‘piss or get off the pot’ like, we had a line of guys needing to go. There is no one who pees for that long.”

“I wasn’t giving up my spot to be forced back in line!” Kurt defends himself, his voices reaching its criscendo

For the next twenty minutes, other men came and went while Kurt stood fast. He thought he was out of the woods, when he realized more people had come into the bathroom than had left. He listened hard, and heard the unmistakable sound of someone sending text messages on their phone. Kurt still wasn’t alone.

“Normally, as long as there is no possible eye contact, I can go! But since I was already in such a state from being humiliated by standing there so long, my bladder still couldn’t release! It became hyper-shy. Meanwhile, I hear these gruntings and plops, and then by some act of god, I heard the flush. And the last man left. I was all alone, and it felt like a New York sewer system during halftime at the Super Bowl. It was a gusher.”

All alone, Kurt was finally able to shed his water weight. It went on for about two minutes, and with four shakes, Kurt was free.“It will definitely be one of most trying times in my life. Now I won’t think twice about using the stall.”

As Kurt returned to the lobby, he realized his date had left him. As of press time, she had not responded to his inquiries about a second date.

TM Scholtes

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Sharks Celebrate Annual “Human Week” with One Last Kill Before Americans Forget Summer

(OCEAN CITY, MD) – As the kids all go back to school and summer comes to a close, there is one annual tradition that sharks have grown accustomed to – human week.

“Oh, I LIVE for Human Week,” says Cruiser, an Oceanic White-Tip who stopped in from the deep ocean for the festivities. “I look forward to it every year, it’s become a tradition for me and my family.”

When vacation season ends, there are those few who just love to get the final drop out of their summer, and hit the beaches in droves as the temperatures begin to fall. The increased activity and decrease in daylight makes a perfect combination for these apex predators.

“It’s basically an all-you-can-eat Human Buffet!” yells Puncture, an Atlantic Mako, as he chews on a tibia. “Normally, I eat trash and whatever slow fish I find, but these humans are just presenting themselves to us, we have to take advantage. I even called a few friends over to watch, it’s ridiculous! We had trivia, made some human-shaped jello shots, the works. Then we took a hit of human blood and went into a frenzy. It’s my favorite week of the year by far!”

Humans have recently been enthralled with Shark Week on the Discovery channel, hosting parties and creating drinking games for the event that celebrates sharks, and offers some insight into shark behaviors. That is, of course, after showing us fourteen different ways a Great White Shark can jump out of the water to bite a fake seal.

“We felt degraded, to be honest,” says Poseidon, an enormous Great White Shark. “Humans continuously mock us. Like ‘haha look he thought that fake seal was a real seal!’ Yeah, no duh! We’re starving down here, we need like hundreds of pounds of food per meal. Plus, why are they so interested to watch us get busy and have babies? We aren’t crashing through the walls of emergency rooms and breaking into bedrooms at night. Just let us do our thing. I bet hearing that we have a Human Week will send shark-fin soup orders up tenfold.”

Humans don’t normally care about sharks, but when Shark Week is on they claim sharks are their favorite thing in the whole world, similarly, most sharks also don’t care about humans until Human Week.

“What do I care if humans are dying from hunger all over the world? I’ve got stuff to do,” quips Chomp, a 19 year old Common Hammerhead. “But this week, I’m all about eating humans. I learned a little bit about them, too, like how they all kill things for fun, and want to elect people to lead them when they have no history of leading. Humans are wild. But next week, nah, I won’t do a single thing to help humans. Maybe next Human Week though!”

“We sharks have been around for millions of years,” explains Thresh, a local Sand Shark. “We’ve seen humans do lots of stupid stuff, and they will continue to do stupid things. But we sharks will just keep living our lives here, under the sea. I bet in a thousand years they will have forgotten what Shark Week was about in the first place. You’ll probably be ritualistically sacrificing people to us sharks based on a mistranslation of what Shark Week used to be. But we’ll remember, though, and we will appreciate the sacrifice. Think of Human Week as the appetizer to when that day comes.”

Human Week in Ocean City runs from September 25th through October 1st. Have fun in the waves!

TM Scholtes

Live Updates from The Great Frederick Fair

It’s that time of year again: The Great Frederick Fair is upon us and because we here at The Annual know exactly what you want to read, I’ve made it my duty to fill you in on exactly what goes down during Frederick Fair Day, when all the local kids get off school to go to the fair for some reason. What follows are the highs and lows of the Frederick fall kick-off, so for those of you who can’t make it, join me on the wondrous journey through the fairgrounds.

8:50am, Frederick time – Well, I’ve just parked here near the fairgrounds. I chose the lot behind the McDonalds, as there were no obvious towing signs, and no one was out yet trying to collect money. My advice is to get here early then enjoy it all!

8:55am – Walked to the main entrance, now just awaiting my turn in line. Surprisingly lively on the street – was approached twice for money. Sorry, sirs, I only have money for fairground goods! All the entrance employees are over 70 years old…

9:02am – I’m in! Nothing can ruin this day for me now. Still one of the first 100 or so people on the grounds, including the workers. None of the rides are running yet, so thankfully no kids in sight. Also most of the carnies appear to be smoking together in “clicks,” throwing wary glances at one another. I have yet to determine what differentiates these “clicks” but I have now added it to my missions for investigation during the day.

9:04am – Like every Frederick native who grew up coming to the Fair year after year, the first stop is of course the Home Arts and Crafts building. And what an amazing crop of talent Frederick has showcased this year! I always start with the photography, and it is a site to behold, especially this early in the morning. There are close up shots of cats, close up shots of dogs, far-away shots of the clustered spires, and there are even some SELF PORTRAITS IN BLACK AND WHITE! I mean, who would have thought? I mean last year, there was a close up shot of a dog in black and white, and I didn’t think it could be topped, BUT IT HAS BEEN!

9:17am – I was so satisfied with the pictures that I almost forgot to check out the handmade quilts and pottery. Normally, I would say that bowls and ceramic vases should be equal in both height and width (if we were to cut the piece in half), but these artists WENT AGAINST THE NORM! Unbelievable! Not only did we have misshapen pieces, but some of them do not even sit flat on the table they have been placed on! Brilliant!

9:22am – I have been so overwhelmed with pride and other emotion that I need to leave the art building, and head over to see the end of the Equine showcase at Gate 3! The smell of the fresh air mixed with the urine and poop-soaked hay really drives home that Frederick feel.

9:35am – What an absolutely incredible display! Such beauty combined with the raw power of these horses! And to think, it still takes hundreds of them to equal the power in my car! I would’ve assumed only in the upper twenties or so. The way they make these massive muscle beasts move so elegantly, it really reminds you of how Frederick became such a mighty beast in its own right. Our forefathers took the land they were given and made something great out of it.

9:41am – I realize the midway opens at 10am, and more and more people are filing in the gate every moment. If I don’t get in line for some of the delicious snack foods, I’ll be waiting in line the rest of the day!

9:46am – I made it! One of the new items this year (sure to be a crowd favorite) is Maryland’s own Deep Fried Crab cake! If you are coming in the main entrance, head straight and to the back right of the fairgrounds to find this one-of-a-kind treat. To really enhance your delight, you’ll be sure to pass Richardson’s Root Beer stand; do yourself a flavor and grab a root beer float to sip while you await your fried goddess of a crab-cake. My mouth is watering thinking of deep fried seafood, and I would be drooling if not for this cold float. I shiver with anticipation (or the sugar high).

9:50am – OH MY GOD THIS IS SO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD. How have I never had this before? It has all the things I love – crab, deep fry batter, excessive amounts of calories, and no judgment! I am back in line to grab another one before the health inspector kicks them out, because something this good should be illegal!

9:53am – I am in line for a third time. The float is long gone but my hunger for fried crustacean cannot be quenched.

9:59am –Slowing down. Took up two folding chairs in the nearby food tent to fully realize what I’ve just done to my body. Grabbed an extra-syrupy Coca-Cola from another vendor to help quiet the world war that has broken out inside my stomach. The contented smile on my face, however, tells a very different story. 10/10 would do again later today. I fondly realize I still have another 10 or so hours of walking around to do, so the few pounds of fried grease and shellfish in my gut will be nothing but burned calories in the steps to come.

10:07am – Still sitting, really taking it all in. A lot more “Fair Security” than I would normally think to see. I assume there are this many every year, although I never really stop to people watch. A lot of families, a lot of strollers – I mean I love the fair, but you know those young kids are only going to last an hour or two before getting bored and screaming. But when you are a parent, I supposed an hour to two is the best you can ask for some peace and quiet.

10:11am – Up and moving again. Although my belly protested, I told him we have a lot to report on. The plan is to walk down the midway once on the track side, then back up the street side, and determine which few rides are absolute necessities. Although they might have to be delayed until the rest of my body has caught up with my adrenaline-driven mind. I also gave a kid a “flat tire” by stepping the back of his shoe by accident; he went to the ground and luckily I stepped behind one of the ticket-kiosks before his parents saw me.

10:15am – Gravitron: Yes. Zipper: Yes. Ring of Fire: No. Children’s Dragon Rollarcoaster: Maybe, but only if I get to sit in front.

10:21am – Well, it happened. The one thing you never EVER want to happen when you visit the fair – I had to use the restroom. And not for a stand-up only stop, either. This was a full blown, get your phone out because we’re going to be here awhile emergency. The mixture of fried crab, root beer float, and coke reacted inside my intestines the same way you would see Mentos and Coke on YouTube. There are some port-a-potties set up near the stables on the far side of the track, near the end of midway. If I had time, I would have ran back to the front entrance where they have “real” bathrooms, but time was certainly not on my side (but this is better than having stains on my side). 

10:31am – I guess everything I have eaten in the past three days is also deciding NOW is the time to exit the temple of my body. Only had one person try my port-a-potty door (which clearly says “Occupied” in red on the outside), but hopefully not too many others are furiously releasing their bowels this early in the morning.

10:38am – I accidentally breathed through my nose. Normally, going into any bathroom, I would only use my mouth to breath, as to keep any nasty smells from reaching my brain. All was going well and fine until I went to take deep sigh, which unfortunately started with a deep breath in through my nose. For the Fair only starting yesterday, it was exceedingly foul. I must make haste.

10:45am – My body has determined that haste is no longer in its vocabulary. I know there is more to come, I can feel it from my soul all the way to my colon, and yet nothing wants to come out. I have the strange sensation that as soon as I get 10 feet from the door, another huge stomach cramp will strike, and force me back into my current fortress of smell-i-tude. I feel my best option is to wait it out, and not leave a messy situation until the entire situation is taken care of. Now knowing what it is like in here, I can’t imagine leaving and coming back.

10:56am – Ok, that’s it. I’m tired of waiting, and I just so happen to be out of incense and Pokémon lures. If the pangs come back, so be it, but I am leaving this stall!

11:01am – Hmm…well, either someone is playing a prank on me…or the door of my port-a-potty is locked or jammed shut. I’ve turned the handle, so I can clearly see no sign of any stray piece blocking my exit, and yet the door refuses to open. I am currently investigating the remainder of the door for any clues, but at least now my pants are up, and I’m ready for this challenge.

11:09am – Still no luck. Nothing appears to be holding the door in place from my side. My current ideas are that someone put adhesive on the overlapping parts of the door, a worker negligently rested something extremely heavy against the full outside of the door, or the late summer heat has melted the door closed. None of these actually seem likely, but hey I don’t have much else to do except think of these things right now. I shall now begin yelling and attempt to break down the door.

11:16am – No one has come to my rescue. I have been kicking on the door and screaming “Help” for the past 5 minutes, and not so much as a whisper or someone knocking. What is going on here?

11:25am – I have been rocking the porta-potty, banging on it, and yelling as loud as I can, and nothing! No movement at all, no noise from the outside world. I am beginning to feel claustrophobic, and wondering what has happened to the outside world. I have no phone service now, and can only hope this disgusting rectangle is lead-lined in case some nuclear blast just took out all of DC and Baltimore.

11:33am – I HEARD A LAUGH! It was faint, but it seemed to be a child’s snicker. Still no luck on escape.

11:41am – No additional voices. I attempted to use the tiny air vents at the top to look around, but the holes were so small my eyes could not adjust to see anything, and the risk of slipping on the back part of the toilet and into the bowl became too great. My phone battery is at 63%.

11:55am – God, it’s me, Thomas. I know we haven’t spoken in a while. Maybe this is punishment for that. But please, PLEASE, I will do anything. I’ll go to church every Sunday. I’ll call my mother twice a week. I’ll volunteer at a homeless shelter. Anything. JUST LET ME OUT OF THIS FUCKING PORTA-POTTY!

12:14pm – God has forsaken me.

12:22pm – I am in awe that no one has tried to use this bathroom. The fair must be in full swing by now, people have eaten tons of fair food and been walking around in the heat, SOMEONE needs a bathroom! I’M IN HERE! TRADE PLACES WITH ME!

12:41pm – Does the bottom of a porta-potty release? Or unhinge from the top portion in some way? Again, no internet service so I can’t look it up, but they have to clear it out somehow. Do they just stick a hose in there and suck all the gunk out? Or does it release like a trap-door into some container?

12:45pm – Used my phone flashlight to investigate inside toilet bowl; immediately threw up. Will shelve this idea for later.

12:58pm – Phone battery at 51%. The air is thick. The heat combined with the bowl leftovers is making it humid and hard to breathe. One way I never thought I would die would be suffocating in a public fair bathroom. It has now moved quite high on the list.

1:16pm – More laughter! I swear I heard it! Someone is definitely pranking me! But who? And why? What could I have done to deserve this? All I wanted was a nice day to enjoy the fair, not a weekend to reflect on the mistakes I’ve made in my life leading me to this point in time.

1:18pm – Speaking of mistakes, I will not be covering the fair next year.

1:20pm – Double speaking of mistakes, Karen you are a bitch and you ruined my life. I determined that you breaking up with me was the exact moment when my life no longer could reach its full potential. So deal with that!

1:33pm – 10,655 beers on the wall, 10,655 beers. Take one down, pass it around…10,644 beers on the wall…

1:44pm – Noises! I can hear…something. It seems faint and muted, but before I couldn’t hear anything! Is this some sort of sign? I struggled against the door and frame again, with no luck, but it could be something!

1:46pm – Thinking of the possibility that I might also be getting some sort of cabin fever. Battery is at 22%.

2:02pm – The heat is getting to me. I am sweating profusely. I no longer have the urge to use the bathroom, as I feel there is nothing left inside me. I have also come to the conclusion that there is no soul.

2:08pm – Out of boredom, I attempted to stick my leg in the toilet hole without touching the sides. I have had 3 successful attempts. Although the thrill is no longer there, I will have to find other things to bide my time in case my phone dies.

2:30pm – HELP! HELP ME! OH MY GOD HELP ME JESUS CHRIST GET ME OUT OF HERE!

2:35pm – I have started playing Sandstorm by Darude on repeat on my phone. I assume this can only lead to three things: me passing out, someone breaking in to tell me turn that shit off, or for the music to be so awesome that it literally blows the roof off this porta-potty. Not sure what I am wishing for more.

3:18pm – Fell asleep. Sandstorm still playing. Battery is at 12%. Put it on low power mode. Breathing through my nose no longer bothers me. Actually starting to enjoy it. Trying to pick out the subtle hints and flavors emanating from the hole below me. Someone definitely had jerk chicken.

3:32pm – A knock! Someone knocked on the walls of my sarcophagus! I tried to get their attention but nothing further. I also saw dust particles floating through the light near the air vents.

3:51pm – I now know what it feels like to be a dog locked in a hot car in a grocery store parking lot. At least I’m not crying about it.

3:57pm – Phone battery 4%. Although iPhones usually don’t tell the truth about that. Let’s see how long I can last without checking what time it is.

3:57pm – Damn it.

4:18pm – Something jolted me awake. There appears to be faint light coming from the door crease. I am not sure if I want to attempt jostling the door, or if this has just been given to me as hope, to continue my torment.

4:24pm – Fine, I’ll try the door. Phone battery at 1% anyway.

4:26pm – DAYLIGHT! At least, I think it is daylight. My eyes are still adjusting, but I’m out of the porta-potty!

****At this point, my phone did die.****

Well, turns out some of the rides still had not been completely set up yet on this WONDEFUL fair day. My particular bathroom choice happened to be in the way of one of these yet-to-come attractions, and the porta-potty was locked and moved to a new location WHILE I WAS INSIDE IT. I guess I didn’t feel the movement because my bowel movement was rocking me worse. The porta-potty was then stored next to some shipping containers at the back of the fairgrounds, with the door placed right up against them, so that I couldn’t open it even an inch. That area is not used very often, which is why no one was around and I couldn’t hear anything. Some kid must have found me and that’s what I heard laughter or something. Luckily, more bathrooms were needed after it started to get crowded, and someone remembered they had moved this porta-potty earlier.

After I made my escape from the bathroom, I immediately bought a Red Velvet funnel cake, because those things are delicious, and I deserved it. Plus I had been smelling the hints of one for about 2 hours prior. Then I went to the Ferris Wheel, because no trip to the Fair is complete without viewing Frederick from the top of the world.

All in all folks, it was the best year at the fair, ever! A very typical day. So get out there and enjoy it!

TM Scholtes

Postmaster General Hospitalized from Overdose of Stamp Glue

(WASHINGTON, DC) –Megan Brennan, the 74th Postmaster General of the United States, has been hospitalized after overdosing on the tasty glue used on lick-able stamps and envelopes. Further reports reveal that Ms. Brennan has been addicted to the residue for almost 4 years.

“It’s actually quite common in the postal field to become addicted to this adhesive,” explains Dr. Kevin Remwald, a medical doctor at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, where Megan was first admitted. “Stamp and envelope glue is made from gum arabic, which in laymen’s terms is the sap of the acacia tree, or multiple types of acacia tree. At its core, it’s just sugar, and when sugar gets wet, it gets sticky. This sugar is safe for human consumption, but not so sticky or soluble that it works great for things like envelopes. It is also used for candies like marshmallows and fruity gum drops. Just like any addiction, too much of a good thing is bad for you.”

Megan assumed her current role of Postmaster General in February 2015, when the former general Patrick R. Donahoe retired. Donahoe declined comment in the story. Many speculate that he knew about Ms. Brennan’s addiction and helped cover it up.

“Oh it’s a huge problem,” says Tina Usiv, a post office branch manager and former co-worker of Megan’s. “I see some employees licking 200, 300 stamps a day, then just adding them to mail that already has the appropriate postage. I look the other way because they are fantastic workers and we can’t afford to cut our top employees if their performance isn’t suffering. The only people they are hurting is themselves. As long as they show up, do their job and give 110%, who am I to judge them?”

According to Tina, Megan was using for the three years they worked together, during this time Megan was Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of the USPS (United States Postal Service). However, it never once affected her work.

“She was great to work for!” says Tina. “I always felt comfortable talking to her. I never noticed anything was wrong, until she asked who was in charge of sending out late payment notices. When Larry [Patterson, head of Invoicing and Payment department] told me that [Megan] wanted to be the sole person responsible for sending the notices out, I knew there was a problem.”

Slowly, Megan began to take over any outgoing mail that still required sealing or postage. She also demanded the home address of every worker and worker’s family members, in order to send them Christmas cards during the holidays.

“It was very cute and thoughtful at first, but it’s gotten completely out of hand.” Joe Bonneville, another former postal employee, comments on the “cards” he has received: “The first year, we got a Christmas card, saying to have a blessed year and all that. Then came a New Year’s card, saying good luck in the New Year and to “make it great!” Ok, again, still holiday time, not a big deal. But when we got an envelope for ‘Groundhog’s Day’ we were fed up. By the next Christmas, we got four different Christmas cards. It had to stop.”

The analysis at MedStar was not good; the levels of gum arabic in Megan’s system determined that she had licked 2,500 to 2,800 envelopes the morning she was admitted, all before 10:30am. Based on the level of gum in each envelope, it would be the equivalent of 400 packs of crispy M&Ms.

“This is a very serious matter,” Dr. Remwald continues. “Postal workers are under a lot of stress, as we’ve seen in the past. The addiction to stamps and envelopes is actually well documented; it was the basis for the term ‘going postal.’ The phrase was originally meant to describe a postal worker under so much stress they resulted to licking. But now has been applied elsewhere. Licking is an underlying epidemic in our country, but is swept under the rug, since postal workers claim it ‘isn’t hurting anyone.’ Well, hopefully this issue will finally be brought to light following this unfortunate hospitalization.”

Dr. Remwald went on to say that he expects Ms. Brennan to make a full recovery, and hopes she enrolls at the nearby sugar addiction center to get the helps she needs.

We here at The Annual have sent dozens of letters to her and other postal workers for additional comments, and we will continue to send hundreds of letters to get you the information you deserve. In fact, I will go send some blank envelopes now just because.

TM Scholtes

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Frederick Man Constantly Singing in Cubicle Next to You is Surprisingly Getting Better

(FREDERICK) “I used to dread coming to work on sunny days,” regales Jenny Derricks, one of the many office workers at Leidos Biomedical Research in Frederick, Maryland. “[Logan] was always more enthusiastic when it was sunny.”

For months, Jenny has endured the sound disruption of her cubicle neighbor, Logan Sleaves, a 24 year old coworker filled with a vigor for life.

“It was never-ending! A constant stream of humming, desk-tapping, whistling, and even full out karaoke! It was terrible! He was off-pitch, off-key, off-beat; he was taking everything about music and twisting it to the point that I hated any sound at all.”

Jenny was forced to listen to all of Logan’s audio garbage, and would be denied any attempt to move desks as she and Logan should “work it out themselves.”

“I told him it was distracting and a little annoying,” says Jenny, picking at a hangnail. “He got the hint for maybe 20 minutes and then I started to hear the Beverly Hills Cop theme mumbling from his mouth! I reminded him again and he was all like ‘I didn’t even realize I was doing it!’ and ‘I can’t help it! I guess I’m just in a singing mood!’”

Mike Shrouder, a Doctor of Music at Boston University, informed us that there is no such thing as “a singing mood,” and when a person sings it is a conscious decision. The person knows exactly what they are doing.

Logan’s insistent chirping went on unabated, until Thursday, June 16th, when Jenny was surprised to find her ear drums no longer hurt like they used to.

“All of sudden, it was like there was no noise – of course, that would be impossible, because Logan never shuts the fuck up – but then I realized it wasn’t an absence of noise, it was an absence of me hating the noise. I wasn’t exactly sure what was happening; was I just becoming accustomed to the audial onslaught from Logan’s lips? Was I developing feelings for this guy, making me hear his awful singing in a new way? It was so beyond belief that he might actually be getting BETTER that I came up with a thousand other reasons for what it might be.”

Of course, Logan HAD gotten better but not by chance. Logan’s friends and family had also been on his case about leaving some room for silence. When that didn’t take hold, they encouraged him to at least try to improve. He did – taking classes, listening to varying musicians, and keeping one of those tuning thingies in his shower.

Logan still can’t stop himself from letting out the song in his heart, but Jenny has found a silver lining.

“I’ve given him CDs of my favorite artists and recommended new songs that I like. Then he comes to work, and he becomes my own personal radio! Although, just like the radio, he will continue to repeat songs until I hate them, but at least my ears have stopped bleeding!”

At press time, Jenny is enjoying her job, but Logan has moved on, and is now the guy that puts all the ear-shattering auto-play music on websites.

T.M. Scholtes

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5th of July Beer-Shits at An All Time High

Another year has come and gone in America, and with it came backyard barbeques, parties, and celebrations to recognize our independence. Unfortunately, after consuming copious amounts of meat, cheese, and alcohol, the greatest problem facing our nation is “the day after beer-shits.”

The 5th of July has become synonymous with aching bellies and hours spent on the porcelain throne, as the fermented yeasts and aged beef fight one another for dominance in the gut. Along with the actual disgusting dumps and diarrhea explosions, we humans subject ourselves to the foulest gases exiting our bodies from both ends, and the ever present danger of hoping you just have to fart, but then not being sure if it was just gas that came out. Now, with all kinds of vegetarian options being throw into the mix with tofu and hummus, the 4th of July has become a danger zone of activity for the human body, with our toilets (and dignity) paying the price the following day.

With such a crisis on our hands, we need to band together and get the President, Congress, and the House of Representatives to declare the 5th of July a National Holiday as well. We can’t possibly continue at our current rate of over-doing everything on the fourth, only to be expected to show up not hungover and ready to perform our regularly scheduled work, not feeling like a pile of garbage. There are a lot of pressing issues facing our nation, but claiming the 5th of July as a new National Holiday should be at the top of the list. Our country (and bodies) can’t survive another year of throwing caution to the wind on the 4th , and expecting to be fully recovered by 8am the next day; it just isn’t possible.

So, as you sit in the bathroom reading this article, be sure to open a new email in between waves of nausea and intestine-cramping, and send it to your local representative, demand that they support our initiative to make the 5th of July a national holiday. Have another beer while you’re at it; we both know you aren’t going anywhere for awhile.

‘Murica.

T.M. Scholtes