Texas in panic amidst “feral hog apocalypse”

As if living in Texas wasn’t bad enough, residents now have to be worried about feral pigs overrunning society as they know it. That’s not hyperbole, that’s the state government’s position.

The feral pig situation in Texas is so bad that state Agriculture Secretary Sid Miller cited concerns about a coming “feral hog apocalypse” as a reason to take drastic measures to fight off the swine. Miller approved the use of a pesticide to combat the exploding wild hog population. The decision has drawn criticism from hunters, but that’s probably because they want to see society collapse so they can live out their survivalist wet dreams.

And for the record, secretary, a pig-related end-of-the-world scenario is called an “aporkalypse.”

Remember the emoticon!

We don’t have the heart to tell Texas how many other places thought of using red and white stripes, blue fields and white stars for their flags. But, Puerto Rico had better be ready for anything.

The phase-in of emojis is one of the fastest growing phenomenons in online communication … but not fast enough to avoid offending Texans. While the state flag of Texas is not a standard emoji, the national flag of Chile is. And confusion by some people using the Chilean flag to tweet about Texas has struck deep in the heart of one of their state legislators.

State Representative Tom Oliverson filed a non-punitive resolution for his fellow lawmakers to “to reject the notion that the Chilean flag, although it is a nice flag, can in any way compare to or be substituted for the official state flag of Texas and urge all Texans not to use the Republic of Chile flag emoji in digital forums when referring to the Lone Star Flag of the great State of Texas.”

Well, look at that. He expressed a grievance in order to educate in a fun way and even added that the Chilean flag “is a nice flag.”

Of course, it would be an awful shame if Chile asked Texas to stop referring to their meat and bean slurry as “chili” — an easy confusion. But, we’d consider that the price of using legislative hours for pedantry, even fun pedantry.

Tortoise nearly burns down two houses

Pets, much like children, gain our affection only to use our emotional attachment against us and bend us to their will. It’s no secret. But from time to time we need a reminder to stay vigilant with our pets, even the slowest of them.

In San Antonio, a tortoise nearly burned down his owner’s house and the neighbor’s house when he knocked over a heat lamp. According to reports, the heat lamp was knocked on to a mattress, which then caught fire. The fire was so bad that it spread to the next house over. The neighbor’s house actually got the worst of the damage, estimated to be $150,000 worth. Of course, the tortoise escaped the fire unharmed, and gullible authorities have not charged him with arson.

Do you know what animals are living next door?

‘Crazy ants’ hit us where it hurts: our screens

"Oh, were you going to charge that phone? Eff you!"
“Oh, were you going to charge that phone? Eff you!”

For all their preparation, ants have had it rough lately. Nobody goes on picnics, or outside at all, so they’ve been forced to live on bugs and dead stuff like it’s the Stone Age or something. It was only a matter of time before a species figured out how to still get handouts from humans. In this case, it’s crazy ants, and they’re going directly after our electronics.

Tawny crazy ants, or Nylanderia fulva, are the latest South American import ant and may soon replace the fire ant — they’re immune to the acid in fire ant stings. But, let’s not celebrate yet. They also have a weird thing for swarming and destroying electronics, including power boxes, outlets and devices like televisions. In Texas, they’ve already driven down home prices by invading and destroying home electrical systems.

So, since we wouldn’t go outside and feed the ants, they’re forcing us back out by taking away our porn and Netflix. Nature always finds a way.

You Missed It: Fool’s gold edition

Lochte also complained that the medals didn't have chocolate inside of them.
Lochte also complained that the medals didn’t have chocolate inside of them.

I’m pretty excited that preseason football is back — not because I watch it, but that it means real football is right around the corner. My wife and I have to spend a lot of time at home these days because we have a newborn. If it weren’t for the Olympics, there’d be nothing in the way of sports to watch. Late summer baseball is tedious, no one watches golf and NASCAR isn’t a sport. Preseason football is just as unwatchable as anything I just mentioned, but it means there’s hope, and that’s what we all need sometimes. If you were busy signing off of your Comedy Central show this week, odds are you missed it.

What Did Ryan Lochte Do?
This week, American swimmer Ryan Lochte, who probably sees Flea’s hair stylist, reported he and some teammates were robbed at gunpoint during a night out in Rio de Janeiro. Turns out he and his buddies, all of whom are adults, trashed a gas station and urinated all over the place when they weren’t allowed to use the restroom. The truth about the incident wasn’t known for days because of NBC’s tape delay.

Not always greener
According to a recent poll, things aren’t looking good for Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein. More Texas voters said they would vote for old favorite Deez Nuts. To be fair, they probably thought the pollsters asked if they would vote for Truck Nuts.

Russian ally out of power
Capping off several days of shake-ups, the Trump campaign announced that Paul Manafort would be stepping down as chairman. The guy has experience getting dictators in power, but couldn’t make it happen this one time. The next Trump campaign chairman? You guessed it: Ryan Lochte.

You Missed It: End of 2015 edition

I will be drinking every single one of these.
I will be drinking every single one of these in the next half hour.

And just like that, 2015 is over. It seems like only yesterday we were talking about how miserable a year 2014 was. I, for one, think that we managed to surpass all expectations this year. It was the most miserable yet. We kept injuring ourselves falling off of bikes, stages and those Segway-like things that aren’t actually hoverboards. We agreed when Jared Fogle got arrested that rape jokes can be funny. We landed a probe on a comet, and immediately lost track of it. And we got really, really into the finer points of air pressure in a football. The sooner we get through this, the sooner we can get started with 2016. Grab a bottle and let’s do this.

January

Young people who don’t watch award shows upset
The nominees for the Academy Awards were announced and Twitter was all, well, atwitter with the news. Mostly, people were upset that all 20 of the nominees for acting awards were white, the third time it’s happened since 1998. Highlighting their point was the fact that “Selma” was all but shut out of the nominations. But everyone eventually moved on because a woman said a nominee’s name was “Dick Poop.”

The Summah Olympics
The U.S. Olympic Committee chose Boston as the city it would run for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. Boston beat out Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Why Boston? Because if international sports fans can take a poverty-stricken, crime-ridden city like Rio de Janeiro, they’ll love a city where packs of Irish mooks all named Sully or Murph rove unmolested. Later in the year, the people of Boston told the committee where to stick their nomination.

Radio nowhere
Scientists announced that they captured in real time a radio signal burst from unknown origins deep in space. Researchers insisted that the signal was caused by some kind of natural source, and that there was no message in the burst. But we all know that it was Casey Kasem getting on Heaven’s airwaves. Continue reading You Missed It: End of 2015 edition

The kind of love where traffic stops

It's going to be a bitch trying to get to the wedding.
It’s going to be a bitch trying to get to the wedding.

There is no love on the highway, and there is no love in Houston.

It’s the kind of thing you’d imagine in the final act of a romantic comedy: a man stops traffic on a busy highway to ask the woman he loves for her hand in marriage. (She said yes.) It was all caught on camera and posted on Instagram. But things may not be happily ever after just yet for the engaged couple. The groom-to-be has been charged with a misdemeanor for shutting down Interstate 45 in Houston for an estimated 35 seconds, because Texans take their ability to roam very seriously. The bride may face charges, herself.

Of course, when the story went viral, it was all OK, because there was an outpouring of love and support from the online community. Kidding! They were rounding criticized online by people who they had never met, because the internet is horrible. Cheers to the happy couple once they get out of jail!

Cookie Monster’s nearly 50 year reign of terror over

Unlike the Houston-area Cookie Monster, the Sesame Street Cookie Monster knows that he has to treat his addiction seriously before he violates the terms of Wally "Famous" Amos' restraining order again.
Unlike the Houston-area Cookie Monster, the Sesame Street Cookie Monster knows that he has to treat his addiction seriously before he violates the terms of Wally “Famous” Amos’ restraining order again.

After nearly 50 years of unimpeded cookie menacing, the Cookie Monster has been arrested where all depressing crime stories end: Houston, Texas. Police caught the Cookie Monster using surveillance video from one of over 30 fast food restaurants that he robbed in the past two months, demanding a cookie with the money at each one.

OK, so it’s not the Cookie Monster. The furry blue monster that we all know in love is in treatment at a cookie methadone facility on Sesame Street. He is in recovery and, according to CM himself, “take one day at time.” He’s now able to enjoy cookies in moderation, calling them “sometime food.”

So, we believe that the Houston-area Cookie Monster can be rehabilitated and perhaps one day teach kids how to count calories.

See nothing, say something

This insidious Muslim device could go off at any moment and play Bruno Mars. Harmless?
This insidious Muslim device could go off at any moment and play Bruno Mars. “Harmless?”

You would think that teachers in Texas, home of Texas Instruments, would know what a science project looks like versus, say, oh … a bomb. And yet 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed was taken out of school by police in handcuffs on Monday after teachers reported his rebuilt digital clock as a potential bomb. And just to make sure he really learned his lesson (something along the lines of why Muslims in America might go radical), he was reportedly suspended as well.

So, yes, the school predicatably overreacted and potentially based on prejudice. But, that’s not the most concerning part. The Real Story takes place when things went bad for Mohamed: in English class.

He kept the clock inside his school bag in English class, but the teacher complained when the alarm beeped in the middle of a lesson. Ahmed brought his invention up to show her afterward.

‘She was like, it looks like a bomb,’ he said.

‘I told her, “It doesn’t look like a bomb to me.”’

The teacher kept the clock. When the principal and a police officer pulled Ahmed out of sixth period, he suspected he wouldn’t get it back.

Wait … what?! She wasted time arguing that the digital clock that had disturbed class by acting like a clock was a bomb, and then kept what she thought was a bomb? In the school?! And the kid gets suspended?

If this is what it looks like when the faculty of MacArther High goes out of its way to handcuff a brown kid, we’d hate to see what happens if they ever face a real emergency.

The McBournie Minute: Ban robot marriages now

On Friday, non-terrible people across the country celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. The decision came toward the end of Pride Month, and the international LGBT held impromptu celebrations. Landmarks were suddenly lit up like Rainbow Brite had come to town. It was a victory for love.

But that hasn’t kept the nation’s Wrong Side of History movement down. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has said that county clerks in his state don’t need to issue marriage certificates to same-sex couples if it is against their religion (read: if they have a problem with it and claim to be Christian). Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said he is exploring legal recourses to the decision (spoiler alert: there aren’t any). Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said his state doesn’t have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, because the decision didn’t come with a specific order, because “It is so ordered,” isn’t clear enough. Amazingly, the South isn’t totally on board with social change.

This is obviously still a very divisive issue. So what about a marriage issue we can all get behind? Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Ban robot marriages now