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Squid’s Ink: New Year’s Dissolutions

This month, we hacked Peloton. Yes, they killed Big on purpose, but it turns out that they also had a secret cache of New Year’s Resolutions from prominent people and organizations…

National and International Pledges

President Joe Biden vows to live through the year. 

Former President and current scumbag Donald Trump vows to bilk as many voters… er investors… as possible with his new new social media outlet, “Trumpeting Trump Trump.”

Vice President Kamala Harris promises to get out from under Joe’s shadow and accomplish something to justify running in 2024.

Barack Obama promises to talk to Michelle about running for President. Again.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson can’t promise to comb his hair, but he will try to wipe that silly grin off his face when announcing COVID deaths and restrictions.

Vladimir Putin has made a commitment to do everything in his power to piss off Joe Biden, just for fun. 

China promises to host the Olympics and not torture anyone in public.

Rogue’s Island Resolutions

Governor Dan McKee still promises to get a clue.

House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi promises not to get caught.

This year, Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio vows to replace Shekarchi as “The Most Powerful Man in Rhode Island”

Matt Brown promises to appeal to more than extremely progressive Progressive voters, though he has no idea how.

RI’s Republican Party resolves to find a viable candidate for Governor, but also can’t figure out how.

The Redistricting Commission promises, vows, and assures that there will be neither gerrymandering nor political favoritism. (Their Venmo is @Buy-A-Seat).

Departmental Aspirations

Johnston will change its name to Amazohnston

The RI Department of Education promises to stop saying that students are “behind.” They also promise to dump… er… give back Providence’s school system. They will accomplish all this with a series of cheerful and optimistic emails.

Having successfully done it once, The RI Department of Transportation promises to demolish roads, close bridges, and complete all construction in three to five years. Ten years, tops.

The Coastal Resources Management Council will do a better job covering up its commitment to the shoreline rights of the wealthy and powerful.

Barrington and Little Compton will provide free public access to all their beaches, and start charging non-residents tolls to enter town limits. 

The Providence Board of Licenses has picked an easy resolution: they will quickly approve reopening – or rebranding – any bars or strip club that is closed because of corruption or violence. (Their, somewhat ironic, Venmo is @We-See-Nothing)

Pawtucket will figure out what to do with the Apex building. Ideas include moving the methadone and drug rehab from downtown, creating an inoffensive sculpture garden or transforming it into “The World’s Largest Bucket” as a tourist attraction.

The Superman Building vows to stay empty and looming – unless taxpayers bend over and pay.

And… the RI DMV promises that as soon as COVID restrictions are lifted, we can return to long lines and agonizing waits.




Things we’ve forgotten: And things we wish we could forget

Memory Loss

One of the worst things affecting the sold-out Providence Urinal these days, which the late and beloved lunatic legend Buddy “Vincent A.” Cianci correctly referred to as the “Providence Pamphlet,” given its having the heft of a baby’s pacifier, is not the takeover by the outside force that publishes USA Today, but its current lack of what is called “institutional memory.”

Gone from the Urinal are people like Bob Kerr, Scott MacKay, Charlie Bakst, Alan Rosenberg, Bill Reynolds and others who could give you a living synopsis of the state and stories related to what is now happening in Little Rhody and how they related to the past. These stories were as close to a history class about The Biggest Little as you could find, exploring the links between bygone events and today’s news.

Today’s Urinal is so lightweight as to be laughable, especially when they have the audacity to sell this fish wrap (although it might be tough to cover even a good-sized menhaden) for $3 a day, and $6 on Sunday. A copy of the New York Times Sunday edition is a day’s worth+ of reading and is the same $6, while you can get through a copy of the Urinal in 15 minutes. Thank you, USA Today.

The new executive editor, David Ng, is quite taken with himself and his experience, even to the point of dropping the name of famed journalist Peter Hamill, and the insecurity and self-absorption of that alone should warn people off. And you know he would not have a clue if someone asked him about “Raymond.” And while P&J are certain that new staff addition Amy Russo is a sweet, charming and wonderful person, the fact the Urinal considers her column about what it is like to move to Rhode Island from New York City feature-worthy is insipid, essentially taking time to inform locals about what they already know. Tell us more, Amy, you fahhh-scinate us.

And on the short side, how this clown Victor Davis Hanson is allowed to write for anything more than a QAnon leaflet is absurd, but he was given voice by the Urinal after its transition, becoming a featured columnist to “balance” the supposedly liberal op-ed opinions prior to the Urinal dumping all editorials. Gutsy move, or should we say shameless (and we’d add “whores” here, but that would be impolite).

So please hang in there, the lovely and fragrant queen of the State House, Kathy Gregg, one of three people in the state who can understand each year’s budget; the relentless G. Wayne Miller; and Alex Kuffner, the excellent environmental reporter who carries on a proud tradition on Fountain Street from Bob Frederickson to Peter Lord to Alex himself, highlighting that in the Ocean State, it might be a good idea to focus on natural resources issues, which even the morons in charge might twig to.

Other than those all-stars, may we say to the nattering nabobs (tip of the hat, Spiro) at the Urinal, go eff yourselves and keep counting the $3 a day for absolute crap. You have ruined a wonderful and respected RI institution, and that is a memory everyone will definitely retain.

(B)advertising

If you are glued to the old-school broadcast TV, as are Phillipe & Jorge, you know you are spending nearly one-third of your time watching advertisements. And what a joy, n’est-ce pas?

Because of this, P&J consider ourselves connoisseurs of promotions for the fast-food chains and ambulance-chasing lawyers commandeering our intervals away from such highbrow shows as Downtown Abbey and Young Sheldon. (Note to NAMBLA: we watch the latter because it’s actually amusing, as longtime fans of Big Bang Theory. So piss off!)

But P&J have laughed out loud at the most recent attempt by Big Pharma to draw in customers via yet another phony “disorder” to treat the Great Unwashed (remember “Restless Leg Syndrome,” folks?). This is “Peyronie’s Disease,” and a cure to correcting a gentleman who may have a crink in his penis. (Apologies, but they said it first.)

While P&J would normally dismiss this as your usual ad agency scam to get the OK from a bunch of empty suits right after their three-martini lunches, we lit up when we heard one of the pitches on how to correct this devastating disease that threatens male humanity (and female, according to how far you want to “extend” this – insert snare drum rim-shot and audience applause here).

What caught P&J’s ears was that part of the professional advice given to PD sufferers was “stretching and straightening” exercises of the crooked organ.  Well, take it from us, men have been practicing these “stretching and straightening” maneuvers on their johnsons by themselves for centuries with little or no advice from anyone named “Peyronie.” (“If that is indeed your name, Colonel Bat Guano.“– See, Dr. Strangelove, as P&J quickly go off course.)




Squid’s Ink: The CVS COVID Bonus Edition

NOTE: This IS not misinformation… The Squid’s Ink is Satire. If you think we shouldn’t make fun of pandemics, politicians or the medical industrial complex, then don’t read this memo we intercepted…. 

From: The Board, Staff and Stockholders of CVS

To: Governor Daniel McKee

Subject: Holiday Testing Spree

Dear Governor McKee,

Thank you so much for your pre-Christmas announcement of additional COVID restrictions and recommendations. Because of your delayed warnings about spreading the virus during the holiday season, we had an unprecedented run on rapid tests in every single one of our pharmacies. 

We were initially hesitant about the announced opening of new state-run testing centers, but appointments for these facilities quickly filled, leaving responsible citizens scrambling. No one wanted to give Grandma a virus for Christmas.

Fortunately, we’ve been stockpiling “At-home OTC” rapid tests and have sold thousands upon thousands of them. Customers get two swabs, a couple of vials and two test strips (watch or timer not included). We get $25 a box with no insurance paperwork! We had to set a limit of eight boxes per customer. Needless to say, we’re thrilled.

I got this email from one store, “They’re flying off the shelf. We don’t even have time to break down the shipping boxes. As soon as someone asks, ‘Do you have…’ we just point.”

We’re so glad to have you as governor. While we might prefer Helena, as a thank you for this end-of-year sales bump, we promise not to threaten to move our headquarters until after the 2022 election.

Stay well.

– The folks at CVS




Do Your Job: And Get Paid for It!

Buying votes might be illegal, but Rhode Island’s politicians have a long tradition of innovative and expensive ways to ensure loyalty: Offer a group of state or local employees a raise or a better contract, with the expectation they’ll be grateful. Remember Buddy Cianci’s Cost of Living Pension Blowout? It’s the gift that keeps on giving in the form of Providence’s ginormous pension liability.

In July, Providence teachers got a $3,000 signing bonus to ratify a new contract, and Providence just pitched a 4% annual raise to city firefighters. The fact that these are five-year contracts good for two election cycles is just a coincidence…

The latest? The state’s $3,000 bonus to union workers who got their COVID-19 vaccines.

Wait, what? Three grand for getting a shot that anyone with a brain knows improves your chance of living to see the New Year and is actually required for most employees to do their job?

The Providence Journal reported the union’s president calling it “…the most overwhelming ratification I am aware of.”

We at The Squid’s Ink applaud our public employees, and think they deserve more money. Hell, we all deserve more money. 

With the more than $1 billion in federal COVID aid still banked, our hackers found plans already in the works for vote-buying… er signing bonuses for workers in other fields.

The Pothole Prize – City and state road and highway workers get $3,000 now for agreeing to fill potholes… eventually. Probably. Some day. Maybe.

The DMV Deal – Still in negotiation, our sources say that Department of Motor Vehicle employees will receive $100 for every person still in line after closing hours.

Preschool Payoff – Early childhood workers clean up with $1,000 per year for changing diapers, wiping tears and snot, and scrubbing vomit.

Plowers Plunder – This winter, “snow removal vendors” will bank an extra $100 for every driveway they block when clearing streets. $250 if you’ve just finished clearing it. 

Bus Driver’s Benefit – For $3,000, all RIPTA employees agree to open the front door of their busses, and “kneel” the bus for the disabled and elderly. They are still permitted to snort and roll their eyes when cyclists ask to use the bike rack.

Birth Lottery Bucks – Starting January 1, every mother who successfully gives birth will receive $100 in scratch tickets.

Medical Marijuana Moolah – Weed workers and budtenders will toke home $420 “hazard pay” for sampling their product. Beer brewers are still working out details for distribution of “Hops Improvement Funds.”

Dollars for Donuts – A “reverse debit card” for city and state police will add $50 per swipe at Dunkin’ [last name redacted] to the officer’s bank account. Cops will get $75 per cruller at “artisan” shops like Allie’s, Knead and PVDonuts.

Docs’ Dollars – Physicians, nurses and phlebotomists are often neglected in the payoff game. This year, they’ll get $2,000 just for filling out required insurance papers. $3,000 if they do it while meeting with patients.

Morality Money – our elected officials will reluctantly take $1 matching funds from state coffers for every $1 they decline from lobbyists and special interest groups. This rises to $10 per dollar for cash offered in brown paper bags.




Squid’s Ink Holiday Gift Guide: Not that we’re being greedy…

This month, since we were already on the naughty list, we hacked Santa’s database and discovered what some of our public officials and institutions are asking for this Christmas…

Gifts for the Politicians

  • Buddy Cianci wants another comeback. He’s thinking Governor again this time, figuring he couldn’t be any deader than Dan McKee.
  • US House Reps David Cicilline and Jim Langevin don’t need anything. They already got their gift when the US Census said they could keep their jobs. 
  • Prov Mayor Jorge Elorza wants a shiny new red bicycle, but without the training wheels! 
  • Secretary of Commerce and Former Governor Gina Raimondo wants it all.
  • Governor Dan McKee wants a clue. He also wants to be Lt. Governor again.
  • Former State Rep Aaron Regunberg asked Hanukkah Harry to bring him a time machine and a do-over, but realized he’d avoided being Gina Raimondo’s shadow and dodged governoring during COVID, so never mind….
  • US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse wants Santa to magically change his last name, so he can run for President. 
  • Brett Smiley also wants a new name. Maybe Brett Favre? 

Gifts for the Towns

  • Barrington, Narragansett and Little Compton want their beaches all to themselves.
  • New Shoreham wants a new helipad and invisible wind turbines.
  • The City of Providence wants shiny new public schools, compliant non-unionized teachers, eager students who already speak English, and no new taxes. 
  • Woonsocket wants new ice skates for the poor, hungry and homeless, because you can’t spend COVID infrastructure funds on cake. And to change the official state language to French.
  • Pawtucket wants an elegant statue of a powerful Indigenous Person to scowl from across the street at the stainless-steel monstrosity of William Blackstain… er Blackstone.
  • Newport still wants the US Navy and the Gilded Age. They miss all the sailors, tattoo parlors, dive bars, brothels and indentured servants.

Organizational Wishlists

  • Brown University wants to transition into being Harvard.
  • Roger Williams University also wants Brown to become Harvard and move to Cambridge.
  • Local theaters want Netflix, HBO, Hulu, YouTube, Prime and Twitch to go away, so that people will once again pay to be in the same room and see yet another version of A Christmas Carol.
  • The family-friendly organization formerly known as The Mafia wants to own every politician, because when you make all the laws, nothing’s illegal.

Local Media Presents 

  • The Providence Journal wants to double its circulation with another two full-price paying subscribers. 
  • The Boston Globe wants Journal political reporter Kathy Gregg, so they can have a complete set.
  • GoLocalProv wants a soul. Or maybe a conscience. Or maybe just more obituary advertisers. wants to steal Buzzfeed’s soul.
  • WJAR (Channel 10 / Sinclair) wants to televise political commentaries by Trump’s toupee.
  • RI Community Radio wants AS220 to record some more music.
  • Providence Monthly wants Motif Magazine to fold and GoLocal to implode.

Finally, Rhode Island’s Citizens Wish For…

  • A portable parking space for running errands in Providence.
  • More low-income housing, but not in our backyard.
  • Better schools in Providence (but not as good as the private schools, or charters or any of the other towns’ local schools).
  • Bustling downtowns with thriving businesses and low prices that we can shop at online with no delivery charges.
  • Invisible wind turbines that don’t wreck fishing or kill birds.
  • Blind police officers, like that superhero Daredevil, so we can have law enforcement without racial profiling.
  • Stupid damned COVID to just go away already.
  • And a little tiny earthquake that gently lifts the entire state twelve feet above sea level, expanding our coastline and revealing mile upon mile of pristine beaches – with pre-built parking lots so we can charge out-of-staters. 

Happy Holidays!




Once in a Generation Dollars: Let’s Make a Deal

Welcome to The Squid’s Ink: we print Rhode Island’s dark and humorous truth 

Since 2020, the Rhode Island state government has been sitting on the  so-called “once in a generation” $1.2 Billion Dollars of federal funds. “We’re so used to having lobbyists tell us what to do that we kind of forgot how to think for ourselves,” said a source near the Independent Man.

To facilitate passing the buck, the legislature has created a web page ( https://www.rilegislature.gov/Special/Pages/ARPASFSFRP.aspx)  for citizens to make recommendations on how to spend the pork. Er cash. 

Meanwhile, our team of hackers cracked the site and uncovered the following requests from prominent people and organizations… (The password was “ShowMeTheMoney”)

·  Soon to be former Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza wants $71,797,600 to buy every resident an ebike. He also requested an additional $450,043,125 to build a weather-resistant dome over the city, and turn every street into a bike lane. “This will make Providence the greenest and fittest city in the United States,” Elorza said. “And you’ll never have to pay for parking again.”

·  Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation countered with a proposal to “Pave The Bay.” DOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr. said, “Not only do roads equal jobs, but it will make us invulnerable to sea level rise.”

·  Providence Mayoral Candidate Brett Smiley asked that the entirety of the $1.2 billion go to pay off the city’s pension liability. “This will make a lot of investment bankers very happy,” Smiley said. “And we’ll only owe another $60 million or so.”

·  Interim Governor Daniel McKee first suggested giving high paying consulting contracts to members of staff, but backpedaled when reporters pointed out he’d already done that.

·  Rhode Island Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio offered to arm wrestle House Speaker Joe Shekarchi for spending rights. “Most powerful politician in the state my ass,” Ruggerio was heard to mutter.

·  Meanwhile, the Rhode Island Republican Party proposed refunding the money directly to taxpayers. “If you elect us, we’ll give you $1,000,” said chairperson Sue Cienki. “It’s not a bribe if it’s your money.”

·  Neil Steinberg of the Rhode Island Foundation was overheard suggesting donating the entirety of funds directly to the foundation. “Forget about politicians, we know what’s best.”

·  The Trinity Rep Company asked for $160 million to fund a new Project Discovery Program. “Live theater is good for you,” said Artistic Director Curt Columbus. “We’re going to make a new generation of kids turn off their cell phones and sit still.” The Wilbury Theatre Group and the Gamm also raised their hands, shouting, “Forsooth!”

·  National Grid actually invoiced the state for $780 million so that they could pay off their shareholders before transitioning the company’s operation to PPL of Pennsylvania. “We know we don’t deserve it,” said chairman Sir Peter Gershon. “But we’re going to leave, and we really don’t care anymore.”

·  Developers Jason Fane of the Fane Tower and David Sweetser of High Rock, which owns the Superman Building said that they’d take $123 million each to go away.

·  Convicted bank swindler Joseph Mollicone, Jr. asked for $15 million. $12 million to pay back the money he still owes, and another $3 million, “just because.”

·  Brown University put in for a $400 million grant, saying that while its endowment was doing quite well, “We think Dr. Ashish Jha did such a great job, we’re going to buy him another building. Or three.”

·  Full Disclosure: Motif Publisher, Michael Ryan asked for $5 million to “Take it to the next level and go national.” He also promised to take the money and double writer’s pay. Then he plans to spend the rest on a vacation home in Northern Pawtucket.