WORCESTER – A local Worcester man generally “lost his sh*%” today when his tenth and final KENO game came up and his numbers weren’t on the screen.

“It’s like they know you’re playing and they don’t want you to win,” Kenny Thompson said, throwing his hands in the air in disgust.

Thompson had been spending the better part of a Monday afternoon playing KENO at a Shrewsbury Street bar.

The bartender, who spoke candidly with the Worcester Lampoon following the 20-minute winless affair, said that she counts on Thompson to be there most afternoons.

“He’s here all the time. I don’t know what he does for work, but I’m pretty sure he spends most of his money on KENO,” the bartender said.

Thompson, visibly steaming and outraged staring at the screen, is disgusted with the Massachusetts State Lottery system and said he will never play KENO again.

“He says that every day,” the bartender quipped.

Thompson told the Lampoon that he hasn’t “hit” in months and that he almost always plays the bonus multiplier.

“Would it kill them to let me win once in a while? The money I spend on trying to win money — I think they owe it to me,” Thompson said as he grabbed another KENO slip.

At press time, Thompson could be heard yelling the numbers he was playing at a high level and disrupting the other customers.

WORCESTER – The construction in Worcester continues to mirror a booming Manhattan in the early 1900’s, and now the city will push it one step further with the addition of 39 more hotels in the year 2018.

“If you build them, they will come. Haven’t you ever seen The Field of Dreams?” Mayor Petty said, his smile resembling a Jack-O-Lantern at the end of November. “I think the best way to get people here is to pretend that it is a desirable place to be. My goal by 2020 is to have at least one hotel room per resident of Central Massachusetts.”

According to Petty, the hotels are set to be built not only in the bustling downtown area, but also in residential neighborhoods.

Petty said, “We need at least two hotels in the Burncoat area, one for the workers at Norton’s Company and another for people who want to visit the Greendale Mall and the former Higgins Armory. Believe it or not, more people visit Higgins Armory now than when it was open.”

Petty also listed three to five hotels in the Grafton Hill area.

We need them for the EcoTarium – a word so fake that spell check in Microsoft Word doesn’t even recognize it – and Worcester Academy, Lake Park, and one more just in case St. Vincent’s Hospital decides to move back home.

The city will also look to build 10 hotels to serve the passengers coming to and from the Worcester airport in Webster and Tatnuck Squares.

“We cannot have all of those passengers from the flight that comes in bi-weekly stay elsewhere,” Petty said. “That is money out of our pocket.”

Petty said the city is also considering a small boutique hotel above Coney Island for food enthusiasts called “Onion” and a small hotel inside the DCU Center called “Barren,” “for those that want a nice quiet stay.”

“Lastly we plan on a unique one of a kind below ground hotel under Belmont Street, so that people can watch the endless work that goes on there from a different perspective,” Mayor Petty said as he pictured himself on his throne.

Many residents believe down the road all of the vacant hotels will only add to the mystique that is the nation’s only active ghost town.

The race for Mayor of Worcester has just gotten a bit tighter as a dusty old VHS security tape surfaced showing challenger Konnie Lukes dropping it low on the hood of the car inside the former nightclub, Sh-Booms.

“This is great news for me,” Mayor Joseph Petty said as he tried to jump up and click his heels. “Everyone knows what kind of girls dance on the car at Sh-Booms. Well, everyone but me. I always preferred the more classic tunes played at Maxwell Silverman’s! Those cool cucumbers knew how to twist and shout, and don’t get me started with the wild dames. Oh, the wild dames!”

Mayor Petty reflected on his times at Maxwell’s as he sprayed two pumps of Binaca in his mouth and spun around waving his fingers like silly little pistols.

“I get it. This may look bad,” said Ronnie Bukes, Lukes’ campaign manager, “but this was the early 2000s. Back then getting on that car was like climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Only the best of the best were allowed up there. Top Gun Dancers”

Aside from it being an honor to gyrate the night away atop one of the dirtiest car hoods on Main Street, the Lukes team also has another defense. “When she set foot into Sh-Booms Konnie Lukes turned into her alter ego, Konnnayyyyy. She would wear low rise slacks, part her hair in the middle instead of to the side and swap out her business blazer for a bedazzled jean blazer. Since this was Konnnayyyyy and not Konnie, she cannot be held accountable. You have never seen Burt Ward get into trouble for the actions of Robin have you?” Mr. Bukes asked.

In closing mayor Petty had this to say, “I honestly hope this disqualifies her totally …. Wait did I say that out loud? What I meant was who wouldn’t want to drop their fanny low to the sweet sweet sounds of Snoppity Puppy Dog and Dr. Sprite. I love Hop Scotch music as much as the next guy!”

WORCESTER – Late Thursday evening, President Donald Trump released 2,800 files of the remaining 3,100 government files pertaining to the John F. Kennedy assassination.

Not to be out done, Worcester City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. announced early Friday morning that he would be releasing thousands of documents previously withheld by the city’s government regarding the self-inflicted assassination of City Councilor At- Large Michael T. Gaffney’s political career.

“Worcester residents think they’ve seen it all when it comes to the files we have on Councilor Gaffney. They will certainly be surprised. Granted, most of the documents are memo’s from Mayor Joe Petty’s office in response to something Mr. Gaffney said or did on the council floor or on social media,” Augustus said in an interview with the Lampoon.

According to Augustus, most of Petty’s memos to his office started with “Can you believe…” or “Did you just see that…”

“If you think Joe’s text messages about Gaffney all day, every day for the past four years would be bad, imagine getting one-sided inter-office memos from him all day long too,” Augustus said.

When reached for comment, Gaffney told the Lampoon, “I highly doubt they have thousands of files on me. And, as you’re aware, my wife Coreen and I sent out that sweet press release specifically telling our supporters and the city’s residents exactly why we were dropping out of the race.”

When asked what purpose it would serve for the city by releasing the files, Augustus replied, “I don’t know. It will at least allow me to clear my desk. Maybe it will convince Joe to stop sending memos. Either way, it will at least look like we are doing something for the public good.”

WORCESTER – For those that were excited about Worcester’s new bike-share program earlier this year where the city gained 400 yellow bikes to rent, Mayor Joe Petty has even better news.

“This is great. I mean, really great news,” Petty commented. “We started with 400 yellow bicycles, but now we have 800  – yes that’s right 800  – yellow unicycles for rent.”

The unicycles greatly resemble smashed up, burned and destroyed versions of the bikes from the program, but Petty sees this as a positive.

Petty said, “Worcester is a city of innovators. Where some people see decimated bicycles the residents of Worcester see a beautiful new unicycle. Basically what I am trying to say is most cities trash is Worcester’s treasure. And that is a testament to the type of people we have living here, and the way we have run this city since it’s inception as Boston’s smaller, less unique step brother.”

Although the new unicycles seem very difficult to ride, not only because of the nature of the unicycle being a one wheeled vehicle but also because some are lacking pedals and chains, Mayor Petty said not to worry.

“That is all part of the fun!” Petty quipped “What is more thrilling than riding down Queen Street on a wobbly, semi functioning, former bike turned unicycle while wearing a business suit and white New Balance sneakers? I will tell you what is more thrilling than that – Kissing a girl on the lips! And that’s it,” Petty said. 

Pricing is reasonable as well. Since they are only half of the bike the prices have also been cut in half.

“We are charging 50 cents an hour and only 25 cents an hour for college students,” Mr. Petty said, still grinning as he day dreamed about kissing. “Also, if you don’t want to pay you can just ride the unicycle around as much as you want then chuck it onto the train tracks or burn it or do something silly, get creative! This is Worcester, we won’t stop you.”

All in all, the new unicycle program looks to build upon the success of many similar programs the city has seen in recent years.

In an attempt to secure the youth vote in the upcoming election, Councilor-at-Large Konstantina Lukes has announced a new reality television program on Channel 3 in Worcester.

“The Lukes of Hazzard” will air weekly and will take audiences behind the scenes as the candidate and her family prepare for and execute the city’s heated mayoral race.

“It’s going to be like “Hard Knocks” meets “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” Lukes proclaimed at a recent press conference downtown. “But in the 5-0-8,” she added, twisting her hands unsuccessfully to create the three numbers with her fingers.

Lukes, who is seeking her second (non-consecutive) term as Worcester’s Mayor, assured her fans that despite the show’s various influences, it will be unique.

“Oh she’ll have her own flare,” she asserted, referring to the show itself. “She’ll know just what to do.”

Episode topics for the show reportedly range from Lukes’ legislative inquiry into oversight and regulations around the city’s sober houses, including information and the voluntary certification and permit requirements for operation of said establishments to her tenacity around the specification of out-of-city social justice coalitions, their status in the city of Worcester, and (citing the potential tax implications) their identification in regards to Worcester’s various non-profits, social service agencies, and tax-exempt institutions.

“Oooh shit!” Lukes commented upon viewing the trailer with a group of community organizers and volunteers. “This is gonna be off the hook!”

Television critics are skeptical of the show’s success, citing subject matter and intended audience as possible factors.

“I’m not confident that there’s enough material there,” said Kris Toh of the Telegram & Gazette’s entertainment section. “Or that what is there is compelling enough for the modern viewer.”

“People want to see how the sausage gets made, bro!” Lukes refuted, turning her nondescript mesh baseball cap to the side and crossing her arms.

Councilor Lukes, who is also kept busy as the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Traffic & Parking, has responded to most premature criticism with teasers of the upcoming “thrills and chills” that her show is bound to bring.

“Sometimes things aren’t so dull in traffic and parking,” she told reporters excitedly. “Let’s just say this: in one of the episodes, we go all in on the conversation around ride-share services vis-a-vis meter distance regulation and the citywide budgetary implications of increased parking ticket contrasted with decreased use of meter quarters, especially in the context of the recent installation of credit card readers around universities, and throughout downtown and  universities. It’ll be dope.”

“Who’s even watching this?” Mayor Joseph Petty posited in a recent interview outside City Hall, scoffing at an advertisement for the show on a passing bus. “Other than the meter episode, and the one where she finds out the Gaffneys dropped out of the City Council race, I doubt I’ll even watch the episodes I’ve DVR’d.”

The show will air after Worcester News Tonight every Wednesday evening, followed by a brand new Lukes of Hazzard recap program, “Rebukes of Hazzard with Kevin Shea”.

WORCESTER – Earlier this week, the City of Worcester submitted a proposal to online retail store Amazon to hope to get them to build the company’s northeast headquarters on Route 20 in Worcester.

However, not all is lost if Worcester doesn’t succeed in its bid to get Amazon as the city government announced just this morning that they will make a proposal to bring major home video and video game rental company Blockbuster to be a sparkplug in Worcester’s downtown economy.

“Everyone still owns a VHS, right?” Mayor Joseph M. Petty asked in an interview. “That’s got to be a good thing. Popular name, lots of energy from what I hear. We can’t miss.”

With the introduction of Netflix, Redbox, and on demand video services over the past 15 years, Blockbuster has only a limited amount of franchises across the country and a barely visible on-demand service through Dish Network.

“Let’s make it a ‘Blockbuster Night’! Petty said. “That’s what I used to say to my kids and that’s what I hope to say to the residents of Worcester very soon.”

According to representatives from Dish Network and Blockbuster, they were blatantly stunned when contacted by the City of Worcester and couldn’t believe that a city on the rise would take such a step backwards to bring back VHS rentals.

Dish Network CEO Stan Moore said, “But then again, we did see that their local access television and cable news channels look like they belong in the 1980s, so we figured we would have to be a good fit.”

“We went to the Midtown Mall,” Moore continued. “Enough said. Perfect place for a Blockbuster. Not one person there looked like they even knew what Netflix was. In fact, some guy was cutting lines of cocaine with his Blockbuster membership card in the City Hall men’s room earlier today.”

Editor’s Note: In response to last week’s discovery from the Lampoon archives regarding the wonders of the Greendale Mall in 1999, one of our readers submitted a response telling us why the mall is still great in 2017.

Arguing about whether the Greendale Mall is awesome or not is a waste of time. It doesn’t matter what you think. People in Worcester are wasting precious time trying to determine the answer to this question in all the wrong ways. It’s quite simple really. The Greendale Mall is fucking awesome.

The mistake people in Worcester make is trying to understand the Greendale Mall in the context of other destinations. Is there a food court? Yes. Is there a parking garage? Yes. Is there at least one giant clock in the middle of the mall displaying the incorrect time? There is indeed such a giant clock. The Greendale Mall is at nearly 40% capacity. That is an impressive number and way better than 30% or even 20%. It’s doubly better than 20%. If you’re at a mall that has only 20% of the stores rented, just by going to the Greendale Mall you will have doubled your access to stores and paramedic training schools.

People in Worcester are constantly complaining about the Greendale Mall. Why? What the fuck mall have you ever built? Have you even tried to build a mall bro? It’s hard work. There are lots of cement trucks involved, you’ve got to bring in electricians, plumbers, networking geeks who laugh at you when you ask them, “So, will we have like, wifi or something?”

How is the Greendale Mall fucking awesome? Who’s asking the questions here Clarence? It’s fucking awesome because you can park EITHER outside OR INSIDE. Or both. So if it’s nice day and you want to park outside and get some sun and diesel fumes off the highway traffic, you can. If it’s pouring outside, you can drive into the garage, go around a couple of hundred times to dry off your car, and then park virtually steps away, right outside in the parking lot.

Plus the Greendale Mall has awesome security that drive around in a 2004 Geo Tracker acting tough as SHIT! Does your mall have bad asses driving around with yellow hazard lights flashing on their awesome 2004 Geo Trackers looking tough as shit?

How can you even be debating this issue with me? Malls are about the shopping and The Greendale Mall offers a five-star, “shop til you get mildly winded” experience. Let’s say you need a new cell phone. Or a cell phone case. Or, you dropped your cell phone and you want someone to fix it with a hairdryer? The Greendale Mall has an incredible variety of shopping options for you.

Are you a woman (it should take you less than three seconds to answer that question)? If you are a woman, you can get a taste of that old fashioned, 1950’s style catcalling as you walk by any one of the seemingly endless array of cell phone kiosks. It’s like an uncomfortable, unsettling walk down memory lane! Need shoes but also enjoy the experience of clinging to life on a ventilator? DSW is the perfect place for you. Rather than kill the planet and use a normal HVAC system, the good folks at DSW work on some “state-of-the-art” forced hot air system that seems to combine several of the laws of thermodynamics with five or six, good old fashioned giant dryer exhaust tubes wheezing precious, life giving air on the floor. It heats some of the air (Or cools it. it’s hard to tell actually.) and is only 110 decibels loud.

Remember these points the next time that you find yourself in a group of Worcester elitists drinking a half pint of the latest shitty “micro-brew” and everyone is complaining about the Greendale Mall. Stop them violently and forcibly and say. “Fuck you elitists. I’m going to get my eye brows threaded and wolf down some sweet, sweet Tacos Mexico because the Greendale Mall is fucking awesome.”

From the Lampoon Archives, circa 1999:

There is one thing that everyone in this city can agree on: the Greendale Mall is the flagship, the pride and joy, for a growing and expanding Worcester.

Photo: John Phelan/Wikimedia Commons

All it takes is one step into the beautiful sun filled main hallway for shoppers to feel the energy and life that pulses from one end to the other. The cutting edge technology mixed with the new age architecture make the Greendale Mall a combination of palace-like elegance with the hustle and bustle of New York City.

“This place rules,” yelled young Billy Wiggins before he ran back into The Dream Machine, a state-of-the-art arcade packed with youngsters. “This is the best arcade in the world! It’s huge!”

Aside of The Dream Machine is the Food Court, an eater’s paradise with cuisine from around the globe — there is truly something for everyone.

“Do I want a slice of ‘Roni Pie from Sbarro, some Pork Fried greatness from the Chinese place or a McRib Sangy from McDonalds? Heck I will have them all,” exclaimed Greg Gluckman as he jumped into line. “This is one of the best food courts in the entire COUNTRY! All we need is to snag York’s Steakhouse from the Auburn Mall and we will have it all!”

The main mall is one story above. Take the space age escalator or the fogged glass encased Wonkavator to what one could only call a “Mega Mall.” From Lechmere to Marshalls, KB Toys to Rave you couldn’t swing a cat by the tale without hitting a great retail shop.

“The stores are one thing, but let’s not forget about our kiosks as well. We have Piercing Pagoda for any 16 -year-old that wants an infection and nose ring, we have the multi-color popcorn stand for those that like popcorn but are bored with the color of it and we have THE BEANIE BABY CART! These things sell like hotcakes and will ONLY GO UP in value!” said the guy who owns the Beanie Baby Cart.

If the Greendale Mall is any indication of how the city is doing on a whole, we are in great shape! Simon says this mall will be around forever!

WORCESTER – Following last week’s School Committee meeting at Mechanics Hall, the seven candidates for Worcester Public’s school committee have vowed to imbue the final forum with even more ambiguity than in forums past.

“There’s no doubt we need to do more for our schools,” said Brian O’Connell in a statement to the Lampoon last Friday. “I mean, right? Unless, you know, what you’re talking about is bad. In which case, definitely less. We need to do way, way less.”

Those planning to attend are hoping to present the candidates with hard-hitting questions around topics such as the Common Core, graduation rates, and school suspensions.

“Oh, the Common Core,” said Dianna Biancheria when asked about how she plans to answer some of these questions. “Definitely.”

The November 7th municipal election will feature only one challenger to the school committee incumbents: businessman and community organizer Dante Comparetto.

“There’s really only one way to address the lack of diversity in our teaching corps,” Comparetto said.  “And that’s to diversify it. We gotta diversify it real good, that’s the key. Everything else should fall into place after that.”

“We need to close the gap up,” said Jack Foley, in reference to the achievement gap in Worcester Public Schools. Often considered the true indicator of a school system’s success, the achievement gap refers to the difference between the highest and lowest performing students in the district, as opposed to simply pointing to the highest-performing schools and using it as a representation for how the district as a whole is performing. “Cloooose it up,” he added.

“Like I said in the last forum,” said Donna Colorio, “we need to challenge our students. Like, you know, with tests and quizzes and stuff. Challenging ones. Maybe throw a riddle or two in there or something.”

Molly McCullough was reached for comment, but was ostensibly stuck in a loop of repeating the words ‘budget’ and ‘services’ over and over again until Lampoon staff were forced to hang up the call.

When asked about their feelings on standardized tests, John Monfredo says that the candidates plan on answering in unison that standardized tests should not be the sole measure of a student’s ability and that a multi-tiered, value added approach might be something worth considering in the future.

“But hell, we don’t have a time or a place for it yet,” he added with a chuckle. “Who knows if it‘ll even happen?”