Affiliated Press -- Oct. 9, 2010 Ann Arbor, MI
Crisis in Ann Arbor
There is a crisis reported in a Ann Arbor due to a critical shortage and it is not the notorious critical shortage of defense on the Michigan football team. There is a critical shortage of paper bags. There are none to be found in any stores in Ann Arbor, not even the Walmart stores. In a recent press conference, Mayor John Hieftje confirmed the reports
"This is a serious shortage. We are preparing to declare a state of emergency. All efforts to mitigate the shortage, including attempts at recycling, have failed. There just are no paper bags to be found, anywhere. Plastic bags, in many cases, are not a viable alternative."
Speculating on the cause of the shortage, Mayor Hieftje shrugged and suggested that the most likely cause was high consumption at football games.
"Fans are wearing the bags over their heads so they can't be identified as Michigan fans. Between the eye holes the tears from fans pulling their hair, the bags are ruined after just 1 use. Hundreds of thousands of bags are destroyed each week."
Police Chief Barnett Jones, speaking off the record, observed that the lack of paper bags has resulted in a substantial drop in sexual assault cases. No specific relationship was identified, but Chief Jones noted that unless the crime rate climbs back up soon, the Ann Arbor Police Department will undergo significant reductions in force.
Another direct impact of the paper bag shortage, according to the Washtenaw County Clerk, has been a serious decrease in the birth rate, a drop so significant it has affected the overall rate of population decrease for the entire state.
"Apparently, without paper bags, people just aren't having sex."
Michigan Head Coach Rich Rodriguez was recently observed shredding paper bags in his office, late at night, with the help of a grad assistant. When asked, Coach Rodriguez said he felt the players might do better if they played without paper bags over their heads. He went on to guess that the players were trying to hide their identities during the game, an effort completely thwarted since the uniform jerseys clearly spelled out each player's name.
As if denizens of Ann Arbor have not suffered enough in recent times, the paper bag shortage is being blamed for causing 2 other shortages -- mortuary makeup and resorative wax. Douglas R. "Dutch" Nie, II, of the Nie Family Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Inc., brought this issue to the attention of the Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti Regional Chamber of Commerce at the August Economic Club luncheon. In his presentation, Mr. Nie noted:
"Nobody in Ann Arbor has dies with a smile on his face for over 3 years now and it looks like it won't be getting any better any time soon."
Byline -- Jack Piooma