When Tangents Magazine originally unleashed our humor section, we really didn’t care if someone got offended. Were you ticked off? Good. We were young, full of piss and vinegar, and, well, just plain full of it. Back then, you also had to work pretty hard to tick someone off enough to have them complain, or make a fuss. You were the one person that contacted us to say that you didn’t like that article? Well, good to hear from you. What did you think of the rest of the magazine?
Nowadays, in our suddenly rougher and tougher society, everyone is more easily offended, and complains about it on social media. And to make matters worse, other people actually seem to give a toss about whether someone else was offended by something. Which makes people talk even more about the offending incident, and just makes more of headache for the people that did the supposed offending, to begin with.
With that in mind, we present the following disclaimer. The following articles (hopefully) contain elements of dark humor and satire. This work was created by people that did not get enough attention as children, and/or were taught the “Baseball Diarrhea” song at nine years old, and were never the same again. Some of you may like it, some of you may not. Kinda like life. Amy similarity to truth, or pointed commentary using humor as a platform for honest discussion is purely coincidental. So there.
— Dickie Typoe
A history of Charlotte via torn down buildings
In 1765, Mecklenburg County officially became a county, and immediately began tearing things down. Old buildings, new buildings, outhouses, whatever. This went on for the next ten years, after which they realized that they still belonged to England. So they drew up a document, and tore that down, too. We would liked to tell you more about the places that galvanized the early days of Charlotte, but they were all torn down. A few buildings from the era, such as Hezekiah Alexander house, do exist, but only because other similar homes were torn down during the 1940s, and a few people realized that they had to save something. Otherwise, it too would have been torn down.
This cycle continued through much of the 1800s, if only because that’s what they had always done. College Street was full of colleges, hence the name, so they were all torn down. Church Street earned its name for the multitudes of churches along that road. Nearly all of which were torn down, because God said so.
By the early 1900s, Charlotte’s population began expanding. So whatever had been downtown, was torn down. Or moved to what was then the outskirts of Charlotte. Plaza Road, and other new suburbs. (But don’t tell too many people that these neighborhoods have houses that are over a hundred years old. Somebody might tear them down, too.) Other landmarks that began to emerge during that time were amusement parks in the Dilworth area (tore that down), and just north of downtown (tore that down, too). The widow of General Stonewall Jackson lived in downtown Charlotte for many years, and her home was featured in many postcards and maps of Charlotte during that time. And then they tore it down. Romare Bearden was born near downtown Charlotte, and they tore down his neighborhood, just so the city could honor what they had torn down a hundred years later.
By the 1920s, Charlotte was in full swing, building and demolishing in equal measure. Hot spots included the Hotel Charlotte (tore that down), Carnegie Library (tore that down), railway station (tore that down), Masonic Temple (tore that down), Wearn Field baseball stadium (tore that down), Federal Reserve Bank (tore that down), and numerous other restaurants and hotels that were all torn down. Demolition in Charlotte ceased during World War II, so that workers could go demolish other countries. When they returned home, the soldiers started families, and built many homes of varying architectural designs. Nearly all of which have now been torn down.
A new boom hit Charlotte during the 1950s, with new popular places like Crockett Park (burned that down―nice one, snot nose teenagers), the old Charlotte Coliseum (thought about tearing that down), and eventually the new Charlotte Coliseum (tore that down). Other popular restaurants of the time included the Epicurean (tore that down), Athens Restaurant (torn down so that CPCC could have eight more parking spaces), and the Coffee Cup (Really!? We tore that down so that a developer could have another 300 square feet of NOTHING!?). Continuing the tradition of music that had been started in the 1930s by WBT Radio (original studios torn down), and recorded by Hotel Charlotte (once again, torn down), a number of music venues and recording studios welcomed people from all over the world. This included venues such as Park Elevator (burned that one down), Swing 1000 (tore that down), the Cellar (which is still there, and now called the Tavern. Again, mum’s the word, so it doesn’t get torn down), and the Double Door Inn (CPCC, don’t even think about tearing this down. Isn’t your president a historian, or something?) Reflection Studios (tore that down) saw many records recorded at their studio, while Arthur Smith welcomed many famous people to his recording studio (which is still there ― wow!), and his home (which was torn down. So close!).
Now, in 2015, after years of waiting through the recession to tear things up, developers are once again tearing things down. And what does Charlotte have to show for its history? A number of great buildings that somehow survived, yet don’t get any support from the city, and a lot of historical markers that end with the phrase “used to stand on this spot”. The lesson here is to love, support and fight for what you care about preserving. Because otherwise, well, you know.
— J.F. Keaton
Judge Boner wonders why people don’t take his legacy more seriously
Sitting on a rocking chair on his front porch, retired Judge Richard Boner is anxiously waiting for workers to arrive. “With my retirement, I decided to make some renovations to my house. So I called up this local reno company, and I said, ‘This is Judge Boner, and I want a big deck for entertaining.’ They should have been here days ago.”
After 27 years on the judicial bench, Judge Boner retired last December, and has been struggling with people not respecting his legacy. “It’s always, ‘Oh that Judge Dick Boner. He liked big, long, sentences.’ And then they giggle. What’s so funny about sentencing criminals to long jail terms? I can always say that I was always firm, but fair. Why shouldn’t I be proud of that?”
“Why shouldn’t I be proud of the family name?” adds Boner. “Boners have been around Charlotte for as long as there’s been a city. There’s been a lot of Boners here since the 1700s. In fact, there’s a family legend that my family helped to preserve the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Back then, it was treason to have a copy of that document, so the elder Boners would hide copies of the Declaration by wrapping them around their legs, and under their long socks. The Meck Dec might not have survived at all, if it had not been wrapped around a Boner.”
Many people first heard about the judge when he presided over the 1990 trial of GWAR lead singer Dave Brockie, when the frontman was arrested on an obscenity charge. “I saw in the paper the next day that he said that he was glad that I didn’t give him a stiff sentence,” says Boner. “I thought that he showed true remorse by saying that. I was glad to hear that he was concerned about spending significant time in jail. He seemed like a nice guy. Did he mean anything else by that?”
Boner also earned the ire of many in the Charlotte media for banning photographers from the courtroom, despite the fact that the issues had more to do with reporters, and miscommunication with public figures. “Well, yes, the security messed up by not leading everyone outside when people started to give interviews, and the clerks didn’t go a good job of telling people not to give interviews in the hallway. But they were my co-workers, and they could be downright snippy if I called them out. Hiding my robe in another closet, spitting in my shoes. The media, I didn’t have to see everyday. Especially after I had them banned from the courtroom. However, I don’t think that they would point to that as the lasting legacy of my career, or not acknowledge all of my other accomplishments because of that. Even though most of them only know me for that, or that was the only time that I dealt with them. That wouldn’t held that against me, would they?”
With his days on the bench now over, Judge Boner plans to spend more time with his two kids, Little Dicky and Rasa, and find ways of preserving his legacy. “I wanted a big shiny plaque that said JUDGE BONER in big letters. And the guy said, ‘Do you want the retractable version, or the big 10-inch?’ He was still laughing when he hung up the phone. I don’t know why a plaque would be so funny. I wonder how much more the retractable plaque costs?”
With Judge Boner now in retirement, one wonders if he chosen his successor. “Why yes,” he proudly says. “I have hand-picked my successor. He’s a judge from Italy, with a long family history in that country. I’ve heard that he has a very memorable speaking voice. His name is Biggus Dickus. I think that he’ll preserve the Boner legacy for a long time to come.”
— J.F. Keaton
Female NC Republican pushes for freedom from voting
Hot on the heels of a bill that restricted the options of women’s abortion rights in North Carolina, another female representative has written another bill that is racing through the North Carolina General Assembly. NC Bill 2018, written by NC Republican Representative Kathy Mellars, promises “freedom from voting” for all women in North Carolina, essentially giving voting rights exclusively to males.
“This ensures the male’s legal authority to preserve the rights of the women,” says Mellars. “For too long, the American family has broken down because men did not work with women to form a complete relationship. With men now legally owning their wives, we can make sure that North Carolina will return to those old-fashioned values we hold so dear. Men are supposed to take care of us, and it’s time that they do so. This bill will relieve the women of having to make decisions about voting, and leave more time for shopping. And when you get down to it, that’s all women really want, anyway.”
“Usually, I wouldn’t consider a bill like this,” commented a fellow state congressman. “But she is a woman, so she must know what women really want. Come to think of it, she the one woman I know, apart from my wife. But she’s my wife, so she doesn’t count.”
“She’s kinda hot, too, especially when she wears a skirt,” said another state senator, his mouth quivering slightly like a junior high student. “I like girls.”
The bill states women will no longer allowed to own property and/or run for public office, which means that Mellars would not be allowed to be in office once the bill becomes law. “This does not bother me. When all of this is done, I will simply go back to the planet Republicant, where I was born. This is where all of the current Republican senators and congressmen have come from, in a plot to slowly take over the rest of the world. We cover up our otherworldly dialect by sounding like Yankees. Why else do you think that it sounds like that we’re all from New Jersey?”
“I look forward to the future of North Carolina,” adds Mellars. “With this bill, we have strengthened women into a silent majority that cannot be ignored. We may no longer have the right to speak in public, but when it comes to public, you will surely hear us roar. Trust me, I know. I’m a girl. And an alien.”
— J.F. Keaton
Great works of literature as dirty movies: The Pirates of Penzance
(Porn name: Pirates of My Pants)
Pirates (Hello, Sailors!) rarely see women at sea, which kind of explains the Village People quality of their outfits. Frederic is a young pirate that has a heart of gold, and has therefore never gotten lucky. Because of that, he thinks that the pirate’s maid, Ruth, is hot. Frederic’s fellow pirates have also gone out with Ruth at different times, so they no longer share Frederick’s enthusiasm, but they’re tired of hearing Frederic talking incessantly about this, so they tell him to take Ruth to the beach and get it over with.
Things with Frederic and Ruth don’t work out, and she leaves to go play with the other pirates. As if by magical plot coincidence, a few young nubile girls come bounding up the beach at this exact moment. The girls dream of, well, you know. But their high social standing doesn’t allow them to admit to such things, so they spend their time bounding up and down the beach (usually in slow motion), all the while singing “Climbing Over Rocky Mountain.”
Frederic, with his, um, pegleg beginning to show, pleads with the girls to save him (“Is there not one maiden breast?”) and help him take off his pirate outfit. Mabel, whom her friends thought was the prissy one of the group, decides that she kinda likes guys in pirate outfits, and she and Frederic proceed to go behind the dunes and explore the decks. Mabel’s friends decide to get all voyeuristic, watching from a distance, all the while pretending not to be watching by talking about the weather. (Filmmakers note: More would have happened with the other girls if this film had been a vampire movie from Hammer Studios.)
Soon after this, Mabel’s dad arrives from one of his, um, military conquests. This apparently hasn’t happened in a while, as everyone spends a lot of time announcing, “The Major General Has Come!” After announcing his strange fetishes (“animal, vegetable, mineral”), he announces that he will let the pirates go free, which really disappoints the girls.
The rest of the story is a merry romp, with a policeman (singing ”When The Foeman Bares His Steel”) deciding to put the pirates in chains. Surprisingly not into that sort of thing, this leads to the pirates doing a lot of looting and plundering, and running around in people’s houses (and bedrooms). Finally, the General asks the pirates to pledge allegiance to a queen (I mean, The Queen. Of England), and everyone joins together in happiness, and presumably other things that will lead to thank you notes.
Next time, we discuss the eclectic story of The Wizard of Oz (aka Wizard of Ahhhs), with its themes of a young woman and her coming-of-age explorations of drugs (poppies), gothic dominatrixes (Wicked Witch), bestiality (Cowardly Lion, Toto), large metal objects (Tin Man), and that whole weird thing with the flying monkeys.
— J.F. Keaton