In recent months, newly elected Count Lou Tintarello has forced the construction of seven obscenely expensive public works to fuel the faltering upstate economy:
I. P. Freeway
The I. P. Freeway is named after star athlete I. P. Freeman (1921-1953), the first man to win Olympic medals for the 100 yard dash, the javelin toss and swimming. He was the second man to die from throwing a javelin into his own back and the first to do so underwater.
“It’s about time that our county’s most famous resident had a freeway named after him,” says Stan Upton, a local grocer and grandson of the late Mr. Freeman. “My grandfather has never been given the fame he so rightly deserves. He died a hero, and the least we can do is name that road after him.”
The I. P. Freeway is built over the Greater Northern Oxglove River, which even environmentalists hated.
Lighthouse of Lexiconington
At first the people of Lexiconington questioned why their landlocked city was getting a lighthouse, but the influx of tourist dollars shut them up pretty well. Its design is based on diagrams of the legendary Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
The lighthouse’s main attraction is its rotating panoramic skydome, which gives visitors a breathtaking 360° view of Lexiconington, from its verdant unincorporated marshes to its thirteen garbage dumps. A free mausoleum is housed in the lighthouse’s basement, next to the Burger King.
Controversy still remains, as the lighthouse’s spotlights are constantly fixed on the landing strips at neighboring Lexiconington International Airport. LIA’s claims have thus far been unverifiable, as the county no longer collects data on airplane accidents.
Hall of Fungi
Perched over the scenic Ozanokie Valley gorge, the Hall of Fungi has been a longstanding staple in the national fungi circuit. Under the Help America Spore Act 2008 it is now an officially protected landmark and will be completely renovated.
The Hall was founded in the 1880s as a microbiology research center but lost its funding after progressive era muckrakers uncovered connections between members of its governing board and the Mantissa crime family. “Many of us, who would have liked nothing more than to better understand this Kingdom of Life, are now relegated to menial...vocations,” wrote New York Times columnist and biologist Justin Doge. “The Hall has been more impactfull to the Science of Biology than any heretofore organisation.”
Major breakthroughs cited by the Hall include confirmation of a link between death cap mushrooms and human death, and over thirty overtly racist fungal taxonomies.
2000’x5000’ Concrete Lot
Over 200 acres of unspoiled forest land was clear cut last October to make room for a massive concrete lot in honor of former astronaut and senator Stretch Armstrong. While in low Earth orbit, Senator Armstrong remarked how “uneven and ugly” the planet’s surface was, heralding him on a thirty year crusade to “blow up the mountains and fill in the lakes.” He also served briefly as a spokesman for anti-ghost powder.
Public support for planetary flattening followed Mr. Armstrong’s gut-wrenching keynote speech at the shadow Republican National Convention in 2007. “We may not be able to—right now—to dissipate atmospheric conditions...[but] the technology to smooth our world’s little wrinkles is within our grasp.”
The lot is expected to have a lone Fotomat booth at its exact center.
George W. Bush Preemptive Memorial
George Walden Bush, a mailman from Route 38 West, is “probably going to die soon,” says an anonymous source close to the family. The remarks follow a routine medical examination.
Mr. Bush is an accomplished mountaineer, scaling both the Pyrenees and the Himalayas before age 25. “My idol growing up was Calvin Coolidge,” Bush admitted in a 1978 interview with Adventure! magazine. Upon returning to Oxglove County in 1980, Bush was hired for a managerial position at a floundering restaurant. Six months later, the place was ready to franchise. By 1982 he was head of a global fast food empire. He later became a mailman.
Enough petition signatures have already been collected to place a statue of George Bush next to his favorite hog rendering plant. Responding to criticism that it is meaningless to construct a memorial to a living person, the office of Lou Tintarello tased a roomful of reporters and engraved the plaque with “1946 — ~2008”.
Leaning Tower of Olathe
Built in early 2002 by vigilantes, the cellular tower of Olathe Landing stands as a testament to both the ingenuity of a ragtag group of college students who later got jobs as Verizon bean counters, and to their inexperience with site surveying. Any idiot with a credit of architecture under his/her belt would have understood that the marshy topsoil of Olathe Landing requires a firm cement foundation for all structures, including doghouses.
Within one year the tower had shifted 15 degrees and one of its legs protruded from the ground, skewering passing deer. A sharp rise in demand for mobile phones coupled with ungodly budget cuts convinced the county legislature to—instead of paying $100,000 to have a telephone company build a real tower—give a guy $20 to tape it down and another $50 to rustproof it.
“I’ve always been proud of that tower,” says Olathe Landing high schooler Bridget Parker. “I see it through the grimy bus windows on the way to school every day. It reflects the cheapness and transitory nature of our postmodern culture.”
Now that the tower is a county landmark, it can no longer be used to carry digital phone signals. Unfortunately the budget remains frozen and no new cellular towers can be built, although $2 million has been budgeted for telegraph line maintenance.
Flightless Owl Preserve
A sprawling 400 acres has been ceded to the Canopy nonprofit foundation to build a habitat for the near-extinct North American Flightless Owls (Strix terrae).
One of nature’s tastiest creatures, the flightless owl has always been prized for its tender, pre-marinated flesh. Trappers and hatters have also sought it for its elaborate plumage. The only specie of owl to possess teeth, many area aboriginal American artifacts affect themselves with “fowl ivories.”
In 1851’s Oxglove Spirit Owls, Rainbow Sauna, a matriarch of the Oxcans, gives a written account of her tribe’s oral history on Flightless Owls:
For trying to steal Noble Field Owl’s winter vittles, the Bureau of Spirits acted in a Timely Manner to enact strict retribution against them. Thus, they were shamed Eternally for their Avarice with a Crippling Blow to each wing; for their Vanity they were crowned with a Mantle to scintillate Great Bears and Soyotes.
The Soyote was a related owl breed that went extinct centuries earlier due to rampant cannibalism. Drawing from the folklore of three other tribes and the works of twenty Lamarckian researchers, Spirit Owls is the first and most comprehensive cryptozoological text/cookbook regarding extant owls.
Flightless Owls grow to a length of 65 centimeters with a wingspan of 10 centimeters. They weigh an average of 34 kilograms. Although illegal to hunt, the eggs of the Flightless Owl have historically been poached.