It's the 2023 ToB presented by Field Notes!

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Spoofs & Satire

The Bright Side

In this day and age of unmet expectations and underwhelming results, it’s more important than ever to follow the examples of others and look at things in the right light. Welcome to the Bright Side.

Creating artificial seismic waves, similar to those that occur during an earthquake, could help squeeze more oil from natural reservoirs, scientists said on Wednesday.

They discovered that in addition to sending tremors that knock down buildings, earthquakes greatly increase the permeability of rocks to transmit fluids, including oil. —Reuters

On Saturday, 16-year-old Mike Thomkins of Cordova, Tenn., discovered that by torching his yard, he wouldn’t have to mow the lawn for the rest of the summer. “Really, it was an accident,” he reported to his father and the fire department, though the biting odor of gasoline in the air and the box of blue-tip matches found at the scene indicated otherwise. “I was just, you know, getting ready to mow the lawn,” he is quoted as saying, “and the grass just went, like, puff, up in flames.” Mike added that while it sucked and all having the entire yard and half the neighbor’s charred and black and nasty, watching the flames work across the grass was “pretty cool.”


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Tamia Hart of Krotchersville, Ind., reported that lightning cured her husband Harold’s chronic alcoholism. “Don’t ask me what that useless, drunk-ass husband of mine was doing on the roof—with a six-pack and his golf clubs, no less—during a lightning storm,” Hart said, “but I can say one thing for sure: He won’t be doing that again anytime soon.”

Services for Harold Hart will be held 1 p.m. Sunday at Grace Church.


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While visiting an active volcano in Costa Rica, Thomas Scratchton of Hatters Range, Texas, discovered what he believes to be a permanent cure for athlete’s foot: hot lava. “I had athlete’s foot for years,” Mr. Scratchton said from his hospital bed, “and no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get rid of it. Stumbling into that lava flow worked like a charm, and it worked fast.”

Scratchton does note one drawback: While the itching is gone, an intense burning sensation remains.


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In what she refers to as “a medical miracle,” Marge Jiltd of Kirkland, Wash., discovered that flooding her ex-boyfriend Randy’s basement alleviates her migraines. “After Randy dumped me,” Ms. Jiltd stated, “I started getting these crippling headaches.” Aspirin and alcohol made little difference. The antidepressants and Percocet her doctor prescribed didn’t make a dent in the pain. “And then it came to me,” she said. “Before we broke up, Randy and I shared everything. We’d share meals, our showers, even socks. So I thought, why shouldn’t I share my misery with him?”

With Randy at work, Marge slipped a garden hose through his basement window and turned on the spigot. The sound of the water hitting his shag carpet was a “tonic to my pain,” Marge said. “My migraine instantly washed away.”

Ms. Jiltd reported that whenever she feels the onset of a headache, she combats it by turning on her kitchen faucet and visualizing Randy’s ruined stereo system, big-screen TV, and prized comic book collection.


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High winds and tornado-like conditions helped Cindi Campski of Beaverskin, Ky., make a difficult decision. For weeks she’d been pondering her ex-husband’s demand that they get back together. Thursday’s storm, which destroyed Ms. Campski’s trailer home and all her possessions, swayed her to accept his offer. “It was either move back in with him or end up in some homeless shelter,” Ms. Campski said, while hand-washing her ex-husband’s underwear.

As for the rekindling of their relationship, she stated that things are different this time around. “He swore he was a changed man,” Ms. Campski said of her ex-husband. “And he is changed. Just not for the better.”

Douglas Light is the author of the novel East Fifth Bliss. His writing has appeared in various publications, including the New York Times, KGB Bar Lit, failbetter, and the Alaska Quarterly Review. His fiction won an O. Henry Prize, and was selected for the Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003 anthology. To contact him, please visit More by Douglas Light