Chicago-"The Onion" Managing Editor Russell Sprouts announced today that the well-known fake-news outlet was shutting down immediately. Six other prominent sites said they would also be closing.
"We can't keep up any more," said Sprouts, speaking for the group. "Reality itself has become so insane that it is no longer possible to distinguish between fake news and legitimate headlines."
Sprouts referred to a recent case-or is it?-when a man who kicked a kitten to death was acquitted on grounds of self-defense.
"Or how about the naked woman," he continued, "who got stuck in a chimney stalking her boyfriend? They had to take the house down. Real or a joke? How about PETA enrolling Sarah Palin's dog in a domestic abuse program?"
Sprouts noted that in some instances "faux news" headlines anticipated the "real news" by mere weeks.
He cited a fake report about the ability of iWatch wearers to give each other remote-control orgasms (http://www.humortimes.com/28653/iwatch-apple-boob-simulator/) and the real-news announcement today of a vibrator synched with your iWatch (http://motherboard.vice.com/read/this-vibrator-syncs-with-your-smart-watch).
"It's built by a company called OhMiBod," he said despairingly. "Their slogan is 'Cuddle up with your phone at night instead of your partner.' I mean, how in the heck do you satirize that? The iWatch and iPhone run off together and live in an iPad?"
Hard-boiled though he is, Sprouts softened and seemed to grow tender.
Recovering, the Lonely Little Petunia, as his colleagues call him ("I'm in an onion patch, and all I do is cry all day"), said that the real worst thing was simply that there just was nothing funny in the news anymore.
"What kind of jokes can you make about Charlie Hebdo?" he said. "What's funny about Mike Brown and Tamir Rice and a million folks thrown off food stamps? It's time for us to let it go, as the kids say."
But Spoof editor Mark Lowton said that nonetheless The Spoof would not be closing, despite what he called Sprouts' "soggy green-faced drippiness."
Lowton added: "Yeah, satire is a dirty job, but somebody has to do it."