hunger strike for Bonanza

Portage Man On Hunger Strike Vows To Bring Back Bonanza

Portage la Prairie, MB – 

Nathan Ogilvie won’t eat until he can fill up with all-you-can-eat steak and shrimp.  The 40 year-old Portager is lobbying government and business with hopes of bringing Bonanza Restaurants back to town.

Once the most popular and dynamic restaurant in the region, Bonanza fell victim to challenges with the viability of the chain over 25 years ago.  Ogilvie hasn’t been able to have a good meal out since, and he is fed up with the lack of action on bringing back his favorite eating spot.

“I’ve been passing around petitions for years,” Ogilvie explained.  “I’ve been to city hall, the Manitoba Legislature and even Parliament Hill but they aren’t listening.  We have a group of people who call and write the Bonanza head office in the states but they won’t bring back our Freshtastiks Salad Bar.”

Sadness fell over the region, and a void formed when they pulled the sign down that only T-bones, ribeyes, chicken Monterey, and endless soft-serve ice cream could fill.  Portagers fell in love with the marginal cuts of meat, cooked inconsistently, saddled with exquisite baked potatoes along with unlimited trips to a salad bar, the likes of which they had never seen.

“I remember lining up out the door on Friday nights,” Ogilvie recalls. “The all-you-can-eat steak and shrimp was the best.  You’d have people not eating for days before they came in and loaded up.  We need to bring Bonanza back and make Portage great again.”

Ogilvie vows not to eat anything until he can get assurances from government officials and corporate executives that Bonanza will return to the starving city of 13,000 souls.

“I look forward to breaking my hunger strike with a medium rare ribeye, a plate full of golden fried shrimp, and 4 trips to the Freshtastiks Food Bar.  But I’m not just doing this for me; I’m doing it for Portage.”

Many have speculated that Bonanza’s amazing popularity in the prairie city was due to its killer combination of value and volume.  Bottomless drinks, a salad bar that was more a cornucopia of treats than a healthy option, bargain items like Country Fried Steaks, fish dinners and chopped steaks allowed everyone to get uncomfortably full on a budget.

“Bonanza was, and is, the perfect Portage restaurant,” Ogilvie said.  “It captures the essence of who we are.  We like predictable, simple and unchallenging foods.  We need to bring Bonanza back a.s.a.p.  It’s part of our identity.”

Local and provincial officials support Ogilvie and his desire to have the iconic steak house return but do not support his hunger strike.  They point out it may take a while to get all the things in place to make Bonanza Portage la Prairie a reality.

The return of Bonanza promises to be a tourism boost as many former Portagers plan to return home to enjoy their favourite flame broiled fare.

We will have more on this story as it breaks.

Notice to readers/disclaimer – click here to read more about the fictional and satirical nature of this story and website.

Bonanza and Bonanza Steakhouses are actually still out there are copyrights of Homestyle Dining, LLC – click here to see more.  They actually have a mashed potato bar now – how cool is that?  

Photo:  Mike Kalasnik – https://www.flickr.com/photos/10542402@N06/

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Top 7 Portage Smells

Poll Identifies Top 7 Smells Of Portage

Portage la Prairie, MB –

CIPP-TV conducted a poll last week to find out what local smells Portagers identified as being the most Portage.  The results, although shocking and disturbing, will help with developing a long-term strategy on attracting new residents and business.  Five thousand people from all demographics were surveyed and a total of 30 odours were identified.  From this list, 8 smells were noted most frequently.

Here are the top smells in the nose of Portagers.

7.  Crescent Lake Algae Blooms – The picturesque, stagnant oxbow that is the pearl of Portage heats up with the summer temperatures and produces an incredible volume of algae and related sulphuric odour that greets path users for a good two months.

6.  Canola – While not completely unique to Portage the smell of canola in bloom from surrounding fields is a summer favourite.  So much so, an entrepreneur developed a scent to capture it that local women find irresistible (click here to read about canola perfume).

5.  Stubble Smoke – A fall odour that reminds Portagers of their rural roots, every fall harvest kicks in and farmers become overwhelmed with the need to burn excess straw.  This produces an aroma that is a favourite of locals, especially those suffering from asthma and COPD.

4.  Human Waste – While they wait for needed upgrades the sewage treatment plant floods the southern part of the city when the wind shifts from the south.  That means on warm nights the smell of effluent reminds Portage’s most prestigious neighbourhoods of grandma’s homemade soup.  There is a reason why soup rhymes with poop.  Visitors trying to avoid Portage by using the by-pass are bombed with the scent which might prove successful in having more travellers come through Portage rather than scooting around it.

3.  Linden Blossoms – Portage has a large urban forest and a good number of Linden trees that bloom each year.  The blossoms carry a citrus smell that reminds locals of laundry detergent and household cleaners.  This spring smell motivates many to do spring cleaning and wash their clothes.

2.  Downtown Garbage Bins – A night on the town going to dinner and a show isn’t complete without the need to stroll by a collection of garbage bins lining urban parking lots.  After enjoying tonight’s special, Portagers can waltz by the odour of yesterday’s dinner rotting in bins as they make their way to the theatre district for a show.

1. French Fries – Who doesn’t like fries?  Portagers know that if the wind turns to the west or northeast they are in for a treat as the odour of potatoes being deep-fried in canola oil wafts through town like a handsome stranger.  It’s amazing that a local poutine shop hasn’t set up shop and made millions with all the free marketing available.  If Portagers prefer, they can close their eyes and imagine the oil is frying mini-donuts or other deep fried treats.  Let’s not underestimate the draw this smell has on travellers as they go by.

Notice to readers/disclaimer – click here to read about the true nature of this story and website.  Spoiler Alert – it is satire and fictional.  What does that mean?  It is not real.  It is not news.  Please read, comment and share responsibly.

Photo:  bradleypjohnson – https://www.flickr.com/photos/bradleypjohnson/

Study Finds Men With Large Trucks Have Smaller Penises & Are Less Desirable

Portage la Prairie, MB – 

A recent study conducted in the Central Plains Region indicates a direct connection between male organ size and the type of vehicle they drive.

Researchers surveyed 1,000 men ages 18-64 and compared the size of truck, including the amount of customization and features to the size of their sexual organ.

In 80% of participants, they found an inverse connection between the size of the truck and amount spent of features like lift-kits, oversized rims, modified exhaust and other options and the overall size of their penis.

“For years, psychologists have told us men will often buy expensive and powerful vehicles to compensate for feelings of inadequacy,” head researcher Herman Rarebell said.  “We weren’t surprised when the study proved the larger the truck the smaller the penis, in general terms.”

The study tracked the make, model and features of the vehicles along with measurements of each owner’s penis.  At the same time, they surveyed the men’s current or latest sexual partner on the impact the size of the vehicle had on levels of attractiveness.

“We found that only 15% of the men’s partners felt more attracted to them because of their truck,” Rarebell explained.  “70% of women were either turned off or indifferent by the larger vehicle.”

Many men’s attempt to appear more virile and attractive by owning a large, fancy truck is having the reverse effect.

“When it comes to vehicles and the impact on attractiveness to women, size certainly does matter,” Rarebell said.  “Not only size, but how the vehicle is driven affects the levels of appeal.  Our study showed that only 16% of partners found males more desirable when they drove fast or aggressively.  60% of women indicated their desire levels dropped to almost nothing when they were with a male driving aggressively.”

Toyota Camrys and Volkswagen Jettas provided the biggest boost in sex appeal with 85% of women surveyed indicating higher levels of desire for male drivers of those vehicles.  “The practical and dependable aspects of these cars seem to appeal to women,” Rarebell explained.

The research team also discovered and inverse relationship between age and vehicle size.  1,000 drivers over the age of 65 were surveyed and 78% said they are driving larger vehicles now than they did prior to retirement.  Most graduated from compact or mid-size cars and crossovers to mini-vans, large SUV’s and full-sized sedans.

“Our research shows the vast majority of seniors prefer to drive vehicles that are larger and more impractical than what they actually need,” Rarebell said.  “It’s common to see gramma and grandpa driving 7 passenger vans and SUV’s when they’d have an easier time driving and parking a smaller vehicle.  They are no doubt drawn to the prestige and additional safety.”

The May 2017 survey is accurate 19 times out of 20 with 4 out of 5 dentist recommending the responsible driving of reasonable vehicles.

Notice to readers – this is satire.  Click here to read full disclaimer if you do not grasp the fictional nature of this story and website.

Photo: Eric Mueller – https://www.flickr.com/photos/pnoeric/

Portage Confused & Upset By Controversial Satire Site

Portage la Prairie, MB –

The website for the imaginary CIPP-TV Channel 116 launched to great fanfare and critical acclaim this summer but Portagers have become concerned about the satirical local media outlet.

With a blend of fictional and fabricated stories, about make-believe characters, CIPP-TV has provided a constant source of satire and, at times, humour set in the Portage la Prairie area.  Reactions from local viewers are mixed.

“I thought a couple of the stories were kind of funny,” Joan Bedford said.  “I didn’t realize they were made up until my sister commented on my Facebook page after I shared the story about Trudeau smoking weed.”

“You mean it’s not a real TV station?” Quincy Rhodes asked when informed of the fictional nature of CIPP-TV.  “I thought everything I read on Facebook is real.  So the story about the trees with genitals is made up?”

“I just about wet myself everyday.  The best comedy has a lot of truth in it,” Betty Snow said.  “Portage is this wonderful, quirky place with a lot to offer and a lot to laugh at.  I love the idea to convert the mall into a 80’s retail museum.

While some locals have found comfort and pleasure in the satirical style of humour, others seem disturbed.

“The people writing this stuff should be embarrassed,” Brian Milton offered.  “It’s juvenile crap.  I don’t get why you’d want to make up stories about Portage and put them on a website like the survey on how Portagers make love 15 times a week.  I can barely stand reading their daily posts.”

“Some of it seems real, like the bikini lady on Crescent Lake,” Owen Gabranski said.  “It’s not right to make fun of things around here.  Why would anyone want to make fun of us and this place?”

Many Portagers have mixed emotions about the new website and its subject matter.

“I liked the site for the first month or so, and then they poked fun of a few things close to me like the woman who gave birth at the Keith Urban concert,” Sherry Blackburn shared.  “These fictional stories were hurting the real feelings of actual people.  I think the people running this site are cowards.  If they want to make fun of something they shouldn’t hide behind pen names and satire, they should do it in real life.”

“Portage is a funny place,” Vern Fritz said.  “I don’t think the website does justice to how hilarious this town can be.  I don’t think fiction could ever capture the absurdity of this place.  I could see the splashing at Splash Island being banned.

The fanciful owner of the imaginary television station CIPP-TV pushed back at the criticism.

“I’ve received complaints from real Portagers who are upset about our satire.  I truly underestimated Portage’s ability to handle fictional criticism,” CIPP-TV Owner Ryan Coke explained.  “There is freedom that comes with being imaginary that allows us to cover topics other media outlets can’t or won’t.”

“We like it when people are entertained by our satire but we love it when it motivates a response from them,” Coke added.  “We think fiction can help contribute to the open dialogue and varied perspective we need in Portage.”

While the owner of the imaginary TV station claims to have good and noble intentions, some Portagers are still mad.

“They aren’t funny,” Blackburn added.  “We don’t allow the real media to criticize, ask questions or make fun of the town and authorities, why should we let a fake TV station away with it?  Maybe if CIPP-TV lost it’s advertisers they’d be held accountable.”

Station owner, Ryan Coke, is not concerned with an advertiser backlash.

“I know that reality based media outlets have to bow to sponsor pressure but we are imaginary.  Since we generate most of our imaginary income from fictitious advertisers, we should be able to endure a handful of Portagers who take an exception to our humour.”

“We’ve already fired our imaginary News Director to try to placate locals who were upset about her left-leaning take on things,” Coke said.  “I guess we could fire some more imaginary people.  It’ll only cost us imaginary severance anyway.”

Notice to readers – if you didn’t get the joke of this story and website please click here to read more about the fictional and satirical nature of this.  Feel free to comment on the story and have some fun with us.  If you are offended by what we do – please choose not to consume it.  How about you respect our fictional opinion, even if you disagree, and we’ll respect your real or imaginary opinion.

Photo: Joe Goldberg – https://www.flickr.com/photos/goldberg/

Portage Family Guilty Of Using Term “Cousin” Too Generously

Portage la Prairie, MB – 

As a child, Ernest McKay believed just about everybody he knew was his cousin.  In his teen years, McKay began dating and needed to know who his actual relatives were.  McKay’s parents Dave and June had to come clean with a family secret and admit they were guilty of abusing the term cousin.

“As a kid I thought just about everyone my age was my cousin,” Ernest McKay explained.  “It was great until I had a crush on a girl my parents said was my cousin.”

The McKays and several other Portage la Prairie area families had been telling their children distant relative’s, suspected relation’s, friend’s, co-worker’s, neighbour’s, drinking buddy’s and associate’s children were their cousins.

“We were just trying to keep things simple for him,” June McKay said.  “Our family has a lot of; let’s call it, overlap and confusion.”

McKay is alluding to the fact their family has an abundance of divorce, re-marriages, cross-marriages and general dysfunction.

“This is my third marriage and I have children from both previous marriages,” McKay said.  “My sisters have been married twice.  Not to each other but to different men.  My mom married my uncle who divorced his wife, then they broke up and my uncle started living with my husband’s mom.  It gets real confusing at Christmas.”

That confusion was the motivation behind the McKays telling their son so many, technically unrelated, people were his cousin.  The McKays also threw around the terms auntie and uncle with reckless abandon.

“You can’t explain to a five-year-old how people have been divorced and re-married and then divorced again.  That would cause anxiety,” McKay said.  “Once he got old enough to understand we never got around to sorting out who was his real aunties and uncles and who weren’t.”

“I’m not sure my parents know who we are related to anymore,” Ernest McKay offered.  “I’m just glad Diane isn’t my cousin after all.  We’ve been dating for a couple of years and with a baby on the way, we are thinking of getting married.”

McKay’s mother is less enthusiastic about her son’s relationship.

“When he asked about Diane being his cousin we were pretty sure she wasn’t.  Now that we put all the pieces together, we think she might be his third cousin, twice removed but we’re not sure.  They’ll need a DNA test on the baby after it’s born to know if it’s his for sure anyway.  I guess they’ll be able to tell if they’re cousins then.”

Although a new generation would provide an excellent opportunity to correct the reckless and wrong use of the terms cousin, auntie and uncle, Ernest and Diane are thinking about continuing on the family tradition.

“I wouldn’t want to rob my baby girl or boy of the same large family I grew up in,” McKay said.  “And if we’re the only ones doing it the rest of the family might get upset.  We’ll just stick with what we know and hope our child doesn’t marry a relative.  Or at least a close relative.”

Notice to reader:  click here to read the full disclaimer and explanation of the fictional and satirical nature of this story and website.  Yes, cousins and aunties are real, and the fact some of the people we call that might not actually be that may be true, it does not make this story real.  Please read and share responsibly.

Photo: Mircea Sarbu – https://www.flickr.com/photos/30789455@N00/

Portage Woman Robbed At Gunpoint Is Comforted By Crime Stats

Portage la Prairie, MB – 

They say, if life gives you lemons, make lemonade so if you’re a victim of crime why not take comfort in crime statistics.

A Portage la Prairie woman and her husband were robbed at gunpoint on Saskatchewan Avenue last Saturday night and are turning a negative experience into a positive perspective thanks to the leadership of local officials.

“Cam and I were out for a walk when a group of young men startled us with a gun,” Britney Martens said.  “They wanted our wallets and cell phones so we complied but it was the scariest thing I’ve experienced in a while.”

A passing car stopped and the driver called 911 for the couple.  After a mere half-hour the police responded and took the couples information.

“The police said we should have our cell phones tracked and cancel our cards and that we would likely never see our wallets again.”

The couple was calmed by the reaction of the police who assured them they see this quite often in Portage and usually nobody gets hurt.

“It meant a lot to us to know we’re not alone,” Martens said.

The following day the Martens were still feeling shaken up when they listened to a story on a CMS(parent company of CIPP-TV) radio about the incident.

“I was really impressed to hear our local politicians put the whole thing into perspective,” Martens explained.  “They said there isn’t a crime problem in Portage and that really, really helped me.”

Local authorities point our that while crime and especially violent crime can be upsetting at times the statistics show there has been no noticeable increase.

“To know this is just part of Portage life and its been this way for a long time gives me confidence I’m living in a great place.”

Several of the politicians Martens heard on the radio go to her church, another fact that gives her hope.

“I see a few of them almost every Sunday and I know one of them hangs out with my pastor quite a bit.  These are good people.  If they say there are no problems in Portage, I know I can believe them.”

Martens points out that if the media coverage she consumed was negative about crime and Portage she wouldn’t feel as safe and willing to spend money locally.

“You hear about these other places like Winkler and Carman where there is all kinds of crime and I would never want to shop there, let alone live there.  What you hear in the media about a place really makes a difference.  I’m glad I live in Portage.”

All the politicians CIPP-TV contacted about crime in Portage agree there is no problem and the stats prove there has been no increase in crime for years.  There has also been no decrease but officials point out as long a citizens don’t talk negatively about Portage it will remain a great place, full of possibilities.

Notice to readers – click here to read the full disclaimer and explanation about the fictional nature of this story and website.  This is satire and should not be shared as news.  Read and share responsibly.

Photo:  Francesco – https://www.flickr.com/photos/spaceodissey/

Portage News Director Fired For Not Sharing Right-Wing Perspective

Portage la Prairie, MB –

New local TV station, CIPP-TV fired News Director, Pat Hiscock, after numerous complaints from politicians and business owners about her seemingly left-wing editorial perspective.

“We told Pat, when we brought her in from Lloydminster, her job was to be head cheerleader for the town and area,” CIPP-TV station owner Ryan Coke explained.  “Our vision for news is to be a positive, business friendly voice for the rich and powerful.”

Hiscock faced constant criticism for asking politicians uncomfortable questions on subjects they did not wish to address.  She disregarded her employers marching orders to pander to local officials and businesses and to avoid balanced perspectives and negative issues.

“I’ve worked in small media markets for years but I’ve never experienced so many thin-skinned people who couldn’t stand to be questioned,” Hiscock said.  “This place pays crap so it won’t be hard to find another job.”

Station management teamed up with some local political and business leaders to try to curb Hiscock’s editorial stance with law suits and threats but their efforts failed.

“It started when I openly questioned a prominent political figure about her comments,” Hiscock explained.  “She called me names and then had a lawyer send me a letter.  I didn’t stop because I do know the difference between journalism and free speech versus libel and slander.”

The remaining staff at CIPP-TV stand behind Hiscock and have taken over editorial control of the station website www.cipptvportagelaprairie.com.

“We are the only ones with the passwords and the ability to update the site,” union president Richard Pashe said.  “We’ll run the stories we want and management can’t do anything about it.  If we want to point out the obvious problems in this town, we will.”

CIPP-TV ownership has a different goal for the newsroom.

“We shouldn’t talk about negative and divisive issues,” Coke offered.  “Sure we have poverty and major social problems in Portage but we don’t need to be reminded of them.  Most viewers would prefer to see stories about how great our town is and all the great things that are going on.  It encourages people to spend more and that’s good for the economy.”

Hiscock offered some parting insights from her time in Portage la Prairie.

“When you move here, you see some glaring problems with the town that no one wants to talk about.  With such a dominant right-wing conservative view-point the other perspectives get marginalized.  People in power get freaked out when someone doesn’t share their opinion and can’t stand to be held accountable.  The town would benefit from some varied perspectives.  That’s what I tried to bring but I guess it was just too much,” Hiscock said.

“I wish Hiscock the best,” Coke offered.  “She just didn’t understand Portage.  We like what we know and know what we like.  We have a strongly shared perspective in this community and now we must find a News Director who is part of us.”

A search for Hisock’s replacement is underway.

Note to readers: this story is satirical and fictional – CIPP-TV is not a real TV station.  Please click here to read more if you don’t understand this is not real.

Photo: Rochelle Hartman – https://www.flickr.com/photos/tinfoilraccoon/