Los Angeles government suspended all City operations this morning and announced it would do so until the weather reached at least 70 degrees.

“It’s just too damn cold to do anything,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti from underneath three blankets in his bed while The View played in the background. The Mayor says once the Government reopens he plans to enact legislation that would prepare the City for future cold weather days by providing educational services to the community to teach people how to dress for the weather and how to use their home’s heater.

Residents around Southern California are reacting to the cold weather change by shivering uncontrollably. Except Dave, who insists he isn’t cold and even wore shorts to work today to prove the point. “It isn’t so bad. I don’t know what people are complaining about,” said Dave as he brought a cup of iced coffee to his blue lips.

“Who has time to watch TV when there is so much fucking TV to watch?” 

It’s a question that has plagued humanity for at least the last three-to-five years: How does one keep up with the culture when the amount of culture that is being created is growing at an exponential rate?

For Netflix, the answer is simple: TL:DW! [Too Long: Didn’t Watch]

“Our research shows that most people want to have seen the programming we offer, but don’t have time to actually watch it,” said Netflix’s Head of Content, Ted Sarandos. “Our Too Long, Didn’t Watch feature will allow users to skip the unpleasantries of watching a masterfully crafted TV series without experiencing the embarrassment and discomfort of having to admit that they didn’t watch whatever TV show everyone is going on about this week.”

The TL:DW feature will allow Netflix customers to watch edits of an entire season of content in just minutes. Customers who get through the edited programming will also receive a list of statements to read off at a party when asked about the show so those around will assume they actually sat through the whole thing. For example, this author watched a 10-minute recap of Freaks and Geeks and was immediately texted the following things to say if ever asked about the show at a party: 

  • “How about how Seth Rogan reacted to finding out his girlfriend had ambiguous genitalia? So ahead of its time.”
  • “Busy Philipps really earned her way onto the main cast.” 
  • “That scene where Martin Starr ate lunch in front of the TV alone just broke my fucking heart. What do you mean you don’t remember that scene? It was like the most important scene in the series. Are you sure you even watched Freaks and Geeks?” 

The Avocado asked Netflix how it’s content creators felt about the streaming service editing their work or their actual plan to allow users to watch content in fast forward, to which the Network said showrunners were “universally pissed” but that it was a necessary step.

“We don’t believe anyone is going to watch even an edited version of whatever new show we offer until after they get through Mad Men, which is literally a 92-hour commitment. This way, they can get the gist of Mad Men in around 15 minutes before turning back to our more recent programming or, more likely, our most popular content: full episodes of The Office played in the background while you scroll through Instagram. 

The Avocado reached out to all of the showrunners in Hollywood who universally noted that Netflix’s plan was a “fucking stupid idea,” and that they would be happy to take their content elsewhere, assuming other streaming services don’t offer the same feature, which they probably will.

Seven-year-old aerospace engineer child Timothy Richardson is very concerned about the plastic frowning ghost decoration in his neighbor’s lawn. “Mommy, did he die?,” the MIT Graduate young boy asked his mother as she secured him into his car seat. “No, of course not sweetheart. Like I told you yesterday, it’s just a bad joke, my love. Now sit tight in your big boy seat so we can get you to school,” said Leslie Richardson before kissing her son for a little too long on his forehead.

Mrs. Richardson, a 38-year-old helicopter mother who runs a popular “Mommy Blog” called “Take the Mommy and Run,” contacted The Avocado’s editor several times last week to express her concern about the emotional impact her neighbor’s Halloween decorations were having on her son. I was sent to investigate.

“When I first saw Timothy cower at the sight of that terrible plastic frowning ghost, I realized that it was my duty as his mother to protect him from such ghoulish imagery. It is just so cruel how our society treats children around Halloween. Being exposed to ghosts or spider webs is just not good for their mental health,” said  Mrs. Richardson before adding “it’s a modern-day lynching,” a comment she quickly regretted and asked me not to print.

For the last several weeks, Mrs. Richardson has been on a crusade to eliminate every ghost, skeleton, and monster from Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School where her son teaches attends. “It has been so difficult to get the school to agree to take down all of its Halloween decorations and cancel its annual charity costume contest, but my perseverance paid off.”

“She threatened a lawsuit against me, the School District, and Timothy’s teacher Ms. Monica for intentional infliction of emotional distress,” explained Principal Henry Wilkinson. “We just didn’t think it was worth the fight.” Recognizing her threat may appear drastic to some, Mrs. Richardson justified it as necessary for her child’s protection. “It’s no different than a child with a peanut allergy expecting his school respect his anatomical differences. My son is allergic to scary things.”

This reporter asked Mrs. Richardson to allow Timothy to sit for an interview outside of her supervision, but was denied the request on the basis of Timothy being “a little scared of red heads. You understand.”

Never one to allow a finicky mother to get in the way of my journalistic integrity, I arrived at Timothy’s school ready to confront him in front of his peers and find out why Halloween decorations scare him so much and what he thought of his mother’s efforts.  As I, a grown and unshaven man, approached the young child sitting alone in the lunchroom, we locked eyes. “Hey Timmy, can I ask you a few questions about Halloween?”

“Could you not? I’m- I’m trying to eat my lunch!” shouted Timothy as he ran off into the bathroom to finish his tuna fish sandwich alone in the handicapped stall. Left sitting alone at the undersized lunch table, I was approached by an elderly woman who asked, with appropriate suspicion, who I was. “I came here to talk to a young child about his deepest fears,” I told her without blinking.

“I think you ought to go,” she said nervously. As I stood up to leave, I grabbed the Ziploc bag full of homemade trail mix that Timothy left behind when he ran away from me. There were peanuts in it – a flagrant violation of Theodore Roosevelt Elementary’s snack policy. God, Mrs. Richardson is such a hypocrite.

As I left the lunchroom, I noticed the elderly lady that confronted me staring suspiciously while on the phone with someone, likely the police.

I attempted to reach Mrs. Richardson again for a follow-up interview, but was informed by her attorney that any further contact would result in my arrest. As I became more obsessed with the details of this story, I disregarded my editor’s advice and drove through the Richardson’s community and noticed it had been rid of all Halloween decorations, with the exception of the single plastic frowny ghost that still hung from the Richardson’s neighbor’s home.

I approached that home and spoke with its owner Javier Colon. When asked why he had kept the frowny plastic ghost when it looked like all of his neighbors had acquiesced to Mrs. Richardson’s requests, the man seemed confused.  “Who’s Mrs. Richardson?” he asked, explaining that no one had asked him to take down his decorations.

“Your neighbor…Leslie Richardson,” I said, pointing to the Richardson’s home. “She has a son named Timothy. He’s a shy, nervous boy.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. That home has been empty for years. The family that lived there all died 7 years ago. Come to think of it, they died on Halloween.”

Panic filled my breath and I began recounting the last several days and all of the time I had spent with Mrs. Richardson and Timothy. Had any of that been real? I began to hyperventilate and grasped my head wondering if I had imagined it all or if I had somehow encountered the ghost of a family that died years ago.

“Hey, hey!…” interrupted Mr. Colon. “I’m just messing with you, man. The Richardsons live next door. The mother asked me to take down the ghost, but I told her no. That kid has got to toughen up.”

I thanked Mr. Colon for his time and walked back to my car. As I was about to drive away I looked up at the Richardson’s second-story window and could see Timothy frightfully peering through his curtains and staring at the frowny plastic ghost that, for whatever reason, made him so scared.

“Mom! The reporter that attacked me at school is outside,” shouted a petrified Timothy to his mother. 

“Get away from the window!” responded Mrs. Richardson as she ran toward the shotgun she kept in her closet.

Aspiring filmmakers take note, a major production studio is looking for production assistants!

Candidates must have a four-year degree from an Ivy League school (Penn and Brown graduates are eligible, but not encouraged to apply) and must be willing to work 60-80 hours a week doing menial tasks while being constantly chastised by the person that had the job last year. 

“This is a great stepping stone into the entertainment industry,” said Bradford Michael Whitney III, an assistant editor on Amazon’s I Am The Night shortly before excusing himself to really lay into 23-year-old P.A. Amanda Palmer for getting him the wrong type of scone. “Do you know how fucking lucky you are to be here?” he asked rhetorically before telling her “Make this mistake again and you’ll find yourself back at Cambridge before you can say ‘Phoebe Waller-Bridge Is A Genius.'”

The position’s pay is competitive with sweatshops in mainland China, but the ideal applicant’s focus should be motivated by the opportunity and not pay.

We want our assistants to be motivated by the desire to support our storytellers and not the need to afford rent and food,” said producer Davita Harrison in between back-to-back-to-back-to-back interviews with recent college graduates at a Studio City Starbucks. “Ideally, we like our production assistants to be independently wealthy enough to be able to work for nothing,” said Ms. Harrison before reiterating her commitment to giving opportunities to diverse and underrepresented applicants.  

Gavin Newsom reportedly spent the weekend trapped inside Madame Tussauds wax museum in Hollywood after a janitor mistook the Governor for his wax replica. “It’s an unfortunate mistake, but one which is ultimately a testament to the talents of our wax sculpturists,” a Tussauds spokesperson told The Avocado in a statement. 

The Governor was in Los Angeles for the unveiling of his wax likeness and also to tour the damage of last week’s wildfires if there is time. Unfortunately, as the ceremony began to wind down, a member of the museum’s custodial staff mistook the Governor for a wax figurine and locked him inside. 

“His hair was perfect, and his skin was flawless, and he never stopped smiling. How could I not assume he was a wax figure?” said janitor Hector Camacho. When asked whether the Governor verbally objected as he was being locked inside the museum, Mr. Camacho confirmed he did, but assumed it was a Night at the Museum type of situation. “Do you know how much trouble I’d be in if I let every wax figure I saw come to life just walk out into the world?” said Mr. Camacho, a Tommy Chong type who used to take a lot of LSD and also still does

The Avocado spoke to Governor Newsom, who was still shaken up after his three-day stint in the wax museum. “It was terrible,” the Governor explained, noting that to survive he had to eat a wax figure version of the Rock and fight off a rabid Gary Busey. We assumed he meant he attacked a wax replica of Gary Busey that he confused for the actor in a stress-induced delusion, but now understand it was actually Gary Busey, an old LSD buddy of Mr. Camacho who occasionally takes shelter in the museum. “WAX REPLICA means We Are eXisting Royals Entertaining Prayers Lie In Celebration, Alan,” Gary Busey told us after we asked about his injuries. 

For its part, Governor Newsom’s wax figure had a productive weekend. After being mistaken for the real Governor, it was inadvertently shipped to Sacramento where it signed new immigrant protections into law before celebrating Gavin Newsom’s wedding anniversary to his wife, Jennifer. 

“Gavin has never listened to me so attentively or felt so present,” wept Jennifer after learning that wax Gavin would be returned to Los Angeles. “I’ll never forget him.”

October 10 is World Mental Health Day, and mental health advocates around the world are applauding President Donald Trump for his work as a spokesperson for the mentally ill. “I’m basically the Obama for mentally ill and completely unstable presidents,” Trump gloated to a photoshopped image of himself as a much younger and thinner man that he keeps around because mirrors are biased and completely unfair. 

“It’s so wonderful that the general public gets to see someone actively suffering from a serious mental health condition in a position of such great authority,” said Cal State Northridge psychologist Dr. Abraham Bunsendof (with an umlaut over the first “u” but I don’t know how to add that one in WordPress). “Donald Trump is a textbook example of someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and his success will surely be an inspiration to other narcissists all over the world.”

The clinical criteria for diagnosing Narcissistic Personality Disorder are described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the primary taxonomic publication for diagnosing psychological conditions that, yes, used to call homosexuality a mental health disorder, but forget about that for the time being as I make fun of Trump. The DSM defines Narcissistic Personality as:

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

(1) Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements);

(2) Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love;

(3) Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions);

(4) Requires excessive admiration;

(5) Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations;

(6) Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends;

(7) Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others;

(8) Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her;

(9) Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

When presented with the criteria, Trump was impressed. “You know, it says you only need five or more of those factors to get Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but I have all nine factors and probably more, so I guess you can say I am the greatest narcissist in the entire world, probably in the history of the world if you’re gonna be honest, and anyone who says otherwise is probably a spy,” Trump told the photoshopped picture of himself, which upon further inspection was just a photo of Alec Baldwin from the 1980s.

The reboot trend continues in Hollywood with the cult 90s drama My So-Called Life becoming the latest popular television show to find a new so-called life. The teen drama is in pre-production and will debut next year on Disney’s new streaming service.

My So-Called Life was a pivotal show for an entire generation,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger, who was reportedly involved in greenlighting the series. “The show meant a lot to me when I was a young man in my mid-40s and I think the day-to-day dramas of suburban Pennsylvanian teenagers will be just as relevant to today’s forty-somethings.”

The reboot will center around the multi-ethnic adopted children of Angela Chase (Claire Danes) and Brian Krakow (Devon Gummersall) as they attend Liberty City High. The original cast will reprise their roles, with the notable exception of Jared Leto’s heartthrob character Jordan Catalano, who will now be played by Joaquin Phoenix.

“The decision to recast an iconic character is never easy, but when an actor of Joaquin Phoenix’s quality becomes available you do what you need to do to make it happen,” said Joaquin Phoenix before sort of mumbling to himself for a while and then walking away.

This isn’t the first character Jared Leto has played that has been recast to Joaquin Phoenix. Earlier this year Leto expressed frustration that Phoenix was picked to play the titular villain in the wildly acclaimed film Joker only a few years after Leto played the character in the wildly panned Suicide Squad film.

When asked about Disney’s decision to recast his Catalano character, Leto was decidedly upset.

“I don’t understand why everyone thinks Joaquin Phoenix is a better actor than I am. I have an Oscar and he doesn’t!” complained Mr. Leto. To be honest, we didn’t think that sounded right, but Googled it and it turns out that Leto won the Academy Award for playing a transgender woman in the 2013 film Dallas Buyers Club, the last possible year where a CIS man could get away with that shit. I also guess I thought Phoenix won the Oscar for playing Johnny Cash, but he lost to Philip Seymour Hoffman which I guess I’m okay with because R.I.P. Phil. 

When asked what drew him to Catalano’s character, Joaquin Phoenix explained that he is always looking for roles that upset Jared Leto.

“He’s too good looking, you know what I mean? I don’t know, I just don’t trust it,” mumbled the actor before he walked away. I somehow understood exactly what he meant.

Westwood staple Diddy Riese has been serving fresh cookies to UCLA students since 1983. “At only 50 cents a cookie, it’s the best deal in town,” said UCLA student Amanda Baumgardner, trying not to think about the $300,000 in student loans she took on to be able to live in Westwood as she obtains an undergraduate degree in acting.

For the second year in a row, Westwood is the most expensive neighborhood for renters in California, with an average rental price of $4,944. “That may sound expensive, but it is actually totally worth it,” said Ms. Baumgardner, who loves Westwood’s proximity to campus and its abundance of medical clothing stores and vape lounges. “Why would I want to live 10 minutes away from campus on the beach in Santa Monica for somehow less money when I can live in Westwood where there is a Chick-Fil-A?” she asked rhetorically. “I mean, where else am I going to see a drunk Asian girl throw up at least twice a night?”

For students attending UCLA, and other metropolitan universities, the reality of becoming saddled with a lifetime of crippling debt for a liberal arts degree that will almost certainly not provide them with the earning potential to ever pay back their loans has become a core characteristic of the modern “college experience.”

“These are the most important years of my life. I know the cost is high, but it is going to be worth it in the long run,” said Jeremy Spokan, a UCLA student studying sculpting that is considering enrolling in law school when he graduates, even though doing so will cause him to take an additional $200,000 of debt and eventually force him to work at a large law firm defending insurance companies for the next thirty years.

When asked why he would be willing to take on so much additional debt and enter into a field he is not passionate about, Mr. Spokan was practical: “I need a job that will help me pay off the $140,000 I already took out to get my sculpting degree,” he said. “But when I’m in my sixties and retired from my law career, I will have the freedom and financial stability to sculpt throughout retirement,” said Mr. Spokan, who will die of a heart attack at the age of 57, having spent his entire adult life working on annuities litigations, whatever that means. “But at least I’m saving money by eating those delicious Diddy Riese ice cream sandwiches for dinner every night!”

Since its opening in 1955, Disneyland has been the destination of choice for children across the country and a surefire way for parents to create lasting memories with their family. But with the cost of a single day’s entry now over $100.00 per person and a youth population dispassionate about Disney’s antiquated brand of wholesome, non-virtual entertainment, the Park has been forced to cater to a once-fringe group of visitors: nostalgic adult couples without children.

“For years we tolerated, but never really encouraged, adults without children to visit our parks. In truth, we were always very suspicious about the 20 and 30-somethings who wanted to walk around a theme park designed to entertain 5-year-olds. But now, God-bless-them, those millennial yuppies make up more than half of our daily visitors,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger. “We’re working very hard to make sure these adult visitors have an enjoyable experience and continue to come back to our parks.”

Disney has several new attractions in the works that it believes will appeal to nostalgic millennials, including reviving several “retro” attractions like the perpetually dull Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Figment’s Journey into Imagination. The Park has also entered into licensing agreements with non-Disney owned movie studios to create new attractions for its childless visitors, including a Wes Anderson inspired Christmas parade titled “The Royal Tenenbaum’s Tannenbaum” and a Donnie Darko themed space-time adventure called “Donnie Darko’s Cellar Door.” The Park will also completely replace Adventureland with a new themed area called “Portland.”

“I have so many great memories of coming to Disneyland as a kid,” said 31-year-old season ticket holder Dr. Elise Hodgeman as she and her husband waited in a two-hour line at the new Craft Beer Pavilion. “I just wish there weren’t so many children around,” said the Santa Barbara-based medical records specialist after witnessing a nearby six year old cry in fear from meeting a Disney employee dressed as “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski. “Ugh, can’t its parents shut it up?” whispered Dr. Hodgeman to her husband. “I’d cry too if my parents put me on a leash,” he answered.

Responding to demands from couples like the Hodgemans, Disney will begin implementing age restricted weekends with the hope of attracting more childless visitors to its parks. “Today’s young adults are really uncomfortable around children. We want to eliminate that as a reason not to enjoy our timeless brand of childhood entertainment,” said Mr. Iger.

The Avocado interviewed 10-year-old twins Kevin and Melissa Dubrow as they left the Park with their parents, and asked whether they enjoyed themselves or were upset about the Park’s planned age-restrictions. “Our parents really overhyped this place,” said Kevin listlessly. “It was really hot and crowded and took like two hours to get on each ride. We were here all day and only got to go on like three things.”

“Yeah, and the reception inside the Park was really terrible,” added Melissa without looking up from her phone, unaware of the sadness on her parents’ faces, both of whom had a great day and couldn’t wait to come back without the kids.

Dominic Swank, a 37-year father of four, was arrested and promptly executed Tuesday afternoon after asking a waitress for a single-use plastic straw.

The request occurred at a now-defunct Third Street cafe where Mr. Swank was eating while visiting Los Angeles with his family from Ohio. The Avocado was not able to reach the cafe for comment on account that it had gone out of business and was replaced by an Apple store, but eyewitnesses report that Mr. Swank flagged down a waitress after being presented with an iced tea and asked for a straw. Police confirm that Mr. Swank was initially handed a paper straw, but upon placing it into his drink and noticing it immediately disintegrated because paper straws don’t make sense or work, Mr. Swank asked the waitress for a “regular straw.” That, according to witnesses, is when all hell broke loose.

“The waitress began screaming at the top of her lungs for help,” said Matt Damon, an oil lobbyist of no relation to the other Matt Damon, who happened to be eating at a nearby restaurant. Within seconds, LA police officers arrested Mr. Swank and escorted him to Tongva Park, where he was publicly executed.

“It’s harsh, but how else are people going to learn that plastic straws are literally the worst thing you can do to the environment,” said Matt Damon, who is a proponent of Santa Monica’s straw ban.

“The oil industry cares tremendously about the environment, and these straws are definitely what we should focus our time and attention on,” said Matt Damon. “That’s our straw argument.”

But not everyone is happy with Mr. Swank’s public execution. Mary Swank, Dominic’s widow, was briefly grief stricken by the whole ordeal before agreeing to become engaged to the Venezuelan cousin of the waitress that caused her husband’s death. “My children need a father and Fernando needs his papers. It’s a win-win,” said Mary Swank-Ferreyra.