Désirée Martin lives in Hyde Park and commutes to her office near Pershing Square every day. “It’s exhausting,” said the 32-year-old community organizer, who spends nearly 10 hours a week commuting to and from work. But for residents like Désirée, an ambitious plan by L.A.’s Metro Agency will connect communities without access to light rail to Los Angeles’s growing public transit network. 

“They’re expanding the Metro line to Hyde Park?” asked Ms. Martin. “Shit, I’m going to have to move.” 

Los Angeles’s Metro Rail is undergoing an unprecedented expansion with new routes currently under construction and even more in the design phase. The new rail services are being funded through the “Measure M” permanent sales tax that was approved by voters in 2016.

“We believe Los Angeles should have a world-class, commuter-friendly public transit system,” said Metro CEO Phillip Washington, who expects his ambitious slate of new transit projects to be completed shortly after the residents currently living along the expanded service areas get priced out.

The Avocado spoke to Devin Duplass, a 28-year-old software engineer renting a studio in Santa Monica for $3,800 a month who was excited about the metro expansion. “I would not live in Hyde Park now, but once the new Metro project is completed and they build an Archstone and a few Veggie Grills it may be a more affordable option for guys like me who are rich, but aren’t like super villain rich, which is really what you need to be to live on the West Side. It’s so unfair.”

But for Désirée Martin, who has lived in Hyde Park her entire life, these improvements to her community are bittersweet. “On the one hand, it’s nice to see Hyde Park finally get some much-needed infrastructure improvements. But for those of us who don’t own a home, we’re going to have to move out to like Commerce to afford anything in L.A. County. And Commerce fuckin’ sucks.” 

Proposed Map of LA Transit in 2028

 

Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband pleaded guilty Friday to charges of fraud in the college admissions scandal, admitting they scammed their daughters’ way into USC with lies and illegal payments.

But the case against Loughlin and her husband J. Mossimo Giannulli remained unsettled after the judge in the case put off a decision on whether to accept the couple’s guilty pleas and the terms of deals they struck with prosecutors. This week, the Judge accepted the star’s plea and sentenced her to two months in prison.

At her sentencing, Loughlin begged the Court to “HAAVVVEEE MERRCY”.

“Excuse me, Mrs. Loughlin, what was that?” asked the Court, confused why the former Full House star said the phrase in a faux-Elvis accent, waited for a reaction that never came, and then raised her eyebrows like “come on, don’t you get it?”

“I said…HAVVVVEEEEE MERRRRRCYYYYY,” said Mrs. Loughlin, still getting no reaction from the judge. “You know, like from the TV show. John Stamos would say it to me–”

“Oh, right. I understand,” said the Judge. “But you really are asking for mercy, right? It’s not just a bit?”

“I am asking for you to…HAAAA–

“–OK noted, Ms. Loughlin. I’ll take this matter under advisement and should have a ruling next week.

“Thank you, your honor,” said Mrs. Loughlin before turning to her lawyer.

“I think that went really well,” she said to her attorney, adding “I think she is going to HAAAAAAAAAVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEE MERRRRRRRRRRRRRRCCCCCCYYYYYYYYYYYYYY on me.”

With the economy at a standstill and mass unemployment gripping the nation, real estate experts predict housing prices will fall to still way more than you will ever be able to afford.

“Home prices around the country will plummet over the next six months from unfathomable to still completely out of reach,” said a real estate agent you went to high school on Facebook. “It’s about to become a buyer’s market,” he posted before liking a picture of your sister from 2014. Creep.

The Avocado asked everyone we know if they were planning on buying a home once the market drops but they were all too busy worrying about how they were supposed to pay back the $80,000 in student loans they have now that they have been fired from their job at [fill in the name of the place you used to work here].

But not everyone is so pessimistic about homeownership. We spoke to a real estate investor who asked to be identified only as “We Are NOT Slum Lords, LLC” who said he plans on picking up several more rental properties in traditional black and brown neighborhoods once the foreclosures really start rolling. “This is a great opportunity for people who already have a lot of money to make a lot of money.”

“Thirteen,” Rich grunted, before dropping the dumbbells on the ground, staring at his tri’s and letting out a “sweet” in self-admiration. Having achieved maximum pump, he flexed once again. Brows furrowed in concentration, as if performing to a binocular clad-observer on a nearby rooftop. But today, he remained unobserved. He relaxed and picked up his blender bottle, drinking the protein shake moments before his anabolic window closed.

Prevented from going to his sanctuary, Gold’s Gym–the one in Santa Monica, since the bodybuilders at the Venice location had quickly grown tired of his incessant live streaming–Rich has been forced to work out in his home gym. Or rather, it was the small lot behind the complex housing his studio, which he shared with the other tenants. A clever move, considering that for them to scold him for blocking their cars, they must bear witness to his full physicality. This would be Rich’s only audience, his live streams now barren, held captive to behold him in awe.

“The work begins when you want to give up. Everything worth achieving in life is hard and there will always be people trying to drag you down, telling you that you can’t do it. You can achieve anything through persistence, determination, and never giving up!” He finished typing the caption and posted the photo of his to Instagram. It was a good photo. The early afternoon sun had bathed him, contouring all eight of his abdominals. Rich watched his phone, waiting for a response. People needed to see his hard work; what he had overcome; what he had achieved, so that they could be inspired by him.

Rich reflected on his childhood in the suburbs of Pennsylvania. He had grown up skinny, though not alarmingly so. He had stared longingly at his Lionheart movie poster featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme. The two would often hold eye contact during Rich’s teenage years and Jean-Claude would beckon to him in his thick Belgian accent, “join me, Rich. I, Jean-Claude Van Damme, believe in you. Train hard, and one day we will splash water at each other on the beach in the South of France.” But now he was ripped. And maybe one day through continued diligent training he might become jacked or even swole, though he had moved on from Jean-Claude, who would now be left waiting on those beaches without closure.

“OmarLikesCats has liked your photo.” Rich smiled at his screen, knowing he had touched someone.

By Bartow Weiss

With new health and safety guidelines in place, Hollywood’s best and brightest are headed back to work.

RELATED: Live-Action “Veggie Tales” Reboot and “The Female Entourage” Resume Production.

But remember, this is Tinseltown: not everyone gets a green light. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is only allowing essential cast and crew on set. For those deemed nonessential, this is business as usual. 

“As a background actor, my job is to be inconspicuous. I’m there, seated in the courtroom, in line at the coffee shop, but you don’t notice me.” extra Jesse Heiman told The Avocado. But COVID-19 is taking this invisibility to the next level. As Mr. Heiman put it, “I still need to make a living.” Enter: Zoom background acting. 

With video conferencing taking the place of face-to-face interactions, Zoom backgrounds have become a newfound source of entertainment. From turning oneself into a potato to speaking in front of a picturesque waterfront, Zoom’s virtual backgrounds are making space for levity and creativity amidst these trying times. Now, they’re also keeping extras in work. 

According to television executive, Grant Meier, “Everyone loves a toddler barging in on a call. That’s the kind of thing that gets attention. But my son is 17 and hates my guts! I wanna go viral! It’s not fair!” After reviewing thousands of headshots and audition tapes for the role of “Young Luke,” Meier found his new son. The project subsequently fell through due to the executive feeling “upstaged.” 

Some roles are markedly experimental, such as Hugh Jackman’s Horizontal Dresser. Similarly, Aaron Sorkin is said to be holding auditions for Big Pile of Money. 

One of the most highly anticipated Zoom backgrounds comes from Gary Busey; the latest rumors suggest there are dozens of candles and one angry parrot.  

Although our current times are steeped in uncertainty, one thing is for sure: background actors are no longer on mute. 

By Grace Fetterman

A compromise has been reached with activists demanding the U.S. government remove Thomas Jefferson’s statue from the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. on account that he was a slave-owning rapist.

For many, the idea of removing a memorial to the author of the Declaration of Independence is a sacrilegious affront to our nation’s history and one of our Country’s greatest minds, while others are okay with it because he was still a slave-owning rapist even if he was really really smart or whatever. The two sides appeared to be at an impasse when representatives from both sides met over Zoom and worked out a compromise: The Jefferson Memorial will remain but the statue of Thomas Jefferson will be replaced with a 19-foot tall marble likeness of Daveed Diggs.

Having been tipped off that a Zoom call was scheduled between two diametrically opposed foes, this reporter attempted unsuccessfully to obtain an access code to the meeting. 

“I want to be in the Zoom call where it occurs,” I emailed several people but no one got back to me. I even pretended to be from the New York Times but no one responded to that either, probably because I emailed them from my Hotmail account.

After the compromise was announced, the Avocado was able to speak to one of the activists advocating for the memorial to be removed.

“Look, no one can doubt that Thomas Jefferson was a brilliant man who was instrumental in our initial independence, or that he was able to articulate our Country’s greatest ideals. But that cannot be divorced from the fact that he did not live up to those ideals. He owned over 600 people, raped his captive Sally Hemings repeatedly, and insisted that provisions be written into our Constitution that codified systematic oppression to such an extent that we are still dealing with its repercussions today,” said activist Aaron Rivers. “But at the same time, Daveed Diggs was really great in Hamilton so if we’re going to have a memorial to Jefferson than we’re cool if it looks like Diggs.”

“We can’t just erase our Country’s history!” said Kenneth P. Armstrong, a self-proclaimed historical preservationist. “Thomas Jefferson is an important part of our Country’s history and his contributions should continue to be honored…but my god Daveed Diggs was just so wonderful in Hamilton.”

“I was initially real cross about the idea of taking down the Jefferson statue, but then I watched Hamilton over the weekend with my granddaughter who is visiting from New Hampshire and honestly it just exceeded every expectation I had,” said Mr. Amstrong. 

When asked whether the use of Daveed Diggs’ image as the new standard for Jefferson’s likeness creates a false sense of history, Mr. Amstrong said he didn’t. “The monuments we have for our founders are all to some extent built on myths. Our Country’s origin story is in some ways as fictitious as Hamilton. In many ways Daveed Diggs’ performance is more representative of Jefferson than the canonized version of him we look up to now,” Armstrong observed before humming a bit from “It’s Quiet Uptown” as he thought about his son. “He moved to New Hampshire for work last year and I don’t get to see him as much as I’d like.” 

But not everyone is happy with the compromise. Shortly after the Diggs compromise was announced, President Donald Trump vowed to protect the “better, white version of Thomas Jefferson” at all costs. When asked whether he had seen Hamilton and understood just how freaking good it was, the President said that he watched it over the weekend in bed with Ivanka and didn’t like it much. “Those leftest rebels were very rude to King George who was a very strong leader by the way,” the President tweeted before adding the hashtag “#ROYALHarassment” to a separate stand-alone message.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control are celebrating the discovery of an inexpensive device that if used can reduce one’s chances of contracting Coronavirus by up to 95%. It’s a mask, you idiot.

“Coronavirus is a dangerous and highly contagious disease but the risk of infection can be greatly reduced by wearing a small mask on your face when you go to the store.”

This reporter asked his least favorite Aunt on Facebook about her reaction to the amazing discovery.

“Aunt Rosie, did you hear you can reduce your chances of catching Coronavirus by wearing a mask?????” I asked my mom’s sister before sending her several articles about the efficacy of wearing masks. Aunt Rosie is one of those crazy people you see on @KarensInTheWild. She watches Tucker Carlson every night and holds very strong opinions about 5G. I love her as much as I hate her.

I waited for Aunt Rosie to respond for several minutes, seeing ellipses come and go multiple times, only to eventually vanish. Fifteen minutes later I received a call from my mom telling me that “Aunt Rosie loves me but felt she had to unfriend me because I was trying to start a fight with her.”
“I sent her information about how wearing masks can save lives! How is that starting a fight?” I asked my mom. “We’re not going to have any family left if we don’t work to keep it together,” she said to me. I told her I wouldn’t try to message my Aunt Rosie anymore.

Aunt Rosie is the third Aunt I’ve lost this year. I lost my Aunt Anne during the protests after she took issue with posts I made that criticized the police for killing people black people and firing upon protesters for no reason. “I AM INCENSED THAT ANYONE WOULD EVER CRITICIZE THE POLICE” she texted me after seeing a post denouncing police brutality. Her son is a police officer and after she saw my post she called my mother and said she felt it was best that if there is a Thanksgiving this year our family celebrates it separately.

Then, a few weeks later, we lost my Aunt Beth to coronavirus. As in she’s dead. She decided to go to church without a mask on because it was not mandatory to wear a mask in the stupid little Texas county she lives in. “I know Jesus will protect me!” she wrote on Facebook two weeks before she died. He didn’t.

You’d think the loss of my Aunt Beth would force my family to take the threat of Coronavirus seriously. But it didn’t. My Aunt Anne is still so irrationally angry about the protesters that all she can say if you mention Coronavirus is: “If it’s so bad then how come you have thousands of people in the street looting?”

My Aunt Rosie, who convinced my Aunt Beth not to wear a mask by sharing links she sort of half-read about Carbon Dioxide poisoning and God’s Law, has become even more entrenched in her ways.

“Requiring someone to wear a mask is a violation of my rights as an American!” she told me at Aunt Rosie’s funeral. She had just lost her sister so I didn’t press it. My Facebook message to her was my attempt at education, but she can’t be educated. She is just so angry at everything, all the time, and that anger has caused her to polarize things I assumed we could always agree on. And because everything has become polarized to such an extent that even a message about how wearing a mask can prevent a deadly disease is seen as starting a fight or advocating for the degradation of personal liberties, she deletes me so her world view cannot be challenged.

So now the only thing my Aunt Rosie and I can agree on is we both have one less crazy person on our wall.

“I am God, and you can’t tax God,” Kanye West told IRS officials Monday in a petition we made up to recognize him as his own distinct tax-exempt religious entity. The artist rationalized his position by stating: “I mean, where are you gonna send the tax bill? Heaven? You can’t send mail to Heaven, bruh, that’s why Santa lives in the North Pole, and you can’t make me move to the North Pole because I’m God and I have rights.” 

West, who believes he is Jesus, recently released an album titled “Jesus is King” that documents his devotion to god, Chik-Fil-A and money. He also hosts church services on Sundays where he performs songs alongside a gospel choir and sells $250 sweaters to his disciples. As a tax-exempt entity, Kanye would be able to pursue these, and potentially other revenue streams, without paying federal income taxes.

The artist reportedly got the idea to apply for tax-exempt status after hosting a church service alongside mega-church preacher Joel Osteen and learning that Osteen has a 65 million dollar jet. “I want a 65 million dollar jet,” said West, and with that, a new religion was born…again.

“It appears West’s religious devotion is directly tied to his desire to make money,” said religious tax expert Hamish Winterbaum. “So in that sense, what he is doing is no different than literally any other religion and he should also be exempt from taxes.”

The Avocado was taken aback by Mr. Winterbaum’s blunt assessment, but then started thinking about it and I guess if Scientology can get away without paying taxes then why shouldn’t Kanye? At least Kanye gave us all College Dropout. Maybe he deserves it?

UPDATE: After publishing this article, we received several notes accusing us of having made up this story to prove an unclear point. The Avocado agrees with that assessment and is accordingly applying to be recognized as a Church.

Starbucks received tremendous backlash and calls to #BoycottStarbucks after it announced employees are prevented from wearing accessories or clothes featuring messages of support for the Black Lives Matter movement. In response to the backlash, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson issued a statement apologizing to his employees and announcing a new initiative in which half of Starbuck’s locations would be converted to “White Only.” The remaining locations would remain integrated and allow employees to support Black Lives Matter publicly. 

“We believe everyone deserves the right to freely express themselves,” said Mr. Johnson at the re-opening of a new “White Only” Starbucks in Simi Valley, California. “But it’s also important that our customers who don’t think that Black lives matter have a place to buy coffee without being hit over the head with statements in favor of basic human rights.” 

The Avocado asked Starbucks’ founder and former CEO Howard Schultz whether he saw it as problematic to prevent his employees from supporting Black Lives Matter and pandering to White insecurity about their relative stature in society, to which the billionaire said he didn’t see any problem. “It’s not like our White stores are better than the Black stores! They’re separate so our white customers feel comfortable. But they’re equal!” 

Separate but equal? You know that segregation is illegal in this country?” I asked, to which Mr. Schultz started to panic. 

“Hey! Don’t do that. It’s not racist! The Black stores are probably actually better than the White stores because we play cool music like John Legend and James Brown and in the White stores we only play Brooks & Dunn. So, if anything, Starbucks is actually racist against Whites. Did I ever tell you how when I was growing up in Brooklyn in the 50’s I used to listen to all the colored bands? The Chantels, The Drifters, all of them.”

At this point, my fake journalistic training took over and I let him just continue to talk.  

“Don’t turn this into some big gotcha because I am not racist! I grew up in Brooklyn, remember! Plus I have tons of Black friends. And thousands of Black employees. In fact, I bet I have more Black friends than you do. How many Black friends do you have?” he asked. “I know Magic Johnson. Do you know Magic Johnson?”

“It seems like Starbucks is promoting a very specific world view by claiming the phrase “Black Lives Matter” is political and therefore should be banned from your stores. It’s suggesting that the notion can be debated. And what that tells Black people is that Starbucks does not think that their lives matter,” I responded, to which Mr. Schultz told me I was out of line and reminded me that he knows Magic Johnson again.

“I am an ally of Black people,” he said, assuring me he has personally done lots for the Black community. “Remember when we created cups after we got caught kicking Black people out of our store and threatening to call the police that facilitated talks about racism?” he asked. “Those cups were my idea.” 

This reporter asked customers at the re-opening of the “White Only” Simi Valley Starbucks what they thought of the segregated cafe.

“I think this is great,” said Simi Valley resident and LAPD veteran Officer Bubba Lee McClintock as he picked up his morning coffee. “Good coffee and some Brooks & Dunn are how to start the morning off right,” he said before heading down to the still-integrated Starbucks to ask its Black customers and employees for their IDs for no goddamn reason.  

“Here at Amazon, we want to use the $1.3 Trillion we have to make the world a better place,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told a crowd of diverse employees positioned behind him for the photograph. “We have literally so much money that we can advocate for social change at a monumental scale and we view it as our responsibility to do so.”

“YES! JEFF! JEFF! JEFF!” screamed the men and women hand-selected by Amazon’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion to stand behind him. They had to clock out during the speech but were generously told the company would not count the time not working as part of their sick leave. “There’ll be plenty of time for getting sick in the future,” joked the email they received citing a recent outbreak of Coronavirus cases within Amazon facilities

That’s why I am so proud to announce Amazon will donate $10 million to organizations supporting Black communities,” said Bezos to thunderous applause from all except one warehouse supervisor named Jamal who called out “but isn’t that only .004% of Amazon’s yearly revenues?” before being removed from the crowd and fired…out of a cannon.

This reporter was permitted to speak to Mr. Bezos during a wide-ranging interview about the importance of racial unity and of lifting Black voices, as well as how Jeff Bezos has been able to put on so much muscle mass at his age and his plans for his new Los Angeles house he purchased for $165 million. “It’s a beautiful piece of property. The house itself is a tear-down, but the land has real potential,” said Mr. Bezos before approving a plan to further automate thousands of low-paying jobs from his plant. 

I asked Mr. Bezos whether there was any push back from his customers for Amazon’s outspoken, performative stand for racial justice, to which the anthropomorphic muscle-penis said that he had received criticism, but that he wasn’t bothered by it. 

“Many heroes, including the Reverend and Doctor Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and probably many women too but I just can’t think of any right now, have had to make sacrifices to improve our world.” I asked Mr. Bezos whether he was comparing himself to these icons of human rights, to which Mr. Bezos said that all of his heroes and best friends were advocates for human rights and pointed to a picture of him and Morgan Freeman. “I’ve always been a big fan of Nelson Mandela, you know?” 

“For me, Jeff Bezos, money is just money. And what’s the point of having so much money if not to spend it to make our future better?” he asked rhetorically before showing off his physique. Amazon makes $10 million dollars every 22 minutes.  

After watching him flex his triceps for several minutes and describe how his diet keeps him in ketosis, I asked the world’s richest man why it was fair that his company could make $265 billion a year and pay no money in federal income taxes and then think 10 million dollars to support Black communities is adequate. The question seemed to upset Mr. Bezos, who put his shirt back on and then called someone in to remove me from the room as he shouted out something about “trickle-down economics.”

As I stood in a long line of Amazon dissenters waiting to be shot out of a cannon for criticizing Jeff Bezos, I was tapped on the shoulder by an Amazon publicist with an exciting update.

“Great news. Because you ‘spoke truth to power, Jeff Bezos has decided to match whatever donations his underpaid staff make to the NAACP. All you need to do is agree to focus on that in your article and sign this NDA about Mr. Bezos’ triceps and the cannon and the sex dungeon.”

“I didn’t see a sex dungeon,” I said.

“Well, good. Because there isn’t a sex dungeon. And even if there was it would be only be used for consensual bondage, S&M, and butt play between adults,” said the publicist. 

“I’m sorry, but that still seems woefully inadequate. Why doesn’t Amazon just pay taxes? Why are they taking so god damn much from this world and giving so god damn little back?” I asked, but by that time she was gone. I was loaded into the cannon, along with Jamal and an elderly Hispanic woman who was overheard talking about her niece’s communion by a supervisor who thought he heard the word “union” and was shot out of a cannon and killed.

I’m dead now. 

Bye.