The 'Shroom:Issue 178/Fake News
2022 brings yet another year for The 'Shroom! As per usual, we have a wide variety of sections to keep you nice and busy during the cold winter months. Whilst this issue is not as eventful as other months, we do still have some special sections. The sixth round of the 'Shroomfest has concluded, and with that comes the highlights. This month is also the last with Hooded Pitohui (talk) and Roserade (talk) as director and sub-director, respectively. Replacing them is our present Statistics Manager Ninja Squid (talk) as director, and Patroller Waluigi Time (talk) as the sub. Both have written sections for Fake News in the past, so I'm sure you're used to them both. Regardless, be sure to check out their directorial address.
Regardless of the year, one thing never changes - the simple ability to sign up for the paper using the sign up page. Our regular readers are surely used to this message but if you're new here, check it out! You may enjoy yourself. Oh, and if you want to skip the sign up portion entirely, and just want to do something quick that is a one-shot section, you can always write a News Flush section (we even have one in this very issue) and send it to me through the boards, no hassle. My inbox is always open. And don't worry about having to match the length of other sections here. Sometimes, brevity is beauty.
This issue represents an important milestone for Fake News, and our paper as a whole. Whilst the paper as a project formally started in 2006, its first issue was published on January 6, 2007 - a bit over fifteen years ago. Fake News, unlike the other teams made its debut in this issue - meaning that Fake News is, as of this issue, a decade and a half old. Fake News may be older than some of our readers, but it shall not stop growing. 2021 was a fantastic year for Fake News specifically. Exponential growth was seen across the board - almost every month came with it new sections, from writers both new and old, to the point where the monthly output was sometimes double than what was expected the year before. Fake News in 2019 was somewhat struggling in terms of bringing in new writers - having eight or more sections for regular issues was nothing more than a pipe dream. Except that pipe dream became reality, and we managed to leap from 49 total sections in 2020 to 109 in 2021. We managed to see long form sections, as well as short form. Parodies, satire, anthologies, talk sections, collaborations between writers, you name it, Fake News was not just larger than ever, it was more varied, too.
Yet it would be foolish of me to pat myself on my back. I, in reality, have done little to nothing at all when it comes to the team's own success. It is the work of our writers that gave results. It is our creative, ever-tenacious writers, and our readers, which keep both Fake News and the paper as a whole active. It is Ninja Squid (talk), our statistics manager, who helped keep things in check, our previous directors, as mentioned above, who managed to push users into writing new sections, and even those like Waluigi Time (talk) who popularized and connected the 'Shroom to other aspects of our community, when in the past it was quite disconnected. The 'Shroom is a community paper, and as one it is important to recognize the work, the achievement, and the collaboration of other users that is its lifeblood. It truly is the beauty of humanity that complete strangers can regularly work together to create something fun and amusing on a monthly basis. I can only hope that the paper and Fake News will continue for the future.
Section of the Month
The Section of the Month has seen some slight adjustments in terms of what sections are popular. Maximumriley (talk)'s Ask Cappy section has bounded from third to first, whilst Quizmelon (talk)'s TV Tomorrow has swapped places from first to third. In the middle, GBAToad (talk)'s Horrorscopes received second. TV Tomorrow, even outside of the top three, consistently has an above-average amount of total votes. This can only be a good thing, for it means more reader engagement, and more enthusiasm overall, which is essential for a community-run paper. Let's hope this trend continues to go upwards - continue to read, continue to think, and continue to vote, and I'm sure Fake News will continue to grow.
|FAKE NEWS SECTION OF THE MONTH|
Written by: Walter G. Timeson
Waluigi Time Cereal Issues Recall Over Quality Concerns:
Waluigi Time Cereal Inc. has issued a recall on its newly released Yoshi Egg Cereal due to various concerns over the included wind-up Poochy toys after numerous consumer complaints. According to a statement issued by the company, there is a risk of the wind-up key breaking off and presenting a potential choking hazard. The product has been temporarily pulled from store shelves as a result. Consumers are strongly encouraged to return unopened boxes to the businesses where they were originally purchased, and to dispose of already opened boxes. Future batches of Yoshi Egg Cereal will reportedly include the Poochy toys in sealed plastic bags to avoid contact with the rest of the cereal.
Additional concerns about the quality of the Poochy toys may have played a factor in the recall, though the company did not acknowledge them in their statement. Some consumers have complained that the Poochy toys they received do not work properly due to being drenched in the maple syrup included in the cereal. Others have alleged that the Poochy toys are made using unsafe materials that contaminate the cereal, though no conclusive evidence has been found to prove this claim.
In the aftermath of the recall, prices for Yoshi Egg Cereal have skyrocketed online. Some sellers have advertised sealed boxes of Yoshi Egg Cereal as "collector's items". Even opened boxes of the cereal are being listed for relatively astronomical prices. Online marketplaces are cracking down on the sale of Yoshi Egg Cereal due to the recall, though authorities are concerned about potential black market and mafia activity involving the cereal, particularly after the increase in organized crime over the past year.
We will continue to keep an eye on the activities of Waluigi Time Cereal Inc. as they inevitably produce more interesting news stories. This has been Walter G. Timeson reporting for The 'Shroom, and I am now out of time.
This article sourced from the Mushroom Tribune, a sister publication serving the Toad Town metropolitan area with local news which goes uncovered by the national networks.
Gamblers Rejoice Following Narrow Referendum Victory:
Gamblers and gambling advocates rejoiced following the results of Kingdom-wide referendum, Proposition 15, on legal controls of gambling. The proposition, which passed by a narrow result of 52.75% for and 47.75% against with an 85% turnout, poses to do away with the Kingdom's century-old prohibition of casinos on Kingdom grounds. It was a fierce campaign, with a lot money being thrown around on ads and platforms. On the "for" side. you had freedom-of-choice advocates who argued that the current law was an unjust restriction on the freedoms of a member of the Kingdom to choose whether or not they wanted to gamble. They also argued that the Kingdom has no right to regulate the morality of gambling, and that, if people don't want to gamble, then they don't have to gamble, and that it should be up to an individual's choice. The "for" campaign was primarily funded by Kingdom casino owners such as Game Guy of Waluigi Island and Grate Guy of Grate Guy's Casino in the Stardust Fields.
We reached out to Grate Guy for comment. "This is a victory for the freedom of choice. I would like to congratulate the people of the Mushroom Kingdom for throwing out archaic laws, laws that only served to force people to ether travel outside the kingdom or to go underground." Following that, he smiled at me and added, "Laws that, based on my packed, casinos, never stopped anyone from gambling anyways."
On the "no" side sat religious groups who argued that gambling is an immoral practice and that the Kingdom has a duty to protect its subjects from such a dirty practice.
We reached out the Toad Minster who had this to say"
It's a disastrous day for the Kingdom when people would vote to legalize such a dirty, harmful practice, but, my child, our fight is not over. We shall exert our fullest pressure on the Mushroom King to reject this law, and, if that does not work, we shall go from town to town doing everything we can to prevent the building of these temples of sin. Yes, my child, the fight is not over yet!
It is worth noting that the Toad Minister is right. Even with the passage of this proposition, it is possible that the Mushroom King could use his royal prerogative to refuse its passage. Legal experts feel that this is very unlikely, noting that such power hasn't been used in over two-hundred years (last being used to overturn a law attempting to ban Shy Guy masks from being worn in public) and that, to many, the power is more of a honorary power and not one the King would seriously use. It's also important to note that this law only decriminalizes gambling on a Kingdom wide scale, but it still allows individual localities to decide if they will legalize gambling or not. For more on the ramifications of this referendum, we turn to columnists Hooded Pitohui and Shoey.
Sprite credits: Sonik (tSR), Lakituthequick
Written by: W. P. Hoodington
A pleasant dampness marked in the air, fungal spores seemingly hanging in the moist atmosphere of the tunnels. Weathered bricks, caked with slime and housing mold in every crack which they possessed, were barely visible to us in the darkness. Our eyes no longer a reliable guide, we were forced to rely on our ears, to follow the sound of flowing water as we carefully made our way to the most spacious waterway in the Toad Town Sewers.
Who would have thought we would find ourselves among the Gloombas because of the work of a journalist?
The seeds of our expedition into the sewers were planted when a letter arrived in my laboratory. A Toad Town resident, one Curie Ossi T., wrote in with a question after reading a recent article by the well-known Walter G. Timeson. The letter read, in part, as follows:
In his article, Mr. Timeson cites "the recent reclassification of Boss Bass as Big Cheep Cheeps, and years of failed attempts to reclassify Cheep Chomps as Boss Bass beforehand". I'm hoping you might be able to shed a little light on this. To my knowledge, only Cheep Chomp and Boss Bass are known to eat macroscopic prey. Big Cheep Cheeps are docile, and haven't been observed eating macroscopic prey. How could Boss Bass possibly be a Big Cheep Cheep and not a Cheep Chomp?
You can imagine the excitement which filled me when I read this letter. Seeing members of the general public take an interest in these kinds of questions renewed my desire to continue with my partnership with The 'Shroom in order to help the public engage with the natural world. I called young Goombuigi over to read the letter, and we immediately began formulating our response.
This letter speaks to a number of prevalent misconceptions which define the general public's understanding of the difficult-to-navigate world of the Mushroom Kingdom's largest fish. With all of the similarities between Porcupuffers, Spike Bass, Big Cheep Cheeps, and Cheep Chomps, it is little wonder that confusion often arises, especially when so many who live away from coastal regions never encounter any of these fish firsthand.
To begin answering the questions contained in this letter, a primer on the Boss Bass is in order. Boss Bass, as the fish are commonly called, are found exclusively in Water Land, where fisherman have, for centuries, recounted tales of large fish leaping from the water and swallowing fishers whole, or following vessels and waiting for an unfortunate fisher to fall into the water so they can do the same without leaving the water. As fantastical as these tales may sound, these incidents are very well-documented. As these fish seemed to be distinct from Cheep Cheeps, who were not widely known as consumers of macroscopic prey, they have historically been treated as their own species, and were long ago christened "Boss Bass."
In other regions of the world, it is the Cheep Chomp which is well-known for swallowing fishers - or, indeed, anything they can fit into their mouths - whole. Due to the similar appearances and, more importantly, the similar behaviors of Boss Bass and Cheep Chomps, many assumed they were closely related. Historical records have referred to the Boss Bass as a particular variety of Cheep Chomps, unique to Water Land, and, even in scientific literature assembled in the past three decades as ichthyologists redoubled their efforts to resolve the relationships between the Mushroom Kingdom's many fish, the Boss Bass was classified as a close relative of Cheep Chomps. Based entirely upon tradition and morphological and behavioral considerations, Boss Bass were identified as their own species and were assumed to share a more recent common ancestor with Cheep Chomps than they do with Cheep Cheeps.
Genetic analysis in the past four years, however, has called this traditional classification into question. After looking at the genes of the Kingdom's fish, it has become clear that Boss Bass are not only more closely related to Cheep Cheeps than they are Cheep Chomps, but that "Boss Bass" is not and should not be viewed even as its own species. Boss Bass are, in all meaningful ways, indistinguishable from Big Cheep Cheeps (who are, in turn, indistinguishable from Cheep Cheeps). This is one of the few reclassifications of fish in recent years which the evidence supports, and, yet, it has generated a large public outcry. Why is this?
This is where another popular misconception must be examined. Many believe that all Cheep Cheeps, regardless of their size, are docile creatures who feed only on microscopic prey, with Big Cheep Cheeps merely consuming more prey than their smaller counterparts. Few believe that these slow-moving, non-threatening fish can or will eat macroscopic prey, because few come into contact with Cheep Cheeps that are starving or desperate for food. However, instances where starving Cheep Cheeps become aggressive and pursue macroscopic prey are actually well-documented. An infamous event occurred at the third "Mario Party" event, where a starving Big Cheep Cheep was brought in to pursue partygoers through a sewer, and swallowed a plumber. While the photo which circulated after this event became used as "evidence" to support the false claims that Big Cheep Cheeps roam sewer systems in cities across the world, that doesn't make the photo less useful for showing that Big Cheep Cheeps will, when desperate, swallow macroscopic prey.
How does this relate to Boss Bass, you might ask? Rigorous investigation has shown that, in desperate enough conditions, when no docile and easily-captured prey are available in the water, Cheep Cheeps will leap out of the water in an attempt to capture prey. Thanks to centuries of overfishing and pollution, Water Land's waters have less food than their Cheep Cheep population requires, driving their Big Cheep Cheeps (or the "Boss Bass") to seek food above the water's surface.
To bring this all together, even the supposed behavioral differences which were cited as a difference between Boss Bass and Big Cheep Cheeps do not exist. All evidence firmly points to Boss Bass being nothing more than Big Cheep Cheeps with a unique local common name.
One photograph from an old social event fails to capture the imagination of a public which has long held an image of Cheep Cheeps as docile creatures, though, would you not agree? We thought so as well, which is why young Goombuigi and I decided to record a scientific demonstration, a modified recreation of this famous incident. Do note that we do not call this an experiment. It is no experiment, but it is useful as a means of showing the public how desperate Cheep Cheep will, whenever they must, consume macroscopic prey.
As the IRB said we would be violating several ethical standards by denying a fish food for weeks, rather than take a starving Big Cheep Cheep into the sewers, we took a healthy, well-fed Big Cheep Cheep into the sewers and decided to temporarily limit the food available to it. We isolated the Big Cheep Cheep in a large waterway in the sewers, and stocked this waterway with a Blurp, a Porcupuffer, a Spiny Cheep Cheep, a Spike Bass, a Blooper, and young Goombuigi wearing a Frog Suit. This gave the Big Cheep Cheep a choice between: docile prey that was easy to catch, aggressive and large prey with spikes, small but aggressive prey with spikes, aggressive prey with spikes which fell between the size of a Spiny Cheep Cheep and a Porcupuffer, prey with erratic movement patterns and the ability to hide itself in ink, and agile and swift prey. Naturally, we expected that the Big Cheep Cheep, finding no other food available to it, would opt to consume macroscopic prey, and, specifically, would go after the Blurp as a result of it providing the greatest reward for the smallest amount of risk and expenditure of energy.
We waited for the Big Cheep Cheep to grow hungry, and, as it began to move in search of food, I took my place behind the camera while young Goombuigi donned his Frog Suit and dove into the sewer water. He did mention something about objecting to the odor, as I recall, but I have not the faintest clue what he was talking about… Nevertheless, he swam just as gracefully as expected, and, with great anticipation, I trained the camera on the Big Cheep Cheep, following it exclusively. Just as expected, it chose to follow the Blurp, and soon swallowed the small fish whole.
It was at this point I had to call out to young Goombuigi and remind him to remove himself from the water promptly, as the Big Cheep Cheep would no doubt see him as the next-easiest meal. You can imagine my shock, then, when I found that young Goombuigi, despite knowing the risks involved in staying in the water during this demonstration, had apparently started playing with the highly-aggressive, hungry, spiky fish in the water. Why, he was surrounded by them! It was almost as if they were swarming him! I don't know what went through his mind in that period where I took my eyes off of him and those dangerous, temperamental fish, but I had to spend the next hour, after throwing him a rope and pulling him him out of the water, pulling the spines of the Spiny Cheep Cheep out of him and helping him treat the wounds inflicted by the spikes of the Spike Bass and Porcupuffer.
Nevertheless, we made it out of the sewers with our video footage, and young Goombuigi survived, so our expedition into the sewers was a success. By the time this article goes to print, young Goombuigi will have helped me to share the video of our demonstration on social media. Visit @HoodingtonLabs on Cheeper to find the link!
The Naturalist's Notes
The Cheep Cheep (Pisces ales), is one of the most common fish in the waters of the Mushroom Kingdom, and popular due to its small size, docile nature, and tendency to leap high out of the water. Larger specimens, often referred to as Big Cheep Cheeps, or, in Water Land, Boss Bass, are popular with the general public, who regard them as docile and non-threatening creatures and often attempt to take photos with these fish when diving. While this image is generally accurate, desperate Cheep Cheep will attempt to consume anything smaller than them, preferentially consuming small, slow-moving, prey which cannot fight back.
Aspiring naturalists are encouraged to get close to these graceful fish, and to get close to even the larger members of these species, but must remain alert and cautious. If a Cheep Cheep begins to swim towards you quickly, surface and retreat to shore as quickly as possible. Cheep Cheeps will not target or follow you unless they see you as a potential prey item. Retreat as far inland as possible, as Cheep Cheeps will leap from the water and attempt to swallow you if they are desperate enough, and any Cheep Cheep desperate enough to begin chasing you should be assumed to be desperate enough to leap for you.
Note, as well, that these notes only apply to Cheep Cheeps. Deep Cheeps and Eep Cheeps behave in fundamentally different ways.
Mushroom Kingdom Smackdown
Welcome once more to Mushroom Kingdom Smackdown, the only fighting tournament celebrating its one-year anniversary! At least, as far as I know. It's the only important one doing that, anyway... I'm your host, Waluigi Time. We've got a very special event for you this month, because it's time for the 2022 Ultimate Smackdown Championship! We've brought back all twelve of last year's winners, and today they're going to go head-to-head to determine who will be crowned this year's Mushroom Kingdom Smackdown Champion!
So here's how things are going to go today. This is a bracket-style tournament with a total of nine matches - the first six matches will be one-on-one fights. The winners of those matches will fight in two semifinal matches with three fighters each. Finally, the remaining two fighters will battle in one final match to be crowned the champion!
Starting things off, this fighter is returning from a victory in our first ever match last January after dealing a crushing blow to their opponent, Goomba! Please welcome back the Craggy Crusher, the Smashing Stone, THWOMP! I hear they've been working on mastering the art of horizontal movement since last time. We could be seeing some interesting stuff from them.
And the first to face off against Thwomp today will be the Armored Ankylosaur, the Dino of Destruction, ANKIRON! As you may remember, Ankiron won back in July, on a technicality more than anything, where it ended up knocked out after eating its opponent, Rotten Mushroom. Hopefully if Ankiron wins any matches this time around, it'll still be standing at the end!
I'm not going to be making any match predictions today to keep things moving along and also save myself the potential embarrassment of being wrong. Time to just get right into it. Match 1: Thwomp vs. Ankiron! Let's go!
Alright, Ankiron gives us an explosive start to the match by firing a bomb at Thwomp! Luckily, Thwomp makes use of that new "horizontal movement" skill and swooshes out of the way, as the bomb flies harmlessly into - okay, maybe not so harmlessly, but it looks like the audience was able to clear out of that section of the stands in time anyway. But Thwomp's dodge was not only a defensive manuever, they've also positioned themselves right above Ankiron for an attack! Thwomp slams down onto Akiron, but its impenetrable shell protects it completely! Amazing! Thwomp rises back up and returns back to their original position. Ankiron fires another bomb, but Thwomp crashes down to the floor, dodging it and once again letting it fly into the stands... Hm, maybe we should invest in protective barriers or something. I'd prefer to avoid lawsuits if I can. But wait, Thwomp is now sliding across the floor straight towards Ankiron! Ankiron fires a bomb at the rapidly approaching Thwomp and retreats into its shell, no time to dodge this one! Thwomp starts pushing the bomb on the way to Ankiron, and it detonates just as everything sort of collides with each other! Ankiron emerges from its shell unharmed, but Thwomp is down and out! Ankiron is the winner and will move on to semifinals!
Next up, returning as the victor of our November match, it's the Goopy Gatekeeper, the Slimy Sprout, PROTO PIRANHA! Proto Piranha turned out to be something of an immovable object last time, shrugging off a myriad of attacks from its opponent Andrew Trego, before going in for the win after depleting his stamina!
And facing off against this messy opponent is that champion of drinking utensils, that's right, it's the Soldier of the Straw, the Shy Slurper, SLURP GUY! Slurp Guy went home with a win last May, using their straw to slurp up Angry Watermelon!
Time for battle! Match 2: Proto Piranha vs. Slurp Guy!
Proto Piranha is starting things off once again with that signature move of doing nothing and just smugly swaying back and forth. Classic Proto Piranha! Slurp Guy is moving in for the first attack, and taking out their straw! Wait, are they about to do what I think they're going to? Actually, I couldn't have really seen this going any other way... Aaaaand they're drinking the goop. I, uh, I don't think that's healthy. It also doesn't appear to be doing anything useful, because Proto Piranha is just spitting out more goop to replace it. I have to say I'm not too confident in Slurp Guy's battle strategy here. Slurp Guy seems to be slowing down now, and just as I finished saying that they passed out. The verdict is don't drink goop, kids. Proto Piranha wins and moves ahead!
This next one should be a little more interesting, hopefully. Hot off of a victory last month, it's the return of the Dino of Deceit, the Trickster of the Track, BOSHI! Last time, Boshi used an impressive bit of trickery to get the upper hand on Moltz the Very Goonie, disqualifying his opponent by flinging him out of the ring! And yes, I got my hat back from him. Rest assured I won't be letting him cancel all future matches if he walks away with the champion's belt.
Boshi's probably going to need his tricks against this guy, though. Give a big hand to the Eradicating Eraser, the Wrestler Remover, MR. ERASER! Not only did Mr. Eraser win our June match by removing his opponent Hoggus from the match, he also immediately defended his title against the villainous Michaelanshoego's Terrible Portrait! I still get nightmares about that thing... I have to wonder how Mr. Eraser's mental state is holding up after that one.
Let's see how this turns out. Match 3: Boshi vs. Mr. Eraser!
Starting things out here, Boshi eats a Yoshi Cookie and turns it into an egg! Where have I seen that before... He lobs the egg at Mr. Eraser, but Mr. Eraser predictably wipes it from existence! Boshi is now backing up toward the edge of the ring, I wonder what he's going for here. Mr. Eraser runs toward Boshi, but he dashes out of the way at the last minute with extra speed from the cookie! And instead of erasing Boshi, Mr. Eraser instead erases the ropes on that side of the ring. Sigh... Why is it that every time Boshi comes here, it costs me money? Mr. Eraser gets his bearings straight and heads in for another go at Boshi, but he's too fast and circles back around him! Boshi's got his back to the exposed edge of the ring now, and Mr. Eraser heads for him yet again. But as he approaches, Boshi runs out of the way and trips him up with his tongue, and Mr. Eraser falls out of the ring! What a play! He's disqualified and Boshi moves on!
Now uh, give us a moment while we do some temporary fixes to the ring... In the meantime, how about a cool fact? Did you know that JojaMart is running a buy one get one free sale on all Waluigi Time Cereal products right now? Oh, I hear everything's fixed.
We're at the halfway point for our first rounds here, and it's time to have a rotten day, because here comes the Master of Microgames himself, the Weighty Wafter, WARIO! After we held a Wario-themed match back in September, Wario saw it fit to make a surprise appearance and stole the victory away from the Shop Owner!
But he's not the only heavy hitter we have here, please welcome back the Frightening Fighter, the Bloodcurdling Boxer, BROOZER! Last October, Broozer's performance was so good that it was scary, and it punched out Grim Leecher for the win!
This one's going to pack a punch, I can already tell. Match 4: Wario vs. Broozer!
Our fighters waste no time getting into it, and immediately charge each other! Wario leads with his famous Dash Attack, and Broozer goes in swinging as always! They meet in the middle and collide, both of them getting knocked back from each other, but it doesn't look like either one of them is ready to give up just yet! Broozer lunges forward with its fists swinging like helicopter blades, but Wario seems to be taking a different approach and pulls out the Wario Bike! He drives straight toward Broozer, but Broozer just uppercuts the bike, smashing it to pieces! And Wario just punched Broozer square in the face and ran away. Alright then, I guess that frustrated him a little bit. Broozer's clearly not going to let that one go unpunished, and heads in for another attack! Wario's just kind of... standing there, though. But wait! Just before Broozer got to him, he unleashed a Wario Waft and rocketed into the air! That's disgusting, actually. As the cloud of toxic fumes subsides, we see that Broozer is knocked out! Wario wins and will move to semifinals!
Alright, I know some of our fans have been waiting to see him for a while now, so without further ado, here he is, the Feral Nuclear Reactor, RAWK HAWK! Not only the champion of the Glitz Pit, he was also the champion of our match back in April, which I didn't actually see thanks to being concussed at the time! Chuck tells me he decimated Goomerang Brother though. Good for him.
But we can't make it too easy for him, and that's why his opponent is going to be the Soldier of the Skies, the Battling Beetle, SPIKY PARABUZZY! One of my personal favorite fighters, Spiky Parabuzzy swooped to victory and smashed Octopot to pieces last March!
Get ready for this one, Match 5: Rawk Hawk vs. Spiky Parabuzzy! I swear if Rawk Hawk knocks me out again...
And we're off! Rawk Hawk starts the match with a sliding kick to Spiky Parabuzzy, but it just flies a little bit higher and avoids the attack entirely. You're gonna have to try a little harder than that, Rawk! Spiky Parabuzzy counters by retracting into its shell and diving at Rawk Hawk, but he knocks it out of the way with his elbow, sending it off couse! No successful blows dealt yet, it seems. Oh great, Rawk Hawk jumped off the ropes and grabbed onto the ceiling again. If you don't mind, I'm going to hide under this table now. Okay, so from what I can see from under here, Rawk Hawk is shaking things down from the ceiling, and a bucket just landed on Spiky Parabuzzy and trapped it! Rawk Hawk jumped back down on the floor, so I think I'm safe. Spiky Parabuzzy appears to be struggling a lot under the bucket, and as Rawk Hawk approaches, Spiky Parabuzzy manages to fling the bucket off right into Rawk Hawk's face, and returns to the skies! Rawk Hawk tries to take back control of the match with a dive attack, which turns out to be a really bad idea as Spiky Parabuzzy protects itself with its spike! That injury looks like it was just too much for the champ, he's out of contention! That's going to be upsetting... Spiky Parabuzzy moves to semifinals!
One last match before semifinals! If you're a Smackdown aficionado and you've been paying attention, you probably know who's left already by process of elimination. Well, no need to keep your heart pounding with anticipation, that's what this next contestant is for. Please welcome the Heart Attacker, Cardiac in Combat, TUBBA'S HEART! The second fighter here to have won on a technicality, Tubba's Heart managed to claim victory in February's match after Amazy Dayzee just decided to leave with the upper hand.
And last, but certainly not least, it's our favorite ghost pirate shark, the Paranormal Predator, the Spook of the Seven Seas, CAPTAIN FISHOOK! And yes, we have Poltergusts on standby to deal with this guy after the tournament's over this time. Not going to repeat last time's mistake... Speaking of last time, Captain Fishook plundered victory back in August against the Angry Sun.
Kind of an ironic matchup, considering Tubba Blubba's penchant for snacking on ghosts. Anyway, time to semifinalize our semifinals - Match 6: Tubba's Heart vs. Captain Fishook!
Tubba's Heart makes the first move, predictably charging up his special attack. While he's working with that, Captain Fishook possesses the ring floor, creating a very ominous looking mouth that's moving right for Tubba's Heart! It looks like he's not going to be fish food just yet though, as he's able to unleash his special attack, swarming Captain Fishook with heart tissue and forcing him to depossess the ring! Oh, Captain Fishook's out for blood now. He lunges toward Tubba's Heart with his hook just as Tubba's Heart attempts to tackle him, dodging the hook but just phasing right through and landing on the floor behind him! Fishook goes back to possessing the ring, and now he's bringing backup with those ghosts hurling explosive barrels again. That's going to make it very tricky to charge up an attack, I think. He's doing a pretty good job hopping around the ring and avoiding both the barrels and Fishook's mouth for now, but not getting a chance to do much of anything else. Wait, hold the phone! One of the barrels finally caught up with him and exploded, launching Tubba's Heart right into Fishook's mouth! Fishook spits Tubba's Heart back out, and it looks like that's a win for our ghost pirate shark over here!
Six fighters left! Let's get things going here with the first half of the semifinals. Match 7: Ankiron vs. Proto Piranha vs. Boshi!
Proto Piranha isn't doing much as is to be expected at this point, so all eyes are on Ankiron and Boshi! Ankiron starts by firing a bomb at Proto Piranha, causing it to retreat into its goop puddle! The bomb explodes harmlessly, but does splatter a lot of goop around the ring. Proto Piranha re-emerges, and these two seem pretty focused on each other right now. Meanwhile, Boshi appear to be ignoring the match entirely and is instead staring at the concession stand. And now he ate a Yoshi Cookie, and he made an egg and tossed it at Proto Piranha! It doesn't seem to have had an effect, though now its attention is on Boshi rather than Ankiron... Wait a minute, Boshi just turned around and used his tongue to steal a fruit from the concession stand! That's... technically allowed, I guess? Ah, he's spraying Proto Piranha with the fruit juice! Clever move! And it looks like Boshi has just enough fruit juice to defeat Proto Piranha, leaving only Ankiron to deal with!
Ankiron fires a bomb at Boshi, but he runs out of the way with speed from the cookie, flutter jumping over the goop on the floor. Ankiron fires yet another bomb, but this time Boshi's not getting out of the way! Instead he kicks it back, rolling it through the goop! Ankiron retreats into its shell, but the bomb explodes and splatters some goop inside! Ankiron re-emerges and is now covered in goop! We're certainly seeing some interesting tactics at play from Boshi here today. Ankiron keeps firing bombs at Boshi, but now he's just running away. Is he stalling for time? Hm... Ankiron looks like it's getting pretty weak from that goop, though, and those bombs are becoming less frequent. Ah, but Boshi just slipped in the goop! Could this be the moment of a comeback for Ankiron? But before it can fire another bomb, Ankiron faints! Huh, that seems to be a common theme... Boshi is the winner and will go on to our final match!
Well, that was something. We're getting really close now... Time for the second semifinal match! Match 8: Wario vs. Spiky Parabuzzy vs. Captain Fishook!
Looks like Captain Fishook is going to be the one to start things off and goes in swinging, literally, and slashes at Wario with his hook! Wario isn't too phased by it though, and instead turns into Zombie Wario?! As if the guy didn't smell bad enough already... And now he's just mindlessly hobbling toward Fishook, but can't really do anything to him. Well, this is interesting. And Spiky Parabuzzy is just hovering over there, watching the show. Fishook takes another swing at Wario, who seems completely unaffected and appears to have no battle plan whatsoever, he's just kind of stumbling around. Fishook goes back to his trick of possessing the floor and is heading towards Wario, and Spiky Parabuzzy is also getting in on it and doing a shell dive right towards him! Everybody hates Wario, I guess. Spiky Parabuzzy knocks into Wario, sending him stumbling backwards right into Fishook's mouth! But Fishook spits him back out and unpossesses the ring, and Wario appears completely unaffected?! Huh, maybe being a zombie is more powerful than I thought. Wario's just wandering aimlessly around the ring, so Captain Fishook and Spiky Parabuzzy turn their attention on each other. Fishook swings his hook at Spiky Parabuzzy, but it's no use against that sturdy shell! Wait a minute, Wario just walked directly into the path of one of the ring spotlights and turned back to normal! He's back in the game! And he immediately unleashes a Wario Waft against both opponents. Cool... I liked him better when he was a zombie. It doesn't seem to have much of an effect on Captain Fishook, but Spiky Parabuzzy is certainly dazed. Wario tries to finish off Spiky Parabuzzy with a chomp, but that's, er, ill-advised to say the least. He just gets mad and hurls it out of the ring instead, and it looks like that'll be it for Spiky Parabuzzy in this competition! You did good.
Now we're down to our microgame man against the ghost pirate shark! Wario heads in for his famous Dash Attack, but Fishook possesses the ring again! Wario almost falls in but he's able to jump over just in time, but here come those ghosts with explosive barrels again. Wario gets on the Wario Bike - I guess he got it repaired between matches, somehow - to drive around the barrels, but ends up driving directly into one of them instead! The pieces of the Wario Bike fly around the ring detonating other barrels and I can't really see what's going on, but it looks like Wario fell in Fishook's mouth! The chomper becomes the chomped, it would seem, and Fishook spits Wario back out, defeated. Looks like the captain's in the running to win this whole thing!
One last match, winner take all! Who will be crowned champion? It's time for Match 9: Boshi vs. Captain Fishook!
Boshi starts things off by eating a Yoshi Cookie, and Captain Fishook goes in for his hook attack, but Boshi is able to dash out of the way! Fishook goes back to possessing the ring, and here come the ghosts with barrels one last time. Well, unless he uses the attack in this match again, but you know what I mean. Boshi tosses an egg into Fishook's mouth, but it doesn't seem to be very effective. As Fishook approaches, Boshi manages to kick one of the barrels into his mouth! Fishook is stunned, but Boshi seems to be at a loss and doesn't know what to do. Looks like trickery can only get you so far. Fishook recovers, and goes in for another swing of his hook at Boshi! Boshi is able to dodge yet again, though this might be a losing battle for him. Fishook possesses the ring yet again, and the ghosts with barrels show up probably just to make fun of me for that comment earlier. Boshi's not so lucky this time and trips over one of the barrels which explodes, launching him into the air! He doesn't fall back straight into Fishook's mouth, but he's stunned! Fishook moves in, aaaand... Boshi falls in! Looks like he's not getting out of this one. Fishook spits Boshi back out, and with that...
Captain Fishook is officially the champion of Mushroom Kingdom Smackdown! Alright, give him the champ's belt and get him back in that Poltergust.
Thank you for watching the matches, and for sticking around with us here at Smackdown this whole year. Things are going back to normal next month, so don't forget to send us your suggestions for fighters!
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to capitalize on this with excessive use of Captain Fishook in our promotional materials. See you next time.
Hello once again, readers of TV Tomorrow! I hope you are having an excellent 2022. I know I am - I bought seventeen packets of marshmallows on New Year’s Day, hung each individual marshmallow from the ceiling with string, coated them in glow-in-the-dark paint, turned all the lights off, and zoomed around them pretending I was a space explorer discovering distant, undiscovered stars. Then I remembered the television exists. So I’ve spent the remainder of my January thus far watching that, while the marshmallows, which are still there, eerily suspended in the darkness, watch me. However article is not a guide intended for for a marshmallow audience, so I will not be including myself as one of the top three shows to watch this month. But I will be including the following three…
New: After the Heist
Genre: Crime comedy-drama
Most of Wario’s stuff - especially the comedic stuff - is usually unimpressive, low-quality fare, but tomorrow’s After the Heist suggests he might actually have some dramatic acting ability too. Wario plays himself, in this universe an incompetent thief who manages to pull off a major bank heist by sheer dumb luck. He then has to work out what to do with his newfound riches - and how to keep himself from being found out. Surprisingly well-written and clever, After the Heist also has some thought-provoking messages about consumerism, personal responsibility, and Wario.
Deadliest Animals in the Universe
Genre: Nature documentary
Now in its fourth series, Deadliest Animals in the Universe is known for its unique combination of nature programming with the unyieldingly masculine desire for violence and danger. This series sees host Mario continue to head off on madcap adventures to far-flung regions as he seeks to get up close and personal with some of the most fearsome beasts he can find. He is the perfect choice for host, as his ability to regenerate almost infinitely means the show needs no safety precautions whatsoever, and indeed this episode sees Mario die several times as he encounters the terrifying Fury Cats of Lake Lapcat, among others.
Live: World Record Cake for Whittle Relief
Genre: Live charity event
Last winter, a freak termite infestation damaged the homes and lives of millions of Whittles across the world. Now several of the Mushroom Kingdom’s TV stars are coming together to raise money for the disaster relief efforts, namely by… baking and decorating the world’s biggest ever cake? It’s a strange choice that seems to have been fuelled by the involvement of Chef Mario, and also because their original, more relevant idea - doing the world’s biggest wood carving - was dismissed by the Whittle Elder as culturally insensitive. Still, it should be lots of fun, and it’s all for a good cause, so make sure to send in your donations if you do decide to watch.
Those are your televisual gems, now go work tirelessly to mine them from the crystallised cavern I have lit for you with my lantern of knowledge. And for more pointlessly extended metaphors, don’t be afraid to venture further and read TV Tomorrow every month, including next month - February, which I personally would represent as a slimy, wet, miserable hole of a cave. But at least that cave will have telly. Must go now as one of the marshmallows has fallen off its string. I’ll see you in the slimy wet miserable hole for more TV Tomorrow!
You're tuned in to Consumer Corner, bringing you the latest and greatest products from the Mushroom Kingdom and beyond.
If it isn't the house of the Mario brothers! Surely they must be up to something heroic on this fine evening, right? Oh wait, nevermind, they're in the kitchen arguing with each other about dinner. Not their best moment.
"But Luigi, the pineapple goes on-a the pizza!" Mario shouts, pleading with his younger sibling to agree to order the ever-controversial food combination. "Mario, no! That's-a ridiculous!" Luigi yells back, personally finding the use of pineapple as a pizza topping absolutely disgusting. As they continue arguing, the oddball cereal magnate Waluigi Time pops out from under the kitchen sink wearing plumber's clothes. "Hey, can you keep it down? Some of us are trying to work down here," he grumbles at the brothers. "WALUIGI?!" Luigi gasps, rattled that his arch-nemesis just emerged from under his own kitchen sink, or so it appears. "That's Waluigi Time to you. Yeesh, why do so many people get us mixed up? It's not like we look the same or anything," Waluigi Time replies, pulling himself out of the cabinet and brushing himself off.
"What in-a the world are you doing down there?" Mario wonders. "Oh, you, ah, you didn't hire a plumber?" Waluigi Time asks, prompting both Mario and Luigi to make an expression that can be best described as "are you kidding me". "Of course-a not! We're the Mario brothers, why-a would we?" Mario responds, clearly annoyed with the whole situation. "I was wah-ndering the same thing, wahaha! Guess I got the wrong house," Waluigi Time says, a little embarrassed but probably not as embarrassed as he should be, "But enough about that, I hear you were talking about pineapple on pizza?" "Pineapple doesn't-a go on pizza!" Luigi says, clearly still sore over it. "SHUT UP!" Waluigi Time barks at him, "At Waluigi Time Cereal Inc. we solved the debate over pineapple on pizza! And the answer is..." Waluigi Time makes a makeshift drumroll for himself with his hand against the wall before announcing... "NOBODY CARES!"
"That's not-a helpful at all!" Mario complains, coming closer to tossing Waluigi Time out of the house. "No, seriously, nobody cares about pineapple on pizza. The answer is that pineapple goes in CEREAL!" Waluigi Time beams, pulling a box of Pineapple Pizza Cereal from seemingly nowhere before launching his sales pitch. "New from Waluigi Time Cereal Inc., it's Pineapple Pizza Cereal! Our delicious high-quality cereal bits now with chunks of pineapple, shredded cheese, and tomato sauce! No one will argue about pineapple pizza ever again once they taste this!" "I don't-a know..." Luigi groans, visibly apprehensive, though Mario seems intrigued. "Come on bro, it's not in pizza," Mario reasons, trying to convince Luigi to eat it as he pours some into a bowl.
Luigi looks into the bowl of cereal and recoils. "Yuck, this-a looks like a complete monstrosity," he says in disgust before walking over to the freezer and pulling out a pizza topped with dog biscuits that's visibly spent the better part of several decades decaying. "I'd-a rather eat one of HAL 9001's terrible pizzas than-a this!" he says and sets it down on the table. "Hey, I have an AI working with me too! But this recipe is all Waluigi Time, wahaha!" Waluigi Time replies. "No, I think-a you're crazy Luigi. The cereal's way better," Mario says, as Luigi and Waluigi Time look over to see that Mario not only tried the cereal, but also ate part of HAL's old pizza. "Would you look at that! In a non-blind, non-random taste test, 100% of customers surveyed said that they preferred Pineapple Pizza Cereal over a pizza crafted by an advanced artificial intelligence!" Waluigi Time shills, probably excited to tell Shbig Changes. "Yeah, I'm still not-a eating that cereal," Luigi groans.
"Anyway, this box is on the house! However, I will be sending you a bill for the plumbing work I started. See you around!" Waluigi Time bids them goodbye and quickly leaves. It doesn't take long before Mario and Luigi come to a sudden realization - "Wait... started?" Just then, an ominous creaking sound comes from the kitchen, as a torrent of water comes gushing out from underneath the sink and begins to flood the house!
The moral of the story is never let Waluigi Time do house maintenance.
Unless you have really good home insurance.
Pineapple Pizza Cereal, available wherever Waluigi Time Cereal products are sold. Never argue about pineapple on pizza again!
"Eat this or else! Wahaha!"
"I'LL-A GET YOU FOR THIS, WALUIGI TIME!"
Written by: Merlthazar The Oracle
Good fortune to you, O reader! If my hallowed tomes are correct, it appears you've all survived yet another year's passing, and our first fateful meeting of the year has commenced. My predictions assert that the new year has been treating you rather well, while I myself indulged a bit too much on the spirits of ancient rituals and passed out for the equivalent of two weeks in your time. Oh to think, just but a few months ago I had resigned myself to being a lonely hermit untroubled by the ebbs and flows of mortal life and now here I am, spilling cosmic cosmopolitans on my favourite robe as I partake in horrid solo karaoke! But worry not reader, like a forgotten load of celestial laundry from the cosmic drier of fortunes, a fresh and clean start for the new year beckons, as the stars above have once again regaled to me your fate for the year ahead. I just have to clean the lint filter before I begin, lest your fortunes be covered in stardust and starmildew. Oho!
This month's constellation is Dovia, the Ribbonmaiden. A capricious goddess full of mystery, Dovia's origins are said to be from another universe entirely, adopted into the current one by a localised twist of fate. An accomplished ribbon-twirling acrobat, and highly proud of her femininity, Dovia strives to be the most stunning god in the skies, impressing others with her unique fashion sense marked by a bright bow made of red supergiant stars. Don't insult her, or else she won't hesitate to slap- [It appears the sentence trails off, and the ink has spilled.]
|Oh my stars, is that...!?|
|Enough with the exponentially increasing amounts of exclamation marks, look right there at the ribbon!|
|Good heavens above, those stars are meant to live for another 10 million years yet! Shift our time-perspective and enhance our telescope's field vision right near that supernova, what in the universe is happening!?|
Apologies for that brief interruption, ohohoho! It appears I have made a slight error. This month's constellation is actually Dovia Reborn, the Punished Maiden. Denied her beauty by the will of the universe, her favourite ribbon was tarnished by the hands of space rebel mandibugs, and she seeks unholy revenge upon those who ruined her look. Dovia briefly dipped from appearances in parties and racing games with the other gods while she enacted this revenge, but soon returned to her rightful position amongst the twelve after various cameos and advertisements. No longer does she decorate with red ribbons, but instead with the red blood of her enemies. While the light radiating from that destroyed star's supernova may not hit you for another 30 billion if not trillion years, I assure you, my all-seeing and judging readers, that star certainly no longer exists. Oho, this certainly spells out an interesting omen for the rest of the year. These refreshing horrorscopes are sure to help you on the start of your cosmic journey through the cycle of 2022. Farewell, until our next ordained meeting!
|March 21 –
|With the cost of many things increasing, you may find that money is sparse this year. Fear not, fiscally troubled reader. Like all good omens, your fortune is hiding in plain sight. Usually in large blocks made of bricks. If you see such objects, don't hesitate to smash your head into them at full force to reveal the riches within! Be warned reader, these gains are still tax-deductible under treasure trove laws.|
|April 20 –
|Your love life will take a turn this year, as you will soon find out that the princess you have been chasing from castle to castle over the years actually already has a boyfriend. "What on earth? Since when?!" You may cry, but alas, that giant spiky shell has made you oblivious to such obvious things. You can solve this issue in one of two ways: either fight him in your own castle and prepare for an impromptu lava bath, or try working out and hitting dating apps. I hear Kraidslist or Mushroom Mingle might still be operating.|
The Greater Banana
|May 21 –
|Rejoice, reader! The holiday season is nearly over, and that means the prevalence of holiday-themed horoscopes is slowly decreasing, like the amount of days between Christmas and when supermarkets begin selling hot cross buns every year! This year, save yourself time and energy and strive to celebrate no holidays... except for National Banana Day. It is highly important that you do so. Do you see-|
The Gold Digger
|June 22 –
|Have you considered starting a small business this year, and are wondering where to invest all of your profits? Forget Cryptocurrency, NFTs and straight up tax evasion, the hottest 2022 financial trend involves hiding all of your profits inside small cubical encasings of bricks, then leaving them in the open. Paint decoy boxes yellow with white "?"s to draw the attention away from the inconspicuous brick blocks nearby, and fill them with mushrooms or flowers, ensuring your profits remain protected and out of the hands of Koopa Banks! This is simply textbook finance I grabbed from a book in my library, and am now recounting to you. Fortune favours the bold, or whatever! Oho!|
The Saddle Bearer
|July 23 –
|Alas! Your fortune for this year promises terrible back pain as the weight of other people's problems takes a heavy toll on your back. Jettison these problems into your nearest ravine to grant yourself an extra jump to land on that mushroom platform you otherwise couldn't have reached, and carry on with your life's journey.|
|August 23 – September 22||This year, the gloves come off, and it's finally time to make a change. They're quite stained with dust and are in need of replacement, after all. Cleaning mansions and hotels for a living surely takes a toll on one's wardrobe, not to mention the amount of socks one might accidentally vacuum up, so treat yourself to only the finest gloves one can buy. The stars forsake me as I am out of touch with trendy boutiques of your time, so I don't know, hit up the Star Shop, maybe? Oho!|
|September 23 – October 22||This year will be yet another year of maintaining balance for Alroia starsigns. Oh dear, I bet you've heard that a lot from other oracles. Being compared to scales, justice, Wii-Fit balance boards or something. My my, what terribly uncreative fates the stars hold for you. Not to worry, O delicately acrobatic reader, you haven't read what other oracles have said about your fate yet, and this normal horoscope simply balances those other, more worrisome and ominous ones out. Ohohoho!|
|October 23 – November 22||Many unexpected things in this universe conceal hidden danger, such as poisonous birds, poisonous flowers, and most surprisingly, poisonous bottles of liquid labelled "DEFINITELY NOT POISON" you may find in hallowed stores run by suspicious wizards. It would be wise to not forget these things as the year goes by, and do your best to remind others as you brandish that poisonous concealed dagger towards their throats. Oh! It appears I mixed up my tome of celestial divination with my DnD book. No matter! Substitute poison with tax-deductible and embrace the year of savings ahead!|
The Inverted Hand
|November 23 – December 21||Walfulgius star-signs rejoice, as your fortune is the shortest this month, meaning you have to read less! Alas, the year ahead will be filled with many people cutting corners on you like this, but worry not! You can't ever hope to make me pay for my actions, while others are just standing there waiting to be slapped!|
The Punished Maiden
|December 22 – January 19||The threads of fate are measured, cut and spun by the gods, and this year, them decorating everything you own with red ribbons is not going to cut it anymore. Messed up times create swag people, or something. Take control of your own threads, update your wardrobe, and plot your revenge against those who called you dripless in the previous year. By any means necessary.|
The Royal Castles
|January 20 – February 18||A new year means a new layout for one's abode. Whether that be a humble house or some ridiculous 6th castle, a change of interior scenery can unclutter one's mind to focus on the year coming. Toss out your old furniture decorations, pillowcases, kitchenware, those god damn toads, giant paintings that lead to other worlds, rugs, etc. and prepare for a refreshing self-induced home makeover. Open-plan living is so in right now, so don't forget to remove all of those cluttered doors gated by varying amounts of stars. You'll feel the positive energy flowing through your space, much like the exhaust fumes from the Koopa airship parked right outside.|
|February 19 – March 20||Just want to reassure you, O everchanging and whimsical reader, that there are no conflicts of interest in any of these horoscopes. Now, onto your fortune: you WILL write for The 'Shroom this year. You WILL submit your sections on time. You WILL read all sections in The 'Shroom, and you WILL vote for all team's section of the month. You WILL submit to this year's 'Shroom overlords. Now that many have stopped reading, to Tha King: the intergalactic authorities suspect nothing, carry on as planned. You WILL join the Mario Awards Committee, and you WILL do presentations at the Mario Awards ceremony. You WILL not give out any details on my whereabouts to the space authorities. Ohoho! Best of luck to you!|
|The 'Shroom: Issue 178|
|Staff sections||Staff Notes • The 'Shroom Spotlight • 'Shroomfest Highlights • Directorial Address|
|Features||Fake News • Fun Stuff • Palette Swap • Pipe Plaza • Critic Corner • Strategy Wing|