CHICAGO — Local office technician Ryan Lane went home sick yesterday afternoon after reportedly realizing that all of the lunch breaks and bathroom visits he spent reading the Onion were a waste of time. Lane’s colleagues said he would often appear irritable whenever they discussed the news, and that the last straw may have been their conversation about whether or not Congress would vote to attack Syria.
“I spent my entire commute to work reading the Onion, so I thought I’d be able to put a funny spin on the office conversation that day,” said Lane. “Then all of a sudden they started talking about Syria and somebody named Asswad I guess the U.S. is thinking about going to war there, but I had no idea.”
Lane admitted that he thought something significant was happening in Syria when he read an Onion article about bears entering the conflict, but became distracted by one of the site’s entirely fictional “Area Man” stories. “Everybody in the office was saying that over 100,000 people have died over there, and they were debating whether or not we should attack. I just stood there thinking about goddamn bears.”
Lane’s cubicle-mate Anthony Phan said that until yesterday he had no idea his friend spent so much time reading the Onion. “It makes sense now, though. He never had much to add to conversation–just some off-topic jokes, mostly,” Phan recounted. “I just didn’t think people actually expected to get any real information from [the Onion] anymore. I read this article on Slate the other day that said the Onion just makes shit up these days.”
On the other hand, the pain Lane experienced was “very real.” “God, it was embarrassing,” Lane told his roommate immediately after arriving home from work. “I’m still digging through their site looking for something I can use to talk about the real world, but it’s just a bunch of smartass jokes. Look at this! Area Man Croation; Area Man Would Like To Be One Rescuing Dog For Once; Area Man Man’s Man; But Area Man Had Pizza For Lunch; Area Man Likes To Think Of Himself. Enough already!”
“Don’t get me wrong, the Onion is fun and all,” conceded Lane, “but what’s the point beyond a little laughter and sarcasm? There’s a lot going on in the world, and it’d kind of be nice to know about it. After all, the essence of satire is truth, right? Not bears.”