Dark smoke rings hover in the sky over Zurich, Leamington Spa in England, and even Disneyland.
Are they naturally occurring air vortices, or thermal microbursts as some meteorologists believe?
Of course not.
"They came from another dimension!" explains the National Examiner, whose crack science team reports: "Some believe they are UFOs or a sign of some supernatural presence."
That's about as logical as everything else in this week's factually-challenged tabloids and celebrity magazines.
"Hillary failed secret FBI lie detector!" screams the National Enquirer's front page, claiming that she failed to tell the truth about sending military secrets on her private email server. Pot, meet kettle. Hillary Clinton never took a polygraph test when testifying before the FBI. Rather, the Enquirer simply fed audio of some of her public statements through a purported stress detector, which I'm guessing came with its own decoder ring, cape and mask when you send $2.99 and ten cereal box tops. It was a "secret" test because nobody except the Enquirer knew she was taking it, raising forensic science to new levels.
Just as former 'Friends' star Jennifer Aniston was publicly raging this week against tabloid intrusion, lies and the perpetuation of unrealistic body images, the Enquirer obliged by reporting "Aniston's boob job to save her rocky marriage . . . " Declared Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr Susan Evans: "Jennifer's breasts look much fuller than they used to." Because a plastic surgeon just won't do. It takes a certified dermatologist to determine if mammary glands look larger. Or maybe Aniston just wore a push-up bra.
Actress Sandra Bullock is cautioned: "Stay away from bad boy Bryan!" in a two-page Enquirer story about her new boyfriend. Who issued this dire warning? Not Sandy's parents, or Bryan's ex-girlfriend, nor a behavioral psychologist or probation officer. No: "Sandra Bullock's childhood drama teacher urges her to ditch lover," reveals the Enquirer, which wants a 50-year-old successful independent single mother to take romantic advice from the 81-year-old who once taught her as a little girl. Seems reasonable to me. We should all take life advice from kindergarten teachers we haven't seen in decades.
The unending body-shaming continues in the Enquirer: actress Valerie Bertinelli is warned: "Diet or die!" after allegedly gaining 49 pounds; the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton is a "walking skeleton" and "Royal insiders fears she's anorexic"; and Angelina Jolie is supposedly 79 pounds "and wasting away." Then the Examiner goes and ruins it all by reporting on the 490-pound Bobbi-Jo Westley "whose 90-inch bottom is helping her make some very big bucks" by appearing scantily clad on live webcams for "chubby chasers."
"I'm very confident and it's my body, so if I want to show the world me naked or in bra and panties, that's what I choose to do," she says. If only Jennifer Aniston had a 90-inch backside.
People magazine devotes its cover and six pages inside to "Real people, inspiring stories, easy diet tips," demoting "America's agony" and "our nation's race crisis" to a small box in the corner, because Thin Lives Matter.
"Demonic possession on the rise in America!" screams the Globe, reporting on a psychiatrist who has spent 25 years "as an exorcist's assistant." After a quarter of a century you'd hope he'd have graduated to full-fledged exorcist, but no. Must be the devil holding him back.
Satan's handiwork can be seen in the romance between Taylor Swift and British actor Tom Hiddleston, who according to Us magazine's cover "is ready to pop the question – and they're already talking babies!" They've been dating for only a month, so it's natural to expect wedding bells for songstress Swift, whose average romance only lasts around two months.
Fortunately we have Us mag's crack investigative team revealing that Taylor Schilling wore it best, Rachel Maddow learned to split wood from her pastor, E.J. Johnson (Who he, Ed?) carries Jo Malone London fragrance, La Mer moisturizer and Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipstick in his Chanel tote – because what man doesn't? – , and the stars are just like us: they take selfies, go to theme parks, roll luggage and send text messages. Lord knows, the stars can be boring sometimes.
If I stack this week's tabloids in a pile and set them ablaze, will they send up a dark smoke ring in the sky? I think it's worth finding out.
Enquiring minds want to know.
Onwards and downwards . . .