Alvin Shunned By Animal Community, Forced To Wear Scarlet 'A'

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Vol 40 Issue 39

Report: Iraq War Keeping Thousands Out Of Unemployment Line

WASHINGTON, DC—A Department of Labor report praised the positive effect the Iraq War has had on the strained U.S. job market, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao said Monday. "A whopping 140,000 U.S. citizens are gainfully employed as military personnel in Iraq," Chao said. "The war is not just keeping these young men and women out of the unemployment lines, but it's also teaching them such valuable skills as operating radar equipment, driving an M1A1 Abrams battle tank, or bagging and tagging bodies." Chao said that most troops won't need to look for new work for another four to seven years.

Produce Section Bursts Into Laughter After Will Ferrell Makes Casual Remark About Apples

LOS ANGELES—Patrons of the Trader Joe's grocery store on La Brea Avenue and Third Street broke out into gales of spontaneous laughter when fellow shopper and movie star Will Ferrell made a casual comment about apples. "I haven't had a good apple in a while," Ferrell said in the produce section, causing several nearby shoppers to giggle and nod appreciatively at the overheard remark. "Are Paula Reds any good? I wonder if they're sour like a Granny Smith." Ferrell said that, although he appreciates his fans' support, he really wanted a straight answer about the apples.

Upcoming Election Deduced From Sports Illustrated Content

LINCOLN, NE—Football fan Ben Pellett first became aware of the upcoming presidential election Tuesday, thanks to a tangential reference to it made in the Sept. 28 issue of Sports Illustrated. "One of the columnists said that picking who'll dominate the NFC North would be 'tougher than predicting the winner on Nov. 2,'" Pellett said. "At first I had no idea what that meant, but then I realized it's been a while since we voted for president. I asked my roommate, and sure enough, there's an election this year." Pellett added that he thinks both the Vikings and the Republicans have what it takes to go all the way.

Iraq Hostages

Extremists in Iraq continue to use hostage-taking to convey their message, leaving much of the world wondering what can be done. What do you think?


Munich is in the midst of Oktoberfest, Germany's annual celebration of beer and Bavarian culture. What have been the festival's highlights so far?

There Are So Many Experiences I Want To Write About Having Had

As a writer, I have powers of observation far greater than those of the average person. Nothing gets by me. Sometimes, as I sit typing in my dank, dusty, windowless room, I stop and marvel at the tapestry of life. When I think about all the escapades that could inform my writing, my mind reels! The world is my keyboard's oyster—I just need to get out there and experience all the things that are waiting to be written about.
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Man Considers Nodding Approvingly After Friend’s Drink Purchase

MEQUON, WI—Seeking to convey his endorsement of his acquaintance's selection at local bar Coney's Draft House this evening, area man Thomas Dodge told reporters that he was considering nodding approvingly at his friend’s alcoholic beverage pur...


Alvin Shunned By Animal Community, Forced To Wear Scarlet 'A'

PASADENA, CA—Well-known frontman for Alvin & The Chipmunks, the singing group that included his brothers Simon and Theodore, Alvin Seville is adored by millions for his intricate vocals on such playful songs as "Alvin's Harmonica" and "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)." The chipmunk celebrates his 70th birthday this month, as well as his 46th year bearing the scarlet letter "A"—the mark of shame that reminds members of the animal kingdom that he is an actor who has adopted the ways of humankind.

Alvin revisits the forest he once called home.

"'A singer of people-songs!'" said the Seville family's former tax accountant, echoing the cries raised against Alvin so many years ago. "'What kind of a business in life—what mode of glorifying Mother Nature, of being serviceable to chipmunks?' Such were the comments bandied between leaf and twig, chattered from branch to branch! And yet, let them scorn Alvin as they would, strong traits of their nature had intertwined themselves with his."

In 1958, members of the Woodland Council forced Alvin to sew a scarlet, gold-embroidered "A" on his sweater. They then paraded him before his forest peers and exiled him to a split-level ranch home on the outskirts of Los Angeles.

"When 'The Witch Doctor' became a success, the animal community seized upon Alvin's 'unholy' communion with humankind," entertainment writer Seth Morris said. "By today's standards, it seems barbaric to ostracize a chipmunk because of a relatively harmless series of novelty recordings. It was a different time then."

According to Morris, Alvin's father sent the chipmunk to Hollywood while still an infant, with the stated intention of following later. The elder animal remained in the forest, however, leaving Alvin and his brothers alone in the human world. It was then that Alvin met Seville, who developed a liking for the chipmunks and adopted them as his own children.

"So moody and mischievous were Alvin and his brothers that people used to joke that their birth father was actually the devil," the accountant said. "But Dave truly loved the chipmunks, and so he was torn, for he knew the human-animal bond to be unnatural."

While Alvin refused to identify the father who'd abandoned him, many say he bears an uncanny likeness to popular entertainer Dale, a singing, dancing chipmunk who arrived in Hollywood around the time of Alvin's downfall.

"Dale could see there was something between Alvin and Dave," Morris said. "Alvin was heartbroken to have been made a pariah, but he bore it stoically, pouring all of his energy into his songs and his television programs."

While the animals publicly rallied against Alvin, many privately expressed admiration for both his bravery and the speed and pitch of his plaintive, almost human vocals.

"Alvin, with a mind of native courage and activity, outlawed from the wilds, wandered among the suburbs and studios of mankind," the accountant said. "The scarlet letter was his passport into regions other chipmunks dared not tread. Fame, adoration, applause! These were his teachers—stern and wild ones—and they made him strong, but taught him much amiss."

For many years, Seville refused comment on his relationship with Alvin.

"Dave felt terrible guilt over luring Alvin from the animal world and subjecting him to so much pain at the paws of his peers," inventor and Alvin costar Clyde Crashcup said. "At one concert, he came very close to taking the microphone and admitting to that which was animal in his own nature, just as Alvin had been forced to own up to his trespasses into humanity. But ultimately, Dave was too afraid."

"It was only seconds later that a lighting rig fell, forming a giant letter 'A' behind the set," Crashcup added.

In the controversial final episode of The Alvin Show, however, Seville appeared before a live studio audience, acknowledged his relationship with Alvin, and tore open his shirt to reveal an "A"-shaped skin discoloration on his chest. Shortly afterward, he died, his final word the plaintive call, "Alllviiin!"

Alvin withdrew from the limelight with the cancellation of his last TV series, Alvin & The Chipmunks. While he has periodically returned to the studio to record covers of such popular songs as "Achy Breaky Heart" and "The Macarena," Alvin has spent the past decade largely in seclusion.

"Alvin made the choice to go back to the suburban home that had once been his place of banishment," the accountant said. "Here had been his sin; here, his sorrow; and here is yet to be his penitence. He has returned, therefore, and resumed of his own free will, the symbol of which I have related so dark a tale. But the scarlet letter has ceased to be a stigma which attracted the world's scorn and bitterness, and has become something to be sorrowed over, and looked upon with awe, and yet with reverence, too."

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