Area Man Proudly Accepts Exit-Row Responsibilities

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Vol 37 Issue 03

Irish Wake A Blur

BOSTON–According to attendees, Saturday's wake for police officer Joseph "Joe" O'Malley was a total blur. "I think someone said something about remembering all the good times with Joe," said friend Patrick Monaghan, attempting to piece together details of the event Sunday. "Exactly which good times we remembered are lost to me now." Seamus McNamara agreed, saying, "I mainly recall making a lot of toasts and downing pint after pint of Guinness. Good ol' Joe."

Diners Slightly Unnerved That Waitress Didn't Write Down Order

PORTLAND, OR–A Chili's waitress identified only as "Karen" made a six-person lunch party uncomfortable Monday when she didn't write down their orders. "We ordered a heck of a lot of stuff," diner Dennis Bernardo told his dining companions. "You think she'll actually remember the 'no olives' in Bob's Greek salad? And my request for marinara sauce instead of alfredo on my pasta? I'm sure she knows what she's doing, but I still kinda wish she'd written it down." Fellow diner Sandi Slocum said she was going to add a Coke to her order just as the waitress was leaving, but opted not to for fear of "complicating things."

Annoying Coworker Precedes All Nouns With 'Quite The'

WICHITA, KS–Wichita Gas & Electric payroll secretary Patti Smolensk has thoroughly irritated coworkers with her habit of prefacing all nouns with "quite the," WG&E sources reported Monday. "She said, 'That's quite the mug you've got there' when I walked into the breakroom with a snowman-shaped mug," file clerk Cassie Taylor said. "And on Monday, she was talking about how she threw 'quite the shindig' over the weekend." Said sales representative Dianne White, whom Smolensk called "quite the sleepyhead" when she recently showed up half an hour late for work: "I'm gonna give her quite the punch in the face if she doesn't knock it off."

Running Back's Buttocks Undulate Hypnotically In Sexuality-Challenging Slow-Motion Replay

ALBEMARLE, NC–The sexual identity of Super Bowl viewer Henry Bracken was challenged Sunday, when a slow-motion instant replay showed the sinewy buttocks of Baltimore Ravens running back Jamal Lewis undulating hypnotically through his high-sheen spandex pants. Bracken, 41, was watching the game at his Albemarle home when he became momentarily transfixed by the sight of Lewis' gluteal musculature rippling explosively as the player made a sharp cut to avoid a tackler. "I ain't gay," said Bracken upon snapping out of the trance, during which he tried not to notice the lines of Lewis' jock strap framing his powerful, magnificently sculpted ass. "I just ain't."

Celebrity Couples Are Breaking Up!

Item! It's not just Oscar season, it's also break-up season! Among the Hollywood couples packing up their belongings and moving to Splitsville are Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin. Rumors have it that both of them were unhappy with the other's ballooning weight, so they decided to split before the situation got worse. For a while, this couple had it all: looks, money, and a commitment to numerous important causes. But, like so many Hollywood clouds, this one had a dark lining.

Rock's First Billionaire

With a net worth estimated at $1.07 billion, Paul McCartney recently became the word's first billionaire pop star. Among the former Beatle's holdings:
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  • Night Out Consecrated With Opening Exchange Of High-Fives

    CHARLOTTE, NC—Kicking off the evening with their customary expression of excitement and camaraderie, a group of friends reportedly consecrated their night out on the town Friday with a ceremonial opening exchange of high-fives.

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Area Man Proudly Accepts Exit-Row Responsibilities

CHICAGO–Air traveler Lynn Paschal feels physically and mentally ready to fulfill the duties of an exit-row passenger should tragedy strike United Airlines Flight 234 en route to Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport, sources close to the 34-year-old confirmed Monday.

The fully prepared Lynn Paschal.

"The last thing anyone wants is an emergency landing," said Paschal, limbering up his forearms and checking his reach to the door handle. "But in case we do, I'll do everything in my power to make sure everyone gets out quickly and safely."

In the unlikely event of an emergency landing, Paschal may be called upon to open the escape door with the help of the O'Hare-based United flight crew.

"I certainly hope there will be at least one crew member left alive to help me, but there's no guarantee of that," Paschal said. "I have to prepare for the possibility that I'm the surviving passengers' only hope." Paschal noted that if need be, he could probably throw the door open himself, either by applying all his strength to the handle or by wrapping a seatbelt strap around it for leverage.

In addition to opening the exit-row door, Paschal's emergency duties would include helping his fellow passengers exit the plane and slide down the inflatable chute.

"That's the price you pay for having a little extra leg room here in the exit row," said Paschal, who stowed his carry-on bag in the overhead compartment so it wouldn't tangle the legs of escaping passengers. "Right now, it's leg room, but when the plane is engulfed in flames or sinking like a stone 30,000 feet above central Tennessee, it could be the path to life. And that's a path I want clear."

"Don't worry," said Paschal, turning to the woman seated next to him. "You're going to see your family again."

Paschal first learned of his exit-row responsibilities during the standard pre-flight safety video shown to passengers as Flight 234 prepared for takeoff. Paschal paid strict attention to the presentation, well aware that he could be unexpectedly called into service.

"When [chief flight attendant] Melinda [Garnock] directed my attention to the exit sign above my head, I was glad I made damn sure I had the procedure down," said Paschal, scanning the plane for any elderly passengers who might need special assistance. "Now, I'm basically a member of the crew. Until this plane lands, I'm no longer a civilian."

In addition to familiarizing himself with the large, clearly marked lever, Paschal made other preparations. After introducing himself to everyone in the immediate vicinity of seat 15E, he tucked the aircraft's crash card into the underside of his tray table for easy access. He also fixed his seat in its most upright position.

"Can't afford to relax on this flight," Paschal said. "No coffee, no soda. Got to stay ready. I might have to make my way around this bird in total darkness or even underwater."

Paschal's zeal has not gone unnoticed by United personnel.

"I asked him about six times to stop removing his seat cushion," Garnock said. "He said he was practicing using it as a flotation device. He only stopped when I assured him we wouldn't be crossing any oceans from Chicago to Atlanta. He kept looking over at me and giving me the thumbs-up."

"He took me aside earlier and said he was pretty sure he could get everyone out himself, that if it came to it, I should save myself," flight attendant Yvette Sanchez said. "It took me a while to realize he was talking about helping people out of the plane in an emergency."

Added Sanchez: "Apparently, the guy doesn't realize that in the unlikely event of a crash, we're all fucking dead."

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