Area Man's Free Time Monopolized By Friend With No Other Friends

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Vol 37 Issue 16

American Gladiator Still Insists Friends Call Him 'Turbo'

LIMA, IN–More than five years after his last appearance on the syndicated program American Gladiators, Dale "Turbo" Brandt continues to insist that friends refer to him by his on-air name. "Please," Brandt told acquaintance Lynn Crane at a dinner party Monday. "Call me Turbo." In recent years, Brandt has bought a "TURBO" vanity plate for his 1990 Honda Del Sol, placed a "Turbo" nameplate on his mailbox, and attempted to make restaurant reservations under the name "Turbo."

Slight Inconvenience Avoided

ST. LOUIS–Area resident Jim Shaffer avoided slight inconvenience Monday, thanks to Jhirmack's new "upside-down" shampoo bottle. "If I'd been using a traditional shampoo bottle, I'd have had to turn the thing over and shake it when it started to run low," Shaffer said. "But, with the Jhirmack bottle, the shampoo collects at the bottom, making shaking unnecessary." Shaffer plans to use the time saved by the shampoo to "catch up on [his] reading."

Maxim Skimmed

DALLAS–A copy of Maxim magazine was skimmed Monday by subscriber Steve Reiger, who briefly flipped through the May issue before tossing it onto the floor near his bed. "I glanced at the thing about Buffy bad girl Eliza Dushku and read a little of the interview with the guy from Korn," Reiger said. "They also had something about motorcycles I caught a little of and this thing called '100 Things To Do Before You Die.' I think there was also something about that new Mummy movie, but it may have been an ad." Reiger looks forward to skimming the May issues of FHM and Men's Health when they arrive.

Trucking Industry Honors Methamphetamines

KANSAS CITY–At its national convention Monday, the National Trucking Association bestowed its highest honor on methamphetamines. "Methamphetamines, you are the substance that keeps our nation's truckers 'speed'-ing along to their appointed destinations," NTA president Larry Herrick said. "Without you, American trucking would not be the world leader it is today." Herrick then downed a fistful of pills and climbed into a rig, saying he had to be in Fresno, CA, by sun-up.

Asian Man Has Thing For Asian Women

TOKYO–Shoji Furukawa, a 33-year-old Tokyo man, confessed Monday to a fetish for Asian women. "For some reason, as long as I can remember, I've always been into Asian chicks," Furukawa said. "I don't know what it is about them, but they just totally do it for me." Furukawa said the preference may be a familial trait, noting, "My dad was really into Asian girls, too."

First-Grade Teacher Apprehends Urinator

NEWARK, DE–The mysterious Coat Room Urinator, who for weeks terrorized Mrs. Collinsworth's first-grade class at Lakeview Elementary School, was brought to justice Monday, when student Danny Culver was caught in the act of voiding his bladder by the lost-and-found box. "The elusive urine fiend has been apprehended and will be dealt with accordingly," Collinsworth said. "We as a class no longer have to live in constant fear of discovering a warm puddle by the Simba cutouts along the back wall." Culver is being held without bail in his room at 294 Maplewood Drive after being released to the custody of his parents.
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Area Man's Free Time Monopolized By Friend With No Other Friends

PHILADELPHIA–A disproportionate amount of area resident Chris Blakely's free time is monopolized by Spencer Reuss, whose only friend is Blakely.

Blakely (left) exits a movie with the single-friended Reuss close behind.

"I like Spencer and everything, but our friendship is way skewed," Blakely said Monday. "I have about 20 friends, so, statistically speaking, I should only be hanging with Spencer, like, 5 percent of the time. But I see him way more than that–more than I see anybody else–because I have to carry the entirety of his friendship load."

The problem began in November 2000, when Reuss, who attended high school with Blakely in New Castle, PA, moved to Philadelphia for a job with a graphic-design firm. Upon arriving in Philadelphia, Reuss knew no one except his old high-school acquaintance.

"In the beginning, I knew he was pretty lonely, so I tried hard to make him feel welcome, telling him he should feel free to stop by any time," Blakely said. "Big mistake: Four months later, he's still feeling free to stop by any time."

Because Blakely's apartment is just a few blocks from Reuss' place of employment, Reuss often drops in unannounced.

"He can see my car parked out on the street, so there's no way I can just pretend I'm not home," Blakely said. "I've tried telling him I need some time alone, but that always leads to 10 phone calls where he asks me if I'm okay. One time, he even sent me a card."

Blakely has tried to introduce Reuss to his other friends, with less than favorable results.

"I figured, maybe if he hit it off with some of my other friends, I could pass him off to them," Blakely said. "Well, one night, after hanging out at a bar with six or seven of them, Spencer informed me that he doesn't like my friends because they're 'too mainstream' for his tastes. Yet, he'll still want to tag along any time I make plans with them. And he always finds a way to corner me into a conversation about the things he wants to talk about, like his kite-building or his obsession with WWI. So, even when I'm with others, I'm still only with him."

Compounding the difficulties of the social babysitting are Reuss' depressive tendencies.

"Spencer really gets lonely and down on himself," Blakely said. "It makes just ditching him that much harder."

On any given night, whether spending time at a bar, concert, or movie, Blakely is 650 percent more likely to be socializing with Reuss than with any of his other friends. Blakely is 95 percent assured of spending time with Reuss during holidays.

"Take this past New Year's Eve," Blakely said. "As much as I wanted to, I just couldn't leave the guy sitting in his apartment alone, so I was like, 'Hey, why don't you come along with me to my buddy Jonathan's party?' But then Spencer surprises me with these expensive tickets for a KC & The Sunshine Band New Year's show. So, instead of going to Jonathan's party, I end up spending New Year's with Spencer, KC, and the goddamn Sunshine Band."

Though it is still three weeks away, Blakely is already dreading Reuss' upcoming birthday.

"I'm going to have to spend about $100 on drinks just to bribe my friends to show up at the bar," Blakely said. "If I have to sit there alone, with Spencer across from me wearing one of those stupid 'It's My Birthday!' pins, I'm going to slit my wrists."

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