Area Man's Pop-Culture References Stop At 1988

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Vol 39 Issue 22

Man In Bar Makes General Inquiry About The Ladies

SAN ANTONIO, TX—Sitting on a barstool at the Stone Werks Tavern, Barry Todd, 39, made a general inquiry regarding the status of the ladies Monday. "So, what's the deal with the ladies tonight?" asked Todd, speaking to no one in particular. "Are they alone, or are they here with somebody? I hope they're not all uptight and stuck-up." After receiving no definitive answer, Todd spent the remainder of the evening flipping through the CDs on the jukebox and nursing his warm Michelob Light.

Cameraman Finds Sole Black Person In Studio Audience

LINCOLN, NE—During Tuesday's live broadcast of Mornings With Connie & Bill, Channel 8 cameraman Tom Benes managed to find Yolanda Davis, the only African-American in an otherwise all-Caucasian studio audience. "Connie [Dell] and Bill [Jordan] were chatting about Gladys Knight coming to town, and I just felt it would be nice to get a reaction shot from someone of color," Benes said. "That's the kind of subtle thing that makes the show more enjoyable for viewers at home." Benes kept his camera trained on Davis during the entire discussion of the Knight concert and later got a quick shot of her during a brief mention of Halle Berry.

Bakery's Closing Nets Man Ton Of Free Éclairs

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA—Area resident Andrew Rutherford, 43, took advantage of the 7 p.m. closing of Napoleon's French bakery Monday, taking home what he described as a "ton" of free éclairs. "I swung by to get a donut just as they were closing up shop for the night, and this guy behind the counter asks if I wanted, like, three huge bags of éclairs for nothing," Rutherford said. "So I'm like, 'Hell, yeah!' They were just gonna throw them away, I guess. My roommates were so psyched." Though weighing far less than an actual ton, the éclair bags tipped the scales at nearly nine pounds.

MC Serch Updates List Of Gas-Face Recipients

QUEENS, NY—For the first time since the list's 1989 release, MC Serch of 3rd Bass unveiled an updated Gas Face list Tuesday, removing such longtime recipients as Hammer and P.W. Botha in favor of more current wrongdoers. "Osama bin Laden... gets the gas face," MC Serch, flanked by Prime Minister Pete Nice, told reporters. "Bill O'Reilly, shut the fuck up! Gas face!" Also included on MC Serch's newly revised Gas Face list were Scott Peterson, U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA), and Grand Puba.

Graduation Party More Lucrative Than Planned Future Career

BLOOMINGTON, IN—Caryn Niering, who last week received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University, earned more in cash and gifts during her graduation party Monday than she can ever hope to amass in her chosen career as a school psychologist. "I got a pretty sweet deal at the party," Niering said. "My uncle Mark gave me a check for $1,000, and my dad bought me a new Volkswagen Jetta." Niering's total haul at the graduation party was $19,600, while her starting salary as a school psychologist will be $17,000 a year.

Exaggerating The WMD Threat

Critics are accusing the Bush Administration of distorting the destructive threat posed by Iraq. Among the U.S. claims under suspicion:
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Little League Pitcher Just Getting Fucking Shelled

RED BANK, NJ—After watching the 11-year-old give up the fourth straight double that inning, sources confirmed Sunday afternoon that local Little League pitcher Dustin Bauer is getting absolutely fucking shelled out there.

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Area Man's Pop-Culture References Stop At 1988

FLAGSTAFF, AZ—According to sources, area resident Scott Marchand, 37, lives in a state of pop-cultural stasis, never making references to movies, music, or television shows that came after 1988.

Marchand, who says his all-time favorite TV show is "<i>Cheers</i>&#151;the Diane years."

"It's strange," said longtime friend Rob Petrakis, 36. "Whenever he quotes lines from his favorite movies—Caddyshack, Wall Street, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Top Gun—it's never anything that came out after 1988. It's always 'I feel the need for speed,' or 'Greed is good,' or 'Those aren't pillows!' I don't know what part of the human brain controls the absorption of pop-cultural stimuli, but 1988 is apparently the year Scott's shut down."

Marchand, a real-estate agent with Coldwell Banker, graduated from Arizona State University in May 1988. That fall, he married college sweetheart Eileen Wells and moved to Flagstaff, where he has lived in a state of pop-cultural obliviousness ever since.

According to Petrakis, Marchand's knowledge of current music is as limited as his knowledge of other media.

"Scott's favorite band is U2, and has been ever since we roomed together in the dorms," Petrakis said. "Hey, I liked them back in college, too: Boy, October, The Joshua Tree—all great albums. But the weird thing is, even with his favorite band, his familiarity drops off after 1988. I've browsed through his CD collection, and the most recent U2 album he owns is [1988's] Rattle And Hum. You'd think he'd at least have Achtung Baby, but I've never heard him even mention it."

Marchand's isolation from all contemporary pop culture is especially confounding considering that he has an 11-year-old son and an 8-year-old daughter, both of whom are steeped in today's films, video games, and music.

"I wanted Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for Christmas," son Jordan said. "Instead, Dad got me this collection of really old games like Pac-Man, Joust, and Dig Dug that he said are way better. Then he says, 'Let's pop in that cartridge so I can show you how to catch Pac-Man fever.' He doesn't even know that games are on CDs now. He's so weird."

Marchand is not without access to current pop culture. On his way to work, he passes billboards touting the latest movies and albums. Many of his real-estate coworkers are twentysomethings whose desks are well within earshot of his. His children talk about their favorite television shows at the dinner table. Regardless, he has seemingly managed to avoid absorbing any of the media that are virtually forced upon him.

"It's not like I keep up with all the latest stuff," wife Eileen said. "I mean, I'm busy working and taking care of the kids, but it's hard not to know about the new Matrix movie or American Idol. But with Scott, it's another story altogether. He'll see 'N Sync on TV and refer to them as 'one of those New Kids On The Block bands.' It's like he subconsciously threw a switch that made him ignore anything related to pop culture after he graduated from college. To him, it's like the Church Lady and Moonlighting are the pinnacle of Western civilization."

Asked about his habit of restricting his references to 1988 and years prior, Marchand pleaded ignorance.

"Do I do that?" Marchand asked. "I guess I never really noticed. Even if I do, though, I really don't think it's a big deal. I mean, if that's what I enjoy, then that's what I enjoy. Like I always say, 'Don't worry, be happy.'"

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