Area Tank Top Strained Nearly To Breaking Point

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Vol 32 Issue 01

Johnsville, Il, Renamed Walmart #11717

JOHNSVILLE, IL—In a special town-square ceremony Friday, Mayor Byron Elkins officially renamed the town of Johnsville, IL, pop. 2,372, WalMart #11717. "All WalMart #11717ians can be proud to call WalMart #11717 their home," the mayor said. "I think we can all agree that WalMart #11717 is a wonderful place to work and shop." Added Elkins: "Go WalMart #11717 High Cougars!" Other residents of WalMart #11717 were equally enthusiastic. "The arrival of WalMart in our town this year caused dozens of stores to close, eliminating over 400 jobs," said greeter and mother of three Marianne Gross. "But on the bright side, nearly 150 jobs have been created by the new store." Citizens of WalMart #11717 who behave will receive a subcutaneous corporate-identification implant chip good for an employee discount at any WalMart store.

Pierced Tongue Fails To Make Local Woman Less Boring

COLLEGE STATION, TX—Sources within the tongue-piercing community revealed Monday that area resident Jen Macalester, 20, is no less boring now than she was prior to last week's tongue-piercing at the Piercing Pagoda in College Station's CrossGates Mall. While Macalester had hoped the tongue ring would give her "an edgy, dangerous, anti-establishment air," in actuality it did little to disguise her unremarkable personality and utterly predictable tastes. In the wake of the piercing failure, Macalester has reportedly been significantly cheered up by Tuesday's release of the new 311 album.

Mars Probe Destroyed By Orbiting Spielberg-Gates Space Palace

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL—NASA officials have confirmed that the space agency's $170 million Mars Rover was destroyed Sunday by a ship-to-ship phaser fired from the defense array of the $950 billion Spielberg-Gates Space Palace, an opulent, Rhode Island-sized orbiting mansion which serves as an outer-space getaway for moviemaker Steven Spielberg and computer magnate Bill Gates. While powerless to counterattack, NASA pleaded with Spielberg and Gates to be more merciful with NASA equipment in the future. "While we greatly respect the advances Mr. Spielberg and Mr. Gates have made with their privately funded space fleet, and we apologize for our unauthorized entrance into their orbit zone, we beseech them to share the solar system with us." Spokespersons for Spielberg and Gates said the two ardent video-game enthusiasts were "just playing."

Jean's Karaoke Krazy!

So there I was last Friday night, wondering where the heck hubby Rick was. He had promised to take me to see Con Air, but it was almost 15 minutes until the start of the movie and still no Rick. I called the tire center where he works, but there was no answer. Great, I thought, he's probably out at Tacky's Tavern, and I'll be stuck home tonight all alone. I changed out of my nice sweats, climbed into bed and turned on QVC.

Zweibel Goes A-Courtin'

The estate was awash in jollity and good tidings this week during the wedding of my great-great-great grandniece Violet Carstairs Zweibel to some pansy who is heir to a vast gelatin fortune. Though the ceremony was held in my own court-yard, I was locked in my bed-chamber, doubtless out of fear that I would create a scene. Lousy ingrate family of mine!
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Area Tank Top Strained Nearly To Breaking Point

SMYRNA, GA—A Smyrna-area tank top is under fire from local menswear advocates, who say the garment is so severely strained that it is in imminent danger of succumbing to explosive and potentially dangerous fabric-degradation-related rupture.

Smyrna, GA, city officials warn that an area tank top may experience "sudden and potentially dangerous fabric failure," unless steps are taken to overhaul its badly overtaxed stitching and load-bearing shoulder straps.

According to Municipal Sleeveless-Clothing Subcommittee co-chair Edwin Thurley, the tank top, a 1981 horizontally striped, blue-and-white "Kmart Casual" featuring a vest pocket and dual poly/cotton blend, was not designed to withstand the pressures currently being placed upon it by its owner, and may "burst without warning at virtually any moment."

"There is a growing number of citizens who are very concerned about the possible adverse effects that may be felt by our community should the tank top suddenly fail," Thurley said. "It is crucial that we resolve this pressing matter before, not after, a crisis stage is reached."

The embattled tank top has been the focus of negative public scrutiny for the last seven summers. Detractors point out that the top has been badly in need of an upgrade ever since falling into severe disrepair in the late '80s. Further, they say, while the shirt remains a size medium, the fleshy torso whose safe containment is the shirt's primary responsibility has expanded to the point of realistically requiring a size double extra-large.

"If crucial support is not provided for the tank top's badly overtaxed load-bearing shoulder straps within the next year, it is likely that the straps will suffer complete breakdown by the summer of 1999," Thurley said.

A bitter rivalry between city officials and the tank top's owner/wearer, Todd Fontaine of nearby Plovis, has only exacerbated the situation.

Said Fontaine: "Because of a recent exorbitant parking fine levied against me by city officials, I cannot allocate the necessary funding toward a tank-top replacement or upgrade at this time."

Thurley dismissed the claims as unfounded. "Fontaine knows darn well that it is illegal for him to park his pickup truck on his front lawn, yet he continues to do so out of stubbornness and spite," Thurley said. "He is protesting his recent $100 fine as a smokescreen to cover up the real issue: the gross endangerment of an innocent piece of clothing."

Even if Fontaine agrees to replace the tank top, there remains the issue of how to remove it without traumatizing the public. One solution to the problem has been proposed by the Atlanta engineering firm of Raemisch & Herzog. The firm's plan entails the construction of a brand-new, state-of-the-art girth-containment tank top, several sizes larger than the current one, directly over the original tank-top site.

"Once a larger top is secured around Mr. Fontaine's midsection, it will be safe to send in a team to cut away and remove the outdated, obsolete tank top within," Bob Kelcher, a Raemisch & Herzog spokesperson, told the Smyrna City Council Sunday.

Proponents of the Raemisch & Herzog plan note that it will save taxpayers a crucial 30 to 40 seconds of direct exposure to Fontaine's pale, shirtless upper body.

In an alternate bid, the local Target store is offering to provide Fontaine with suitable upper-body coverage at a storewide discount of 15 percent.

"With Target's latest line of designer men's casual tanks and tees," read an official statement in last Sunday's eight-page, full-color newspaper insert, "Fontaine can look forward to a Fashion-Filled Fall(TM) come September."

Despite the various proposals, Fontaine is refusing to remove the tank top, adamant that he has remained within the letter of the law.

"I believe I've got a right to keep wearing this tank top if I choose, no matter how much weight I may or may not have gained," he said. "I also believe I have a right to park my pick-up on my lawn and barbecue in my boxer shorts. Furthermore, I believe I'm going to have another helping of rhubarb pie."

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