Area Turtle Owner Enjoys Special Daily Turtle-Time

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Vol 33 Issue 22

Suburban Teen Has Near-Def Experience

NEWTON, MA—Matthew Denny, a 17-year-old suburban Caucasian, is recuperating following a harrowing near-def experience Monday at Newton's NorthTowne Mall. "He came out of Bradlee's wearing a Starter jacket and Tommy Hilfiger sweatshirt, and suddenly he fell down and went into convulsions," witness Irene Wheeler said. "Writhing on the floor in those baggy pants, he looked like he was on the verge of def." Denny was rushed to a local hospital, where doctors administered emergency doses of Matchbox 20's Yourself Or Someone Like You.

Mongol Hordes Sack U.S.

An estimated $800 billion in damage was caused Monday when a horde of bloodthirsty Mongols sacked and pillaged the U.S. The horse-mounted Mongol warriors, operating from a stronghold in the Canadian wilderness, moved in from the north and plundered U.S. riches, sweeping as far south as Oklahoma before making their way back across the border. President Clinton is calling for the construction of a national moat to prevent future attacks.

Aerobics Show Used For Almost Completely Non-Aerobic Purpose

BELLEVUE, WA—The aerobics program Get Fit With Jenni was used for almost entirely non-aerobic purposes Tuesday, when Seattle-area 15-year-old Brian Elkins vigorously engaged in a low-impact cardiovascular workout while watching the TV show. Elkins performed his semi-aerobic routine while watching 22-year-old host Jenni Raye, clad in a spandex bikini-top and form-fitting lycra shorts, do hamstring-toning leg lifts while bent over on all fours. "We have determined that Brian's heart rate increased by about 35 percent during his semi-strenuous nine-minute regimen," said Elkins family physician Dr. Edward Farber. "His breathing rate likewise increased, and several large and small muscle groups received a modicum of aerobic movement and stretching." Elkins, who woke up with minor soreness the next day, said he "could really feel it working."

Report: Nuclear Arsenal Will Go Bad Unless Used By 2000

WASHINGTON, DC—A Defense Department report released Monday stated that the U.S. has barely a year and a half before its enormous stockpile of nuclear missiles goes bad. "Most of these weapons were manufactured in the mid-'70s with an expiration date of January 2000," the report read. Reacting quickly to the findings, Pentagon officials are hard at work fomenting overseas discord in hopes of preventing government waste.

Viagra Giving Hope To Thousands Of Struggling Stand-Up Comedians

Released only a few months ago, the new wonder-drug Viagra is providing hope for thousands of impotent stand-up acts across the U.S. "Could you imagine if Godzilla took Viagra?" said Chuckle Factory emcee Tony Campanelli, one of the many struggling stand-up performers whose sense of comedic vitality and virility have been boosted by the drug. "That Statue Of Liberty had better watch out." Chicago-area improv-troupe member Bobby Childs agreed. "We just ask the audience to suggest a popular new medication, and someone always yells Viagra. A laugh riot never fails to ensue," Childs said. "Medical science has truly blessed us with a second chance at pleasing audiences."
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Man Commits To New TV Show Just Hours After Getting Out Of 7-Season Series

UNION CITY, NJ—Recommending that he give himself the chance to pause and explore the other options out there, friends of local man Jonathan Gember expressed their concerns to reporters Wednesday that the 29-year-old is already committing to a new television show just hours after getting out of a seven-season-long series.

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Area Turtle Owner Enjoys Special Daily Turtle-Time

DEARBORN, MI—Dennis Frye, 31, an unmarried lawn-care-supply wholesaler and home-turtle enthusiast, took special time out Monday, as he does every day, to enjoy quality care, feeding and maintenance of his pet turtle Sheldon.

Dennis Frye makes sure to set aside at least an hour each day for quality time with his pet turtle Sheldon.

"Who's a little shell-head? Who? Who?" asked Frye, visibly enthused by the turtle's presence. Sheldon, a common box turtle acquired by Frye at Winston's World Of Exciting Fish & Pets in downtown Dearborn as a "birthday present" for himself in 1995, did not appear to respond.

The animal has been Frye's sole domestic companion for three years.

Lovingly replenishing Sheldon's lettuce supply and refilling his special personalized food-pellet distribution device, Frye removed the squat, near-immobile animal from his tank for his daily bathtub swim in several inches of lukewarm water. Frye then cleaned the droppings from Sheldon's aquarium habitat, rinsing out the bed of multi-colored pebbles and placing fresh pebbles where necessary, pausing periodically to "check in on" the turtle with queries like, "How ya doin' there, lil' buddy?"; "You doin' okay in there?" and "Havin' fun just swimmin' around?"

Before returning Sheldon to his tank, Frye also engaged the animal in several minutes of spirited "play," which largely consisted of Frye picking up Sheldon and setting him down in various spots, then watching him crawl feebly in a vain attempt to escape his human captor.

"Each evening, during turtle-time, if Sheldon has been an especially well-behaved little guy that day, I give him his favorite 'special occasion' treat—a chunk of leafy iceberg lettuce covered in yummy fish oil," Frye told reporters. "He always crunches down on it with such gusto, I almost feel like I'm getting a special treat, too."

Frye enjoys the company of his "favorite little turtle-pal."

Feeding the tiny reptile a lovingly prepared slice of lettuce, Frye watched as Sheldon slowly chewed and swallowed each mouthful. "Look at him!" Frye whispered gleefully. "He's chewing it!"

"He loves it! Look at him smiling!" he added.

According to herpetologists, not only is the facial musculature of the box turtle incapable of forming a smile, but the chances of Sheldon actually experiencing feelings of joy are almost nil.

"Reptilian creatures like Sheldon do not experience emotions the way many people think they do," said Dr. Stanley Hargrove of the San Diego Zoo. "Turtles lack the nurturing and bonding capacities of more highly developed creatures and are thus incapable of feelings of affection."

Hargrove also noted that Sheldon's "play" behavior is not really play at all, but rather escape instinct in action. "Sheldon, like any animal forced to live in a small glass tank, is consumed with a desire to get away," he said. "Of course, since this is a pet turtle we're talking about, there is very little Sheldon can do to act on this desire other than basically crawling to the side of his tank and looking out."

Hargrove said the turtle's relative helplessness is rendered all the more pitiable by his inability to communicate his dissatisfaction to his human owner.

"Sometimes, when Sheldon is really feeling wild, he likes to wear his special 'Super-Turtle' sweater," said Frye, forcing the animal into a novelty pet-clothing item. Frye grinned as he pulled the small garment, complete with an iron-on "ST" logo and miniature cape, over the turtle's shell.

"Doesn't he look cute?" said Frye, picking up the turtle to "fly" him around the room "like a little superhero." Sheldon reacted in the same manner he always does when held: by withdrawing into his shell as a natural defense mechanism against predators.

"I love Sheldon, my little turtle friend," Frye said. "It's so nice to have someone around the house as company."

Added Frye: "I believe it's really important for all of God's creatures, whether turtles or humans, to feel loved."

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