Area Woman Not Listened To Again

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Vol 33 Issue 11

Olympic Speed Skater Thinking About Maybe Taking Out The Garbage

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO—U.S. Olympic speed skater Jared Wells, 24, who placed sixth in the 500-meter sprint at last month's Nagano Games, is reportedly thinking about maybe taking out the garbage. "Yeah, those pizza boxes are really starting to pile up there," said Wells, speaking from his living-room couch. "I guess I should take care of that. But first I'm gonna finish building this house made out of Entertainment Weekly subscription-card inserts."

Governor Pardons Self For Living

LANSING, MI—Michigan governor John Engler issued a formal pardon to himself for living Tuesday. "Like, excuse me for living, okay?" read the four-page pardon, which absolves Engler from all culpability in his own existence. "I guess I'm not God. Hope that's okay with everybody." The sneering, sarcastic tone of the gubernatorial pardon is believed to be a reaction to the widespread criticism leveled at Engler in recent weeks, including a Lansing News-Clarion editorial calling him "Governor Lame-o" and a report by Detroit's NBC-TV affiliate suggesting that he "get half a clue." "I am sooo sorry I didn't live up to your expectations," Engler said.

Ganymede Totalled In Three-Moon Pileup

PALO ALTO, CA—Astronomers at the Palo Alto Observatory are citing "lunar error" as the cause of the three-moon pileup that totalled Ganymede and severely dented Callisto and Europa Monday, causing an estimated $700 quadrillion in damage. "Apparently, a comet passed within Saturn's orbit just ahead of Callisto," Observatory associate director Charles Rayburn said, "causing Callisto to swerve and lose control, colliding with Europa and creating a pileup which Ganymede struck from behind." None of the three moons were insured.

Area Grandparents Still Have No Idea What Grandson Does For A Living

BOSTON—Sources confirmed Monday that Walter and Nancy Brandt, grandparents of Boston-area systems consultant Charles Brandt, 31, still do not have the slightest idea what their grandson does for a living. "We are very proud of our Charles," said Nancy, 82. "Whatever he does in that job of his, I'm sure it's very impressive." Said Walter: "I think what Charles does is make sure companies have enough computers and employees so that they can—oh, I haven't a clue." The couple also has no idea what their granddaughter, Erica Haselrig, a Lodi, NJ, human-resources supervisor, does for a living.

Sudanese Youths Go Wild For Great Taste Of Any Food Whatsoever

KHARTOUM, SUDAN—In the biggest fad to sweep Sudan's thrill-seeking teens since 1994's "extreme thirst" craze, youths in this Northeast African nation are going wild for the great taste of any food whatsoever. The new "absolutely anything edible" fad is reflected in current Sudanese youth fashions, dominated by neon-colored, zebra-striped hats and shirts featuring slogans like, "Do you have any food?" and "I am extremely hungry." Sociologist Gavin Werner of Tufts University explained the craze: "For these young people, such fads are a way of setting themselves apart from their parents and forging a generational identity of their own. They are also starving to death and must obtain food if they are to live much longer."

Appeasing The Ignorant Masses

So, my despised arch-enemy and rival in the news-paper trade William Randolph Hearst thinks he can single-handedly stop The Onion dead in its tracks by putting that vulgar "Yellow-Kid" comical drawing panel in his New-York Journal?

It's True (Or Drew) Love!

Item! Has heavyweight funnyman Drew Carrey finally found love? According to my reliable sources, he sure has! The grapevine tells me that Carrey has been spotted about town on the arm of the redheaded woman from that Brooke Shields show. To date, they've gone bowling, eaten pizza–hold the anchovies!–and taken in a movie. Honestly, I can't think of a better match than those two. I mean, can you imagine the jokes? Oh, to be a fly on the wall on one of their dates!

Ask A Wiccan

Morganna Goldenwand is a syndicated advice columnist whose weekly column, Ask A Wiccan, appears in over three newspapers nationwide. She is also the author of Tread Lightly: A Guide To The Sacred Woodland Glades Of Upper Illinois, and has just released a CD, Blessed Morning!, a collection of Celtic chants accompanied by crystal Tibetan singing bowls.
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Area Woman Not Listened To Again

SPENCER, WI—Diane Hamm, 38, a lifelong Spencer resident and part-time clerical assistant at Groelke Home Financing in nearby Plovis, was not listened to yet again Tuesday, when her husband paid no attention to what she was saying as she handed him the morning newspaper.

A 1995 photo of Gary and Diane Hamm.

Officials estimate that the incident marks roughly the 10 billionth time Hamm has not been listened to when attempting to speak.

"I talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk," Hamm told reporters at a press conference in the breakfast-nook area of the Hamm household, "and it just goes in one ear and out the other. I might as well be talking to a wall."

Hamm's sister-in-law, Janice Gunderson, who is staying with the Hamms temporarily, was sitting at the family's breakfast table when the non-listening incident occurred. According to Gunderson, at approximately 7:45 a.m., Hamm's husband Gary, 41, asked his wife to please hand him the newspaper. As Hamm handed it to him, she reportedly said, "Oh, by the way, that reminds me. We need to send off the check for that subscription renewal if you still want to get the paper. Do you?"

According to Gunderson, Gary responded by staring into space, in no way acknowledging that he had heard his wife. Hamm then repeated the question twice, to no avail.

"It was only after Diane waved her hand in front of Gary's face while whistling the Twilight Zone theme that she got any reaction out of him at all," Gunderson said. "He just blinked and was like, 'Huh?' I swear, it's like he just tunes her out."

Though Gary, who married Diane in 1983, has denied his wife's allegations, claiming that he "was just zoning out there for a minute," many experts familiar with the Hamm case argue that the incident is merely symptomatic of a severe not-being-listened-to problem that has existed since the beginning of their marriage.

"The specific examples of Gary not listening to Diane are too numerous to list in full. In fact, if laid from end to end, they'd reach from here to the sun," said Patricia Sloane, renowned feminist author and attorney with the D.C.-based Women's Attention-Payment Project.

Sloane then produced an abridged, 800-page document chronicling some of the prior incidents. Among them: the 1987 episode in which Hamm told her husband not to turn on the kitchen-sink garbage disposal because a fork was lodged in it, but he did anyway, breaking the garbage disposal; the week in early 1991 when she told him five days in a row to pick up their dry cleaning, and he didn't; and the much-discussed May 1993 dinner party thrown by the Engelbreits, at which he ignored 27 attempts by Hamm to contribute to a political discussion.

"It is clear that this is someone who does not hold Diane Hamm's words in the same regard he does those of other people," Sloane said.

According to noted New York-based gender activist Lisa Kopani, Hamm's case is far from uncommon.

"Each day in this country, millions of women go unlistened-to, despite their earnest efforts to make themselves heard," said Kopani, a member of the controversial performance-art group Metric Labia. "Unfortunately, you never hear about them in the media because their cases aren't as glamorous and sensationalized as this one."

"I have just about had it up to here," Hamm told reporters. "Gary can remember the plot of every episode of Coach, but my mother's birthday is beyond him? And I don't even want to talk about Jeffy and Craig. Don't even get me started on those kids. Talk about never listening to a word I say!"

The remainder of Hamm's comments are not known, as reporters stopped paying attention to her and just sort of aimlessly wandered off.

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