Area Woman Offended For Fourth Time In One Day

In This Section

Vol 36 Issue 15

Ammonia-Factory Leak Exposes Texas Town To Mexican Working Conditions

BROWNSVILLE, TX–A toxic-chemical leak at a Brownsville ammonia plant sent workers running for their lives Monday, exposing the city to deadly Mexican working conditions. "I smelled pure, concentrated ammonia leaking from one of the tanks, and for a second, I thought I was in the wrong country," plant foreman Dick Shriver said. "I mean, my God, Americans work here." Investigators noted with relief that shortly after the leak, a brisk wind came in from the north, blowing the lethal fumes out of the U.S.

Boyfriend Vows To Try Harder

BREMERTON, WA–Area resident Len Wallace made a solemn vow Monday to girlfriend Mindy Ellis that he would try much, much harder. "I've just been going through so much crazy stuff these days, baby," Wallace said. "From here on out, I'm gonna be the best boyfriend in the world." Wallace added that they're going to spend so much time together, he swears to God.

Pyramid Scheme 'Not A Pyramid Scheme'

HARTFORD, CT–Despite its expansion-driven profit structure and multilevel-marketing format, the "Cash-4-All" pyramid scheme is not a pyramid scheme, electronically dispatched literature touting the scheme boasted Monday. "Don't fall for those ripoff pyramid scemes [sic]," read an e-mail sent to Hartford resident Larry Grosvenor, "This is the real deal!!!" "This opportunity looks interesting," Grosvenor said of the pyramid scheme, which asked him to add his name to the bottom of a list, then send that list to six other people. "And the best part is, it's not some pyramid scheme."

Teen Male Vaguely Unnerved By Nude Pantyhose Rack At Kmart

OWINGS MILLS, MD–Unable to pinpoint the precise source of his disquietude, 13-year-old Brian Wilmot was "kinda creeped out" by a local Kmart's "nude" pantyhose rack Monday. "There's these plastic, pantyhose-covered legs sticking out of the rack, and the word 'nude' is there in big letters," said Wilmot, who was dragged to the store by his mother. "I don't know what it was about it, but it was just sorta unsettling."

Country Singer Trying To Think Of Rhyme For 'Shove You'

GREEN BRIER, TN–Country singer Ricky Lee Dean, nearing completion of a new song, reported Monday that he is struggling to find a rhyme for "shove you." "It's a tune about a fella who gets drunk and mistreats his gal, and he's trying to explain to her why he acts that way," Dean said. "The line goes, 'Just because I shove you/That don't mean I don't...' but I can't seem to finish it." Dean is also trying to come up with a rhyme for "down a flight of stairs."

Federal Troops Seize Neglected Child In Pre-Dawn Raid

YPSILANTI, MI–Acting under orders from U.S. Health And Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, a battalion of heavily armed federal officers seized custody of neglected 9-year-old Jeffrey Boyd in a dramatic pre-dawn raid of his Ypsilanti home Monday. "Jeffrey is finally safe and out of harm's way," Shalala said of Boyd, whose parents were written up by Michigan's Department of Child and Family Services last month for "failure to consistently provide proper supervision and nutritious meals." Shalala added that the extreme measures were regrettable, but were necessary to enforce the law.

Third World Debt Relief

An estimated 10,000 people descended upon World Bank and IMF meetings in Washington last week, demanding debt relief for impoverished Third World nations. What do you think?
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Personal Finance

Productivity

Scientists Posit Theoretical ‘Productive Weekend’

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Challenging long-accepted scientific convention, a group of leading MIT scientists published a report Thursday positing that, under certain rare and specific conditions, a so-called “productive weekend” is theoretically pos...

Area Woman Offended For Fourth Time In One Day

BROOKLINE, MA–Irene Fowles was offended by a telemarketer who called during the dinner hour Tuesday, raising the total number of times the 56-year-old homemaker had been offended that day to four.

Irene Fowles in her own home, where she should be able to enjoy dinner uninterrupted.

"I simply could not believe the nerve of that so-and-so, calling just as my husband and I were finally sitting down to the nice meal I had prepared," Fowles told reporters gathered in front of her suburban Boston home. "Imagine harassing decent people in the middle of their private time like that. How dare he?"

Fowles' mark of four falls short of the all-time Boston-area single-day offense-taking record of seven, set by Somerville secretary Florence Bullock in 1981. It is, however, a personal best for Fowles, who on a daily basis is forced to endure slights, rebuffs, affronts, and astonishing gall from a wide range of sources.

The first instance of offense took place at 9:20 a.m. while Fowles was watching the syndicated talk show Leeza. The topic of the show was Charles Manson, and Fowles was shocked to learn of a subculture of youths who greatly admire the serial killer, sending him fan mail and buying T-shirts and posters bearing his image.

"'Outraged' is too mild a word to describe my reaction when I heard this," Fowles said. "'Sickened' is more like it. How can anyone admire that evil man? It deeply disturbs me that with all the millions of unsung heroes out there, like teachers and paramedics and neighborhood-watch people, young people would worship a monster like Charles Manson. And Leeza's not much better herself for giving these wackos a forum to air their twisted views. Shame on her."

The disapproval continued approximately three hours later when Fowles stopped by First Boston Savings & Loan to withdraw money for grocery shopping. Though the bank was nearly empty, the area facing the tellers' windows was elaborately roped off.

"After filling out my withdrawal slip, I worked my way through the ropes," Fowles said. "I felt a little silly winding through them when I could have directly walked to a teller window, but I felt I was supposed to."

Before Fowles could reach the teller windows, however, a man entered the lobby and walked directly to the teller window, where he was immediately served.

"That really got my goat," Fowles said. "Obviously, I was there in the line before the man, but because I followed the rules, I was the one who got the short shrift. The worst part is, when I complained to the teller, she said she didn't see what happened. It's bad enough that the guy cuts in front of me, but then, when a representative of the very institution whose ropes I'm walking through at their request doesn't even seem to care, well, that's when I really must take issue."

Added Fowles: "I wonder if the real reason I got ignored is because I'm a woman."

After an unexpectedly umbrage-free trip to the supermarket, Fowles returned home, only to be "taken aback" by the realization that that her friend Shirley Reynolds, a 48-year-old registered nurse and Tupperware representative, had neglected to place a Tupperware catalog in her mailbox as promised.

"The new Tupperware catalogs were supposed to be out on the 25th, and Shirley knew that I want to order some new CrystalWave microwave bowls, since my daughter Lindsay took my original ones," Fowles said. "I must have told Shirley on at least on three separate occasions that when the new catalogs come out, please stick one in my mailbox. Well, she promised me she would on Tuesday afternoon, but when I got home, no catalog. That really steamed me."

"Friendly favors aside," Fowles continued, "if you're in the Tupperware business, you should take care of your customers. Especially when they're perfectly capable of going out to Wal-Mart and buying some Pyrex or Rubbermaid bowls–for less money, I might add. Unless, of course, Shirley's doing so well as a Tupperware representative that I'm not important enough a customer to be considered worthy of a catalog."

As of press time, it is not known how Fowles will respond to the various offenses. Fowles' husband, however, said she will likely seek satisfaction through indirect reproach.

"Irene's forever writing letters to the editor, filling out comment cards, and complaining to assistant managers," said Dean Fowles, 59. "But four offenses in one day is remarkable even for her. She's loaded for bear, let me tell you."

In the past, Fowles has been offended by a wide range of matters, including the Clinton-Lewinsky imbroglio, the adult humor content on Fox's That '70s Show, and not being asked to make something for her church's July 1998 bake sale.

Dick Hollingsworth, president of the Dallas-based courtesy-advocacy group Of All The Incredible Nerve, sympathized with Fowles.

"When I heard about the many indignities Irene suffered, I rolled my eyes and clucked my tongue disapprovingly," Hollingsworth said. "It's all very typical, isn't it? Absolutely no regard for how the other person might feel. Just an hour ago, I looked outside at the parking lot and saw these kids sitting on my car waiting for the bus. Just sitting on my car like it was a park bench! The nerve. And have you seen that Kellogg's Rice Krispies Treats commercial where the man's arm is ripped off his body in the subway? Whose idea of humor is that? Certainly not mine. I have to be subjected to this kind of trash day in and day out, and I'm fed up. Well, Kellogg's is going to get one angry letter from me, let me tell you."

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More