Conventional Love Affair Breaks None Of The Rules

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Vol 33 Issue 21

School Shootings

On May 21, Springfield, OR, 15-year-old Kip Kinkel opened fire in his high-school, killing two students and wounding 22 others. What do you think about the recent rash of school shootings?

Area New York Times 98 Percent Unread

NASHUA, NH—A copy of Monday's New York Times was discarded at approximately 6:40 p.m. Monday, with only two percent of its content read. "I skimmed the front-page headlines, and then I looked at the sports scores and part of a movie review," Times subscriber Hal Ruggerio said. "Then I chucked it." Among the features not read by Ruggerio were a Jeanne Kirkpatrick op-ed on the geopolitical ramifications of the nuclear race on the Indian sub-continent, a review of John McPhee's latest collection of essays, and the obituary of a former U.S. ambassador to Uruguay.

USA Original Movie Not That Original

LOS ANGELES—It was learned Tuesday that Brute Force, a USA Original Movie slated to air on the USA cable network this Saturday, is actually not all that original. "Despite its billing, this so-called 'original' movie is, in fact, remarkably similar to many other movies," said film critic Irwin Schloss. "From the mysterious drifter's encounter with the schoolteacher with a dark secret to the climactic waterfront chase scene, you've no doubt seen all this before." A USA spokesman defended Brute Force and noted that summer will be hotter than ever on USA, thanks to all-new, totally original movies like Bare Ambition, an erotic thriller starring Dana Plato.

Family Dog Ignored For 11th Straight Year

KLAMATH FALLS, OR—Brownie, a 12-year-old mixed-breed dog owned by the Wilcox family of Klamath Falls, reached its 11th year of being ignored Monday. "The first year or so we had Brownie, we paid a lot of attention to him and played with him constantly," father Mitchell Wilcox said. "But after that, the novelty of having a dog wore off, and we all started to ignore him, even the kids. Now, I suppose, we're just waiting for him to die." Experts predict that Brownie will tolerate two to three more years of disregard before attacking a family member, at which time he will be declared senile and euthanized.

Birthday Boy Admits Accepting Gifts

ARLINGTON, VA—Under heavy scrutiny for alleged improper conduct in connection with his recent 10th birthday, Arlington-area birthday boy Joshua Stern admitted to accepting gifts Monday, but vehemently denied any wrongdoing in the matter. "My receipt of these gifts was in no way unethical or improper. No special favors or perks were conferred upon Aunt Patricia in exchange for the Godzilla action figure," Stern told reporters. "Likewise, the Sony Playstation I received from my parents was an unconditional gift, wholly unrelated to my cleaning of the family garage five days prior."

New 92-Grain Bread Depletes Majority Of World's Resources

UNITED NATIONS—A report released Monday by the World Health Organization states that Hearthwell Farms' new 92-grain bread has depleted nearly 55 percent of the planet's resources. "One loaf of this mind-bogglingly wholesome bread contains enough grain to feed 4,000 dairy cows for 20 years. The flax seeds alone could sustain a small city for a year," the report read in part. "We're talking about some seriously grainy bread here." A spokesperson for Hearthwell Farms, responding to the charges of reckless resource consumption, said: "It takes a lot of grainy goodness to make Hearthwell's 92-grain 'Kitchen Sink' bread... The Hearty Sandwich-Makin' Bread."
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Conventional Love Affair Breaks None Of The Rules

SCHAUMBURG, IL—A thoroughly ordinary love affair between Chicago-area suburbanites Stephen and Denise Feeney has broken none of the rules, shocking no one with its non-torrid abandon and lack of forbidden passion, it was reported Tuesday.

A Christmas 1997 photo of Stephen and Denise Feeney, whose run-of-the-mill love is no different from that of millions of other couples.

According to those familiar with the couple, the stable relationship between Stephen, 27, a Xerox copier-sales account manager, and Denise, 26, a buyer for Sears, continues to plod along steadily, provoking no vows of revenge from interloping outsiders sworn to keep the two apart at all costs.

The partnership between the at-times somewhat-enthusiastic lovers is expected to continue on its current, mild path for years and is unlikely ever to end in star-crossed, tragic heartbreak.

"My family has been very supportive of my marriage to Stephen," said Denise, speaking to reporters while doing a crossword puzzle in the mid-sized kitchen of the couple's mid-priced home. "They're always polite to him when we visit on holidays, so I guess they must like him well enough. They've never really said much about it, so, to the best of my knowledge, I'm not defying them in any way."

Many times, a blossoming love affair flouts conventionally held beliefs, daring to boldly violate taboos in its furious, fevered pursuit of ecstatic union. Such is not the case, however, with the Feeneys' romance. From the moment they met while working summer jobs for the same Elgin, IL, catering company in 1991, they have followed the path of sober propriety, achieving partially consuming intimacy by exercising caution and reserve, keeping a clear head at all times, and taking care to avoid rash, possibly regrettable decisions.

"When we got married, we decided to wait until I established myself as a regional assistant at Xerox before having our first child, Jessica, who is four now," Stephen said. "And once we could afford the down payment on a decent house in one of the better neighborhoods, we went ahead with our second child, little Bradley. It's important to start a family relatively early if you want to be able to give your kids the benefit of your prime years."

Stephen noted that, in choosing a neighborhood, he and Denise looked closely at the quality of the local schools. He also stressed the importance of timely diphtheria vaccinations.

The couple's level-headedness had been evident long before their wedding: A month after she and Stephen started dating, Denise sidestepped a potentially messy situation by quitting her community swing choir rather than pursuing a crush she had on a fellow member of the ensemble.

"I'm so glad I did the right thing," she said. "Stephen has proven to be a reliable provider for our family unit. Sticking with him has proven extremely well-advised in the long run."

Responding to a reporter's question, Denise said Stephen has never serenaded her from the street below her window, waking and angering the neighbors with a loud demonstration of the depth of his eternal love for her. "No, he's never done that," she said. "He did sing to me once, though, when I asked him to help me remember how the theme from PM Magazine went."

When asked if he kept any strands of Denise's hair under lock and key in a family-heirloom locket that he held close to his heart on a golden chain at all times like a precious treasure, Stephen said, "I don't really keep anything like that lying around, no. But I do have the receipts from our first shared credit card. They're in the filing cabinet in the den. Does that count?"

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