Everyone In Family Claims To Be The Black Sheep

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Vol 38 Issue 28

Family Dog Barking At Evil

MEDFORD, OR—Spraggles, the Reid family's terrier, was barking at evil again Monday, his canine instincts detecting the presence of an unseen sinister force. "What on Earth is he carrying on about?" asked owner Ed Reid, watching Spraggles bark at a hall closet. "There's nothing in that closet but Grandma's old wedding gown and a hammer." Spraggles then headed to the backyard to bark at more evil, this time in the form of a newspaper page swirling in the wind.

Cash-Strapped Michael Jackson Forced To Sell Off Pet Giraffes As Meat

NEVERLAND VALLEY RANCH, CA—Nearly bankrupt due to Sony exploitation and under-promotion, Michael Jackson was forced to sell more than two dozen of his beloved pet giraffes to exotic-meat suppliers Monday. "I will greatly miss Patches and Princess and the other giraffes," Jackson said in a statement read by his lawyer. "But Tommy Mottola has cruelly left me with no choice but to pawn off some of my dearest friends in order to survive." Jackson's financial situation is reportedly so dire that he's also had to make do with a bargain-brand anal bleach.

Police Seek Poorly Drawn Man

DETROIT—Four days after the murder of liquor-store clerk Bernard Golub, police announced Tuesday that they are seeking a poorly drawn man in his 40s. "All units have been advised to be on the lookout for a 5-foot-9 Caucasian with dark hair and a lopsided face that looks all wrong in the jaw area," police chief Jerry Oliver said. Oliver added that the suspect has a scar across his forehead, or possibly just a mistake that wasn't fully erased.

Man Runs Out Of Questions To Ask 4-Year-Old

CAMDEN, SC—Two minutes into the interaction, David Linn ran out of questions to ask coworker Ron Marcone's 4-year-old son Luke. "I asked him his name, his age, if he has any brothers or sisters, if he's started school, his favorite food, what he wants to be when he grows up, and at least 20 things about the truck he was playing with," Linn said Monday. "After that, I just hit a wall." Linn added that he has newfound respect for Bill Cosby.

I'm Really Going To Miss This Task Force

As I look around this table, I see a group of people dedicated to improving the quality of school transportation in the North Rochester School District. More importantly, though, I see a group of people I will be very sorry to leave behind. I don't want to sound too gushy or sentimental, but I'm really going to miss this task force.
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Everyone In Family Claims To Be The Black Sheep

STOCKTON, CA—Citing numerous examples of ostracization and failure to fit in, all of Paul and Martha Klessig's three children see themselves as the black sheep of the family.

Self-proclaimed black sheep Tim, Jack, and Anna Klessig (L to R) with their parents.

"I've always been the outcast," said son Jack Klessig, 21, a video-store assistant manager and aspiring musician. "Everybody else in my family, they're all, like, these total straight arrows and super-responsible. I'm the only one who's wandered off the traditional path."

Continued Jack: "Mom and Dad are so proud of Anna and Tim. See, Tim is engaged and is co-owner of a landscaping business, and Mary is actually using her art degree to do her metal work. I got a history degree, but I'm just doing my thing, hoping the band takes off. They think I'm wasting my education and going nowhere."

Tim, at 29 the oldest of the three Klessig children, feels a similar sense of alienation from the family.

"I am definitely the odd man out," Tim said. "Mom and Dad know that I'm the only one who smokes pot. You'd think that being in a band, Jack would be a big pot guy, but he doesn't do any drugs. Same with Anna. You gotta be straitlaced to fit in with the Klessigs, and I'm anything but."

"It also doesn't help that I'm the oldest but still the least responsible," Tim added. "Jack always remembers birthdays and is really good about keeping in touch with phone calls and e-mails, even though he lives in another city. Anna gives Mom and Dad the most thoughtful gifts. Shit, I'm lucky if I can remember my own goddamn birthday. I mean, they're my family, and I love them, but I'll never really belong the way Jack and Anna do. I swear, sometimes I think I'm adopted."

Anna, 27, said she has felt vaguely disconnected from her family since she was a teenager.

"Even when I was 14, I knew I was different," Anna said. "Mom and Dad spent way more time with the boys. We'd take family camping trips, and while everyone would be off fishing together, I'd hang back at the campsite and do something creative by myself. And now that I make my living as an independent jewelry designer, that just confirms their suspicions about me being some artsy, loner weirdo."

Anna also feels that her status as a single woman in her late 20s has increased her marginalization.

"I'm happily unmarried, and that really blows my parents' minds," Anna said. "Tim is getting married in October, and it's okay for Jack not to be married, because he's a guy, and he's only 21. But not me. Mom thinks I should have a husband and a bunch of screaming babies at my feet. I'm sorry, but if not wanting that puts me on the outside, so be it."

Told of her children's feelings, Martha Klessig expressed confusion.

"I'm not sure why they feel that way, " Martha said. "We don't have a judgment scale for our offspring. They're all our children, and we love each of them equally. It's not like my family growing up: I stuck out like a sore thumb because I read poetry and dropped out of college while my brothers got business degrees."

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