Former Coworker Romanticized

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Vol 40 Issue 24

New Alternative-Fuel SUV Will Deplete World's Hydrogen By 2070

DETROIT—Ford announced a Sept. 3 rollout date for its new Ford Foresight, a hydrogen-powered SUV that, if it reaches sales projections, will deplete the earth's supply of hydrogen by 2070. "America has asked for a car that does not use fossil fuels, and we've delivered," Ford CEO William Ford Jr. said Monday. "With an engine nearly 20 times as powerful as that of our gas-burning SUV, the 11-ton Foresight will be unaffected by the price-gouging whims of OPEC, as it uses water electrolysis to gather fuel from the oceans and the fresh mountain air." Ford acknowledged that, when hydrogen supplies are depleted, the usefulness of the Foresight, as well as life on earth as we know it, will end.

No One Notices Area Man's Marginal Attempts To Change

MIDLAND, TX—No one in Jacob Grant's life has noticed his minor attempts to become a "more thoughtful and considerate person," the new-and-improved man reported Monday. "I'm just asking for a little recognition," said Grant, who in the past week purchased a pack of cigarettes for a friend, complimented his girlfriend's new haircut, and allowed his brother to eat the last samosa. "After all, it's not like I particularly enjoy holding elevator doors open." Despite the lack of positive feedback, Grant said he plans to give his new plan at least another day or two.

Cryptozoologist Falls For It Again

LUBBOCK, TX—Will Reiser, an expert in the field of unsubstantiated creatures, was duped again Tuesday, when he said he'd finally found proof of the existence of the elusive Chupacabra, a quill-covered creature that feasts on the blood of livestock. "The right shank of the goat carcass I discovered on my doorstep bore the Chupacabra's distinctive cross-hatched fang pattern," Reiser said. "I have to say I'm surprised that the quills poking out of the body so closely resemble those of the hedgehog indigenous to this area." Reiser's next-door neighbor, Dan Swelter, is currently laughing his ass off.

Report: 9/11 Commission Could Have Been Prevented

WASHINGTON, DC—According to key members of the Bush Administration, the tragic proceedings of the 9/11 commission, which devastated the political lives of numerous government officials, could have been averted with preventive action in 2002 and 2003.

We Have Confirmation That Someone Has Tested A Thanatos Device

Thank you for seeing us on such short notice, sir. Please take a seat. Coffee? Brandy? My humidor is open to you, if you wish. I apologize for taking you away from your family with so little warning, but events have overtaken us—events which, as you'll soon see, involve our entire organization. Sir, what I am about to tell you is known by only 11 people in the Western world—the seven of us in this room, the Acting Director, and the three pertinent members of the Staff Council. Though I know you to be circumspect and discreet, I'm afraid this is no ordinary intelligence briefing. The issue at hand is beyond the scope of even our long-term Global Strategy 7. If you'd like to sit down, we'll begin.

Memorializing Reagan

People around the world have spent the last week and a half honoring Ronald Reagan. What were some of the events?
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Former Coworker Romanticized

DALLAS, TX—Six weeks after Jim Wanzeck's departure from Pedro's Mexican restaurant, remaining employees have begun to romanticize their former colleague, kitchen sources revealed Monday.

Pedro's employees reminisce about Wanzeck (inset).

Wanzeck, who waited tables during the evening shift on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, is now recalled as an irreplaceable staff member who helped his colleagues endure the daily drudgery of working at the local Tex-Mex restaurant.

Bartender Manuel Padilla, who has worked at Pedro's for the past two years, characterized the former coworker as "one of a kind."

"I'll never forget how, every time he messed up a drink order, he'd try to blame me," Padilla added. "God, then there was the time he threw his nametag in the deep fryer. It got all bubbly, but he wore it for the rest of his shift. It was like he punked himself! Legendary."

"A lot of nights, it was Jim, me, [shift manager] Tim [Felix], and [waitress] Shelley [Carver] closing together," Padilla said. "Jim would inch the volume of the dining-room radio up until Tim noticed and made him turn it down. Man, that guy!"

Coworkers said Wanzeck often entertained them with elaborate stories about his difficult landlord, cheerless girlfriend, and trouble-prone car.

"He had a lot of shit going on," said Susan Phillips, hostess at Pedro's. "But he just rolled with it. Sure, he was always gone from work for some crisis or another, but he didn't let it get him down. He always got other people to pick up his shift instead of just not showing up. He was cool that way."

A photo hanging in the kitchen, taken at last year's staff Christmas party, often prompts staff members to rhapsodize about Wanzeck. In it, the former employee is standing in the background, smoking.

Glancing at the photo, waitress Lila Rickman said, "That's totally Wanzeck right there. I'll bet he bummed that cigarette off me. Man, I miss that guy."

Padilla recalled one of Wanzeck's catch phrases.

"When he'd get pissed at somebody, he'd say, 'What a douche!'" Padilla said. "Sometimes, it was 'What a fucking douche!' That saying was classic Wanzeck."

Padilla added: "He did this Bush impression where he'd make fun of how stupid he was. He hated Bush. Whenever Bush came on the radio, he'd call him a douche."

Shamiqua Taylor, a former waitress at Pedro's, best remembers Wanzeck for the pranks he would occasionally play. "One time, somebody got shortchanged an enchilada. They complained, and Jim told them there was a worldwide enchilada shortage. And the best part was, he totally made that up."

"I can't believe they fired Wanny," Padilla said. "You know, we didn't call him 'Wanny' when he was here, but that's the kind of nickname he deserves. Yeah, good old Wanny. This place ought to name a margarita 'The Wannerita.'"

Even coworkers who never knew Wanzeck—who was fired after a manager found a list of customer credit-card numbers in his locker—soon discover the length of the former employee's shadow. On the first day of his training, Wanzeck's replacement, Jorge Reyes, was led on a tour of the restaurant by Padilla and Rick Santiago. Outside the walk-in freezer, Shepard pointed to the corner of the ceiling.

"Yeah, see that hairnet up in the heating vent?" Santiago asked. "The guy who just left threw that up there. And that middle finger added to the waving cactus-man on the promotional banner? You can hardly see it—they erased most of it—but he did that, too."

"No, I think Suroosh drew that," Padilla interjected.

"Oh, right—Suroosh," Santiago said. "I wonder where that guy is now. He was great."

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