Impending Mortality Influences Area Senior's Purchasing Habits

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Vol 39 Issue 35

45-Year-Old Fails To Make Someone Very Happy One Day

NEW MEADOWS, ID—In spite of predictions to the contrary, Larry Naering, a 45-year-old research scientist, has failed to make someone very happy one day, his mother Nancy reported Monday. "He's always been such a handsome, responsible boy," said Nancy, who used to look forward to having grandchildren. "I always told him that some girl was going to discover a real hidden treasure if she took the time to look at him. I guess I was wrong." Nancy said her son's chances of finding that one-in-a-million love have dwindled to one in 50 billion.

New Desk Chair A Boring Dream Come True

BUCKLIN, KS—The arrival of a royal-blue Global Armless Task Chair at Allstate Insurance Monday marked an extremely mundane "dream come true" for human-resources aide Patty Keely. "I so love my life," said a giddy Keely, 31, without a shred of irony. "I've been wanting a chair with wheels for so long, but I never thought [office manager] Don [Frissel] would get me one. Now my chair won't make that horrible scraping sound every time I stand up to file something. Yes!" Now that she has a new desk chair, Keely said she fantasizes about one day buying a Chevrolet Cavalier or visiting her cousin in Branson, MO.

Woman Assures You She's Not Mad

CASPER, WY—Your girlfriend of four months, University Xerox employee Rebecca Kohler, assured you Monday that she was "not mad" about being unable to reach you on the phone Saturday night, even though you said you would probably be home. "For the last time, I'm not angry at you, goddamnit!" a furious Kohler said. "Christ, are you trying to make me mad?" The perfectly fine Kohler then proceeded to violently three-hole-punch stacks of photocopies and explain to her coworker, Annabelle Agneau, that the only person she was mad at was herself, for having thought you might be different.

Obituary Cites Teen's Love Of Music, Cars

PHOENIX—Patrick Pryde, beloved 17-year-old son of Charles and Elizabeth, loved music and cars, the Phoenix Gazette reported on page D-18 Monday. "Patrick's enthusiasm and passion for life touched all who knew him," the obituary read. "Whether waiting in line overnight for Kid Rock tickets or checking his car's oil level, Patrick showed an unshakable determination and insatiable curiosity, both of which will forever live on in our hearts and minds." Other items mentioned as being loved by Pryde included video games, the Internet, and cable television.

White House Denied Third Mortgage

WASHINGTON, DC—In light of recent budget concerns, President and Mrs. Bush attempted to take out a third mortgage on the White House Monday, but were denied. "Unfortunately, we're unable to serve the president's needs at this time," Washington Mutual loan officer Judy Schamanski told reporters. "Within the next 30 days, Mr. Bush will receive an adverse-action notice in the mail, which will outline the specific reasons for the denial. But, for starters, I would suggest that he get current on his second mortgage before he even considers a third." Schamanski added that Bush is more than welcome to reapply in the future, should his credit profile improve.

U.S. Seeks Help In Iraq

In a U.N. resolution last week, the U.S. sought troops and money from all nations to aide in Iraq's postwar reconstruction. What do you think?

Daddy H. Day Care

Yo, this is foe tha day-care peeps who tend to mah shortie, Baby Prince H Tha Stone Col' Dopest Biz-ook-kizeepin' Muthafuckin' Badass Supastar Kornfeld Tha Second. (His mama call him Tanner, but she a bitch.)

FBI Discontinues Witness Protection Parade

WASHINGTON, DC—FBI director Robert S. Mueller III announced Monday that, due to logistical complications and a lack of interest among participants, the annual Witness Protection Parade will be cancelled "for the foreseeable future."
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Impending Mortality Influences Area Senior's Purchasing Habits

INDEPENDENCE, MO—Grace Hoagland's purchasing habits are increasingly influenced by her sense of impending mortality, sources close to the 73-year-old reported Tuesday.

Hoagland, who one day will die.

"I offered to buy Mom a new fan, because hers is 10 years old and only works on 'low,'" daughter Nancy Seely said. "She said, 'Oh, don't bother. New things are only wasted on an old goat like me.' Like she's in the grave already."

Although she remains in good health and has a comfortable pension, Hoagland sees her golden years as a time to severely restrict her purchasing habits. This means sleeping on a sagging mattress with coils poking through the padding, watching a television with a drifting picture, and manually opening her heavy garage door.

"I said to her, 'Mom, don't pull those weeds in your tomato garden out by hand. Get a soil aerator, so you don't have to bend down,'" said Seely, 46. "She told me, 'Oh, honey, I'm used to doing it this way. Besides, you and [Hoagland's other daughter] Peggy don't like gardening, so it wouldn't be of any use to you once I pass on.' Good Lord."

In recent months, Hoagland has revealed that similar logic dissuaded her from buying a new car, a modern refrigerator, a decent couch, a grocery pushcart with working wheels, an alarm clock she wouldn't need to wind every day, and non-charred pot holders.

"Mom used to buy the most durable products available," Seely said. "Now, when she sees 'Five-Year Warranty' on a box, she says the thing is 'too nice' for her. A 60-day warranty is about all she'll accept."

Hoagland even considers the purchase of a new winter coat to be frivolous, given that she's likely to die before it wears out.

"I know my old coat isn't at the height of fashion anymore," said Hoagland, referring to her 20-year-old quilted stadium coat. "But it still serves its purpose just fine. Leave fashion to the young. I had some very beautiful coats in my time, like the lovely blue boucle one I wore when [late husband] Dick proposed to me."

Once an avid bulk-purchaser of items like pretzels, toilet paper, and sandwich cookies, Hoagland now only buys what she needs. Her refrigerator contains a pitcher of filtered water, a jar of mustard, several hard-boiled eggs, a bowl of waxed beans, a half-empty can of chicken broth, and a slice of pepperoni pizza from her grandson Carter's birthday party in July.

"I hate to bring more things into the house," Hoagland said. "The basement freezer is still full of sausage from the deer Dick shot before he passed six years ago. If something happens to me, all that venison will go to waste."

Seely said that she and her siblings don't buy Hoagland the things they think she needs, because the gifts usually go unused.

"I got Mom a coffeemaker, but it sits there on the counter all shiny while she makes her coffee on the stove," Seely said. "She said she wanted to keep the new coffeemaker nice, so whoever got it next could enjoy it. The box and all the instructions are in the kitchen closet. Plus, she said she didn't want to buy coffee filters for it, because they come in packs of 100."

Seely complained that her mother's frugality has had a deleterious effect on her own memories.

"I can't be nostalgic about my childhood home, because it's still right there in front of me," Seely said. "Mom will hold on to a throw pillow until it's just a frizzy, formless clump of feather-dust inside a worn-out sack, and then she'll still keep it."

Appraiser Jane Schallert of the firm Glover, Glover & Upham recently assessed the value of Hoagland's personal effects.

"I would be surprised if Mrs. Hoagland owns anything less than eight years old," Schallert said. "Her curtains are sun-faded to a sickly pale yellow, her area rugs have large holes produced by thousands of footfalls, and the vinyl tablecloth in the dining room was past its prime when her middle-aged daughters were still teenagers. I'm an appraiser, not a psychiatrist, but I'd say Mrs. Hoagland has all but handed in her cards."

Drying her hands with a dish towel Schallert characterized as "a handful of soiled yarn," Hoagland said she plans to maintain her thrifty ways, but insisted that she is "no miser."

"As my daughters will tell you, I'm very generous with the grandkids," Hoagland said. "I know little Aimee will adore the kitchen play-set I got her for Christmas. I know it seems premature to buy it so early, but you never know what will happen to me between now and December."

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