Local Man Might As Well Just Give Up

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Vol 32 Issue 09

Shannon Tweed Named Head Of U.S. Task Force On Nudity & Aging

WASHINGTON, DC—Former Playboy playmate and veteran erotic straight-to-video actress Shannon Tweed was chosen by President Clinton Monday to head the newly created U.S. Task Force on Nudity & Aging. Calling Tweed the "grand old dame of the softcore, R-rated, made-for-cable film industry," Clinton said the oft-topless actress was "ideal for the position, bringing with her more than 20 years of nudity-related experience." The task force will examine the effects of aging on nudity-based careers and help develop new strategies for approaching both toplessness and full-frontal nudity for actresses over 40. Tweed will assume her new role later this month, following the completion of her latest film, Bare Evidence, which co-stars William Katt as a cop who goes undercover to find a killer who's stalking the strip joints of a major metropolitan city. The film will be available in both R-rated and unrated formats in video stores this fall.

Area Man Thanked For Playing

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Area resident Jeff Neary was warmly thanked by the Coca-Cola Corporation Monday for his participation in their "Coca-Cola Red Hot Summer Game." "Thanks for playing—try again," gushed the red plastic cap from a 20-ounce bottle of Coke purchased by Neary during his lunch hour. "That was very nice of Coca-Cola," Neary said. "I appreciated that, even though I didn't win, the beverage giant took the time to encourage me to try again." Neary has previously been thanked for shopping at Waldenbooks and flying United Airlines.

Monster Undeterred By Night-Light

MILTON, MA—A terrifying monster broke into a local boy's room Sunday night, brutally murdering and devouring the child despite the presence of a protective Mighty Morphin Power Rangers night-light. A forensics report revealed that the unidentified beast spent several minutes violently shaking Barry Dawes, 6, terrifying him to make him tastier through the release of adrenaline. He then tore off and ate the boy's limbs first, enjoying his screams until the very end. The light's manufacturer promised a full inquiry into the apparent failure of the product.

Transplanted New Yorker Disappointed With Local Bagel Scene

PORTLAND, OR—Greg Fox, a lifelong Brooklyn, NY, resident who recently moved to Portland, announced his great disappointment in the local bagel scene Monday. "There's no good bagels in this town," Fox said. "They're like bakery rolls with holes in the middle. And the selection's terrible, too: I went to five different bagel places this morning, and not one of them had pumpernickel." Fox said the only place to get real bagels is at B&B Bagels on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn.

Thousands Dead In Indonesia Again

JAKARTA, INDONESIA—Several days of relative calm in Indonesia came to an end Monday when a massive volcanic eruption buried most of Jakarta, killing thousands of Indonesians yet again. "I had a feeling we were due for another mass death," said Ende Palopo of Jakarta. "There hadn't been a disaster since Friday, when that train derailed, killing 513. And it had been well over a week since we last had an earthquake, typhoon or some other natural disaster that killed over 1,000." A public memorial service for the dead was held Tuesday, during which an unexpectedly large turnout caused hundreds to be trampled to death.

There Is So Much Controversy These Days

Have you read about all the controversy? I can barely keep my head on straight, what with all the controversy in this country nowadays. I mean, how are we supposed to live our lives when so many critical issues hang in the balance? Just thinking about the new season of Ellen sends my heart rate up to 100. Will she find a girlfriend? Will they kiss on the air? Will advertisers pull out?

The Return Of Thalidomide

Thalidomide, banned for over three decades for causing birth defects in thousands of children whose mothers took it during pregnancy, has been reapproved by the FDA for the treatment of leprosy. What do you think?

I Went To See The Movie That Was Called The Up & Down Movie

Ah, the movies. Nothing is better than to go see the movies in the theater at the Bijou and buy a tasty popcorn treat and a soda water and a box of watercress sandwiches and a tin of chewing tobacco and all the candy you can eat for a nickel. Gone are the days when a man could relax and enjoy a lovely pig roast while taking in the latest feature at the Bijou movie theater where they show the movie pictures that you can see if you pay money to see them.

Ask That Hindenburg Announcer Guy

Eddie McCarthy is a nationally syndicated advice columnist whose weekly column, Ask That Hindenburg Announcer Guy, appears in more than 350 newspapers nationwide.
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Local Man Might As Well Just Give Up

DOVER, DE—Area resident Keith Ludauer, 32, a data-management technician and father of two known for his interest in sports trivia, military-aircraft documentaries and collectible TV memorabilia, should just give up, a panel of state and local officials agreed Monday.

loser

Decades of long, heart-wrenching struggle on the part of Ludauer to discover some tiny fragment of meaning and validity in his pointless, unfulfilling existence should be abandoned, officials said, as there is "no evidence at this time indicating a reasonable likelihood of a positive outcome of such a search."

"There's no point in Ludauer continuing to strive to find validity and meaning in his life," said Third District alderperson Becky Shapiro. "It's not going to happen. That much, at least, we know. We're clear on that point."

County assessor Janet Polk agreed with Shapiro. "Keith's best bet is to throw in the towel and abandon these fruitless 'hopes,'" she said. "Things will go a lot easier for him once he accepts the inevitability of his confusion and emptiness."

Polk said that Ludauer recently embarked on an unsuccessful campaign to improve the quality of his life through a series of consumer purchases, which only served to compound his misery. His decision to switch from his usual Sunny Delight-brand citrus-flavored fruit drink to Capri Sun-brand juice-box beverages, for example, resulted in "no appreciable improvement in his life," Polk said, as did his purchase of an extra-long Reach toothbrush and an easier-to-program VCR remote control.

Sensing that his eight-year-old daughter Cara was growing hostile toward him, Ludauer recently attempted to solidify the parent-child bond by taking her to the monkey island at the local municipal zoo. The attempt, like all similar efforts to infuse his life with meaning, failed miserably.

Ludauer has avidly searched for a sense of validation and purpose in his life since childhood. For all his searching, however, he has yet to find anything even remotely spiritually fulfilling, and has on numerous occasions expressed dejection over the apparent futility of his personal quest.

Yet Ludauer, though increasingly fixated on his inability to discover a way to live meaningfully, remains optimistic. "I've got to go on, somehow," he said in a flat, dull monotone, barely concealing the all-pervasive despair which will eventually engulf him. "I can't give up. Not ever. There's got to be something that makes my life worthwhile. I am a human being, and every person is special. I just know it."

Local officials disagree. "Clearly, Ludauer is too wrapped up in this issue on a personal level to be able to step back and see that there is, in fact, nothing special about him," city comptroller Stuart Herberger said. "The more tenaciously he clings to the belief that he has value as a person and that there must be some overall good he can serve in his life, the greater and more drawn-out his agony will be."

"There is nothing for him to believe in," Dover mayor Arthur T. Bulone said. "There is only a hollow, windblown nothingness consisting of short, fleeting stabs at survival followed by death. Ludauer should face that."

Calling Ludauer's existence "a hopeless case from the start," Bulone called upon fellow community members to support the panel's recommendation that he immediately surrender to the gnawing void he has for years tried to keep at bay.

Ludauer, whose wife divorced him in 1995 shortly after a crisis of conscience forced him to leave the church, said he plans to keep moving forward, a course of action panel members called "ill-advised."

"Ideally, we'd like to see him give up and stagger through life with deadened, glassy eyes; perfunctorily performing his undemanding work-related duties in a soulless haze, and then returning home to stare at white noise on the television until sleep brings a momentary respite from the unending oblivion of meaninglessness," Shapiro said. "Until he can accept that there is no point in anything about his life, he will always be disappointed beyond heartbreak."

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