Local Woman's Life Looks Bearable In Scrapbook

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Vol 40 Issue 49

Complete Idiot Still Thinks Brittany Murphy Dating Jeff Kwatinetz

CINCINNATI—Out-of-the-loop moron Karen Lenz stunned everyone within earshot Monday when she said Brittany Murphy was still dating Jeff Kwatinetz. "Isn't Brittany Murphy that teen star who's engaged to that agent?" said Lenz, who has apparently been in a coma since May 2004, when Kwatinetz and Murphy split. Sources close to the dumbbell said she's so retarded, she wasn't even aware that Murphy attended a guest screening of the film Bad Education last month, escorted by an anonymous hunk of arm candy.

Bible Only Work Of Fiction In Family's Home

LAWRENCE, KS—After a weekend visit to the home of Gloria and Ben Kirchbauer, nephew James Fenderman, 26, said Monday that he was unable to locate a single work of fiction in the house. "I just wanted something to read before bed, but all my aunt and uncle had was a row of Time-Life how-to books, Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, a yearbook, and Sincerely, Andy Rooney," Fenderman said. "The only book with any narrative whatsoever was the Good News Bible." Fenderman said he finally settled for a March 1995 issue of Prevention magazine that he'd found on a shelf with his aunt's cookbooks.

Friend's Wife Reportedly Very Funny

BILLINGS, MT—Accountant Carl Scoval told reporters Monday that, although he's heard that the wife of his coworker Tom Barton is hilarious, he's never had the opportunity to witness her sense of humor. "Tom is always saying how cool his wife Kim is, how she's always cracking these ironic jokes," Scoval said. "I guess she can cuss a blue streak, too. I don't know. Maybe someday I'll catch her in the act. Every time I've been around her, she's been pretty quiet." Scoval said he hears Kim can drink Barton under the table, as well.

City To Issue Deep, Meaningful Municipal Bonds

MODESTO, CA—The Modesto City Council announced Monday that it will issue deep, meaningful, general-obligation municipal bonds to any investor wishing to improve relations with the city. "My hope is that we can foster a closer, richer relationship with those who might provide us monies to improve Modesto's antiquated sewer system," Mayor Jim Ridenour said in an appeal to potential investors. "I promise—and this is coming right from the heart—if you stick with us through the long term, you will find yourself in a rewarding relationship with tax-exempt dividends." Ridenour added that bonds like his will need constant nurturing if they are to keep their Triple-A-rated status.

Peterson Given Lifetime Channel Sentence

REDWOOD CITY, CA—Scott Peterson, convicted in November of murdering his wife Laci and their unborn child, was issued a Lifetime Channel sentence during the penalty phase of his trial Monday. "Mr. Peterson's story shall be re-enacted in Lifetime movies and miniseries for a period of no less than 10 years," Judge Alfred Delucci told a packed courtroom Monday. "His story shall be remanded to Lifetime's custody until the network determines that public interest has waned sufficiently to allow airings on Oxygen." Delucci ordered that Peterson's team of lawyers be present for the casting.

Dollar Low Against Euro

Last week, the U.S dollar dipped to a record low against the euro. What are the reasons for the currency's decline?

Authority Figures Call For Closing Of Area Roughhouse

SEYMOUR, IN—Local authority figures and townspeople assembled Monday at Seymour Town Hall to call for the closure of the town's controversial roughhouse, alleging that it has caused countless scrapes, bumps, and bruises since it opened in 1986.
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Local Woman's Life Looks Bearable In Scrapbook

OCCOQUAN, VA—Jane Hemmer's family scrapbook, prominently displayed on her coffee table at all times, gives the impression that her life is not only bearable, but even pleasant, sources not particularly close to the 58-year-old homemaker said Monday.

Hemmer pages through her scrapbook.

"My goodness, what a lovely family!" new neighbor Fern Kopein said as she flipped past an 8-year-old family portrait, the last to include both Hemmer's son Alex and her estranged daughter Diane. "You and [husband] Bruce certainly have done a wonderful job raising your children."

The scrapbook, a neatly organized digest of Hemmer's 35 years as a wife and mother, contains photos and keepsakes that project an image of a functional family bound by unconditional love and total fulfillment. By layering carefully chosen photos with brightly colored paper, elaborately patterned borders, and whimsical stickers, Hemmer has successfully concealed a lifetime of anguish, scorn, and contempt.

One page, labeled "Vacation Time" in glitter-penned letters, features snippets of old road maps, stop-sign stickers, and the few happy photos taken during camping trips spent in grim silence and seaside vacations filled with ugly marital spats.

A photo taken in 1998 shows Hemmer with her son at a San Diego marina. Alex appears healthy and robust, and his mother beams under a large straw hat. However, the photo was taken mere hours before Hemmer's husband denied Alex a $10,000 loan to cover gambling debts.

"Look at that breathtaking sunset!" Kopein said. "Alex restores old boats for a living, doesn't he? How interesting!"

Although Alex was fired from the job in July 2001, Hemmer did not correct her neighbor.

When Kopein paused to admire photos from the Hemmers' 30th-anniversary party, Hemmer neglected to acknowledge that Diane was not in any of the photos because she was serving three months in jail for writing bad checks.

"Oooh, pretty tree!" Kopein said, squinting at a 1985 Christmas Polaroid snapshot bordered with snippets of red and green ribbon.

The photo depicts a traditional holiday gathering of a functional family. However, on the evening in question, a teenage Alex got into a shoving match with his father, who knocked over the Christmas tree in the scuffle. The tree upset a nearby candle display, which in turn ignited an heirloom quilt sewn by Hemmer's grandmother.

Photos in the scrapbook convey numerous other half-truths, among them that Hemmer was warmly accepted by her coworkers at a Mutual Dental holiday party, that her own mother is physically affectionate, and that Hemmer's pride in Diane's 1982 spelling-bee victory was not clouded by the discovery of her husband's homosexual dalliances.

A two-page collage of photos and dog-bone stickers suggests that Wispy, the family's terrier-beagle mix, was a beloved member of the family. In fact, his death was the direct result of a misunderstanding over whether Hemmer or her husband was responsible for dropping him off at the kennel before leaving for the two-week cruise pictured on the previous page.

Even Hemmer's late father—a stern, Norwegian-born disciplinarian unanimously disliked by his children—is represented in the scrapbook.

"Who is that little dear man in the rocking chair?" Kopein asked, pointing to the carefully mounted black-and-white portrait. "Such kind eyes he has. There must be so many fond memories in this scrapbook, I'm sure."

The last photo in the scrapbook shows Diane with her husband and their 2-year-old daughter. The studio portrait was particularly difficult to come by, as Diane has not spoken to either of her parents for four years. Hemmer obtained the photos from her daughter's mother-in-law, Candace Minsky, whom she ran into at the grocery store. Rather than reveal the rift between herself and her daughter, Hemmer explained that she'd lost all her photos to a roof leak.

"I felt bad for Jane," Minsky said. "Can you imagine losing precious photos like that? So I sent her some of my extra 4"x6" photos of Diane and the family."

With the scrapbook full, Hemmer said she plans to take advantage of new digital-photography technologies.

"I got a digital camera this fall, and there's a lot of wonderful shots I took at Thanksgiving of Alex and his new girlfriend, Marissa," Hemmer said. "Of course, when I put the photos on the computer, I'll delete the ones I took after Marissa and Bruce got into that little disagreement about abortion."

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