Magic Ponytail Moves On After Bestowing Boon Of Youth On Area 54-Year-Old

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Vol 32 Issue 06

Geopolitical Balance Of Power Somehow Unaffected By Death Of Princess

LONDON—In a development that has baffled experts, the geopolitical balance of power has been strangely unaffected by the death of Princess Diana, considered by many to be the world's most important person. According to reports, there have been no measurable changes in treaty alignments, trade agreements, defense budgets, poverty levels, international tariffs, taxation proposals, human-rights measures, world fiscal policy, education programs, deficit reduction, literacy rates, distribution of power, birth rates, public irrigation, disease research, pollution levels, distribution of wealth or any other major global trends since her death on Aug. 31. "I don't get it," said Oxford University professor Sir Jeremy Eton-Shropshire. "This is clearly one of the biggest news events of the century, yet it's almost as if the death of Diana is an event of no demonstrable significance."

Independent-Film Festival Crushed By Paramount Troops

AUSTIN, TX—Six independent film producers and over 100 art-house patrons are dead following a hostile invasion of the 23rd annual Austin Film Festival by a squadron of Paramount Pictures troops Monday. "The movie industry has been liberated for all of blockbusterdom," said Sgt. Roy McCue of Paramount's 53rd Armored Division, announcing the raid. "The moviegoing public is finally safe from the independent filmmakers who are incapable of giving them the big-budget, computer-animated spectaculars they crave. No longer will confused, victimized movie lovers pay $6.50 to see films like In The Company Of Men, when films with budgets 25 times bigger, like Con Air, can be seen for the same price."

Area Gambler Likes Those Odds

RENO, NV—Area gambler Steve Ehrlich, in an official statement to his lucky dice at a Caesar's Palace craps table Monday, announced that he "likes those odds." Ehrlich, who has lost over $40,000 gambling in the past year, plans to regain the sum several times over in the next few hours via a "can't-miss" combination of lady luck and "that old Ehrlich magic." "My lucky stars are shining tonight," he said. "By this time tomorrow, my double mortgage will be paid off in full, and I'll be rolling in the do-re-mi, baby."

Amtrak Passengers Treated To Whirlwind Tour of Poor People's Yards

CHICAGO—Amtrak passengers traveling on the "Heartland Express" through Illinois were treated to a special sight Monday: mile after mile of yards belonging to low-income Americans. "I was happy enough to be going to Chicago," said commuter Janice Beasley, "but to see all those rusted-out swingsets and sagging porches was just the perfect bonus." Amtrak boasted that all their lines offer such views.

Grecian Formula Falls Into Non-Grecian Hands

SOLDOMAYA, GRECIA—In a daring midnight raid Tuesday, an unidentified band of foreign spies broke into a secret government hair-care lab and stole the closely guarded Grecian Formula, badly compromising Grecian national security and drastically shifting the global balance of dark, youthful-looking hair. "This is a terrible blow to our nation," said Grecian deputy foreign minister Alzun Teoderic, 67, sporting a lustrous, chestnut-brown mane of hair. "Our enemies can now look 10, even 20 years younger." It is believed to be the most serious international cosmetics incident since 1978, when Estée Lauder secretly drained millions of gallons of oil reserves from the Republic of Olay.

I Look Back On My Boxing Career With Greebert

Back in the '70s, I was the best damn bantamweight in Philadelphia. No one would stand up and say anything different because they know they'd be the fool. I beat them all. I downed Kid Dupree with my famous right hook in the third round. I knocked out Texas Tall four times in my career, even though he had nine inches on me. My secret? I was a beenobing, and I fought like a beenobing.

The Scourge Of Onanism, And Its Contribution To The Dementia Of Youth

To-day's Sermon concerns the Youth of our Parish, who as I speak are committing Perverted Acts of the Veriest Onanism; that is, the Manipulation and Touching of Bodily Organs God creat'd for the Enabling of the Propagation of Man, for the sole Purpose of Luxurious Pleasurement and Gratification of the Self.

Cheese Doodles Give Me Gas

I just had the new Wampler Longacre turkey franks, and I've got one thing to say: Those new franks are tremendous.... You look up "class" in the dictionary, you get a picture of Jack Scalia.... There is nothing more painful than the loss of a loved one....

Zweibel 'N' The Kids

Yesterday, my great-great-great grand-niece burst into my bed-chamber with her two young brats in tow. "Uncle Zweibel," asked Ludmilla, "can you watch the kids while I go shopping?" The very idea was the height of absurdity, but Ludmilla noted that it was the nanny's day off, and that I had ordered the rest of the servants to witness the flogging of the chauffeur. Consequently, there was no-one to watch the children. "Why not that damned ro-bot nurse of mine?" I said. But Mr. Tin, who happened to be in the room, said that it was not programmed to attend to tots.

Anti-Paparazzi Legislation?

In the wake of Princess Diana's death while speeding from photographers, many are calling for anti-stalking laws that protect celebrities from paparazzi. What do you think?
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Magic Ponytail Moves On After Bestowing Boon Of Youth On Area 54-Year-Old

ANN ARBOR, MI—A magic ponytail departed the head of area mortgage-loan underwriter Art Kauske Friday, marking the end of a successful eight-month-long process of social and sexual rejuvenation for the 54-year-old.

One of the few existing photos of the magic ponytail, seen here flying over Seattle in July 1996.

The mystical flying hair appendage's whereabouts are currently unknown, though it is widely believed that, like so many times in the past, it has gone off to seek out and attach itself to another middle-aged male undergoing a midlife crisis.

The balding, paunchy Kauske said that on January 11, 1997, he awoke to find the ponytail affixed to his hair near the base of his neck, providing him with an instant sense of reinvigoration.

"Personally, the magic ponytail couldn't have come at a better time for me," Kauske said. "My 23-year marriage had just ended, I was burning out at work, my 83-year-old mother's lingering illness was a constant worry, and my teenage daughter and I rarely talked. My life was directionless at best, and I couldn't shake the feeling that I was growing old and out of touch."

As if by magic, the newly ponytailed Kauske instantly felt energized and youthful, and the change showed in his appearance and lifestyle. He stopped wearing suits and neckties, and purchased a number of collarless shirts, which he began wearing to work along with casual Dockers khakis and sockless loafers. He changed his office environment as well, purchasing a new exercise treadmill, a poster of a soothing waterfall, and a miniature desktop Zen sand garden, complete with tiny rake.

Though out of touch for years with popular music trends, Kauske quickly made up for lost time. The day after the ponytail's arrival, he went to his local Tower Records and, upon the recommendation of a clerk, purchased a dozen new CDs, including releases by Hootie And The Blowfish, Dave Matthews Band and Counting Crows.

Kauske, sporting the ponytail.

"Yeah, I really like a lot of the new stuff coming out right now, like The Wallflowers and Sheryl Crow," he said. "I listen to them in the car to and from work. I pretty much like all types of rock and roll, just as long as it isn't any of that grunge stuff—I can't take that loud guitar feedback. Hendrix did it best, anyway."

Kauske, who attended the University of Illinois during the late '60s, said he had sported a similarly lengthy hairdo in college. "I belonged to the campus chapter of Students For A Democratic Society, contributed to our campus humor magazine, and collected Zap comics," he said. "In other words, I was part of the 'counterculture,' if you will, so I'm certainly no stranger to long hairstyles. Though I must admit it had been an awful long time."

Shortly after dipping into his daughter's college-tuition fund to put a down-payment on a Mazda Miata in July, Kauske met Kari Helgenberger, 23, at J.P. McBleacher's, a sports bar where Kari works as a waitress. "Kari's incredible. She lights up every room she walks into," Kauske said. "Sure, I did have reservations at first; after all, she is only a few years older than my daughter. But she's incredibly mature for her age—we went to the Detroit Institute of Arts the other day and, I swear, she knew more about the paintings than I did."

Then, last Friday, the magic ponytail suddenly took flight. "Its last words to me were, 'My work here is done, Art Kauske! You are no longer the stodgy, aging man you once were! You are hip once more!'" Kauske said. "Then, with a barely audible 'pop,' it dislodged itself from my head and hovered in the middle of the room. Before I could even say thank you, it drifted out the window like a feather and was gone."

Kauske admitted a certain sadness over the ponytail's departure, but said that it has forever changed his life for the better. "I've never felt more 'in the loop' and 'with it,'" Kauske said, in-between calls to girlfriend Helgenberger on his car phone. "The ponytail showed me that, yes, contrary to popular belief, there is life after 50."

Past recipients of the magic ponytail include Modesto, CA, systems analyst Dale Greer; Dayton, OH, paralegal Ed Modesto; and Hollywood actor Harvey Keitel, all of whom experienced a marked increase in hipness and youthful vigor following the addition of the hair appendage.

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