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

Top Headlines


Grin Slowly Spreads Across Mom’s Face As Meal Revealed To Contain Healthy Ingredients

‘The Mashed Potatoes Are Actually Made With Cauliflower,’ She Announces

VERONA, WI—Having waited until everyone at the table had finished their dinner Monday, a knowing grin reportedly spread across local mother Angela Hopkins’ face as she announced to her family that the mashed potatoes had in fact been made using cauliflower as a healthier alternative.

Sudden Death Of Aunt Creates Rupture In Family Gossip Pipeline

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA—Grieving family members of local aunt Laurie Shelton confirmed Monday that the 48-year-old woman’s unexpected death had caused a major breach in their gossip pipeline, suddenly disrupting access to the latest dirt on all their relatives.

Man Really Letting No One Have It During Exit Interview

SPRINGFIELD, MA—Keeping his voice at a measured volume and holding everything back, departing employee David Hughes was really letting no one have it during his exit interview Monday, sources at local accounting firm Grier and Associates confirmed.

Conceptual Genius Goes As Self For Halloween

‘He Himself Is The Costume,’ Say Amazed Onlookers

SHERMAN OAKS, CA—Brilliantly subverting the very idea of a costume, conceptual genius Mark Richards, 27, reportedly stunned his fellow partygoers Friday when he announced that he had dressed as himself for Halloween.

No One In Gym Class Volleyball Game Willing To Set Ball

LITTLE ELM, TX—With neither team having completed more than two hits during a rally before sending the ball back over the net, sources confirmed Wednesday that no one in Jefferson High School’s third-period gym class was willing to set during a volleyball game.

Impressive New Hire Figures Out Bare Minimum Of Work Job Requires On First Day

MILWAUKEE—Marveling at his extraordinary ability to learn the ropes at the technology firm and quickly fit right in with the rest of his colleagues, sources at Starpoint Solutions confirmed Thursday that impressive new hire Eric Myers has already figured out the bare minimum of work his job requires on the very first day.

45-Minute Phone Call To Credit Card Company Goes Great

FORT WAYNE, IN—Grinning with contentment as he reminisced about the call he placed earlier in the day, 31-year-old accountant Greg Schulhoff told reporters Thursday that his 45-minute phone call with MasterCard regarding late payment fees went “really great.”

Mom Keeping Tabs On Coyote Situation

WAYZATA, MN—Regularly updating her husband and children on the frequency and location of sightings around the neighborhood, local mother Dana Salisbury continued to keep close tabs on the coyote situation this week, sources confirmed.

Teen Coming Out Of Shell Giving Bully Lots Of New Material To Work With

SCOTTSDALE, AZ—Claiming he “hit the jackpot” when his victim began displaying an increased level of confidence and expressing his personal interests, local bully David Macomber told reporters Tuesday that he has had loads of new material to work with since 14-year-old Andrew Reid started coming out of his shell several weeks ago.

Boss Able To Seamlessly Blend Constructive Criticism With Personal Attacks

SAN JOSE, CA—Marveling at the ease and deftness with which he communicates the two messages simultaneously, employees at local advertising firm Wavelength Solutions told reporters Tuesday that their supervisor Eric Crowell has a unique ability to seamlessly blend constructive criticism with cutting personal attacks.

Neighborhood Starting To Get Too Safe For Family To Afford

CHICAGO—Explaining that the sense of unease she felt walking to and from her home had declined markedly over the years, Humboldt Park resident Kirsten Healy expressed her disappointment to reporters Thursday that her neighborhood was becoming too safe for her family to afford.

Area Dad Informs Busboy He’s Ready To Order

NASHUA, NH—Raising his arm into the air while leaning outward from the table in a bid to command attention from the other side of the restaurant, area father Walter Bierko called over a busboy at DiCapri’s Italian Eatery to inform him that he was ready to order, sources reported Wednesday.

Winning Argument With Aging Parents Less Satisfying Than It Once Was

CINCINNATI—After firmly telling them that she was okay paying city prices and that she would not move back to her hometown just because it was cheaper, local woman Ellen Wallace, 40, confirmed Thursday that winning an argument with her parents has become much less satisfying as they have gotten older.

Rescuers Heroically Help Beached Garbage Back Into Ocean

ATLANTIC BEACH, NC—In what many described as an inspiring display of selflessness and teamwork, a group of rescuers heroically saved a beached mound of garbage by helping the stranded trash back into the ocean, eyewitnesses reported Thursday.

Man Races Against Time To Take Out Trash Bag With Widening Puncture

RIO RANCHO, NM—His pace steadily quickening as he rounded the corner out of his kitchen and made a beeline for the front door, local man Henry Parnasse reportedly found himself locked in a race against time Wednesday morning to take out a trash bag with a widening hole in its side.

Man Pushed Off Plate Of Chicken Wings By Larger Male

WARMINSTER, PA—Looking on as the intense display of aggressive behavior played out over several minutes, sources at Flannigan’s Bar & Grill confirmed Thursday that local man Pete Samuelson was pushed off a plate of buffalo wings by a much larger alpha male.

Grandma Guts It Out Through Lunch On Sunny Patio

MALVERN, PA—Making the audacious decision to dine outdoors with her family despite a noticeable lack of umbrellas or awnings, grandmother Diane McGilvery, 83, reportedly gutted it out through lunch Friday on the sunny patio of a local restaurant.

Parents Formally Announce Transfer Of Expectations To Second Child

GRAND JUNCTION, CO—Explaining that the adjustment made the most practical sense for all parties involved, local parents Beth and Ryan Morgan held a press conference Friday morning to announce the official transfer of expectations from their oldest child, Jeremy, to his younger sibling, Angie.

Motorcyclist Salvaged For Parts

SIOUX FALLS, SD—Following a multiple-vehicle accident on Interstate 90 that temporarily halted traffic in both directions, sources reported Friday that a motorcyclist involved in the crash was hauled off and salvaged for parts.

Detective Not Sure He Was Close Enough To Partner To Endlessly Pursue Killer

DETROIT—After his partner of three years was gunned down last week while the pair were on duty, Detective David Killian of the Detroit Police Department’s Major Case Squad told reporters Wednesday he was unsure whether he had been close enough to his murdered colleague to single-mindedly pursue the killer for as long as it takes.

Man Pretty Cocky Since Beating Cancer

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL—Whether he’s bragging about his newfound appreciation for life or arrogantly refusing to take anything for granted, local man Daniel Oretsky, 38, has been acting insufferably cocky since winning his two-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, sources confirmed Tuesday.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage


Local Household Announces Plans To Overdo Halloween Again

HIGHLAND PARK, IL—Having hauled over a dozen boxes of lights and plastic decorations as well as a large black-cat-shaped lawn inflatable from storage, members of the Hutchcroft family announced to neighbors from their front yard Thursday their plan to completely overdo Halloween again this year.


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.