Man On TV Urges Mass Purchase Of Listerine

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Vol 34 Issue 08

Dennis Miller Deeply Concerned About Long-Distance Service

Comedian Dennis Miller momentarily turned serious Monday to address the critical issue of long-distance service. "When the people at 10-10-220 brought to my attention the savings Americans are losing with every call they make using other carriers, I knew something had to be done," Miller said. "I could not stand by in good conscience while millions of innocent people went uninformed about which long-distance service offers the best rates." Added Miller: "The madness must end. All calls up to 20 minutes are just 99 cents."

Touring Company Of Cats Prepares For Yet Another Day In The Goddamn Catsuits

ST. LOUIS–Members of the national touring company of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats steeled themselves Monday for yet another day in the goddamn catsuits. "One of these days, my agent is going to land me a TV or movie role and get me out of this living nightmare," said Jonathan Belinsky, gluing whiskers onto his face and wriggling into a fur-covered bodysuit for his role as Mr. Mistoffolees. "I can't take much more of this." Stephanie Watrous, who has played Jennyanydots for eight agonizing years, said, "Each day, I pray for sweet release from the hideous quasi-feline mockery that my life has become. Where are we today? Spokane?" Six suicides have plagued the touring company in the past year, with three of them occurring during performances of the song "Memory."

Second Hour In Fabric Store Nearly Kills Eight-Year-Old

COVINGTON, KY–Local 8-year-old William Haney is listed in stable condition following Sunday's near-fatal two-hour excursion to Martha's Fabric Outlet on Route 23 near Cincinnati. Dragged to the store by his mother, 36-year-old Carolyn Haney, who was reportedly obsessed with finding the perfect fabric for new bathroom curtains, Haney wandered the aisles for more than an hour in search of anything of remote interest. "After making his 12th walking tour of the entire store, gazing listlessly upon bolt after identical bolt of fabric, William collapsed from what is commonly known as a massive boredom attack," said St. Joseph's Hospital spokesperson Andrew Peele. "He was literally seconds from death when his mother finally purchased three yards of a floral print and left the store." Emergency doses of comic books and candy were administered to Haney, upgrading his condition.

Expense-Account Wizard Transforms Prostitute Into Color Copies

CHICAGO–In a remarkable feat of expense-account wizardry, Chicago marketing executive Edgar Furness transformed a prostitute into 250 color copies Monday. Furness, who enjoyed a half-hour of sodomy with prostitute Chantel LaRue during a business trip to Dallas last week, magically turned the sexual encounter into a stack of colorful, easy-to-read pie charts created at Kinko's for a presentation to clients. Furness was reimbursed $58.93 for the tryst.

Impeach Clinton?

With Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's report now in the American people's hands, talk has turned to the prospect of impeaching the president. What do you think?

Many Civil War Reenactments, Sadly, Are Still Not Handicap Accessible

There's nothing quite like a Civil War reenactment. Dressing in the woolen uniform of the period, eating hardtack and bacon, and firing black-powder rifles, we are transported back to those darkest of hours when our nation was nearly rent asunder by armed conflict. Brother against brother. Father against son. Oh, what a time it was!
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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!

Man On TV Urges Mass Purchase Of Listerine

LOS ANGELES–In what is believed to be the widest-reaching appeal ever made by an individual on behalf of an oral-hygiene aid, an unidentified man urged millions of people across the U.S. to purchase Listerine-brand antiseptic mouthwash Monday.

A government photo of the mysterious, Listerine-advocating man.

The bizarre, nationally televised plea remains unexplained as of press time.

"Why this individual should be so obsessed with oral hygiene as to demand that several million bottles of Listerine be simultaneously purchased is baffling, to say the least," FCC spokesperson Grant Yarborough said. "This gentleman seemed single-mindedly, almost obsessively determined to convince as many people as possible that using Listerine is somehow absolutely essential."

The man, described as a handsome, trustworthy-looking individual in his early 30s, emphatically stressed that Listerine should be purchased over other, inferior mouthwash brands.

His televised appeal, which interrupted regularly scheduled programming on over 350 CBS affiliates, occurred at 9:08 p.m. EST, just a few short minutes into a broadcast of the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.

The FCC attempted to pinpoint the source of the transmission in the hopes of tracking down the mystery man, but were unable to trace the signal, which appeared to be coming in on the same signal-feed as the CBS affiliates' normal broadcasts. How he was capable of breaking into the broadcast remains unexplained.

"I couldn't believe it," said Deborah Dunning, a Des Moines, IA, homemaker and one of approximately 20 million people who witnessed the mass-purchase call. "Right in the middle of my favorite show, this man appears and starts talking about the germ-killing power of Listerine. It was the strangest thing I'd ever seen."

"Whoever the Mouthwash Man is, he is clearly a force to be reckoned with," said U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen, who has appointed a special blue-ribbon task force to investigate the incident. "This unidentified figure possesses access to some of the most advanced satellite-communications technology and seemingly unlimited resources with which to pursue his nefarious ends. What his ultimate objective is, we still cannot say. But we are determined to find out."

What baffles experts most is why a person with the power to reach millions would choose to present an oral-hygiene-related message.

"It's certainly no secret that an antiseptic mouthwash like Listerine is a tremendously useful tool in killing the germs that cause bad breath, germs that lurk in those hard-to-reach spots between teeth that toothbrushes can't get to," Harvard University communications professor Milton Schaub said. "I am at a loss, however, as to why anyone would consider such information so significant as to necessitate the disrupting of a national television broadcast. Frankly, the implications of this event are nothing short of terrifying."

Many observers have suggested that the Listerine-advocating man, who delivered his address wearing a towel while standing in what appeared to be an ordinary bathroom, may have had an ulterior motive for urging the mass purchase.

"Perhaps he had some sort of financial stake in the vast amounts of money that such a mass mouthwash purchase might generate," said noted therapist Dr. Eli Wasserbaum. "Or, the great depth of his convictions about Listerine could indicate a bizarre fetishization of the mouthwash. Such an obsession could be so intense that it has blocked out all other considerations in his fevered mind. Or, as some of my colleagues have suggested, he may be working in collusion with other pro-mouthwash parties."

Regardless of the man's motives, many Americans chose to follow his instructions: In the 12-hour period following the incident, more than 50,000 bottles of Listerine were sold nationwide.

"I figured, if he's important enough to appear on TV in front of millions of people, he must know what he's talking about," said Sylvia Rainier of Cos Cob, CT. "You can bet I bought a bottle as soon as possible."

Though Rainier was by no means the only one to obey the man on TV, the vast majority of viewers were unmoved by his plea. As a result, some experts fear that the man will return at some point in the near future and make the same demand again–possibly repeatedly–until his call for a mass purchase in the millions is heeded.

In the meantime, authorities are no closer to understanding the incident.

"I'm at a loss," said U.S. Commerce Undersecretary Stephen Borstein. "How can one make sense of something so inherently absurd? A man comes on television out of nowhere, right in the middle of a program, advocating the purchase of millions of bottles of a particular mouthwash. Then, before you've had time to absorb it all, the plea ends and Everybody Loves Raymond comes on again. There can be no rational explanation for such a thing. It's as if the whole world's gone crazy."

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