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34-Year-Old Asks For Big Piece

MADISON, WI—Directing the server to the large square in the corner, local 34-year-old Matthew Hinke asked for a big piece of cake during a workplace birthday party, sources confirmed Tuesday.

Mom Produces Decorative Gift Bag Out Of Thin Air

LEXINGTON, MA—Conjuring the item into existence along with several sheets of perfectly coordinated tissue paper, local mother Caroline Wolfson, 49, reportedly produced a decorative gift bag out of thin air Tuesday within a mere fraction of a second of her daughter mentioning she needed to wrap a present.

Cake Just Sitting There

Take It

CHICAGO—Assuring you that there was nothing to worry about and not a soul around who would see you, sources confirmed Tuesday that a large piece of chocolate cake was just sitting there and that you should go ahead and take it.

Roommate Skulking Around Edge Of Party Like Victorian Ghost Child

SEATTLE—Appearing initially in the far corner of the living room and then several minutes later on the threshold between the kitchen and the hallway, local roommate Kelsey Stahl was, by multiple accounts, seen skulking around the edge of a house party Friday like a Victorian ghost child.

Man Praying Interviewer Doesn’t Ask Any Questions

MINNEAPOLIS—His mouth going dry and his palms growing sweaty as he arrived at the offices of Regent Advertising Partners to interview for an open account manager position, local man Devin McKee reportedly prayed Thursday that the hiring manager wouldn’t ask him any questions during their meeting.

Man Had No Idea Cough Was Going To Be Wet One

MUSKEGON, MI—Caught completely off guard by the viscous lump of sputum that was dislodged and sent rocketing upward from his lower respiratory tract, area man Luke Reese confirmed Wednesday he had no idea his impending cough was going to be a wet one.
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Marital Frustrations Channeled Through Thermostat

DULUTH, MN—Continuing a decades-long pattern of displacement, Carl and Barb Kulick channeled their marital frustrations through their home's Honeywell T87 manual-control thermostat Monday.

The medium through which their mutual resentment is channeled.

"You should have heard Carl scream when he saw I turned the heat on today," said the understimulated, affection-starved Barb, 62. "It was chilly, and our grandson Cory was over. There's no reason for a 4-year-old boy to feel like he's freezing to death, is there? I didn't think so, but apparently, somebody around here thinks there is."

To anyone familiar with Carl's long-standing rule that the Kulick thermostat stay securely in the "off" position until November, Barb's use of it could be interpreted as an act of defiance.

"There's no need to turn it on yet," said Carl, 64, who for 25 years has strongly suspected that his wife had an affair with neighbor Phil Tewksbury in 1981. "It's a goddamn waste of money. That woman acts like we're made of money."

On numerous occasions, Barb has pointed out the illogic of tying thermostat use to a date rather than temperature. Carl, however, stands firmly by his Nov. 1 start date. As the family's sole breadwinner, working long hours at a cement-supply company, Carl said it is his right to make the rules and his duty to protect the family from Barb's "dingbat notions."

"If I didn't put my foot down, Barb would have that thing turned up to 100 all the time," Carl said. "She'd have the heat on in the middle of summer and a fan blowing it out the window."

Barb's having "no concept of the value of the dollar" is just one of Carl's many dissatisfactions with his wife. He also feels she is not as bright as him, has annoying friends, and lacks personal ambition. He has also always resented her failure to bear him a son, having given birth to four girls.

Barb has complaints about Carl, as well, including his emotional inaccessibility, his refusal to include her in major household decisions, and his inability to "let loose and have fun."

Carl and Barb Kulick.

"I am married to a big bump on a log," Barb said. "Other women go out dancing and get flowers. I don't even get a present on our anniversary unless I buy something for the both of us."

The thermostat is ground zero for a battle of wills all winter, with Barb silently turning the thermostat up and Carl yelling loudly as he turns it down and commands her not to "futz with it."

"I tell Barb to turn the thermostat down to 63 before she leaves the house, and she can't even remember that one thing," Carl said. "She says she forgets. That's a load of bull puckey, she forgets."

According to the couple's now-grown children, it was always easy to tell when their parents weren't getting along.

"As kids, we could tell something was up whenever ice started forming on the windows," said Deborah Wickson, 37, the couple's eldest daughter. "Mom was always edging the thermostat up half a degree at a time. Then, Dad would come in and do the same thing in reverse. He'd even get up in the middle of the night just to double-check that he'd turned it down before going to bed."

It seems unlikely that the thermostat war will end anytime soon. In fact, the situation seems to be getting worse.

"Do you know how much the price of water has gone up in the last few years?" Carl asked. "You should see the bill. How we use so much hot water in this house, I'll never know."

With the kids gone and the house paid for, Barb said that she and Carl can afford life's little luxuries.

"I worked hard all my life, too, raising the kids. Not that Carl would notice," Barb said. "Now, I think it's time to enjoy ourselves a little bit—buy some new curtains, turn the heat up, even leave the Christmas lights on overnight instead of turning them out after the news."

While she said she would never intentionally waste energy, Barb admitted she is "forgetful sometimes" when it comes to conserving resources.

"Last winter, I baked some pies and put them out to cool on top of the deep freeze," Barb said. "Well, I must have left the oven on with nothing in it, because when Carl got home from work and found it, he came barreling down to the basement where I was doing laundry."

"His face was as red as a tomato and, boy, was he cursing up a storm," added Barb, holding back a smile.

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