'Midwest' Discovered Between East, West Coasts

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Vol 30 Issue 04

U.S. Consumers Demand Wider Selection

WASHINGTON, DC—Dissatisfied with their current range of choices, American consumers banded together Sunday to demand a wider selection of merchandise from the nation's retailers. "The current so-called 'selection' is deplorable," said group spokesperson and educated shopper Georgette Hughes. "Most things you buy, there's barely more than 20 varieties. When I go to an electronics chain, I want to see several hundred VCRs from which to choose. When I'm shopping for kitty litter, I want a thousand. This is bullshit." Hughes is calling for a mass boycott of all U.S. stores, with the exception of Home Depot and Wal-Mart.

Erik Estrada Big In Mexico

LOS ANGELES—According to word out of Hollywood, former CHIPs star and '70s sex symbol Erik Estrada is reportedly big in Mexico. "Yeah, Erik Estrada. Sure, I remember him—supposedly he's real big in Mexico now," said Ron Wolfstein, partner in the prominent talent agency of Wolfstein, Miller and Diamond. "I think I heard something about him being on whatever the big soap opera is down there. I forget what it's called—something like Siempre Amor, or Siempro de Todo? I'm not sure." Added Wolfstein: "Actually, forget it—I think I'm thinking of that guy from Dukes of Hazzard."

'Perfect' Birthday Card Discovered In Local Mall

SCHAUMBURG, IL—After a nearly hour-long search, which included visits to some five stationery stores, local resident Doris Kessler finally found the perfect birthday card for a friend yesterday at Woodfield Mall. "This is just perfect for Kate!" said Kessler, 47, holding the card she selected for friend and co-worker Kate Adler. The card read, "So you're 39... Again!" Said Kessler, "I love to kid Kate about her age—she'll never admit how old she is!" Kessler plans to present the card to Adler at work Thursday, along with a humorous "Over the Hill" mylar balloon. "She's just going to die when she sees that!" Kessler said.

Kremlin Reports Yeltsin In Good Health Following Burial

MOSCOW—In an effort to quell the many rumors circulating regarding the Russian president's physical condition, Kremlin officials reassured the public yesterday that Boris Yeltsin is in good health following his burial. "Mr. Yeltsin is in fine shape, strong as a Russian bear," Kremlin information director Vladimir Chernovsky said, standing near Yeltsin's grave. "In fact, just before dying, Mr. Yeltsin took a long swim in the icy waters of the Volga River, barely tiring at all." To prove his point, Chernovsky removed the six feet of dirt covering Yeltsin, pointing out his healthy skin tone, hearty frame and barely eaten eyeballs.

I'm Leaving My Fortune to That Lad On the Wireless Radio

Did you know I was once Governor of our fair state? Yes, from 1914 to 1920. I was known as the "Strip-Mining Governor" for my historic ceding of over 27 million square acres of state-owned land to the boron mining interests. Unfortunately, not a trace of boron was found, thousands of farmers and miners starved to death, and I was voted out of office after only one term. Damn those fickle voter bastards!

I've Got a Serious Case of Election Fever!

Item! It's political mania out there, and yours truly has been in the thick of it! Now, I know I shouldn't do politics, but this year has been so spectacular that I had to put in my two cents worth.
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'Midwest' Discovered Between East, West Coasts

A U.S. Geographic Survey expeditionary force announced yesterday that it has discovered an unexplored and heretofore unknown land region between the New York and California coasts.

"We shall call this land 'the Midwest,'" said Dirk Zachary, New York City native and leader of the 200-man exploratory team. "And its primitive inhabitants shall be known as 'Midwesterners.'"

Zachary and his men discovered the region while searching for the fabled Midwest Passage, the mythical overland route passing through the uncharted areas between Ithaca, NY, and Bakersfield, CA.

"I long suspected something was there," Zachary said. "I had flown between the city and L.A. on business several times. The duration of my flights seemed to indicate that some sort of a large area was being traversed, an area of unknown composition."

When asked if he had ever looked down from the airplane window during his flights, Zachary said, "Why, no."

The U.S. Geographic Survey's expedition left the East Coast three weeks ago to mixed hurrahs and jeers. Not long after crossing the Adirondack Mountains, Zachary and his team were blazing trails through strange new regions, wild lands full of corn and wheat.

"Thus far we have discovered the places known as Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin," said Thomas Higgins, chief navigator for the expedition. "When translated from the local dialect into human speech, these words seem to mean 'Summer camp.'"

Zachary and the others were surprised to learn that the Midwest, long believed to be incapable of supporting human life, was indeed populated, albeit sparsely.

"The Midwestern Aborigines are ruddy, generally heavy-set folk, clad in plain non-designer costumery," Zachary said. "And though coarse and unattractive, these simple people were rather friendly, offering us plain native fare such as 'Hotdish' and 'Casserole.'" Despite the natives' friendly demeanor, Zachary's men quickly slaughtered all Midwestern tribesmen they encountered, "just to be safe."

Though the Midwest is still largely unexplored, early reports depict a region as backwards as it is vast.

"Many of the basics of a civilized culture appear to be entirely absent," said Gina Strauch, a Los Angeles-based anthropologist. "They have yet to discover the film industry, and their knowledge of restaurants is sketchy at best. Their agri-centric lives seem to prevent them from exploring the high-fashion sciences to any degree. Further, many of their children earn money at actual 'jobs,' rather than spending their parents' money or living off a trust fund."

Despite the cultural differences, some say relations with the Midwest are possible.

"Believe it or not, this region may have things to offer us," said James Ogleby, a San Francisco marketing expert. "We could build an airport there, a place where passengers could switch planes on their way across the country. We could send touring Broadway productions there to stage revivals. We could even someday conduct trade with the Midwesterners, offering them electronics in exchange for cattle."

Despite the excitement over the discovery, Zachary is maintaining perspective. "These people are not at all like us," he said. "They are crude and provincial, bewildered by our cities and our culture, our books and our coffee shops. For a New Yorker to attempt to interact with one as he would with, say, a Bostonian is ludicrous. It appears unlikely that we will ever be able to conduct a genuine exchange of ideas with them about anything, save perhaps television or college football."

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