Miracle Of Birth Occurs For 83 Billionth Time

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Vol 35 Issue 08

Granta Derided By Philistines

CHAPEL HILL, NC—Granta, the award-winning quarterly literary magazine that features the finest in fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, interviews, essays and reportage, was derided Monday by a group of ignorant, uncultured philistines. "I was sitting in a local sub shop, enjoying a devastatingly witty Saul Bellow piece in the latest Granta, when I distinctly heard three philistines at the next table mocking my choice of reading material," said University of North Carolina graduate student Ira Green. "Apparently, there's something about engrossing, top-notch writing that these three primitives find amusing."

Slight Inconsistency Found In Bible

STILLWATER, OK—The world's theological community is in an uproar following Monday's discovery of a slight inconsistency in the Bible. "I was reading Jeremiah 17:4, in which God says, 'Ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn forever,'" said Pastor Theodore Strait of First Lutheran Church in Stillwater. "And I immediately recalled Jeremiah 3:12, which says, 'For I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger forever.' I thought, how can this possibly be? The Bible, contradicting itself?" Biblical scholars are scrambling to explain the strange paradox, believed to be the first time a passage in the Bible has been found to contain flaws in logic.

Area Man Not Exactly Sure Why Doctor Needed Him Undressed For That

OREM, UT—A routine visit to the doctor ended in confusion Monday when Ray Lyons was asked to undress for an examination that did not seem to require disrobing. "He asked me about my smoking and my sleep patterns and stuff, then he looked in my ears and throat, and checked my heartbeat with his stethoscope, and that was it," the baffled, nude Lyons said. "Would having my pants on somehow affect my heartbeat?"

Fox Ordered To Cancel Upcoming When Presidents Are Assassinated Live Special

WASHINGTON, DC—The White House and the FBI have ordered Fox to cancel Friday's When Presidents Are Assassinated live television special. "I'm disappointed, to say the least," Fox vice-president of programming Warren Davidoff said of the one-hour prime-time event's cancellation. "Presidential assassinations are an unfortunate fact of life in this country, and the American public has a right to see what really happens when a president is gunned down in cold blood."

Porn Actress Very Nearly Appears To Enjoy Ejaculation In Face

LOS ANGELES—Detachment and boredom were very nearly concealed Monday when 1.5 ounces of semen were ejaculated into the face of adult-film star Brittany Silk, 20, on the set of Butt-Fuck Sluts Go Nuts Vol. 31, forthcoming from Mustang Entertainment. "Brittany really did a great job with that scene," director Rodney Campos said. "She practically made it look like she loved having [co-star] Rick [Steed] shoot his hot, steaming load all over her face."

Babes In The Woods

It is Day 12 of my precipitous fall into destitution and subsequent flight from justice. Imagine—I, T. Herman Zweibel (or rather, my alias, Herman T. Zwiebel), once the richest and most powerful plutocrat in the Republic, must now fight for survival in the desolate wilderness. Even my liberty is in peril: I am the target of a man-hunt, because, by abandoning my lost estate, I am in defiance of the court-order that confined me there. O Fate! What a cruel mistress you are!
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Miracle Of Birth Occurs For 83 Billionth Time

HOPE SPRINGS, AR—The holy and sacrosanct miracle of birth, long revered by human civilization as the most mysterious and magical of all phenomena, took place for what experts are estimating "must be at least the 83 billionth time" Tuesday with the successful delivery of eight-pound, four-ounce baby boy Darryl Brandon Severson at Holy Mary Mother Of God Hospital.

The milestone was achieved by Carla Severson, 32, an unemployed cosmetology-school graduate and homemaker, and her husband of 14 years, Dwayne Severson, also 32, a former screen-door factory worker and freelance lawncare contractor. Experts say the miracle most likely was the result of the pair engaging in an otherwise routine act of sexual intercourse at some point during late May 1998.

The miraculous birth is the couple's fifth.

Delivery-room personnel cut the umbilical cord of Darryl Brandon Severson, the 83 billionth miracle of birth and the fifth to occur in the Severson household.

"This truly is a miracle," said OB-GYN floor nurse Sandra Meese, placing Darryl Brandon in the New Births Room of the hospital's maternity ward, where he joined 32 other equally miraculous babies. "Looking down into this precious child's red, screaming face, so barely distinguishable from all the other wailing children surrounding him on all sides, one is reminded of just how special and unique the gift of life really is."

News of the landmark 83 billionth birth sparked an outpouring of good tidings from around the globe, with millions of well-wishers sending cards and letters offering blessings to the media-dubbed "miracle baby." Dozens of world leaders have phoned to express their congratulations, including Chinese Premier Li Peng, who called Darryl "a living miracle" and "a joy to all mankind." Warring factions in Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Turkey have called week-long cease-fires in honor of the miraculous birth.

In a special message from St. Peter's Basilica, Pope John Paul II spoke of the miracle child.

"In our all-too-cynical modern age, the birth of Darryl Severson is proof that miracles do indeed exist," the pope said. "In this special time, it is fitting that we should offer thanks and praise to our Father in Heaven for this, the most precious of His blessings: the blessing of life."

The pope went on to commend Carla Severson for her abstention from birth control, a sin which, had it been committed, would have prevented her pregnancy and delayed humankind's reaching the 83 billion mark by as much as 1/64th of a second. The pope also noted that, with a total of five certifiable miracles to her credit, Mrs. Severson may qualify for canonization as a saint after her death.

Narrowly missing the chance to be the record-breaking 83 billionth baby were Manoj Ranaghat, born 1/16th of a second earlier to starving peasants in the drought-stricken village of Bijapur, India; Phillippe Duclos, born 1/32nd of a second earlier in Lyon, France; and Baby X, delivered just 1/64th of a second earlier than Darryl in a Bronx housing project, but unfortunately born dead.

"I'm overjoyed for the Seversons. They are truly blessed," said Marcia Ott, a neighbor of the family, reacting to the sudden crush of media attention focused on their small Arkansas town. "I've heard about miracles before, but you never think something like this is going to happen to someone you know."

The miraculous birth will likely have a major impact on Dwayne and Carla Severson, as they are expected to devote a majority of their waking hours tending to the baby's many miraculous needs. When not getting miraculously waken at 3 a.m., the couple will be miraculously occupied feeding Darryl and changing his miraculous diapers whenever he miraculously defecates.

But for all the attention, the couple remain humble about their achievement.

"It wasn't exactly like we planned it, to be honest," Dwayne said. "In fact, when Carla told me she was pregnant again, I was kinda worried, on account of me losing my job at the screen-door factory and all. Money's real tight right now, and I wasn't sure we could make ends meet. But still, us having to sell the trailer and temporarily move back into Carla's parents' place isn't so bad, if you think about it, since it's a such a miracle, I guess."

"I love my baby so much," Carla said. "He's the most precious little angel that ever flew down from heaven."

Though the 83 billion figure is the one generally agreed upon, experts concede that the precise number is somewhat more nebulous.

"It all depends on how you tabulate the miracles," Cornell University biology professor Dr. Isaac Gregson said. "Eighty-three billion includes not only all the humans who have ever been born, but also all the Cro-Magnons, Neanderthals, Australopithecines and other proto-hominids going all the way back to the first mammals. Of course, if you were to include the rest of the vertebrates in the animal kingdom, it would be even higher. And if you were to also include plankton, unicellular microorganisms and all plant life, the actual number would be closer to, say, umpteen gadzillion. But why quibble about numbers at a time like this? Darryl's birth is a one-of-a-kind special moment that has deeply inspired the world, reminding us all of just what it is that life is all about."

Noted essayist and biologist Stephen Jay Gould agreed, calling the latest addition to the Severson household "a miracle beyond compare."

"It's an amazing turn of events, no doubt about it," Gould said. "Just think: A spermatozoa from a male mammal fertilized the ovum of a female mammal, causing a fetus to develop and, in time, come to term and pass through the female's birth canal as a new being. It just goes to show that there are some mysteries even science cannot explain."

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