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Oh Great, Another Woman Who Only Loves Me For My Complete Collection Of ‘Rurouni Kenshin’ Manga

Well isn’t that great—just great. Here I am, thinking I’ve finally met someone who’s perfect for me—she’s caring, smart, beautiful, and most of all, it seemed like she really got me. But I should have known better. Turns out she’s just like the rest of them, just another in a long line of women who only love me for my complete collection of the classic wandering samurai manga Rurouni Kenshin.

Disappointing Buffalo Wild Wings Not Living Up To Ridicule

LOS ANGELES—Describing the experience as a significant letdown, local diner Eric Tidwell told reporters that the disappointing Buffalo Wild Wings franchise he visited Thursday night failed to live up to the scorn he had long heard about the restaurant.

Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.

Area Dad Needs More Time With Museum Plaque

NEW YORK—Leaning in close to the paragraph of text as his family continued on to the museum’s other exhibits, area dad and Frick Collection visitor Phillip Schermeier, 58, reportedly needed more time with the plaque beside Rembrandt’s 1626 painting Palamedes In Front Of Agamemnon Thursday.

Lost Jack London Manuscript, ‘The Doggy,’ Found

RYE, NY—Workers inventorying the estate of a recently deceased Westchester County art dealer earlier this month reportedly stumbled upon a draft of a previously unknown Jack London novel titled The Doggy, and the work is already being hailed by many within the literary world as a masterpiece.

‘Our Town’ Cast Party Going Off The Rails

PEEKSKILL, NY—Describing a wild scene in which performers and stagehands were loudly conversing, laughing, and occasionally breaking back into their characters from the play, sources confirmed Sunday night that the cast party for the local production of Our Town is currently going off the rails.

Thieves Make Off With Museum’s Most Valuable Docents

CHICAGO—In what is being described as a sophisticated and well-executed heist, thieves stole nine of the Art Institute of Chicago’s most valuable docents in broad daylight this morning, according to museum and law enforcement officials.
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Nation Afraid To Admit 9-Year-Old Disabled Poet Really Bad

LYNDONVILLE, VT—Afflicted from birth with a rare degenerative disease, wheelchair-bound Luke Petrowski has confronted his illness by penning heartfelt verse that touches on elements vital to our lives: love, spirituality, courage, grace, and hope.

Luke Petrowski, whose <i>Hopeweavings</i> (left) books have sold more than 22 million copies.

His poetry has been collected in the Hopeweavings book series, all of which have been New York Times bestsellers and stand as stirring testaments to the power of faith and love. A sought-after talk-show guest and trusted friend of religious leaders and politicians alike, this home-schooled 9-year-old from small-town Vermont possesses a strength of spirit that has moved and inspired millions.

Yet for all the admiration Luke has won, an unsettling, unspoken sentiment has slowly spread among the American people. Though most will scarcely dare to admit it, the consensus is that young Luke's poetry is really, really bad.

"I saw Luke on Oprah a few months ago and was amazed by his remarkable poise and courage," said an Oklahoma homemaker, speaking on condition of anonymity. "But when I read his first Hopeweavings book, I couldn't deny this feeling that his poetry is actually pretty lousy. I feel horribly guilty saying so, but it's true."

The good intentions of Luke's poetry, coupled with his heartbreaking illness, make it difficult for Americans to recognize and acknowledge the poor quality of his work. The poems are fraught with saccharine sentimentality, slapdash mixed metaphors, and endless clichés involving rivers and the sun. One example from "What's Most Important," a poem in his most recent book, Offering Of Hopeweavings:

The things that are important in life / Are not wealth and fame / But the sun peering through the clouds / Its light shining on flower petals / And warming a kitten's nose / Making everything beautiful / Because that is what God wants / For us to be happy.

"Please don't hate me for what I'm about to say," said an unidentified 44-year-old male from Syracuse, NY. "I'm not against a disabled child having a creative outlet. And I don't expect Shakespeare here. But 'flower petals'? 'Warming a kitten's nose'? It's terrible. And notice how, toward the end, he always has to shoehorn in a reference to God. Almost every single poem is like that."

In "Breakfast Time," Luke likens his favorite meal of the day to spiritual redemption:

Opened my eyes to the sunrise / I can smell oatmeal and toast and juice / My favorites! / The sun's rays stream through my window / Taking away the darkness / The branches that scratched against my window all night / Are warmed in the sun's heat / Wasn't I silly to ever doubt or fear? / Mom is bringing my breakfast tray up to my room / There's oatmeal and toast / And juice! / Thank you, God, for this brand-new day / Another day to weave a new tapestry of hope.

A poem from the forthcoming <i>Grace Of Hopeweavings</i>.

The poem troubled a San Francisco bookstore employee, identified only as "Veronica."

"I don't consider myself some bitter, cynical crank who can't appreciate sincere sentiment," Veronica said. "But the unrelenting cheerfulness is a bit much. When I read one of these Hopeweavings poems, I want to open my shirt collar and go out for air. God is always near, children are always special, and the sun is forever shining. I feel like somebody's cramming a rainbow down my throat."

While Veronica and others wrestle with their guilt, Luke's fans eagerly await the January publication of his ninth book, Grace Of Hopeweavings.

"Hopeweavings books belong on every bookshelf in America," said Lubbock, TX, realtor Mary Ellen Buford. "Almost all my friends and colleagues have copies of Luke's books, and I highly recommend them to anyone. Luke is a living saint. I don't claim to get everything he writes, but that's how incredible this boy is. He has things to teach us that will take most of us a lifetime to understand."

This past April, Nicholas Farmer, 37, a technical-support specialist for a Boston telecommunications firm, attended a motivational seminar which featured Luke as a guest speaker.

"His poem about a conversation with an angel moved a lot of us to tears," Farmer said. "Watching that frail, brave little boy recite his poetry to a rapt audience is something I won't soon forget."

Moved by the experience, Farmer bought Luke's fifth book, Hopeweavings: Heaven's Just A Hug Away. Yet halfway through the book, even Farmer began to question its artistic merit.

"As I'm reading one of the poems—I think it was 'Another Shiny Day'—I'm thinking, can't Luke just draw pictures for his fridge?" Farmer said. "Or, better yet, not do anything artistic or spiritual at all, and just play video games? Am I just being a huge asshole? Probably."

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Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.

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