Nation's Shirtless, Shoeless March On Washington For Equal-Service Rights

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Vol 41 Issue 28

Kleenex Box Inadequately Covered

EMPORIA, KS—Area widow Gwen Reid is said to be "crocheting frantically" following Tuesday's discovery of an uncovered Kleenex facial-tissue box in her home. "Dust is falling on the box as we speak," said Reid, struggling to complete a side panel for a pink cozy. "This is worse than the uncovered spare roll of toilet paper in the bathroom last year." In the past, Reid has knitted coverings for such once-naked items as the TV Guide, radio and grandfather clock.

Area Man Killed In Committee

NEW YORK—K&L Advertising executive Nathan Lohaus was killed in committee Monday, his life voted down by an 11-3 margin at the 2 p.m. departmental meeting. "We threw Nathan out there and discussed him at length, but in the end we decided he just wasn't viable," K&L creative director Marcus Somers said. "We had a lot of really high hopes for Nathan, and we certainly tried to make him work, passing him back and forth and letting everybody take a stab at him, but in the end he just died on the table." Somers extended his "deepest regrets" to Lohaus' wife and children.

Lone Man With Six-Pack 'Partying'

TUCSON, AZ—A party is reportedly underway at 2614 Arcadia Ave., where homeowner Glen Schlatter and no one else is enjoying a six-pack of Olympia Beer. "Yeah, I'm just out here partying," Schlatter told a friend over the phone. "You oughta come down here and join in, it's a real good time." Schlatter, well-known for throwing extremely intimate affairs on weekends, is reportedly considering a whiskey purchase, which would enable him to elevate his partying status to "hearty."

Horoscope for the week of July 13, 2005

While on a pilgrimage, you and two dozen other travelers will stop for the night at a roadside inn, where you'll all agree to pass the time by telling stories about your jobs as carpet salespeople.

National Parks Under Siege

Attendance at America's national parks has quadrupled in the past 30 years, spawning pollution and traffic problems. What do you think?
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Nation's Shirtless, Shoeless March On Washington For Equal-Service Rights

WASHINGTON, DC—Protesting years of discriminatory treatment at the hands of America's restaurants and stores, an estimated 800,000 shirtless and shoeless citizens marched on the nation's capital Monday to demand equal-service rights.

Shoeless and shirtless Americans march arm-in-arm across the National Mall.

Chanting the slogan, "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Justice," members of the nation's shirtless and shoeless communities joined together in a rare act of solidarity. Dubbed "The Million Incompletely Dressed Man March," the demonstration began on I-66 in Arlington, VA—with the barefoot participants walking on the white center line to protect the soles of their feet from burning—and concluded with a rally on the National Mall in Washington.

"For decades, law-abiding Americans have been denied service in restaurants and stores, simply because of the exposedness of their skin," said Bud Hutchins, president of the National Association For The Advancement Of Shirtless People. "This is a direct attack on our civil rights, especially in the summer months when you really need to stay cool."

Waving a copy of the U.S. Constitution, Hutchins added, "Nowhere in this revered document does it say, 'But only if the guy has a shirt on.' Our Founding Fathers would be appalled to see basic service rights denied to the differently clothed."

Wiping a tear from his eye, Hutchins recalled being denied entry to a Marble Falls, TX, 7-Eleven at the age of eight. He said the store manager told him directly that he wasn't welcome in the store because of his bare torso.

"I could not understand how a nation as great as America could say to me, 'You're not as good as your shirt-wearing neighbor,'" Hutchins said. "So I just sat outside the store, watching all the shirted people freely come and go with their Big Gulps and their candy bars. When something like that happens to you at such a young age, you don't soon forget it."

Standing before the shirtless, shoeless throngs, Barefoot America! director Diane Wallace said: "As if centuries of suffering from gravel roads and hot blacktop were not enough, the powers-that-be continue to deny us restaurant seating, theater admission, and countless other niceties enjoyed by the shoed. We say, no more."

NAASP president Bud Hutchins speaks at the Jefferson Memorial.

The coalition is calling for the passage of a constitutional amendment or other legislation guaranteeing "equal access to businesses and services for all citizens, regardless of one's degree of bodily coverage." If no such legislation is passed, NAASP members have threatened to retaliate with Denny's-booth sit-ins, Burger King boycotts, and a program of exercise designed to make their torsos glisten with malodorous sweat.

Despite such threats, lawmakers remain unbowed.

"Why can't these folks just put on some shirts and shoes if they want a Whopper?" U.S. Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) asked. "If we cave in to these demands, next year, it'll be trouserless Americans demanding equal access to Tavern On The Green. After that, the underpantsless will be calling for priority seating on airplanes. Then, people who are completely naked will want preferential treatment in college admissions. These people can put on a full wardrobe and get treated like everybody else."

Hutchins dismissed Craig's response.

"I'm hardly surprised [Sen. Craig] ascribes to the repugnant and prejudicial notion that we have 'chosen' to be this way," Hutchins said. "Well, I've got news for you, senator: This is the way I am. I was born not wearing a shirt."

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