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Neurotic Woman Turns To Neurotic Friends For Support

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Report: Someone Needs To Get Chips And Dip Away From Area Man

EDISON, NJ—Repeatedly emphasizing that the ruffled potato chips and accompanying French onion dip were just too good, a report released Thursday confirmed that someone needs to get them away from local partygoer Ian Ashcraft before he eats the whole thing.

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Grandmother Palms Grandson $10 Like She Fixing Boxing Match

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You To Still Die One Day

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CONWAY, AR—Noting that the space hasn’t gone more than two consecutive periods without being filled by the sound of soft sobbing or a sharply uttered series of curse words, sources at Conway High School confirmed that the teacher’s lounge has been the site of five separate emotional breakdowns so far today.

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Area Dad Stares Longingly At Covered Grill In Backyard

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Breaking: Adam Got A PS4 For Christmas

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Grin Slowly Spreads Across Mom’s Face As Meal Revealed To Contain Healthy Ingredients

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VERONA, WI—Having waited until everyone at the table had finished their dinner Monday, a knowing grin reportedly spread across local mother Angela Hopkins’ face as she announced to her family that the mashed potatoes had in fact been made using cauliflower as a healthier alternative.

Sudden Death Of Aunt Creates Rupture In Family Gossip Pipeline

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA—Grieving family members of local aunt Laurie Shelton confirmed Monday that the 48-year-old woman’s unexpected death had caused a major breach in their gossip pipeline, suddenly disrupting access to the latest dirt on all their relatives.

Man Really Letting No One Have It During Exit Interview

SPRINGFIELD, MA—Keeping his voice at a measured volume and holding everything back, departing employee David Hughes was really letting no one have it during his exit interview Monday, sources at local accounting firm Grier and Associates confirmed.

Conceptual Genius Goes As Self For Halloween

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SHERMAN OAKS, CA—Brilliantly subverting the very idea of a costume, conceptual genius Mark Richards, 27, reportedly stunned his fellow partygoers Friday when he announced that he had dressed as himself for Halloween.

No One In Gym Class Volleyball Game Willing To Set Ball

LITTLE ELM, TX—With neither team having completed more than two hits during a rally before sending the ball back over the net, sources confirmed Wednesday that no one in Jefferson High School’s third-period gym class was willing to set during a volleyball game.

Impressive New Hire Figures Out Bare Minimum Of Work Job Requires On First Day

MILWAUKEE—Marveling at his extraordinary ability to learn the ropes at the technology firm and quickly fit right in with the rest of his colleagues, sources at Starpoint Solutions confirmed Thursday that impressive new hire Eric Myers has already figured out the bare minimum of work his job requires on the very first day.

45-Minute Phone Call To Credit Card Company Goes Great

FORT WAYNE, IN—Grinning with contentment as he reminisced about the call he placed earlier in the day, 31-year-old accountant Greg Schulhoff told reporters Thursday that his 45-minute phone call with MasterCard regarding late payment fees went “really great.”

Mom Keeping Tabs On Coyote Situation

WAYZATA, MN—Regularly updating her husband and children on the frequency and location of sightings around the neighborhood, local mother Dana Salisbury continued to keep close tabs on the coyote situation this week, sources confirmed.

Teen Coming Out Of Shell Giving Bully Lots Of New Material To Work With

SCOTTSDALE, AZ—Claiming he “hit the jackpot” when his victim began displaying an increased level of confidence and expressing his personal interests, local bully David Macomber told reporters Tuesday that he has had loads of new material to work with since 14-year-old Andrew Reid started coming out of his shell several weeks ago.

Boss Able To Seamlessly Blend Constructive Criticism With Personal Attacks

SAN JOSE, CA—Marveling at the ease and deftness with which he communicates the two messages simultaneously, employees at local advertising firm Wavelength Solutions told reporters Tuesday that their supervisor Eric Crowell has a unique ability to seamlessly blend constructive criticism with cutting personal attacks.

Neighborhood Starting To Get Too Safe For Family To Afford

CHICAGO—Explaining that the sense of unease she felt walking to and from her home had declined markedly over the years, Humboldt Park resident Kirsten Healy expressed her disappointment to reporters Thursday that her neighborhood was becoming too safe for her family to afford.

Area Dad Informs Busboy He’s Ready To Order

NASHUA, NH—Raising his arm into the air while leaning outward from the table in a bid to command attention from the other side of the restaurant, area father Walter Bierko called over a busboy at DiCapri’s Italian Eatery to inform him that he was ready to order, sources reported Wednesday.

Winning Argument With Aging Parents Less Satisfying Than It Once Was

CINCINNATI—After firmly telling them that she was okay paying city prices and that she would not move back to her hometown just because it was cheaper, local woman Ellen Wallace, 40, confirmed Thursday that winning an argument with her parents has become much less satisfying as they have gotten older.
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Neurotic Woman Turns To Neurotic Friends For Support

ANNAPOLIS, MD–In times of crisis, local neurotic Beth Haller is thankful to have a support network to turn to: her group of equally neurotic friends.

"My friends are so important to me," said 36-year-old Haller, tearing up as she spoke. "They're always there for me, and I do my best to be there for them."

Haller and her three closest friends, Shannon Olbrich, Jennifer Beech, and Leslie Chevik, are in near-constant contact, sharing stories of hardship over the phone, at local coffee shops, and during intense weekly get-togethers over multiple bottles of wine–a Sunday-night ritual they refer to as their "recharging sessions."

Beth Haller (right) discusses her relationship issues with her closest neurotic friends.

"Do you think my wearing my hair like this is some sort of subconscious cry for attention?" Haller asked the trio of fellow neurotics at a recent recharging session. "I know I said I wanted to be happier with my self-image, but then I realized, how can I be truly comfortable with the inner me when the outer me doesn't match my image of the me I see when I form a mental picture of the person I think I truly am?"

"Oh, totally," Olbrich said. "That's why I got the interior of my car reupholstered. Something just wasn't right until I did. But now I wish I would have gotten black. Do you think the tan looks stupid? At first, I really liked it, but now I think maybe it just looks cheap. You don't think so, do you?"

Haller said that close friends "have literally saved [her] life" on countless occasions.

"I know this isn't how it's supposed to be, and I feel guilty about it, but my friends are more like a family to me than my actual family," Haller said through subsequent tears. "That's okay, right? I mean, I love my family, but Jen, Shannon, and Leslie are the ones I spend real Q.T. with."

Though members of Haller's family care about her well-being, most maintain little contact with her.

"I just couldn't stand it anymore," said Haller's sister, Deborah Barkum, who lives in nearby Edgewater. "I'd get frantic phone calls in the middle of the night about some meaningless comment her boss made. She'd drop by for dinner, and I'd spend six hours listening to her go on about how she has to find a new apartment because the landlord refuses to do anything about the dogs down the hall. I finally made a rule: I'll talk to her on weekends, but that's it."

For years, Barkum was frustrated by her sister's emotional neediness, but most of Haller's neurotic behavior is now addressed by her cadre of neurotic friends, from whom she receives constant affirmation and reinforcement. As a bonus for Haller, her friends' own neuroses make it easier for her to view her perpetual state of anxiety as normal.

"Beth is such a special person, so complex and multi-layered," the Prozac-taking Chevik said. "I'm happy to be there for her when she needs a shoulder to cry on."

"It is truly amazing how she's held on after the split," Beech said of Haller's 1991 divorce, still a major source of pain, heartache, and confusion for her 10 years later.

Beech herself knows the pain of love lost. Six years ago, she dated a man for two months and then suddenly never heard from him again. According to Haller, the experience has made it impossible for her friend to trust any man.

"Poor Jen," Haller said. "She was badly wounded by someone who said he'd call and then never did, and, as a result, she's built up this wall to protect her from ever leaving herself vulnerable like that again."

Added Haller: "It seems like some of us have our load to bear in life, and no matter what we do, it never gets any lighter."

Haller was cryptically alluding to any one of her own crises, including: her strained relationship with her mother, caused by an offhand comment her mother made in 1979 about never having expected to have a third child; her indecision about whether to return to school to receive a Masters degree in English; her "demeaning and demoralizing" research-assistant job, one of the few positions in publishing that a divorced woman her age can get; her home computer's hard-drive crash, which wiped out nearly five pages of notes for the novella she intends to write someday; and her new relationship with a man who is obviously a commitment-phobe, begging the question of what is the point of even proceeding to a third date.

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