New Gas Bill Designed By Some Kind Of Freaking Maniac

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Vol 41 Issue 23

NBA Playoffs Interrupted By NBA Preseason

DETROIT—Game Six of the NBA Eastern Conference finals between the Miami Heat and the Detroit Pistons was postponed Saturday so that the Heat could play their first preseason game against the Seattle Supersonics. "It would've been great to have determined who would've been in the finals, but this exhibition game was already on the schedule," said Heat coach Stan Van Gundy. "Sonics fans have been looking forward to this game all off-season." Representatives for both teams expressed hopes that the 2005 NBA Finals would be over by the start of the 2006 All-Star Game.

Eighth-Grader Hasn't Missed A '69' Joke Opportunity All Year

LEBANON, PA—According to Lebanon Central Middle School staff, Mike Eichstadt, 14, leapt on every possible occasion to make a "69" joke during the entirety of his eighth-grade year. "If a teacher said 'Turn to page 69' or a classmate got a 69 on a quiz, Mike Eichstadt was there with a smirk and a quip," principal Melanie Reinke said. "Sometimes, Mike only needed to be asked a question involving a number—such as 'How many years did Ford serve as president?'—to make a '69' joke." Despite his aptitude for "69" jokes, Eichstadt received a D in math.

Congress Relieved To Admit It's Not Going To Accomplish Anything This Year

WASHINGTON, DC—Members of Congress breathed a collective sigh of relief Tuesday when Speaker Dennis Hastert successfully introduced a resolution averring that the legislative body was "probably not going to get much done in 2005." "Whereas, we have been debating the same bills for months," the resolution read in part. "Whereas, we have been getting nowhere; Resolved, let's not force it."When asked what they would do for the rest of 2005, given the passing of the resolution, many said they might go see some movies or visit constituents.

Garden Too Much For Grandma This Summer

TULSA, OK—Though she has tended the same 10' x 25' backyard vegetable plot for more than three decades, local grandmother Helen Fischer, 74, said Monday that the task would be too much for her this year. "My knee hasn't been the same since I hurt it weeding the kohlrabi last summer," said Fischer, slowly lifting a bag of seeds to the mouth of a hanging bird feeder. "I might plant some marigolds in the window box, though, if Kerry's Greenhouse has any nice ones." In a related story, Fischer's husband Ralph said that, while he doesn't believe he'll be stringing the front-yard trees with holiday lights this year, he will still put out the wreaths.

Kuwait Starting To Notice Girls

KUWAIT CITY—In light of the country's recent decision to allow women to vote and hold public office, observers around the world have noted that Kuwait appears to have discovered the fairer sex. "The boys in Kuwait are really taking notice of how much the girls have changed over the country's long political winter," said Fouad Ajami, an expert in Arab affairs. "They're no longer shyly avoiding women they're not related to or clumsily shooting them for not wearing veils in public." Ajami added that he was not entirely surprised by Kuwait's discovery, given its long history of teasing women, calling them names, and stoning them to death for being unclean.

Repressed-Memory Therapist Recovers Rockford Files Episode

OTTUMWA, IA—After months of hypnotherapy, local repressed-memory therapist Brian Marnard has helped Joan Spees, a 37-year-old farm-equipment sales consultant, recover an entire Rockford Files episode from the darkest reaches of her subconscious mind.

I'm Sick Of These Money Problems

Hola, amigos. What's goin' on? I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but it's like life keeps raining shit down on me and I don't have a shit shovel big enough to clear it all away. My ride is giving me grief. The muffler is coming loose, so it's making a lot of noise. The car might sound badass if it were, like, a Thunderbird or something. But it's a Festiva, so it sounds like a souped-up lawn mower. I took a tin can and some muffler tape and patched the pipe up, but my repair job isn't going to last for long.

Deep Throat Revealed

Last week, former FBI agent Mark Felt revealed that he was Deep Throat, the anonymous source that helped break the Watergate scandal. What do you think?

Well, I Guess That Genocide In Sudan Must've Worked Itself Out On Its Own

I was pretty worried a year or so ago when the news came out that thousands of people had been indiscriminately slaughtered in Darfur. It was unsettling to hear that citizens of one ethnicity (Arab, maybe?) were systematically mass-murdering the population of some other ethnicity (Was it the Ganjaweeds? It's been so long since I've read their names!) But lately, the main stories in the news seem to be about Deep Throat, the new summer blockbusters, and something about stem cells. Since I'm sure I would have remembered if the U.S. had intervened in some way to stop it, I can only assume that the whole genocide-in-Darfur thing has somehow worked itself out.
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New Gas Bill Designed By Some Kind Of Freaking Maniac

BOSTON—Some kind of raving psychopath apparently gnawed through his restraints and burrowed out of the Massachusetts Center For The Criminally Insane to design the invoice for the Keystone Gas Company, 36-year-old Michael Beasley reported Monday.

The gas bill that Beasley (inset) received.

"What animal did this?" said Beasley, paging through a bill for the pay period ending June 2. "Whoever he is, he's spread an invoice for less than $15 over nine pages."

The new bill divides Beasley's balance into 15 columns with such headings as "meter degree" and "date expenditure." The columns are annotated with footnotes, bar graphs, windows, explanations, and "hints," many of which are printed in colors that were obviously selected by a deranged person.

"I just want to know what I owe!" Beasley said. "Fuel cost adjustment, adjustment to minimum bill, read days, repair range... 'Helping you to understand your repair range'? Is this some kind of sick joke?"

Beasley pointed to a section of the bill that detailed payments by mail.

"Residential Monthly Billing Customer Acct. ID B0498-8194-330000-MICHAEL-BEASLEY," the bill read. "Affix DEGREE DATE/Meter-ACT-4 stamp (Window 11-B) to Monthly BILLING ID Box (located on Window 15 on outside of Payment Envelope provided by RMBRC packet (See Intro)). RMB Customers using their own envelope see Using Your Own Envelope (Section F)."

"There's actually a section on how to use your own envelope," Beasley said. "With rules."

Beasley added: "This isn't a gas bill—it's a cry for help. Authored by someone with a disease."

Gale Snow, Keystone Gas public relations director, encouraged customers who are confused by the new bill to refer to the "Understanding Your New Gas Bill" brochure.

"This thing?" said Beasley, holding up a copy of the 28-page brochure. "This madhouse? This 24-Hour Polka Marathon at Titicut Follies? Look at it, man. It's a 28-page annotation of a gas bill. The notes to my copy of 'The Waste Land' aren't this arcane."

"Maybe it was written by someone the gas-bill designer befriended at the asylum," Beasley added.

The designer of the new gas bill—and possibly the author of its accompanying brochure—was unavailable for comment, probably because he's curled up naked in the crawlspace between floors three and four of Children's Hospital Boston, subsisting on vending-machine candy and doodling with his own feces.

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