New Old People Magazine Gives Old People Something To Read While Waiting To Die

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Vol 30 Issue 17

Area Male Extroverted

PHILADELPHIA—At any given moment, Randy Grebcyk might initiate a conversation with a total stranger.

Barbra Streisand To Take Rare Public Dump

LOS ANGELES—Barbra Streisand fans worldwide are clamoring for tickets to the singer's first public defecation since her sold-out Carnegie Hall dump in 1975. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime event," said rabid Streisand fan Elaine Waldman, 43. "To see Barbara evacuate her bowels and wipe her ass live is something I wouldn't miss for anything in the world. It's truly an event." The 15,000 $250 tickets for "Barbra: It's Time To Go" sold out in less than half an hour, and scalpers are now asking up to $4,000 for prime seats. In addition to the live audience, the dump will be carried on pay-per-view television. An HBO special on the making of the dump is also in the works.

All U.S. Males Renamed Dudley

WASHINGTON, DC—An emergency session of Congress rushed into passage Monday legislation changing the first names of all American males to Dudley. "Dudley is a great name," said House Majority Leader Dudley Gingrich, explaining the move. President Dudley Clinton signed the bill late Monday night. "Though I felt that Otto was a better choice for a new name, I am satisfied with the compromise that has been reached," Clinton said. The only males who will not be named Dudley are those who already had the name. Those males will be re-named Ira.

Goodyear Unveils New, Circular Tires

AKRON, OH—The Goodyear rubber company unveiled a brand new, perfectly round tire Monday, one that it says will replace all its earlier models of oval-shaped tires. "Market research showed that consumers prefer fuel economy and driver control over the comical, boingy-boingy motion of a car on oval tires," said Goodyear representative Arthur Campau. Consumers are cautioned to store the new tires flat against the floor, as they can roll away when standing upright.

Bangladesh Runs Out Of People

DHAKA, BANGLADESH—A devastating typhoon claimed the lives of the final 290,000 people in Bangladesh Tuesday, reducing the Southeast Asian nation's population to zero. "After countless natural disasters, we have finally run out of people," said Bangladesh President Abdur Biswas, who was abroad at the time. "I am not surprised: It was bound to happen sooner or later. A country can only have so many floods, hurricanes, tidal waves, typhoons, monsoons and earthquakes before it runs out of people." The government of India has rushed to its neighbor's aid, filling Bangladesh's population deficit with millions of its own citizens in time for the coming mudslide season.

Man From Last Week Smacked Into Present Day

WILMINGTON, NC—n a rare case of violence-powered time travel, Wilmington resident Phil Zipper was smacked into this week by a forceful blow delivered by his wife during a Nov. 29 fight. "Wow, I thought she was just talking colorfully," Zipper said moments after materializing in a burst of swirling colored light at the intersection of 18th and Main, just three blocks from the site of last week's smack. Zipper, who has been dubbed "The Man From Last Week," added: "I have so much to learn about your strange world. So much has changed since my time. Is orange juice still on sale at ShopKo? Did the Bulls win Sunday? Have hatred and prejudice finally been eradicated?"

I Fear Grass

Oh, infernal grass, how your greenness haunts me! You camouflage the most diseased of vermin—insects, rodents and children scamper freely in your expansive forests of grotesque greenery we call yards.

It's Not A Crack House, It's A Crack Home

I'll bet a day doesn't go by that I don't hear something negative about crack cocaine, and the people who love it. Well, it just so happens that, despite all the mudslinging you may have read in the magazines, there are plenty of decent, hardworking crack lovers, just like in any other "walk of life."
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New Old People Magazine Gives Old People Something To Read While Waiting To Die

The tedious pre-death "waiting period" endured by still-alive senior citizens became slightly less boring Tuesday, with the introduction of Old People magazine.

Stockton, CA, retirees Bernice Huggins and Harry Fordson enjoy passing the time before their deaths with the new issue of <I>Old People</I> magazine.

Published by SeniorBeat Press, the periodical has been designed, according to creator Hal Gurnstein, with one goal in mind: to give the elderly something to read while waiting for death.

"People in this country talk a lot about doing something for the elderly," Gurnstein, 31, said. "Well, here at Old People magazine, we're not just talking about it. We're doing something about it, tackling head-on the two most important issues facing old people today--namely, boredom, and the fact that they haven't died yet."

Old People, the first issue of which hit newsstands with its first issue Tuesday, features an oversized format with words printed in gigantic typeface large enough for even the oldest of the old to see clearly.

Featuring very large color pictures as well as special "I-Can-Read-It-All-By-Myself" stories--which contain no big words--the magazine's diverting, old-people-pleasing content is expected to provide the elderly with a fun and non-threatening experience.

Boasts Gurnstein, "This magazine will keep old people occupied for hours in silent reading fun."

The first issue of Old People features a photo essay on Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as articles on the post office, the late Bob Hope, and how pills are dissolved into applesauce in order to make them easier to swallow.

Most of the content in the new magazine, however, will focus on the subject of most interest to old people: dying. "Myrtle's Story," an example of the short fiction included, reads in part: "Myrtle was old. Very old. She waited and waited. Finally, she died."

According to Gurnstein, stories like this one have an important message of hope for the aged. "This story says to old people, 'All this waiting is not for nothing. Sooner or later, no matter how long it may seem, you will die,'" Gurnstein said. "In other words, hang in there. In the long run, death will come at last."

Another regular section of the magazine, titled "Your Great-Grandchildren," features full-color photos of various babies each week. "Of course, the babies will be selected at random and not actually related to the viewer in any way, but the reader won't know that," Gurnstein explained.

Also expected to be popular is the periodical's "Time To Go To Church" section, which features full-page color images of a church's exterior and interior, as well as images of people singing, Jesus hugging an old person, and smiling parsons who "greet" the reader.

"Going to 'church,' as they call it, is something many old people used to enjoy doing, for reasons we no longer understand," Gurnstein said. "Hopefully, these pictures will not only remind them of this long-gone weekly comfort, but, if they hold it close enough to their faces, they might also be able to pretend that they are actually there."

Though less than a week old, the new magazine is already a hit among the elderly. "Don't want to stay in the Center," raved Abraham Kriege, 97, speaking from his tiny cubicle at Sacred Aged Rest Golden Hills Retiree Center. "Tired of looking at wall... When I die? When?"

Added Henry Koon, 89: "Help me. Please."

As popular as it is with the aged, Old People is arguably even more well-liked by their families. "Every few minutes Grandma would demand we take her to the bathroom, even though she's been using adult diapers for eight years," said Hannah Swoboda, 41. "Even after we put her in the nursing home, she'd call all the time--'Want come back, want come back.' It was so tiresome. But now that she's got Old People magazine, that's all changed. Now we can barely drag her out of that home."

"It's really made a big difference," said Frank Bryce, 59, whose 86-year-old mother Eunice has not left her house in over three years. "God willing, she'll die soon, but even if she doesn't, now at least she has something to read while she sits there in her little wicker chair for hours on end."

The second issue of Old People magazine hits newsstands Dec. 20. It will include pictures of a horse and a duck.

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