Newcomer Changes Small Town's Anti-Dancing Statute

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Vol 32 Issue 09

Shannon Tweed Named Head Of U.S. Task Force On Nudity & Aging

WASHINGTON, DC—Former Playboy playmate and veteran erotic straight-to-video actress Shannon Tweed was chosen by President Clinton Monday to head the newly created U.S. Task Force on Nudity & Aging. Calling Tweed the "grand old dame of the softcore, R-rated, made-for-cable film industry," Clinton said the oft-topless actress was "ideal for the position, bringing with her more than 20 years of nudity-related experience." The task force will examine the effects of aging on nudity-based careers and help develop new strategies for approaching both toplessness and full-frontal nudity for actresses over 40. Tweed will assume her new role later this month, following the completion of her latest film, Bare Evidence, which co-stars William Katt as a cop who goes undercover to find a killer who's stalking the strip joints of a major metropolitan city. The film will be available in both R-rated and unrated formats in video stores this fall.

Area Man Thanked For Playing

ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Area resident Jeff Neary was warmly thanked by the Coca-Cola Corporation Monday for his participation in their "Coca-Cola Red Hot Summer Game." "Thanks for playing—try again," gushed the red plastic cap from a 20-ounce bottle of Coke purchased by Neary during his lunch hour. "That was very nice of Coca-Cola," Neary said. "I appreciated that, even though I didn't win, the beverage giant took the time to encourage me to try again." Neary has previously been thanked for shopping at Waldenbooks and flying United Airlines.

Monster Undeterred By Night-Light

MILTON, MA—A terrifying monster broke into a local boy's room Sunday night, brutally murdering and devouring the child despite the presence of a protective Mighty Morphin Power Rangers night-light. A forensics report revealed that the unidentified beast spent several minutes violently shaking Barry Dawes, 6, terrifying him to make him tastier through the release of adrenaline. He then tore off and ate the boy's limbs first, enjoying his screams until the very end. The light's manufacturer promised a full inquiry into the apparent failure of the product.

Transplanted New Yorker Disappointed With Local Bagel Scene

PORTLAND, OR—Greg Fox, a lifelong Brooklyn, NY, resident who recently moved to Portland, announced his great disappointment in the local bagel scene Monday. "There's no good bagels in this town," Fox said. "They're like bakery rolls with holes in the middle. And the selection's terrible, too: I went to five different bagel places this morning, and not one of them had pumpernickel." Fox said the only place to get real bagels is at B&B Bagels on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn.

Thousands Dead In Indonesia Again

JAKARTA, INDONESIA—Several days of relative calm in Indonesia came to an end Monday when a massive volcanic eruption buried most of Jakarta, killing thousands of Indonesians yet again. "I had a feeling we were due for another mass death," said Ende Palopo of Jakarta. "There hadn't been a disaster since Friday, when that train derailed, killing 513. And it had been well over a week since we last had an earthquake, typhoon or some other natural disaster that killed over 1,000." A public memorial service for the dead was held Tuesday, during which an unexpectedly large turnout caused hundreds to be trampled to death.

There Is So Much Controversy These Days

Have you read about all the controversy? I can barely keep my head on straight, what with all the controversy in this country nowadays. I mean, how are we supposed to live our lives when so many critical issues hang in the balance? Just thinking about the new season of Ellen sends my heart rate up to 100. Will she find a girlfriend? Will they kiss on the air? Will advertisers pull out?

The Return Of Thalidomide

Thalidomide, banned for over three decades for causing birth defects in thousands of children whose mothers took it during pregnancy, has been reapproved by the FDA for the treatment of leprosy. What do you think?

I Went To See The Movie That Was Called The Up & Down Movie

Ah, the movies. Nothing is better than to go see the movies in the theater at the Bijou and buy a tasty popcorn treat and a soda water and a box of watercress sandwiches and a tin of chewing tobacco and all the candy you can eat for a nickel. Gone are the days when a man could relax and enjoy a lovely pig roast while taking in the latest feature at the Bijou movie theater where they show the movie pictures that you can see if you pay money to see them.

Ask That Hindenburg Announcer Guy

Eddie McCarthy is a nationally syndicated advice columnist whose weekly column, Ask That Hindenburg Announcer Guy, appears in more than 350 newspapers nationwide.
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  • Night Out Consecrated With Opening Exchange Of High-Fives

    CHARLOTTE, NC—Kicking off the evening with their customary expression of excitement and camaraderie, a group of friends reportedly consecrated their night out on the town Friday with a ceremonial opening exchange of high-fives.

Newcomer Changes Small Town's Anti-Dancing Statute

PIOUS FLATS, IN—The quiet, conservative farming community of Pious Flats—long notorious throughout the quad-county region for its strict anti-dancing ordinance—became a hotbed of controversy Monday when big-city outsider Ren MacAlester galvanized the town's stifled, unfulfilled teens into holding their first-ever rock-and-roll prom.

Ren MacAlester has shaken things up in Pious Flats since his arrival from the big city.

The hip, with-it teen, through the sheer force of his youthful exuberance and charisma, convinced the town's many fundamentalist church-going authority figures to allow dancing, helping many of them not only to become more tolerant, but maybe even to learn a little bit about themselves in the process.

"I couldn't believe it when I first came to this town to live with my estranged aunt," MacAlester told reporters. "When I heard there was no dancing allowed, my first reaction was simply, 'Jump back.'"

"That's a big-city slang expression meaning 'No way,'" he clarified.

Though almost single-handedly responsible for reversing the town's 135-year-old anti-dancing statute, MacAlester does not consider himself a hero. "I just wanted everybody to, as we say in the city, 'cut loose,'" he said. "And that's what we've done. People around here have, at long last, kicked off their Sunday shoes."

MacAlester's dance-legalization quest was made all the more daunting by the fierce opposition of Pious Flats' most powerful citizen, Rev. Jonathan Gowlith.

"I admit that I was, at first, deeply opposed to the hard-driving, reckless music Ren was advocating," Gowlith said. "I am speaking, of course, of such controversial rock artists as Bonnie Tyler, Deniece Williams and Kenny Loggins. I had always felt that the wild abandon of such music confused young people's minds and bodies."

Anonymous sources within Pious Flats High School said that when MacAlester first arrived in town, he was viewed with suspicion and resentment by both students and parents, who feared that the urban, high-energy rock-beat sensibility he brought from the outside world would be a bad influence on the tight-knit rural community. Branded a "troublemaker" for his flashy, multicolored clothing, fashionably thin ties and ultra-modern, spiked "new wave"-style haircut, MacAlester was widely perceived as someone who would never fit in.

MacAlester said that as an outsider, he was a victim of discrimination from adults and fellow teens alike. "They told me the school didn't have enough funding for another gymnast, but I knew they were really kicking me off the team out of prejudice, just because I was different. One student even tried to plant a 'joint' of 'weed,' or 'grass,' on me, to get me in trouble," he said. "But after proving myself in a death-defying bout of tractor-chicken, I was able to win the other teenagers' respect, enabling them finally to see beyond their narrow worldview."

Rev. Gowlith.

MacAlester's efforts to get the town's youths to dance, however, proved an entirely different matter. "Imagine my shock upon finding out that my new best friend at school, though sympathetic to my cause, didn't know how to dance a step himself," MacAlester said. "I literally had to start from the ground up, tutoring him for hours on end, using a 'Walkman' portable tape player with two sets of headphones, until he finally picked up on the fundamentals of the balletic, 'Solid Gold Dancers'-style rock-and-roll dance moves that came so naturally to me, given my urban background."

Though his crusade to teach the people of Pious Flats to dance ultimately proved successful, MacAlester said the road was a long and difficult one.

"Sometimes, when the pressure got to be too much and I needed to be alone, I'd drive out to the old mill, slam in a cassette, and burn off my angst in a blazing, vaguely homoerotic, Vegas/Broadway-style dance number, including round-house cartwheel flips and flamboyant flying pirouettes," he said. "At those moments, I was dancing for my very sanity."

While MacAlester's crusade was largely a lonely one, Rev. Gowlith's rebellious daughter Lori helped him greatly in his effort to make the big dance a reality. "The first time Ren played me the pulse-pounding, hard-rock beat of 'Almost Paradise,' the duet between Nancy Wilson of Heart and Mike Reno of Loverboy, a whole new world opened up to me," she said. "Right then, I knew the power of rock, and I had to dance. I just plain had to."

The two angst-filled teens soon began dating, enraging Rev. Gowlith and causing him to become even more steadfast in his opposition to the legalization of dancing. However, the stern minister was ultimately convinced of the righteousness of MacAlester's cause at a town council meeting, at which the earnest youngster read aloud a passage from the Bible describing King David dancing before the Lord in joyous celebration.

"Even I, a lifelong scholar of Scripture, had never heard of such a passage," Gowlith said. "But it said right there, in no uncertain terms, that dancing was not just acceptable, but good."

The big dance, witnesses said, was a high-powered, rock-and-roll blowout, complete with glitter and balloons. The event climaxed at approximately 8:30 p.m., when the newly liberated youths, clad in powder-blue tuxedos and dresses, pointed at one another in turn to perform breakdance solos at the center of the dance floor.

"I'm just glad we all got to tear up this town a little," MacAlester said. "My favorite part was when Louise pulled me off of my knees. I mean, it was awesome—I just thought to myself, 'Whoah, Milo!'"

Turning serious, MacAlester added: "But though the dance is over, the beat goes on. We are the youth, and this is our time to dance."

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