Non-Widescreen Version Of DVD Received As Hanukkah Gift

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Vol 39 Issue 49

Bush Won't Put Down New Football

WASHINGTON, DC—According to White House sources, President Bush has not allowed his new Wilson official NFL leather game football to leave his sight since he received it as a gift last week. "The president has that ball with him everywhere he goes," Vice-President Dick Cheney said Monday. "The way he pump-fakes it in the Oval Office is really distracting." Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has threatened to take the ball away and lock it in his desk if he sees it at the table during another goddamned cabinet meeting.

Author Accepts Award On Ghostwriters' Behalf

CONCORD, NH—Former Secretary of State Alexander Haig accepted the Worthington Literary Award on behalf of his four ghostwriters Tuesday for his book No Victory. "It is with humble gratitude that I accept this great honor," Haig said, graciously speaking for the team of writers who wrote the 435-page account of his unsuccessful bid for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination. "I appreciate that you have taken the time to consider what I had to say on the...subject matter of this book." Haig has not touched his Apple IIe since 1994 and spends most of his time hot-air ballooning in Naples.

Turkey Sandwich Given Locally Relevant Name

FAIRMOUNT, IN—For the 87,836th time, a turkey sandwich was given a locally relevant name, Mary Anne's Café owner Mary Anne Gunday reported Monday. "'The Hoosier Special' isn't just a turkey with lettuce, tomato, and mayo on your choice of bread," Gunday said. "It's a tribute to the state of Indiana and its inhabitants." Gunday recommended eating the sandwich with a bowl of steaming Birthplace Of James Dean Tomato Noodle Soup.

Vacationing Couple To Try Something They Don't Like

CANCUN, MEXICO—During their two-week winter holiday, Howard and Rosemary Gortenski of Arlington Heights, IL, have signed up for scuba lessons, even though both suspect that they will dislike the activity, the couple reported Tuesday. "Howard doesn't like to get his head wet, and I just don't see the point of getting all dressed up just to go under water for an hour," Gortenski said. "But vacations are for breaking out of the routine to experience what life has to offer, so I guess we have to try something new. It's this week or never." Gortenski said she'll make sure to secure some photos as proof of the couple's spontaneity.

Drinking Responsibly During The Holidays

The holiday season is a time to enjoy family dinners, office parties, and get-togethers with friends. Festive drinks and tasty punches often contribute to the holiday revelry, so here are some tips to help you celebrate sensibly:
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Non-Widescreen Version Of DVD Received As Hanukkah Gift

BROOKLYN, NY—Self-described film buff Tyler Rosenstein was disappointed to receive a non-letterboxed "full screen" version of the movie The Matrix Reloaded as a Hanukkah gift, the 19-year-old reported Monday.

Rosenstein holds the inadequate gift.

"Great," said Rosenstein, concealing his displeasure from his beaming aunt and uncle, Hannah and Bernie Greenberg, as he gazed at the freshly unwrapped DVD in his hand. "Just what I wanted. The Matrix Reloaded."

"With approximately a third of the movie's visual content missing, thanks to 'pan-and-scan,'" he added under his breath.

Rosenstein, a freshman studying philosophy at NYU, said he was momentarily excited to receive the special collector's edition DVD of The Matrix Reloaded, which features more than an hour of supplemental material, including behind-the-scenes footage and a preview of the Enter The Matrix video game. But Rosenstein's joy faded when his eye caught the words "full-screen edition" emblazoned across the top of the box.

Minutes later, Rosenstein's cousin Cory made an exchange of the gift impossible when he insisted that Rosenstein open the DVD to show him the "easter egg."

While Rosenstein thanked his aunt and uncle for the gift, he took leave of the family get-together shortly after dinner and locked himself in his room to sulk.

"It's frustrating, because they came so close to getting me exactly what I wanted," said Rosenstein, lying on his bed and sneering at the DVD. "This is a $30 item. But what am I supposed to do with it? Why would they even release a full-screen Matrix Reloaded, when every single frame of that movie is so artfully composed? Even leaving framing aside, the movie cries out for each of its visual elements to be seen."

"It's an unwatchable piece of crap," said Rosenstein, tossing the DVD onto a pile of gifts that included a sweatshirt and a digital memo recorder.

In spite of his annoyance with the non-letterboxed DVD, Rosenstein said he knew better than to complain to his relatives.

"There's just no way to tell them without coming off like a complete asshole," Rosenstein said. "I'm just going to have to eat it."

The Greenbergs remain unaware of their mistake.

"We're so happy that we were able to get Tyler a gift he really wanted this year," Hannah Greenberg said. "You wouldn't believe how hard he is to shop for. He's so picky about his movies. For his birthday, we gave him The Wedding Singer. I thought all the kids liked that Adam Sandler—Cory said he sings a song about Hanukkah. Well, boy, was getting Tyler that movie a mistake!"

This year, instead of guessing, the Greenbergs took a suggestion from Rosenstein's father, who was aware that his son owned the first Matrix movie.

"Tyler's got very specific tastes," Bernie said. "He told us he likes those foreign films. What did he call it? The Criterion Collection. Well, Hannah and I tried to find those, but they didn't have them at Target. We sure didn't want what happened with the wizard movie to happen again."

Bernie spoke in reference to last year, when the Greenbergs came close to finding a gift Rosenstein would like. The misguided couple gave their nephew the theatrical-release version of Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring, instead of the extended version which contains 40 extra minutes of footage—a distinction Rosenstein gently explained to the confused gift-givers.

"If we'd known, we'd have been happy to get him the other version," Hannah said. "Well, this time we were very careful. There were two versions at the store, and we made sure to get the special one. See, Tyler hates it when they cut out part of the movie."

Confusion over the misleading term "full-screen" caused his well-meaning relatives to purchase the inferior version of the DVD.

"Why do they call it 'full-screen' anyway, when it's only two-thirds of the stupid movie?" Rosenstein asked. "Fucking bullshit aspect ratio!"

As of press time, Rosenstein had not decided what to do with the DVD.

"I can't trade it to any of my friends," Rosenstein said. "They'd just roll their eyes when they saw it wasn't letterboxed. Basically, I'm screwed. I'm stuck with a product that has no reason to exist."

"I suppose I could just throw it away," Rosenstein continued. "But what if Aunt Hannah or Uncle Bernie asked about it? I'll probably have to just keep this horrible thing on my shelf. I'm trapped, like Neo and the other warriors of Zion, in a fictitious world I never chose to be a part of: an imaginary alternate universe where non-widescreen DVDs are remotely tolerable."

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