Pathetic Goal Reached

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Vol 36 Issue 06

Witty Remark Repeated Throughout Week

HIBBING, MN–According to coworkers at Hibbing Vacuum Repair & Supply, all week long, Ed Andersen has been repeating a witty remark he made Monday. The original quip surfaced when Andersen spotted ordinarily dowdy coworker Jim Billick sporting a tie and remarked, "Hot date tonight, Jimbo?" Later that day, Andersen saw Billick in the break room and told coworker Lydia Samuels, "Old loverboy here's got a hot date tonight." When Billick arrived at work Tuesday, Andersen asked him, "So, how'd your hot date go?"

Cocktail-Party Guest Cornered By Joel Stein

NEW YORK–An innocent Upper West Side cocktail party turned tragic Tuesday, when journalist Michael Conlon found himself cornered by Time magazine columnist Joel Stein. "There I was, making light conversation and sipping a dry white wine, when, all of a sudden, I heard those four fateful words: 'Hi, I'm Joel Stein,'" a visibly shaken Conlon said following the 45-minute ordeal. "We covered a wide range of topics, from Joel Stein's favorite restaurants to Joel Stein's dating prospects, to anecdotes about famous people Joel Stein had met." According to witnesses, Stein paused briefly at several intervals to make sure Conlon was still nodding politely before launching back into his otherwise non-stop conversational stream. Conlon is said to be "recovering well" after an overnight stay at Mt. Sinai Hospital and should return to the cocktail-party circuit by early next week.

Innocent Man Unrepentant

WARNER ROBINS, GA–Dwayne Worley, wrongly accused in the brutal Feb. 11 slaying of two Warner Robins teens, showed "not the slightest remorse" during cross-examination by prosecutors Monday. Witnesses at the trial said the innocent man denied all wrongdoing in "a flat, unemotional voice that displayed not a trace of regret or shame." Said prosecutor Russell Sharp: "Worley is a monster, an inhuman monster. What kind of man could react so indifferently to such brutality?" Worley, who calmly repeated that he was at a friend's house at the time of the double homicide, was likened to such sociopaths as Charles Manson and Adolf Hitler by a psychiatric expert called upon to evaluate his mental state. If convicted, Worley is expected to face the death penalty.

Converse High Tops Reveal TV Character's Eccentric Personality

LOS ANGELES–"Wally," the wacky-neighbor character on the ABC sitcom Mixing It Up, is identifiable as offbeat and eccentric by his red Converse "Chuck Taylor" high tops, it was reported Monday. "Wally is what you might call 'out there,'" producer David Dahl said. "He's the type of guy who marches to the beat of a different drummer. If you have any doubt, please direct your attention to his footwear." Dahl said Wally was originally supposed to wear one red high top and one blue one, but "we decided that would be going too far."

Area 31-Year-Old Can't Believe 'You Must Be Born Before This Date To Buy Cigarettes' Sign Up To 1982

KIRKLAND, WA–Purchasing a pack of Camel Reds at a local convenience store, 31-year-old Kirkland resident Andy Belfour announced Monday that he "can't fucking believe" the "You Must Be Born Before This Date To Buy Cigarettes" sign is already up to 1982. "Christ, I was a freshman in high school in '82," Belfour said. "Now, kids born that year are old enough to smoke? God, I feel so old." Belfour went on to recall that 1982 was the year The Replacements Stink came out, an album he bought on vinyl and played that whole summer while dating Alison Haiduk, his first girlfriend. He then ran his hands through his thinning hair.

My Mind Is As Sharp As It Ever Was

As I grow increasingly ancient, and therefore more prone to the rapacious violations of that great pervert Father Time, I become imprisoned in my own loath-some flesh. My fore-arms have mostly succumbed to the leprosy, my iron dentures periodically rust together, and, just yesterday, I was awakened from a sound sleep by the concussive gun-shot sounds of boils bursting off my calves.

Who Wants To Be A Jeanketeer?

Okay, kids, sharpen your pencils and get out a piece of paper, because it's pop-quiz time! I know, I know: You're all thinking, "Pop quiz? We read Jean's column as an escape from our dreary day-to-day routine! Now she wants us to take a boring old pop quiz?" But, hey, it's not a quiz about the chemical elements or who fought in the Civil War or anything. It's none other than the First Annual Jean Teasdale Trivia Challenge!

Stop Smoking Tips

Millions of Americans are addicted to smoking. If you are among them but don't want to be, here are some tips to help you kick the habit.
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Pathetic Goal Reached

INKSTER, MI–Pathetic local man Edwin Horton's hope of becoming slightly less pathetic came one step closer to reality Wednesday, in a way, depending on how you look at it, when the part-time mailroom clerk and fern enthusiast achieved his pathetic goal of coming up with one "positive daily affirmation of selfhood" for seven consecutive days.

Inkster, MI, part-time mailroom clerk Edwin Horton.

The pathetic goal, Horton said, was achieved with the help of the "Tom Vanderbilt Personality Power For Growing, Learning & Living Your Dream" audiotape series, which he bought in May 1999.

"Thanks to the Tom Vanderbilt self-help system, I was able to gain the confidence I needed to conceptualize, concretize, and actualize my pathetic goal and live my dream for the future," the 32-year-old Horton said. "Thank you, Tom Vanderbilt. Because of you, I've sort of managed to make a tiny, tiny difference in my life."

Horton's seven pathetic positive self-affirmations included his ability to be a responsible provider of fish food for his three goldfish; his love of the TV program King Of Queens, which he "always manage[s] to make time for"; the fact that his ferns like him a lot; and the bravery he recently displayed when he was written up by his supervisor for "gross incompetence in completing the duties assigned to him" but didn't cry until he made it to the employee restroom, preserving his dignity.

Horton, who had been trying to reach the seven-day affirmation mark for nearly nine months, attributes his success to his refusal to give up.

"Sure, it was tough to do. I mean, I'm such a weak-willed, sad-sack, milquetoasty person that finding seven things I like about myself wasn't easy," Horton told reporters at a press conference in his fourth-floor walk-up efficiency. "About six months ago, I got as far as Wednesday before I ran out of ideas and was unable to continue. But I didn't let adversity stop me. Every time I met with failure, I kept trying. Finally, on the 34th try, I did it."

"Through sheer perseverance, I completed the pathetic task I set out to accomplish nine months ago," Horton said. "And now that I've done it, I can honestly say, at least in terms of this one specific aspect of my life, I actually do feel somewhat better about myself."

"Kind of," he added.

According to his coworkers in the mailroom of Andersen & Associates Actuarial, Horton has reached numerous pathetic goals since purchasing "Personality Power," beginning with the initial decision to spend $119.99 on the audiotape series itself.

"That took him about half a year," mailroom manager Bob Boyer said. "It wasn't that he didn't have the money to buy it. He was able to get that in a few months after his mom agreed to pay some of his rent. The major hurdle was convincing himself that he could stick to such a program, which, for a long time, because of his self-doubt, he was unable to do."

Among the other pathetic goals Horton has reached since buying "Personality Power": working three four-hour shifts a week instead of two; acquiring a miniature refrigerator and hot plate, enabling him to store and heat food in his own room instead of "having to walk all the way downstairs to where the communal kitchen for the building is"; and deciding to limit his pornography rentals to just two per week.

Having reached his pathetic goal, Horton says he is not content to rest on his laurels.

"I'm now at the point where something Tom Vanderbilt calls 'The Big Momentum' is about to kick in, and I start building on my past successes," Horton said. "My next pathetic goal is to force myself, no matter how depressed or listless I may feel, to tackle the pathetically huge pile of laundry that's been accumulating in my room for months now. I'm giving myself one month to get it done. After that, my next goal will be to get some sort of shelf or something to put the clean clothes on instead of just piling them next to my mattress like I've always done."

"After all," Horton continued, "if I don't have clothes that are presentable, I send a 'Not-Okay' Personality Impression Message to those I meet throughout my day, rather than a 'Maximum Power' Personality Impression Message that lets others see the dynamic, confident, power personality I truly am. Inside, I mean. Under the pathetic shell of a man I am on the outside."

"Or, rather, that I eventually would like to be," he added. "Hopefully. Someday."

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