Republicans Back Universal Lawn-Care Bill

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Vol 36 Issue 23

Roommate Never Seems To Leave Apartment

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA–Paul Shermer noted Monday that Ed Twilley, his roommate of eight months, appears to spend every moment of his life in the apartment shared by the two Charlottesville men. "Every time I come home, there he is on the couch," Shermer said. "I know he works for the state doing something, but he never seems to be at work when I'm home." Shermer said he is beginning to get creeped out.

Self-Described Avid Reader Halfway Through Dragonriders Of Pern For Sixth Time

ALLENTOWN, PA–"Serious bookworm" Angela Goodwin is reportedly halfway through her sixth reading of Anne McCaffrey's fantasy series The Dragonriders Of Pern. "I've read every book in Dragonriders at least three times," Goodwin said Monday. "I guess you could say it's just part of my love affair with the written word." Earlier this year, the "die-hard reader" also read 10 of Piers Anthony's Xanth novels in 15 days.

Area Man Gets In One Last Night Of Sex Before Breakup

HOUSTON–Anticipating an imminent break-up with girlfriend Mindy Huhn, Derek Haskell, 24, deliberately scheduled a final romantic evening Sunday for the purpose of intercourse. "I was planning to dump her this week, probably Wednesday, so I figured I should squeeze in one last go at it before then," Haskell said. "I especially wanted to because I don't have anyone lined up next, so who knows when I'll have sex again?" Haskell described the encounter as "pretty good."

83rd Birthday Party Stretches Definition Of Party

JACKSON, MI–An 83rd birthday party for Hilldale Nursing Home resident Abraham Porter stretched the definition of the word "party" Monday. "Yes, there was food and music and gifts and people gathered for the purpose of celebrating, so, technically, it was a party," said Lydia Marks, the ailing Porter's great-grand-niece. "But it felt like something else altogether." The highlight of the affair, Marks said, was when Porter recognized his only son.

Hair Dyed Back To Original Color

TULSA, OK–After three months as a redhead, area resident Natalie Rice dyed her hair back to its original brown Monday. "I decided I wanted to go natural," Rice said, "so I got a bottle of Clairol dark auburn and just went to town." Rice said it will probably take another two or three dye jobs to completely restore her natural brown coloration over the artificial red.

The Greatest Movie Ever Told

Hola amigos. Que pasa with you? Me, I've been pretty damn good. It's summer, my car is running, and the ladies are fine. Sometimes you can't ask for anything more. Well, ya can, like maybe to get laid by Pamela Anderson, but asking ain't a good idea, because you'll only jinx what you've already got.

My Summer Reading List

Another swampish July will soon be upon us, bringing with it the promise of sweltering heat, golden pitchers of ice-cold lemon-ade administered to me in enema-form, and the nightmarish prospect of sunlight which lasts until nine o'clock at night. Monstrous! When I was a lad, it was dark from five in the evening until noon the next day, and the July temperature never exceeded fifty degrees on Professor-Doktor Fahrenheit's scale. I am certain that the world is hurtling ever closer to the Sun, overbalanced as it is on one side by the overbreeding of the fecund Hindoo, but at present there is little I can do about it.

Wall Street And The Mob

Last week, the FBI arrested 120 members of New York crime families, breaking up a massive securities scam that combined old-school Mob violence with high-tech Internet fraud. What do you think of organized crime's foray into Wall Street?
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Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

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Comfort

  • Child Visiting Ellis Island Sees Where Grandparents Once Toured

    ELLIS ISLAND, NY—Pausing to imagine the throngs of people who must have arrived with them that day back in 1994, 12-year-old Max Bertrand reportedly spent his visit to Ellis Island this afternoon walking around the same immigrant station his grandparents once toured.

Late Night

Republicans Back Universal Lawn-Care Bill

WASHINGTON, DC–Seeking to make "comprehensive, high-quality lawn and garden care accessible to all Americans," a coalition of House Republicans Monday introduced H.R. 4702, the Hastert-Armey Lawn-Care Reform Act.

Flanked by Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) and Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX), Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) discusses a Republican-sponsored lawn-care-reform bill.

"A healthy, productive, green lawn should be a reality for everyone, not just the rich," said Sen. Dick Armey (R-TX), co-author of the bill. "No American should be forced to endure crabgrass, uneven edges, and poorly aerated soil just because they can't afford a good landscaper."

Under the bill, states would be given financial incentives to provide residents with well-manicured lawns of uniform length. Working with designated local lawn-care providers, states would also subsidize turf-building, leaf-blowing, and hedge-trimming services–making allowances for fertilizer and decorative-bark deductibles–for residents earning less than $48,500 a year.

"It's time we took the reins of power from greedy, uncaring neighborhood associations, who all too often force the private citizen to shoulder much of the financial burden of caring for their lawns," Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said. "How sad it is that we are the richest, most powerful nation on Earth, yet millions of us do not have access to a good herbicide for our broadleaf weeds."

The bill has already received hearty endorsements from several leading suburban environmental groups, as well as grass-roots support from those living in nitrogen-poor areas.

Needy citizens like this Greenwich, CT, pair would benefit from the proposed universal lawn-care bill.

"No longer will you or your neighbor have to live with discolored turf, dead spots, and inadequately pruned shrubs," Armey said. "From now on, all Americans, regardless of how soft their soil is, will enjoy the right to quality weeding, mowing, and irrigation. This bill will give each and every lawn the tender, loving care it deserves."

Though Democratic critics argue that the establishment of a federal lawn-care system would increase administrative costs while depriving the individual of his choice of lawn-care providers, most are willing to support the bill in principle.

"The bill, as proposed, is not without flaws," Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-MN) said. "As it stands, it will benefit John Deere, Scott's, and the other companies that make up Big Lawn as much as it does the average homeowner. But it is undeniably a step in the right direction."

If passed, the bill would provide full fertilizer coverage for the estimated 22 million U.S. lawns that are currently uncovered.

"We cannot afford to take the health of our nation's lawns for granted," Armey said. "But for every problem, I have full confidence that American landscaping know-how can find a solution, whether it be hardy perennial grasses, dwarf shade trees, or even full-scale resodding. We will find a solution, because we must. After all, what is more important than having a nice lawn?"

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