Risk Champ Flunks Geography Test

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Vol 40 Issue 50

Dad's Marine Corps Training Evident During Christmas-Present Opening

CHARLESTON, SC—Retired Cpl. Kent Packard, 58, rarely puts his Marine Corps expertise to use, except during the yearly Christmas gift exchange, family sources reported Monday. "Every year, exactly two hours after cutting the ham, Dad makes us line up by the tree, then he distributes the presents to us in increasing order of age," his 17-year-old son Jerome said. "When he unwraps his own gifts, he lines up the pieces of cardboard and plastic packaging in a neat row, like he's field-stripping a rifle." Although family members say they admire Packard's acumen, they've warned him against waking the house with a Christmas-morning bugle rendition of "Jingle Bells."

Area Man Too Busy For His Buddy Phil, Eh?

JEFFERSON CITY, MO—College chum Steve Maeske is apparently too busy to give his buddy Phil a quick ring, sources reported Monday. "Phil, honestly, you know I'd love to go out to help you celebrate your birthday," said Maeske, who's been like a ghost ever since he married that Veronica woman. "It's just that, with work and the new baby, I don't have a spare minute. Come on, you can understand, can't you?" Sources close to Maeske don't see why he can't go out for one damn beer.

Sports-Related Murder Provides Perfect Local-News Segue

PHOENIX—The arrest of former Arizona State running back Darius Cantrell in connection with a homicide provided the perfect segue from local news to the sports report on KPHO CBS 5's News At Ten Monday. "Cantrell, who is charged with stabbing his ex-girlfriend 38 times, is being held without bail," anchor Diana Sullivan said. "Speaking of sports, can the Cardinals' coach bail the team out of a third-place finish in the NFC West? Our own Gary Cruz will have the verdict after the break." It was the station's most convenient transition to sports since May 1996, when an anchor moved from a piece on sex toys with the phrase, "and speaking of long double headers..."

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Housewives

We Americans are not strangers to hardship. We have endured economic woes, enmity between the states, and protracted campaigns in foreign lands. We have survived imperialist wars; we have survived unexpected attacks; we have seen countless lives wasted. Since America declared its independence, each successive generation has met a unique and unexpected challenge, but ours is the first to face the worst hardships of many generations in legion. Fellow citizens, we are living in desperate times, and desperate times call for Desperate Housewives.

Iraq Troops Complain

Last week, troops complained to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld about extended deployments and poor equipment. What do you think?

Stopping Steroids

Major League Basball is under pressure to impose tougher rules against steroids. How do they plan to prevent the use of performance-enhancing drugs?
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Risk Champ Flunks Geography Test

ALBANY, NY—Alfred Wu, the 13-year-old winner of the 2004 East Coast Risk Championship, flunked his 8th-grade world-geography test, social-studies teacher Jane Laurent reported Monday. "His test paper was filled with names like Kamchatka and Yakutsk, and the Ukraine spread over half of Europe," Laurent said. "And, by his account, the U.S. is made up of only three states: Eastern United States, Western United States, and Alaska." Last week, Wu received an "F" on a paper he wrote about Napoleonic military Stratego.

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