Russian Television Scores Hit With New Game Show Who Wants To Eat A Meal?

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Vol 35 Issue 43

Area Man Mentions That People Have Said He Looks Like Tom Cruise

PEORIA, IL—According to 44-year-old C&G Financial Services actuary Morris Brewer, numerous people have noted that he looks like Tom Cruise. "Yeah, I get the Tom Cruise thing a lot," said Brewer, standing within earshot of C&G office manager Teresa Litt. "A guy just told me that a few weeks ago when I took my car in for repairs. And this woman who lived across the hall from me used to always say it. I think it's the eyes. We both sort of have that stare." Brewer noted that he has also drawn comparisons to David Duchovny, "particularly in the hair."

Parking-Ramp Attendant Moves Slightly

HOUSTON—Parking-ramp attendant Bill Butler was detected making a slight movement Monday, sending shockwaves through the paid-parking industry. "He was sitting in his little booth, inert as usual, when his head turned about two degrees to the right," witness Lydia Ford said. "I thought I was seeing things, but then, about 30 seconds later, he shifted a tiny bit in his seat." Monday's incident is the first reported case of parking-attendant motion since 1983, when a San Diego ticket collector scratched his cheek.

Star Trek Fan Pretty Sure Show Stole His Idea

CHICO, CA—Star Trek fan Les Cordwainer said Monday he is "pretty sure" that the producers of Star Trek: Voyager stole his idea for an episode in which Captain Janeway finds herself growing attracted to First Officer Chakotay and worries about the effect such a romance would have on the smooth running of her ship. "I described a virtually identical scenario last May on alt.tv.star-trek.voyager, saying it would make a great episode," said Cordwainer following the airing of "Star-Crossed," in which the described events occur. "Why do they even pay writers if they're just going to steal their ideas off the Internet? They should be paying me." Responding to charges from fellow Internet users that his idea was for a Janeway-Tom Paris romance, Cordwainer said, "That just shows how they changed my idea around so I can't sue them."

Guitar-Instruction Manual Has Eddie Van Halen On Cover, 'Go Tell Aunt Rhody' Inside

ELIZABETH, NJ—Rock The House In 30 Days, a beginner-level guitar-instruction manual published by Elizabeth-based Learn-2-Play Books, features superstar rocker Eddie Van Halen in the midst of a raging guitar solo on the cover, and such traditional, public-domain songs as "Go Tell Aunt Rhody," "Greensleeves" and "Little Brown Jug" inside. "Get started on your way to playing awesome, brain-frying guitar solos like the master shredders," the cover proclaims. According to music-book collectors, the contents of Rock The House are identical to those of the classic 1943 guitar-instruction manual Strum Gaily The Mel Bay Way.

Driver Rules Out Driver Error In Crash

SPARTANBURG, SC—Driver error has been ruled out as the cause of a Nov. 20 crash that left two injured and caused more than $47,000 in damages, driver Dave Renker announced Monday. "After an exhaustive investigation of this crash, I have come to the definitive conclusion that the light was yellow when I went through that intersection," Renker said of the accident, in which his 1995 Honda Accord broadsided fellow Spartanburg resident Marilyn Cole's 1992 Buick Skylark at the intersection of International Drive and Route 40. "I will continue my probe until the cause of this crash is known. But at this point, we can at least rule out the 'Renker's Fault' theory." Renker said the focus of his investigation will now shift to Cole, whom he suspects may have been in a rush to get somewhere and entered the intersection before the light turned green.

I Got Some Shit To Be Thankful For

Hola amigos. What's goin' down in your part of town? I know it's been a long time, been a long time, been a long, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time since I rapped at ya, but I've had a whole heap of shit to deal with. First off, the brakes have started to go soft on my car, which really sucks. I gotta pump 'em about eight or ten times to come to a stop, and by then, I'm usually halfway through the intersection. I checked the brake pads, and they seem okay. I'm guessing it's the master cylinder. That's gotta be it... master cylinder. That's gonna be a bitch to fix.

Do The Right Thing

After much careful rumination, I have decided to make public a rather embarrassing matter about my-self. Although I very rarely disclose the particulars of my personal life, I realize that the information I am about to impart would doubt-less find it-self, in a scurrilous and distorted form, in the pages of The Police Gazette and other infamous publications which profit off the misfortune of others, particularly those of great wealth and stature. There-fore, I concluded, I had no choice but to announce the news my-self, so that the truth may be properly conveyed.

Trying Children As Adults

Last week, a Michigan jury convicted a 13-year-old boy of second-degree murder for a crime he committed as an 11-year-old. What do you think of the growing legal trend of trying children as adults?
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Innovation

Russian Television Scores Hit With New Game Show Who Wants To Eat A Meal?

MOSCOW–The program has only been on the air for three weeks, but Russian citizens from Voronezh to Srednekolymsk are already swept up in the thrill of the nation's biggest runaway-hit game show, Who Wants To Eat A Meal?

Host Anatoly Ivaskevich (left) asks contestant Sergei Stoyanov to name the author of <I>War And Peace</I> for a once-in-a-lifetime chance at a plate of beans.

Hosted by popular Russian TV personality Anatoly Ivaskevich, Who Wants To Eat A Meal? gives hungry contestants the chance to answer general-knowledge questions to win food items. Since its Oct. 26 premiere, it has quickly become the nation's most popular program, drawing even more viewers than the top-rated Let's Look At Food, in which images of food are displayed on screen.

"I would love to eat a meal," said devoted Who Wants viewer Sergei Kirasov, an unemployed Novgorod machinist who has submitted his name to the producers more than 600 times in hopes of becoming a contestant. "That is truly the Russian Dream."

Russian citizens are already well acquainted with the show's format: Every night at 8, cameras circle a sumptuous banquet table as announcer Leonid Pustovoitenko asks the studio audience, "Who... wants... to eat a meal?" Bayonet-wielding members of the Russian army then move in to protect the table from rioting audience members, who often storm the set with crude handmade weapons in a desperate attempt to seize a beet.

Once order is restored, 10 lucky Russians–who are brought to Moscow, courtesy of the show, by ox-cart--face off in a "fastest finger" round to determine who will sit in the "hot seat" in front of Ivaskevich to compete for the nutrient-containing jackpot. The advancing contestant is asked a series of increasingly difficult questions, each carrying a larger food prize, from a scrap of rotting cabbage to the grand prize of a one-course dinner for one. Stumped contestants can use one of three "lifelines"–polling the audience, writing a letter to a friend for help, or ingesting a packet of glucose syrup if they are losing consciousness due to hunger.

Though no contestant has yet won the top prize of a slice of boiled beef, an uncooked red potato and a scrap of bread, viewers have thrilled to the awarding of lesser prizes to contestants finishing partway up the prize ladder. Last Friday's installment drew blockbuster ratings as Nikolai Puchin, a 33-year-old Novokuznetsk-area peasant, walked away with a chicken bone after correctly identifying Sergei Eisenstein as the director of The Battleship Potemkin.

The grand prize.

"Viewers are absolutely captivated by the show," said executive producer Oleg Medvedev. "To watch people get up there and have a chance at eating, it's a thrilling fantasy."

Still, some viewers complain that the questions are too easy.

"I watched the other day, and they ask the man to name year Trotsky is assassinated," said Svetlana Tretiak, an 83-year-old retired seamstress from Orsk, a tiny village in the Ural Mountains. "This is ridiculous. If food is on the line, I expect questions are more difficult than this."

Grigor Krupskaya of St. Petersburg agreed. "I know not where they get these contestants," he said. "So dumb. Friday, on show, they ask a man what Soviet gymnast win three gold medals in 1972 Olympics. And he needs lifeline to answer!"

"It is not so easy as it looks," said contestant Alexei Popovich, a 40-year-old Kursk farmer who quit the game with a bowl of borscht rather than risking it to win a larger prize. "I am sure it seems easy to people sitting at home, but when you are up there under the lights, and you know food is on the line, it is very different. You get very nervous: Your palms sweat, your stomach quivers, and your teeth fall out due to malnourishment and scurvy."

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