Six-Year-Old's Birthday Party Hampered By 85,000 Gallons of Combustible Fuel Oil

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Vol 30 Issue 04

U.S. Consumers Demand Wider Selection

WASHINGTON, DC—Dissatisfied with their current range of choices, American consumers banded together Sunday to demand a wider selection of merchandise from the nation's retailers. "The current so-called 'selection' is deplorable," said group spokesperson and educated shopper Georgette Hughes. "Most things you buy, there's barely more than 20 varieties. When I go to an electronics chain, I want to see several hundred VCRs from which to choose. When I'm shopping for kitty litter, I want a thousand. This is bullshit." Hughes is calling for a mass boycott of all U.S. stores, with the exception of Home Depot and Wal-Mart.

Erik Estrada Big In Mexico

LOS ANGELES—According to word out of Hollywood, former CHIPs star and '70s sex symbol Erik Estrada is reportedly big in Mexico. "Yeah, Erik Estrada. Sure, I remember him—supposedly he's real big in Mexico now," said Ron Wolfstein, partner in the prominent talent agency of Wolfstein, Miller and Diamond. "I think I heard something about him being on whatever the big soap opera is down there. I forget what it's called—something like Siempre Amor, or Siempro de Todo? I'm not sure." Added Wolfstein: "Actually, forget it—I think I'm thinking of that guy from Dukes of Hazzard."

'Perfect' Birthday Card Discovered In Local Mall

SCHAUMBURG, IL—After a nearly hour-long search, which included visits to some five stationery stores, local resident Doris Kessler finally found the perfect birthday card for a friend yesterday at Woodfield Mall. "This is just perfect for Kate!" said Kessler, 47, holding the card she selected for friend and co-worker Kate Adler. The card read, "So you're 39... Again!" Said Kessler, "I love to kid Kate about her age—she'll never admit how old she is!" Kessler plans to present the card to Adler at work Thursday, along with a humorous "Over the Hill" mylar balloon. "She's just going to die when she sees that!" Kessler said.

Kremlin Reports Yeltsin In Good Health Following Burial

MOSCOW—In an effort to quell the many rumors circulating regarding the Russian president's physical condition, Kremlin officials reassured the public yesterday that Boris Yeltsin is in good health following his burial. "Mr. Yeltsin is in fine shape, strong as a Russian bear," Kremlin information director Vladimir Chernovsky said, standing near Yeltsin's grave. "In fact, just before dying, Mr. Yeltsin took a long swim in the icy waters of the Volga River, barely tiring at all." To prove his point, Chernovsky removed the six feet of dirt covering Yeltsin, pointing out his healthy skin tone, hearty frame and barely eaten eyeballs.

I'm Leaving My Fortune to That Lad On the Wireless Radio

Did you know I was once Governor of our fair state? Yes, from 1914 to 1920. I was known as the "Strip-Mining Governor" for my historic ceding of over 27 million square acres of state-owned land to the boron mining interests. Unfortunately, not a trace of boron was found, thousands of farmers and miners starved to death, and I was voted out of office after only one term. Damn those fickle voter bastards!

I've Got a Serious Case of Election Fever!

Item! It's political mania out there, and yours truly has been in the thick of it! Now, I know I shouldn't do politics, but this year has been so spectacular that I had to put in my two cents worth.
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Six-Year-Old's Birthday Party Hampered By 85,000 Gallons of Combustible Fuel Oil

ERIE, PA—There was nothing left below the knees of three party-goers yesterday, as 85,000 gallons of combustible fuel oil gushed through the living room of 6-year-old Kenny Dodds, scorching everything in its path.

According to his mother, Kenny Dodds (center) had a wonderful time at his birthday party, but was still "somewhat disappointed" that a massive petrochemical explosion occurred just moments before cake was to be cut.

"Kenny had a wonderful time," said his mother, Diane Dodds, speaking from her bed in the intensive care burn ward at Erie County Medical Center. "Nevertheless, I don't think he can help feeling that the party could have been better. He's very sensitive that way."

The birthday party, which included "pin the tail on the donkey," prizes for all of Kenny's guests, and a surprise appearance by Bilbo the Funtime Clown, was going smoothly, showing no signs of interruption by a massive flow of highly flammable petrochemicals until just before cake was to be served.

"I smelled a chemical, burning smell," said Jeanette Frederickson, a neighbor who attended the party with her daughter Ashley. "Then this tidal wave of burning, toxic liquid just burst through the front door, pouring through the windows, literally vaporizing everything within a couple feet of the ground. I don't want to say it ruined the party, but, well, things just weren't really the same after that."

Midtown Clowns, from whom the Doddses contracted Bilbo for the party, said it has seen a lot during its 30 years of party clown-providing, but combustible fuel oil was never more than an inconvenience.

"Sure, we've had our problems with fuel oil," said Maury Friedman, senior dispatcher at Midtown Clowns. "It's terrible stuff. If it doesn't catch fire, it will still ruin your upholstery. And ingesting it, well, that's a whole other story."

The precise volume of the spill is believed to be 85,550 gallons, making it the largest ever to occur at a birthday party, surpassing the 1972 Melissa Tilly Eighth Birthday mishap by some 3,000 gallons.

"It'll be nice to get out of the hospital," said Diane Dodds, "but I'm not looking forward to cleaning up that mess. I've got Yvonne and Karen coming over for coffee Sunday, and Yvonne is such a snoop I just know she'll be asking all kinds of questions about the missing walls, my missing legs and the unmarked semi-tanker in my rose bushes."

When asked to comment on what happened at his birthday party, Kenny burst into tears and jumped up and down on the spot where his bed once stood, screaming, "I wanted a pony! I wanted a pony!"

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