U.S. Unenjoyment Rate At All-Time High

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Vol 33 Issue 03

Pepsi Super Bowl Ad Raises Worldwide Pepsi-Awareness .00000000001 Percent

SOMERS, NY—A 60-second, $2.6 million ad that aired during Sunday’s Super Bowl telecast has raised awareness of Pepsi .00000000001 percent, Pepsi officials said Monday. Specifically, the ad raised Pepsi-awareness in Xiao Bu—a 71-year-old Pyongyang, China, peasant and one of five known humans not familiar with Pepsi—who learned of the existence of the soft drink while watching the Super Bowl. “This $2.6 million was money well spent. With it, Pepsi has finally surpassed 99.9999999999 percent global saturation and cracked the hard-to-reach Xiao Bu market,” Pepsico’s Ken Doyle said. “We now look forward to introducing Pepsi to Mala N’dougou of Gabon and babies who were born in comas.” In response to the Pepsi ad, chief rival Coca-Cola announced Tuesday it will launch its own $11 million ad blitz targeting Xiao.

1994 Video-Store Receipt Reveals Clinton Rented Night Eyes 2, 3

WASHINGTON, DC—President Clinton is strongly denying special prosecutor Kenneth Starr’s claim that he has a receipt proving that on July 11, 1994, Clinton rented Night Eyes 2 and Night Eyes 3, two mature-audiences-only erotic thrillers starring former Playboy Playmate Of The Year Shannon Tweed. According to Starr, the receipt, unearthed during a year-long Justice Department probe of D.C.-area video stores, “clearly proves that the president not only rented these two films, but, even more damning, did so on the same night. That is over three hours of steamy adult fare enjoyed in one single viewing by the president.” In the wake of the findings, Starr is ordering the store where the films were rented to hand over all receipt records dating back to 1992 to discern whether Clinton may have also rented Night Eyes, the first installment in the series, starring Tanya Roberts. Starr also ordered the Justice Department to hand over recently surfaced White House cable-tap recordings that are purported to contain over 40 hours of Spice Channel pay-per-view. Tweed has refused to comment on the crisis.

Oh, Area Man’s Aching Back

JERSEY CITY, NJ—According to a report issued Wednesday by 51-year-old Jersey City resident Phil Lardner, Jesus Christ Almighty, his back feels like a goddamn elephant stepped on it. Fuck, the report stated, Lardner should never have tried to move that dishwasher by himself. The report went on to note that Lardner may require medical attention if he can ever make it to the freaking phone, and that if he doesn’t collect some workman’s comp for this one, forget about it.

A New Year, A New Jean

This is soooo exciting—my first column of 1998! Actually, I'm kind of dreading 1998, because it's the year I finally turn the big 4-0! Can you believe it? (I sure can't!)
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Man Considers Nodding Approvingly After Friend’s Drink Purchase

MEQUON, WI—Seeking to convey his endorsement of his acquaintance's selection at local bar Coney's Draft House this evening, area man Thomas Dodge told reporters that he was considering nodding approvingly at his friend’s alcoholic beverage pur...

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U.S. Unenjoyment Rate At All-Time High

WASHINGTON, DC—Despite America's high standard of living, nearly limitless personal convenience, and undisputed status as the most entertained nation on Earth, the national unenjoyment rate soared to a record 82.2 percent in 1997, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. Bureau of Statistics.

As the U.S. unenjoyment rate continues to soar, millions of Americans, like these Las Vegas trade-show attendees, are turning to increasingly desperate means in an attempt to stay entertained.

The new figures officially extend a three-decade upward trend for the U.S. unenjoyment rate, which has been on the rise since October 1968.

Said Bureau of Statistics director Janet Penn-Warren: "Despite the innumerable home-entertainment, recreational-shopping and snack-treat options available to Americans; despite the continued expansion of the film, television, music and anti-depressant-drug industries; and despite the ever-growing amount of disposable income and leisure time available to the middle class, the fact remains that Americans are enjoying their lives less than at any point in our nation's history."

The federal report, which measures unenjoyment rates by examining a wide variety of hedonistic indicators, found that boredom, jaded detachment, and "a general, creepy sense of ennui" all made unprecedented gains in 1997, as did the National Vague-Sense-That-Everything-Is-Bullshit Index, which rose more than 35 points.

"We have not had a major war since 1975, our personal civil liberties are unrivaled in the world, and we as a nation have more material wealth than any other in history," Penn-Warren said. "But despite all this, the American people have never been more unhappy and dissatisfied than they are today."

The new unenjoyment figures met with calls for action on Capitol Hill.

"The pursuit of happiness is a founding principle of this nation," said House Immediate-Gratification Ways And Means Subcommittee member Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT). "If the American people are not feeling happy and entertained, it is our duty as their elected officials to help them, be it by working with top Hollywood producers to make our nation's computer-generated special effects more eye-popping, by developing even more thrilling games for our Nintendo and Sony PlayStation home-videogame systems, or by providing cable-television subsidies to those Americans who are currently forced to do without."

Dodd is co-sponsor of the Mandatory Comfort Act, a new personal-satisfaction bill that would guarantee comprehensive unenjoyment benefits to more than 200 million insufficiently diverted Americans. Among the benefits: movie-theater "gift-pak" subsidies, annual distribution of The NBA's Most Spectacular Dunks videotapes, and the addition of supplemental sugars to all foodstuffs.

While the proposal is said to enjoy strong support in Congress, some observers claim that such a measure would only make matters worse.

"We must ask ourselves why people who face less adversity than any previous generation are so unable to enjoy life," said Mary K. Dewitt, director of the Los Angeles-based National Enjoyment Institute. "As a society, we are free of almost every major impediment to happiness that has plagued mankind through the ages. Nonetheless, we sleepwalk through each day in a numb, emotionally deadened state of joyless catatonia. Why?"

According to Dewitt, the answer may lie in our society's steadily rising entertainment expectations. As the level of entertainment to which people become accustomed rises, so too, she contends, does the level of entertainment necessary to make people feel amused, a phenomenon that some have termed "enterflation."

"The easier our lives become, the harder it is for our entertainment to entertain us, creating a vicious enterflationary cycle that has produced the skyrocketing unenjoyment rates of the past 50 years," Dewitt said. "What was an incredibly thrilling experience to a 10-year-old in 1950—using a decoder ring, for example, to unscramble an Ovaltine commercial during the Tom Corbett Space-Cadet Radio Hour—would leave a 10-year-old of 1998 feeling profoundly empty inside."

Continued Dewitt: "Examples of this diminishing-returns curve abound. An actress with the body of Marilyn Monroe couldn't even get a job cocktail-waitressing in Hollywood today, let alone be enshrined for eternity as the sexiest woman who ever lived. The average cereal commercial on Saturday-morning TV today has as much sensory stimuli in 30 seconds as a 1967 acid-rock freakout had in five hours. It makes my head spin just thinking about it."

Dr. George Hammond of the American Dissatisfaction Research Group agreed with Dewitt. "If the American people want to retain what precious little is left of their ability to experience pleasure, we must curb enterflation now, through a combination of federally enforced per-capita fun limits and massive, broad-based reductions in U.S. recreation."

While such radical views are beginning to gain some acceptance, a vast majority of lawmakers and dissatisfied Americans still believe that the solution to the country's unenjoyment woes is to create more fun now.

"If people want fun now rather than possible increased life-enjoyment in the long run, then those of us in the entertainment industry who wish to stay competitive are simply going to have to give it to them," said David Foster Wallace, co-creator of the hit NBC sitcom Hey, Man! "It's a matter of supply and demand, and that's what America is all about."

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