Video-Game Characters Denounce Randomly Placed Swinging Blades

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Vol 36 Issue 27

Area Maggot Has Urgent News About Reincarnation

NEONTA, NY–A cabbage maggot called a press conference Tuesday to reveal "urgent" news concerning humanity and the afterlife. "First and foremost, I can tell you from firsthand experience that reincarnation is very real," the maggot said. "Second, though becoming a corporate attorney may seem like an easy route to making loads of money and living the good life, it will ultimately leave you feeling profoundly empty inside. Become a teacher or social worker instead." The maggot then returned to eating a rotting dog carcass.

Needle-Exchange Program Attracting 'Druggies'

CLEVELAND–A city-sponsored "Be Safe, Be Clean" needle-exchange program is in limbo due to suspicions that "dope-heads" and "druggies" may be using the program to obtain free drug paraphernalia, sources reported Monday. "Our intent was to encourage citizens who regularly use syringes to hypodermically inject substances into their bodies to use clean syringes instead of passing needles back and forth between friends, thus reducing the risk of disease," program spokesman James Dunwoody said. "But instead, our program seems to be attracting junkies and other unsavory criminal elements." Dunwoody said the program will be discontinued if the city's smack fiends do not stop abusing it.

Young Couple Hasn't Yet Realized They Don't Have To Do Grocery Shopping, Laundry Together

BREMERTON, WA–According to observers, Jon Lowe, 22, and Rachel Dennard, 21, have not yet realized that grocery shopping and laundry can be accomplished by a single person. "I was at the laundromat yesterday and saw the two of them loading clothes into the dryer together," fellow Bremerton resident Michelle Ganz, 37, said Monday. "I guess being apart for the time it takes to toss some shit in the wash is an eternity of longing for those two."

Zweibel's Metamorphosis

Observant readers of this paper know that the first week of August is traditionally set aside in the Zweibel household for the scald-cleaning, acid-etching, and shriving of my iron-lung, and this year was no different. Last Sunday, Doc McGillicuddy arrived in my bed-chamber and, with the help of the stable-boy Augustus and a pair of swarthy roust-abouts from the village smithy, removed my time-blasted carcass from its tomb. An audible hissing pop accompanied the loosening of the last bolt, and at the sight of my leprous fore-arms and the great plates of scabrous horn which have overgrown my chest, the roust-abouts screamed like a pair of God-damned fat ladies. Doc McGillicuddy, seeing that I was apoplectic with rage, filled my veins with the laudanum and transferred me once again to the wheeled death-bed that is my temporary resting place on these occasions. Exhausted from the effort, I fell into a fit-ful sleep.

Bush Takes The Lead

Gaining steam after last week's Republican National Convention, presidential candidate George W. Bush enjoys a strong lead over Al Gore in the polls. What do you think about his recent surge?

Sign Of The Crossed

Well, Jeanketeers, I really messed up big this time. No, I didn't put dark clothes in with the light ones again. And, no, I didn't accidentally erase hubby Rick's Winston Cup series videotapes, either. I'm having a hard time knowing how to put this, but, well, let's just say I'm sorry about all the born-again Christian stuff I said in my last column. I thought I was born again, but I guess I'm not.

Republicans' 'Diversity Through Imported Africans' Plan Criticized

WASHINGTON, DC–A plank in the Republican Party platform calling for a 'Diversity Through Imported Africans' program is drawing fire from civil-rights leaders. "I do not see why the NAACP would be opposed to the further enrichment of our nation's glorious patchwork of races," U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), co-author of the plan, said Monday. "We merely seek to increase America's already remarkable diversity through the importation of 10 million strong-backed West African males. These healthy, disease-free males from such nations as Gabon, Benin, and Togo will only add spice to the wondrous cultural stew that is America." Helms added that the plan will also create millions of jobs in the fields of housekeeping and farmwork.
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Video-Game Characters Denounce Randomly Placed Swinging Blades

WASHINGTON, DC–A coalition of video-game characters representing the nation's leading systems appeared before Congress Monday to decry "the pointless, deadly presence" of spinning blades in video-game landscapes.

A concerned Mario discusses the rotating fireball chains found throughout World 1-4 of Super Mario Bros.

"We are here to demand an end to the shockingly casual placement of dangerous blades in our places of work," said Tomb Raider star Lara Croft, who estimates that she has lost more than 600,000 lives to spinning, falling, swinging, and suddenly appearing blades this year alone. "This kind of thing has been going on since the days of Pitfall Harry, and it has got to stop."

Croft, flanked by Metal Gear's Solid Snake, Super Mario 64's Mario, and both soldiers from Contra, called upon Congress to revise OSHA laws to extend protection to the digitally rendered.

"From Pitfall to Bad Dudes Versus Dragon Ninja to Gauntlet, the deadly spinning blade has been with us so long, we no longer even question it," Croft said. "It's high time it was done away with once and for all."

Exacerbating the situation, Mario said, is the seemingly arbitrary placement of the hazards. "I could see why, if you're in a factory, you might find yourself jumping around on dangerous conveyor belts moving in different directions," he said. "But why would you have conveyor belts in a castle? Or in the middle of a forest? Nintendo and these other companies are always talking about how realistic their graphics are. Well, what's so realistic about killer turtles shooting out of clouds and such?"

Added Mario: "It's-a me, Mario!"

In addition to the standard spinning blade, the coalition is seeking restrictions on random whirling fireball chains, falling blocks, spike-pit traps, and invisible cross-corridor laser arrays.

Legislators listened attentively as the digitized characters told of their near-death encounters.

"Just the other day, I was running through the British Museum's Egyptology exhibit when a bunch of six-foot steel scythes suddenly burst out of a sarcophagus," Croft said. "Fortunately, I managed to leap out of the way at the last possible second. But a situation like that could have easily turned tragic."

"We're not so different from you," the blue-jacketed guy from Double Dragon said. "We just want to be left alone to do our jobs–saving princesses, finding lost treasures, destroying out-of-control nuclear-equipped robots. But it's nearly impossible to go about your daily life when you're living in constant fear of some giant, evil mushroom suddenly lunging at you from out of nowhere."

"I mean, would you put up with a row of whirling knives in the cereal aisle at Safeway?" the Double Dragon guy continued. "Of course not. Why, then, should Duke Nukem have to run through a corridor of them to get the health pack he needs need to survive?"

The characters said they intend to boycott their respective video games until Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and other manufacturers take "significant measures" to improve safety.

"In addition to mandatory warning lights and buzzers at least eight seconds before the appearance of a blade, spike, or other health hazard, we are calling for mapping features in all 3D-rendered environments, large flashing arrows to highlight such hidden objects as health and life bonuses, and, in the case of Sonic Team games, safety guardrails on all loops."

Added Sonic: "And would it kill you to compose better music? I almost didn't finish the jungle part on that last one."

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