Woman Has Perfect Clip Art For Party Invitation

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Vol 37 Issue 40

Flood Of Cheap Afghan Heroin To Arrive Just In Time For Recession

NEW YORK—The nation's smack addicts received welcome news Monday, when The Wall Street Journal reported that the war in Afghanistan has opened the floodgates for cheap Afghan heroin, just in time for the coming recession. "Even if their stock portfolios are dwindling, America's junkies can take heart in the fact that the Taliban is embarking on a massive heroin sell-off, slashing prices dramatically," Wall Street Journal reporter Tom Petzinger said. "So even if GE drops to $20 a share, keep in mind that heroin has dropped to $50 a gram." Ed Evans, a recently laid-off Detroit auto worker and longtime heroin addict, called the report "real great, uh, that's unnnnhhf..."

Actor's Parents Proud He's Playing A Doctor

SOUTHFIELD, MI—Gail and Milt Greenblatt, parents of soap-opera star Brett Green, are beaming with pride that their son is a doctor on ABC's All My Children. "Dr. Cord Montgomery graduated from Harvard Medical School at the top of his class," Gail told a neighbor Monday. "What's more, he's the youngest surgeon at Pine Valley's top hospital." Milt expressed relief that his son has left behind the "rough crowd" he ran with last fall as a bully on Gilmore Girls.

JCPenney Abandons 45-Second Sale

PLANO, TX—JCPenney announced Monday that it is discontinuing its "45-Second Sale," in which all store items are 60 percent off from 1:00:00 p.m. to 1:00:45 p.m. "The 45-second sale drew very strong customer response," JCPenney CEO Allen Questrom said Monday. "Regrettably, only a handful of shoppers actually got to capitalize on our fantastic bargains due to the horrific injuries they sustained during the cashier stampede." In the future, Questrom said, JCPenney sales would be two minutes long at an absolute minimum.

Weird Coworker Apparently Likes Walking Two Miles To Work Every Day

SACRAMENTO, CA—Despite owning a car and receiving frequent offers of rides from coworkers, State Farm Insurance claims adjuster Jonathan Kiel inexplicably prefers to make the daily two-mile trek to work on foot. "I know he's got a car, and he certainly earns enough for a monthly bus pass," coworker Colin Damrush said, "but for some freaky, mind-boggling reason, he insists on walking a distance of almost two miles every day—to and from work." Damrush said he and others in the office suspect Kiel is part of "some weird Luddite cult."

If I Don't Get My Medium-Rare Shell Steak With Roasted Vegetables In The Next 10 Minutes, The Terrorists Have Already Won

Waitress, I realize you're very busy and, no doubt, you have a lot on your mind. God knows, everyone does these days. But what this country needs right now is a return to normalcy. We need to work, laugh, and eat the way we did before Sept. 11. That's why it's absolutely vital that I get my medium-rare shell steak with roasted vegetables in the next 10 minutes. Because if I don't, well, then the terrorists have already won.

I'm No Tali-fan!

Item! Terrorism has hit these shores, and I for one am ready to put my foot down and say enough! I don't care if I become a target for terror as a result of my stance. I think this is the time for action, not silence. So I've put an American flag on my car, one on my mailbox, and one on my dog. Take that, Osama Ben Laden!

Ashcroft's Vague Warnings

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft has issued several vague warnings of "credible threats" of terrorism, urging Americans to stay on alert. What do you think?

Oprah Makes A Correction

Oprah Winfrey recently withdrew her selection of Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections for her book club. What did Franzen do to get dropped?
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Woman Has Perfect Clip Art For Party Invitation

CHILLICOTHE, MO—Irene Smalls, 45, an office manager at Riverside Property Management, announced Monday that she has found the "perfect clip art" for the invitation to an upcoming office Thanksgiving party.

Riverside Property Management's Irene Smalls.

Slated for officewide distribution this Friday, the invitation to the Nov. 21 celebration features clip-art images of a turkey, a pile of leaves and a rake, a "horn of plenty," and lighthearted cartoons of boy and girl pilgrims.

"I honestly think this is the best invitation I've ever done," Smalls said. "Everything's there: pilgrims, Thanksgiving food, autumn stuff. It's a perfect balance."

Riverside Property Management's unofficial party organizer, Smalls spent nearly two days deciding which copyright-free illustrations to choose from the company's collection of clip-art booklets and Office Depot-purchased CD-ROMs.

"Choosing art for an invitation is trickier than you'd think," Smalls said. "It should be tasteful but not stuffy, fun but not juvenile."

Offering insight into her artistic process, Smalls revealed that she nixed an image of a Norman Rockwell-like family seated at a dinner table for thematic reasons.

"The dinner scene was nice, but since this party will be a casual office gathering with punch and cupcakes, I didn't think it quite fit," Smalls said. "Then again, I guess you could argue that our office is like one big family, so it's appropriate. In the end, though, I decided that if I used it, the reason probably wouldn't come across. So you see, it just depends how you look at it. There are lots of shades of gray when you're talking about clip art."

Smalls also left out an image of a Native American man carrying ears of corn.

"I didn't want to make [leasing agent] Joseph [White], who's one-quarter Indian, feel uncomfortable," Smalls said. "I think a lot of that 'Heap Big Injun' stuff reminds him of the sad things that happened to his people."

Smalls said her formidable clip-art-selection skills are the result of years of trial and error. In 1987, she learned a valuable lesson when choosing images for a church pancake-breakfast flyer.

"I wanted it to be eye-catching, so I went to Bartz Party Supply and picked out some classy pictures from their clip-art book, including a couple ballroom-dancing, two hands clinking champagne glasses, and a top hat with white gloves and a cane," Smalls said. "Now, that would've worked just dandy for a wedding or New Year's Eve invitation but, as I found out the hard way, not for a pancake breakfast. Only eight people showed up, and some parishioners complained that they thought the breakfast was going to be a ritzy affair. They were too intimidated to attend."

The invitation.

Rather than give up, Smalls resolved to "stick it out and get better at clip art." She now boasts of being able to find the ideal clip art for any occasion.

"I love to rise to any clip-art challenge," Smalls said. "Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, July 4... you name it, I've got the perfect clip art for it. I even have a Star Of David for our Jewish friends."

Smalls' appreciation of clip art is heartening to Mitch Sklar, a Buffalo, NY, freelance artist who creates illustrations for the clip-art market.

"We clip artists work in near-total anonymity: No one knows who we are, and we barely ever know who's out there enjoying our clip artistry," said Sklar, who designed the leaves and rake Smalls used for her invitation. "So when I hear that someone appreciated my work enough to use it in their PTA newsletter or blood-donation sign-up sheet, I feel really proud."

Smalls takes equal pride in her creations.

"Making invitations and flyers is the most rewarding thing about my job, I think," Smalls said. "Even though I can barely draw a stick figure, doing this stuff makes me feel like a real creative artist."

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