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The Pros And Cons Of Taking A Gap Year

Malia Obama will wait a year between graduating high school and attending Harvard in 2017, in what is becoming a rising trend among American students. Here are the pros and cons of taking a gap year:

God Loses Pouch Filled With Crystals That Give Him Powers

THE HEAVENS—Grumbling to Himself as He frantically retraced His steps across the Heavens, God Almighty, He Who Commanded Light to Shine out of Darkness, admitted to reporters Monday that He had somehow managed to lose the pouch containing the enchanted crystals that give Him His powers.

Man Practices Haircut Request Before Heading To Barber

MINNEAPOLIS—Having scripted a set of lines he hoped to deliver with confidence and decisiveness, local 34-year-old Jason Clyne carefully rehearsed his haircut request several times Friday before heading to his local barbershop, sources confirmed.

Weddings vs. Eloping

Many couples who don’t want to put the time and money toward a wedding simply run off and get married in secret. Here is a side-by-side comparison of planning a wedding and eloping

EPA Urges Flint Residents To Stop Dumping Tap Water Down Drain

FLINT, MI—Citing the significant health and safety risks that it poses to public infrastructure and the local ecosystem, the Environmental Protection Agency released a statement Thursday urging residents of Flint to discontinue dumping tap water down their drains.

New OSHA Regulations To Cut Down On Workplace Mutations

WASHINGTON—In an attempt to address the troubling number of genetic transformations occurring in workplaces across the nation, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration unveiled new regulations this week aimed at reducing on-the-job mutations, sources confirmed.

Brita Unveils New In-Throat Water Filters

OAKLAND, CA—Representatives from Brita, the nation’s bestselling brand of household water filtration products, held a press event Wednesday to unveil a new line of filters designed to be installed directly inside users’ throats.
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Ugh, This A Place Where Bartenders Wear Bow Tie

PITTSBURGH—Saying they should have known from the moment they walked in the unmarked speakeasy entrance and spotted the extensive wood paneling, customers confirmed Friday that, ugh, this is one of those places where the bartenders all wear bow ties.

Ask The Dauphin

Dear Dauphin,

This is a message for "Still Can't Believe It," whose 13-year-old dyed her hair pink the night before her Confirmation... GET OVER IT! It's just a little hair dye! It's not like your daughter uses drugs or held up a bank. It sounds like you've got a basically good kid who's going through a little phase, so relax and let her be her.

—Straight-Shooting In Sherman Oaks

Dear Sherman Oaks,

I shan't! I shan't do my lessons! You are just a mere tutor, and you haven't the right to order about the future King like a common drudge! Horrid Latin! Beastly Geography! I would much rather be fencing or fox-hunting or engaged in pursuits befitting a great prince of a most divinely favored land. I shall be a man of destiny like my father the King, who does not concern himself with books and study and the queer prattlings of foolish bookworms and scribblers. He had that half-wit philosopher who blathers on about the "Rights of Man" imprisoned in the Dungeon, and that shall be your fate as well if you continue to place such ridiculous demands upon my royal person!

Dear Dauphin,

My husband says criminal tendencies are partially genetic. I say that's bull: Criminals are made, not born. Who's right? A steak dinner and tickets to a Packers game are riding on this one.

—Sure In Sheboygan

Dear Sure,

Ah, Therese, my sweet sister, there you are! Come, let us play shuttlecock in the garden! How I adore you, dear Therese! Your locks shine like Papa's favorite bourbon as the candlelight glints off it. Oh, do not be cross, Therese; I was only being a sillybilly! Hee hee hee! By the by, sister, yesterday Nurse said the most curious thing: She said that although I am the Dauphin, and you are Princess Royal, you cannot be my Queen! I grew quite cross with Nurse's impudence, Therese, for you yourself know how thick-headed she can be. I must not have known my fury, for Nurse started to tremble and weep so! Perhaps she feared I would start bleeding and not be able to stop, like that time when I pricked my finger on a thorny rose and was bedridden for days, do you remember? Be glad you do not share my curious condition, Therese. O, now you weep, too, just as Nurse did? Therese, Therese, do not cry! You shall make me cry, and that would be most unbefitting the son of the King! Worry not—I may be small and sickly now, but one day I shall grow up big and strong just like Papa. I shall command my own regiment of fusilier—Papa has promised me so! Dear, dear Therese... I am sorry for likening your hair to Papa's bourbon. I despair ever so when you are upset, Therese. My only wish is for your happiness, for when you are blissful you are more beautiful than Venus herself. Come, Therese, let us retire to the garden to weave gardenia wreaths as Groom's son once showed us, and we will crown each other King and Queen for life... or you may read from your volume of Ovid as I lay my head in your delicate lap.

Dear Dauphin,

As your readers may know, this upcoming November is Prostate Awareness Month. Each year, tens of thousands of American men 50 and over are diagnosed with prostate cancer. In fact, it is the most common cause of death by cancer for men ages 75 and over. The good news is, survival is high if detected early. Studies also show that men who consume a low-fat diet and exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing the disease. These preventative measures, combined with annual screenings, can help ensure good prostate health for years to come.

—Surviving In Surreyville

Dear Surreyville,

Papa! It is most unspeakably intolerable, really it is! The Lord Chamberlain will not permit me to ride in my little carriage on the grounds today, even though Nurse dressed me in my nobby new riding-habit and boots! He told me I am obliged to stay indoors, as the peasants are once again demonstrating for bread outside the palace gates. If they did not spend their wages on drink, they would be able to feed themselves. Besides, they have no right to object to their sorry lot, for God made them inferior. Cardinal de Poucy told me so himself, and he is one of your most learned advisors. Yet they continue to be noisy and unruly, and their stench is horrible, too—have they never heard of cologne-water? Papa, I want you to fire your cannons at these noisome peasants so that I may once again ride in my little carriage. Mama told me I could carry my dress sword, too. Papa, who are these men who stand before you? They do not look like your ministers or courtiers. They dress coarsely, they wear no powdered wigs, and their eyes gleam a most unseemly shade of yellow. Why are they here, Papa? And why do they carry pikes?

Dear Dauphin,

I never thought I'd need to write you, but I have nowhere else to turn. I'm a 47-year-old woman who's losing her hair. As a woman, I never dreamed I'd have this problem. I can't stand the thought of wearing a wig, so I've recently taken to wearing a bandanna or baseball cap, but it looks ridiculous. Is there anything that can be done?

—Balding In Baldwin

Dear Baldwin,

Jailer? Jailer? If you please, Jailer, pray forgive my impertinence, but how fare Mama and Papa and the Princess Royal? I have not seen them for weeks since the coup. Pray forgive my speaking out of turn, but may I inquire as to their present condition? I know I am a very bad, wicked, spoiled, weak, miserable little boy, and that my father is an evil man who feasted on the misery of his poor subjects and resembles a giant turnip. Only the people may master their own fate, and a mere accident of titled birthright mustn't preclude this. I understand all this now. Yet, I still wonder about Mama and Papa and the Princess Royal. Do they shiver as I do here in the Dungeon? I do wish someone would bring some wood so that I may have a fire. It need not be a big fire. I am only a small boy, and all I need is a small fire—just enough to warm my hands and perhaps drive away some of this damp. I think the damp is aggravating my cough. I'm sorry, Jailer sir, I'm sorry! I know I speak too much. I'll be quiet! Only please do not strike me! Please, nothing that will draw blood again. Please, sir! Forgive my impertinence! I am a spoiled, wicked boy! I shall speak no more, I promise!

Crown Prince Phillippe Charles Louis François Leopold Auguste is a syndicated advice columnist whose column, Ask The Dauphin, appears in more than 250 newspapers nationwide.

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