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Vol 31 Issue 08

White Castle Plundered By Turks

KEW GARDENS, NY—A Queens-area White Castle restaurant was violently raided Friday by Turkish marauder Bakhbar The Cruel. "Let songs of this day echo off the white tile walls," Bakhbar said shortly after unseating and beheading shift manager Dave Spivac, 27. Small, squarish hamburgers, described by Bakhbar's generals as "what he craves," were carted off by the hundreds following the raid. Four captured employees will now be traded as slaves. Also stolen in the brutal Castle purge were over 36 dozen kids' meal toys, 11 gallons of beverage syrup, and enough onion chips to get the nomadic horde to the Throgs Neck Bridge.

'Urban Legends True,' Says Friend Of Cousin's Roommate

CHICAGO—According to a study released Sunday by the friend of this one guy's roommate, contemporary word-of-mouth folklore, or "urban legends," are true. While not actually heard first-hand, the guy said, "Though typically met with skepticism, urban legends are almost always true. Like the one about the guy whose friends threw him a surprise party, but he was naked. I know for a fact that that's a true story—my sister's ex-boyfriend was at that party." The guy also said that a child actually did die from consuming Pop Rocks candy with Coca-Cola, claiming that "it was in the paper."

Aerobics Linked To Lousy Music

LOS ANGELES—A UCLA study released Monday demonstrates a strong link between aerobics and lousy music. "In 98 percent of cases where aerobics are being performed, lousy music can be clearly heard in the vicinity," study head Dr. Ronald Braun said. "Whether it's 'Gonna Make You Sweat' by C&C Music Factory or 'Another Night' by Real McCoy, expect to find songs that are in the lousy-to-crappy range wherever there is an aerobics class taking place." When asked if there is any link between the lousy music and the vacuous, airheaded superficiality of aerobics enthusiasts, Braun replied, "Definitely."

Neighbors Remember Serial Killer As Serial Killer

DUNEDIN, FL—In the wake of his capture Monday, serial killer Eddie Lee Curtis is being recalled by neighbors as a serial killer. "He was kind of a murderous, insane, serial-killer type of fellow," said Will Rowell, 57, who lived next door to the man arrested for the murder of 14 nurses in Florida and Georgia. "He sort of kept to himself, killing nurses, molesting their corpses and then burying the bodies in his backyard." Neighbor Peggy Appleton agreed: "I didn't know him that well, but he really seemed to hate nurses, the way he was always dismembering them with power tools. I guess you could say he fancied himself a serial killer."

Secret Police Enforce Mourning Of Deng Xiaoping

BEIJING—China's 1.2 billion citizens observed a state police-enforced mourning of 92-year-old premier Deng Xiaoping last week. "Our great leader is gone," said Wuhan resident Xiang Hu as a bayonet was held to his throat by a member of the government's elite military guard. Deng's funeral procession through the streets of Beijing was attended by over one million people from as far as 900 miles away, all of whom were forcibly bused in by the state. A 30-day period of national mourning has been declared, during which anyone found not weeping openly will be executed.

'Bridge To 21st Century' Crap Forgotten

WASHINGTON, DC—Offering a bold new vision for post-1996 presidential election America, President Clinton unveiled a new plan Monday to forget about that "Bridge To The 21st Century" crap.

Horoscope for the week of March 5, 1997

In the spring of your youth you were one who ran often to the many women of Paris, but now the good wine and the late light of the sun on the Plaza Del Toros must be enough for you.

Study: Depression Hits Losers Hardest

PALO ALTO, CA—According to a report released Monday by Stanford's Institute For Psychotherapeutic Study, depression, America's leading mental illness, hits losers worse than any other segment of society.

I Will Love You Until The Stars Fall From The Sky vs. Please Stop Calling Me

Elaine, I will love you forever. I will adore you until the sun neither rises in the morning, nor sets in the evening as you lay your perfect cheek upon your pillow for slumber—usually after watching Trapper John, M.D. and spending 8-11 minutes in what I've surmised from my spot in the bushes to be your bathroom.

The Clone Wars

In the first-ever cloning of a mammal, scientists in Scotland announced last week that they had successfully cloned a sheep. What do you think?
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Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

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  • Night Out Consecrated With Opening Exchange Of High-Fives

    CHARLOTTE, NC—Kicking off the evening with their customary expression of excitement and camaraderie, a group of friends reportedly consecrated their night out on the town Friday with a ceremonial opening exchange of high-fives.

Fontly Speaking

Hey, as much as I hate to preach, now is the time when I have to get on the old soapbox: No more Futura Bold Condensed! I mean, really! It's such a precocious little font. I know it seems chic and irresistible, but show some restraint! People are using it everywhere, from Surgeon General's warnings to children's arithmetic books, and it really bugs me to see it used when a simple, moderate 18-point Helvetica Narrow Oblique would fill the bill without the pretension. Please, don't fall in the trap of using inappropriate fonts to make up for unimpressive material.

Okay, I've stopped shooting my six-shooters. You can bring the kids back into the room. My first letter comes from California in the form of a limerick: Dear Font O' Wisdom,
The stork came flapping his wing,
Now my wife and I are expecting,
What font should we use,
To send the news,
About this glorious thing?
New Baby in Burbank

For a new baby, I always recommend a baptismal font! But seriously, font-wise, a classy Brush Script at a moderate four picas should announce the blessed event nicely. But for a lighthearted approach, try one of the popular Crayon fonts, or something with a spring appeal, like a Stone Serif Italic with a low pitch. However, for twins, an extravagant font like Greco Adornado or Oz Handicraft may be what you need. (Besides therapy, that is!)

A lot of you out there have been badgering me to tell you how long I've been advising readers on the wondrous subject of fonts. Well, let's just say a certain pharaoh needed decorating tips, and I said, "Hey, about some Hieroglyphs?" Enough said!

But all kidding aside, fonts have a rich and fascinating history, dating back thousands of years. The Empires of the Mediterranean were built on fonts, like Cuneiform and the Phoenician script. Fonts had their destructive power, too, playing a part in the eventual fall of the Ottoman Empire. When the Turks presented Sultan Suleiman with a scroll written in Reverse Cooper Black, the Sultan went berserk, ordering that all their heads be chopped off and displayed on his mantle. It's true! But there I go again, railing against the ignorance and indifference most people feel toward fonts.

Now, on to our next letter: Dear Font Dork,
How many of the letters you print do you actually write yourself? And if it is actually less than 100 percent, then what kind of loser needs advice on fonts?
Not Falling For It In Falls Church

Well, Falls Church, those are some pretty big accusations. But first, let me say that the tracking and leading of your letter were off by a country mile. I'll also point out that the Bodoni you used, with a cap height of a mere 11 points, is probably the most inexpressive font around. And if that weren't enough, demi weight moderns have been out of style since the early '80s! Maybe if you spent less time mocking what you obviously don't understand, and a little more time trying to comprehend the subtle science of font usage, your letter wouldn't look like it had been typed by a chimpanzee!

Font Watch: Have you ever noticed that the font for Jurassic Park is the exact same one as the font for the television show Martin? Come on, Mr. Spielberg! Show some originality! When Jaws came out, the poster featured a snappy Franklin Gothic Heavy—a bold font choice at the time—and people were lining up around the block!

Next Week: the "Semibold" controversy—what you need to know!

Doug "Benguiat" Bendek's syndicated weekly column, Fontly Speaking, appears in over 400 newspapers nationwide.

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