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Hey, Man, I Totally Get It; I'd Watch A 2-Hour 'Biggest Loser' Special, Too

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Fact-Checking The First Presidential Debate

Addressing issues ranging from national security to trade to their personal controversies, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump squared off in the first presidential debate Monday. The Onion takes a look at the validity of their bolder claims:

Viewers Impressed By How Male Trump Looked During Debate

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Saying the Republican nominee exhibited just the qualities they were looking for in the country’s next leader, viewers throughout the nation reported Monday night that they were impressed by how male Donald Trump appeared throughout the first debate.

Poll: 89% Of Debate Viewers Tuning In Solely To See Whether Roof Collapses

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Explaining that the American people showed relatively little interest in learning more about the nominees’ economic, counterterrorism, or immigration policies, a new Quinnipiac University poll revealed that 89 percent of viewers were tuning into Monday night’s presidential debate solely to see whether the roof collapses on the two candidates.

New Study Finds Solving Every Single Personal Problem Reduces Anxiety

SEATTLE—Explaining that participants left the clinical trial feeling calmer and more positive, a study published Monday by psychologists at the University of Washington has determined that people can significantly reduce their anxiety by solving every single one of their personal problems.

Trump Planning To Throw Lie About Immigrant Crime Rate Out There Early In Debate To Gauge How Much He Can Get Away With

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Saying he would probably introduce the falsehood in his opening statement or perhaps during his response to the night’s first question, Republican nominee Donald Trump reported Monday he was planning to throw out a blatant lie about the level of crime committed by immigrants early in the first presidential debate to gauge how much he’d be allowed to get away with.

Rest Of Nation To Penn State: ‘Something Is Very Wrong With All Of You’

WASHINGTON—Stating they felt deeply unnerved by the community’s unwavering and impassioned defense of a football program and administration that enabled child sexual abuse over the course of several decades, the rest of the country informed Penn State University Friday that there is clearly something very wrong with all of them.

Strongside/Weakside: Lamar Jackson

After passing for eight touchdowns and rushing for another 10 in just the first three weeks of the season, Louisville Cardinals sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson has quickly become the frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy. Is he any good?
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Hey, Man, I Totally Get It; I'd Watch A 2-Hour 'Biggest Loser' Special, Too

So, remember how you said earlier that you wanted to devote at least an hour to reading me tonight? Listen, I know you're really tired and everything, and I just want to say, don't worry about it. You can jump in another night. I completely understand—and frankly, I can't say I blame you.

I'm a pretty challenging read!

Hey, you've been following the show for months, after all, so it would be a shame for you to miss tonight's special two-hour Biggest Loser event. No, really, don't sweat it. Who am I to begrudge you enjoying what may, in retrospect, turn out to be a pivotal moment in season 11?

I'm just a collection of 65 short stories originally written in Russian, French, and English more than half a century ago by the masterful prose stylist Vladimir Nabokov. You can read me anytime. I'm not going anywhere.

And how often does something like tonight's show come along?

Look, I totally get the appeal of the show. I do. There's a clearly defined premise, drama, the struggle to better oneself, no extensive treatments of the poetological implications of potustoronnost, and it's guaranteed to reach an exciting conclusion in two hours flat. It's a genuinly entertaining show with an addictive premise.

So, really, why should you feel bad about enjoying it? You work 40 or 50 hours a week at a job that's not exactly thrilling, and you're supposed to feel guilty because you'd rather spend the last hours of your hellishly long day watching The Biggest Loser instead of struggling to understand "Spring in Fialta"?

Honestly, I'd choose that show over me, too.

Don't get me wrong—I'm definitely worth reading. But there's no denying I'm a pretty serious time commitment. Even if you started me right now, there's no telling when or if you'd finish. You could spend weeks or even months deciphering my complex metaphors for transformation and individualism, but tonight it's just nice to know you can turn on your television and hear Jillian Michaels say, "I believe in you, so why can't you believe in yourself?"

Real-life people step on a scale and either reach their goal weight or come pretty close. You have to admit there's something satisfying in that simple conceit: People focus, work really hard, lose weight, and everybody feels good about it. You don't have to struggle with any ambiguity; it's all right there.

Given entertainment options like that, I'm kind of impressed you're still this determined to read me at all.

Regardless, whenever you're ready, I'll be sitting on the old bookshelf. Except for when you've moved me to your bedside table in an effort to remind yourself to read me. Then I'll be there for a few days until I get kicked under the bed. Who knows? Maybe this summer you'll have some time to kill and you'll get into "Mademoiselle O." In that one, Nabokov details life with a French mistress, blurring the line between being and perception and—

Oh, what am I harassing you for? You already know I possess literary merit. That's my thing, but I don't want to burden you with that. Not when, at this very moment, The Biggest Loser is still anyone's game to win, the grand prize up for grabs by whoever is willing to participate in a series of grueling trials that inevitably leads them to realize they are the only ones who can control their destiny.

Do you think you're the first educated person to choose reality TV over a series of long, exhaustive nights desperately trying to grasp whatever it is Nabokov was going for in "The Wood-Sprite"?

It's okay—I wasn't written to be lightly perused by the casual reader. And please don't hesitate to put me down if you want to catch the repeat of that one where Jillian makes Kendra cry over something that wasn't even her fault.

How unbelievable was that, seriously?

And let me be honest here: I may, as a volume, be a reminder "that we are in the presence of a magnificent original, a genuine master," but it's not like I'm Lolita or anything. If you absolutely have to get a taste of Nabokov—and I'm not saying you do—they made a movie of that one. It's pretty much the same thing. So check that out, if you want.

Anyhow, watch your show. There's no shame in it, champ. No shame at all. Enjoy.

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