I Don't Like The Person You Become When You're On The Jumbotron

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Vol 40 Issue 44

Loft Apartments Converted To Mayonnaise Factory

SEATTLE—A building housing 10 adjoining lofts near Pike Place was purchased to be converted from airy studio apartments into a mayonnaise factory, Best Foods, Inc. CEO Peter Slater reported Monday. "I took one look at those great wood-plank floors and two-story ceilings, and I knew that all it would take was a little elbow grease to turn the building into an awesome industrial workspace," Slater said. "There's this one sunlit spot over by the windows that'll be perfect for a two-ton industrial mixer. All we have to do is get rid of the leather couch." Current residents were told to vacate the building by Dec. 1, but were offered first crack at the 80 $9-an-hour jobs about to be created, pending their acceptance into the building's workers' union.

Recurring Zhang Ziyi Fantasy Always Involves Getting Kicked In The Face

EL CAJON, CA—Bradley Vogt, 24, said Monday that, although he often fantasizes about Beijing-born Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star Zhang Ziyi, his dreams always abruptly end with her kicking him in the face. "I'll be thinking about Zhang and how sexy she looked in that red robe in Hero," Vogt said. "But just when I imagine her taking off her robe, she delivers a devastating series of flying kicks to my throat. Weird." Vogt said that, if the actress would star in a non-violent role, it might solve his problem, but added that he isn't "completely sure [he wants] her to."

Millions Of Work Hours Lost To Voting

WASHINGTON, DC—Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao announced Wednesday that voter turnout for the 2004 election resulted in an "abysmal" 32 percent drop in productivity and millions of vital work hours lost Tuesday. "Because so many American workers arrived late or left early on voting day, the nation's output was severely reduced," Chao said. "We cannot afford this sort of massive drop in productivity." Chao has charged her staff with the task of investigating our current method of electing a president.

Nader Supporters Blame Electoral Defeat On Bush, Kerry

WASHINGTON, DC—Supporters of presidential candidate Ralph Nader blamed his defeat Tuesday on George W. Bush and John Kerry, claiming that the two candidates "ate up" his share of the electoral votes. "This election was stolen out from under Mr. Nader by Bush and Kerry, who diverted his votes to the right and the left," Nader campaign manager Theresa Amato said. "It's an outrage. If Nader were the only candidate, he would be president right now." In his concession speech, Nader characterized Bush and Kerry as spoilers.

Walking On Empty

Diabetes is no laughing matter, kids. (I'm not accusing you of laughing at diabetes—I'm just saying.) Diabetes affects millions of Americans, and while it can be controlled, there is no cure. I'm thankful to have the less severe form, Type 2, but I could still lose a leg. I'm in no imminent danger of that, but I could, eventually, lose a leg. Or some fingers.

Red Sox Break Curse

Last week, the Boston Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, breaking a "curse" that has persisted since 1918. 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!

Special Coverage


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    ELLIS ISLAND, NY—Pausing to imagine the throngs of people who must have arrived with them that day back in 1994, 12-year-old Max Bertrand reportedly spent his visit to Ellis Island this afternoon walking around the same immigrant station his grandparents once toured.

Healthy Living

  • The Onion’s Guide To Gym Etiquette

    Every new year brings a surge in gym membership from new members nicknamed “resolutionists,” many of whom may be unaware that there are unspoken rules everyone must observe when working out.

I Don't Like The Person You Become When You're On The Jumbotron

Okay, Dave, we need to talk. I didn't say anything on the way back from the stadium, because I was collecting my thoughts. But now, I think it's time we clear the air. Look, you know I've always loved and supported you. I believe you are, at heart, sweet, romantic, intelligent, capable, and wise. But something happens when the eyes of an entire stadium are on you, and it makes me wonder whether I even know you. Dave, I don't like the person you become when you're on the Jumbotron.

The Dave I know is polite, modest, and content. Jumbotron Dave is crass and loud. The Dave I know has a sweet, gentle smile. Jumbotron Dave has a tongue that waggles and undulates lasciviously. Accompanied by your red cheeks, your bulging eyes, and that "metal" gesture you do with your hands—it's horrifying. What comes over you, Dave?

Don't give me that "I like the attention, but I don't need it" stuff. I know you think you don't get on the Jumbotron often enough for it to be a problem, and I know you think that your little display doesn't hurt anyone. But seeing you that way hurts me. Because I know you're better than that disco-dancing lunatic up on the screen.

I never said you control the cameraman, but once he chooses you, you are responsible for your actions. Wouldn't a grin and a wave do the job? Couldn't you just hold up a team pennant? Even a tasteful sign? I think the Seahawks would prefer the image of a well-mannered fan to some screaming guy who pulls up his shirt to flash a pair of chalky-white man-breasts planted with sprigs of chest hair and nipples the size of saucers. What's "fun" or "funny" about that, Dave?

And the sounds you make! The Dave I know has a voice so gentle and sweet that I often save his phone messages. Jumbotron Dave has a voice that I would hesitate to call human. It's more a series of guttural whoops and bellows. You do realize that they can't hear you, right, Dave? Okay, well, if you're going to yell anyway, why not at least yell something simple, so people can read your lips? You could try "Seahawks!" or "Touchdown!" instead of those nonsense words you were yelling earlier tonight when you were gesturing from your beer to the field to the air. Honestly, Dave, why? No one watching the jumbotron can hear you, you know.

You never think about my feelings. I'm on that Jumbotron, too, you know. I have as much right as you to jab my index finger in the air and shout, "We're No. 1! We're No. 1!" Earlier this evening, in your haste to fill the Jumbotron screen with your pasty expanse, you blotted me out of the picture completely. Not only did you prevent me from raising a finger into the air and shouting, "We're No. 1!" but you also jabbed me in the eye with your elbow and sent my pretzel nuggets flying.

No, I'm not asking that you hide your face in the event you do get on the Jumbotron. That's silly. All I ask is that you use the Jumbotron responsibly, like Ellen's fiancé Jack. When Jack gets on the 'tron, he smiles, gives the thumbs up, and points to his Matt Hasselbeck jersey. Then he looks back at the game. Very classy and dignified. Like you, he's at the game to have fun and it shows. But unlike you, he doesn't let the Jumbotron change him into a screaming lunatic. He's an adult. And, like an adult, he knows he doesn't need to outdo everyone else who's ever been on the Jumbotron before. He knows that that sort of one-upmanship leads to trouble. That rainbow-wigged John 3:16 guy is in jail right now. Did you know that, Dave? Prison.

I remember the first time I saw your darker, LED-displayed side. It was the Mariners-Brewers game at the Kingdome in 1996, and I was thrilled just to be close to you. We'd been dating for two months, and I was head-over-heels in love. Then, suddenly, we were on that gigantic screen together. Before I could even react, you leapt onto your seat and poured a beer over your head.

At the time, I laughed. A half-thought, "something is very wrong here," scuttled through the back of my mind, but I ignored it. Around the start of the seventh inning, the fact that my date was drenched in beer began to trouble me. But you weren't troubled a bit. It was as though you'd shut out reality. I watched you. You glanced up at the Jumbotron every few seconds, Dave. You were dying to unleash the monster again. Looking back, I don't think the Mariners' victory even mattered to you.

The Jumbotron is a way for fans to express their excitement and show pride in their favorite teams. Jumbotron appearances can be beautiful and sweet. People hold up their children. Some fans use the Jumbotron to send greetings to their mothers or propose to their girlfriends. They let the Jumbotron blow up the good aspects of their personalities. They don't let their most grotesque and vile characteristics take over.

Dave, I am only trying to help you. But I must warn you that I can't tolerate this side of you. Next month, we have tickets to see Mannheim Steamroller. I happen to know there's a Jumbotron in the arena. If you apply any red and green paint to your face before we go, you and I are through.

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