I Saw Fabio at RomantiCon '96!

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Vol 30 Issue 09

Who Will Win the Base-Ball Matches?

My nurse informs me that it is now the autumn-time, which to every red-blooded American boy means the season in which the professional base-ball sporting clubs vie for a berth in the great Championship Series of the World. I predict that the Knickerbockers will give those accursed Red Stockings a sound thrashing. Of course, we can't count out the great Pie Traynor and his Philadelphia Peglegs.

Voter Apathy

Despite many national campaigns to increase turnout, nearly half of all Americans eligible to vote are still staying home on Election Day. Why aren't we voting?

Bitch Be Gettin' All That Way

DETROIT—Sources revealed Monday that Keshonda Lewis, a played-out, certified stank-ass ho from the Detroit area, be gettin' all that way. "Keshonda think she all that," said Tamika Wilson, 22, a one-time friend of Lewis'. "Well, I got news for you—she ain't." According to Wilson, Lewis "be all like, 'I'm Miss Thang,'" when, in fact, "None of the brothers around the way want a piece of that coochie." President Clinton declined comment on the situation.

Former Marine To Watch Lots Of TV

STOCKTON, CA—At a packed press conference Monday, former U.S. Marine Randy Barcynski unveiled his plans to watch lots of television in the coming months. "I am going to watch a hell of a lot of TV," announced the unemployed Barcynski, who served with the 57th Division in the Gulf War, earning two Silver Medals of Distinction. "The Price is Right, One Life to Live, Seinfeld, Cybill, ER—those are just some of the many, many shows I am going to watch." Barcynski added that among the new fall shows, Mr. Rhodes and Party Girl are his favorites, though he stressed that he would watch all the others as well, even those he dislikes. Added Barcynski, "You have no idea how much freaking TV I am going to watch."

Society Tea Party Spoiled By Ocelot

LONDON—A formal tea party, hosted by Lady Edwina Wolford-Bingham and attended by many of the finest members of London's high society, was spoiled Sunday by the appearance of an ocelot. "Oh, dear," said Lady Wolford-Bingham, whose father, Lord William Alfred Shropshire-Wolford, was a third cousin of Winston Churchill's. "There appears to be an ocelot at my tea party." In addition to "badly scratching" Lady Catherine Norwich Baker Putnam-Howe, the angry ocelot overturned a number of tables and broke an expensive vase.

Man Captures Ross Perot, Is Granted Three Wishes

FAYETTEVILLE, AR—Area resident Darnell Tanner was granted three wishes Monday when he discovered and captured Reform Party presidential candidate Ross Perot in a magic pea patch. "I was just walking along when I saw something rustling among a clump of leaves," Tanner said. "I went closer, and there was Ross Perot, helping a group of tiny bees sprinkle fairy dust. I picked him up, and he told me I could have anything I wanted." According to Tanner, who has spent his first wish on a 50-foot yacht, the Texas billionaire's only condition was that he may never reveal the location of the secret pea patch. "Perot said that if I told anyone, I'd lose all my wishes and be banned from Pretty Pixie Land forever," Tanner said. "He also told me that it's time the American people had a government that worked for them."

Chinese, Ants Announce Alliance

BEIJING, CHINA—The people of China and the world ant community signed a treaty that will establish close relations between the two civilizations.

Me An' Cletus Is A-Feudin'

Shut yer tater trap and listen here— that consarned Cletus an' I is a-feudin' agin', and ain't nothin' on God's green Earth gonna stop me from tannin' his hide but good!

The First Wives Phenomenon

The film The First Wives Club has all of America talking about the issue of men leaving their wives for younger women. Even Time magazine featured the movie's stars on its cover last week. What do you think about the film and the sensation it's causing?
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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



Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

YOUR LOCATION—Noting that it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies but it’s also a good thing to know in general, your dad announced today that he wants to show you where the fuse box is.

I Saw Fabio at RomantiCon '96!

Hate to say it, folks, but your old pal Jean had just about the lousiest summer since the Bay City Rollers canceled their show at the Schenck Ice Arena in June 1977!

True, I was gainfully employed again. With my final unemployment check looming, I finally knuckled under, swallowed my pride, and rejoined the TrustiTemps agency. But I ended up getting placed with SouthCentral Insurance, doing data entry, and believe me, it's the pits!

Data entry is just not my style at all! You have to know how to classify different claims and stuff, and I have such a hard time keeping all the codes straight. And I think I'm getting carpal tunnel from all the endless typing! The joints in my right hand feel all stiff.

All I can say is, thank God for chocolate and romance novels! I'm just about the biggest romance novel fan of all! I've collected Harlequin Romances since I was 13, and have read every Barbara Cartland novel in existence!

If I lived 100 years ago, I think I would have been one of those romantic poets, because I'm such a sucker for romance. Back then, ladies wore parasols and long, pretty, lacy dresses, and men would go a-courting in a very nice way that didn't involve alcohol at all. Boy, times have sure changed!

Today, it's all wham, bam, thank you ma'am, which may be all well and good for a Playboy centerfold, but for old-fashioned gals like me who prefer snuggling and heartfelt passion, well, forget it! (As for my hubby Rick, he thinks "courting" is when you go to City Hall to contest a parking ticket!)

Anyway, I was home eating dinner and watching my soaps on the VCR, and normally I fast-forward through the commercials, but one caught my eye in a big way. RomantiCon '96 was coming in one month to Milwaukee's Beltz Plaza! I couldn't believe it! The romance novel convention to end all romance novel conventions!

I just about choked on my Weight Watchers lasagna when they said Marjorie Windemere would be there. After Margaret Mitchell and Barbara Cartland, she's my favorite author, having written such heart-stoppers as Destiny's Kiss and Torrid Orchid. So I was pretty pumped up already. But that wasn't all: The convention also featured a special appearance by—be still, my heart—Fabio! Fabio's only the sexiest hunk alive (after Patrick Swayze and Don Johnson). I was in hog heaven!

Of course, hubby Rick immediately began ribbing me about it. "I suppose you'll be there making passes at Faggio," he sneered. Rick looked so disgusting, with mayo from his Subway sandwich dripping off his stubble. It irks me just to think about it. But I played it smart. "Actually, Pam's baby shower is that same day," I coolly replied. "And I've already sent confirmation that I'd be there." Which was true, only that Pam's baby shower was the week after next!

That took a lot of reserve on my part, because inside I thought I'd just perish. Rick grunted. "Maybe you girls can go screw Faggio after the shower's over," he said, Always ready with a zinger, that Rick. But he didn't say anything after that. He bought it! You can be sure, as soon as he was out of the room, I called that toll-free ticket number as quick as my hot little fingers could dial it!

It seemed like that month crawled by like molasses. My nails were bit to the quick! On the day of the convention I got up at 5 a.m. (I could barely sleep the whole night!) By six I was out the door with tickets, camera and credit cards in hand!

I also carried six first edition Marjorie Windemere books—if I could get her to sign each one, I'd be sitting on a goldmine! According to Supercollectors Magazine, a signed first edition could be worth up to $200. (With the glorious thought of seeing hubby Rick's face as I came home with $1,200 worth of books, I didn't even need to turn on my car's heater!)

I could barely contain my excitement as I pulled into the Beltz Plaza parking lot at about nine. But my spirits drooped a little when I discovered there was already a long line outside the Beltz's doors. After all, when you pay $35 for a ticket, you expect first class treatment.

Well, I finally got in, but the crowds were so enormous that I could hardly see anything. Most of the people there were women like me, buying romance novels, T-shirts with Pegasuses on them, psychic readings and so forth. I told myself I wouldn't spend a lot of money, but I just had to break down and buy these gorgeous blown-glass swans made by a real German glassblower. They were so graceful!

Next I attended the Marjorie Windemere lecture, and it struck quite a chord in me, because she was a housewife-turned-newspaper columnist too. Then in 1971, she self-published Gloria's Bodice, got a book contract with Doubleday, and the rest, as they say, was history.

She looked really pretty in a lavender suit, standing at a podium decorated with orchid garlands. In her speech she said to never let go of your dreams, even when they seem highly unlikely. I got kind of misty at that, because I think I have a romance novel or two in me too. Only I hate typing, and my carpal tunnel syndrome is starting to get bad.

Then I had to stand in line for almost two hours while Marjorie signed copies of her latest novel, Winter's Song, which I bought too. As I finally got my turn, I was so nervous that I stammered something to her I can scarcely remember! I think it was about how much I liked her Branch Beddoes character, and she kind of smiled as she signed my book.

Then I asked her if she'd be willing to sign my other books. But you know what she said? She looked me straight in the eye and said, "Sorry, but other people are waiting in line too, you know. I'll do it for ten bucks a book." I couldn't believe it! Marjorie Windemere signing autographs for money? I was crushed and disgusted! She was practically my favorite author, and all she could think about was the Almighty Dollar. And she had a really hard look on her face too. So I said, "No, thanks," picked up my book, and moved on. I wasn't going to sacrifice my pride to her! Besides, I spent most of my money on the blown-glass swans.

I tried to cheer myself up by telling myself there was always Fabio. Again, he wasn't supposed to come on until 7 p.m., so I killed time by browsing through books, eating lunch, and looking at jewelry. Unfortunately, by the time I reached the main amphitheater at 6:30, the place was already packed, and I could barely see a thing! And when 7 o'clock rolled around, there was still no one on stage. The audience began to shout, "We want Fabio! We want Fabio!" But still no action onstage.

Finally, at 7:20, the lights dimmed and strobe lights started flashing to the music of "Disco Inferno." Everyone started to cheer like crazy, including me! "Ladies and ladies, the gentleman you've all been waiting for, let's give a big RomantiCon '96 welcome to the one... the only... Fabio!"

My heart was in my throat! Forget "I can't believe it's not butter"—I couldn't believe it was Fabio!

And there he was! Only I was tucked so far in the back I could only see the top of his head and his forehead. I could see him getting closer to the podium as the audience screamed. When they finally stopped, Fabio moved close to the mike and said, deeply, in his husky Italian voice, "I hereby declare RomantiCon '96 over."

Before I knew it, the lights went up, people were shuffling to the exits and Fabio was nowhere to be seen! What a rip-off!

I have to admit, RomantiCon '96 was just about the least romantic thing I have ever attended. My pictures came out too dim, I had to pay five bucks for a croissant and jam, and one of my blown-glass swans got cracked on the ride home. On top of that, hubby Rick found out about my little white lie! Apparently he had called Pam's house to ask me if we had any more taco dip in the freezer, and she told him her shower wasn't until next week. I'm still hearing about it to this day, believe me!

But I guess if I hadn't gone I'd be wondering about what I had missed and would have felt even worse. Oh well—live and learn! Besides, this Christmas, Harlequin is coming out with a hardcover anthology of their best romance tales. I can't wait!

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