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Vatican Putting Out Feelers For How Public Would React To Another Children’s Crusade

VATICAN CITY—Saying they had been giving some thought recently to the idea of sending legions of Christian boys and girls to retake the Holy Land and wanted to gauge the level of support, Vatican officials reportedly began putting out feelers Wednesday to determine how the public might react to another Children’s Crusade, much as was attempted in the year 1212.

John Kerry Scrambles To Stop Bunker’s Self-Destruct Sequence As Russian Oligarch Taunts Him From Bank Of Monitors

BOGDARNYA, RUSSIA—Working frantically to gain access to the system’s override settings at the computer terminal controlling the impending implosion, Secretary of State John Kerry scrambled to stop the self-destruct sequence of an underground bunker located thousands of feet below the Russian countryside Tuesday while oligarch Dmitry Granovsky taunted him from the numerous banks of monitors positioned throughout the facility, sources confirmed.

Islamic Awakening Inspires Man To Defect From ISIS

MOSUL, IRAQ—Telling reporters he had renounced his role as a militant and would soon be relocating in order to seek out an environment more conducive to fully devoting himself to his newfound religious faith, 24-year-old Huzaifa Quraishi confirmed Tuesday his recent Islamic awakening had inspired him to defect from ISIS.

CIA Orchestrates Coup D’État To Replace Entire Population Of Venezuela

Agency Installs Pro-American Populace Of 30 Million Venezuelan Citizens

CARACAS, VENEZUELA—Sources are confirming that the Central Intelligence Agency has orchestrated a coup d’état in the South American nation of Venezuela, toppling the country’s 30 million residents and replacing them with an entirely new, pro-American populace.

A Primer On North Korea

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains largely unknown to Americans due mainly to the secrecy and isolationism upheld by its government. The Onion provides a primer on North Korea’s people and culture

‘People Are Inherently Good,’ World Halfheartedly Mutters

NICE, FRANCE—Following yesterday’s terrorist attack in Nice, France that left over 80 people dead and scores more injured, sources reported that a dazed and utterly dejected global populace halfheartedly muttered the phrase “People are inherently good” to themselves Friday.

Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.
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I Wish I Were More Like My Online Persona

In the online world, I, Hankscorpio74, am known to be charismatic, tough, quick-witted, and tenacious as a copperhead snake. Like my namesake, Globex Corporation president Hank Scorpio, I am roguish and unflappable, possessing the confidence and flair of 20 men. Unfortunately, all of that changes when I drag my cursor down to "Shut Down" at the bottom of the "Special" menu. For all the admiration and respect I command in chat rooms, in real life, it's a different story. Oh, how I wish I were more like my online persona.

Online, I am king. No matter how formidable people may be in real life, the moment they try to mess with Hankscorpio74, they are sure to get the horns. (Or, to be more exact, the Doomsday Device.) When Hankscorpio74 suavely struts into a chat room, all the ladies are on him like Mynocks on the Millennium Falcon. Yet I have a hard time imagining the real-life Douglas Peltz being able to woo Hottie69 and LittlepartyChick into a private room for a "more intimate gathering" like Hank did a few weeks back in that chat room.

When a woman catches my eye in the real world, I'm usually too scared to talk. And, in the rare instance that I somehow muster the courage, I am met with barely concealed disgust. Is it my fault that Douglas Peltz has bad skin and a chronic runny nose? I often wonder if any of these ladies I see in real life are ones Hankscorpio74 has met and seduced on the Internet. Knowing how many conquests he's piled up, it's likely.

As masterful as I am throughout the Internet, there is one particular place where I am truly godlike: the Literati™ site under Yahoo! Games. Only the most brave or foolish dare challenge me, and both are disposed of with uncommon haste. I have seen web postings where people have discussed my Übermove. The Übermove is when I allow a mentally inferior opponent to get slightly ahead, causing him to grow more confident and, by extension, complacent. Then, when he least expects it, I put down all my tiles, not only getting the extra 35 points but demoralizing him thoroughly. The respect, fear, and admiration I earn with such moves stands in sharp contrast to the way I used to be treated in the high-school cafeteria, where my few friends and I would play travel Scrabble while being pelted by Nutty bars.

In the real world, I am at best ignored and at worst mocked and scorned. Yet, if my persecutors were playing Half-Life Team Fortress, they would be whistling a different tune as I expertly sniped them time and time again. Would my old high-school nemesis Doug Kilkrane have knocked my books out of my hands every day before science class if he knew the fear I strike into the hearts of opponents at Buffy The Vampire Slayer trivia? What has Doug Kilkrane done, other than throw baseballs well and date Amy Cass? Dick.

Hopefully, as I get older, aspects of my online persona will slowly creep into my real-life persona. Perhaps Hankscorpio74 will take over my actual personality, much like the ultra-suave Vic Ferrari occasionally took over Latka Gravas' on Taxi. Then again, I wouldn't want Hankscorpio74 to completely take over: The Douglas Peltz half helps balance out Hankscorpio74, giving him some much-needed humanity and humility.

If Hankscorpio74 were to completely take over, God help everyone, because no one would be able to stop him. But I suppose the only way that'd happen is if the real world became just like the Internet. Which probably won't happen too soon.

Oh, well.

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