Look Out, Computers—Here Comes Jean!

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Vol 31 Issue 09

Tom Bosley Named Secretary Of Naps

WASHINGTON, DC—Beloved veteran actor Tom Bosley, star of Happy Days and Father Dowling Mysteries, was appointed U.S. Secretary of Naps Tuesday. "I think the American people can be comfortable with Mr. Bosley's solid record on napping," President Clinton said. "He will serve our nation's napping interests well." Bosley's platform includes a 20-minute snooze at his desk during daylight hours, an occasional dozing-off toward the end of the day, and prolonged weekend lie-downs at home in the early evening hours, when, Bosley said, "I tend to get really sleepy."

Twentysomething Generation Turns 35

AUSTIN, TX—Advertising agencies across the nation reacted with shock Monday, when the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that the mean age of the "twentysomething generation" is now 35. According to the report, the twentysomethings are no longer 20- to 29-year-olds who wear ripped flannel shirts and "hang out" on college campuses. Most are now married and have full-time jobs. Todd Leaks, an Austin-area twentysomething, recently turned 36. "I was 28 when that book Generation X came out," he said. "Man, that was a while ago already." Labels previously ascribed to the twentysomethings, such as "Generation X" and "slackers," have now been transferred to those Americans born between 1968 and 1977, who have also adopted the clothing styles and musical tastes of the twentysomethings.

Visa Fires Bob Dole

NEW YORK—Credit-card giant Visa announced Tuesday that Bob Dole has been dropped from its current "No ID" advertising campaign. "The American people were just not responding to Bob Dole," Visa director of corporate communications Ron Landau said. "People found him to be depressing." When asked how he felt about being fired, Dole said, "I can say my line differently if you want. Tell me how I'm supposed to say my line." He then burst into tears.

Congress Approves $15 Billion MediCruelty

WASHINGTON, DC—With a rapidly aging populace in increasing need of medical care, Congress approved funding Monday for MediCruelty, a new system of health care which focuses on cruelty toward the elderly. "Care is very expensive," Sen. Al D'Amato (R-NY) said. "It will be much more cost-effective in the long run to be cruel to the elderly." The system will offer seniors Emergency Neglect Service, a 24-hour toll-free number that will connect to nowhere. Clearwater, FL, resident Gladys Rankin, 72, is already among the first recipients of MediCruelty. A rare bone disease has rendered her immobile, and treatments for her condition are very expensive. Under Medi-Cruelty, she was left outside her senior center near a back-alley dumpster Tuesday. "My bones hurt," Rankin said.

Firewood, Bread Top New Russian Agenda

MOSCOW—Russian leaders Monday unveiled their new agenda for the next several years: the procurement of firewood and bread. "Our homes are very cold," Kremlin official Igor Kerensky said. "Many of us have not eaten for days." The new agenda replaces a previous one, which involved the development of a technologically advanced, fully modernized nation-state capable of leading Europe into the 21st century. If the firewood plan is successful, within five years Russian leaders hope to shift their focus to obtaining running water and soap. "Do you have food?" Kerensky added. "I am very hungry."

Protecting The Police

In the wake of an ever-growing number of shootings of police officers, including last week's L.A. bank-robbery shootout, debate is raging over how to better protect our nation's law enforcement officials. What do you think?

Rules Grammar Change

WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Grammar Guild Monday announced that no more will traditional grammar rules English follow. Instead there will a new form of organizing sentences be.
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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.

Look Out, Computers—Here Comes Jean!

People sometimes ask me how I got my start writing newspaper columns. Well, if I owe my career to anyone, it's to the late, great Erma Bombeck. When she passed away last year, I just bawled, because she was such an inspiration to me! She was the first one of us gals to write about regular, real, domestic things, instead of the same old boring politics and world affairs the men think are just sooo important! I still have a column stuck to my fridge that she wrote in 1975 about the rising price of dishwashing liquid. It's yellowing and mostly stuck together with tape, but its timeless message still rings true today. R.I.P., Erma!

Anyway, back to how I got my start. One day, about four years ago, I wrote a bunch of my thoughts down, ran off some copies at Kinko's and sent them to newspapers across the country.

Now, of course, I didn't know the first thing about writing for newspapers. But neither did Erma when she started out! So you can imagine my joy when I got two letters of acceptance, one from The Onion, and the other from this monthly coupon flyer in Oklahoma City. The coupon flyer went out of business before it could publish any of my columns, but The Onion kept its word, and, on October 11, 1993, "That Cathy Cartoon Is Right On The Money!" rolled off the presses. The rest, as they say, is history!

For the past three and a half years, my column has been strictly a labor of love. I write it in my neatest penmanship on this pretty scented lavender stationery I buy at Carlton Cards. If I'm in a particularly good mood, I dot my "i"s and "j"s with little hearts instead of the usual circles. Then I mail it off to my editor in these adorable pink envelopes.

The other day, though, I got a really nasty call from my editor. He's normally pretty gruff on the phone, but this time, he chewed me out especially bad. "Teasdale, I'm fed up with this love-letter crap! This is a newspaper, not a seventh-grade English class!" he shouted. "And we have deadlines here, if you haven't noticed. From now on, you'll do your columns on computer and e-mail them to me, or I'll can your fat ass and run Joan's Quilting Bee in your place!" He slammed down the phone so hard it made my ears smart!

I was really hurt. I always thought he appreciated my columns being written by hand. After all, it lends a nice personal touch! The world of journalism can be so cold and impersonal, so I figured it's nice to let people know that you really care about what you do. (If I knew he was going to be such a jerk about it, I would have saved that kitten sticker I put on the envelope for my electricity bill!)

I was stunned for a moment, but deep down, I knew this was going to happen sooner or later. Yep, folks, Jean Teasdale must finally enter the Computer Age, like it or not. Only problem is, I don't know the first thing about computers! The only real experience I've ever had with them is when I used to scan prices for customers at the service counter at Pamida. I also use them at my current data-entry job at the insurance company, but all I do is enter numbers.

I admit, some of that computer stuff does look fun, especially the Internet. I'm a people person, and I love to meet other people, especially those who share my interests. (Any Young And The Restless or Precious Moments fans out there?) Of course, when I asked hubby Rick about buying a computer, he immediately accused me of just wanting to look at the on-line pornography! Of course, that's not true at all. Pornography is very, very obscene, and I think it's just terrible that kids can look at it. (Besides, it's not me who keeps a secret stash of old Playboy magazines in a tackle box in the garage!)

I don't think I can afford a computer right now anyway. That collection agency still keeps calling every evening, and I'm this close to having my wages garnished. (Take it from your old pal Jean—the Franklin Mint's Shirley Temple Chess Set, utterly darling as it is, is more trouble than it's worth!)

But don't fret, loyal readers! This does not spell the end of Jean Teasdale, because I have this whole conundrum resolved. My 12-year-old nephew Nathan, who's a computer whiz, has agreed to help me type and e-mail my column using his own computer.

But before he'll do so, he says I have to rent him an R-rated movie and buy him a beer. Now, wait a second, folks, don't be sending me those angry letters just yet! I'm just going to rent him Silkwood and give him an O'Doul's. He won't know the difference! Oh, and I also have to buy him the first issue of this comic book called Spawn. I have no idea what Spawn is (geez, whatever happened to Wonder Woman!), but the way I see it, a few bucks for a comic book is a small price to pay to keep my column in print.

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