Pomp And Circumstance

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Vol 35 Issue 23

Nation's Experts Give Up

WASHINGTON, DC—After years of frustration over being misunderstood or simply ignored, experts in every field tendered their resignation.

Senior Citizen Shaken By Diminished Bawdy-Limerick Recall

OCALA, FL—Retiree Henry Sims, straining to remember the one about the lady from China, was deeply shaken Tuesday by his fading bawdy-limerick recall. "Last week, I blanked on the one about the man from Keokuk," the 79-year-old said. "And now this." Sims said he could visualize the Chinese woman and the popsicle, but couldn't recall the accompanying rhyming verse. "Can you imagine that?" Sims said. "Me, Hank, forgetting a classic."

Clinton Vetoes Bill For Reason He Can't Put His Finger On

WASHINGTON, DC—Citing a variety of vague misgivings he "can't quite explain," President Clinton vetoed Monday H.R. 1556, a bill that would have provided tax breaks to corporations that offer maternity-leave packages to female employees. "I don't know, it's just sort of hard to put into words," Clinton said following the veto. "It's weird, but something about this bill just didn't seem right. I know I should be, but for some reason, I'm just not into it."

Report: Media Coverage Of Bear Attacks May Be Biased

NEW YORK—According to a report released Monday by the media-watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, U.S. media coverage of bear attacks is biased, with 98 percent of such reports taking the side of the attacked humans. "The media in this country are blatantly anti-bear," FAIR director Lynette Pierce said. "Virtually every time a bear is taunted, harassed or provoked into lashing out at humans, the bear is depicted in the media as the aggressor." The report went on to state that out of the 411 cases of bear-human conflicts in the last year, humans were victorious in 410 cases.

Overweight Man Repeatedly Introduced To Overweight Woman At Party

ALTOONA, PA—Over the course of a five-hour party Saturday, 315-pound Gene Cooper was introduced to 288-pound Cynthia Lerman nine times. "Once or twice an hour, someone would come over to tell me that there's someone at the party they think I'd really like," Cooper said. According to partygoers, Lerman is a real sweet gal, and she and Cooper would probably find they have a lot in common.

Birthplace Of President Carter Accidentally Visited

PLAINS, GA—Lost en route to Albany, GA, vacationing couple Mark and Celia Winocur of Phoenix inadvertently visited the birthplace of former president Jimmy Carter Monday. "We got off at the wrong exit and were trying to get back on the highway when we started seeing all these signs," Mark said. "I figured they led back to I-95, but somehow we wound up right in front of the house where Jimmy Carter was born.'" After buying a road map at Miller's General Store, where the 39th president first learned the value of a dollar as a young boy, the Winocurs were once again on their way to their intended destination.
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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.

Pomp And Circumstance

Last week, the telephone-device in my bed-chamber sounded, and I nearly jumped out of my desiccated, paper-like skin. No-one ever summons me in my own bed-chamber via the telephone-device! I had my nurse pick up the ear-receiver and put it against my prosthetic brass ear, but that proved to be a bad idea, as the voice emanating from the receiver reverberated endlessly through the metal ear canal, causing blood to shoot out of my ear in a scarlet jet.

Later that day, I finally came to, only to find my head swathed in yards of bandages. My scribe, Braintree, was in the bed-chamber, quietly awaiting the dictation of this week's Publisher's Message. I asked him if he knew anything about the telephone-summons.

"That was the opinion-page editor," Braintree said. "He wanted to know if you would be interested in devoting this week's Message to advice for the young people who are graduating from high-school this month."

I was aghast that a lowly up-start hack would instruct me in the writing of the column I have authored since 1897. But I was even more appalled when Braintree explained to me what a "high-school" was. Evidently, now-a-days, they keep the molly-coddles in school until the age of 17 or 18, filling their minds with such trivial nonsense as isosceles triangles and who won the Battle of the Boyne. An out-rage!

When I was a lad, we had no such fripperies as public education, at least not out in the frontier where I was raised. I learned my letters and ciphering at my father's knee. The rest of my time was devoted to ploughing the sun-scorched earth, tanning buffalo hides, and fighting off grizzled-bears with my trusty bowie-knife! But my thirst for adventure knew no quenching, and when I was 10, I jumped a train bound for New-York.

Still of a tender age, I found that rogues and fiends lurked at every corner, eager to exploit a young run-away. So I joined a gang of young roughs in the Tender-loin District. Our trade was embroidery; in fact, we were the toughest embroidery gang in the East. We had a virtual strangle-hold on all embroidery operations in New-York. But our gang was eventually vanquished by a stronger, even younger gang who dealt in crocheting. So I returned to the family home-stead and worked the printing-press until taking over the editorship in 1896.

As for advice for the young graduates, I have none. It's every man for him-self!

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