Sometimes I Wish My Legs Had Never Been Crushed By That Train

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Vol 36 Issue 12

Kitchen Staff Warned Not To Make Fun Of Regional Manager

TRAVERSE CITY, MI–Shift manager Dennis Brandt issued a stern warning to his Bennigan's crew Monday not to make fun of visiting regional manager Gary Wallace. "I'm telling you right up front that Gary has a bit of a weight problem," Brandt told the staff. "So if I see anyone giggling or making fun of him in any way whatsoever, there will be consequences. Got it? Because if he catches any of you laughing, it's me he's gonna go after, not you." The staff has previously received stern warnings not to make fun of the woman with the limp who frequently eats there and the man with the scar who delivers the Coke syrup.

Clinton Fumbles With Submarine Controls; 'Everything's In German!' He Shouts

SOMEWHERE IN THE NORTH SEA–His hand-picked mob of go-to-hell leathernecks counting on him for their very survival, President Clinton tried frantically Monday to make sense of the German-labeled controls of captured Nazi Kreigsmarine Unterseeboot 639. "I can't make head or tail of this Kraut malarkey!" Clinton told mortally wounded Seaman First Class Bruce Cohen, the plucky kid from Brooklyn who heroically fended off Stuka dive-bombers with the deck gun. "We've got to blow the tanks and dive now! Now! What the hell is 'BALLASZTWASSER'?" It is believed to be the most gripping moment of the Clinton presidency since April 1998, when he told unconscious HHS Secretary Donna Shalala, "You've never given up on anything in your life, you bitch, now fight! Fight!"

Man Carefully Selects T-Shirt For Night Out

WILMINGTON, NC–After nearly half an hour of trying on different T-shirts, Wilmington resident Larry Goltz finally settled on a black Peterbilt Trucks shirt for a night on the town Saturday. "I was going to wear my Blockbuster Video T-shirt, but it's white, and I wanted something a little nicer for a Saturday night. Plus, I wore that one when we went bowling Tuesday," Goltz said. "I was also thinking about my plain red one, but for some reason, I was in the mood to wear something with writing on it. And I like the way the Peterbilt logo on the chest draws attention away from my belly." Goltz said he is "99 percent sure" he made the right choice.

Last Month Apparently Women's History Month

ATLANTA–According to an ad in a March issue of Bon Appetit magazine lying around dermatologist Dr. Ira Haas' waiting room, March was, apparently, Women's History Month. "I had no idea," said Gail Travis, who happened to come across the ad, which read, "Join Almay In Celebrating Women's History Month," while waiting to see Haas. "That's the first I'd heard of it. Oh, well, guess I missed it." People across the nation are equally surprised. "Are you sure? I thought it was Black History Month," said Timothy Durkee of Wayzata, MN. "Or maybe that was February." Liz Unger, CEO of Almay Cosmetics and co-chair of the Women's History Month Project, described the month-long celebration of "women's remarkable contributions through the ages" as an "unqualified success."

Bereaved

I hope you are all sitting down, because I have some-thing terrible to impart. No, the President was not assassinated. If only that were the case! The news is far, far sadder. But first, I will string you along with some largely unnecessary details presented in a rambling, discursive manner, so as to build suspense and fulfill my word quota.

I Can't Believe I Missed The Oscars!

What sort of entertainment journalist am I? I was all psyched for the Oscars this year, as I am every year. Would Gwenth Paltrow look slim? Would Tom Hanks be sporting his madman beard? Who would take away the Best Adapted Screenplay award? I couldn't wait to find out!

U.S. Population At 13,462

WASHINGTON, DC–With the April 1 deadline for returning Census 2000 forms finally passed, the Bureau of the Census announced Monday that the U.S. population stands at 13,462.
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Sometimes I Wish My Legs Had Never Been Crushed By That Train

Most of the time, I'm pretty happy with my life. I've got a nice apartment, a few really good friends, and a good job. That's more than a lot of people have, right? Still, every now and then, I can't help but find myself wishing my legs had never been crushed by that train.

I know what you're thinking: We all have regrets, but, hey, that's life. It's the same old story, and everyone has their own version: I shouldn't have let that girl get away; I shouldn't have sold that stock; I shouldn't have been launched through the windshield of my car in a rear-end collision, landing in front of that approaching train. Sure, it's happened to all of us at some point in our lives. But sometimes, I can't help but feel like I'm the only one out there who lost his legs to a train.

Not to dwell, but every once in a while, I still find myself replaying that accident in my head. And it's been almost two years since it happened. I try not to lose perspective and blow it all out of proportion, but sometimes I can't help but feel like the day they scraped me off the tracks and rushed me to the hospital for 22 hours of emergency surgery was some sort of pivotal point in my life–and not in a good way.

Looking back at that moment of squealing metal and ripping sinew and bone, I'd go so far as to say that if I could do it all over, there are a few things I might change. Perhaps I would've rather landed just a few feet further from the tracks, so that instead of mangling my entire lower body, that train would have just sliced off my feet. Even with my feet gone, I still would have been able to use leg braces. Or perhaps I would have had an arm destroyed instead. You can still do a lot of things with only one arm.

You know, now that I think about it, had I been given the choice, I probably would've preferred that the train miss me altogether. I could've, say, been thrown into the ditch, the train whizzing right by without making contact with my body at all. That might have been better.

Oh, I'm just being silly. The grass is always greener on the other side, right? Who knows what awful turns my life might have taken if I'd stayed on the path I was on–finishing out senior year as my high school's star pitcher and heading for college on a full baseball scholarship. Maybe I'm better off in this motorized wheelchair. I guess I'll never know.

People have always said I'm the introspective, philosophical type. So you should probably just ignore all my hypothetical ramblings about "what-ifs" and "paths not taken." Who can stop me when I start pondering what it would be like to jog down a beach again, or walk up the stairs to my ex-girlfriend's apartment, or go to the bathroom without help? The past is done and gone, so there's no use dwelling on it.

Even so, everyone gets like this every once in a while. You look back on the things that happened in your life–the people you met, the jobs you got, the speeding trains that ripped limbs from your body and left two lifeless stumps–and you wonder how things might have been. Aw, heck, look at me, Mr. Contemplative over here.

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