Spreadin' A Little Sunshine

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Fargo on FX

Goodwill Executives Arrested After Years Of Skimming Donated Goods Off Top

ROCKVILLE, MD—In what authorities are calling one of the most wide-reaching and deplorable cases of embezzlement in recent history, seven executives at Goodwill Industries International were arrested Thursday for allegedly skimming used clothing, old furniture, small appliances, and thousands of other donated items from the charitable group.

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INDIANAPOLIS—Once again sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong, neighborhood busybody Sally Christensen, 54, reportedly took it upon herself to report the sound of gunshots to law enforcement early Tuesday morning, sources confirmed.

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Thieves Make Off With Museum’s Most Valuable Docents

CHICAGO—In what is being described as a sophisticated and well-executed heist, thieves stole nine of the Art Institute of Chicago’s most valuable docents in broad daylight this morning, according to museum and law enforcement officials.

Police Pleasantly Surprised To Learn Man They Shot Was Armed

LEXINGTON, KY—Following a pedestrian stop Monday night during which they fired their weapons on a suspicious individual, patrol officers for the Fayette County Police Department were pleasantly surprised to discover the man they shot was armed, sour...

3-Day Waiting Period Leads To Far More Feasible Murder Plot

MASON CITY, IA—Saying that the past 72 hours offered him plenty of time to pause and reflect, local man Andrew Boyle told reporters Tuesday that the state’s three-day waiting period to purchase a handgun had allowed him to devise a far more pr...

FBI Raids Kennedy Fundamentalist Compound

HYANNIS PORT, MA—In a surprise predawn raid Monday, heavily armed FBI agents stormed the notorious Kennedy Compound in Massachusetts, reportedly arresting more than two dozen key members of the faction and exposing many of the bizarre inner workings...

Criminal Prosecuted To Fullest Extent Of Budget

STOCKTON, CA—Concluding proceedings of a case that will now be sent to a jury it lacked the means to properly vet, San Joaquin District Attorney James Willett told reporters Monday that he believes his office prosecuted a suspected murderer to the f...

Paranoid Oscar Pistorius Still Thinks Burglar After Him

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA—Insisting that the dangerous individual could be literally anywhere right now, a paranoid, wild-eyed Oscar Pistorius was reportedly overheard muttering to his defense lawyers numerous times during his murder trial Thursday tha...

Report: Local Gas Station Wouldn’t Be That Hard To Rob

LAWRENCE, KS—Citing a range of factors from the lack of security glass to the fact that the cash register is situated right next to the front door, a report published Thursday confirmed that robbing the BP gas station at Reynolds and Murray wouldn...

Highlights From Ariel Castro’s Courtroom Statement

Ariel Castro, the 53-year-old Cleveland man who abducted, imprisoned, and repeatedly raped three women over the course of 11 years, made a brief statement during a court hearing Thursday, shortly before he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Dick Van Dyke Finally Confesses To Zodiac Killings

MALIBU, CA—Saying he had wanted to talk about the subject for years but feared it would damage his career, beloved entertainer Dick Van Dyke confessed Wednesday to being the infamous Zodiac Killer, the serial murderer who terrorized Northern Califor...

Tim Tebow’s Former Teammate Charged With Murder

FRAMINGHAM, MA—Adding yet another wrinkle to the football player and media sensation’s eventful offseason, authorities confirmed today that a former teammate of New England Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow has been arrested and charged with murd...

The Case For And Against George Zimmerman

FOR Typed, signed letter from Martin confirming he attacked Zimmerman Americans have soft spot for nation’s rugged, rawly sexual neighborhood watch volunteers Actions fall within the letter of Florida’s “Get Out Of Your Car, Trac...

Athlete Arrested

HOUSTON—According to numerous sources, a star athlete of the city’s professional sports team was reportedly arrested in the late hours of yesterday evening. A police report confirmed that the high-profile player faces multiple charges, includi...

Popeye's Home Boiglerized

SWEETHAVEN VILLAGE—According to a report filed with the Sweethaven Police Department, the private residence of sailor man Popeye was violently boiglerized at approximately 4:30 a.m.

Co-Op Casino Robbed Again

ANN ARBOR, MI—The member-owned-and-operated casino known as the Sunshine & Sharing Gaming Cooperative was robbed Tuesday for the fourth time...
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House and Home

Deadline For Prior User To Remove Clothes From Dryer Extended 5 Minutes

JOHNSON CITY, TN—Upon finding the machine in her apartment building’s laundry room completely untouched since she last stopped by, exasperated local woman Sandra Hermus reportedly mounted all her magnanimity Monday and extended the deadline for the previous user to remove their clothing from the dryer by five minutes.


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Fargo on FX

Spreadin' A Little Sunshine

You know, your old pal Jean likes to think she can take a joke. After all, life is short, and it's important to have a sense of humor about things. But those pranksters who stole the "Think Spring!" display from the balcony of my apartment really and truly crossed the line.

Yes, Jeanketeers, you read right. Sometime last night, some world-class Grinch (or Grinches) managed to climb onto my second-floor balcony and take everything I had so painstakingly set up. They stole every plastic flower, every blade of artificial turf, the stuffed bunnies, a darling painted wooden birdhouse, a deck chair, a lawn sprinkler, and not one, not two, but three rainbow-striped wind socks! Gone, too, is the hanging sun I cleverly made by blowing up a balloon, draping it with wet papier-mâché strips, letting it dry, and then popping it. I poured my soul into that sun! Now that and everything else is gone.

I'm not really upset about the monetary loss, even though I paid full price for the birdhouse and little birdbath with the resin frog family sitting in it. It's the sheer mean-spiritedness of it that gets me. I spent hours in the freezing cold strapping everything down, wiring the flowers to the turf so the wind wouldn't blow it all away. I even covered it with a tarp each night so the snow wouldn't fall on it. This had to be a premeditated crime. (Sorry to use such harsh words in what is normally a source of lighthearted entertainment, Jeanketeers, but this is serious business!)

It's been a long, tough winter, especially in my neck of the woods, and I thought it would put a smile on the faces of neighbors and passersby alike if I reminded them that spring was just around the corner. Yes, I thought I could spread a little sunshine... literally! I even made myself part of the act, braving the icy chill in my Hawaiian-style floral smock and sun-hat (with longjohns underneath, naturally!) and waving to passing pedestrians and motorists! I actually got a couple of people to honk or wave back. (And I'm not even counting the guy who wanted me to show my nay-nays!)

Dressing up the porch was the cutest creative idea I've had in ages. It was even better than when I made those duck-headed Easter baskets out of bleach bottles and pom-pom balls for my brother Kevin's children back in '99. I later heard from my mother that he threw them away because there were bleach fumes. But if you ask me, I'd say Kevin, a born-again Christian, really got rid of them because he thought they were idolatrous!

As fun as it was for me, there was a deeper personal reason why I put up this display. You see, growing up, I never had a lawn. For most of my childhood, we lived in a three-bedroom house, but shortly after we moved in, my parents had the entire yard paved. Not with patio-type flagstones, but with cement. My father didn't want ants and termites, and he thought having grass would increase the odds of them entering the home. He also stripped the ivy from the house and chopped down the oak trees, including one with a treehouse built for the previous residents' kids.

It wasn't really much fun to play in a paved yard, and the neighbor kids made fun of me about it, so I spent a lot of time indoors. But, you know, it wasn't that bad. That's when I discovered my love of writing and began a lifelong love affair with daytime-TV programming. (At the risk of showing my age, let's just say I was probably Dinah Shore's youngest fan!)

I still don't have a yard to call my own: Hubby Rick and I only have a small second-floor apartment, so that balcony is the sole outdoor exposure we have. It was kind of a disappointment at first, but then I thought, why not take the lemons life has dealt me and make lemonade? Isn't that the definition of being a good sport?

And while we're talking definitions, perhaps the five-star fink who took my display would like to brush up on the definition of good citizenship. There might be a big war soon, and we on the homefront need to be as kind and helpful to each other as possible. I'm not saying what happened to me was necessarily terrorism, but in my book, people who commit cold-hearted acts like stealing perfectly innocent "Danger: Chipmunk Crossing" signs are as anti-American as they come.

Ever since the crime, I've been wondering: What if someone had broken all the way into the apartment, intending to steal more than just what was on my porch? I recall hubby Rick stumbling in shortly after 3 a.m. last night, later than usual because he had today off. The theft must have occurred after that; otherwise Rick, as pickled as he was, would've at least noticed the display missing. I like to think of myself as a feminist, but sometimes I wish Rick would act more gallant and defend my stuff. He wasn't around last Halloween when someone smashed the six jack-o'-lanterns I carved to spell "BE SAFE." And, once again, he was nowhere to be seen when I found the missing Baby New Year 2003—a doll I had specially dressed and mounted to our front door—shoved in the trash behind our building with its legs sticking in the air.

Old Jean may be down, but she's not out. I'm offering a reward, no questions asked, for information leading to the safe return of my display. A pan of my world-renowned Cocoa Almond Caramel Coffee Toffee Fudge Bars With Melted Peppermint Patty & Butter Creme Icing awaits the Honest John brave enough to track down the culprit. Any takers?

Beginning March 1, the Teasdale balcony will be magically transformed into the Emerald Isle. And it will stay that way right through St. Patty's Day, even if I have to dress up hubby Rick in a leprechaun outfit and put him on 24-hour guard!

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