Chinese Government Cracks Down On Refills

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Issue 3102

Satan To Revise Bar Code System

NEW YORK—Responding to retailers' calls to "streamline the Mark of the Beast," Satan announced plans Monday to make significant changes in the UPC symbol by the end of the millenium. "All men, small and great, rich and poor, slave and free, shall bear the mark of the beast," Satan said. The mark, "666," now hidden in every UPC symbol, may be more effective if taken off products and burned directly onto consumers' foreheads or hands, according to The Father of Lies. Said National Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan: "As foretold in the Book of Revelations, it shall come to pass that no man shall be able to buy or sell without the Mark of the Beast." The new bar code system will be introduced through a series of televised public-service announcements featuring Friends star Matthew Perry and Satan, who will appear as a beast with seven heads and ten horns.

Local Senior Impressed With Restaurant Cheesecake

HOBOKEN, NJ—According to reports, area senior Herbert Bloch, 69, was "impressed" with the slice of strawberry cheesecake served to him at the Denny's restaurant on Sand Hill Road Monday. "The cheesecake was very flavorful and moist," Bloch was reported to have told the server. He also was rumored to have praised the flaky crust and said that the cake had "just the right amount of whipped cream." Sources close to Bloch's server indicated that prior to his ordering of the cheesecake, Bloch consumed a Philadelphia cheese-steak sandwich. It was believed that he found it to be delicious, as well. Sources inside Denny's believe that Bloch, who dined alone, commented on the cheesecake in a sad attempt to engage another human being in conversation. Bloch is expected to return to Denny's in the future to order more cheesecake.

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PASADENA, CA—Astrophysicists and self-help authors alike expressed shock Friday when new data from the Hubble Space Telescope indicated that, contrary to prior belief, men are from Venus and women are from Mars. "Ever since Copernicus' Third Universal Law On Why Men Can't Cry, scientists have believed the opposite, that men are from Mars and women are from Venus," Chief NASA Engineer Stanley Fordham said. Hubble data clearly indicates that Venus features an inhospitable atmosphere that does not easily express its emotions and tends to hog the remote control when watching TV. New spectrographic photographs of the Mars surface, on the other hand, shows a sharing planet, open with its emotions and very nurturing.

Dole Makes Pretend White House Out Of Card Table, Sheet

RUSSELL, KS—Making his lifelong dream of becoming president a make-believe reality, 1996 Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole created a pretend White House Monday by draping a white bedsheet over a card table. Dole advisors say the former Kansas senator will reside in the pretend White House for the next four years. From under the card table, Dole told reporters, "This is Bob Dole's special White House. Bob Dole doesn't need anybody else to get to the White House." Sources close to Dole say that his White House, erected in a corner of the basement in his Russell, KS, home, is merely the first tangible manifestation of a larger make-believe universe in which Dole has resided for years.

I Didn't Become A Millionaire By Overtipping

You see these hands? These hands have shaken the ruby and emerald-bejeweled hands of the Grand Sheik Emir of Omar Al Habib El Sababa! Now, you think that any time some uneducated, unmarried, trailer-trash waitress with four kids and another one on the way carries a couple of plates back and forth from my table, I'm suddenly supposed to start throwing my hard-earned dollar bills around like they're confetti? I'm afraid not! I didn't become a millionaire by overtipping, you know.

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Hello and welcome back to my newspaper column entitled "The Silver Screen." As you may recall, in my newspaper column I often will tell you about which movies will put the brass in your buttons and which of the motion picture entertainments are not worth an old shoe's worth of nickels.
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Chinese Government Cracks Down On Refills

BEIJING—The Chinese government issued an official crackdown on all beverage refills Monday, warning that those who are caught helping themselves to more than one serving of any drink will be prosecuted as "traitors against the state."

Chinese riot police subdue a Beijing University student caught with a Mello Yello refill near Tiananmen Square.

"There will be no extra servings of Coke, Sprite or any other beverage in the Great and Glorious People's Republic of China," President Jiang Zemin announced via national radio Monday. "Refills are the poisonous creation of the Western capitalist running dog, who is too gluttonous to be satisfied by what can be contained in a single 12- or 16-ounce cup."

The crackdown comes in the wake of a Jan. 15 student-led rally in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, in which more than 450,000 pro-refill demonstrators were run over by government tanks. More than 270,000 other demonstrators were arrested and sent to refill re-education compounds in the remote Yinchuan province in Central Asia, where they will be taught to "contain their beverage thirst to those limits which are in accordance with the teachings of Chairman Mao."

"One drink," said Chinese Premier Li Peng. "One drink only."

As part of the government's enforcement of the crackdown, all those who order soft drinks at fast-food restaurants will be forced to pass through a series of checkpoints before filling their cups at self-serve soda fountains. At each checkpoint, armed army guards will inspect the wax-lined paper cups for moisture, cracking, beading, lip marks, or any other signs of prior usage.

According to U.S. intelligence experts on China, in response to the new checkpoint system, illegal cup smuggling rings are already beginning to form.

"In Wuhan province," said Robert Lovell, the CIA's head of Asian Affairs, "there are widespread reports of medium drink cups being smuggled past guards and into restaurants hidden inside large cups. In the Cantonese city of Zhanjiang, there are even reports of larges being smuggled inside 'super-size' ones."

"The risks are great," Lovell said, "but the potential refreshment is even greater."

The new anti-refill measures are the latest in a series of severe state-sponsored crackdowns. In the past month alone, the Chinese government has banned, under penalty of death: sharing entrees; holding hands; whistling; uttering the phrase, "Nice to meet you"; and wearing eyeglasses.