Price-Gun-Wielding Maniac Riddles Supermarket With Savings

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Issue 3214

Exxon Donates $70 Million To Clean Up Portland Man's Life

PORTLAND, OR—In a move hailed by environmentalists as its first act of responsibility toward area resident Dan Fanshaw, Exxon Corp. announced that it will donate $70 million toward cleaning up Fanshaw’s life. Among the damage for which Exxon will compensate Fanshaw: his failure to get into medical school, the May ’97 death of his beloved dog Max, and his increasing addiction to anti-depressants. “It’s a mess,” Exxon spokesperson David Haller said. “But we are committed to cleaning it up.”

Chris Farley Has Hilarious Cardiac Arrest

NEW YORK—Obese comedian Chris Farley delighted dozens of onlookers Thursday, suffering an uproarious heart attack at a Manhattan restaurant. “He was enjoying our $10.99 all-you-can-eat lasagna special,” said Il Trattoria owner Ed Gianelli, “when he turned all red and started pounding on his chest. He then flopped onto a nearby table, smashing it into splinters and sending food flying in all directions. I was in hysterics. This guy is the next Belushi.”

St. Vincent To World's Catholics: Stop Donating All This Crap To Me

VATICAN CITY—Frustrated by the ever-mounting piles of used clothing, old magazines and rusting appliances accumulating in his name in thrift shops around the globe, St. Vincent made a plea to the world’s Catholics Monday to “stop donating all this crap to me.” “If one more paint-covered sweatshirt, dented crock pot, or any other piece of thrift-store garbage is dropped into one of my bins, I am going to snap,” said St. Vincent, named patron of works of charity in 1855. “Please, keep your worthless trash—I don’t want it.”

Rubenesque Woman Has Picassoesque Face

HANOVER, NH—Meredith Pierce, 33, a Hanover-area elementary-school teacher, is attracting the attention of the art world with her Rubenesque figure and Picassoesque face. “Her plump form reminds me of the voluptuous servant girl who voraciously eats the roast pig in Rubens’ Flemish Feast (1610),” Oxford University art-history professor Edmund Kent said. “But it is Pierce’s grotesque, asymmetrical face that truly distinguishes her: Her crooked nose and badly misplaced eyes evoke Picasso’s early experimentations with cubism, when he was struggling to capture the fractured nature of modern life, and her severely exaggerated forehead reminds me of Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon and other mid-period abstract works. Pierce’s face is a brilliant summation of the shattered, hideous absurdity of the human condition.” Pierce will be transferred to the Prado next month for a two-year installation.

Federal Government To Be Run By Cheaper Mexican Officials

WASHINGTON, DC—In a cost-cutting move expected to save taxpayers $50 billion a year, it was announced Monday that U.S. federal officials will be replaced by cheaper Mexican counterparts. “I want to thank you for this opportunity. We will do our best to run America as best we can,” said Ernesto Vasquez, the new president of the U.S. Vasquez said he will work closely with Vice-President Guillermo Reyes and members of El Senate and La Casa De Representatives to ensure a smooth transition of power. Vasquez will earn the lavish wage of $3.50 an hour as president, more than most of the new federal officials will earn per day.

Scientists Isolate Pepsi-Resistant Gene

SOMERS, NY—At a press conference Tuesday, scientists working for the prestigious PepsiLab facility announced the historic, first-ever isolation of the long sought-after "anti-Pepsi gene," the basic building block of DNA responsible for so-called "Pepsi resistance" in adult soda consumers.

U.S. Dept. Of Retro Warns: 'We May Be Running Out Of Past'

WASHINGTON, DC—At a press conference Monday, U.S. Retro Secretary Anson Williams issued a strongly worded warning of an imminent "national retro crisis," cautioning that "if current levels of U.S. retro consumption are allowed to continue unchecked, we may run entirely out of past by as soon as 2005."
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Price-Gun-Wielding Maniac Riddles Supermarket With Savings

MIDDLETOWN, OH—Shock, dismay, and fabulous money-saving opportunities were just part of the aftermath of a tragic mass-discounting Monday evening, when a price-gun-wielding man opened fire on the canned-goods aisle of a local supermarket.

A store security camera captured the gunman as he worked his way down the canned-goods aisle, ruthlessly discounting items as much as 40 percent.

Though shot and seriously injured by in-store security personnel while escaping, the unidentified man, who police and grocery authorities describe as "armed and dangerous," remains at large as of press time.

Causing discount savings of an estimated 30 to 40 percent on a variety of delicious food items throughout the store, the man held a stand-up display of Hormel Chili products hostage at gunpoint for 30 harrowing minutes before opening fire.

The rampage of markdowns, which occurred at the Food Lion at Cobb Road and Highland Avenue in Middletown, caused an estimated "$22,000 in savings, product rebates, and great three-for-two deals, valid until 10 p.m. Friday," a visibly shaken Food Lion spokesperson told reporters.

"There was nothing anybody could do," said second-shift produce manager Fred Gwaines, who witnessed the incident. "We had no choice but to stand there and watch as our profit margin dropped right in front of us. I mean, I saw a 12-ounce jar of Mott's-brand apple sauce get marked down to $1.19 right before my eyes. How could a person do something like that?"

While, as of press time, it is not known how the man came into possession of the price gun or managed to get it inside the store, law-enforcement and grocery-industry authorities believe he may have at one time received stocking and pricing training at a major supermarket chain, most likely as a short-term probationary employee or trainee.

One of the products brutally marked down during the savings rampage.

"This was a sophisticated price gun, with dual spring-loaded sticker-tape loops and twin five-digit display settings," Food Lion store manager Hank Schwepp said. "People don't just walk in off the street with a price gun like this. What's more, he knew how to use it. This guy's seen his share of instructional training videos, that's for sure."

Witnesses said the man discounted hundreds of food items, as well as products for use in and around the home, before store security guards made the decision to return fire. Shot twice in the left calf and once in the right shoulder, the wounded gunman nonetheless continued to furiously discount food items without remorse before fleeing into the frozen-food section, eluding pursuers.

"It's a decision no guard ever wants to make," security officer Bill Nirpsen said. "But when I saw that deranged madman heading toward the frozen-food aisle, I knew it was either the Hungry Man salisbury-steak dinner entrées or him. There was never any question."

"For a person to take that many bullets and keep going, it's almost super-human," Schwepp said. "We're talking about a perpetrator who is pathologically devoted to great savings on quality merchandise for a limited time only. Our grocery pathologists and retail forensic psychiatrists indicate that he likely has a long history of smart shopping and coupon use, and was probably exposed to budget-conscious family shopping as a child. Savings rule his life."

Food Lion officials are strongly urging all shoppers to keep a close watch on upcoming "Clip 'n' Save" newspaper inserts for information about when and where the price-gun-wielding man may resurface and let loose another barrage of low, low prices.

"Somewhere out there, this maniac is still loose," assistant store manager Ted Conn said. "There's no telling how much ammunition he has remaining or how far he is willing to go in his mad pursuit of greater and greater savings at all Food Lion locations throughout the greater Middletown area. He's obviously highly resourceful, very intelligent, and single-minded about discounts. All consumers can do is watch, wait and pray. And stop by your neighborhood Food Lion, where we have no choice but to pass these inhuman, tragic savings on to you."

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