ATHENS, GA—After years of silent speculation, Trotter family members openly wondered Monday when ailing family matriarch Helen Trotter would die. "I'd say sometime in the next six months," Trotta's granddaughter Emily told her brother Zach after a visit to Valley View Nursing Home. "No way she'll hang on more than a year." Reports indicate that the Trotters hope the 88-year-old stays alive at least until after Christmas so it doesn't force a change of travel plans.
MANKATO, MN—Bruce and Gail Kreuter expressed regret Monday over their decision to let their 8-year-old son Brian choose the name of the family's new cocker spaniel, Hitmontop. "He named the damn thing after his favorite Pokémon," Bruce said. "What's more, apparently, Hitmontop isn't even a dog Pokémon: It's some cartoon guy who kicks people." Gail said she should have seen this coming when Brian named his goldfish Garlic Junior.
WILLIAMSPORT, PA—During a speech before Medford Middle School students Tuesday, principal Arthur Morehouse paused for applause that never came. "So let's all join together and show the kind of spirit that made Medford the most academically improved middle school in the entire Williamsport area!" said Morehouse, raising his hands. After three seconds of silence, Morehouse added, "Well, moving on," and proceeded to speak for 20 minutes on the importance of keeping the lunchroom clean.
LOS ANGELES—Less than two months after frantically excising any allusions to terrorism, network executives are scrambling to add terror-related storylines to TV shows, sources reported Monday. "We're working around the clock to squeeze in a special episode where a Libyan with ties to Al Qaeda threatens to blow up the D.A.'s office," said Law & Order producer Dick Wolf, who on Sept. 15 scrapped an episode of the NBC drama in which a character utters the word "bomb." "We've got to stay on top of this thing." Next week, Spin City, which last month pulled an episode featuring a shot of the World Trade Center, will air a "very special" one-hour episode in which Mayor Winston is infected with anthrax.
Ever have "one of those days"? You know the kind: The boss is screaming, "I want it yesterday!," the kids have the flu, and your hair is sticking up on end like Don King's. Well, on those days, it's important to keep things in perspective. After all, you live in the richest, most powerful nation in the whole gosh-darn world!
There's a sucker born every minute, and as a National Board For Certified Counselors-licensed marriage counselor, I know that better than anyone. For 22 years, I've bilked troubled couples out of their hard-earned cash by actually convincing them that their marital problems have a solution and that I can give it to them. Yep, this marriage-counseling scam is a real moneymaker!
GURNEE, IL—Mark Campa, 16, who has listened to and talked about Led Zeppelin almost exclusively since discovering the '70s rock group over the summer, is "really starting to piss off" his friends, sources reported Monday.
LANGLEY, VA—Central Intelligence Agency director George Tenet conceded Monday that the organization excels at overthrowing foreign governments but isn't so hot at the actual intelligence gathering. "Iran, Zaire, Guatemala, Chile, Indonesia, Greece, Panama, Australia, Haiti... we're real good at toppling regimes," Tenet said. "But just collecting your basic data about who's up to what in the U.S. and whatnot, that's not our strong suit." Tenet added that if the U.S. needed to "swoop in and take out Colombia's current government, man, we could have that done by the weekend."
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox
8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC
Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!
BROKEN ARROW, OK—Admitting it had no idea what it was supposed to do with the dozens of preservatives and flavor enhancers, the stomach of local man Shawn Harper reportedly set aside the synthetic additives that the 33-year-old consumed during lunch Thursday until it had a few minutes to figure out how to properly digest them.