8-Year-Old Can't Understand Why He Isn't Allowed On Roof

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Issue 3833

Taco Bell Employee Somehow Dressed Down By Manager

DETROIT—Improbably, Taco Bell employee Wayne Lorimer, 28, was dressed down by manager Cal Dyer Tuesday. "I thought I was already cut down to size just by working here," said Lorimer, a former Ford auto worker laid off earlier this year. "But Cal's lecture about paying more attention to the proper way to apply sour cream if I want to remain a valued member of the Taco Bell family, that managed to lower me even more." Lorimer said he thinks Dyer might be right out of high school.

Balloon Deliveryman Forced To Take Bus

BALTIMORE—His car in the shop, Balloon-O-Gram deliveryman Burt Girardi, 37, was forced to use public transit Tuesday. "Well, that was pleasant," Girardi said. "You haven't lived until you've sat on a jam-packed crosstown bus for 40 minutes holding an 18-balloon Birthday Bouquet while dressed in full Zorro regalia." Girardi added that teenagers today think they are so goddamn funny.

Senate Softball Team Loses Against Local Bar

WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Senate softball team suffered its fourth straight defeat Tuesday, losing 11-4 to the Anchor Inn. "We were actually ahead in the second after [Sen.] Judd [Gregg (R-NH)] hit a two-run double," team captain Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) said. "But then, Anchor Inn scored six in the bottom of the inning, and the rout was on." For next week's game against Pitchers Pub, Ensign said he plans to move error-prone shortstop Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) to right field.

Man Has Mixed Feelings About $39 Flight

SANDY SPRINGS, GA—Moments after saving hundreds of dollars on round-trip airfare from Atlanta to Los Angeles, Phillip Walden, 41, experienced mixed feelings about the bargain $39 Southwest Airlines flight. "What sort of corners would they have to cut to make a profit on that low a fare?" Walden wondered aloud after completing the Expedia.com purchase. "Would $39 from every passenger even cover the fuel?" For safety's sake, Walden resolved to buy the second-cheapest ticket available from now on.

You Call That Groveling?

Denison, you've been with the company 14 years now, and you've always been a real team player. Rarely a sick day, money with deadlines, a real can-do guy in the clutch. So how is it that you could have dropped the ball so badly on this one? I thought I could count on you for some real down-and-dirty begging and self-degradation when we told you we'd have to let you go as part of cost-cutting initiatives. We expected you to plead for your job back. But what you're doing is disappointing to say the least. You call that groveling?

I Regret To Say Your Wedding Falls Square In The Middle Of The Prisoner Marathon

When I received your wedding invitation, Neil, I was overcome with joy at the prospect of being part of your blessed day. As one of my oldest and dearest friends, you are the kind of person whose nuptials I would not want to miss for all the world. However, as much as I want to be there when you take Beth as your wife, I regret to say that your Oct. 12 wedding falls square in the middle of the Prisoner marathon on the Sci-Fi Channel.

The 9/11 Anniversary

Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. How are we commemorating the occasion?

Supreme Court Cock-Blocks Iowa Man

WASHINGTON, DC—By an 8-1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court cock-blocked Des Moines, IA, bar patron Jon Carmody Friday, severely curtailing his power to score with fellow bar-goer Megan Navarre. "Carmody's right to put the moves on Navarre does not and cannot be construed to supersede this court's right to hit on her, too," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the majority opinion. "That Carmody scored last weekend with that blonde girl at P.J.'s serves to illustrate that he's had enough for now. We will preclude the shit out of that tool getting any from Navarre."
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Good Times

8-Year-Old Can't Understand Why He Isn't Allowed On Roof

STERLING HEIGHTS, MI—No amount of explanation has been sufficient to make Dylan Rieder, 8, understand why he is not permitted on the roof of his family's two-story home.

Dylan Rieder stands near the controversial roof.

"I don't know why I can't play up there," Rieder said Monday. "I'm not gonna fall off. It's way less steep than the slide at the playground. And I never fall off that when I climb up. Plus, I wouldn't ruin anything—there's not even anything to ruin. It's just the roof and the chimney and the TV antenna and the wires that go to the telephone pole, but I know not to touch the wires."

Rieder's remarks came on the heels of his third parental warning in as many weeks not to even think about going on the roof.

"He does this every summer," said Beth Rieder, Dylan's mother. "As soon as it gets warm, he gets it in his head that he needs to get on that roof, and he won't give up until it's covered with snow. If I hadn't been out shopping all afternoon, he would have bugged me about it again today."

While Rieder has been subjected to numerous anti-roof-climbing lectures from his parents, his older brother Stephen, and next-door neighbor Mr. Rutigliano, none of their arguments have struck him as valid. Reasons given for staying off the roof have included the danger of falling off, the fragility of the shingles, and what someone driving by might think.

"He knows he shouldn't be up there," Beth said. "That's that."

Rieder said he recognizes that safety is a concern and promised he would not run, jump, or otherwise conduct himself irresponsibly if let onto the roof.

"I would be really, really careful," Rieder said. "It's not that different from climbing a tree. Mom once said she was going to let me put a treehouse up there. What's the difference?"

Rieder said he could perform many useful tasks if permitted onto the roof.

"I could see if any balls got caught up there and throw them down. And I could make sure the chimney doesn't have anything stuck in it," Rieder said. "Also, I could help get the leaves out of the leavesdrops [sic], then Dad wouldn't have to get all mad at the ladder when it pinches his fingers."

As further evidence that his parents have nothing to fear, Rieder cited several eye-opening statistics.

"People can get killed in a car accident a hundred times more easy than they can on a roof," Rieder said. "Or they can eat poison by accident or get a disease or get bit by a dog and get rabies. So I should get to go on the roof, 'cause it would be a lot safer than that."

Though he would like his parents' permission, Rieder said he has not ruled out a covert roof visit. Without use of his parents' bedroom window, which they keep locked at all times, Rieder's best chance for roof access is via a tree in the backyard. By climbing to the fourth extending branch, Rieder would be able to drop down neatly onto the roof. The tree, however, is visible to anyone looking out the kitchen window, the very place where his mother stands as she does dishes and prepares meals.

"I might try the tree in the back, too, but that's harder," Rieder said. "I can't get caught, 'cause Mom would kill me."

Climbing on the roof is not the only activity forbidden to Rieder. Also verboten are pulling up the loose blacktop at the edge of the driveway, picking leaves off the bushes in the front yard, playing with the rocks in the window wells, writing on the side of the house with chalk, climbing on the water meter, putting anything in the mailbox without prior approval, and opening the chest freezer in the garage.