Issue 4021

Bus Passenger Really Getting Into Stranger's Nursing Textbook

SAN FRANCISCO—Public-bus passenger Kyle Renner is seriously getting into a nearby stranger's nursing textbook, downtown-bound sources reported Monday. "An Unna's boot can be used to treat uninfected, non-necrotic leg and foot ulcers," read page 182 of the textbook propped up on the lap of the woman seated to Renner's right. "Alternatively, a preparation known as Unna's paste (zinc oxide, calamine lotion, and glycerin) may be applied to the ulcer and covered with lightweight gauze." According to Renner, page 182 features a photo of a hand placing a small boot on a smiling elderly woman that was "pretty funny."

Great-Grandmother Actually Not That Great

DAVIS, CA—Following a family get-together Sunday, 7-year-old Tom Morris reported that he didn't really see what was so great about his great-grandmother Sarah Lott. "Grandma Lott is okay, I guess, but she sorta just sat there with this dazed look on her face until Aunt Debbie gave her a chocolate-covered cherry," Morris said. "All-right Grandma Lott, maybe. But 'great'?" Morris conceded that there might be a side to the wheelchair-bound 87-year-old he hasn't seen.

Overseas Outsourcing

By the end of next year, an estimated 830,000 U.S. service jobs will have been exported overseas. Why are companies choosing to outsource?

Naïve Teacher Believes In Her Students

BANGOR, ME—Bishop Kelly High School English teacher Christine Niles believes in her students' ability to grow intellectually and achieve success, the naïve 24-year-old told reporters Monday.

Horoscope for the week of May 26, 2004

Friends will marvel at your transformation from a dumpy stay-at-home into the Italian Baroque-style Saengre Theater, New Orleans' premier venue for classical concerts and Broadway musicals.

U.S. Gives Up Trying To Impress England

CHICAGO—Americans across the nation declared Tuesday that, after 230 years of trying to prove to England that the U.S. is a worthwhile and relevant country deserving of the European nation's respect, they are officially giving up.

You Learn Something New And Depressing Every Day

Hey, did you know that more than 14 million African children have been orphaned because of AIDS? Fourteen million. That's roughly equivalent to the number of all the children under the age of 5 in America. Holy Schmidt, right?! I had no idea this was the case until I saw a news report about the African AIDS epidemic last night. I guess it just goes to show you: No matter how much you think you know, there are always more bleak facts out there, waiting for you to discover them!

Fed-Up Cheney Enters Presidential Race Himself

WASHINGTON, DC—As President Bush's public-approval ratings hit an all-time low, Vice-President Dick Cheney announced Monday that he has been "forced" to throw his hat into the ring for the 2004 presidential race.

No-Makeup Look Easier To Achieve Than Elle Claims

NEW YORK—Contrary to claims in the June issue of Elle magazine, the no-makeup look actually requires little effort, a licensed cosmetologist reported Monday. "The article '20 Minutes To A More Natural You' suggests an application of under-eye concealer, light powder, natural lip gloss, and clear mascara to achieve the makeup-free look," said Michelle Karns-Daley, spokeswoman for the American Association of Cosmetology. "But really, a quick shower and a towel-off will do the trick just as well." Similarly, experts say Elle's six-page article "Building Your Self-Esteem" can be more simply stated as "Stop giving a shit about what people think."

Awkward Encounter Not Awkward At All When Masturbated About

OLYMPIA, WA—An uncomfortable exchange between Brad Leydner, 25, and Ginny, the cute redheaded waitress at Hugo's Bistro, lost all awkwardness when envisioned in Leydner's masturbation fantasy later that afternoon. "So, would you like to grab a coffee after your shift?" a nervous Leydner asked Ginny in both the real and imagined scenarios Monday. "Oh, Brad, I can't wait four hours to see you. You should fuck me hard, right in this booth," replied the Dream Ginny moments before Leydner achieved orgasm. In the fantasy scenario, Ginny did not hide in the kitchen to avoid speaking to Leydner while he paid for his meal.
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Ex-Nickelodeon Stars Relate Horrors Of Green Slime Syndrome

OTTAWA—Veterans of the '80s cult classic TV show You Can't Do That On Television filed a $1 billion class-action lawsuit against Nickelodeon Monday, alleging that the network exposed them to a bevy of toxins which led to a chronic affliction called Green Slime Syndrome.

Ex-Nickelodeon Stars Relate Horrors Of Green Slime Syndrome

"The producers assured us the slime was safe, and that getting drenched with it for five or more takes wouldn't cause any lasting damage," cast member Alasdair Gillis said. "I was only 12. I didn't ask questions; I just did what the director said. Now I live with constant pain."

Gillis then pulled up his sleeves to reveal the suppurating pustules that cover his forearms and wrists.

"Most days I just sit on the couch and relive the shows," Gillis said. "It's inexcusable that the directors punished me for having the courage to say 'I don't know.'"

You Can't Do That On Television, a Canadian children's sketch-comedy show, aired on Nickelodeon from 1979 to 1990, with a cast largely made up of local amateur child actors. Many sketches were punctuated with physical humor, with the actors frequently doused in slime, water, or foodstuffs.

Since YCDTOTV ended production, as many as 50 cast members have complained of a host of symptoms, including chronic pain and fatigue, numbness in the extremities, skin rashes, headache, nausea, and depression.

Gillis said he personally was doused with four different colors of slime, as well as spaghetti sauce, ink, mud, motor oil, soup, and silly string—all within the span of one season.

"If you tell people you have GSS, they act like you're just a coddled child actor," Gillis added. "'Part of the harsh reality of show-biz,' they say. But they don't know what it was like, man. Now, 20 years later, I still wince every time I hear someone say 'water.' I still request Evian in restaurants. I can't even be in the same room as a cream pie."

Gillis said cast members didn't file the lawsuit sooner because it took years for their doctors to make the connection between the mysterious ailments and the slime to which victims were exposed during the show.

"I left the show in 1986, and about a year later, I got a rash all over my face that just wouldn't go away," Gillis said. "Then I started having debilitating migraines and shooting pains in my back. It was when my fingers went numb that I knew something had to be wrong. I bounced from doctor to doctor, until a physician in Beverly Hills sat me down and asked me if I'd ever been exposed to comic props. Finally, I knew it wasn't all in my head. I knew it was the slime."

Cast member Marjorie Silcoff said she silently suffered a multitude of painful symptoms for years, until she attended a 1999 YCDTOTV reunion and discovered that many of her co-stars were suffering from similar unexplained ailments.

"When Les Lye [who played popular characters Barth, Ross, Senator Prevort, and El Capitano on the show] walked in with the left side of his face paralyzed, I started crying," Silcoff said. "I had a flashback to Barth standing there in the order window beneath the fly paper, holding up his spatula, getting slimed. It was so tragic. He never even had a chance to say his line, "That's what's in the burgers.'"

A Green Slime Syndrome sufferer protests outside of Nickelodeon's New York headquarters.

Continued Silcoff: "We all just stood on the mark like we were told. Christ, when you think about all the things that we were exposed to—mustard, milk, Jell-O, grape soda—it's incredible that we survived at all."

According to Silcoff, Nickelodeon lawyers continue to claim that GSS is just a stress-related ailment or a form of psychological hysteria.

"They tell our doctors, 'Don't encourage them,'" Silcoff said. "Some of us gave it our all for 11 years, but that doesn't mean a thing to them. They wish we'd just disappear."

Christine "Moose" McGlade, who hosted the show from the first season until 1986, said the cast members' inexperience made them willing to expose themselves to danger.

"We were all so young and gung-ho," McGlade said. "We thought we'd better do our job if we didn't want the troupe as a whole to suffer. When you're on set, the cast is your family. Once you've been in a food fight with someone, there's a bond that can never really be broken. It's hard for non-actors to understand what it's like under the hot lights of the studio."

Nickelodeon's official position on GSS, released in a statement Monday, is that there is "no scientific evidence of a unique pattern of illness that can be causally linked to television service at Nickelodeon."

"Nickelodeon would never under any circumstances endanger any of its actors, particularly children," the statement read. "The slime was thoroughly tested and deemed safe. While our sympathies are with the ill actors, Nickelodeon is not responsible for their ailments."

Despite Nickelodeon's denial of wrongdoing, the cast members plan to press on with the lawsuit, pursuing compensation for years of pain and suffering, as well as public acknowledgment of the hidden dangers of sliming.

"Nick is still sliming kids on Slimetime Live—and not just paid actors, either," Gillis said. "These are regular kids from the audience who are willing to place themselves in the path of danger for the promise of winning a Game Boy or a box of Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape. Nick even sells the slime commercially, which, frankly, keeps me up at night."

Continued Gillis: "We're still imploring [former YCDTOTV cast member] Alanis Morissette to come forward. Her support would do a lot to raise awareness of GSS. But would it be enough to erase the suspicion, resistance, and bitterness that has enveloped discussion of this syndrome from the start? I don't know."


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