Shiny, Wriggling Object Attracting Interest Among Fish Community

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Issue 4034

Prizes On Price Is Right Looking Better As Man Ages

YORBA LINDA, CA—Local electrician Ryan DeRegotis, 35, said Tuesday that the prizes on The Price Is Right look more appealing every year. "I gotta say, a dinette set and a china cabinet would be nice," DeRegotis said. "If I were called out of the studio audience, I'd be thrilled to win something as practical as a washer and dryer. Do you have any idea how expensive those things are?" DeRegotis added that he wouldn't turn up his nose at a year's supply of Rice-A-Roni.

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PINE BLUFF, AR—A nutritious meal was rendered unhealthy in three easy steps Monday, when area resident Kimberly Lowen, 24, added ranch dressing, grated cheese, and four crumbled strips of bacon to a bowl of romaine lettuce and tomatoes. "Who says not eating right has to take a lot of time?" Lowen said. "It only took minutes to prepare a salad that will provide me with my daily recommended intake of fat and sodium." Lowen has previously rendered a glass of skim milk unhealthy, simply by adding ice cubes and chocolate syrup and mixing it in a blender on low.

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WASHINGTON, DC—The 22 battleground states in the 2004 presidential election said Monday that they have received threats, both direct and veiled, from Kerry and Bush campaign operatives. "Now, you listen up, Iowa—you're voting for Kerry, see, and you're gonna like it," an unidentified Kerry-Edwards thug allegedly told the Midwestern state, which controls seven electoral votes. "Youse got some real nice agribusiness in your state. Sure would be a shame to see you lose it. Get the picture?" In a similar vein, should Ohio's 20 votes not end up in the red column, a team of Bush's goons has allegedly threatened to throw the state's several thousand wheelchair-bound grandmothers down a flight of stairs.

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UNION CITY, NJ—Recommending that he give himself the chance to pause and explore the other options out there, friends of local man Jonathan Gember expressed their concerns to reporters Wednesday that the 29-year-old is already committing to a new television show just hours after getting out of a seven-season-long series.

Shiny, Wriggling Object Attracting Interest Among Fish Community

BRULE RIVER, WI—The appearance of a shiny, bobbling object in the water of the Brule, just upstream of the big sunken oak stump, is generating considerable interest among members of the fish community, river sources reported Monday.

Three local river dwellers inspect the unfamiliar, lustrous object.

"The luminous, gray-dappled exterior of this dipping and jogging object is so captivating that trout, bass, bluegill, and even members of the normally indifferent carp population are drawn to its undulant movement," said a 67-day-old yellow perch who has lived in the Brule all his life.

The perch added: "No one's sure what it is, but it certainly has our attention."

Descriptions vary due to differing levels of color vision and depth perception, but freshwater residents agree that the object is about the length of three adult crickets, laid end to end.

One freshwater source said the object appeared near the stump just after sunrise, then migrated sinuously upstream.

"I saw the shiny object this morning," an eight-pound walleyed pike said. "I was up in that area by the stump waiting for the late-summer caddis-fly hatch that should be coming any day now, when it came out of the air. It rose out for a time, only to reappear again by the stump a minute or so later."

The walleye characterized the object as "mesmerizingly minnow-esque."

"The bass were the first to talk about it, but they're kind of a coarse fish," the walleye said, slowly swaying his tail fin from right to left. "It's when the trout get involved that you have to take notice. They're cautious, generally. When I saw that even they were gathering around the glinting thing, I thought, 'Well, I'm game!'"

Some say they have seen the object before, on weekday evenings and weekend days. Local authorities have had difficulty gaining a consensus, however, because river fish do not commonly associate in schools.

Aquatic experts say that decisive action will be taken regarding the object in the near future.

"Someone's going to lunge for it," said a black crappie, speaking for members of the river's large Pomoxis nigromaculatus population. "What we are seeing now is a contest between patience and curiosity. We're enraptured, frankly. Is it the shininess, like unto the scales of a smaller fish? Or the flickering, recalling the wings of a struggling beetle? Perhaps it's those baffling silver extensions, glinting so in the light. What are they? And, then, of course, there is the wriggling. The wriggling! Like a helpless, flailing tadpole, when you have him in your mouth, and you experience that delicious moment when he still might get away."

Added the crappie: "All I know is, I can't take either of my non-stereoscopic eyes off of it."

Not every species was impressed.

"That shiny thing, that ain't no new thing," said a 19-pound muskellunge who traveled up the nearby chain of lakes to the Brule earlier this summer. "That thing is in all the rivers. These guys have no long-term memory at all. Brains is too small."

Although interest in the object varies, with smaller panfish being the least curious and larger freshwater predators sustaining their interest over several hours, no fish has yet made contact with the object.

"Shiny as it is, wriggly as it is, and tempting as it would be to just snatch it up, there's a feeling in the downstream area that it isn't to be taken lightly," said a brown trout and self-described expert in shiny objects. "No one will soon forget the example set by that perch a couple years ago. Why, they say he brashly ignored the elders' repeated warnings about suspiciously colored worms, and he hasn't been seen since."

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