Blacks, Whites Put Differences Aside, Work Together To Make Better Burger

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Issue 4102

HMO Targets Blacks With 'Rapping Good' Health Campaign

MINNEAPOLIS, MN—Advertising executives say they have hit upon an ingenious new way to target blacks: Mount a campaign that co-opts their own language and musical style. "Many blacks enjoy 'rapping' music," said Briggs & Adams Advertising president Sherman Roe, who developed the campaign for HospCare HMO. "And what better way to tap into their market than by 'rapping' good health to them?" Roe's campaign employs the use of a black teenager doing a "rap" for good health. Billboards of the campaign have been put up in black neighborhoods, and radio and TV ads have aired on black-oriented stations in the area. Roe predicts area blacks will, as a result, be "'rapping' happy with their HMO service."

If Area Dad Steps On Legos One More Time

DARLINGTON, SC—According to loud reports from within the Kaminsky household Tuesday, if area father Russell Kaminsky steps on one more goddamn Lego, man, forget about it. "Gaaaaaaaaaa!" shouted Kaminsky, grimacing as he extracted a blue, two-peg Lego brick from his right instep. "I've told you a hundred times. This is it, this is the last warning: I step on one more Lego, and no one will ever step on another Lego in this house ever again, I promise." Observers are questioning Kaminsky's willingness to actually follow through on the threat, citing his failure to deliver on his Lincoln Logs ultimatum of last March.

Celebrity Disappointed After Meeting Fan

LOS ANGELES— Denzel Washington, who on Monday finally met longtime fan Brenda Haines, found the encounter anticlimactic, the Oscar-winning actor said. "I don't know, from her fan mail I always thought she'd be more exciting, I guess," Washington said following his awkward four-minute conversation with the 47-year-old Pomona waitress and mother of three. "And I'd always imagined she was taller."

MIT Researchers Discover Each Other

CAMBRIDGE, MA–While attempting to isolate a gene believed to be key to the development of the autoimmune disorder myasthenia gravis Monday, MIT geneticists Dr. Stephen Burch and Dr. Caryn Song made a breakthrough discovery: each other. "I was examining some cellular tissue when my electron microscope broke," Burch said. "Caryn offered to share her microscope, and each of us looked at the tissue through one of the eyepieces. At one point, our cheeks lightly touched, and I looked over and realized how beautiful she looks without her glasses. I always saw Caryn as a respected colleague. For the first time, I saw her as a woman." A process of trial-and-error sexual experimentation commenced later that evening, continuing well into the night.

Personal Philosophy Stolen From Martin Luther King Jr.

Washington "completely ripped off" his personal mantra from civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. "Ron's always saying how if someone doesn't have a cause worth dying for, then that person's life isn't worth living," Duncan said Monday. "Nice try, Ron, but you can't fool me. You totally stole that whole idea from Dr. King." Duncan said he hopes King's estate "nails Ron's ass for plagiarism."

Zambia Elects Black President

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA—In a historic triumph for Zambia's African-African community, Bilikisu Adewale, a 49-year-old black man, was elected president Monday.

Get Smooved

Girl, if there is any doubt in your mind as to what time it is, let me break it down for you: It is time for you to get Smooved.

The Teacher Shortage

America is suffering from a severe shortage of schoolteachers. What incentives are being offered to draw more people to the profession?
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Deadline For Prior User To Remove Clothes From Dryer Extended 5 Minutes

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Blacks, Whites Put Differences Aside, Work Together To Make Better Burger

LOUISVILLE, KY—Sadly, in 2005, America remains a nation deeply divided along racial lines. It's enough to cause one to lose hope. But divided as we are, every now and again something comes along to remind us just how much can be achieved when we view our differences as assets rather than liabilities.

Brian Schickle and Malik Turner are among the many employees at a Louisville McDonald's who have learned to look beyond the color of their skin to achieve a common goal: cooking hot, delicious burgers for their customers.

The afternoon crew at Louisville's Carver Street McDonald's is just such a beacon of hope.

In a powerful and touching example of what can happen when people join together without concern for race, this McDonald's multiethnic, seven-person crew has been working in harmony for months now, blind to differences in skin color, united by the common goal of creating a better burger.

"Like our nation itself, this restaurant's crew is made up of a diverse pastiche of backgrounds," day-shift manager Ray Garner said. "But while, all too often in America, people tend to 'stick to their own kind,' fearful of those who are different, around here blacks and whites work side by side, committed to cooking up the freshest, tastiest Big Macs and double cheeseburgers possible for our valued customers."

According to Garner, in many fast-food restaurants across the U.S., black employees tend to cluster in the grill area, while whites like to position themselves at the preparation table. Typically, the result of such voluntary racial segregation, Garner said, is a hamburger that is not as good as it could have been.

"This sort of lack of communication between the grill and prep stations can result in the cooking of too many beef patties, which in turn can lead to the serving of burgers with insufficiently fresh patties. In short, the racial tensions that have simmered in the U.S. for centuries are still keeping many fast-food establishments from cooking up the best possible food for their customers. And that is just sad."

Each day, before the start of the afternoon shift, Garner gives his crew a pep talk to remind them what it is they are fighting against.

"I tell them, 'It's not about black or white, or my color versus your color. We're here with one purpose, and that is to serve our customers the freshest, highest quality burgers possible. Around here, the only color that matters is the deep-brown hue of a well-cooked Quarter Pounder."

"When I first started working here, I would occasionally allow my anger over American society's oppression of blacks to keep me from interacting positively with white co-workers," said lead grill cook Malik Turner, 19, one of four blacks on the seven-person crew. "But I soon realized that such resentment was not just hurting me, but also the customer. And that's a tragedy."

Prep cook Brian Schickle, a 20-year-old white, agreed. "When I look at Malik, I see not someone whose skin color is different from mine, but rather a fellow human being with whom I share the planet, a human being who needs to know how we're doing on patties if our customers are to leave as satisfied as possible with their McDonald's dining experience."

Apparently, the crew's color-blindness is paying off, as the restaurant's burgers are earning accolades from diners of all races.

"I don't believe I've ever been served so delicious and fresh-tasting a hamburger in my life," said Louisville-area bank teller Morton Wallensky, who visited the restaurant Monday on his lunch hour. "This is the taste of love and cooperation among all God's children, and I wish that the people of all nations could take a big bite for themselves."

"I'd like to think that what's happening here is taking root with our customers and changing their lives for the better," Garner said. "And when I read the comment cards in the suggestion box, I can't help but think that it is."