KANSAS CITY, MO—Mere moments after stepping into his managing editor’s office as his unassuming alter ego, Pete Bates, a mild-mannered 36-year-old reporter for the Kansas City Star, emerged into the publication’s main newsroom as the amazing Unemployed Man, eyewitnesses confirmed Monday. According to reports, Bates underwent his remarkable transformation after a sobering discussion about market realities and declining circulation numbers, leading him to discard his humble day-to-day identity characterized by his black-frame eyeglasses, a timid persona, and 12 years on the city government beat, and reappear before a gathering crowd of coworkers as the Unemployed Man, complete with extensive powers of severance pay and COBRA health coverage eligibility. Sources told reporters that the Unemployed Man utilized his lightning speed to pack up his belongings and carry them out the front door by the end of the workday, while also drawing upon his extraordinary powers of strength and invulnerability to look the rest of the editorial staff in the eyes and say his goodbyes without openly weeping in front of them. Within seconds of completing the task, the Unemployed Man is said to have swiftly disappeared from the scene, leaving only shocked and dazed onlookers behind. Upon receiving word of the Unemployed Man’s situation, sources confirmed that his arch-nemesis, the Viral Man—operating from deep within his News Aggregator Lair—smiled, nodded, and said that all was proceeding according to plan.
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