March 2005 (v7 i5)
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Condoleezza Rice destroys fifth hand-gripper this year
WASHINGTON, DC — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice cut short an early-morning workout Wednesday when she completely crushed an exercise hand-gripper — her fifth so far since January, said an anonymous White House source. The gripper, a squeezable handheld device that strengthens wrists and forearms, was reduced to "twisted scrap metal" by Rice's ironclad grip. "She's always squeezing that thing during Cabinet meetings, huffing and grunting and losing her breath," the source said. "It gets distracting when the president can't hear his instructions over the rhythmic, metallic sound." The source then added: "The hand-gripper can be pretty loud, too." The device withstood Rice's vice-like clasp only slightly better than did Canadian ambassador Frank McKenna's hand, which liquefied last May.

Professor makes self-deprecating joke about own age
CAMPUS — To the obligatory amusement of his students, 59-year-old history professor Jeremy Branson made a self-effacing joke about his own age during a Tuesday seminar. The quip came at a transitional point in a discussion about post-1960s feminism. "Back when I was in college, only ten years ago..." Branson said to light, mandatory laughter. While most of the class quickly moved past the token one-liner, the comment stuck in the mind of at least one impressionable student. "That was both hilarious and novel!" said Will Rodriguez, a student in Branson's class. "Professor Branson really appeals to my cultural disdain for the aged!"

Episode of 'Seventh Heaven' to deal with teen cannibalism
hollywood — The WB will air a special episode of Seventh Heaven next week, in which the show's main characters realize that one of their own has succumbed to the temptations of teenage cannibalism. Simon (David Gallagher), the 17-year-old middle child in the Camden household, will tearfully confess his addiction to human flesh after his reverend father finds several fingernails in Simon's toilet. The show, which has won awards for handling social issues such as vandalism, drug use and teen pregnancy, has already received praise for tackling this new topic, which, according to, has "gone neglected by the liberal television media for far too long." Fans of the show, however, are more concerned with Simon's motivations for becoming a cannibal, assuming it to be the next logical step in his moral decline after guilt over a car wreck compelled him to have premarital sex last week.

Funeral director 'acting loopy' after Hunter S. Thompson cremation
aspen, co — Isaac Mercer, the director of Empyrean Funeral Home, was "acting loopy" for several hours after cremating the body of renowned journalist Hunter S. Thompson three weeks ago, reported a funeral home employee. "After Mr. Mercer left the crematorium that day, he couldn't seem to stop giggling. I found that very strange, considering he was so anxious beforehand about working on such a high-profile client," said mortician Josephine Allaire. When an employee asked him what was funny, Mercer merely announced that he had made up a new palindrome, after which he recited the lyrics to the Mary Tyler Moore theme song in a terrifying falsetto. The staff was initially alarmed at Mercer's questionable behavior, until he opened the cap of Thompson's urn, glared at the multicolored ashes within, and asked woefully where the "American Dream" had gone — all of which has been a post-cremation ritual of Mercer's for years.

Bully laughs self to sleep
champaign, il — Elementary school bully Greg Stockard, a fourth-grader who acts out not because of hidden insecurities but because he is bigger and stronger than many of his peers, laughed himself to sleep while recalling a happy moment from his family's dinner that night. Stockard's father, a non-alcoholic with a stable job, had been making fun of a "wimpy co-worker" to his wife and two children, when Stockard's mother, who doesn't cry spontaneously or beat her children, said, "Well, maybe you'd feel differently if you were in his shoes." The unbroken family pondered this for a moment before Stockard's older sister, a class president and homecoming queen who is not an easy slut, suggested that her father "just ignore [the co-worker]."

Boyfriend still in trouble for Valentine's Day
east austin — After neglecting to buy his girlfriend flowers or chocolates, Alan Mitchell was forced to watch a film adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility for the third time since Valentine's Day. Mitchell feels that he has been making up for his poor performance with an excess of "chick flicks, staying in and talks about feelings." Mitchell explains: "She said not to make a big deal out of Valentine's, so I didn't. Yeah, that was clearly a less-than-stellar plan." His girlfriend, Lisa Vargas, has reported to friends how much she is enjoying her clever manipulation of a clueless boyfriend. "I really don't even like doing all the things I've been putting him through — I'm just trying to teach him a lesson." Vargas laughed to herself and added: "Maybe if he goes with me to my grandma's, I'll let him have sex sometime next fall."

Masochist misses Blockbuster late fees
austin — Kenneth Rosedale, masochist and loyal Blockbuster customer, has missed the "painful pleasure" of movie rental late fees ever since Blockbuster eliminated the punitive measure in December. "It was worse than the time my doctor's office switched to oral thermometers," Rosedale said, pouring lemon juice onto his open paper cut. Prior to this announcement, 30-year-old Rosedale claims to have "delightfully accumulated and eagerly paid" more than $900 in late charges. "I'll miss the mail notices the most," Rosedale reminisced while slamming his eyelids in a waffle iron, "because they reminded me I'm a dirty pig-boy who needs to get his bacon fried." Blockbuster employee Alicia Ward remembers dealing with Rosedale: "One time he asked me to pummel him in the kidney with a copy of Secretary. I don't miss him." Rosedale plans to switch to Klingon Video, where they "still treat their customers how they deserve — like naughty, brainless, sub-humans who can't wait to be punished."

Poet awaits applause
campus — Freshman Katherine McKnightly created unprecedented levels of awkwardness in the Honors Dorm Quad by sharing her poetry last Monday. Friends who listened were "stunned" by the "sheer unintelligibility" of McKnightly's prose. "There was a lull in the conversation, so I asked her to read some of her poems. I had no idea how much they would suck," explained roommate Suzanne Jones. McKnightly shared 'Rabid Menses,' a haiku, and 'Unattainable Authority Figure,' an ode to Jeff Russell, her RA. "Hearing the stanza about Kat wanting Jeff to bang her in the community bathroom was so awkward," said Blake Kingsley. "It wasn't really even a poem — it was just a bunch of boring personal thoughts that sometimes rhymed."

Twisted Sister lead singer now ready to 'take it'
los angeles — After more than 20 years of refusing to "take it," Twisted Sister front man Dee Snider stated this week that he is now "ready to take it." "With Twisted Sister breaking up more than 15 years ago and my shimmering blonde hair turning gray, I think the time is ripe for me to begin taking it," announced Snider during a recently taped segment of VH1's 100 Greatest Bass Solos. Snider's bold statement has created a shockwave in the aging hair metal community. "Rather than having to 'rock 'n' roll all night and party every day,' I would prefer to watch CSI reruns all night and play racquetball every day," said Kiss lead singer Gene Simmons. Additionally, Def Leppard's Jeff Elliot prefers that his admirers not "pour some sugar on [him]," due to his Type II diabetes.
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