Actual News from Actual Newspapers

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In my last column, as I’m sure you’ll recall, I talked about jobs. The response was so underwhelming that I thought (and I quote), “Hey! Maybe I’d better beat this job thing into their heads some more!” Well, let the beating begin.

We are told from the time we’re fetuses that we can be whatever we want to be in life. But sometimes I think people decide on their jobs according to their names. Like in the recent local elections, there was a man running for County Assessor named Orso — as in, “I assess this property to be worth $94,782…OR SO.” No wonder he won. His name implies such exactness in his work. It’s like having a judge named Hangum.

Being in the government is probably the best way to get money without actually earning it, but you have to avoid the Psychotic Paper Throwers, one of whom recently made an attack on our fearless vice-president, J. Danforth Quayle.

(What do you want to bet he made up that “Danforth” part during the election so people would take him seriously?)

Perhaps you recall this story from last month. Or perhaps you don’t. It doesn’t matter. I’m going to tell it anyway. Quayle was just coming out of a video arcade, or maybe it was a 7-eleven, when some guy got his attention (“Hey! Kid!”) and hurled a bunch of papers at him, bonking him right in what doctors refer to as “the noggin.” The man was taken into custody and charged with Assaulting the Vice-President, a felony punishable by a fine of up to $50, or up to an hour and a half in prison.

Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? People try to kill presidents; they try to give vice-presidents paper cuts.

Another easy-looking job is weatherology (not to be confused with meteorology, which, of course, is the study of meteors). It must be easy if you can get away with making quotes like this one, which came from a Finnish weatherologist on the subject of a mysterious cloud hovering over Soviet territory:

“It could have been caused by some sort of disaster or accident. But it could also be just an ordinary large cloud.”

As long as you’re sure…

I suppose if I actually wanted to work for my money (hysterical laugh, cry of “Fat chance!”), I could always be a doctor and have the supreme pleasure of removing tumors the size of upright pianos, just like some doctor in Florida recently did. It seems a woman went to the hospital complaining of chest pains and wound up having a SIXTY-FIVE POUND tumor removed. It was so large, they had to call in a meteorologist, who thought that perhaps the woman had stood outside with her mouth open the last time Halley’s Comet went by. Upon close examination, however, it was discovered that the tumor was actually the woman’s seven-year-old son, whom she had accidentally swallowed during a feeding frenzy on All-You-Can-Eat Shrimp Night at Sizzler.

This was about the last of the Wacky News Items columns, and thank goodness. It was sort of funny, but there wasn't much heart to it. I moved on from here to columns about stuff that happened to me, and commentary on life in general. I don't know that my life is very interesting, but at least it's more immediate than news clippings about nameless people in far-away lands.

In publication, the bit about the Finnish meteorologist and the cloud of gas was omitted, I imagine for space. Also, the word "fetuses" in the second paragraph was changed to "infants" for reasons I cannot ascertain.


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