Major news developments have been developing so rapidly of late that on several occasions we here in professional journalism have been forced to put down our beer and type with both hands. Our top story this hour is:
YOUTH INJURIES LINKED TO CICADAS
Cicadas, of course, are repulsive five-eyed insects that come out of the ground by the millions every 17 years to see if Richard Nixon has been indicted yet. They came out this past spring, and according to a published report in The Cincinnati Enquirer, they caused the following rash of semitragic incidents, which I am not making up:
One youth swallowed a cicada and suffered a sore throat.
Another youth attempted to squash a cicada under a slowly moving car and got his (the youth's) hand run over.
Another youth swung a baseball bat at a cicada and accidentally hit another youth.
Another youth was struck by "a can of frozen soft drink thrown at cicadas" by another youth.
Another youth attempted to stab a cicada with a pocket knife and accidentally stabbed -- get ready for a real surprise -- yet another youth.
And the list goes on. This story raises a number of troubling questions, such as: Do the youths of Cincinnati have small damp wads of bathroom tissue for brains? Or is this a nationwide problem? Should cicadas even be LEGAL? Are we going to do something about this NOW, or are we going to stand around like vandalized parking meters until the year 2004, when the cicadas return and the youths of America have access to much more sophisticated weaponry, and some 11-year-old boy, attempting to do some innocent youthful harm to a cicada, accidentally vaporizes a junior high school?
Clearly what is needed here is a large and wasteful federal program, which is why I am urging all of you to write to U.S. Rep. Bill Boner. I am not making him up, either. Rep. Boner is a real U.S. Congressperson, from Tennessee, and the instant he was brought to my attention by an alert reader, I said to myself: "I do not care which district technically elected him; THIS is the man I want representing me in Washington." His wife's name -- I swear it -- is Betty.
Assuming that you feel as strongly as I do about this issue, whatever it is, I urge you to write to: Rep. Bill Boner, c/o Rep. Bill Boner's office, Washington, D.C. 20somethingsomethingsomething. The time to act is now, because MILLIONS OF HORRIBLE THINGS LIVE IN YOUR NOSE
This late word comes to us via an important mailing from the Allergy Relief Newsletter, stating that your nose is teeming with "dust mites," which sound like harmless and spunky licensed characters such as might have their own Saturday-morning cartoon show sponsored by the sugar industry, until you look at the photograph on the mailing envelope, showing a dust mite enlarged to the size of Carson City, Nev., and you realize that nothing that looks like this can possibly have any goal in life other than to kill you. We here in professional journalism feel you have a right to know.
In related developments:
Talented superstar Pepsi spokesperson Michael Jackson has offered $1 million to a London medical college for the skeleton of the famous unfortunate elephant person John Merrick. We are not making these developments up.
In a scientific survey conducted by the Gallup organization for Fast Lane magazine, American men, when asked which woman they would most like to spend an evening with, picked Nancy Reagan, although ...
In a different scientific survey, The Miami Herald sports department, when given a choice by this reporter, unanimously preferred to spend the evening with the skeleton of famous unfortunate elephant person John Merrick.
Meanwhile, sporadic outbreaks of news continue to occur in Central America, Asia, etc. Count on us to keep you posted.
1987, Knight Ridder Newspapers