Winter 2001 Edition
MUTANT GANGS RIOT!
By John Tiddleson, special reports
At 11:40 eastern time, 10:40 central, yesterday, a small gathering of Panoland expatriates grew into a full-scale mob of immigrant freaks. The mutants were maddened over increasing potato prices and a riot ensued in the Crooked Corners neighborhood that has in the last few months become known as Mutant Town.
"They're burning their own neighborhood," said Mr. Chief, head of the local constabulary. "But the looting has generally been kept to french fries and hash browns, the kinds of things regular folks can live without for awhile." Mr. Chief and the other member of the town's law enforcement team, Officer Harold, have done about all they can to quell the violence, including using a loudspeaker to politely ask the rioters to stop.
Mutants depend on starchy foods as a staple of their diet, Professor James Jeheezeblat Gramlich explained in a hastily presented press conference. "Without potatoes or a processed variation of that fine tuber, mutants get cranky," he said.
While the survival rate of most genetically mutated Panolandians has risen due to increased public awareness and limited advances in health treatment for those afflicted, many do not expect to live long. It has proven difficult for science to tackle such a wide range of deformities.
Those Panoland natives who managed to escape their radiation-ravaged homeland found little to improve their lives in Crooked Corners outside of the previous availability of inexpensive potatoes. But that has changed.
Asked why a shortage of potatoes exists in this county, when furrowed fields of the fleshy-rooted plant once stretched from one's feet to the horizon, some local politicos were quick to place the blame on the mutants themselves. "They moved here, they took up the space that the farm fields used to fill, they ate all the potatoes, and now they complain," said one anonymous state representative. "Now there's not so much as a Ruffle to be found."
By Liza Rowls, beat reporter
Noting that posthumous mayor Leonard Marx, deceased now for 15 years, has not attended one city meeting or even campaigned to hold his own position of authority since he died, two city council members have written a public manifesto calling for his impeachment.
"Now more than ever," the manifesto reads, "this town needs strong leadership to help guide us into the future without losing our ties to the past. The ethereal escapee of a corpse can hardly meet this challenge."
The two-page document calls for an immediate vote of no confidence, followed by a quick impeachment trial and a new election to be held early next year. Only living candidates would be placed on the ballot.
"On numerous occasions where major policy decisions were at stake, Leonard Marx has not even bothered to vote by absentee ballot," the manifesto states. "What's worse, the mayor's secretary admits that her boss has never once called in to check his messages."
The increasingly aloof Marx could not be reached for comment; however, soothsayer Fortune Florence claims to have dreamed that the Mayor is fuming in the afterlife.
Because of alarming population increases and the collapse of Crooked Corner's downtown economy, many longtime residents have had a positive reaction to the manifesto and hope to have the infamous miser's ghost dethroned by January.
"We need a return to our past without being dragged down by it," businessman and philatelist Ronald Flint said. "The situation we're mired in now is horrible. Just horrible." He then repeated the word "horrible" a few dozen times.
By Henrietta Potstocker, incontinence sufferer
Claiming that he was merely mimicking a popular picture book, Sydney Melman of Crooked Corners Heights attempted to explain why he used the town square clock as a scratching post last week.
The book, "A Cat of Some Sort," can be found at the local library. It tells the story of a police officer who decides to be a cat for a day. Melman reportedly checked it out 19 times.
"I just found its story so intense I couldn't help myself," the 33-year-old accountant said, when explaining why he attempted to make fiction into reality. He claimed that his own life was dull and that being a cat for a while made him feel "special."
Caught chasing a mutant dragonfly several blocks down the street, Sydney served one night in jail for a public nuisance charge and in addition paid an undisclosed fine for inappropriate use of the grade-school sandbox.
Play money returned to local child
By Sinclair Growden, beat reporter
A twelve-year-old girl, already troubled by disturbing signs of puberty and heartbreaking information from her doctor that she is lactose intolerant, broke into hysterical happy tears when Officer Harold returned her Monopoly money recently.
It had been stolen by her brother, who is eight and thought he could use the artificial currency to purchase candy at the corner drugstore.
The amused cashier on staff immediately alerted the police and the boy was arrested and thrown in jail for counterfeiting.