Spring 2002

Mutant Leadership Still Missing
By Rockefeller Stone, world reporter

Despite hours of reconnaissance and question-asking, the Crooked Corners Police Department has yet to locate Panolandian mutant Boohoomi Dal, Jr., the suspected mastermind of the attack on a farm silo last year.

"We've gone door to door," Officer Harold said, "But the mutants are kind of scary."

The farmer whose silo crumbled to the ground as if it were built of peanuts was out in his fields at the time. The only true witness to the tragedy besides fowl and domestic beast was, apparently, the driver of the potato truck that incinerated upon impact. Police have been unable to question him due to his untimely self-cremation.

Local psychic Fortune Florence has contacts in the afterlife who are said to be looking into finding some way to send a message to mutant heaven where someone might know something about where to find the possible location of the anonymous driver's whereabouts so he can answer questions.

However, many survivors of the monstrosity suggest the driver has more than likely taken up residence in mutant hell, where Florence's connections are more limited.

As for Dal, Jr., he continues to release bizarre statements to the press via e-mail. His latest, under the subject "Ha Ha," was a forwarded joke regarding an 80-year-old man's hand-held bladder and his visit to a golf course with a rabbi and a priest.

After moving to Crooked Corners 18 months ago, political activist Boohoomi Dal, Jr. quickly rose to the top of the mutant immigrant community.

He is one of 43 well-spoken, American-educated sons of the former Panoland president whose relations with the U.S. were always strained.

At one time, Panoland was an exceedingly conservative nation where Boy Scouts could openly practice homophobia and the words "first trimester abortion" were only used to refer to triple-egg omelets. "A woman's right to choose" was limited to whether she decided to unwillingly increase the absurdly inflated population of humanity or be beaten to death by Christians on her way to the "baby-killing" clinic (which was, rather indecorously, located next-door to a prison full of death-row inmates).

Three years ago, the Panoland government instigated worldwide concern by testing nuclear arms without a permit. The bombs worked, but they destroyed the countryside and infected millions of residents with radiation. Many of the escapees sought shelter in the small town of Crooked Corners, where they live as unwashed and often unruly starch-craving mutants.

Unfortunately, the once potato-rich fields of Crooked Corners County have been decimated by both over-selling and illegal poaching since the hoard of mutants appeared. Scientists are still unable to explain why starch is so important to the diet of the ever-transforming mutants, but with no foreseeable resolution it is clear that further events like the one seen last winter are inevitable.

Injured Knees Result From Prayer Meeting
By Sinclair Growden, single white male

An expression of religious fervor turned ugly recently when grief-stricken, denominationally diverse mourners gathered together to say a few words to their respective makers, one or more of which may or may not be the supreme creator of all things.

When strained by the emotional trauma inflicted by mutant terrorists and their ilk, people often gather together to say a few words to a deity or "higher power." Some are inclined to mere hand-clasping and head-bowing, while others enjoy being closer to the ground in supplication as they ask for help, forgiveness or a few extra bucks in the bank. Due to the size of the recent tragedy, religious leaders called for kneeling at this particular assembly.

As soon as his creaking joints got him down, Crooked Corners resident Tiger Moody shouted, "Thames flow boats be too hot!" When pressed to enunciate, he more clearly articulated that the floorboards were too hard, and that he would have to be helped back up into a standing position in order to continue his requests for relief from the Lord. "Praise Jesus," Mr. Moody was heard to say upon his resumption of vertical status. Quickly someone corrected him with the words, "You mean, praise Allah!"

After moments of uncomfortable silence, this reporter mumbled reference to his own religious icon known as "The Vengeful Beaver." A majority of those in attendance quickly expressed agreement that such a thing was ridiculous and borderline blasphemous.

The offending reporter was quickly removed from the premises.

Monet Insolvency Threatens Administration
By Henrietta Potstocker, almost 80 and still a lady

Three months into the job, newly instated mayor Ronald S. Flint faces what may be a larger challenge than the potato truck/silo calamity that explosively stole away his election-day limelight.

Monica Monet and her husband, Mark (whose full-body replacement surgery seems to have held up nicely over the decades) declared bankruptcy on Saturday, placing Crooked Corners citizens and their neoteric leader in jeopardy.

Flint's connection to the exceedingly wealthy Monet family is tenuous at best (he once sold their daughter a set of stereo speakers at his pawn shop), but it may be enough for Marx-backers on the city council to call for his impeachment.

Long-dead potato farmer Leonard Marx, who played a mostly absentee role as mayor of our fine town for nearly 16 years, has been said to be complaining quite loudly in purgatory about his removal from the Crooked Corners throne. Visitors to his historic mansion claim to have heard him stomping vigorously in the attic.

The Monet bankruptcy follows a difficult year in the Monet household, with the outing of their son Vanessa and the amazing revelation that their daughter, Gay Monet, wants to marry a man.

Moreover, the Monet's maid, Millicent Wicker, was abducted by Panoland terrorists three years ago. Her rescue and triumphant return were marred by a fatal fall from the airplane disembarkation platform.

In a statement, Monica Monet claimed to have sold her many expensive diamond-studded pillow slipcovers in order to pay some of the debts incurred by the rescue of their maid, which are long past due.

But diamonds are virtually worthless in a place where a single red potato could buy a mutant a house.

Mayor Flint says he is not worried, that Marx can "caterwaul all he wants" from the nether regions but he will never be able to match wits with a man who has "a functioning circulatory system." He also claims to have purchased his diamond pillow slipcovers from an Amish woman, not from the downtown boutique where the Monets unloaded theirs.