Autumn 2003

Newbie Blount frustrated by election wait
By Liza Rowls, stuck covering this boring story

Councilman Jack Blount, whose merciless squeeze on the strained bladders of the city council last spring forced an unpopular recall vote against fallen Mayor Ronald Flint, has officially announced his candicacy to lead Crooked Corners for the next four years. To his disadvantage, the election will not be held until the end of 2005.

In a press conference arranged in the alley beside the City Building, Blount stood amongst name-brand trash receptacles and Councilman Jack Blountmangy one-eyed cats to announce his bid for the rule of our fine town.

Blount laid out a thin compendium of his platform, which he says he will further develop with advisors and casual acquaintances who give him money. Top on the list, he says, is tracking down fugitive terrorist Boohoomi Dal, Jr.

"We must do something to control these mutants," he said. It was an ironic thing for him to say, considering that his insistence on the recall was due in large part to an offhand comment by Flint disparaging the appearance of a mutant janitor.

Dogged, hounded and shepherded by reporters, the Republican councilman refused to answer questions about his unknown past. Previous rumors that the politician walks in a vague transworld state, with one foot mired in the fourth dimension, seem refuted by his insistence on running for office instead of simply taking the seat by supernatural force. Also he does not appear to be at all invisible.

The bizarre gossip was fueled by the unexpected reappearance into the public eye of the evil but respected longtime historical despot of Crooked Corners, Leonard Marx. His death by gunshot 18 years ago did not keep him from retaining a powerful presence in local politics until being overwhelmingly ousted by disgruntled voters last year. By local law the previous mayor replaces a newly elected leader if that person is removed. Research into whether or not Marx himself wrote this law into the city's constitution is inconclusive, and there is no proof that Blount and Marx are, as one suspicious resident described, "in cahoots like chiggers and long grass."

In the meantime, deposed Ronald Flint, having taken his lumps with relative grace, has been seen at his usual haunts downtown, including Sue's Cafe, where he ordered the soup of the day and a half sandwich yesterday afternoon and was seen joking with the waitress. His former assistant, Anita Saguaro, who now works under Marx again, told this reporter over the telephone that Flint claimed to be relieved when he left office because he would "no longer have to wear a (word deleted) tie."

Mutants continue to breed at fast, unnecessary pace
By Rockefeller Stone, world beat reporter forced to slum locally

Quickly replacing their dead with a fresh batch of four and sometimes seventeen children, the mutant residents of Crooked Corners have "contemptuously and knowingly" ignored the gross overcrowding of the county in an apparent attempt to burgeon their future voting block, according to population control advocates.

With their triplicate noses and occasional protuberant trunks, the mutants sniff with indifference at suggestions that excessively large families and unnecessary children lead to a host of problems such as disease, pollution, congestion and a shortage of movie theatre seating.

"Ignorance is clearly not a factor here, as any idiot can see that the world is overcrowded," said the ever-communicative James Molly Gramlich, assistant advisor of the Crooked Corners Community College Women's Studies Department. Yet Gramlich sympathizes with the ex-Panolandians and says, "By reproducing so quickly and unpopularly, the mutants maintain a position of inferiority in the public eye, thus establishing a pattern which keeps them in the liberal limelight. After all, we do need someone to point a finger at."

There are also questions as to whether the parents of mutant children have brought the new lives into a healthy atmosphere. For example, mutants sometimes have the parts of both genders, and it could be difficult for youngsters to figure out which parent to suckle, claims an official report from Crooked Corners Child Protective Services.

A spokesman for WAHT, or "We Are Human, Too," the latest incarnation of the mutant insurgency movement, claims that any argument against mutant breeding is gross discrimination. "Normal people with an undisturbed cellular makeup do not own the planet. We are free to have children if we so desire. We came here to participate in the democracy of this country, to get away from the domineering, leering leadership of Panoland and raise our mutant families in peace."

Those who would suggest otherwise, the spokesman argued, "only want to force the mutants underground."

Factually, the mutants left their homeland of Panoland because of rampant radioactivity and its deadly repercussions. See back issues of the Crooked Corners Gazette for articles by this reporter chronicling the build-up of atomic weapons and their subsequent flawed testing in that beleagured nation. While the leadership of Panoland remained conservative until its leaders became gelatinous green piles of flacid flesh, residents of that country enjoyed a certain freedom--freedom from scorn.

In addition, any claims of participation in the democracy of this country by mutants is specious, as they have only been around for about four years, and not a single one of them is registered to vote.

Ronald S. Flint, the recently deposed mayor of Crooked Corners, was working on plans to more fully integrate the mutant population with the native townspeople but got caught up in a scandal when he admitted finding mutants unattractive. Although he insists he has nothing against mutants otherwise, he now concedes that honesty is by no means a good way to remain in public office.

Flint's own daughter eloped with a mutant in the year 2000, but her whereabouts since that time and whether or not she has reproduced remain unknown.

Photographs of unfamiliar faces cause confusion
By Bryce Thackeray, freshman reporter
The anonymous teenaged girl who reunited her parents with a former friend. (Photo courtesy of Crooked Corners Unified School District)

Exploring the attic of her home the other day, a local 14-year-old girl discovered a rusty metal box containing a collection of old photographs. When she brought the jagged, disintegrating box to the attention of her mother and father, they explained that the images represented friends and family members who no longer kept in touch. The parents then quickly rushed their daughter to the hospital to receive a tetanus shot.

Upon her return home, the girl discarded the rusty box and brought the brittle photographs with her to her bedroom where she cleared one wall and fastened them each upon it with chewing gum, as she was unable to find masking tape for said purpose. She then lit a candle and placed it at the foot of the wall, where she kneeled to the newly formed shrine and asked aloud--to no one in particular, as the room was otherwise empty of people--to one day, perhaps, become aquainted with the former loved ones and cherished compadres of her forlorn yet indifferent parents.

The child left the candle burning as a life-force vigil and went to bed. She learned quickly not to rest against the painful injection bruise on her right shoulder and fell fast asleep, sweetly dreaming of people she might never meet. A short time later she was awakened by the shrill piercing squeal of a smoke detector.

Following the three-alarm fire and the destruction of their residence, the family told this reporter that one of the firefighters was an old friend and was actually in the background of many of the photographs of the parents' wedding. Upon learning of this reunion, the teenager rubbed her aching shoulder, wiped the soot from her forehead and beamed with joy.

Letter to the Editor

My dear Gazette,

I feel compelled and honored to answer the sadly bitter man who wrote the letter printed in your recent issue who, among other angry things, called me a "lunatic." I have meditated upon his words, listened to the plaintive chirping of the golden cricket deep within my soul, and I have come to realize that, yes, it is true, when the moon is full ("luna" being Latin for "moon"), I do like to dance a little jig as I stroll outside the Temple. Perhaps this joyful expression of my love for the exalted orthopteran does come across to uninformed observers as a tic. However, I assure you and your gentle readership that I am not a psychopath.

--Kire Ilguah, founder and grand prophet of the First Temple of the Exalted Orthopteran