Spring 2004

Alleged Mutant Ringleader Found Singing in Cave
By Rockefeller Stone, world reporter

Boohoomi Dal, Jr., the reputed leader of the mutant insurgency movement and longtime no-show at parties, surrendered to authorities yesterday.

But his arrest did not occur without incident. When police first arrived on the scene, the bizarre mutant threw the
Arrested: Alleged terrorist and chanteur Boohoomi Dal, Jr., arrested outside his hideout in the Bluewood Forest.
extraneous hand that grows atop his head out of the cave. It took "seven or eight well-aimed shots" before the scrambling mass of wiggling phalanges dropped and coiled into a lifeless fist.

Commanding deputy Officer Harold later admitted that in his excitement he had combined the expressions "put up your hands" and "throw out your weapons," creating an amalgamation of the two phrases which may have confused the terrorist.

Scientists have learned that the tertiary hand of Dal, Jr.'s dome sheds and regrows twice a year. These separated mutations carry on a life of their own, and at this time five or six of them roam Crooked Corners. Only one has been arrested, and the chief medical examiner has ordered an autopsy on yesterday's casualty to determine whether or not it has a soul.

Meanwhile lawyers continue to argue over the legal merits of charging the hand in custody as an adult.

After the gunfire, Boohoomi himself appeared with arms extended outside the cave. Using extreme caution and methods established by the Geneva Convention on Mutant Handling, police carefully wrapped the perp in bubble wrap and shipped him to the county jail, where he was booked and sealed nude in a sanitary jar.

Clued into his whereabouts by anecdotal rumors of a man's operatic voice booming among the canyons of the Bluewood Forest, local law enforcement honed in on the whereabouts of the fugitive using sophisticated audio triangulation techniques and a chipmunk tied to a long string of dental floss.

Dal, Jr. has a lovely singing voice; one of the earlier videos unveiled by the Boohoomi clan was publicly released, and although controversial, now proves to be an accurate portrait of the terrorist at that time. He has since, according to photographs released by the Crooked Corners Police Department, let himself go to pot.

By yesterday the unbathed, stench-ridden foreigner had grown a full wooly beard, had developed a twitch in his left eye, a kidney-shaped boil on his neck and holes in his socks. Police found him surrounded by rotting potato skins, a cassette player with dead batteries and a broken plastic flute. The extreme condition of poverty betrayed a man of fallen wealth and position, and only his Hi-Definition TV and extensive DVD library appeared intact.

Authorities are now combing through the mutant's hideout to find clues as to whom or what Dal commanded. Since the winter of 2001, mutant terrorism has seen considerable press, even while polls show that average townspeople rank it only 97th on their list of daily conversations, behind the value of Tupperware but just ahead of who should be the next President of the United States.

WAHT and Blount at Odds
by Liza Rowls, drinking Nyquil to dull the pain

As seen from behind the glass walls of a high-tech jail cell, Boohoomi Dal, Jr.'s future as a commanding figure in the legion of Panolandian expatriates now looks grim. Concerned worrywarts argue that the extraction of the hero from his obscure cave hideout will only give more power to the mutant argument for violence in pursuit of their cause. Whether or not warranted, the complaint that ordinary humans treat their metamorphosed counterparts less than fairly continues to fuel the fire of unrest.

"This is supposed to be the land of opportunity," said an anonymous person claiming to be a member of the mutant group "We Are Human, Too." Scrubbing the dust off that dried-out chestnut has become the apparent fallback cry of Panolandian immigrants attempting to explain away their bad behavior.

But Jack Blount, hopeful mayoral candidate, argued publicly upon Dal's arrest that this is a good time to be American. "Though mutants deserve respect and compassion, their official rights have yet to be determined. Only history can decide that, and we'll have to wait and see what crazy ideas history comes up with. We should not make these things up ourselves."

Responding directly to Blount's statement during a town meeting held in an Internet chat room, WAHT representatives countered, "That kind of inscrutable and valueless political whitewash has painted many a fence in this country, guarding a vast tract of indifference."

A member of the e-audience identifying himself as "tigermoody69" chimed in, "This trouble about mutants ain't nobody's business but they own. Anybody wanna see my webcam?"

A Gazette insta-poll indicated that 98 percent of chat participants logged out soon after that point of the meeting.

Under Pressure, WTM Incorporates Anti-Discrimination Policy
by Sinclair Growden, twice the age he was half his life ago

The mega-corporation White Trash Mart updated its hiring policy Tuesday to embrace mutants from Panoland. Critics charge that the company merely wanted to prevent a lawsuit from moving forward.

"We at White Trash Mart appreciate the diversity of all humans and human derivatives," said WTM spokesperson Jerilie Watsky. "While it has always been our policy, from this day forward we shall officially hire all forms of people, from bipedal to triungulate to in-between, for all positions."

Proposed civil litigation by several groups representing malcontent mutants suggested that WTM hiring policies involved institutional discrimation. For example, a burly mutant engaged to his conjoined twin complained that while his brother was working in the front of the store as a cashier, he could only get work in the Receiving Department because of his incandescent nasal cavities.

"It made my lifestyle seem seedy and weird," the claimant told this reporter under the condition of anonymity. His conjoined brother, Charles Fleeby of 104 First St., agreed.

"It just isn't fair."

Ms. Watsky went further in her public statement on behalf of White Trash Mart saying that for the next 90 days all persons with genetic disorders will receive not only an enthusiastic greeting at the front entrance of the store, but a warm hug as well.

Letter to the Editor

Dear Gazette,

Please write an editorial regarding the unkempt condition of Gus Johnson's front lawn. Between the barbed-wire rose bushes and mile-high crab grass, my dog doesn't know where to do his business. I would like to think I live in a nice community, but the state of Mr. Johnson's yard has surely reduced property values. His house could use a coat of paint as well.

Sincerely, a concerned neighbor

Editor's note: Gus Johnson is long dead.