Saturday, January 08, 2005

In the Year 2005...

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Many years from now, when I'm old, I'll be willing to recall the really big events of 2004: the war, for instance, or that day in April when I got a General Tso's chicken combo plate for lunch that was so delicious I desperately wanted to get another one for dinner, but shame prevented it.

For now, though, I want to put 2004 behind me. The presidential race, the Swift Boat Veterans, that TV show where a bunch of dwarfs raced a camel (and lost), everybody going on the Atkins diet, everybody going off the Atkins diet, Janet Jackson's northern hemispheres -- all that 2004 stuff is going in storage.

So instead of recapping the top moments of 2004, I'd like to look forward -- to the fantastic future!

Many readers have confessed to me their sneaking suspicions that events that supposedly occur in "real life" and reported by us as "news" are actually just fiction made up by this newspaper to pander to our own agenda. That's actually true. The reporters at this newspaper love to make stuff up, and the editors tinker with articles for months to get the spelling mistakes just right.

Here, then, are sneak previews of five news stories we're working on for 2005:


HESS LNG'S PLAN TO BUILD IN, DESTROY CITY APPROVED

FALL RIVER -- In a move that will simultaneously solve the area's natural gas shortage and housing crunch, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Monday approved Hess LNG's proposal to build a liquefied natural gas terminal in Fall River and obliterate it from the face of the earth.

"This will speed gas supplies to the Northeast," said Hess LNG spokesman Snidely Whiplash during a press conference at the Weaver’s Cove site off North Main Street.

Building the LNG terminal will also clear hundreds of acres of developable land after the disaster. The area is scheduled to be a smoke-shrouded potter's field in early 2007 after the tank is built and explodes.

"The few Fall River homes left standing after the city's imminent destruction will benefit from the ample supply of gas Hess will provide," Whiplash said, "including an annual savings of up to $1. People who use oil heat, naturally, are a whole different story."

Whiplash also announced the hiring of two local people to clean the place.


CITY COUNCIL OKs BID TO FORM 'FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING'

FALL RIVER -- Spurred by a viewing of the epic 12-hour fantasy film "The Lord of the Rings," the City Council renamed itself "The Fellowship of the Ring."

"Nine councilors," Council President William F. Whitty said at a meeting Tuesday. "To match the nine ringwraiths. I move we change our name, but first my motion must be seconded. One of you must do this."

Councilor Bradford L. Kilby, who will hereafter be known as the Elven prince Legolas, threw his weight behind the measure, saying, "Leo would be a great Gimli. He's so dwarfish."

The motion carried, 7-2, with Linda Pereira and Alfredo Alves opposed, reportedly unhappy with their positions as Meriadoc and Boromir, respectively.

The Fellowship's first order of business involves amending the city's laws to allow broadswords and axes in council chambers.


GILLETTE UNVEILS 13-BLADED RAZOR

BOSTON -- In the latest salvo in the razor wars, Gillette Corp. announced the release of the Gillette Lucky Stroke, a 13-bladed disposable razor.

The announcement comes hard on the heels of Schick's 12-bladed Schick XXXXXXXXXXXXtreme.

"The Lucky Stroke is the answer to stubborn beards. Really stubborn beards," said Gillette spokeswoman Fanny Bottoms. "Like, extremely stubborn beards. The first four blades gently lift the hairs, the next two arrange them in a uniform direction to ensure a clean cut, and the next five cut the hairs in a series of ever-closer slices.

"The next-to-last blade, which is more jagged, digs into the skin to remove ingrown hairs," Bottoms continued. "The final blade grates off a layer of epidermis to keep that five-o'clock shadow from showing up until after eight."

Other features of the Gillette Lucky Stroke are four soothing conditioning strips, a battery-powered electromagnet that emits micropulses to lift the hairs, a steam nozzle to straighten curly hairs, a 20-gigabyte computer hard drive, Bluetooth headphones, for some reason, and a comfort-grip handle.


HODGSON'S LATEST PURCHASE CALLED COOL BUT 'SCARY'

DARTMOUTH -- Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson recently unveiled the newest piece of equipment in the Sheriff's Department crime-fighting arsenal: the Bristol County Mobile Voltron Unit.

The equipment includes five robotic lions that can unite, if needed, to form one 50-foot super-robot.

Each individual lion employs super speed, laser beams and flying technology. Besides the lasers, the combined super-robot also carries a very large sword.

At a press conference Thursday, Hodgson sat in the cockpit of the black lion and explained that the $970.6 million unit will be used to stop the forces of Zarkon, should they make their presence known in Bristol County.

"The unit will ultimately save taxpayer money," Hodgson said, donning his helmet. "Form Voltron!"

At his command, the super-robot joined together in a burst of light and electricity, and demonstrated its tremendous firepower to the media by shooting a series of cardboard Zarkonian targets.

Former candidate for sheriff Leo O. Pelletier said the unit's necessity is so far unproven.

"Don’t get me wrong," Pelletier said. "It's gigantic. And the girl lion pilot is cute. But frankly it scares the hell out of me.

"I bet you a million bucks after a week he'll lose half the pieces," Pelletier said. "We'll only see it in parades."


CITY'S STEAK INDEX RISES

FALL RIVER -- The city's Portuguese Steak Index rose Friday, pushing the median price of a large Portuguese steak from $8.50 to $8.53. It marked the first change in the index in decades.

Economists say the increase is due to an overall shift in economic trends and a tight national supply of unpitted black olives, used to garnish the steaks.

"Considering you get a large steak, eggs, red pepper, fries and rice, I think we were due for a rate hike," said Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, in town for an O'Gil's sandwich.

At the closing bell Friday, the city's Carne Alentejana Index remained steady at $8.25.

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