Volume 17, Issue 3: Cretan Times
Unheeding Mayor Reopens Beach after JAWS 30th
AMITY ISLANDMayor Vaughn, mindful of the lucrative tourist trade
of the upcoming holiday weekend, refused last week to put the island on a
shark alert, even after Chrissie went swimming and washed up on shore in pieces.
Over the weekend the shark killed several more swimmers, and on Monday the mayor ordered local fishermen to hunt and catch the shark. Ichythyologist Matt Hooper of the Oceanographic Institute, a bearded, bespectacled young man with an intent look, commented on the deaths, "It wasn't an `accident,' it wasn't a boat propeller, or a coral reef, or Jack the Ripper. It was a shark. It was a shark!"
On Tuesday, local fishermen caught a large shark and hung it by its tail on the Amity pier. Sheriff Brody was very happy. Mayor Vaughn was pleased. Ben Meadows took pictures of the shark for the press and declared,
"I think we all owe a debt of gratitude to these men for catching this monster."
Hooper expressed skepticism whether this tiger shark was the fish responsible for the local attacks, given its limited bite radius. Since
shark digestion is very slow, Hooper recommended that he cut open the shark
and find out if "whatever he's been eating is still inside." Mayor Vaughn
strongly objected: "I am not going to stand
here and watch this fish cut open and see some kid fall out on the dock."
Soon afterwards, Mrs. Kintner slapped Mayor Vaughn.
Millions of Mastercard Customers Still Wandering Aimlessly in Desert
NEW YORKFive weeks after Mastercard International announced a security breach of personal information from some 40 million card holders, the company has yet to complete gathering some nine million stray customers.
"It's not as easy as it might seem," said Mastercard spokeswoman Sharon Gamsin. "They no longer come when they're called. And we don't know their names."
The compromised data included "just names, addresses, passwords, mother's maiden names, pant sizes, and Social Security numbers," said
Gamsin. "But no bank account numbers. Funds are safephewthough the personal identities are gone."
Mastercard executive Jack Tenzer explained Monday in a press conference, "some of these loose customers have crossed over into protected federal lands and that allows us to grab them without introducing ourselves." Tenzer noted processing the 32 million customers already retrieved is a slow process, but "once we match their cards, we'll go back and reduce their interest rates and minimum payments during this difficult time. We've all lost good friends in this debacle."
A flurry of disclosures of breaches affecting high-profile companies including Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp and Jake's Pawn
has prompted federal lawmakers to draw up legislation designed to better tattoo credit card customers.
New Cheetah Cubs at National Zoo Open to Scathing Reviews
WASHINGTON, D.C.Washington's National Zoo proudly
displayed its new, rare litter of endangered cheetah cubs on Saturday, only to
have to close the exhibit five hours later after observer heckling grew too intense.
The ten-week-old cubsthree females and two maleshad been frolicking in the grass with their mother, Zazi, when a chorus of boos rose
from the second-grade class of Harrison Elementary School. Other
observers quickly joined in, and zoohandlers had to urge the cheetah family inside.
Chad Nelson, one of the disgruntled second-graders, explained, "They just lean on each other and sleep; I've seen that too many times." Hillary Jackson complained the cheetah cubs were "too spotty and
earth-toned." Others noted that the cubs did not
run as fast as teachers had promised and none of them made anything bleed.
The bank of news cameras set up to capture the public debut moved on to the zebra exhibit after the first hour. The Washington
Post's reviewer noted, "There are not enough synonyms for the word `bad' in the English language. This is, beyond a doubt, the worst cheetah family I have ever seen." The
Washington Times said, "Some people tried to tell me that these cubs were a profound commentary on American culture, but
I found them squeaky."
The Deputy Director of the zoo, Mary Tanner, commented, "We try our hardest, but some shows just lack star quality. This happened to the Kenyan water buffalo, too." When asked about plans for the cheetahs, Tanner said they would probably break them up and ship them to interested circuses.
Playskool Joins Effort to Make Skyscrapers Terror Proof
PAWTUCKET, R.I.The National Institute of Standards and
Technology announced Tuesday that it has asked Hasbro's toy division, Playskool,
to contribute to the three-year analysis probing sweeping changes to
skyscraper safety codes.
"Playskool jumped right in with recommendations," said Shyam Sunder, the lead investigator at the NIST. "In addition to our existing recommendations such as widening stairwells and hardening elevator shafts, we will now also recommend that skyscrapers remain unplugged when not in use and that no one should handle
skyscrapers with wet hands."
Playskool spokesperson Gail Carvelli said, "Skyscrapers should be of a sturdy, durable construction, with easy snap-on handles. No skyscraper should break into small pieces that might pose a choking hazard."
The recommendations are expected to generate a fair amount of controversy in the building code community. But for the engineers
who undertook the study, the main concern is safety and defense. Carvelli explained, "Skyscrapers should have two nylon mesh sides and two blue solid plastic ends. The side rails should collapse into a `V' that can entrap and strangle a terrorist."
The recommendations are not expected to change the look of the nation's urban city design, except to add a whole series of fun and shiny
yellows, blues, and greens to the skylines.
Pentagon Claims Dukes of Hazzard Remake Not Terrorist Related
WASHINGTON, D.C.In a Pentagon statement Friday, spokesman Lawrence DiRita denied claims that the forthcoming film The Dukes of Hazzard, based on the hit television series
(1979-85), has any connection to terrorist activity. "This incident is not terrorist related nor is it related in any way to our nation's heightened alert status."
Rumors began circulating when a recent al-Quaeda memo surfaced suggesting that terrorists would attempt to undermine Americans' will to
live. DiRita emphasized that "The Dukes of Hazzard's featured cousins, Bo and Luke, with the help of eye-catching Daisy, try to save the family farm from being destroyed by Boss Hogg"(Burt Reynolds) but that "the plot and character development still require more active intelligence than MGM's Be Cool, starring Travolta and Thurman." DiRita confirmed that Be Cool, as well as Herbie: Fully Loaded and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl, are still under investigation for terrorist links.
Since the first trailers for The Dukes of Hazzard were released, the Pentagon has been inundated with calls from around the country seeking information about it and asking whether the Pentagon has asked Bewitched actress Nicole Kidman to help in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. The Pentagon has repeatedly advised callers to contact the Department of Homeland Security, but callers regularly insist they have no interest in purchasing a ranch.
Deep Throat Just Really, Really Shy
SANTA ROSA, CAAfter Mark Felt's family ended a thirty-year mystery by confirming he was "Deep Throat" of the Washington Post coverage of the Watergate scandal, Felt has
not stopped giggling. "They did what?" he said. "Those bad kids. Turn off my lights."
"It was never a question of
risk," said Felt. "I had the whole judiciary on my side. I just didn't want to upset anyone's schedule."
When asked why he denied being Deep Throat for so many years, Felt said, "No one ever asked nicely. Like many people, I get flustered easily."
Though not in the parking garage Felt made famous during the scandal, he still lives in an underground
facility with all-night service. "He has just always felt safer there, away from
the crowds and office windows," said daughter Jean.Post reporter Bob Woodward admits he had suspicions about Felt's deep shyness when Felt kept asking if the trench coat made
him look fat. "That just added to his mystique," said Woodward.
Third U.S. Cow Confirmed: Not Mad, Just a Little Ticked Off
WASHINGTON, D.C.Tests have confirmed a U.S. cow falsely
suspected of having mad cow disease is still
pretty testy and perturbed, the Agriculture Department said Friday.
An internationally recognized laboratory in Weybridge,
England, confirmed the case after U.S. tests
produced conflicting results, some showing the animal to be
deeply depressed and others party-whacky.
The cow was a "downer," meaning it often complained about its childhood to other cows. It was unable to walk but was known to tap-dance at inappropri-
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