by Clarence Brown
American Reporter Correspondent
SEATTLE, Wash. -– The headlines (or "heds," as we call 'em in the J biz) below are all genuine.
The stories are as genuine as you'd expect in this column.
SALEM, Ore. –- Oregon health authorities have repeatedly sought to curb the practice of Dr. I. Soup, who offers, for an exorbitant fee, to resurrect those who come here for voluntary suicide and later change their mind.
Dr. Soup, reached for comment in his R.U. Sure? Clinic, pointed to a success rate of 80 percent.
"And that includes those who change their minds a second time and take poison," he said.
BOISE, Ida. –- A panel of the Idaho State Senate has voted against applying the law as laid down in the Book of Leviticus. Particularly abhorrent to most of the legislators was the prohibition in Lev. 19:14 against cursing the deaf.
"How else could one get the waitress in the Senate cafeteria to pay attention?" asked one exasperated solon.
NEW YORK, N.Y. -– In the annual cruciverbalist competition, sponsored by Will Shortz, editor of the NYT crossword puzzles, the last composer standing in the "Cruel and Unusual" category was the well-known Manny Nosowsky. He is notorious for his clue "Empedocles on____" (Matthew Arnold poem) for the four-letter word "Etna."
More humane composers always indicate this tritest of crossword entries by the clue "Sicilian spouter."
WASHINGTON, D.C. –- The recent explosion that shook the US House of Representatives was not, after all, the work of terrorists, as expected.
It occurred during a filibuster conducted by Dr. Strom Soup, the South Carolina Dixiecrat, then Democrat, and finally Republican, who was attempting to stifle debate on the law to ban hurricanes.
His filibuster consisted of reading, at dictation speed, the Old Testament Book of Leviticus and lingering with much lascivious eyebrow-lifting and ear pulling over the various passages forbidding the practices called sins there but seen as good clean family fun in South Carolina, when all of a sudden the wire linking his brain to his wallet snapped and caused a huge explosion, mostly of laughter.
LOS ALAMOS, N.M. -– Five scientists, among them some of the most respected researchers in their field, have been terminated here over lapses of a kind thought to endanger the national security.
One of them, Dr. I. Soupsky, whose call to a colleague in Moscow was being monitored, was heard to divulge a nuclear secret to a former KGB officer by saying, "Now, Oleg, this is just between you and I..."
Dr. Strunk White, head of the facility here, said, "Breaches of national security we can handle, but outright grammatical solecism cannot be tolerated."
Clarence Brown is a cartoonist, writer, and Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Princeton University.