LET’S TRY ONLY NEWS THAT’S FIT TO PRINT

After awhile, even journalists get tired of bad news. It seems as if every time you pick up a paper, the stories are shocking, depressing or disgusting. And that’s just the sports pages.

Wouldn’t it be nice if, just once, you could control the news flow? Then we might see stories such as these:

WASHINGTON — A federal judge today ruled that oil company presidents do have every right to charge higher prices for gas. However, the judge also ruled that for the rest of their lives, those presidents must pay $700 a gallon for drinking water, $900 for a loaf of bread, and $2,000 for clean sheets. . . .

HOLLYWOOD — After a six-month absence, singer/actress Cher appeared at a press conference at least 60 pounds overweight. “I don’t know what happened,” she said, munching from a Dunkin’ Donuts bag. “One day someone put this stuff called ‘food’ in front of me and, geez, it’s good. . . . “

PARIS — For the first summer ever, not a single tourist visited this famous city, leaving the citizens to deal only with each other, after which one exclaimed, “Sacre bleu! We truly are rude and obnoxious!”

LOS ANGELES — Dr. Ruth Westheimer admitted today that she has been making it all up, and she hasn’t had a date in years.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The results were eye opening this weekend when a group of 100 TV evangelists were forced to actually read the Bible. “Did you see this?” one asked. ” ‘Thou shalt not steal’? Whoa. When did that get in here?” . . .

WASHINGTON — President Bush officially abolished algebra, calculus and trigonometry from all high school curricula, saying, “I’ve been running the country for two years and I’ve never seen a logarithm.”

Instead, high school teens will now study How To Speak Without Whining.

ATLANTIC CITY — Financiers who agreed to bail out Donald Trump from his enormous debt last week have apparently changed their minds.

“We held a long meeting,” said the group’s spokesperson, “and we came to this conclusion: The guy’s a dweeb. Let him sink.”

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball announced that from now on, all players must spend two years working in the real world, just to see what it’s like.

HOUSTON — NASA scientists today announced they are recalling the famous Hubble telescope from space because, “We don’t know what the hell we’re looking at anyhow. . . . ”

WASHINGTON — A federal insurance investigator has determined that every American with insurance is owed at least $10,000 in refunds. “I can’t believe this business,” said the investigator. “You give them all this money for years, and then, when you have an accident, they raise your rates. Boy, wait till I tell the president. . . . “

NEW YORK — The American Society of Book Publishers voted unanimously never to publish another book by Shirley MacLaine, because, as one member put it: “She’s a ditz.”

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department admitted today that $875 is indeed too much to pay for a screwdriver.

NEW YORK — After the stock market jumped 400 points then fell 200 points, weary Wall Street analysts finally admitted, “We have no idea what makes it work. The thing has a mind of its own. We quit.”

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Doing what many felt was long overdue, country clubs across America today opened their doors to all minorities. The minorities, however, said, “Nah, golf is boring.’

WASHINGTON — Despite the alarming rise in gun-related murders, the NRA continues to insist that every American should have the right to a gun. So today, the companies that make bullets voluntarily went out of business.

DETROIT — Famous rock singer Madonna returned home this weekend and abruptly announced her retirement, after her father said “Shame on you” and sent her to her room.

CHICAGO — Scientists were greeted with cheers and hugs when they announced that, after a decade of research, they had determined, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that extra-cheese pizza is the healthiest and least fattening food on Earth. . . .

NEW YORK — ABC, NBC and CBS announced that from now on, news anchors will be chosen by their knowledge of current affairs, not their hairstyles.

SOUTH PACIFIC — The ship carrying George Steinbrenner, Don King, Bob Arum and Brent Musburger mysteriously disappeared off the coast today. No traces were found.

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