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This Just In: Bush Wins Debate, Pigs Fly
- Miranda Rites, Denver Bureau Chief

A roundup of news just in:

The San Diego Padres were awarded Major League Baseball's World Series Championship, in spite of the 13-37 record that excluded the team from the playoffs. In yesterday's press conference, MLB Commissioner Buddy Zelig noted that the Padres had actually exceeded the expectations of Las Vegas bookies, who bet on a 6-44 season. In that sense, Zelig reasoned, the Padres had "won."

At the Lorna Doone Middle School in Southwest Charlesville, Principal Sara Lee defended her decision to hire a dog as an eighth-grade English teacher: "He's so polite, knows when to sit and stay. Isn't that just great for our school?"

The CEO of computer giant Shutters, Willie Fences, was awarded "Best New Product of 2000" by the Computer Experts' Alliance yesterday. When asked to justify the award, alliance chair Steven Sonnacht acknowledged that "the Shutters operating system does tend to crash every 5 minutes or so. But we the alliance board agreed that the background graphic was much more stylish than we thought it would be. We thought that should be taken into account."

Paroled mass murderer Charles Mansoff was given the job of guarding the national stockpile of chemical weapons at Fort Yella near Shaky Flats, Colorado. According to human resources director Willie B. Fyrd, Mansoff wildly exceeded expectations. "Coming into his interview, we expected him to do some weird freaky dance, show us his Nazi tatoo and roll his eyes around," said Mr. Fyrd. "Mr. Mansoff actually shaved his beard and combed his hair, and other than picking ticks off his shirt, he did a great job in answering our questions without yelling."

Physician Charlie W. Granziolla of Des Moines, Iowa was cleared of charges of gross incompetence by a medical review board. Although he mistakenly connected Daniel Davuna's aorta to his windpipe in bypass surgery, Granziolla's fellow doctors seemed sympathetic. Said one of the reviewers, "He did much better than in his previous operation, when he stapled a woman's toe to her forhead and removed her left arm. Besides, his closing stitches this time were really nicely done."

And finally, George W. Bush was declared the winner of the first Presidential debate by reporters for the nation's major newspapers. "Mr. Bush avoided stumbling over his own syntax or comically mispronouncing words as he had in the past," said Johnny Apple of the New York Times. "Republican George W. Bush did not bobble the names of foreign leaders, lose his train of thought in the middle of some policy discourse or seem like an impostor of a candidate on the stage here at the University of Massachusetts," added John Harris of the Washington Post.

Pundits agreed. According to Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia, "The surprise for many people will be that Bush was perfectly competent." Said pollster John Zogby, "Mr. Bush showed he was fully in command of his facts, avoided any of the occasional flubs on which the news media has dwelled, and showed he could stand toe-to-toe with Mr. Gore in a debate, despite the vice president's reputation for superior debating skills."

Night Fired but Defiant
- Howard Unlikely, Irregular Sports

In a surprise development today, Robert Night was fired today from his position as Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University for violations of the school's code of ethics. "This is simply the last straw," said University President Myles Brand, referring to recent incidents in which Prof. Night allegedly grabbed and verbally abused a student and used loud and demeaning language in a dispute with an upper-level female administrator. "Such uncivil, defiant behavior in our faculty is unacceptable," Brand continued. "One violent assault by an academic is okay. Two is maybe questionable. But now we've got to draw the line."

Night's dismissal is the culmination of a series of documented incidents spanning over 20 years in which the Professor has shown a proclivity toward kicking, slapping, screaming at and choking his students. Outside Indiana University, Prof. Night has encountered trouble for assaulting a police officer and a patron at a local restaurant. Night has remained unrepentant, maintaining that "I've got my own lecturing style, and if some people can't deal with that, they don't have to take my classes."

Night's colleagues have quickly come to his defense. Associate Professor of Anthropology Susan Spickles remarked yesterday, "So he choked a student or two. He's certainly done more good than bad for this University, and you've got to respect him for that." Referring to Night's violation of a zero-tolerance agreement made last Spring after video surfaced of Night choking a student in his office, Anthropology Department Chair Olaf Potz complained that "no one told Robert what ‘zero-tolerance' meant. Does that mean no slapping? No kicking? No spitting? No name-calling? Really, how could you expect him to comply if he doesn't know the limits?"

Meanwhile, students flocked by the thousands to Assembly Hall to protest the loss of one of their teachers. Banners with the words "Burn, Brand, Burn!" demonstrated Indiana students' fiery devotion to their academic idols – and indeed, Brand was burned in effigy. Meanwhile, pictures of Millicent Mills (the student who complained to administrators after being grabbed last week) were distributed with the caption "Wanted: Dead." Mannequins with Mills' name on them and attached signs attached reading "this is what we do to traitors" were visible yesterday on campus. Explained Mike Dolt, a leader of yesterday's protests, "we love our academic environment here. I came here because I wanted to take classes and learn. Now there's no reason for me to stay here – I think I'm going to transfer." Dolt later suggested that he and other students might boycott classes until Prof. Night was rehired.

Off campus, radio shows across the state of Indiana were inundated with calls from irate callers wanting to know why such the widely beloved, albeit controversial, Prof. Night got the sack. Citizens from Gary in the North to Mount Vernon in the South proclaimed their loyalty to Night and his mission, despite his heavy-handed tactics. Waitress Betty Lou Whoo offered an explanation for the fervor. "You've got to understand us Hoosiers: we really go crazy for the education offered at Indiana University – it makes us proud. Me, I love to follow the different departments' retention statistics. Now, it just won't be the same."

As campus police and the custodial staff cleaned up the debris from a night of raucous protest, most kept to themselves. However, Police Sgt. Billy Club was overheard remarking to one reporter, "Well, what do you expect? The kids here at Indiana are really serious about their learning. Of course they'll get fired up when they lose a Professor, even when he's a royal jerk. It really means something to them and their future, you know?" "Not," he mumbled under his breath, "like some silly basketball game."
Inside Today's Irregular News:
... New Haven Man Smokes Marijuana, Kills 5
... Scientists Discover Benefits of Lawn Pesticides
... Corporal Punishment Advocate Whips Self
... Satan Confesses to Invention of Cheez Whiz
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