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Local News - English Teacher Just Gives Up Correcting "The" and "A" Mistakes, Exchange Student Uses All His Spare Time Deconstructing the Japanese Psyche, Head-to-Head In A Two-Way Alley, Elderly Woman Desperate to Board Train, Bar Patron Unable To Find Signs of Japan's Ailing Economy.
International News - Couple Bring Back Rat From Mexico, Only To Find Out That It Is Really A Dog, His Name Really Is Michael Jackson!  Asian Woman Laughs at White Man's Chinese Characters Tattoos.
Arts and Entertainment - What Gives?  Why Don't Celebrities Want To Cut Celebrity Albums Any More?  Ray Parker Jr. Ain't Afraid Of No Ghost,  Only In The Movies: Two Styx Lovers Meet, Fall in Love,  Melanie Griffith Wins Oscar In Virtual Fantasyland,  Julia Roberts Updates "Mystic Pizza" Role, Wins Oscar,  Erin Brokovitch Nearly Nominated For Cameo Role in Erin Brokovitch,  Book Review - Novel's Scenario of Foreign-Born Nazi President All Too Plausible,  Douglas Coupland/Brett Easton Ellis Celebrity Pop Deconstructionist Rally.
Society - "Fur Elise" Most Hated Digital Theme Ever,  "Cloning Hurt By Negative Image Portrayed in Films" Says Advocacy Group.
Science and Technology - Self-Cleaning Hands,  Some Virtual Activities Still Not Catching On,  Trillions of Internet Domain Names Still Unregistered,  Chopsticks Version 2.0 - Eating Utensils Design Improved For First Time In 5000 Years.
Sports - Sports Editorial - Sure, He Beat Me By 0.001 Seconds - So What!
Business - Chicken Farmer Counts Chickens Before They Hatch.
Features - Quotable Enough to Quote, He Said/He Said: my haircut vs. my haircut; Wieners and Loosers; Hissy Fit of the Weak, Let's Make A Bad Joke, Letters to the Editor,

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Local News

English Teacher Just Gives Up Correcting "The" and "A" Mistakes - For most young expats teaching English in Japan, getting their students to understand the difference between articles "the" and "a" has been the biggest bane to their existence.  But one creative individual has come up with a unique solution to the problem.  For John Cooper of Indiana, the solution is simplicity itself.  "I just don't bother correcting my students if they make a mistake.  It's impossible to explain anyway.  And there's no actual difference anyway, is there?  I know tons of native English speakers who make mistakes all of the time, I personally don't mind if my students make mistakes.  It's not like they're not being totally misunderstood or anything if they say 'the ball' instead of 'a ball,' right?  Take for example my Japanese counterpart - she's been an English teacher for over 20 years, and even she says things like 'yesterday I talked to the Englishman.'  I didn't correct her.  Sure it sounds fruity, but I pretty much knew what she was talking about.  I mean, just look at Sesame Street - there's no educational segment there to explain to kids the difference between 'the' and 'a,' right?  It's probably not there because it's not a priority.  Or maybe it's not there because it's totally impossible to do.  See, even the chief educators of our youth avoid it, so why do I need to be a hero and fight a losing cause?"

Exchange Student Uses All His Spare Time Deconstructing the Japanese Psyche - John Throaty, an exchange student at Hiroshima Gaidai University, is slowly becoming an expert on the Japanese psyche.  Although he has only been in Japan a year, he has used all of his available free time analyzing and deconstructing the character of the Japanese people and has written several long treatises on it, some of which he has published on his homepage.  All of his emails home to friends are intense musings on the forces that drive the Japanese and shape their worlds, their priorities and motivations, as well as several theories about the evolution of Japanese cultural institutions.  "I noticed all these things, constantly, from the first day that I got here and on and on, every day - little things, big things, the Japanese are so mysterious," explains Mr. Throaty excitedly.  "Sure they do all the same things we do - take trains, ride cars, do the laundry, fix food, go to work, come home, relax, watch a movie, eat, sleep, have a beer with friends, smoke too many cigarettes, plan a vacation or two a year - but somehow they do all these things just slightly different than we do.  For example, in the trains you never see anybody eating, or sipping a drink.  Why is that?  I have a few theories.  It's so different back home, people eat sandwiches, candy bars, drink pop on the subways, whatever. When I went home for Christmas, some dumbass put her Pepsi on the floor of the subway for a second so that she could get something out of her backpack, the subway slowed down suddenly coming into a station and the full drink tipped over and rolled all over the subway car making a mess, it was ridiculous."  Throaty has theories on everything from the popularity of manga, sex roles in Japanese society, the popularity of cell phones, Hello Kitty, masked characters and masks in general, phallic imagery in train stations, the evolution of rice triangles, uniforms, shrines and temples, love gods, subway groping, vending machines, and the types of aprons favored by matronly grandmothers.  Friends and family of Mr. Throaty are also fascinated by his ideas, and are slowly becoming versed in Japanese cultural psychology themselves.  "John's emails are lengthy and fascinating," says father John Throaty Sr.  "I think he should publish them in book form.  My son could be up there with the great Japan deconstructionists like Pico Iyer."  Others are not quite so enthusiastic.  Ex-girlfriend Marsha Graves wonders what all of the fuss is about.  "All of this analysis of what Japanese women wear?  What's it all good for.  I think John should just finally come out of the closet and stop living in denial."  Unfortunately, Throaty has suffered a bit of an ideological setback recently following a shattering revelation.  According to Throaty,  "all of my theories fell apart when I realized that none of my Japanese friends have a personal Zen master."

Head-to-Head In A Two-Way Alley - The back alleys of Osaka are notoriously narrow, yet few that allow two-way traffic are quite as long and narrow as the alley running through the residential district of Okadawano-matchi.  The alley, which is less than three meters wide and unable to allow two-way traffic to pass, has not yet been made a one-way street, resulting in numerous daily cases of traffic confusion when two cars find themselves head-to-head and no way to get around each other.  "I see this every day when I get out of my apartment," says local expat resident Jake King, "and I'm never more glad that I only have a bicycle as when I see these bleach-haired tough guys in their tarted up Hondas arguing with each other about who has got to back up the alley to make room for the other.  It's pretty retarded, dude.  It totally reminds me of that one Rush song, 'Red Barchetta,' you know, the one about the guy getting pursued by a cop car 'three lanes wide' and how he manages to elude them at the 'one lane bridge.'  Classic stuff, dude, classic stuff."

Elderly Woman Desperate to Board Train - Ducking under and around people and using her elbows and shoulders to get around others waiting in line, an elderly woman managed to be one of the first people to board a local train in a suburb of Osaka, energetically brushing past even the people who were trying to get off of the train.  The woman immediately scoured the train car looking for an empty seat, and was frustrated when she was unable to locate one.  Kuni Matsubara, 69 years old, later did manage to get a seat.  Later on, as the train was pulling into Osaka, Ms. Matsubara got up from her jealously guarded seat, in fact actually abandoning it to anybody who might want to sit there, and again used her elbows and shoulders to get around the people standing near the doors waiting to get off of the train when the doors opened.  Due to these great efforts, Ms. Matsubara managed to get up against the glass of the door so that she could be the first person off the train and on her way.  "It gives me great pride to always be at the lead of things," Ms. Matsubara said, "and it's especially important at my age.  The kids these days, they don't notice me, they don't help me out despite my age.  It's up to me to take charge of things.  That's what I got to do, you know, that's what I got to do."  Ms. Matsubara was unable to explain where she was in such a hurry to get to, adding that it was mostly just the principal of the thing.

Bar Patron Unable To Find Signs of Japan's Ailing Economy - Robert Black, an English teacher for a thriving chain of English conversation schools, and a nightly patron of several Osaka bars and pubs, claims that he is unable to see any signs of Japan's ailing economy.  Black, who spends most of his money on beer and women, was an economics major before deciding to come to Japan looking for the better life.  "Yeah, like, I'm out here night after night, and there's all of these salaryman spending money like there's no tomorrow," says Black, "getting loaded and buying each other drinks left and right.  Every night is a party, even most Monday and Tuesday nights.  People back home tell me that the Japanese economy sucks, they ask my if I'm holding on and doing all right, enough to eat, stuff like that, I just laugh at them.  It's great over here, I tell people they should come out and give it a try, but nobody believes me.  Fine, let them stay at home and worry about their stocks.  I don't care, anyway, let them be deluded into thinking that things are grinding to a halt here, I know better.  The best thing about the economy here is that I usually don't have to pay for my drinks any more.  I just tell people I'm a little light, and they buy my drinks.  I think it's a matter of pride for people to know that they earn more money than the average expatriate English teacher.  Excellent!"

International News

Couple Bring Back Rat From Mexico, Only To Find Out That It Is Really A Dog - Dallas.  Every year hundreds of families vacationing in Mexico fall in love with cute street animals and smuggle them back home so that they can raise them in their suburban backyards, showering them with attention for a month before finally getting tired of them and letting them die of neglect - dogs, cats, small Mexican children.  But one couple in Santa Monica, California, received shocking news from their veterinarian when they brought their pet Mexican "rat" in for a routine check-up and some shots.  "The animal doctor told us that it was not rat, it was in fact a scruffy little dog!  And we hate dogs.  Homer here is allergic to dogs, even."  The couple have asked if anybody dog lovers would be willing to adopt a rat-like little doggy so that they don't have to drive back to Mexico and release it to rejoin the packs of other rat-like dogs.

His Name Really Is Michael Jackson! - A forty year old man in Jackson, Ohio shows us his birth certificate.  On the certificate itself we can see quite clearly that his last name is Jackson, first name Michael.  No more proof is needed.  "Yes, my name really is Michael Jackson," Mr. Jackson stated clearly for the record, casting off all doubt that we are actually standing in front of the Michael Jackson... or at least one of the Michael Jacksons.  "My mother gave me this name," Mr. Jackson tells us.  "And then she died.  At that time, nobody in the singing Jackson family had a name for themselves, certainly not this 'king of pop' guy.  Then around 1982 people started noticing that I had the same name as a famous guy.  They made a lot of fun of me.  And to add insult to injury, lawyers representing that other guy gave me a cease and desist order, telling me to stop using the name.  I'm just some guy who lives in Ohio, what kind of threat am I to a pop superstar?  I looked around for other Michael Jacksons in the country and found quite a few, so now we have a support group and there's no way they can take our names away from us.  What nerve, can you imagine?  I've got a friend down the street, his name is Michael Bolton.  Not the singer of course, his name is just Michael Bolton.  And he never gets the grief I do.  I just don't get it."

Asian Woman Laughs at White Man's Chinese Characters Tattoos - John Smith was at a local bar just trying to get to know UCLA sophomore Susan Lim by showing her his collection of tattoos, some of which include Chinese characters.  Unfortunately, he didn't get the reaction he expected.  "She laughed at me," says Smith.  Lim, who was born in Hong Kong but has lived in San Diego for the last ten years, admitted that she was laughing not just at the poor quality of the execution of the characters, but also at their meanings.  "John seemed like a nice guy," says Lim, "but those tattoos!  They don't even look like the characters written by grade school kids back home.  How can I understand why he wants to have the word 'chocolate' tattooed on his stomach in Chinese?  And another one says 'turtle.'  That's what we call stupid people whose wives cheat on them in Hong Kong.  I feel so sorry for him, he's going to have them for the rest of his life!  I wonder if he got them done before or after Foxxxy Brown got hers.  Man, those are poor looking tats."  The two young people parted with no harsh words spoken, although Smith was a little saddened by the encounter.  "I was going to offer to show her the tattoos I had done in more private places," says Smith of the event, "but now I'm kind of glad I didn't."

Arts and Entertainment


Ray Parker Jr. Ain't Afraid Of No Ghost - Nearly twenty years after the release of the film "Ghostbusters", Ray Parker Jr. is still defiant in his claims that he ain't afraid of no ghost.  The theme song, sung by Mr. Parker Jr. and which can still be heard in health clubs and dentist offices everywhere, makes this point clear through constant reiteration.  "I ain't afraid of no ghost," Mr. Parker Jr. states on numerous occasions in the song, a song which is actually about a team of humans who actually capture and imprison ghosts.  "Mr. Parker Jr. seems to be very confident in his claims, as can be heard in the tone of his voice," says musicologist John Framka, "and the fact that this song is still being played twenty years after it was made clearly indicates his sincerity of belief.  I'm sure that he's really still not afraid of ghosts.  But he should be afraid.  He should be very afraid."

What Gives?  Why Don't Celebrities Want To Cut Celebrity Albums Any More? - The eighties was full of celebrity music albums.  Who can forget those remarkable recordings by major movies stars like the great Eddie Murphy and Bruce Willis, not to mention the efforts of John Travolta and Rob Schneider that went before them.  But something happened, and celebrity albums dropped off near totally in the nineties.  But what about this decade?  Just because the nineties were so poorly represented doesn't mean we have to give up on our favorite celebrities.  There are plenty of stars out there right now, we know that they have very little to keep them occupied between movie projects, why not make some bucks in another media and keep the fans happy at the same time.  It seems like a no-brainer to me, but nobody except Jennifer Lopez (thank the stars at least for her) seems to be biting.  What about some music from Winona Ryder, Neve Campbell, any of the Arquettes or Baldwins, the Friends crew, Soong Yi Previn, or even Keifer Sutherland?  And Russel Crowe, he's even already in a band, same goes with Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves and Cameron Crowe!!  Too bad that Brad and Gwyneth never made it to the studio before they hit splitsville, can you imagine the charismatic chart-topping potential there?  So what goes with these people who hold our esteem in such obvious contempt.  Seems like pure laziness to me, and everybody knows just how lazy those Hollywood types are.  I'm so pissed off, I think I'm going to start a petition over the internet.

Ray Parker Jr. Ain't Afraid Of No Ghost - Although the image of a ghost strikes terror in the hearts of most normal individuals, not to mention the real terror and fear of an actual ghost in such films as the Blair Witch Project, there is still one person who has been claiming that he ain't afraid of no ghost since the mid-eighties.  His name is Ray Parker Jr.  "I ain't afraid of no ghost" he repeats again and again in his hit song to the smash feature film "Ghostbusters."  Mr. Parker Jr. was unable to comment if he is still not afraid of ghosts, but none of the lyrics have been changed recently and since the original song can still be heard from time to time in elevators and dentist offices and sports clubs everywhere we assume it must still be so.


Only In The Movies: Two Styx Lovers Meet, Fall in Love - Aren't the movies great?  Only in movies like the recent Big Daddy film starring Adam Sandler can a kinder, gentler world be created where two Styx lovers can meet and fall in love without being ridiculed and shamed into silence and anti-social behavior.  And only in the movies can people admit that they like the group Styx, which became famous for mid-'80s soft rock hits such as "Babe" and "Mr. Roboto."  Especially shameful is the fact that they know the name of the group's lead singer, Tommy Shaw, a name almost completely wiped out by cultural amnesia.  Luckily for people in the real world, the influence of a major star like Adam Sandler, and his presence in a film where the long-forgotten band's name was resurrected, people can now buy a soundtrack album with Styx songs on it, and perhaps occasionally hear Styx again on the muzak system.  Aah, Tommy Shaw...

Melanie Griffith Wins Oscar In Virtual Fantasyland - As all of the big stars line up for their Academy awards, there seems to be one major star who has been overlooked and has never been recognized, despite her amazing contributions to film art.  Yes, this is Melanie Griffiths, whose incredible work in "Shining Through" was not recognized by the Academy, or nearly anybody else.  Luckily, there is justice, and in a virtual fantasyland the wrongs that Ms. Griffiths has suffered in the real world have all been righted.  In this virtual fantasyland, Ms. Griffiths has earned more acting awards than any actress in the real world has been able to collect, not to mention the fact that she has never had to undergo messy divorces or cope with drug addiction, plus she gets offered all of the great female roles that usually go to Julia Roberts.  Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to live permanently in this fantasy world, but scientists are still working on making this an eventual possibility.

Julia Roberts Updates "Mystic Pizza" Role, Wins Oscar - After years of trying to win an Oscar by taking roles as nervous legal students, zany prostitutes, runaway brides, and herself, Julia Roberts seems to have stumbled on the formula for success by going back to her roots and rehashing the character she played in her first feature film, the zany romantic comedy with heart "Mystic Pizza."  As luck would have it, the script which contained the character so very suitable to Ms. Roberts' personality told the true Oscar-potential story of an underdog beauty queen who had beaten the odds and brought justice to a community of low income victims of industrial poisoning.  Although Erin Brokovitch is a real person, Roberts was able to play her version of the famous legal aid so realistically by reaching back and recreating her first and most personally intimate role as the sassy Daisy Araujo who waitresses at the Mystic Pizza pizzeria in the town of Mystic, Connecticut and updating it by showing what Daisy might have been when she "grew up."  "Daisy and Erin have the same soul," says assistant screenwriter David Spade, "so it was just a matter for Julia to tap that energy, to bind the two roles that represent her psyche so totally, and the Oscar was hers.  Actually, it was that and those great bras that she wore.  How could people not help but notice?  That biker boyfriend of hers isn't the only guy with eyes in his head.  Why do you really think he was doing all that free babysitting, anyway, huh?"  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is contemplating whether or not a retroactive Oscar award should be given to the cute little picture that didn't have a famous director or earn any other special awards.

Erin Brokovitch Nearly Nominated For Cameo Role in Erin Brokovitch - Sure Julia Roberts won the best actress Oscar for her portrayal of Erin Brokovitch in the film "Erin Brokovitch".  But what of the real Erin Brokovitch?  Head Cheese has heard that the real Erin Brokovitch was nearly nominated for the best actress in a supporting role for her cameo as a waitress in the film "Erin Brokovitch", named after her.  "The academy felt that Ms. Brokovitch was very deserving of some sort of recognition," said Academy spokesperson Michelle Phillippe, "not just for her brave attempt to portray a struggling waitress, but also for her real-life plight, for which she was rewarded with a bonus of several million dollars.  And the way that she delivered her single line 'and anything for you, ma'am,' showed that she had really immersed herself in her role and mastered all of the nuances needed for a convincing performance.  Unfortunately she wasn't onscreen long enough for her to qualify for the award, despite her amazing performance.  But I really think that she had a good chance of winning, don't you?"

Only In The Movies: Two Styx Lovers Meet, Fall in Love - Not everybody has seen the Adam Sandler smash hit "Big Daddy" (and the ones who haven't seen it probably both live in Missouri) but everybody has to be in agreement that the meeting and falling in love of two Styx fans has to be one of the most unlikely event portrayed on film in recent years.  The two stars, who would be instant social pariahs in any other social setting, openly admit to each other that not only do they love the music of Styx and had seen their live shows in the eighties, but also that they know the names of individual band members, such as lead singer Tommy Page.  Strangely, these two actors (obviously, they were only acting that they liked Styx nearly 20 years ago, but still...) were curiously silent about other mushy eighties acts such as Journey and (h)Air Supply.  Only in the movies, man, this could definitely only happen in the movies.


Book Review - Novel's Scenario of Foreign-Born Nazi President All Too Plausible - Chillingly real... so real, actually, that it must in fact be true!  As hard as it may be to imagine, in his new book fiction-verite thrillmeister Robert Strickland has actually outdone himself as an author by delivering his rawest, tensest thriller ever.  In the Alien, Strickland writes the chillingly plausible story of a curious author researching a new novel by probing the background of foreign-born presidential candidate Arnim Schlatzumulla and discovering horrible resurrected Nazi roots.  Schlatzumulla, "coincidentally" born in Austria only a few years after the end of World War 2 and the "death" of the Fuhrer, has risen through the ranks of the California business hierarchy to become a self-made millionaire and superstar, all the while hiding his shady past.  And in the not-so-distant future, when he finally is elected as a senator to represent California in Washington, the seeds are sewn for the first Nazi president of the United States of America!!  Or is he actually the second ever Nazi president of America???  The book, with its chilling plausibility so real that it must contain the seeds of truth, is enough to shock anybody, send chills down their spine, and keep them up nights waiting for the knock at the door.  At the very least it will cause anybody to cast a suspicious eye on the political process and the candidates the people of the United States promote to leadership.  Read this book and be afraid.  It may seem like fiction, but how can you really be sure?  You will scream inwardly!

Douglas Coupland/Brett Easton Ellis Celebrity Pop Deconstructionist Rally - Nobody likes a celebrity pop deconstructionist rally better than the folks at Head Cheese, and nobody is better at celebrity pop deconstruction than authors Douglas Coupland and Brett Easton Ellis?  And this is why rumors of appearances by these two authors at an upcoming charity pop deconstructionist rally has been greeted with such great anticipation.  "I'm totally looking forward to this, dude," says Deconstructionist Times editor Quentin Quigglesworth.  "Both of these guys are ace deconstructionist legends, you just have to read a few of their books to know that!  The way they come up with quirky neologisms and pop references, or just generally all-around name drop and pop culture theorize, it should be quite the thing.  Kind of like throwing indestructible ski boots in the world's largest microwave, setting it at full blast, and throwing it at Harry Dean Stanton to see if it will billgate or not."  Both Seattle and New Orleans are being touted as potential sites for the rally, and riot police in both cities have been notified.  Dallas, the uber-bulldada capitol of modern pop mythology has unfortunately been ruled out.  The subject of the deconstruction will most likely be the latest issue of either Time or Rolling Stone, depending on which is more worthy of a scathing dissection that week.


"Fur Elise" Most Hated Digital Theme Ever - Anybody who has been put on hold has probably heard it, lots of people have it as their call song on their cell phones, and plenty of toys make use of it.  It can even be heard coming out of toilet paper dispensers.  But although the annoying "dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee-dee... dee-dee-dee... dee-dee-dee-dee" is instantly recognizable, not many people know that the most inappropriately over-used digital tune ever is called "Fur Elise."  The song, composed over a hundred years by Ludwig Beethoven, is actually a tender piece of piano music written in honor of the frustrated, romantic composer's unfulfillable love for a young student.  It is traditionally performed at its full length of over ten minutes, but most people are unable to stand listening to more than a few strains of the simple melody.  "It's a shame that this song has been so over-used, it's actually a nice song," claims Digital Classics Magazine editor Robert Zane.  "The same can be told of the brassy opening of the 'William Tell Overture,' which is so often associated with speedy running.  I guess these songs are the 'Free Bird/Hotel California/Stairway to Heaven'-type songs of the classical world.  No matter.  There are plenty of other themes that will never be subjected to the horrific treatment that 'Fur Elise' has suffered, thank God.  'Fur Elise' had to be sacrificed, I suppose, but better it than some others.  I mean, if I heard Stravinski's 'Firebird' coming out of somebody's digital phone, I think I would probably jump in front of a train or drink bleach or something."

"Cloning Hurt By Negative Image Portrayed in Films" Says Advocacy Group - With the portrayal of cloning as the work of criminal masterminds in films like "the Boys From Brazil" and "the 6th Day," as well as clones being the source of destructive mischief in films like "Blade Runner" and "Multiplicity," cloning advocates have been finding cause to worry about the image that the entertainment industry has chosen to associate with their cause.  "If people were making films like this showing any other racial group in such a light, they would be instantly be branded racist and shut down," says CloneAd advocacy group representative Sharon Selbe, "but cloning is such a new field that no precedent has been set.  Clones are people just like you and me.  They are people with ten fingers and ten toes, just like you and me, they have all of their organs, they have brains, hearts... and they have feelings too.  At our events and press conferences, we always make sure to try to put other people in their shoes in order to correct the popular mistrust towards clones.  After all, if I suddenly told you that I were a clone, would you feel any different about me?"

Science and Technology

Self-Cleaning Hands - For most people, one of the most burdensome thing that they have to do all day is to wash their hands repeatedly.  But now an inventor in Raleigh, Idaho thinks he has come up with a solution for people who just don't have the time or inclination to wash their hands repeatedly all day long and day after day - self-cleaning hands!  "I remember when I was a kid, my mamma always made sure I scrubbed my hands before meals, it's one of my most painful memories and I've always hated washing my hands ever since," says inventor Jesse Rope.  "And in the invention business you tend to get a lot of grease and dirt under the fingernails.  Then I stumbled on the idea that I knew that everybody could relate to - finding a solution to this endless hand-washing cycle by giving people self-cleaning hands!  It was so simple, it was beautiful.  I had my inspiration five years ago and I haven't looked back since.  Self-cleaning hands, I just know everybody's going to want them.  This little baby is going to make me filthy rich!"

Some Virtual Activities Still Not Catching On - While virtual activities such as shopping and anonymous sex have gone through various stages of popularity, it appears that not all virtual activities have caught on in popularity.  While there is some market for such non-traditional activities such as virtual driving, in the form of city tours, nearly nobody has expressed interest in the websites that offer virtual house-cleaning, virtual parking, and virtual eating.  "The problem with some of these virtual activities is that they are not popular in the real world anyway," explains Virtual World Magazine editor Troy Pannatol.  "Like I can almost understand why virtual household chores such as virtual vacuuming and virtual laundry aren't too popular.  And other activities like virtual eating, well they just tend to make people hungry so that they go into the kitchen and grab some real food to eat.  It's not that interesting.  Even my personal favorite, virtual masturbation - no apparent interest despite the glut of x-rated sites.  Bummer, eh?"

Trillions of Internet Domain Names Still Unregistered - With the coming of the end of the internet domain feeding frenzy that led internet speculators to grab up all of the domains they hoped to have, including even the marketable domains grabbed up by "cybersquatters", media reports have been trickling in about the large amount of potential domain names still unregistered.  These domains are actually believed to number in the trillions.  "A quick search on the engines will reveal that many, many conceivable domain names have remained unregistered," says media watchdog Richard John.  "For example, look here.  www.googoogaga.com is still unregistered.  How about www.shlubdiwub.com, it's still here. And www.adsgetibn.com - available.  And www.bringrauljuliabacktolife.com, that's not taken yet either, you can have that if you want it.  Look at all these domain names that nobody wants yet, it's such a waste of a great potential..."

Chopsticks Version 2.0 - Eating Utensils Design Improved For First Time In 5000 Years - The first person to use chopsticks to eat probably saw two sticks lying on the ground, picked them up, and showed off his finger dexterity by using them to pick up objects without touching his fingers - possibly objects the superstitious early peoples of Asia thought were infected with some form of "the cooties."  With the slow development of chopstick use as an art, it is believed that only people regarded as magicians had the finger dexterity to use the mysterious objects, and it was often considered a test of who was born with magical abilities.  The fall of the shamans began when more and more common people displayed chopstick-wielding abilities, thereby swelling the ranks of the shamen uncontrollably and filling the group with obvious phonies with no special abilities other than being able to use the sticks.  Oddly enough, though, since the common use of chopsticks began thousands of years ago, the design of the chopsticks themselves have gone through very few changes.  To remedy this, an ambitious Southern California group ChopDesign has undertaken a redesign of the simple eating tools by changing the look and feel of the eating utensils completely.  "We've reshaped the tools," says head designer Richard Dickson, "giving them more of a cup-like ridge to help people to eat oily fried rice, which doesn't stick together the way white rice does and is difficult to eat with chopsticks.  There are grips on the chop-sticks so that they don't move around.  We're also experimenting with a third chopstick.  This will be good for sales, as we could be able to charge more with a truly innovative design.  We have to really be careful about the designs we choose, since we want this to be the one that will stick around for the next 5000 years."


Sports Editorial - Sure, He Beat Me By 0.001 Seconds - So What! - I'm a swimmer.  That's what I do, I swim.  I'll never be a bowler, I'll never play cricket, and I'll never do archery; I'm a professional swimmer, and that's it.  If I could get gills, I would.  I have accepted my lot in life, and usually I'm happier in the water than I am anywhere else, even when I'm literally swimming my guts out.  This is the way I like it and I'm more than content with my lot in life.  But what really gets me about professional sports is the incredible accuracy that is available to swimming organizers these days!  The last two times I've competed I've come second place.  The first time I was beaten by 0.005 seconds, the other time I was beaten by 0.001 seconds.  I'm not sure how long 0.001 seconds really is, but it seems to me that it's basically the heartbeat of a flea, a hairs breath, whatever.  Sure, maybe this is sour grapes or something, and anybody who wants to call me a sore loser can feel free, but what does 0.001 seconds mean to the average person?  This is really on a sub-atomic scale, isn't.  So who can begrudge me if I consider myself a joint winner of these competitions?  Did Charles Bukowksi miss getting the Pulitzer Prize by 0.001 seconds?  Did the Pope miss getting the Nobel Peace Prize by 0.001 seconds?  It's pretty ridiculous if you ask me.


Chicken Farmer Counts Chickens Before They Hatch - Longstanding wisdom has always been to never count your chickens before they hatch.  Unfortunately, chicken farming is a profession that just does not allow the luxury of following conventional advice.  "We have to prepare a budget for every year," says chicken farmer Robert Hatch, "and this means preparing a forecast of how many chickens we expect will hatch so that we know how much feed to buy.  Orders have to be made well in advance.  If we don't calculate potential litters, it means we have to sit on our asses and wait, then deal with a potential scarcity of vital feed for the vulnerable little hatchlings.  And if that means having to count our chickens before they hatch, then I guess it'll just have to be our policy to do so."


Quotable Enough to Quote:

"Just because I can't explain a hypothetical event satisfactorily doesn't mean it won't happen."  Jennifer Righitighti, Research Scientist
"If I have some money I buy Pokemon trading cards, and if I have any left over I buy food."  R. Asmus
"If I have some money I buy hair products, and if I have any left over I buy food."  John Slullee
"If I have some money I buy food, and if I have any left over I buy more food."  Rita Small
"He changed his attitude 360 degrees."  Rene Pascault, cultural philosopher
"the X-Men takes the ecitet out of excitement." - Time magazine writer, obviously unable to resist making a horrible pun.
"No matter how open-minded they might be, a 30-year-old will never ever understand the priorities of a 60-year-old.  Never, never in a hundred years, never in a thousand!  So they might as well give up trying."  John Will, crotchety geezer
"No matter how hard I try, I'll never be accepted as a woman... and that's so sexist."  - John Walters, leader of Women R Sexist 2.
"I never ever ever ever ever ever exaggerate."  John Williams, exaggerator
"After I drank that stuff, I literally puked my guts out."  John Williams, exaggerator
"'The king of poop'?  I don't get it, why would anybody let somebody call him 'the king of poop', much less start a marketing campaign calling himself 'the king of poop'.  I mean, that's like saying 'I'm the king of shit,' isn't it?"  John Strange, mechanic

He Said/He Said: My $100 Haircut That Looks Like Shit Makes Me Better Than Other People vs. My $10 Haircut That Looks Like Shit Has Made Me Suicidal.

He Said: My $100 Haircut That Looks Like Shit Makes Me Better Than Other People.  by Richard Green
I used to have this nondescript haircut; I looked like most guys out there with a bit of this, a bit of that, something thrown together, basically casual.  No distinguishing features and not particularly good looking.  A loser, in other words.  Then I went ot this boutique and got this super expensive haircut.  It looks like shit, of course, but I love it so much.  It makes me feel like I'm king of the world.  I hate myself every time I look in the mirror, but that doesn't matter because now I get all this attention that I never got before, and if I work my attitude the right way, I can really make things work out cool.  Sure I have to go in every two weeks and have it redone, but it's worth every penny.  I think I finally learned my lesson - if you're going to overspend on one aspect of your appearance, definitely make it your hair.

He Said: My $10 Haircut That Looks Like Shit Has Made Me Suicidal.  by Patrick White
I used to be a normal guy.  Then I got this cheap $10 haircut, and everything went down the toilet.  I don't get it.  The haircut, I mean - it's not that bad, it's not that good, it's just kind of there.  But just this one little haircut and everybody has started treating me different.  I even lost my job, and I think it's because of that haircut!  Just a week after I got it cut, there went my job.  Coincidence?  I don't think so.  Well, I guess I shouldn't try to deny anything - the haircut really does look like shit.  But with the type of hair I have, nothing really looks good on me!  What kind of alternatives do I have?  Somebody give me a job.  And give me some money and self respect while you're at it too.  I wish I could be like those models.  They get all this money and perks, and they just have to stand there while people take pictures of them.  They all have haircuts that look great too, probably get them for free.  But still, it always seems freakish to me how these people can have this perfectly sculpted hair all of the time, it's so against the natural order of things.  Hair is really just fur that grows on the top of your head, but some people place so much importance on making sure it's perfect all of the time.  What a sick society we live in.  Hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm... sour grapes, I guess.

Wieners and Loosers: An information table where we decide who is a wiener and who is a looser.
SUV owners who own stock in petrochemical companies
SUV owners who actually take their vehicles out of the town limits
SUV owners who think the U stands for "urban"
Asian Time subscribers who read the condescending "Sex In Asia" cover story

Hissy Fit of the Weak: Time Magazine vs. 600 pound sumo wrestler
Name: John Blython
Age: 54
Weight: 98 pounds soaking wet
Occupation: writer for Time magazine
Best Punch: "So he crashes his motorcycle - what a loser."
Name: Akebono
Age: 28
Weight: approximately 500 pounds soaking wet
Occupation: sumo champion
Best Punch: "Somebody called me a loser?  Just point him out to me." 
Winner: Akebono, who is not a smudge on the sidewalk... unlike the other guy.

Let's Make A Bad Joke - Question: "What does S.U.V. stand for?"


"SUV?  You mean soov, don't you?  It stands for Supermarket Utility Vehicle I guess." - Rita Brandy, scientist
"SUV?  I think it means Stupid Useless Vanity." - Richard Marks, karaoke artist
"Slimy Ultra-materialistic... what's a view for 'eye-sore' that begins with 'v'?" - John Harding, cashier

Letters to the Editor -

Dear Head Cheese,
I really liked Head Cheese 4, especially the Letters to the Editor section.  Those are some good letters, how do you come up with them, they're so funny.  All of them, but especially the one about "all the articles having the same format," the one about made-up letters tot he editor was funny too.
John Harding (by email)

Dear Head Cheese,
Your newspaper sucks.  None of the stories in Head Cheese 4 were funny at all.  I don't know what you're trying to prove.  I can't believe I missed the Academy Awards ceremony by wasting so much time reading your stupid site.  I f you want to be really funny, you should try to write more in the style of USA Today.  Now that's funny!
Brian Babbie (by email)

Dear Head Cheese,
I am the mother who jumped to the wrong conclusion in your article in Head Cheese 4 "Nervous Mother Sees Tissue Packets, Jumps to Wrong Conclusion," I just want to say I don't appreciate having fun poked at me.  Those tissue packets really made me almost insane.  And what were you trying to insinuate about the real use for the tissue packets?  My little baby had a cold.  What else would he have needed the tissues for, anyway, you jerks?!
Loretta Sawaguchi (by email)

Dear Head Cheese,
We're cat lovers, so naturally we have to take issue with your story about a childless couple adopting a cat.  Judging by the condescending tone of your article, it seems like you find people who adopt cats rather freakish, abnormal, etc.  I notice you also take the same tone with average, day-to-day people who just happen to be interested in cloning themselves.  Where do you get off your high horse getting all judgemental about people like us and the poor cloners out there.  Jerks like you probably buy their clothes at Gap and wear Swatches and listen to heavy metal music!  My husband and I have been thinking of adopting a cat and we don't feel like we're strange in any way.  How dare you write about cat adopters in such a tone!
Shiela Hildegard (by email)

Dear Head Cheese,
Your magazine is so funny.  I especially like the article about cat adopters and wanna-clones, those articles were so funny.  But what's scary about it is that, although it was intended to be satirical, there probably really are people like that out there!
John Hildegard (by email)

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email: Peter Höflich
created April 30th, 2001
All writings copyright Peter Hoflich , 2001
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