Today, after years of relying on sheepskin prophylactics, society sees the advent of the first soy-based condom. Finally, conscientious vegetarians everywhere can abandon the rhythm method.
"What a goddess-send!" said Petra Rock of the upper New York state potato collective, Share our Starch. "Our poor midwife hasn't had a break since the massive Reagan-induced frigidity of 1985."
Due to a relatively short shelf-life of three months and extreme photosensitivity, each condom is wrapped in a reinforced hemp-fiber packet. Although tested successfully on a representative cross-section of volunteers, the manufacturer discourages exposing the prophylactics to synthetic clothing and/or rugged individualists.
Available in rainbow tie-dye, proletariat gray, and twenty-seven U.N.-approved flesh tones, the condoms retail for $6.99 a dozen. Discounts are available for current PETA members and hyperfertile Marxists.
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Scientists at Johns Hopkins University, responding to pleas from parents of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) children, are racing toward the discovery of a new drug to counteract the effects of Ritalin.
"While parents appreciate Ritalin's sedating effect during trips to Home Depot or the Sears Portrait Studio, they worry about its tendency to leave youngsters noticeably sluggish when the grandparents visit," explains a Hopkins' researcher who declined to be named.
"What we hope to develop," says this same researcher, "is a mild stimulant, perhaps in patch form, which can be administered to kids whenever they're suffering an inopportune Ritalin moment."
An estimated 100% of American children are afflicted by ADHD to some degree. Symptoms include general restlessness, an overwhelming urge to torment younger siblings on car trips, and the inability to pay attention during the "Soil" unit in fourth-grade science.
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Local residents Bob and Betty Fielding put their four-bedroom rambler on the market and plan to head halfway across Texas to a cramped apartment in San Angelo in hopes of bolstering daughter Katie's chances of becoming an Olympic gymnast.
"In Houston, we're right next to Katie's coach and a world-class training facility," explained Betty, as movers loaded one of several trophy cases onto a waiting truck. "The location would have allowed us to remain part of a close-knit community and not neglect our other three children," she added. "And that doesn't seem right."
By relocating so far away, the Fieldings will finally be able to join the ranks of other Olympic skating parents, none of whom actually live near an adequate gym.
"Obviously, we're excited," said Bob, who plans on abandoning his family at some point in the future due to the incredible stress of driving his daughter four hundred miles back and forth to Houston six days a week.
"Lots of parents dream of their children becoming Olympic athletes one day," he said. "We're just willing to do what it takes."
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Researchers at the Centers for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the group responsible for Moo Shu Pork's single-digit approval rating, have retained a local public relations firm in hopes of softening their image as Wellness Nazis.
Although the CSPI's dietary admonitions were intended to increase Americans' life expectancy, they've instead caused a dramatic decrease in people's overall will to live. Individuals may desire longer lives in theory, but in practice they desire Bloomin' Onions even more.
An aggressive print, television, and radio ad campaign, featuring CSPI scientists frolicking with Nutella, crab Rangoon, and an occasional Steak-Um, has already been planned, along with simpler, more down-to-earth image enhancements.
"We're making a conscious effort to be photographed with puppies more," says CSPI spokesman Ann Tie, "despite the fact that they're notoriously high in cholesterol."
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White-hot alternative group Turgid Yearn, whose latest single, "Angsty," earned them the title of Best New Band This Week, stunned the audience of VH-1's Video Music Awards by failing to name the blues as a major influence in their musical lives.
Unaware of the statute requiring the blues to be acknowledged as influencing everything from the NASDAQ to Hillary Clinton's senate bid, Yearn's lead singer, ¥, seemed confused by the frigid stares emanating from the audience as his acceptance screed concluded with nary a mention of Robert Johnson or John Lee Hooker.
Later, when flat-out asked what the blues meant to him, the haute couture maven ¥ sniffed, "I try to avoid them. I'm an autumn."
[Read Volume II.]