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Featured Column
Week of 1.31.2005
The latest news!
          The pasta was wonderful. And, oh, those meatballs. The garlic bread was done to perfection and the cannolis were out of this world delicious.
           Full and barely making it out of the kitchen, I headed for the couch to watch the 6:30 p.m. news. There was Wolf Blitzer reporting on the progress of voting in Iraq followed by a special report on the progress of the world’s nations bringing relief to the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami. The bearded Blitzer signed off the news a half hour later and with that I decided to raise my sated body and walk the half dozen steps to the beckoning recliner on the other side of the living room. As I sat down and pulled the lever to engage the leg support and recline in the comfy chair I could still hear Blitzer urging viewers to stay tuned to a CNN special on the Middle East vacation spots.
           I decided that I would leave the television on as some background “noise” as I read my newest book on the life of Albert Einstein.
           After some 20 minutes of reading I could feel my eyelids starting to droop. I closed the covers of the book and decided to listen to the news. I was so relaxed…
           Here was Paula Zahn reporting that “President Clinton, as one of her first official acts, was flying to North Korea to sign the recently agreed upon peace agreement between the United States and the Republic of North Korea. President Clinton would be spending the weekend in North Korea as guest of that nation’s new Chairman Song Sung Blue.
          New United States Secretary of State George Clooney’s face appeared on the screen as he said, “We are proud to announce that a new mutual defense pact will be signed tomorrow by the presidents of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Israel and Saudi Arabia. These six great countries will form a new alliance which should guarantee peace in the Middle East for centuries to come.”
           Zahn came back on the screen to announce that Palestine had just defeated the Israeli soccer team in the second of a best of five matches for the Gaza Bowl championship. The two teams were now preparing for the next game to be held in the jointly owned West Bank Coliseum next Tuesday.
          “And it was found out today that former President George W. Bush has signed on to be the Texas Ranger’s new third base coach.” Zahn continued, The former President is currently on a tour in Cleveland promoting his new book, “My Life and Times as President - or - Has Anyone Seen Dick Chaney?”
           “In other news, George Steinbrenner has been reported to be in negotiations to buy the entire National League. Team owners are currently meeting to consider Steinbrenner’s latest offer, which includes 8 billion dollars in cash and a half share in the ownership of New York City.”
           “Genial Airlines, the only remaining major airline in America, has announced a new policy that will enable passengers to be treated as passengers, not as intruders onboard their airplanes.” Zahn then introduced J. Pierpoint Aerosmith, President of the airline, who stated, “After a lengthy meeting with our board of directors and union representatives we have decided on a radical new departure for our airline, our passengers will now be treated as being important to our business and will be treated with courtesy and care. Our airline’s new motto is “ We’ll be courteous and cordial whenever we can!”
           Zahn’s face filled the screen as she said, “It has been reported by reliable sources that former President Bill Clinton has accepted a position as a sex therapist in a small clinic in Boise, Idaho which specializes in aiding dysfunctional politicians. Business at the Clinic is reported to be excellent.”
           Continuing, Zahn, said, “The Anti-Foul Mouth Committee” today announced that there has only been one instance of swearing on network or cable television during the past month. Committee founder, Jerry Fallill, stated, “Our campaign to clean up television has succeeded beyond our dreams.” In a related story, NBC President Jonathon Sittcom reported, “Our friggin’ viewership has dropped 45% thanks to those sonsabitches!”
          Zahn introduces Mark Lobber, CNN Sports Director.
          “Top story today is the major league baseball decision to test every player for drugs before and after every game. In NFL news, the players’ union has agreed to an owner’s proposal to ban touchdown celebrations. Players will be obliged to politely hand the football to the nearest referee following a score. In a combined press release the National Football League and Major League Baseball have agreed that no player will be allowed to have more than 55% of their body covered with tattoos and that no player can have more than 6 pounds of gold or silver jewelry on their person while playing and diamond earrings larger than 8 carats are banned.”
           “Finally,” Lobber said, “In a tennis tournament in Paris, Serena Williams passed out during the women’s semi-finals. Doctors on the scene reported that Williams was wearing clothing so tight that they constricted the flow of blood and she lost consciousness due to lack of oxygen.”
          Suddenly I sat up and realized that there was one more cannoli in the refrigerator, so I headed for the kitchen. Halfway there I pulled up short and thought, “This was a wonderful evening. Great dinner, great book, lots going on in the world. I love that recliner. I feel like I just had a nap.
Fantasy news headlines
      Ron was born in the Bronx, New York. He was raised in Southern California and lived in Honolulu, Hawaii for three decades. He attended Inglewood High School and U.C.L.A.. His youthful goal was to become a major league baseball player. In Hawaii Ron played on a series of championship softball teams. He is an active tennis player.
      Ron’s career began at the Inglewood Daily News where as a youngster was enrolled in a publisher training program. He served as an advertising salesman, circulation manager, writer and layout and design staffer. He has been a newspaper publisher at the Oregon City Oregon Enterprise Courier, the Beloit Wisconsin Daily News, the Elizabeth, New Jersey Daily Journal and This Week Magazines (Hawaii).
      Ron lives with his wife, Marilyn, in San Diego, California. His two children, Douglas and Diane also live in the San Diego area. Ron’s interests range far and wide and are reflected in his columns diverse topics.
     
Ron Cruger