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NetNews: every American's duty (GarBear Irick)
Purdue University School of Electrical Engineering
(original, chuckle, usenet)

Dear Dave:
     I am fed up with the recent low quality of my usual newsgroups.  Should
     I stick with it, or just say "to heck with it?"

                                     Just another wondering fan...
                                          Joe NewsReader

Dave: Reminds me of an incident last week...  I remember it just like it
      was videotaped this afternoon....

[screen becomes wavy and distorted...]

Dave: "Hal!!  Oh, Hal!!  I think I'm slipping into that damn dream sequence

[as screen focuses, it shows Dave reading news with the boys in the band...]

Dave: "Damn, I hate rec.humor.  Nothing funny EVER gets posted here.  Hmmm...
       Another collection of light-bulb jokes... ah, hell...  Paul, you see any
       good news over there in alt.folklore.computers???"

Paul: "Well, Dave, me and the cats are looking, but I don't see anything good
       in here so far.  Anton, how about you?"

Anton: "Nope, nothing in rec.ballet, my FAVORITE group...   Maybe Will has

Will: "Well, I don't see anything in rec.short.white.guys either..."

Sid: "And is equally as dead today, Dave.  Sorry..."

Dave: "Damn!!  That's it, I'm cutting off the InterNet link.  With God as my
       witness, there will be NO MORE NEWS at THIS site!!"

[Dave goes for the EtherNet cable with a pair of electric garden shears,
 but is stopped just short by...]

Larry Bud Melman (dressed as the News Fairy): "Dave! I wouldn't do that!"

Dave: "But News Fairy, we haven't seen any good news all DAY.  Enough of this
       tiresome searching through megs and megs of double-.signatures, flames,
       mis-quotes, and "test" posts!  I wish that net-news had NEVER BEEN

Fairy: "Well, David, I think I may grant that wish, just to prove my point..."

[Fairy sprinkles magic News Dust over Dave's head, and the screen fuzzes for
 just an instant before focusing again.  The Local Newsboy enters.]

Newsboy: "Extra, Extra, read all about it!  Pestilence!  Famine!  War! Disease!
          Fantasy Island being brought back in prime time!  Special lost
          episodes of "Punky Brewster" found in GE vault!  New Kids on the
          Block replace Paul Shaffer and his band on _Late Night_!"

[Dave picks up a paper and gasps in horror at the atrocities inside...]

Dave: "Gee, News Fairy, I didn't realize that net-news was this important in
       the grand scheme of things!  I'm sorry I wished even for a second that
       net-news had never been!"

Fairy: "Yes, David, most people don't realize how important net-news is.  It
        keeps your average psycho off the street, posting to his favorite
        groups again and again and again.  That leaves the REAL world safe for
        the rest of us."

Dave: "Wow, News Fairy.  I don't know how I can thank you."

[Patriotic music begins in background...  flag background 
 comes up behind News Fairy.]

Fairy: "There is only ONE way:  read that news!  Skip no articles, read each
        and every one, from beginning to end.  It may be tempting to hit that
        'n' key, but remember:  news-reading isn't just fun and exciting, it's
        every proud American's duty!!

[Music reaches a dizzying crescendo, and dies off as News Fairy exits.]

Dave:  "Well, I hope we all learned an important lesson here today.  I want
        everyone on the staff to hit those terminals right now, until EVERY
        PIECE OF NEWS ON THE NET HAS BEEN READ!!!  This world hangs in the
        balance, and only we can save it.  Read that net-news!!"

Paul:  "Look, Dave!  Patch 435 for Perl!  What a find!!"

Sid: "A flame war in rec.arts.startrek...  I hit the jackpot!"

Will: "Wow, a test post to rec.short.white.guys from Paul Williams!  With
       seven .signatures, each one ten lines long!  God, I only hope I can
       be this lucky EVERY time I read net-news..."

Paul: "Wow, Dan's raving about pty again.. I can't get ENOUGH of that!!!"

Dave: "And look, a touching piece of verse about the air-speed of a swallow...
       I will have to save that for someone special!  Let's not forgot what we
       learned here today.  Every one of us can promote good in the universe by
       reading net-news!"

[scene closes with a short video montage of mom, apple pie, and Lee Iacocca]

--Gary A. Irick,

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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