The continuing agony

The sad lives of the undecided drag on long after the election is over.


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Ben Birnbaum
October 31, 2004 3:26PM (UTC)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (1/12/05) -- Apparently unable to make a final selection among ring-tone offerings on a new family cellphone, 82-year-old Doris Garroway today filed for divorce from her husband of 61 years, Ray, who had settled on "Shotgun Pump and Blast." Mrs. Garroway had narrowed her choices to "Circling the Drain" and "Rainforest Funk" when she reached an impasse. "These companies don't give you enough information," she said through her lawyer, adding in regard to her husband, "I was never really sure about Ray in the first place. And I certainly didn't know about him being part French until it was too late." (UPI)

LONDON (1/27/05) -- Michael Dagnello, the promising young American actor, was fired today by the Royal Shakespeare Company following a rehearsal of "Hamlet" during which he paused for 12 minutes after delivering the line "To be, or not to be: That is the question." In July, Dagnello lost the role of Vladimir in an American Public Theater summer revival of "Waiting for Godot" when on opening night he responded to the pestery Estragon's final Act 1 question, "Well, shall we go?" with "I'm sick of your stupid questions. I'm not a decision machine." (Variety)

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LOS ANGELES (2/6/05) -- A fracas at a Hollywood Boulevard Starbucks this morning resulted in the arrest of Peter Kuhn, 32, of Encino, Calif., who was charged with assault. A devotee of Rhumba Frappaccino, according to a family spokesman, Kuhn was waiting to be served at about 8:30 a.m. when he noticed a poster advertising Tango Fandango, a new flavor. Kuhn told the store clerk that he was tempted, but needed to have a few questions answered. Ten minutes later, according to police, Kuhn threw punches at several customers who had tried to seize the legal pad on which he was writing notes. The family spokesman said that Kuhn has not yet determined whether he will sue the mega-corporation and, if so, on what grounds. (L.A. Times)

LAKE TAHOE (3/9/05) -- What should have been a joyous bat mitzvah party for a Nevada family turned into a nightmare after a hired entertainer froze while leading the hokey-pokey dance. According to an eyewitness who declined to be identified, "Leibish the Clown" paused momentarily "right where he was supposed to tell us to put the right foot in or take the left foot out. You can imagine." The confusion resulted in injuries among some celebrants in the Holiday Inn's Empress Room, the most serious of which was a concussion suffered by a 74-year-old man whose head struck a loaf of mandel bread on the Viennese pastry table. Leibish could not be reached for comment. (Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

BOSTON (4/24/05) -- The city experienced one of its worst traffic jams in recent memory when Russell Higgins, 27, of Atlanta, drove his 52-foot tractor-trailer into Leverett Circle at about 4 p.m. today and then spent two hours circumnavigating the two-lane rotary, where several of Boston's main traffic arteries come together. Police eventually blocked the vehicle from moving and towed it away. According to city officials, Higgins said the rotary's directional signs were not clear on the best route to the Watertown Mall. "I was leaning to McGrath-O'Brien Highway," he said in a statement to police, "but then the Pike to Exit 17 also looked good." He also reportedly complained that one of the road signs "looked like it had some French words." (UPI)

OKLAHOMA CITY (5/16/05) -- A 51-year-old man preparing for baptism was tossed into Lake Hefner today by members of the Waterloo Road Christian Fellowship. According to eyewitnesses, the assault occurred after Fred Brand was asked whether he accepted Jesus as his savior and responded, "Pretty much, but you got to admit paganism is practical on some important issues." The Rev. Bill Jones, who was to have performed the baptism, said he was "pretty sure" that the dousing by angry churchgoers "doesn't count as a true Christian initiation." (Religion News Service)

NEW YORK (6/4/05) -- A freelance book reviewer is in guarded condition at Brookdale Medical Center today after police found him unconscious on the floor of his home office in Brooklyn, an apparent victim of dehydration. Police were alerted after an editor reported that Don Reynolds had missed a deadline and was not responding to phone messages. According to evidence found on computer files, say police, Reynolds several days ago began to consider whether to label a particular sentence "plangent" or "piquant" and had apparently stayed at his desk in an effort to reach a decision. "It happens with certain writers," said a police spokesman, "and the way it is with computers now, with the find-and-replace function, it can be dangerous." A number of dictionaries and style guides were found on a nearby desk, including one written entirely in French. (Reuters)


Ben Birnbaum

Ben Birnbaum is editor of Boston College Magazine and special assistant to the college's president.

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