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2005-04-20 - 6:10 p.m.

...bad news, GOOD news, no news...

Today my parents emailed me the following request:


Dear Everybody:
This week we are prepared to receive only good news in our email. If you
have some, please send it. Otherwise wait until the weekend to send the other
kinds of news.
The parents


This was my reply:

I presume you've installed a smart "b-d news" filter that will place said information into your "junk mail folder." Therefore I will never spell out the phrase "b-d news" in this email.

So I will give you STRANGE news instead. K was awakened at 2:30am this morning to the sound of a big BANG. After eliminating the possibility that a new universe had formed somewhere in his
apartment....he discovered that a bottle of apple juice, in an act of suicide terrorism, EXPLODED into a million pieces all over his kitchen. This particular bottle of apple juice had been a gift from a Bavarian Catholic he recently met on a ski trip to the Alps. The new pope is also a Bavarian Catholic. I find this to be a suspicious link. K has alerted all other members of the ski trip so that they might quarantine their apple juice. He is still cleaning sticky glass off
various kitchen equipment.

GOOD NEWS: the coffee machine was not affected.

In other NEWS, K was given the German equivalent of 1-900 number that he could call for a mere 2.50 euros per minute to discover the status of his visa request. He has dubbed it the "Embassy Porn
Hotline." Yesterday he called the embassy porn hotline and was put on
hold, and then transferred to an outsourced telephone center, apparently
somewhere in India. Do we find this at all odd, that the US immigration
service is OUTSOURCING jobs to India? I mean, is the big concern of US
immigration to protect US jobs??

Okay, so moving beyond this point of logic, the Indian guy on the other
end of the embassy porn hotline informed Klaus that he could not get the
information he needed from this number and that he had to go back and
call the FREE embassy line that is always busy. K thanked him for
20 euros of his time, and then went back to calling the line-that-is-always-busy.

After an hour he finally got through, but unfortunately he was connected
with the government clerk in charge of letters A through D. The telephone line for letters P through S was still busy. He called back today and finally got through to Ms. PthroughS. Ms. PthroughS informed him that they are still waiting for his application to be complete. The
doctor has not yet sent the results from his appointment on 24 February, and MsPthroughS sent a letter to K to request employment information on 19 April.

K pushed further to ask what the procedure would be, hypothetically,
if the application were complete. She was unwilling to provide any further information but that the wait is likely to be 4 weeks to two years. I am taking this to mean that they are waiting to see if K has ever worked as a Libyan prison guard, and once they discover that he hasn't, he will probably be closer to the 4-wk case. He's concerned that they will discover the suicide apple juice bombs and his new
Algerian roommate, and then delay his application for two years. Overall we are in agreement that this woman's answer falls under the category of NO NEWS, or rather, MEANINGLESS NEWS, and therefore it is provided here.

But if you would like some attempt at scurrying together GOOD NEWS I
will provide the following:

1. Although I didn't find my W-2 form buried in my junk mail at home...I
was able to get a re-issued copy in less than 30 minutes to complete my
NY State e-filing of tax returns that must go out today.

2. My friend polyps are benign - he does not have cancer.

3. I ran into a former student who told me how much he loved my course.

4. While scurrying about to find the W-2 form, I found and deposited your check.

5. I am playing hooky from the seminar that is occurring right now, which makes me very happy.

Your friendly news service,

leave a note

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