Page Two
      The first rifts have appeared between the New Nooz and its new corporate owner, Kashihara Takeshitahara, the first cracks in what had seemed a seemless agreement between us, the first fissures in our professional relationship, the first hints of potholes ahead, the first intimations of a falling barometer.  Mr. Takeshitahara himself arrived at our offices last week and immediately ordered us to use a different brand of paperclips. Apparently he likes the ones they make at the Hirosugi Paper Clip Works in Tojosomi, while we favor the kind they make at Cheesequake Clips. He insisted that we hire the reporting "team" of Win Wang Win and Win Wang Wan, second and third eldest sons of the late, frozen Win Wing Wan, whose ghostly apparition has apparently been psychically projected somehow through our offices at various times recently, while we think they're a pair of idiots.  He wants us to print a weekly summary of the transcript of Japan-TV's new hit comedy show, "Sumo Simians," and we can't be bothered. Why does it always happen to us?  We think everything's great and then it all falls apart.
      Mr. Takeshitahara does not seem to understand the American corporate mentality.  Publisher Arnett Putney, III and Executive Editor Widen Lundale, Jr., despite their recent unpleasantries, very much resent having video cameras placed in their offices to watch them all the time.  An alarm sounds in the cubicles of senior staff writers Fredina Mallard and Oretta Boudreaux whenever their fingers are off their keyboards for more than ten seconds. Reporter from the Field Eric Scotmeister Fleiglehaus was at first docked for having been away after he was abducted, but that did eventually get straightened out.  Pencils are being strictly accounted for.  Everything has changed, and yet an apparently hostile relationship with higher management is something that always seems to stay the same for us.  But we are no patsies.  We don't take it lying down.  Or standing up either, for that matter.  Suffice it to say that the Ralph A. Bennett Teasdale Corporation filed for bankruptcy within six months of closing the doors of the old Nooz.  Right?  'Nuff said.
(UPI) Hellmouth, AZ.  Two pairs of endangered horned gibbons from Bali-Bali were reported to have escaped yesterday morning from the Hellmouth Municipal Zoo and Exotic Animal Crematorium. They made their break at approximately the same time and may have been working together. "Ralphie" and "Diamond" have been at the Municipal Zoo for twelve years, while "Big Ed" and "Mama" just came two years ago from the New Orleans Rare Animal Park.  An unlocked combination padlock and three open gates were left as evidence of their route out of the enclosure, and none of the adjacent animals, the deermouse deer, the bush sloth, the tapirillo or the checkered cat, seem to have noticed anything untoward.  Neither of the Zoo's pairs has produced any offspring, and that may be the reason for their escape. When last seen, "Ralphie" and "Diamond" were heading in the direction of the Primate In Vitro Clinic adjacent to Hellmouth Holy Hospital off Interstate 99, and "Big Ed" and "Mama" had checked into the Hellmouth Motel 6. Zookeepers have been dispatched to retrieve the lesser apes as soon as possible.
(UPI) Mt. Sydney, AZ.  A mechanical simulacrum of New Nooz bigwig Christopher A. Shaw went out of control at last Thursday's SW Arizona Bone and Clone Exposition, destroying several booths and starting a small fire in the Robots of Japan exhibit. The incredibly realistic-looking and battery-operated Shaw, built by the Kashihara Takeshitahara Corporation's AI Division, made its initial debut recently as part of an experimental program to provide robotic substitutes for executives who have failed to live up to expectations.
When Dr. Takeshi Takeshitahara won the tall and very prestigious Walter Chesley Pullard Prize for Primatological Excellence in Vienna in 1984, we here at the Nooz were ecstatic and applauded his splendid accomplishment. Little did we know then that within a year, Dr. Takeshitahara would be lost in a whirlpool. He had been fastidiously creating a collection of rice grains that are carved with the likenesses of primate faces, and had in his new-age mahogany-lined home in Nagasaki an exhibition case displaying 127 of these exquisite rice carvings, which to our knowledge was the largest such collection in the world.
         He began carving rice grains while still a mere teenager at the Matsukuyama Middle School on the island of Shikoku, using only his sharpened fingernails, and after matriculating from Edo University, he started employing a World War II bayonet that had belonged to his father, finally graduating to an array of beautiful Korean-designed laser carving tools.  One of his very earliest carvings, that of a jumping spider monkey, is on temporary loan to the Man and Mammal Museum in Cheesequake, where it is on display every Friday from 3-5pm.
        Most of our more recent readers only know of Dr. Takeshitahara as the inventor of the sulpher-neon fuel cell and the first person to cross 42nd Street in New York City by hot-air balloon. Rice carving is an ancient art that apparently began in China at some time in the dim past when people had a few grains of rice to spare and didn't know what else to do with them.  The first rice grain was carved by the Tibetan monk Paryang Zongba.
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