Friday, Oct. 9, 2020
From the desk of Daniel P. Finney, sergeant of the watch, Drake Neighborhood Station, Des Moines, Iowa.
ITEM ONE: The age of robocalls makes the typist nostalgic for old Bell hard plastic telephones that could be smashed into the cradle with a frightening level of aggression. Somehow even the most fervent tap of the red phone button fails to convey the ol’ Paragraph Stacker’s level of disdain for unwanted phone calls.
ITEM TWO: The Chicago Bears failed to lose a football game for the fourth time in five valiant tries Thursday. The latest accidental victory came against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady, likely the greatest quarterback of all time, appeared not to know how many downs remained on the Buccaneers’ final series late in the 1-point win for Chicago. The Bears appear to have some sort of virus that makes other teams play as poorly as they do.
ITEM THREE: The New York Yankees forced a deciding fifth game in the playoffs against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees hit a lot of home runs and their bullpen stopped the Rays’ offense. The typist roots for the Yankees but believes their starting pitching is soft and the homer-or-nothing offense is vulnerable to good pitching, which the Rays have aplenty. However, since the Atlanta Braves defeated the Miami Marlins in the National League playoffs, the ol’ Paragraph Stacker’s dreams of an all-Florida, all-aquatic-mascot World Series have been dashed. So, what the hell. Go Yankees.
ITEM IV: Item IV now demands to be addressed as Caesar Itemus Aggressivus IV, the emperor of the New Rome. A memo sent to the entire company during lunchtime promised victories to rival the Gallic Wars and the battles of Arar and Bibracate.
ITEM IV: Item Five is unavailable and is considered missing. The staff returned from its usual three-Busch Light lunch to find Item Five’s cubicle walls slashed by what police described as gladius cuts and a spear through the lumbar support of Item Five’s chair and a considerable amount of black ink in the seat and on the office carpet. A crude Aquila scratched into the window glass with the words, “I claim this land in the name of Caesar Itemus Aggressivus IV.” Hot Sheet has no comment pending a full police investigation.
ITEM SIX: Item Six, who sits adjacent to the growing empire of Caesar Itemus Aggressivus IV, requisitioned materials to build a moat and fortify cubicle walls with concrete blocks and rebar. A further requisition was put in to hire three archers for long-range territorial support. All requests were denied due to budget constraints, but Item Six was told to use some of the broken office chairs on the third floor to create a makeshift defense. Archers would have to wait until second quarter 2021 at the earliest. Item Six requested to take the rest of the week citing undue workplace stress. Its FMLA paperwork is pending.
ITEM SEVEN: The typist received nine pieces of mail Thursday. One was from his insurance agent. Eight were from the campaigns of Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and her challenger, Theresa Greenfield, three identical fliers supporting the Ernst campaign with claims that a vote for Greenfield would destroy life on Earth as we know it. One piece of mail was from Greenfield, who said she was a nice person and that Ernst was a big meanie. The final piece of mail was the latest edition of Mad Magazine. It was the only thing that made sense.
ITEM EIGHT: The typist removes his Yankees cap and bows his head to honor the late Whitey Ford, who died Thursday. The Hall of Fame pitcher holds the World Series records for wins (10), scoreless innings (33) and strikeouts (94). He provided the center spoke to the second era of Yankees dominance. Ford pitched in 11 World Series, won six of them and was MVP of the 1961 series. Ford served two years in the Army during the Korean War.
ITEM LAST: Attention fellow comic book aficionados in the greater Des Moines metro area, Rodman Comics at 318 S. Ankeny Blvd. in Ankeny celebrates its 10th year in business. The store started shortly after the Great Recession and has survived the COVID-19 pandemic. Owner Rod Lamberti grew up buying comic books off the magazine racks in grocery stores. He eventually realized his dream of owning his own store. Due to rules required by the pandemic, Rodman Comics is holding a low-key celebration. There are online auctions instead of door prizes and they’ll carefully monitor the number of people in the store to assure proper social distancing. Deals include 20% off everything in the store that isn’t already discounted. But as with any proper anniversary, there will be cake.
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