October 22, 2002

"Important News You May Have

"Important News You May Have Missed" c. Ryan Rhodes, Oct. 14, 2002

I feel it is my duty, as a dedicated journalist, to bring to my valued readers the news items deemed unworthy by the "established" media outlets around the nation.

Sure, you're kept up to date on the economy, the war on terrorism, and the establishment of Krispy Kreme outlets in the Twin Cities. But, what about the lesser news stories, the runts of the news world that deserve valuable ink just as much as their more compelling news kin?

Yes, what about important news items about dwarf tossing and toilet paper novels? Don't these stories warrant more than just a passing snobbish sniff from the elitist noses tapping away at computers behind the metropolitan news desks? Yes, I say, yes! So, let's begin.

According to a Sept. 27 Reuters news report out of Geneva, Switzerland, a tiny stuntman named Manuel Wackenheim (a name that is a human rights violation in itself) officially protested, before a U.N. human rights body, a French ban on the practice of "dwarf throwing."

That's right, dwarf throwing, otherwise known as dwarf tossing, a pastime that is practiced around the world, usually in bars (if you can believe that), that involves men competing to see who can throw a dwarf the furthest.

Wackenheim reportedly argued that the 1995 French ban was discriminatory and actually deprived him of his lucrative employment of "being hurled around discotheques by burly men." I don't know about you, but if I were glancing through the classifieds, and I saw an item searching for a person willing to be hurled around discotheques by burly men, I'd probably keep looking. Then again, I guess I don't really know how much a good tossing dwarf makes in an evening. I'm betting it's no small change.

According to the article, the 3'10" inch stuntman, who wears a crash helmet and padded clothing with handles on the back to facilitate better throwing, lost his case before a U.N. human rights body, which said the need to protect human dignity was paramount. Those U.N. human rights bodies are such party poopers.

I feel I should interject a little commentary here. I mean, seriously, if a person makes the conscious decision that he or she wants to wear a crash helmet and padded clothing with handles and be hurled around discotheques by burly men, isn't that their right? I mean. . . *snicker* *giggle* *uncontrollable laughter* I'm sorry, where was I? Oh, yes, toilet paper novels.

According to an Oct. 10 Reuters news item out of Frankfurt, Germany, countrymen who enjoy thumbing through great works of literature while nature calls can now flip through new toilet paper rolls printed with novels and poems.

It's news stories like this that make me slap my forehead forcefully while exclaiming "now why didn't I think of that!" I've been such a fool, carrying a rolled up magazine under my armpit every time I want to catch up on a little bathroom reading. All this time, the answer to my reading dilemma was right under my nose, um, metaphorically speaking.

In actuality, I believe the concept of toilet paper roll novels is a monumentally bad idea. Imagine all the unrolled toilet paper littering bathroom floors due to the Charmin release of "War and Peace." Or, what about the chaos that would ensue in public bathrooms when stall-goers sit down only to discover their roll is in mid-chapter.

BATHROOM GOER #1: *knocking on stall wall* Psst, hey buddy, do you have the first 124 squares of chapter 15?

BATHROOM GOER #2: No! Get your own roll!

To quote the article, "'We want our books to be used. That's our philosophy,' said Georges Hemmerstoffer, head of the Klo-Verlag which publishes the toilet paper literature. About half of all people liked to read on the toilet, he said.'

What I want to know is: what unfortunate soul or souls had to conduct the survey that discovered half of all people liked to read on the toilet? I'm envisioning dogged survey takers, both shoes trailing toilet paper, chasing down bathroom goers to ask whether they enjoy reading in the bathroom.

Yes, I'm pretty sure that, if you find yourself employed as a bathroom survey taker, it's probably time to find employment elsewhere.

I hear there's a bright future in dwarf tossing.

Posted by Ryan at October 22, 2002 08:36 PM
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