ZIP Beep #24
by Greenscreen, as told to Don Fitzwater.

I've got to hurry now, I haven't much time. Already I can sense the great hoary, Budweiser-laden breath of "Big Ed" creeping up from behind me!

Sure, sure, it all starts out innocently enough. A simple oversized envelope covered with printing arrives in the mail. This envelope proclaims, "You may already be a winner!" and like a fool, your greed overcomes your common good sense and you open the damn thing!

I tell you woe betide those foolish enough to take this reckless course of action, for lurking there inside is the smiling visage of the one man who hopes to topple this great country of ours, "Big Ed".

That's right! "Big Ed" is out to overthrow our most basic values. Values like hard labor, honest-days-pay-for-an-honest- days-work, and living within your means. Values that are the very foundation of this great country of ours! And all of them are threatened by "Big Ed's" cheery, "You may have already won, TEN MILLION DOLLARS!"

If you don't believe that "Big Ed's" offer undermines these values, then think about this example: You arrive home from a particularly trying day at the office. You sort your mail, and there, right between the bills and your subscription renewal notice for NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, lurks the missive from "Big Ed". Your eyes scan the outside of the envelope. You read the fateful words, "You may already be an instant winner!" Instant winner, you think, wow! But "Big Ed" isn't through with you yet, oh no! Because the very next line is, "And you are also eligible for our grand prize of TEN MILLION DOLLARS!" As your hands rip enthusiastically into this envelope, all thoughts of paying your bills or renewing that subscription have fled. All too soon "Big Ed's" message has started its unholy work!

But these gross derelictions of duty are nothing compared to what happens after you read the contents of this most foul subverter of the American way! Oh nosiree! Soon you're dreaming of far-off lands, huge houses, exotic sports cars, stereos, TVs and hundreds of other items you wish to purchase. But, gentle reader, purchase with WHAT?! With the fruits of your own labor? NO! (Hell, you can't even afford to renew your subscription to NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC). And what's worse is that while you've been dreaming about what to buy with the money that "Big Ed" HAS NO INTENTION OF EVER GIVING YOU, you've accomplished nothing! Made no money! Payed no bills, (debt is, after all, an underlying principle of our economy)! And generally just wasted your time! Imagine thousands of people just like yourself, wasting time and productivity in this manner. No wonder our economy is in such a sad state!

People of America, how long will we just sit by and let all that is near and dear to us be undermined by "Big Ed" and other mail order thugs with their false promises of riches? How can we let ourselves be hoodwinked by this something-for-nothing mentality? We, the consumers, must rise up and stamp out this evil conspiracy to sell more magazine subscriptions at the cost of values that all Americans should hold dear! We must strive to assure our rzx$%&#CNBKdg%$&(&%

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Returning you to main Command> prompt. Keep your nose clean.

ZIP Beep #24
by Lou Seukinson

Hello, my name is Louella Seukinson. Welcome to my world. In this regular (I hope) column, I will be taking you to interesting shops and boutiques here at the Valleyhill Shopping Mall.

Why is this feature called "All Around Town" if I never discuss anything beyond the mall? Well, because that's the name they came up with in Valleyhill's marketing department. And because they said there's a whole range of things to buy and see at the Valleyhill Shopping Mall, so it's really like a little town! Isn't that sweet?

First, I should tell you a little bit about myself so you can see that my tastes are just like yours.

I absolutely HATE the name "Louella," so all my friends call me "Lou" and I hope you will, too. I have chestnut brown hair most of the time, I like to wear it long although lately I've been keeping it short (I don't know why). I won't tell you my height or age except to say that I believe I could pass for a model and I joined the Tri-Delta Sorority (Tri-Delts all the way! Yay! Yay! Yay!) in 1973. Oh, yeah, and I'm divorced with no children living at home, and I think Danielle Steel is the most underrated writer living today and scholars won't appreciate her until after they've lost her.

But enough about me. Let's talk about this month's featured shop.

CAUTION TO THE WIND is worth a walk out of your way. It's tucked neatly between MR. BOB'S FOR HAIR and THE FRUIT AND NUT HATCH just down Nickle's Lane (near the movie theaters). The store specializes in those cute little "Caution Signs" we're seeing everywhere nowadays.

Marge Oronobags owns and manages the shop, which she hopes to license and sell to a big shopping center franchise that her cousin works for.

It's simply an amazing little boutique! Imagine a whole store full of little 5X5 inch yellow caution signs complete with suction cups and clever little sayings.

Truly, Marge has the full range. There's a good supply of "Baby On Board" and "Child In Car" signs, of course, but there's more, too. Here is a partial list of the signs I saw during my informative three minute talk with Marge:

Baby On Board

Child In Car

Child On Craft

Baby In Back

Tiger In Tank

No Baby On Board

Teenager At Wheel

Grandpa At Wheel

Dog At Wheel

Dog In Tow

Cat In Carborator

Hamster In Treadmill

Baby On Beer

Mother At MADD

Boyfriend In Trunk

Cracked Chip On Motherboard

Grandma In Garage

Brother In Jail

Uncle In Mafia

Flamable Liquid On Board

Car Thiefs On Board

Nobody On Board

Dyslectic Board On

I could go on and on, but I have to get to my tanning appointment. Next time, I'll tell you all about a brand new store that opened in the far southwest corner of the parking lot. It's called ED'S FAVORITE THINGS, and it's completely devoted to selling things that Attorney General Ed Meese finds pornographic. I was a little skeptical about this one at first, and I still haven't visited the shop, but judging from the increasing size of the building, it must be absolutely brimming with popular items.

Ta-ta 'til next time,


ZIP Beep #24
by Phil O'Donnell

In upcoming issues of ZIP Beep, we will be celebrating the birthdays of persons who have been standouts in particular fields of endeavor that touch our everyday lives. This month, It's Your Birthday, Howard Cosell.

In July of 1916 in Paducah, NY, Howard Pedro Cosell was born. Howard weighed 7.6 lbs at birth and was 44 inches long. By 13 weeks, Long Howie (as he came to be called) had a vocabulary of 10,000 words. By the age of two, he had driven his father insane with his constant jabbering. All six of his brothers and his three sisters left home before any became teenagers because they could not sleep.

Howard had a parrot named Roger that addressed Congress when Howard was nine, and by the age of fourteen, it was determined that young Howie had spoken more words than two average men of 70 had in their whole lives.

His interest in boxing developed at a young age and he continued to be fascinated all his life by the fact that two people would beat up on each other, and marveled as to why they weren't both punching him.

By the age of 30, Howard had lost most of his hair. Doctors determined that Cosell's premature baldness sprung from the fact that there was a second mouth attempting to break the surface at the top of his skull.

Cosell continues to amaze scientists. During one stretch that included a World Series, the '80 Olympics, and a middleweight championship bout, Howard was unable to eat, drink, smoke or whistle because he was yammering continuously twenty-four hours per day. Even when he slept, he was announcing his every move. This went on for six days -- a record by any measure.

Happy Birthday, Long Howie Cosell.

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