17 October 2004
Sump Pump Chump
Sewer monster holds family hostage

Topped with turds, Billy Lavette invades a basement on Arlington Avenue.

image courtesy of "C"
Every time it sprinkles on Arlington Avenue, local activist Bill Lavette is the first one uptown fighting fecal floodwaters. Yesterday, however, the tables got turned during a rain shower when an Arlington Avenue couple discovered not feces, but Bill Lavette, in their basement. Strange as it seems, Lavette somehow came up through the sump pump from the City's main sewer line that runs below the street. "My wife heard some noise downstairs after the storm. She went down and found him (Lavette) rummaging through the dirty clothes," explained the house's owner. Upon seeing the woman, Bill lunged at her and threatened to fill the entire house with sewage. Investigators say Lavette was probably looking for an easy stool sample and a change of clothes so he could make a clean getaway. Both the woman and her husband managed to make their way out of the house unscathed, but Lavette refused to leave the basement. So far, the incident has attracted a slew of neighbors to the residence, not to mention the press and several curious plumbers. Looking like Chewbacca in a car wash, Billy Lavette is believed to be still in the house, and covered in excrement. The owners have stated they don't know what to do with Bill because he is hostile and smells like ass. Local officials say Bill's travels through the bowels of the City are a mystery, but could not have been pleasant. Police are currently working on a solution to calm Lavette, then remove him from the premises. There is no word on whether Lavette will be charged with a crime, much less on what that crime would even be.

The Handyman Can
Orlando comes up with stuff out of nowhere
If you hear Terry Orlando say, "I'll be right back," you may wanna stick around. Where exactly Orlando goes is impossible to guess, but what he comes back WITH is guaranteed to snap your carrot. In fact, Terry may return with just about anything, any time of the day. Recently, Orlando's penchant for acquiring items at odd hours has raised him to cult status in Ashtabula City. Nothing seems too hard to come by for this wizard of practical gadgets. Over the years, Orlando has saved the day for thousands of people, coming "right back" with the likes of diamond cutters, microscopes, air compressors, animal traps, turntables, laminators, juicers, surgical tools -- even sophisticated carpet cleaning equipment. One of the most remarkable examples of Orlando's talent came a few years back when Jay and Martini discovered two prehistoric ten-inch tape reels they hadn't heard in over a decade. "I'll be right back," said Ter. On a Wednesday evening after midnight, the Crow produced nothing less than a vintage, fully-functional reel-to-reel audio player, miraculously complete with the original instruction manual. But that was nothing. This summer, Terry retrieved a homeless couple's parakeet down Lake Shore Park with a bird call he somehow had in his truck. Anymore, it's enough to hang around a coffee shop to hear the endless stories about Terry and his special ability. In a recent showstopper, a stripper jumped Orlando's bones when he broke out a slide projector at a stag party that was winding down early. This week, Martinis gives three cheers to the man who keeps em all guessing. Ter outdid himself again last month when he came up with a metal detector for a lost wedding ring out of town on Labor Day.

Driving Miss Diamond
Vigilante turns businesswoman into human toothpick
After numerous failed attempts to sweeten up her street name of East 22nd, Cindy is still determined to change her house address. Come "boulevard," "court," "place," or her personal favorite, "drive," Cindy just won't stop until she lives on one of them. But she took a big step in the wrong direction this week when she set her sights on the street that bears the last name of self-appointed doer of justice, Skip. Thursday, Cindy headed for Skippy's house with hopes of cutting a deal by offering him some property off West Street. The vision of Cindy walking over to him sent Skip into a violent toothpick-chewing rage, after which he demonstrated a technique never seen before. Skip munched three 250-count boxes of toothpicks into a dense paste, then shot it all at Cindy, freezing her in mid-stride in Valentic's front yard. Medical examiners called to the scene said Skip turned Cindy into a statue of sorts and sent her into what appears to be a state of suspended animation. For the past three days, fanatics from five states have populated the streets of Harbor Avenue Heights to catch a glimpse of what residents say is wooden testament to Skippy's unbending Neighborhood loyalty. "Th-this street's named for hard-workin paesans, not muckety-mucks," Skip told Martinis. Skippy has assured police the spell will wear off sometime next week.

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