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Rudy in search of a book deal, while Sic seeks ultimate laptop

Catholic conservatives are outraged at Mother Angelica’s decision to carry the recent heavyweight boxing bout between Evander Hollyfield and Joe Louis on her Eternal Word Television Network. Adding insult to injury, the fight, which ended in a draw, is said to have been fixed. Conservative theologians are worried this will reflect badly on papal infallibility.

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Charles Strauss told Sic by E-mail that the following letter was written by an embattled systems analyst:

Dear Sirs:

I hope I haven’t misunderstood your instructions because, to be honest, none of this Y to K problem makes any sense to me. At any rate, I have finished converting all the months on all the company calendars so that the year 2000 is ready to go with the following new months: Januark, Februark, Mak, Julk.

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Sure, you may have read them before, but people haven’t yet taken these love tips to heart:

Why lovers hold hands: “They want to make sure their rings don’t fall off because they paid good money for them” (Dave, 8).

“I’m in favor of love as long as it doesn’t happen when ‘The Simpsons’ is on television” (Anita, 6).

“Love will find you, even if you are trying to hide from it. I have been trying to hide from it since I was 5, but the girls keep finding me” (Bobby, 8).

“I’m not rushing into being in love — I’m finding fourth grade hard enough” (Gina, 10).

Qualities of a good lover: “One of you should know how to write a check, because, even if you have tons of love, there is still going to be a lot of bills” (Ava, 8).

“Don’t do things like have smelly, green sneakers. You might get attention, but attention ain’t the same thing as love” (Alonzo, 9).

“One way is to take the girl out to eat. Make sure it’s something she likes to eat. French fries usually works for me” (Bart, 9).

How a person learns to kiss: “You learn it right on the spot when the gooshy feelings get the best of you” (Doug, 7).

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Conservatives make a big deal of loyalty to the pope, so it’s hilarious to see them squirm when the pontiff gets out of line. Thus Ralph McInerny, previously a loyal pope pundit who also writes novels, inveighs in The Wall Street Journal:

“Despite what the Holy Father has written in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, it remains Catholic doctrine that capital punishment can be a just penalty.” Is that putting the pope in his place or what? But it gets worse: “The Holy Father holds that there is a rising tide of opposition to the death penalty and that this represents a resurgence of respect for the sanctity of human life, which has been so devastated by abortion. Surely this is wrong. Much opposition to the death penalty is an implicit denial of human dignity.”

Someone please call Ratzinger.

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Don’t you hate it when you get job evaluations like these?

“His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiosity.”

“I would not allow this employee to breed.”

“Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.”

“When she opens her mouth, it seems that it is only to change feet.”

“He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle.”

“This young lady has delusions of adequacy.”

“He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.”

“Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thing to hold it all together.”

“A gross ignoramus -- 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus.”

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Everyone from here to Rome knows Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz (whose diocese of Lincoln, Neb.) is more traditional than the 12 apostles. One of his priests, Fr. Chad Ripperger, explains to the Lincoln Journal Star why the Mass is better offered in Latin: “We felt that any time the church is speaking to God, it should be done in a language which is pleasing to him, which is Latin.”

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Sic can tell you, everyone in America is a computer genius. Look around. That frumpy middle-aged guy obviously invented the modem buster or the WWW microchip or something. And that priest with the really large breviary, who is he kidding, that’s the state of the art thingey with digitals and batteries and on-line coffee percolator our man uses to run the Jesuits from a dank basement in Boston.

And that beautiful old woman in tennis shoes -- you obviously haven’t been reading such journals as ModemBustersdotcom or Bells and Whistles, or you’d know she invented a megahertz so speedy your stuff is on the screen before you press Enter.

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This, once again, is Sic’s last ever Pet of the Week. Rudy is sort of associated with NCR layout assistant Matt Kantz. Readers need not like this cat in order to be good members of whatever they are members of.

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And that kid, not a day over 6 -- where have you been, everyone knows kids pick up that cyberguff before they shed their diapers ’cause it’s a jungle out there.

And that girl with long legs isn’t even carrying a laptop. She’s a systems analyst ’cause the future belongs to those with the vision to upgrade their memory and bamboozle their bosses with software that doesn’t need hardware thus allowing everyone to carry around an empty black laptop case, just for self-esteem. All you do is press Enter.

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John Pfeffer of Sequim always imagined “St. Peter sitting on his bar stool with a big book in front of him,” interviewing prospective saints. Now he reads that to make it onto the Vatican books you or someone close to you may have to spend as much as half a million big ones. This causes Pfeffer to write one of his weird poems:

Making a saint seems a bit quaint,
We must have a zillion unseen,
It usurps St. Peter’s prerogative
To wax interrogative
And judge if it’s up, down or between.
To me it’s presumptuous
Bordering on bumptious,
And it takes a bunch of the green.
The scrupulous inspection
Isn’t for saintly election,
It’s to keep the pope squeaky clean.

National Catholic Reporter, April 2, 1999