> -----Original Message-----
> U.S. Populace Lurches Methodically Through The Motions For Yet Another
> The wall-eyed, slack-jawed U.S. populace, beaten down into a state of
> near-catatonia by the relentlessly deadening banality of their
> joyless, insipid lives, dutifully trudged through the motions for yet
> another emotionally blank day Wednesday, sources reported.
> Against all logic, the nation's citizenry, their insides withering
> away with each passing moment, somehow managed to continue filling out
> invoices, shopping for footwear, loading dishwashers, eating Whoppers,
> pressing buttons, watching reality-based TV programs, vacuuming
> floors, engaging in conversations about petty office politics, riding
> buses, sitting in traffic, mailing letters, and tending to the little
> rubber mats people wipe their feet on as they enter the lobby areas of
> vast, windowless industrial complexes. How they managed to do it, no
> one can say.
> The populace's minor victory of continuing to participate in the
> meaningless charade that is their lives, sources said, was rendered
> all the more futile by the inescapable realization that they must do
> it again tomorrow, and the next day, and so on and so on unceasingly
> until the day they inevitably die.
> "Hello, Tri-State Amalgamated Office Supply, a division of Global
> Tetrahedron International Unlimited, customer-service hotline, can you
> please hold?" said 37-year-old Sandy Lindemeyer of Garland, TX, barely
> summoning the strength to push the button activating her headset. The
> incident marked the 13,227th time she has uttered the pre-scripted
> After hearing a heavy sigh on the other end of the line, followed by a
> barely audible reply of "Yes," Lindemeyer somehow found the will to
> press a second button, patching the person into a pre-recorded,
> continuous message loop telling the caller, Lindemeyer's 714th of the
> week, that his or her call was important to Tri-State Amalgamated
> Office Supply and would be answered by the next available
> customer-service representative.
> Elsewhere, in the suburban wasteland of Schaumburg, IL, frigid
> housewife Ellen Campion, 42, her face an impenetrable mask of
> detachment, drove her 1991 Toyota Camry through a seemingly endless
> sprawl of strip malls and convenience stores, eventually arriving at
> the bloated expanse known as Woodfield Mall, where she purchased a
> pair of shoes.
> "This morning, as my husband and I stared blankly at each other's
> faces over breakfast, I mentioned that I saw an ad in the paper for a
> sale on ladies' footwear at Marshall Field's. He asked if I was
> planning to go, and I told him I guessed maybe," Campion said. "So
> after he dragged himself to work and I gazed at the wall for a few
> hours, I went to the sale."
> Looking down at her feet, Campion added, "They're nice shoes, I
> "Today is Wednesday," said Waltham, MA, resident Gregory Pafko, 50, an
> actuary for a screen-door manufacturing company in nearby Plovis.
> "Wednesday is 'Hump Day.' If I can get through Hump Day, I'll have
> made it halfway through the week."
> "Then again," Pafko added, "every day is Hump Day, really." Later, as
> he does every day, Pafko headed to the company bathroom and sat for 20
> minutes with a loaded gun in his mouth. Once the shakes subsided, he
> removed the bullets from the gun and returned to his desk.
> According to experts, as American society slides ever-downward into
> the swirling vortex of nothingness that saps our wills, numbs our
> hearts and freezes our very souls in an impenetrable layer of black,
> icy futility, the importance of going through the motions only grows.
> "As James Joyce showed in his classic novel of modernity Ulysses, just
> making it through one day in this world constitutes a heroic
> achievement," Yale University English professor M. Clement Voorhees
> said. "God knows how unrewarding it is for us to endure each day's
> pointless, relentless barrage of non-events. I'm surprised we're able
> to do it at all. But continuing to go through the motions is crucial,
> because if everyone stopped faking, we'd..."
> Voorhees then trailed off, remaining silent for several moments while
> rubbing his eyes. "I'm sorry," he said. "I forgot what I was going to
> In a perfunctory attempt to acknowledge the nation's collective
> pyrrhic victory, President Clinton thanked and congratulated the
> populace Wednesday for continuing to participate in the meaningless
> fictions that comprise their daily existences.
> "My fellow Americans," Clinton told a national television audience,
> "you have truly accomplished a great feat today. By continuing to get
> out of bed, wash yourselves, dress, work, shop, watch COPS, surf the
> Net with WebTV, and put food into your bodies at regular intervals to
> sustain your metabolic functions, you have shown the world just how
> willing-to-live the American people can pretend to be."
> Following the broadcast, the president endured several minutes of
> smiling handshakes before excusing himself to the Oval Office
> restroom, where he splashed water on his face, leaned on the sink and
> stared unblinkingly into his weathered, exhausted reflection,
> wondering how he was going to face the next day.