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Since 1994, this is the 1145th issue of Randy Cassingham’s...

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22 May 2016: Quick Summer Specials Copyright ©2016

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There Are So Many Great Pages on the True web site that it’s overwhelming to know where to start sometimes. So now and then in this space I’ll point out one page that’s particularly entertaining or interesting. This week it’s the True story that generated just one complaint, but that one complaint, from a Baptist youth pastor, was so hilarious ...well, you just have to see it to believe it. Note there’s a very slightly not-safe-for-work illustration (a magazine ad) on the page. With that, check out The Missionary’s Position from the summer of 2003.

Drawing on Experience: Rick Friday, 56, a columnist and cartoonist for Farm News, a monthly magazine in Fort Dodge, Iowa, knows the concerns of farmers: the magazine gig is part time, since he’s a farmer himself full time, in Iowa. His most-recent cartoon: “I wish there was more profit in farming,” one farmer says. “There is,” another replies. “In year 2015 the C.E.O.s of Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer and John Deere combined made more money than 2,129 Iowa farmers.” Friday says the cartoon “was not trying to pick on anybody in this industry; it is just common knowledge,” but Farm News’s publisher fired him and reprimanded the editor: one of the magazine’s advertisers objected to the cartoon and pulled its ads. His 21-year run for the “embarrassingly low” wages he got for his work is over. (RC/New York Times) ...Which, as a farmer, he’s quite used to by now.

That’s Not What We Meant by ‘Testing’ the Drugs: Sonja Farak was employed to test illegal drugs at an Amherst, Mass., crime lab run by the state, but if investigators are right, she already knew she liked them. The state attorney general’s office says Farak used both drugs belonging to the lab (which were provided as samples for comparison) and samples brought in for testing in criminal cases. Investigators say Farak even testified and tested drugs while she was on meth, coke, LSD, and more — over a span of about eight years. According to Farak’s own testimony, she even cooked drugs in the lab. She pleaded guilty to a total of ten counts of evidence tampering, theft, and drug possession, but it’s still not clear how many cases her misconduct affected. (AC/Boston Globe) ...If she got high off the evidence in a case, doesn’t that prove it was really a drug?


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The Nine Stories You Missed in Premium this week include the obliviot trying to take a selfie who knocked over an ancient statue, smashing it. The fight pitting cruise lines against Alaska’s capital (and how Juneau is fighting back — it’s delicious!) Cruise line tourist destination spot: Ketchikan, Alaska’s, homeless shelter — it has free coffee and TVs. Man appears drunk at job interview: he had hoped to be ...a driver. Brigade of volunteers cleaning up Detroit’s parks is making the job fun. Mayor promises to fix gaping potholes ...but warns that it’s a 20-year job (and it’s only a city of 172,000!) School accepts excuse note written by 7-year-old girl (and it looks it). Classic “psychic” scam busted, and they have one chance to stay out of prison.... Arrested man has a monkey on his back — really. It’s not too late to read these stories: just ask for your upgrade to start with the 22 May issue, and get a full year of expanded issues for just $30! Upgrade Here.

Death Wish: A woman drove her vehicle through an activated railroad crossing guard outside Garner, N.C. To avoid the oncoming train, she accelerated across the tracks — and hit a tree. Two weeks later, the same woman in the same car — with a still-damaged front end — was seen driving through the same crossing arm with the same warning lights and bells activated. This time, however, the car got stuck and an Amtrak train with 222 passengers hit the vehicle. None of the passengers were injured, and the driver was found walking around the scene with only minor injuries. (MS/WTVD Raleigh) ...Let’s hope they can get a camera on that crossing within the next two weeks.

Facetime: A survey of college students finds that 1 in 10 checks their smartphones during sex. Not when cuddling afterward, but during sex. (A reporter from the London Telegraph suggested “Facebook update: almost there!” might be an example.) The study, led by Kostadin Kushlev of the University of Virginia in association with the University of British Columbia, dryly noted that “Less than 10 years ago, Steve Jobs promised that smartphones ‘will change everything’.” (RC/London Telegraph) ...Especially when the phone is set to vibrate.

Just the Orchestra, Still Waiting to Be Paid
Human Bones Found in Music Hall Beneath Orchestra Pit
WCPO Cincinnati, Ohio, headline

Did You Find an Error? Check the Errata Page for updates.

This Week’s Contributors: MS-Mike Straw, AC-Alexander Cohen, RC-Randy Cassingham.

We’re Getting Close to the goal set in the April 10 issue to increase the Premium subscriber base by just 100 people. Premium subscriber fees pay to keep True running, so this is something I pay close attention to. And in exchange for that support, I promised to add an extra story to this free edition, and remove one of the ads. In other words, your upgrade will help to make the free edition better for everyone who can’t upgrade! To answer two questions: “What if you don’t make the goal?” Well, I’ll get tired of doing these updates, and we’ll stay stuck with just four stories. The second question was more intriguing: “Once you hit the goal, what happens if the total drops below your magic threshold again?” Well, it’s not so much “magic” as it is “sustaining” — it’s a level that provides full funds to pay everyone and all the bills (servers and services especially). But I think the question is really asking, will I drop one of the stories and re-add the ad? Not for a temporary dip, certainly. But if things really slide, all options are back on the table. The other side of that equation is this: if we go way over that sustainable number (it used to be much higher when the economy was better!), I have another “improvement” in mind. :-)

Summary of the Weekly Ups and Downs: Week 1, up 44 new and returning Premium subscribers — less 24 expirations = net 20 toward the goal. Week 2: up 25 and down 17 (net total 28). Week 3: Up 13 and down 23 (net 18), which drove week 4: up 47(!), down 11 (net 54). Week 5: up 34, down 16 (net 72). And last week: up 36, down 17, for a net of 90. Just 10 to go! Which is why I think we’ll get there this week. I hope you will be the one to push us over: see this page for upgrade options, and thanks!

I’ve Decided to Do Some Quick Sales this summer. The first one is for Get Out of Hell Free cards: when you get a regular $12 pack of 100 cards, you get a free plastic GOOHF card (a $5 value). Even better, get a Jumbo Pack of about 500 cards and we’ll throw in five plastic cards (a $15 value). What do I mean by “quick”? It’s only through the end of the month. Valid for both the regular glossy cards (100 pack / Jumbo Pack) and the “Pride” version (100 pack / Jumbo Pack). The special doesn’t show on the shopping cart pages, but we’ll add those to all orders that come in by May 31, and keep your eyes on this space this summer for other flash sales. As always, free shipping in USA applies.

The Latest Posting to Jumbo Joke: Like His Mother Used to Do.

Ten Years Ago in True: An attempt to get into the Guinness Book of Records Probably Won’t be Televised.


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No Honorary Unsubscribe so far this week: I didn’t find anyone who qualified.

  • But So Long to actor Alan Young, best known for his role as Wilbur, a guy who owned a talking horse, “Mr. Ed” (1961-1966). He died May 19 at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital, at 96.
  • Honorary Unsubscribe Archive

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