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The Weekend Desk Report

The "B" team is holding down the Weekend Desk this, um, weekend, while Natasha Julius is away on a post-juice fast secret mission. Here are the stories we'll be tracking in her absence.

Super Bowling
The contestants are yet to be decided, but Prince has signed on as halftime entertainment for the Super Bowl. Word has it he's been rehearsing a new song called "I Can't Hear You" about the president's Iraq strategy.

Saints Bowl
Still under water.

Spy Bowl
President Bush shifted course this week on its once double-secret super spying program. The administration will now get court approval before tapping your phone because you once made a joke about Dick Cheney.

Presidential Bowl
Hillary Clinton is officially in. Folks here in Chicago may not realize it, but the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of Democratic and independent voters showed Clinton preferred over Barack Obama 29 percent to 18 percent. Which, curiously enough, will be the same spread by which the Bears beat the Saints.

Space Bowl
In a sudden shift, the administration announced that American space weapons would now also be "Made in China." More as this story develops.

Freedom Bowl
America's campaign to curb journalistic freedom around the globe is going nicely, though the administration prefers jailing to killing.

Water Bowl
The family of a woman who died after winning a radio station contest for drinking the most water without urinating is suing the station. Station officials, however, say that Donald Rumsfeld, in his new job as industry consultant, assured them they couldn't be held liable if something went wrong.

News Mashup

McCain links gum disease with new 'hobbit' galaxies

Obama launches bid for Scottish independence

Male panda said to make amends with conservative Christians

Bush pledges to work for crematorium expansion

- Tim Willette

Chicago Says Goodbye to Yvonne De Carlo

     Paramount paramour,
     Femme fatale, contralto-voiced
     wife of Moses, restrained little bird, Sephora.
     Fetching show girl, dancer,
     Our own vampire mother.

They named you "Baby Peggy" as Benito marched on Rome.
Your father, a Canadian salesman, left when
you were only three.
But always behind the curtain, your stage-door Mother made
sure you could sing and dance, and she cried when you lost "Miss
Venice Beach".
One Halloween night in Vancouver, you made your own costume
and dressed as a glamorous ghoul , foreshadowing your
Hollywood career.
At first you were a look-alike Lamour, reminding
The sometimes-difficult Dorothy that even she was
You worked with Gable, and Poitier, holding your own,
Until the inevitable low-budget horror.
And then at last you came to live at thirteen, thirteen mockingbird
lane, glowing pale in a black and white world where Marylin
was the ugly one.

How we loved to watch you in your sleeveless gown, "cleaning"
'round the manse, the vacuum in reverse, blowing dust.
     White-streaked hair,
     Comic, sitcom bloodsucker.
Lillian Munster, ghastly homemaker, Herman's wife,
our friend.
We see you waiting, eager to go out, in the floor-length, red-hooded,
cape you
made from your coffin lining, its satin gathered at your
feet, like a pool of blood.
Along the way you had over twenty-two lovers;
Howard Hughes, Billy Wilder, and more; your slaves.
"Darn, darn, darn, darn" as Herman used to say. Too soon
we thank you, and we'll miss the Paramount
paramour, Femme fatale, contralto-voiced wife of
Moses, restrained little bird, Sephora.

- Bethany Lankin


Posted on January 20, 2007

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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