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Wink June 9, 2004

West Nile Chic Invades Idaho

The recent onset of warm June weather signals the start of two of Idaho's most hotly anticipated seasons: "wedding" and "mosquito." This year the two overlap as never before, as a local business owner has introduced the first of what will doubtless be many West Nile Virus-related accessories: the mosquito net bridal veil.

"I got the idea when I saw all the customized SARS masks women in China were wearing a while back," explains Suzie Shyster of local shop The Bridal Barn. "I remember thinking, 'If only there was a way for me to cash in on both the vanity and paranoia of my friends and neighbors.' As soon as I heard reports of WNV in the West, I knew it: cha-ching!"

The veil, which sells for $379.95, comes in two colors: "Skeeter Sallow" and "Epidemic Eggshell." Shyster reports that sales have been encouraging thus far, prompting her to peddle other goods and services in the genre of "West Nile Chic."

"For two grand, we'll give you the works," she promises. "I'm talking pastel-colored spray-cans of Off with little bows on them, custom-embroidered towels to soak up any standing water left by an ice sculpture, and even snipers to take out any suspicious looking birds that fly overhead. We'll leave no stone unturned, no ploy unbilled in our quest to protect you from this largely harmless disease."

p> Punks To Reagan: Thanks for the Memories

The death of former President Ronald Reagan has left much of the nation in mourning, but perhaps few so intensely as his staunchest detractors. Musicians from the dozens of 1980s punk bands whose popularity grew from violent opposition to Reagan have begun speaking out in methadone clinics and halfway houses nationwide in praise of the man responsible for their few moments of public infamy.

"Only after the death of this truly evil bastard did I realize just how much he meant to me," explained drummer Steve Shelley of The Crucifucks, a Michigan-based group whose limited underground success stemmed from a 1985 song entitled "Hinkley Had a Vision."

"Whenever I receive a $3 royalty check from some fly-by-night punk label that has reissued a few dozen copies of our horrific albums, I thank my lucky Star Wars for 'The Great Communicator.'"

"People call Iggy Pop the godfather of punk, but we all know it's Ronnie," echoes a surviving member of the band Reagan Youth, a New York hardcore outfit whose album covers openly compared Reagan to Adolf Hitler. "Sure, we haven't sold any copies of our 'Jesus was a Communist' single in a few ... in a while, but I still had hope for a resurgence in our popularity. I guess this is the end of the line—but really: who'd have figured that old coot would outlive almost our entire band?"

On the local front, members from long-gone Boise punk bands Cowboy Ronnie's Kontra Killers and 1,000 Points of Shite have announced a Reagan-tribute concert to take place in a field south of Kuna, which for one night will be dubbed "The Crazy Horse." "I for one will be wearing my Mohawk at half-mast," explains Killers guitarist Johnny Gorbachev, who has sported a "Kill Reagan" tattoo on his thigh since 1982. "We'll break out all the classics, from 'Impeach Nancy' to 'Upper Class Tax Cut Blues.'"