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Wink May 5, 2004


With fear of West Nile Virus running rampant through the brains of Idahoans both old and paranoid, local politicians have stepped up to the plate and sent out a clear message: "A mosquito-less Idaho is a safe Idaho!"

"This is my promise to you, proud voters of the oh-so-valuable 70-and-over age group," explained Governor Kempthorne in an address to a local rest home. "The Gem State will be standing-water free by 2007. All hail Idaho, and let no dirty mosquito prick her beautiful drought-wracked face!" In a move reminiscent of the great Works Progress Administration projects of the 1930s, Kempthorne has already released plans to put unemployed Idahoans to work draining Nampa's Lake Lowell, which will be carted to California in over 5,000 tanker trucks over the course of 2005 and 2006.

"This will undoubtedly prove to be a watershed—ha!—event for us," proclaimed a Nampa police officer. "Besides killing millions of mosquitoes and putting thousands of Idahoans to work, this project will help us to close the book on just about every missing person in our fair city's history. They're all down there, beneath the evil mosquito eggs. We're sure of it."


With both Friends and Frasier leaving NBC's airwaves in the next week, the network has some mighty large time slots to fill. The answer, according to the just-released fall schedules, is spin-offs, spin-offs and more spin-offs! "We really feel that America's desperate dependence on Friends and Frasier shouldn't have to stop with the end of the show," explained Larry Yesman, NBC network analyst, "and the total inability of any of the shows' stars to make a noticeable impact in cinema was just the icing on the cake. So this fall on NBC, expect some familiar faces, back again in the roles you unhealthily love them for!"

The Friends offshoot Joey, starring Matt LeBlanc, is still scheduled to fail miserably on Thursdays this fall, but will be prefaced in its short run by A New York Minute, a show following the continuing adventures of Phoebe, Ross, Chandler, Monica and Rachel. "Five rich dilettantes in the greatest city in the world—it's a can't-miss combo!" raves Matthew Perry, who plays Chandler. "This show promises to be every bit as witty and irrelevant as Friends, but with a new twist. Instead of Chandler and Monica moving away from their old apartment, they will instead be moving back into it. And instead of us adopting a baby, we will instead pretend like that plotline never existed. Same with Rachel leaving for Europe. The only real difference is that we're really letting Joey (Matt LeBlanc) leave for California. Honestly, this whole 'show ending' thing was really just to get rid of Matt—that guy's just beaten me and David [Schwimmer] up so much over the last 10 years ... seriously."

Tuesdays will also bear the mark of televised exhumation, as the Frasier spin off Dr. Crane, I Presume will hold the hallowed 8 p.m. slot. "Think of it like Frasier meets Frasier, the character from Cheers," explains lead actor Kelsey Grammer. "I'm a big effeminate blowhard living with my father and swapping pseudo-psychological drivel with my noodle-armed weasel of a brother. It's a match made in TV heaven! I need a drink ... anybody got a drink?"

But the fun doesn't end there. NBC has even announced an ER spin-off to fill space on the network's weak Sunday and Monday prime-time schedules. The show, entitled Re-ER, will be identical in plot to the previous week's ER. episode, but with all new commercials.