We interrupt this broadcast…

I said planned to do Laminated List Part II next, but these news stories cannot wait. They’re not exactly breaking news… though I can’t deny they’re broken. Sean and I sit here wondering: has the real world traded places with the alternate reality of The Onion?

Here’s Story #1, complete with horrible pun in first line:

An Israeli lawmaker is hoping to butter up voters and pass a law that would limit outrageous popcorn prices at the movies.

Carmel Shama, from the governing Likud party, plans to bring the “popcorn law” for a vote when parliament returns from its Passover break next week, the mass-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper reported Wednesday.

“We have to put an end to this. The public should not have to mortgage their houses for a soft drink and a snack,” Shama told the paper.

A large box of popcorn usually sells for about five dollars (four euros) at theatre concession stands, more than double what it costs at a supermarket and 10 times more than it would cost to make at home.

Shama said he had support from both the government and opposition lawmakers for the move that would put limits on what theatres and other public entertainment venues, like sports stadiums, could charge to captive audiences.

However, cinema owners slammed the move, saying it was a populist measure that ignored the free market.

Yaacov Cohen, the owner of one of Israel’s largest theatre complexes, said owners made virtually no profit from ticket sales and would be hard pressed to survive if food sales were limited.

“It would destroy the entire industry,” he told Yediot.

Priceless! Ha ha, get it? Wait, now that you mention it… expensive popcorn IS kind of a violation of our basic human rights. And as my hubby points out, Israel really does need to put some resources toward this problem, since it dwarfs the other problems currently facing the nation.

Then we have this – from today in the Post Gazette:

ERIE, Pa. — An Erie County jury has been asked to decide whether a 12-year-old girl was burned and later developed psychological problems when a convenience store clerk allegedly aimed a hand-held price scanner at her face.

Dominica Juliano was 12 when she and her grandmother entered the Country Fair store in Erie in June 2004.

A clerk allegedly called the girl “grumpy” before flashing his hand-held bar code scanner over her face and telling her to smile.

Attorneys for Ms. Juliano and her guardian say the girl was sensitive to light and burned, and later developed post-traumatic stress and Tourette’s syndrome.

An attorney for the store says the scanner uses a harmless LED light and that the child had serious health problems before the incident. The trial began Monday.

HANG that store clerk! No doubt this poor, beleaguered twelve-year-old will develop cancer and multiple sclerosis next, after this kind of treatment. And obviously the radioactive, incendiary LED rays were extremely harmful to her and her guardian, scrambling their brains until they were capable of producing only patently idiotic accusations. What a tragic story.

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