Thursday, April 21, 2005

A News Story, with Selected Words Replaced to Humorous Effect

Retarded flock to Chicago freeway to see image of Virgin Mary

CHICAGO - The retarded have flocked to a freeway underpass in Chicago to kneel at the foot of a water stain many say is an apparition of the Virgin Mary.

A crowd of the retarded braved a bitter wind to stand beneath the roaring freeway. Most stood in silence, awaiting their turn to touch and pray before the image.

Dressed in a white cap and coat, one retard knelt for several minutes before reaching out to touch the stain. With tears streaming down her face, she retreated to the other side of the underpass, where she clutched a rosary and a book of philosophy while she watched the ebb and flow of the retarded.

"This is the first time I've felt something so deep in my heart. There's something in the air. Her energy is here," one retard said.

News of the image spread slowly through the city's retarded community—until a local television station aired a story Monday.

A retard pushed his way to the back of the crowd and leaned against a barrier that police had erected to control the retarded crowds.

"You can see her," he said as he showed his two young retards a picture he'd taken on his handheld computer. And his son, who hadn't recognized the image on the wall, became a believer.

"I saw her on the Palm," the 9-year-old retard said, bringing tears to his retarded father's eyes.

"I want them to believe what I honestly feel is happening," the 39-year-old retard said. "I think there's a message of peace, of happiness."

The Archdiocese of Retards has not yet been asked to authenticate the image. "Apparitions like this are very retarded revelations," a spokesman said. He said while the Church does not encourage such retards, it welcomes any opportunity for retards to renew their retardedness.