Gun Ho

We cover all the major issues, from the concealed-carry legislation to the nifty new coffee lids at Kaldi's; plus, the latest on the Sanford-Brown Indians' winning season (and you still don't know Dick)

Director:[offstage, whispering loudly] Get back in character, Dick!

Gephardt:Oh, yeah, Courvoisier and the butt, folks. If we can't get Medi-care retooled, we can just give the old folks that liquor-and-sex cocktail instead of their meds, right? [Pause for laughs.] Before CBS scrubbed The Reagans, they contacted my family about doing a miniseries called Congressman: Dying City to balance things out politically. Said it was because like Reagan, I'm an '80s icon. They had Ron Howard all lined up to play me, too. But when I told them that I preferred Courvoisier, the butt, pandering to farmers in Iowa and publicly trashing Howard Dean, the network backed out. Just like I'll be backing that ass up at the inaugural ball in 2004! [Pause for laughs. Gephardt stands up, backs his ass up, trips and falls down.]

Director:[from offstage]Cut!

Coffee Clutch

In the tedium-of-life department, this just in: Caffeine freaks at Kaldi's Coffee on DeMun were recently thrown for a loop by a new advancement in coffee-lid technology. The glorious evolution? The Solo Corporation's Traveler Plus(tm) disposable plastic coffee lid, which contains a built-in rotating cap that opens and closes that little mouth-hole thingy. That's correct: The perpetually gaping mouth-hole, which pours forth coffee, glorious coffee when you're of a mind to drink but works as spill-spout that musses up your shirt, shoes, dashboard and lap when you're walking, driving, skipping or sprinting, is a thing of the past.

The Traveler Plus™ -- or, in industryspeak, the "T-Plus" -- was introduced in the spring but has been slow to advance. "They're cutting-edge," says Kaldi's co-owner Suzanne Langlois. "They weren't even at the coffee show that I went to a month ago." As with most new advancements, Langlois says, customers are wary. "I asked why, and they said, 'I don't know, they just taste different.' I drank a lot out of them, and on the one hand they're great because you don't spill all over yourself, but on the other hand I get the impression that some people feel like they're getting a big nipple full of plastic in their mouth, which is never fun. In your mouth the plastic is a tiny bit different, and it does protrude up a little bit more than a regular lid. But we love them, and we thought that, gosh, it's going to be a no-brainer. But it's not, because some people are a little taken aback."

On Introduction Day Kaldi's patrons could be seen pushing the mouth-hole, which is opened and closed via a small toggle gizmo, back and forth like a bunch of apes who've found themselves confronted by a doorknob for the first time.

Ultimately, most figured it out.

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