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Brenda wants to have a picnic. She gets a basket. She puts sandwiches in the basket. The sandwiches are healthy. They are also tasty. She drives to the park. She lays out a blanket. She hears a sound. It is raining. She folds the blanket back. She puts the food in the basket.
She came back home from work. She looked at the clock and yawned. It was nine o'clock. She went to her bedroom and put on her pajamas. She got her blanket. She lay down on her bed. The room was cold. She got up and went to her closet to get extra blankets. She lay down again and covered herself. She fell asleep. She woke up in the middle of the night to get a glass of water. She drank the glass of water. She walked back to her bedroom. She yawned and fell asleep. Two hours passed. She woke up and went to the restroom. She heard a noise outside her window. She looked out the window to see what it was. It was a black cat climbing a tree. She hushed the cat. The cat ran away. She went back to bed. She closed her eyes and fell asleep. She slept very little.
She was lying on the beach. It felt really calm. The sun was beaming down. It was not too hot. The weather was perfect. She was lying on her stomach. She was in paradise. Suddenly, something happened. Someone ran by. Sand was kicked on her back. She was startled. She sat up to see who kicked it. There were a lot of people around. She did not see who ran by. She felt angry. Someone had ruined her moment in the sun. She lay back down. Minutes later, someone ran by again. Sand was kicked on her back. She rose instantly. She saw a kid hiding. He was laughing. She stood up and walked towards the kid. "Were you kicking sand on my back?" she asked the kid. The kid was scared. He started crying. She felt guilty for making him cry. "Don't cry," she said. "I'm sorry," the kid said. She never came back to that beach again.
Helen Young was an unlucky woman. So many bad things happened to her. She was always getting into accidents. None of them were her fault. One year ago, there was a small earthquake. It caused a telephone pole to crack. The pole landed on top of Helen's car. Another time, there was a small storm. Helen loves the rain. She walked outside to enjoy it. She was struck by lightning within one minute. Everyone laughed at Helen's bad luck. One day, that all changed. Helen tripped on the sidewalk. She found a lottery ticket laying on the ground. It had the winning numbers. Helen was now an unlucky millionaire.
Norma went to bed. It was eleven o'clock. She turned out the light. She lay in bed. It was dark. It was quiet. She couldn't sleep. She closed her eyes. She tried to sleep, but she couldn't. She turned the light back on. She opened her book. She started to read her book. It was a good book. She read one page. Then she read another page. After a while, she felt sleepy. She closed the book. She turned out the light. She closed her eyes. She went straight to sleep.
Carl worked for a company for one year. Then they laid him off. "We have to lay you off," said his boss. "It's not you. It's the economy. We'll hire you back when the economy gets better." Carl was angry. It wasn't the economy. It's discrimination, he thought. They didn't lay off anyone else. They laid off only him. He looked for another job. He couldn't find another job. A year later, he still had no job. It isn't my fault, he thought. It was the company's fault. They discriminated against him. He bought a gun. He went back to his company. He shot his boss dead. The police arrested him. The murder was on the TV news. The TV reporter talked about Carl. She felt so sorry for him. She talked about how much he had suffered. She didn't say anything about his dead boss.
He put on his underwear. He put on his slacks. He put a belt through the belt loops in his slacks. He put on a pair of black socks. Then he put on his brown shoes. He tied the shoelaces. He stood up and walked over to his closet. He found a short-sleeve golf shirt. It was blue and white. He pulled it on over his head. He tucked the shirt into his slacks. He zipped up his slacks and buckled his belt. He looked at himself in the mirror. He buttoned the three buttons on his golf shirt. He made sure the collar lay flat. He put his keys and wallet in his pocket. He left his apartment.
I am an adult. I'm not a kid. I'm a grown-up. I need some money. I have no food. I am hungry. I am not thirsty, because water is everywhere. But water has no taste. I want to drink a soda. I want to drink milk. I want to drink coffee. I want to work. Nobody will hire me. Nobody is hiring anybody. Companies are firing people. Companies are laying off people. Everyone is looking for a job. I cannot pay my rent. I will have to live in my car. I don't want to live in my car. My car has no bed. Everyone should live in a house or an apartment. Many people don't have a car. They live on the street. A street has no bed. Nobody should live on the street. I don't know what to do. I don't know where to go. Maybe I will go to church. Maybe I will find help there.
People are standing in long lines all over America. The long lines are unemployment lines. Unemployment lines are for people who have no jobs. Millions of Americans have no jobs. They used to have jobs. But they got laid off. They got laid off because of the recession. The recession is in America. The recession is in China. The recession is in Europe. The recession is all over the world. What's a recession? A recession is a time when people have only a little money. They don't buy new things. If they don't buy new things, factories stop making new things. Factories lay off the workers. In a recession, people buy only necessary things, like food. They don't buy new TVs, new cars, or new homes. They don't buy new shoes. They take their old shoes to the shoe repair shop. They don't go to expensive restaurants. They go to fast-food restaurants. They don't go to the movies. They watch TV. They don't go to Disneyland. They go to city parks. Everyone hopes the recession will end soon.
The Ozark city zoo's tiger exhibit featured Winnie, a female Siberian tiger. She was five years old, weighed 300 pounds, and stood three feet tall at her shoulders. Siberian tigers are endangered; only about 500 exist in the wild, and about 200 exist in captivity. They live up to 25 years.
Two brothers, 18 and 19 years old, visited the zoo just before closing. Earl and Merl had had a few drinks. They went straight to Winnie's pit. They decided it would be fun to tease her as she lay within the walled pit minding her own business. They threw pine cones and sticks at Winnie, causing her to growl. Then Earl hopped onto the wall and dangled his legs into the tiger pit area. He yelled at Winnie while Merl threw a plastic bottle full of water. The bottle struck Winnie's head.
Enraged, she sprang toward the wall. She slashed at Earl's foot, removing one of his shoes. Earl screamed, hopped off the wall, and started running. Winnie quickly measured the height of the wall, and leapt. Although the wall was 13 feet high, Winnie landed on top of it. The two brothers were running toward the zoo restaurant, figuring that there would be safety in numbers. But they never made it. Winnie quickly caught up to one, and then the other. With one bite to each of their necks, she killed them both.
It was Sunday. "Don't blow in my ear!" Cassandra yelled. "I have very fragile skin. If you blow in my ear, it might break my eardrum." Travis laughed. He didn't believe her. He had seen too many movies and read too many books where the guy blew in the girl's ear and the girl ended up marrying the guy.
So he blew in her ear. She cried out in pain. "You're kidding," he said, startled. But the look on her face said that she wasn't kidding. Something's wrong, she told him. He apologized profusely. She put her little finger in her ear; when she pulled it out, there was moisture on her fingertip. She said she could hear a whooshing sound. He felt sick. He couldn't believe that he had just injured her. This had never happened in any movie or any book. Yet it was happening to her.
She felt dizzy. She ran to the bathroom and threw up. "I'm so sorry, honey," he told her. Very quietly, she said it was okay. She wanted to go home. He walked her out to his car. She said the whooshing sound was not going away. When they got to her place, she got into her bed and lay down. She asked him to please leave, as she wanted to try to sleep. He apologized again. He got back into his car and returned to his apartment. What a jerk I am, he said over and over. What a jerk.
Taco trucks cannot remain parked in the same location for more than an hour, according to a new Los Angeles city law. They cannot return to that location for three hours. In the past, they could not remain parked in the same location for more than two hours. Restaurant owners complain that the taco trucks are stealing their customers, "because taco truck food is faster and cheaper. Plus, they don't have to pay taxes or get health inspections.
Lawyer Phil Greenberg says the time limit is unenforceable. "The two-hour law was never enforced by the city, so what's the point of changing it to one hour?" he asked. "The city has more important things to do than ticket these hard workers. What about all the potholes, the graffiti, the homeless, and the gangs? LA is almost $400 million in debt. The mayor has already said he's going to lay off 767 city employees. There won't be anyone left to enforce the new parking law. There are thousands of taco trucks in this city.
The penalty for the first violation of the new law is $100; the second violation can result in a maximum $1,000 fine and six months in jail. One angry truck owner said, "This is a racist law. All of us taco truck owners are Latinos. Our trucks are an important part of the history and culture of Los Angeles. Thirty of us have already agreed to park our trucks in the same spot all day long. If a law is illegal, it is our duty as good citizens to ignore it." City residents who want to support taco trucks can visit saveourtacotrucks.org.