After three years of experience in parenthood, Lincoln residents Phillip Rapp and Sallie Dietrich were apparently addled by the challenges presented by their two/three year old daughter. “Hey, I bet we would all sleep better if we had a new baby in the house,” exhausted and slightly frantic mother Sallie proposed to her husband. Bleary-eyed Phillip responded with a nod and a “Yes, dear.” The Tattler attributes the questionable decision-making to PTSD. Some time later they got their wish, with beautiful baby girl number two, Alice Christine. They discovered, unfortunately, that their strategy seems to have only increased the late-night howling. Sometimes even the children have been known to cry as well.
Lovable mutt Ash, who was dubious about the plan all along, has been doing his best to cope with the noise with reproachful looks toward the adults (“I told you so”), and careful sniffs of the baby. Advanced Trick Dog Sage, while approving of the baby, has reservations “The worst was that my people allowed Ash to come into my house and spend two whole weeks messing everything up. I like Alice, but I wish the people would keep her from crying. Between you and me, I don't think they do a very good job," Sage told this reporter.
Disease researcher and connoisseur of various airlines’ in-flight meals and snacks, Elizabeth Dietrich has been spending most of her time on international flights. When asked where she has been going, she responded, “The destination isn’t actually important, I usually just get driven straight to a lab and get to work. When I’m done, I get on another plane and come home. I don’t even know where I am much of the time.”
Meanwhile, Stephen Crimmins has strengthened his commitment to be the mountaintop guru of Colorado, living most of the time at altitudes above 14000 feet, and coming down to the lowlands of Fort Collins only occasionally, for work, weeding the garden, or skritching Pluto, their kitty. Pluto takes turns deciding who to snub, depending on who she is more annoyed at. “Not enough skritches from either, if you ask me,” she sniffed.
Asked for comment on this article, Crimmins himself sniffed, “The stratosphere is at least twice this high.”
Elliott Rapp reports the following: “I went to the farm and rode Beau and I went to the zoo and I took Granddad and Nonna to Noodles and Company a bunch of times and I rode the Ferris wheel and I took Mommy and Daddy to Casa Bonita and helped them stand in line for two hours before we got dinner and saw the cliff divers and I went to the museum and touched Archie the Mammoth’s foot and I ran a race and I didn’t run another race and I danced at a wedding and I had the best birthday party with a bounce house that filled the whole back yard and I went to daycare and I went to my friends’ birthday parties and I went to the children’s museum and I went to my cousins’ house and my friend’s house and I got a new baby sister.” The Tattler staff feels slightly breathless after asking the three-year-old about her year. It does seem like she has her parents and grandparents well in hand, at any rate.
Midwestern Citizen Wanda Dietrich finally had enough of the news from Washington, and decided it was time for a March on the Capital. One woman does not a March make, so she began the process of calling for recruits, starting with her husband. This actually meshed nicely with Larry’s Marine scheme (see “Military Service,” below), so he readily agreed. She then called on her daughter Elizabeth, who immediately thought to herself, “Uh Oh,” and bought tickets for herself and Stephen Crimmins. Dietrich also managed to recruit her sister Vanette and brother Scott. “What’s our agenda?” they asked. “March on Washington, duh,” Wanda replied. “Cool, let’s do it!” and the March was on.
The motley crew, intent on staying grounded during their journey, took the first class train ride halfway across the country, and arrived in Washington, DC on an auspicious Friday in October. In pursuing their apolitical protest, they visited Washington Monument (“Imposing”), Lincoln Memorial (“Classic beauty”), the White House (“So many chandeliers”), Arlington National Cemetery (“Sobering”), the Smithsonian Institution (“Overwhelming”), the Library of Congress (“Stunning”), the National Cathedral (“Spectacular”), and numerous other monuments, all the while failing to encounter a single politician. All politicians the Tattler contacted expressed relief that they had successfully evaded the March.
Fanatical runner Larry Dietrich again got himself into a bind. Signing up for a race is one thing; enlisting in the Marines quite another. The naive old codger filled in a few lines on a website that he found, then showed up in Arlington, Virginia on the appointed day and time. He immediately found himself surrounded by men and women in dress uniform, herding thousands of recruits into a confined area. The pouring rain was bad enough, but when a nearby howitzer went off, Dietrich fled for his life, running through the streets of Arlington, Rosslyn, Georgetown, and finally along the National Mall while his frantic family tried to catch up. Finally, after twenty-six miles of running, he was too tired to go any further, and he surrendered into the custody of the Marines. They slipped a heavy dog tag around his neck, made him pose for his mug shots, and sent him marching down the street to his post. Fearing that he was about to be dragged off to Basic, he pleaded with everyone he saw, and fortunately for Dietrich, and probably for the country, a Marine quickly deemed him unfit for service and turned him over to his wife Wanda for safe keeping. “That was a close one!” the exasperated woman was heard to mutter as she dragged her wet and bedraggled husband away.
The Tattler, your annual tabloid focusing on the perennial corruption and scandal that rocks the Dietrich family, as usual hits the presses early for the Valentine’s Day edition. If you wish to associate this remarkable publication with some other convenient holiday, feel free. In any case, the Tattler staff wishes you all the best for the new year and for all of your holidays!