The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

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    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
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    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
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    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
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    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

2006.09.07 Boggle doggy doppelganger

Written by David Green.

By JEFF PICKELL

Someone plagiarized my dog.

Until last Saturday, I didn’t even think that was possible. I’ll explain.

As you may have surmised from my previous columns, my affection for Darla the dog is matched only by my affection for chocolate milk. It’s intense.

The person in question—the dog plagiarist—I’ve never actually met. A few summers ago, my friend Dolley and I staged an argument on a Western Michigan University internet message board. Pretty much just to make people mad. After, one of the e-onlookers sent me a message to tell me how funny...and handsome...and handsome....and handsome she thought I was.

“Dolley is not handsome,” her message read. “He is very unbecoming. You are much funnier than he is.”

After that, we struck up one of those internet quasi-friendships. I’d check in once in awhile for an update on her boring and idiosyncratic life. When she messaged me, I ignored her, as I usually do when I’m in the middle of a marathon session of Web Boggle. Which is all the time.

But I vaguely recall a conversation, sometime last fall in which I extolled the virtues of a dog called Darla, even e-mailing my e-friend a few e-pictures.

“She’s so cute,” she remarked. “I love her.”

“Away with you! Time for more Boggle! More Boggle!” I replied.

Of course, because it happened so long ago, I’m just guessing that’s how the conversation went, but I do remember how much she loved the pictures.

What happened between then and last Saturday isn’t important. It was mostly Web Boggle anyway.

I was driving from the movie theater to my parents’ house when my friend Amanda called me.

“Do you remember Shannon?” she said.

“I try not to remember Shannon Doherty,” I replied.

“Your internet friend Shannon,” she said. “Idiot.”

“Yeah, what about her?”

“She just posted a picture of her new dog on her blog. It’s the same breed as Darla, looks exactly like Darla, and is named Darla.”

“Really? Wow.”

“Aren’t you angry?” Amanda asked. “She copied your dog! I’m angry.”

Later, Amanda messaged me a picture of the offending dog. She wasn’t kidding, that sucker looked just like Darla.

But truthfully, I wasn’t angry at all, just a little weirded out. Don’t they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?

Besides, people are always stealing my ideas and quips. A couple of weekends ago, I went to a party in Kalamazoo with Dolley, during which I explained to a group of interested listeners how the Fighting Irish used to be the Flying Irish, because the Celts were actually a winged—and seagoing—people.

I went on: “Then whiskey was discovered, and doctors began cutting the wings off at birth because sauced up Irishmen were always getting tangled in trees. This was before the invention of fire departments.

Continuing: “Wait, this isn’t funny at all! This is just nonsense.”

Nevertheless, perusing the Western Michigan message board a few days ago, I noticed someone making that same—awful—joke, nearly verbatim.

I’ve witnessed a half-dozen similar occurrences in the last few years, so I figured it was only a matter of time before somebody copied my dog or did something creepy like that, so I shrugged it off. If some e-head wants to copy my dog, who am I to say he or she can’t?

My mom wasn’t so accepting. And later, neither were Dolley or Jimbo.

Mom: I think you have an internet stalker.

Dolley: She plagiarized your dog? Who the #%&@ does that? I mean, really! By the way, I’m not as smart as you.

Jimbo: Down with the imposter Darla! (Jimbo has been saying this for quite a while. He thinks his cat, Rhordy, is the one true Darla).

Darla—the real steel Darla deal—was pretty mum, responding to the news by taking a leap at the sandwich I was eating.

“Darla,” I said, chewing, “You can’t react to every little thing that happens to you by eating. It just isn’t healthy. Drat, I have a hangnail. Grilled cheese sandwich time.”

I think what most disconcerted people about the dog plagiarism thing was that the girl didn’t even bother to think of a new name. She could’ve at least disguised her act with a little Boggle-ization.

I mean Radal, Aarldd and Raald are great names for a dog. And who wouldn’t want a little fluff ball called Larda?

- Sept. 7, 2006

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