Friday, 14 September 2007

Amtrak passenger Herman Schimmelplotzer has told Fox News that Norman Hsus' previously unexplained collapse came on quite suddenly between cocktails.

"Everybody from the club car was surprised as hell when we found Normy curled up in a ball", said Shimmelplotzer. "There were about thirty of us around the bar when Normy first came in, all smiles, pattin' people on the back, a damned friendly guy.

"He got a check cashed at the bar and bought rounds for the whole car. Three or four at least. An hour went by...maybe a little more, when two guys in black suits with sunglasses came in, walked up to Normy and handed him a newspaper. That's when it happened. All of a sudden, Normy turns white as hell...I mean from yellow to white in half-a-blink. The one guy starts laughin. Laughin' out loud. Here's poor Normy, sweatin' like hell, holdin' onto my arm so he doesn't go down on the ground and this bastard thinks its funny.

"Well Normy starts mumblin' something about keepin his mouth shut. That's when this punky lookin' guy starts makin' like he's got a gun...you know, with his finger and thumb, like people do. Anyhow, he sticks his finger up against his head, makes with his thumb like the guns goin' off, laughs again and he and the other guy both leave. Well thats' when Normy ran up to the bar, chugged 4 fingers of Scotch and staggered out of the car. We found him later in his compartment, curled up on the floor."

The newspaper which seemed to trigger Mr. Hsu's anxious reaction contained information about a suicide note Hsu had sent to a number of friends and clients around the country. "He seemed real surprised when he read about it", offered Schimmelplotzer. "I guess he was just embarrassed about it bein' in the paper.

Me and the other folks on the train, we're real happy he's got good friends, you know, like the Clintons and such. He's gonna need loyal people like that right now, to help him get better. And I'm sure they'll stick right by him if he has to go on trial or anything."

Fox News hoped to get reaction from Amtrak officials on the subsequent arrest of Mr. Hsu and his removal from the train by Colorado authorities. But they offered only a "no comment", both to this story and to rumours of having accepted a bogus third party check in lieu of cash or credit card for Mr. Hsu's bar bill.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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