MONDAY, OCTOBER 22 Forget all the people killed in the WTC tragedy, forget about the people laid off from their jobs, and forget about those poor people who have contracted anthrax. The people you really should be worrying about are America's fashion designers. In a truly troubling turn of events, top designers such as Donna Karan, Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein and others have had no choice but to helplessly watch fashion sales tumble into the crapper since the September 11 tragedy. But this is one group of people who aren't going to take this fiscal downturn sitting on their chaise lounges! Today, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue magazine announced they are launching a new advertising campaign called, "Fashion for America: Shop to Show Your Support." According to ABC News.com, the Council says this is a way to "help bolster the American economy and restore consumer confidence while raising money for the Twin Towers fund." And while we agree that purchasing a gold Dolce & Gabbana swimsuit would really be a good poke in the eye to the Taliban, are Americans ready to prove their patriotism by purchasing spendy dresses made out of toilet paper rolls or hats constructed of porcupine quills? As Candice Harris, a former human resources professional, gently put it, "Perhaps I speak for several women in that I am unemployed, and therefore, I am being very frugal I still have rent to pay and that's my top priority." OH YEAH? And is paying your "precious" rent going to put foie gras in the mouth of hot designer Carolina Herrera? Maybe you should move to Afghanistan! We hear the rent is pretty cheap there on the border, and they even provide the veils!

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23 Today, the Justice Department showed America copies of the three letters sent to Tom Brokaw, The New York Post, and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, that contained anthrax. According to the Associated Press, two of the letters were identical, all three contained anti-American messages, and were postmarked September 11. The notes sent to The Post and Tom Brokaw warned the readers with "Death to America," "Death to Israel," "Allah is Great," and (this is our favorite part) "Take penacilin [sic] now." Hey, pal! We've got the anthrax. Not gonorrhea! The letter sent to Daschle had similar styles of block lettering to the other two and said, "You can not stop us. We have this anthrax. You die now. Are you afraid?" Well, we gotta tell ya. We'd be a lot more afraid if you didn't sound just like that guy covered with spiders from Raiders of the Lost Ark. However, it's not just us Americans who are being picked on. The Canadians are also experiencing anthrax hysteria. According to the New York Daily News, really annoying singer Celine Dion has received letters filled with suspicious white powder. And inside sources tell us the letters contained the following message: "Hey! Celine Dion! You got the anthrax! You die now! (But before you do, could you sing "My Heart Will Go On"? We love that tune!)"

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24 This just in: O.J. Simpson walks--again! Today O.J. was acquitted for a second time after a motorist accused him of grabbing his glasses and scratching his face in an act of "road rage" last year. According to the testimony of Jeffrey Pattinson, O.J. ran a stop sign, and when Pattinson honked to get him to pull over, Simpson acted like a "madman" by reaching inside the car and slapping the glasses off his face. However, O.J. told a different story: In his version, Simpson thought the man "sitting on his horn" was a "fan" seeking an autograph or was trying to alert him to a problem with his car. He denied ever reaching into Pattinson's automobile. Prosecutor Abbe Rifkin said in her closing arguments, that Simpson is "a legend in his own mind. Simpson's story changes and evolves with time." Not to be outdone in the poetry department, Simpson's attorney told the jury, "if the bitchslap don't fit, you must acquit." When Simpson left the courtroom smiling, geologists noted the tremendous vibrations local residents felt after Nicole Brown Simpson began spinning in her grave.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25 In a move that made many Americans squirm with discomfort, President Bush spoke to a group of elementary school students today. His message? That kids should become pen pals with kids in the Islamic world, and they should expressly tell them that the United States has no "beef" with the Muslims. Calling it the "Friendship Through Education" program, Bush is encouraging children across the nation to write and explain to Islamic children that, "We don't hold you accountable for what took place [on September 11]." Then, the master of the patronizing understatement went on to say, "As you all know, our nation is at war right now. We are not at war with Muslims. We don't have a beef with Muslims." It's unclear at this point whether President Bush knows that according to their religion, Muslims cannot eat beef, unless it's slaughtered in the name of God--which is probably not the best topic of conversation to broach in a letter to an Islamic pen pal.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26 Today, it was reported that the Pentagon has chosen Lockheed Martin Corp. over the Portland Mercury to build its high-tech, next-generation fighter jet, a contract that will be worth at least $200 billion, the largest in Defense Department history. The Pentagon wouldn't release details of why Lockheed was picked over the Mercury, but said during the review process that Lockheed's proposal "emerged continuously as the clear winner" The Mercury's editor, Wm. Steven Humphrey, said the contract loss will cause the newspaper to lower its revenue forecast by $1 billion next year, to about $55 billion. He expressed hope that Lockheed would seek help from the Mercury for the project, perhaps in the areas of witty caption writing or aluminum manufacturing. Analysts said the Mercury may be in a better position to weather the contract loss, as the newspaper is developing an unmanned combat aircraft that could be highly lucrative and, unlike Lockheed, the Mercury has another source of revenue: the smut-humor business.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27 The Associated Press reported today that San Francisco Examiner editor and publisher Ted Fang has been fired. His mom, Florence Fang, issued a four-paragraph statement saying that she would be taking over the paper, which would leave her son "free to pursue other interests." Flo Fang is the chairwoman of the Examiner's corporate parents and the family business, ExIn LLC. Ted Fang, who drew public ire when he replaced the S.F. Examiner's managing editor and executive editor, and allowed the Editorial Page Editor to resign, will remain on the newspaper's board of directors. In the meantime, Fang is reported to be holed-up in a room at the S.F. Hilton with half a bag of crack and a VHS copy of Psycho.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28 In an effort to put a happier, friendlier face on Halloween, the ghoul industry is toning down terror as All Saints' Eve approaches. According to The Associated Press, The Fright House in Washington, which was to feature an "Escape From the Pentagon" scene, has been scrapped altogether. Skull Kingdom in Orlando has done away with zombies in bloody business suits, and Screamworld in Fenton, Mo., has toned down its Camp Hack-N-Slash scene. (Less nudity?) Some towns are going so far as to urge children not to trick-or-treat this year due to anthrax fears, and parents everywhere are encouraging their tots to dress up as feel-good characters like fire fighters, police officers, kittens, and psychoanalysts. Highly placed sources at the White House say the President is considering asking Americans to smash their traditional howling and sneering jack-o-lanterns and instead, replace them with smiley faced gourds. Note to the kiddies: Any munchkins who show up at our door wearing fake blood get double candy!