Here’s my confession: with the holidays looming like a post-Greek Rush hangover, I’ve been negligent in the writing department. In fact, if this blog were my son, I’m afraid we’d both be bastards. Call it “tough love” or “Holiday Cheer.” Either way, tis’ the season to bring you more news that touches your lives, less like a priest and more like your “Uncle” Susan. Here are some headlines.

‘Potter’ Smokes Competition,
Spends $3 Million On Taco Bell

THANKSGIVING – For yet another weekend, clichés filled the news as ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ cast a spell over the box office. The fourth film in the series about a young wizard grossed 54.9 million from Friday to Sunday. The film took in $83.1 million over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend to surpass the $200 million mark in just 10 days. As the film has taken in over $400 million worldwide, it appears the fans of the series have truly taken to the magic of the silver screen. Other clichés available upon request.

XBOX 360 Buyers Pull a 180,
Readers Should Have Saw That One Coming

THE INTERNET – As gamers and technophiles crowded stores to purchase the long-awaited XBOX 360, few would soon find their device defective. Reports have come in of glitches in Microsoft’s latest entry into the competitive console gaming market. With breakdowns in the machine including disc freezing and console over-heating, the reports seem to have had little effect on the purchase of the machines. In fact, a shortage has already befell retailers worldwide as consumers have already opted to pay double the price of the $299 basic unit. Microsoft’s unveiling comes several months before Sony and Nintendo intend to release their latest machines. Girlfriends, co-workers, and teachers across the country are asked to ‘get all the interaction they can while our attention lasts.’

Merck Lays Off 7,000 –
Calls It an ‘UnPaid Vacation’

New York – After winning their second Vioxx suit, pharmaceutical giant Merck began plans to cut costs totaling $4 billion by 2010. With closing in five plants, the firm intends to reduce its global workforce by 11% in the next three years. Merck has been facing growing concern among investors as several patents have neared their expiration and legal battles over Vioxx. The downsizing creates room for the firm to recoup its finances and reposition its capitol expenditures. A press conference by a Merck spokesman might go a little something like this:

Generic Reporter: It looks as if a Merck representative is about to address some of it’s 700,000-person workforce. Let’s listen.
Merck Spokesman: Despite several future legal concerns, the company can rest easy. I’m going to save a lot of money-
Generic Reporter: Not another Geico joke-
Merck Spokesman: …by firing 11% of you. Yeah. Kinda sucks, but not for me. So, I can’t say who won’t be around this time next year, but I can wish you all a ‘Happy Holidays.’
Generic Reporter: Hmm. Gotta say, in my five minutes of news reporting, this fake journalist wasn’t quite expecting that one. For PIC News, this is Generic Reporter signing off.