Despair and Foreboding

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News producers Despair and Foreboding have been off the air for nearly a week and fans are beginning to wonder what’s causing the unusual disappearance. Message board chatter ranges from fatal health issues to rumors of retirement.

“There’s nothing mysterious going on,” says Pree Dixshun, the duo’s syndicator. “Congress is on vacation, and Despair and Foreboding decided to take a break, too.”

According to the bio posted on their web site, taking time off is a rarity for Despair and Foreboding, who met in a high school Latin class and have been inseparable ever since. Their nail-biting, authoritative news segments weave dire warnings of impending calamity with constant sightings of new threats on the horizon, and they often include nightmare scenarios vouchsafed by experts to spice things up.

During their absence, celebrity guest producers, including Worry, Gloom and Lotsa Scary Stuff, are filling the show’s 24-hour time span with cheerful forecasts of vague, undefined misfortunes that may or may not occur. But listeners addicted to the steady patter of Despair and Foreboding say these substitutes are pale imitations of the real thing.

Advertisers find the absence ominous, too, as ratings have begun to decline. “Despair and Foreboding have a knack for getting people worked up,” says a sponsor. “The news isn’t the same without them.”

Ms. Dixshun says there’s no need to fret, adding, “Despair and Foreboding expect to return shortly, and will continue provoking audiences for years to come.”

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