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Science Department Mourns Missing Colleague

MUDCAT FALLS -- Flags are flying at half mast at the Mudcat Falls Community College Hall of Science to mourn the disappearance and presumed death of eclectic Professor Mastiff Peakwaud on New Year's Day as he traversed a squall line in pursuit of a rare F4 white winter tornado from a freak thunder-snow storm.

"It was as if the tornado had a mind of its own, like it had a personal grudge against the professor or his SUV," said Sophomore Science Major Neville Stubbs, who was thrown clear of the vehicle and survived the encounter. "The funnel cloud suddenly reversed course and came right towards us like a mad bull. I jumped as it picked up the four-by-four and carried it away. The last I ever saw of the Professor was his face ghoulishly pressed against the side window in horror. Oh, the humanity!"

Veteran Storm Chaser Peakwaud was last observed northeast bound, paralleling Highway 13 at an altitude of approximately 75 feet. The mangled International Harvester Scout was later found six miles away in the middle of a chicken coup at the Fulcrum Poultry Farm. No sign of the professor's remains were found, though thousands of Rhode Island Red hens had been plucked completely clean of feathers, stark evidence of the strength and violence of the storm.

"The man was a shameless glory hound and scatological scourge to academia," said Melville Enderby, Pistol Creek University Dean of Meteorology, who once appeared on The Weather Channel and now regularly consults with the MFTV Weather Staff. "His hypotheses were bunk, but that didn't stop him from endangering tuition paying students by putting them in harm's way."

Peakwaud's doctoral thesis presented a holistic theory of weather he dubbed "Para-Atmospherics," which postulated a spiritual dimension to meteorological phenomenon. His annual New Year's Day stakeout for the legendary White Winter Tornado was grounded in the religious teachings of a local Indian tribe, the Shemp-Pa-Queegs, and an unabated string of safety incidents at the Tornado Alley Nuclear Power Plant, which he claimed were caused by the building of the nuclear reactor on ancient Native American burial grounds.

"I don't understand these storm chaser fellows," said MFCC Chancellor Emil Ferrot. "My mama always told me to come in out of the rain, but I guess the Widow Peakwaud raised her boy different."

The MFCC Professor's death was the first reported fatality in Calabash County for 2004.

A memorial brunch will be held at the MFCC Convocation Center in honor of the fallen professor and poultry.



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