What is the world coming to when the most implausible tabloid stories are actually almost true? An Arizona ranch for sale with alien visitors included, an angry parrot whose cries for help brought police running, and a charity Santa Claus arrested high on crack are among this week's tabloid offerings ripped from the headlines (though you still have to take the ranch owner's word for it that his home has been repeatedly plagued by aliens).
Less plausible are the rags' big exclusives this week. The "Curse of Diana" is "destroying the Royals!" screams the Globe cover, as if Princess Di was stabbing pins in voodoo dolls before she died in a car crash. "Prince Charles hires witches to remove curse his dying wife put on royal family," claims its "world exclusive." Right. Why hire just one witch, when you can rent a whole coven of them?
"Trump's Secret War on Scientology!" is the National Enquirer cover story, claiming that the president is outraged after finding that a cult "spy" has "infiltrated the Department of Justice." While it's true that the president has questioned Scientology's tax-free status, and equally true that the Bureau of Justice Assistance director nominee Jon Adler has pushed a highly dubious cult-backed drug detox program, he can hardly be called a "spy," and there's little evidence that Trump knows what day of the week it is, let alone the religious affiliations of his appointees.
The tabloid weight police are gunning this week for singer Aretha Franklin, whose "drastic weight loss is killing her," reports the Globe, while the Enquirer claims that John Mellencamp has issued an ultimatum to lover Meg Ryan: "Eat or else!" Or else what? Apparently he "won't wed a rail-thin Ryan." Meanwhile the Globe claims that Brigitte Bardot is a "bloated bigot crippled by pain," and the Enquirer claims that Sharon Stone is hiding her liposuction scars. What's she supposed to do – post lipo scar selfies on Instagram?
People magazine devotes its cover to TV's Property Brothers star Drew Scott and fiancée Linda: "Ready to Wed!" Isn't that the whole idea of getting engaged? Hardly a shocker. One other small question: Who the heck is Drew Scott, and does anyone care who he marries?
With sparkling originality, Us magazine's cover dubs actress Meghan Markle "The Princess Bride," predicting her imminent engagement to Britain's Prince Harry, which is hardly news. Prince Harry will join Meghan and her mother for Thanksgiving in Los Angeles, reveals the magazine, which will be a neat trick since she just flew in to London on Monday to spend time there with the prince.
Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at Us to tell us that Karlie Kloss wore it best, but only barely: she was preferred by 35 per cent of the 100 style experts the magazine found wandering the streets of New York, barely beating out Blake Lively's 33 per cent and Jennifer Lawrence's 32 per cent. Why isn't such a close-run race front-page news? Because nobody gives a damn, that's why. Us also informs us that the former Mrs. Trump, Marla Maples, learned to juggle in middle school, and that TV's 'Designated Survivor' star Maggie Q keeps chunks of amethyst and citrine in her Angela Roi Madison backpack, along with a piece of onyx, "a stone that protects you from bad things people throw at you . . ." It'll certainly protect you if you throw the onyx back at them. As always, the stars are just like us: they ride bikes, feed parking meters, and pump gas. You almost feel sorry for them.
Leave it to the Examiner to tell us about the "Ranch for sale – Aliens included!" Stardust ranch owner John Edmonds in Arizona not only claims that extra-terrestrials repeatedly visit his ranch, but that he has fought and killed 19 of them – with his Samurai sword. So, where are their corpses? They disintegrate on dying, naturally.
Santa Claus was found with a crack pipe and empty bags of crack and heroin, not to mention a hypodermic syringe, when police stopped Charles Smith in South Hackensack, New Jersey, reports the Examiner. The drug paraphernalia were resting next to the Santa costume Smith used volunteering for Toys for Tots, where kids doubtlessly bounced happily on his sedated knees. Ho, ho, ho.
The Globe uses the parrot who cried wolf (or actually, cried "Help me! Help me!") for the inexcusable headline: "Murder Most Fowl!" Alerted by a worried deliveryman, police rushed to a home in Clackamas, Oregon, only to find an irate parrot in need of little more than a cracker. This week's tabloids will hopefully soon be lining the parrot's cage.
Onwards and downwards . . .