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Caught in the Net 

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Captured at www.chicago2001.com/topstories.html

Chicago Millennium Magazine

Commonwealth Edison's Chairman Tom Blackmarr explains the nature of the blackouts in the Loop as "an employee error that just could not be avoided." When asked the nature of the error, Blackmarr responded: "A new team of employees were trying to power up the 'Zapmar' [a new Com Ed development for wiping out nonpaying customers]. The 'Zapmar' was very angry today and needed more energy than we could have expected. The 'Zapmar' is very temperamental and becomes very upset when certain customers refuse to pay their power bills. 'Zapmar' requires huge amounts of electricity to function properly and this may cause certain unexpected blackouts."

When questioned as to why 'Zapmar' has never been seen in person by either media officials or residents, Blackmarr stated: "You have to understand that 'Zapmar' spends most of his time in the secret cave. We can't just bring 'Zapmar' out for publicity stunts. . . .Well, you just have to trust me on this one." Com Ed spokespersons also claim that they are billing the losses from the claims of last week's outages (also blamed on the elusive 'Zapmar') to the residents who have consistently paid their bills late. "It is these few stragglers who really need to take responsibility for the blackouts. . . .'Zapmar' is a product of our age, and I really wish we did not need to use his evil forces."

As to the allegations that the outages were from a series of blown transformers in the city's West Side, Blackmarr continued with: "Don't make me call 'Zapmar' in here on you people. . . .'Zapmar' is very angry with you right now and 'Zapmar' is going to take a 'Time Out.'"

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