VIRGINIA BEACH, VA—Grieving family members of local aunt Laurie Shelton confirmed Monday that the 48-year-old woman’s unexpected death had caused a major breach in their gossip pipeline, suddenly disrupting access to the latest dirt on all their relatives. “Since Aunt Laurie passed, news about how Stephanie’s new boyfriend can’t hold down a job and updates on Uncle Jeff’s gambling habit have slowed to a trickle,” said Shelton’s niece Arielle, mourning the loss of a woman who for years had reportedly ensured a steady stream of the juiciest tidbits about relatives’ layoffs, unplanned pregnancies, personal bankruptcies, and misdemeanor shoplifting charges. “All the best gossip flowed through her, and now she’s gone. For all I know, the twins in North Carolina could have been caught smoking pot, Grandma could be back together with Leon, and Uncle Mike could be considering a vasectomy. It’s a devastating loss for the whole family.” Several in the family expressed hope that, for the time being, a sufficient supply of idle chatter could be rerouted through Cousin Staci to meet their immediate needs.

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