Voyd of Course

"It's like the Onion, only skinnier!" --Milton Swift "Still worth the price of the paper it's not printed on." --Felicia DuBois "The unspeakable, spoken." --Malin Wuptke "More interesting than computer solitaire, though perhaps not so effective a distraction from the void." --Harlan J. Rippington "Satire today, history tomorrow." --Steven Wallace

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Location: Santa Fe, NM, United States

In 1966, I wrote a fake newspaper article under the headline "JACK CASS SETS WORLD SHOWERING RECORD." Mr. Yohans, my 9th grade English teacher, liked it so well that he read it aloud--to much not-quite-suppressed giggling, at the sound of which, Mr Yohans said, "What? What? Did I miss something here?" I spent the rest of the afternoon in Principal Leon Duff's outer office. When Mr. Duff, who was a busy man, decided he didn't have time to see me, his secretary sent me back to the classroom, where I was greeted like McMurphy returning from solitary. Emboldened by my de facto exoneration, my friends began work on their own fake news stories. I remember a spate of Russian names in the stories, including "Ivan Kutchikokoff" and "Ivan Jerkinov." Needless to say, our newly suspicious teacher sent both of my friends to Mr. Duff's office, where they were not as bureaucratically blessed as I had been. They sat detention for a week. This I took as a lesson in subtlety--and in how to start a commotion and slip from the room before the law comes down.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

This Just In: News That Stays News

RANDOM QUOTATION MARKS PUZZLE WOMAN’S DAUGHTER, SON-IN-LAW

New Haven, Connecticut—James and Laura Williams, who had planned to spend their fifth wedding anniversary over champagne and filet mignon at The Top of the Park Restaurant, spent it at home instead, puzzling over Laura’s mother’s anniversary card.

Interviewed at her modest home on Edgewood Avenue, Laura Williams sat at her kitchen table flipping the card open and closed; each time, a troubled expression clouded her features. “On the face of it, it seems normal enough,” said Laura Williams. “It’s a standard Hallmark Card, embossed roses, a lovely, if a little too sentimental message.”

What troubled Mrs. Williams, who celebrated her wedding anniversary on October 25th, was the inscription. “Happy ‘Anniversary,’” her mother had written. She signed the card “’Love,’ Your ‘Mother.’”

“We didn’t know how to read it,” said a clearly upset Mrs. Williams. “’Anniversary’ and ’Love’ in quotation marks? What is that? Is she being ironic? Is she insinuating that it’s not really our anniversary? Is she quoting someone?”

Mrs. Williams was most disturbed, though, by the quotations around the word Mother. “Does this mean she is not really my mother? I know I don’t look much like her—she’s blonde and my hair is jet-black--but this is one hell of a time to raise the issue of parentage. I’m thirty five years old!”

Laura Williams’ mother, Mrs. Janet Oliver, was not reachable by phone, but intsead sent a note that read, “My ‘daughter’ can be so ‘emotional.’ I hope your ‘article’ helps to ‘settle her down.’” Complicating matters further, the note was signed “’Sincerely,’ Mrs. Janet Oliver.”

2 Comments:

Blogger Eddie Chuculate said...

I know "exactly" how she feels.

10:34 PM  
Blogger ¡Davissimo! said...

That's funny, because I know exactly how she "feels."

1:07 PM  

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