Huzzah and greetings to the fine Onion reader-ship! All is well with you, I hope! You have a crust to gnaw upon and whale-oil aplenty, I trust? No more boils than usual? Excellent! Now, be not misled by my unaccustomed cheer. My concern for your welfare is genuine, I assure you, for everything is splendid to-day.
Yes, that's right, I am full of good-will this morning for reasons upon which I cannot put my finger. No, it is not the tincture of laudanum I placed in my thin gruel. If anything, I took less than usual. It is not the ceaseless flow of money into my coffers, for I have yet to affect the sale of the Typesetter's Stone, let alone that of the Middle-West, and I am currently rather light in the pockets for a multi-millionaire.
And, no, it is not my physical well-being that prompts this unusual display of glee. In fact, my iron dentures rusted shut under a cascade of vinegarish drool last night and had to be unseized by black-smith's torches just minutes ago–they are cooling to a dull cherry-red even as I dictate this–and I bloodily shat some vaguely spleen-like organelle into my bedpan during break-fast. Physically, I feel as miserable as ever.
But if my heart is light within its sheath of crackling gray fat, who am I to question it? All is right with the world. The birds sing and the fawn frolics. Cherubs sing and play upon airy spinets. And God is in his counting-house, counting out his money. I haven't felt this good since just before the influenza outbreak of 1918, when I myself contracted the disease.
And before that, I had not felt light-hearted since the Great Black Season of 1894, when many ill events coincided across the Republic. That was the year Red Indians ate every man, woman, and child in Weehawken, NJ, the year Mother Zweibel died of hysterical lycanthropy, the year base-ball gained wide-spread acceptance. Come to think of it, I only experience times of buoyant mood when disaster is about to bring the shit-hammer down upon my head.
Menstruating Christ! Does this magnaminity of soul fore-shadow some horrible disaster awaiting me, perhaps before the New Year? Should I take this lightness of heart as a sign to post my Swiss guard six deep around my death-bed, to summon my food-tasters three?
Ah, bull-shit! What could go wrong? After all, I have my millions, my news-paper, my 632-room estate, and my strapping young son N. Aeschylus by my side.
What could possibly go wrong?
T. Herman Zweibel, the great grandson of Onion founder Friedrich Siegfried Zweibel, was born in 1868, became editor of The Onion at age 20, and persisted in various editorial posts until his launching into space in 2001. Zweibel's name became synonymous with American business success in the 20th century. Many consider him the “Father Of American Journalism,” also the title of his well-known 1943 biography, written by Norman Rombauer.