A Mistress Of The MailsCommentary • ISSUE 35•36 • Oct 6, 1999 By T. Herman Zweibel, Publisher Emeritus (photo circa 1911) Several weeks ago, I received this note in the morning mails: My Dear T. Herman,I am a 20-year-old golden-haired virgin and your greatest admirer. No longer can I suppress my desire: I must have you. Nothing would thrill me more than to be by your side, but I am short of funds and require money for a train ticket, canal-barge fare, and a fancy new frock in which to greet you. Could you see your way into loaning me $300 cash? Your ever-loving and devoted, Miss Bernadette Fiske.I was so delighted, my colostomy bag promptly filled with a rich, golden urine. I had long been yearning for a mistress, and it was clear to me that this dear girl was the very flower of American womanhood. So, with the assistance of an elaborate mechanical hand-stabilizer, I wrote out and signed a cheque to Miss Fiske for the amount she had requested. Weeks passed and, although the cheque had been cashed, there was still no trace of Miss Bernadette Fiske. I even sent a regiment of my Swiss Guard to the return-address that she had listed, but they only found an abandoned rail-road switch-house. It was clear that I was the victim of a vamp, a loose woman of intrigue who saps the souls of men! Never again, I vowed, would I permit such a scoundreless to capture my heart and purse-strings alike! Then, just yesterday, I received the following dispatch: Darling T. Herman,I apologize most deeply for my neglect of you. But it could not be avoided, for when I was ready to board the train, I received word that my sainted mother had fallen gravely ill. I ended up using your generous funds to nurse her back to health at a sanatorium. Now that she has recovered, I would like to join you. But I shall require $1,000; besides needing the necessary train and barge fare, I am in considerable debt with the sanatorium. Fives, tens and twenties preferred. I would be most grateful. Still your beloved, Miss Bernadette Fiske.Sweet girl! Only her beauty exceeds her charity! How could I ever doubt her sincerity? O, I am fairly swooning with passion for this pure maiden, who rivals the Virgin Mary her-self for sheer godliness! Good Miss Fiske, you shall have your money presently!