My faithful man-servant Standish has informed me that a member of the Pope's Swiss Guard recently shot his commander, then trained the gun on himself. My blood ran cold at Standish's words. Though the soldier was not a member of my own battalion of Swiss Guard, I immediately thought: What if one or more of my soldiers is planning to assassinate me in my own bed?

Just so you know, I am not a simpering foot-man to Pope Pius, Boniface, or whatever he is called these days. T. Herman Zweibel is no Papist! Here is the story of how I acquired my own Swiss Guard.

During the Renaissance, one of my Prussian ancestors, W. Albrecht Zweibel, was a trusted military advisor to Pope Julius II. As a reward for his service, W. Albrecht was granted his own duchy in the Holy Roman Empire and a platoon of gaudily uniformed Swiss Guard.

Centuries later, shortly after the German states were united under the great Bismarck, the Duchy of Zweibel fell into poverty and disrepair. The Duke was insane with advanced syphilis, and his dissipated subjects openly practiced bestiality with cloven-hoofed animals in the filth-lined streets.

Meanwhile, back in the Great Republic Of The United American States, the American Zweibels were thriving, publishing The Onion's predecessor, The Mercantile-Onion. My father Herman Ulysses Zweibel, a distant cousin of the Duke, had read of his problems and coveted the Duke's elite band of Swiss Guard. He wrote a letter to the Duke, offering 500 gold guilders for his Swiss Guard. A mere pittance, but the Duke was so demented, he accepted. In no time, the Guard were aboard an oceanic steamer to the Zweibel estate, where their descendants remain to this day.

Though I was not responsible for their migration, the Guard may secretly resent the American Zweibels for bringing them here against their will. The incident in Rome only feeds my suspicions. Will one of these rogues try to chop me to flinders with his mighty halberd? It is too much for the soul to bear! To-day I have wet the bed-clothes more times than I care to mention, so agitated am I!