I've been a newspaperman all my life. Printer's ink flows through my veins! As my nurse reads me this commemorative "best of" issue of the great Onion news gazette, tears gush from my eyes. Do you realize that you hold in your hands some of the finest journalism ever created? You do not deserve such fine journalism. I wouldn't even pay you to urinate on me.

How well I remember my very first "scoop." It was back in '04. The Fliegel Shirtwaist Factory was ablaze! While other reporters gathered around the sight of the conflagration, I noticed that Old Man Fliegel was nowhere to be found. My curiosity piqued, I hailed a cab and drove to his vast country estate. Forcing myself in with a barrage of fisticuffs, I discovered Old Man Fliegel ensconced in his study, lit up like a Christmas tree. With a minimum of persuasion, the depraved old weakling admitted that he had the factory set ablaze so he could collect a handsome insurance windfall. I left his estate appalled, cynical and $650,000 richer.

As I have said, the issue before you represents a sampling of the finest Onion reporting conceivable. Some of these articles date back to the old Mercantile Onion, founded by my father, Herman Ulysses Zweibel. Those were the heady pioneer days! For its first 20 years, The Mercantile Onion was printed on buffalo skins. Father could kill 20 Mormons in one blow, and still have enough breath to draw his cider jug to his lips! Would that such men still walked the earth!

The Onion would not have survived had it not been for the tenacious fighting spirit of the Zweibels. We would not have weathered the Big Scare of 1911, or vanquished our despised arch-rival, The Brickton Atlas-Trumpet. Curse the memory of that lowly fish-wrapper! I relished heaving that cinderblock against the skull of its editor, P. Oliver Gummidge! Yes, I killed him. What are you going to do, arrest me? It was 94 years ago! What defense lawyer worth his salt wouldn't rush to the side of T. Herman Zweibel? I'm as rich as Midas! No jail can hold me! Go ahead, take your best shot! I'm waiting! Do your worst!