I Am Lost In My MansionCommentary • rich • ISSUE 35•25 • Jul 22, 1999 By T. Herman Zweibel, Publisher Emeritus (photo circa 1911) I was awakened suddenly this morning by the terrible sound of metal grating upon metal. When I opened my eyes, I was treated to the nightmarish countenance of Nurse Pin-head, who, brandishing a steam-fitter's wrench, was busy unbolting the great collar which holds me fast to my iron-lung. It then occurred to me that this was the day the interior of my iron-lung was to be scoured with a cleansing solution of carbolic-of-lye. It's about time! It was getting awfully moist and sticky in there, and what-ever it is that's squirming about, it sure as hell isn't me. My enormous nurse then used her unworldly strength to pry my age-raped body out of that metal womb and place me on my death-bed, which had been specially mounted with casters. In her deep voice, Pin-head told me I was to be wheeled into the basement hinterlands of the Zweibel manse, where I would be safe from the deadly carbolic vapors. Before I could protest, how-ever, Pin-head summoned my stable-boy, Augustus, and ordered him to escort me on this perilous outing. The feared basement! I had heard my father talk of it on occasion. Many a legend has arisen from its clammy depths. Scaly serpents who can consume a score of men with a single snap of their jaws! Servants whose faces are on the middle of their torsos! And, most fear-some of all... a storied chamber in which recreation is practiced, allegedly containing a dusty old davenport upholstered in vulgar plaid, and a mysterious parlor-game known only as bumper-billiards! Unfortunately, I saw none of these things. I say unfortunately, because the truth turned out to be far worse than the legends. The forgotten skeletons of the many enemies I had kidnapped and tortured grinned maniacally at me. Then, a mob of salamander-complected troglodytes swarmed about me and made off with one of my prosthetic ears. My wheeled death-bed soon broke down, and the stable-boy was forced to carry me. Finally, as we entered a great hall, paneled in blood-red leather and populated only by wax statues of Cotton Mather, Augustus dropped my carcass and fled shrieking. I was abandoned. I write this in urine on scraps of skin cast off my consumptive chest, using the fairy-light given off by my body's decomposition. I have abandoned all hope of rescue. If anyone chances to find this note, to hell with the ungrateful lot of you, and death to that whoreson bastard Hearst!