As a long-time news-paper-man, I know full well the value of preparedness. I have always placed my gentle-men reporters where the news was about to happen, from the street-corner where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was scheduled to be shot to the powder-magazine of the great battle-ship Maine. No risk is too great for an Onion reporter if he wants to keep his job.
To this end, I occasionally force my editors to send me a list of upcoming articles. (Personally, I do not give a tinker's damn what they print in my paper, as long as a good 70 percent of the content is advertisement, but I wish for my employees to live in paralyzing terror of me.) Imagine my consternation when I came across a ready-to-run obituary for T. Herman Zweibel! I reprint it here in its entirety:
Onion Publisher Emeritus T. Herman Zweibel passed away of [CHOOSE ONE OR MORE] autoerotic impaling, colonic bursitis, consumption, elephantiasis, explosive urethral exsanguination, gangrene, gout, gunshot wounds, ingrown brains, leprosy, mange, plague, pneumonia, quinsy, rheumatism, robot assault, scrofula, spontaneous pan-corporeal organ rejection, state-ordered electrocution, transdermal vomiting, typhus and/or worms, on the night of [INSERT DATE] after an extraordinarily long illness. He was .
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the M. Prescott Zweibel Memorial Foundation For The Treatment And Cure Of Homosexual Youths."
Fits of apoplectic rage shook me as I read the unflattering obituary my overpaid Judas-goats had prepared for my demise. True, Father Time has long and cruelly sodomized me with the splintered haft of his great scythe, but I shall out-live the God-damned lot of you! Further-more, I have long since put the finishing touches on my own official obituary, a 350-page tale of heart-rending loss which details, among other things: my meteoric rise from Onion stringer to editor to publisher; my assassination at the hands of lady-actress Ethel Barrymore's jealous suitors; the thousand days of mourning which followed my death, during which a cold rain fell constantly, no bird sang, and children were born antlered and hooved; and how my hated rival, long-deceased Brickton Atlas-Trumpet editor P. Oliver Gummidge, now serves me cold sarsaparilla in Heaven. It is a wondrous obituary, and it is sad indeed that you will in all likelihood not live to read it.