That Enema Just About Killed MeCommentary • ISSUE 34•19 • Dec 9, 1998 By T. Herman Zweibel, Publisher Emeritus (photo circa 1911) Readers will excuse the haste with which to-day's Message has been composed, as it was submitted scant minutes before dead-line. Not out of personal sloth or weakness of intellect, mind you. I pride my-self on the sublime elegance of my prose-style and the exquisite logic of my opinions. However, thanks to the harrowing malfunctioning of a machine which was intended to efficiently dispense my morning enema, I am forced to write this column at an ungodly hour. The machine had been invented by my eccentric grand-son, L. Gideon, who is some-what of a tinkerer and enjoys piecing together contraptions in the root-cellar. L. Gideon knew how much I detest enemas, and how I wish them to be as brief as possible. He also desperately wanted to get back into my good graces, as I had never forgiven him for the time his electric scissors ran amok through the estate and cut my bed-clothes into ribbons. I do not want to get into a detailed explanation of the machine, but it was basically an enema-bulb affixed to the end of a hollowed-out broom-stick, which was in turn attached to an engine. The engine would shoot a blast of air into the tube, forcing the entire contents of the enema into my rectum instantaneously. I thought it was the acme of ingenuity, and I gladly pulled up my night-dress to receive the glorious instrument. However, when switched on, the machine started to violently rock back and forth and smoke. Instead of receiving an enema, my awaiting rectum was repeatedly pummeled by the rubber bulb, and I was shaken like a rag-doll. This went on for several long minutes as L. Gideon and my nurse frantically tried to subdue the horrible thing. Oh, the humiliation of it all! The infernal contraption very nearly tore me to bits, and it made me so giddy that I cannot collect my wits. I believe I was intending to use this column to write about Plessy v. Ferguson or some such matter, but I cannot remember for certain. My man-servant Standish suggested that I could liken the failure of the enema-machine to the short-comings of Progress, but I prefer to liken it to the stupidity of my gelatin-headed grand-son. I must now conclude this column, as the night editor anxiously awaits it. I'll bet the great news-paper editor Horace Greeley never had to contend with an enema-dispensing machine.