What I Did During My VacationCommentary • ISSUE 43•28 ISSUE 36•24 • Jul 19, 2000 By T. Herman Zweibel, Publisher Emeritus (photo circa 1911) July is the cruelest month for T. Herman Zweibel. My regular summer sabbatical usually falls during that month, and I find my-self as idle as a grass-hopper. Great blocks of ice have to be placed in my bed-chamber so my skin doesn't melt away in the oppressive heat. You see, most of my skin dropped off about 30 years ago, and was replaced with wax. It's true: I hired artisans from Madame Tussaud's to mold me the most robust Greco-Roman physique you could imagine. Sadly, mere weeks later, my wheel-chair was placed too close to a floor heating-vent, and in no time my beautiful body had liquefied into a great sticky pool. My servants patched me up as best they could, but to this day I look like a skeleton onto which some-one indiscriminately flung a combination of porridge and bird-shit. To take my mind off my idleness, I lay on my death-bed and had Nurse Pin-head read to me. We got through most of The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, but I bade her to stop reading when the Wizard was revealed to be a mere hum-bug. The admission of false pretense by a here-to-fore omnipotent entity was disturbing, to say the least, and the story had no choice but to conclude with the up-rising of the Oz citizenry against the disgraced Wizard, with Oz it-self awash in oceans of spilled Munchkin blood. Finding such a resolution devoid of any entertainment value, I had Pin-head read me my favorite slaughter-house passages in The Jungle instead. Yet even that failed to soothe me. Bored of reading, I gazed upon the fields beyond my estate with my amplified-sight glasses. I saw my moronic blue-blood neighbors, the Baintons, stupidly whacking balls around their lawn with mallets and bleating away in their reedy sopranos. I'm pretty sure Mr. and Mrs. Bainton are brother and sister, but how I envy their in-bred ways! Their hare-brains must spare them a great deal of the anguish that constantly afflicts self-made titans like me. Whilst training my glasses upon the distant vistas, I grew rather hungry. Doc McGillicuddy frowns upon my occasional eating habit, but some-times I get an intense craving for some unflavored gelatin or a pilot cracker. I'd have summoned Standish to bring some up from the larder, but he was off that day, so I decided to reward my-self with that lead-paint chip I'd found on the window-sill and had been secreting in my bed-clothes for weeks. It tasted better than I had even imagined, but I was sorry when it was all gone. And that is what I did during my summer vacation.