An Open Letter To Lillian Gish

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Vol 32 Issue 14

Exxon Donates $70 Million To Clean Up Portland Man's Life

PORTLAND, OR—In a move hailed by environmentalists as its first act of responsibility toward area resident Dan Fanshaw, Exxon Corp. announced that it will donate $70 million toward cleaning up Fanshaw’s life. Among the damage for which Exxon will compensate Fanshaw: his failure to get into medical school, the May ’97 death of his beloved dog Max, and his increasing addiction to anti-depressants. “It’s a mess,” Exxon spokesperson David Haller said. “But we are committed to cleaning it up.”

Chris Farley Has Hilarious Cardiac Arrest

NEW YORK—Obese comedian Chris Farley delighted dozens of onlookers Thursday, suffering an uproarious heart attack at a Manhattan restaurant. “He was enjoying our $10.99 all-you-can-eat lasagna special,” said Il Trattoria owner Ed Gianelli, “when he turned all red and started pounding on his chest. He then flopped onto a nearby table, smashing it into splinters and sending food flying in all directions. I was in hysterics. This guy is the next Belushi.”

St. Vincent To World's Catholics: Stop Donating All This Crap To Me

VATICAN CITY—Frustrated by the ever-mounting piles of used clothing, old magazines and rusting appliances accumulating in his name in thrift shops around the globe, St. Vincent made a plea to the world’s Catholics Monday to “stop donating all this crap to me.” “If one more paint-covered sweatshirt, dented crock pot, or any other piece of thrift-store garbage is dropped into one of my bins, I am going to snap,” said St. Vincent, named patron of works of charity in 1855. “Please, keep your worthless trash—I don’t want it.”

Rubenesque Woman Has Picassoesque Face

HANOVER, NH—Meredith Pierce, 33, a Hanover-area elementary-school teacher, is attracting the attention of the art world with her Rubenesque figure and Picassoesque face. “Her plump form reminds me of the voluptuous servant girl who voraciously eats the roast pig in Rubens’ Flemish Feast (1610),” Oxford University art-history professor Edmund Kent said. “But it is Pierce’s grotesque, asymmetrical face that truly distinguishes her: Her crooked nose and badly misplaced eyes evoke Picasso’s early experimentations with cubism, when he was struggling to capture the fractured nature of modern life, and her severely exaggerated forehead reminds me of Les Desmoiselles d’Avignon and other mid-period abstract works. Pierce’s face is a brilliant summation of the shattered, hideous absurdity of the human condition.” Pierce will be transferred to the Prado next month for a two-year installation.

Federal Government To Be Run By Cheaper Mexican Officials

WASHINGTON, DC—In a cost-cutting move expected to save taxpayers $50 billion a year, it was announced Monday that U.S. federal officials will be replaced by cheaper Mexican counterparts. “I want to thank you for this opportunity. We will do our best to run America as best we can,” said Ernesto Vasquez, the new president of the U.S. Vasquez said he will work closely with Vice-President Guillermo Reyes and members of El Senate and La Casa De Representatives to ensure a smooth transition of power. Vasquez will earn the lavish wage of $3.50 an hour as president, more than most of the new federal officials will earn per day.

Scientists Isolate Pepsi-Resistant Gene

SOMERS, NY—At a press conference Tuesday, scientists working for the prestigious PepsiLab facility announced the historic, first-ever isolation of the long sought-after "anti-Pepsi gene," the basic building block of DNA responsible for so-called "Pepsi resistance" in adult soda consumers.

U.S. Dept. Of Retro Warns: 'We May Be Running Out Of Past'

WASHINGTON, DC—At a press conference Monday, U.S. Retro Secretary Anson Williams issued a strongly worded warning of an imminent "national retro crisis," cautioning that "if current levels of U.S. retro consumption are allowed to continue unchecked, we may run entirely out of past by as soon as 2005."
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An Open Letter To Lillian Gish

From the Bed-chamber of T. Herman Zweibel.
The Zweibel Estate.

My Dear Miss Gish,

Why have you not been answering my mash notes of late? I cannot even remember the last time you spoke to me, it has been so long. I trust you are doing well. Did you like the roses my man-servant Standish presented to you with my compliments?

Anyway, I will cut to the chase: Mrs. Zweibel is dead, and we are now free to shack up. I understand the concerns you have voiced about our significant age difference and my rakish reputation: After all, I am several years older than your cherished father-figure and mentor D.W. Griffith, and I am infamous for romancing the most celebrated lady-actresses of the stage and moving-daguerreotypes. But can a sane man help it if such ravishing creatures as Ethel Barrymore and Sophie Tucker drive him into paroxysms of desire?

And it is not as though you are free of scandal yourself. I saw you making time with that Chinee-man in Broken Blossoms. But can't you see that I can give you all the treasures you could possibly want? You can move into Mrs. Zweibel's old bed-chamber, and you can come to my bed-chamber at night and keep me company. Perhaps you could act out a scene from Birth Of A Nation or read Uncle Tom's Cabin to me.

I know that you put your career before anything else in your life. As America's greatest living newspaper-man, I can empathize with your sentiments. But a beautiful and talented young woman like yourself should not waste her life being out in the world. She should spend it as the idle, bejeweled concubine of an aging, debauched plutocrat.

Please do not keep a lonely old man waiting. If you do not respond, perhaps I will have to ask Miss Mary Pickford if she will have me. Oh, I did not mean that, dear, sweet Lillian. They are the rash, selfish words of a man madly in love. Promise me that when you receive this epistle you will promptly reply with your answer. As ever, I remain yours, fondly,
Your ever-loving and devoted,
T. Herman

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