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Remembering The Stink-weed

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Fact-Checking The First Presidential Debate

Addressing issues ranging from national security to trade to their personal controversies, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump squared off in the first presidential debate Monday. The Onion takes a look at the validity of their bolder claims:

Viewers Impressed By How Male Trump Looked During Debate

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Saying the Republican nominee exhibited just the qualities they were looking for in the country’s next leader, viewers throughout the nation reported Monday night that they were impressed by how male Donald Trump appeared throughout the first debate.

Poll: 89% Of Debate Viewers Tuning In Solely To See Whether Roof Collapses

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Explaining that the American people showed relatively little interest in learning more about the nominees’ economic, counterterrorism, or immigration policies, a new Quinnipiac University poll revealed that 89 percent of viewers were tuning into Monday night’s presidential debate solely to see whether the roof collapses on the two candidates.

New Study Finds Solving Every Single Personal Problem Reduces Anxiety

SEATTLE—Explaining that participants left the clinical trial feeling calmer and more positive, a study published Monday by psychologists at the University of Washington has determined that people can significantly reduce their anxiety by solving every single one of their personal problems.

Trump Planning To Throw Lie About Immigrant Crime Rate Out There Early In Debate To Gauge How Much He Can Get Away With

HEMPSTEAD, NY—Saying he would probably introduce the falsehood in his opening statement or perhaps during his response to the night’s first question, Republican nominee Donald Trump reported Monday he was planning to throw out a blatant lie about the level of crime committed by immigrants early in the first presidential debate to gauge how much he’d be allowed to get away with.

Rest Of Nation To Penn State: ‘Something Is Very Wrong With All Of You’

WASHINGTON—Stating they felt deeply unnerved by the community’s unwavering and impassioned defense of a football program and administration that enabled child sexual abuse over the course of several decades, the rest of the country informed Penn State University Friday that there is clearly something very wrong with all of them.

Strongside/Weakside: Lamar Jackson

After passing for eight touchdowns and rushing for another 10 in just the first three weeks of the season, Louisville Cardinals sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson has quickly become the frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy. Is he any good?
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Remembering The Stink-weed

The Onion was not the first publication I edited and published. In my senior year at Cadwalader Preparatory Academy, I was in charge of the school humorous magazine, The Stink-weed. It was so named to remind the reader of the noxious odor of this vegetation and to lend an over-all air of non-refinement. But I assure you, it was all for the sake of harm-less jocularity.

I always made sure that The Stink-weed was filled with the finest comic doggerel, epigrams, and song of a light-hearted nature. Much of The Stink-weed's success was based on the fact that its humor was so time-less. This was quite deliberate. Even at the tender age of 17, I found my-self bored and irritated by the ephemeral subject-matter of the great humor journals of the day, Punch and Puck. Many years from now, I precociously reasoned, who would give a fig about the tin-pot politicians and public figures who were lampooned in those publications' pages? I believed it was far better to ridicule general foibles of human nature, which stay with us always. I think you will agree with my approach after you read this ever-green classic, an essay I wrote in the May 1887 issue of The Stink-weed:

"An Observation Regarding The Ways In Which The Gentle-Men Wear Their Waist-Coats. The way in which a gentle-man wears his waist-coat bespeaks much about his character. For example, if a gentle-man secures all the buttons of his waist-coat, it indicates that he is a sober Christian gentle-man who purchases his grain directly from the whole-saler. A gentle-man with one or two of his buttons undone is a gentle-man of leisure who is equally at home at brothel and beer-hall alike. The gentle-man with all the buttons undone is doubt-less an immigrant, Negro or one of similar low stature. And the gentle-man wearing no waist-coat? Why, to even describe him as a 'gentle-man' would be of the utmost folly!"

It boggles the mind to think that such age-less yet wonderfully witty insight could have flowed from the pen of a mere adolescent! The difficulty of keeping spats clean, the lighter side of child-bed fever, the Polish race: no subject was safe from my jocose pen!

Unfortunately, I quit under a cloud. My cohorts wanted to turn The Stink-weed into a parody of the local town news-paper. This I would not do. Humorous or not, I wanted no part of any-thing that would mock the gallant news-paper trade!

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