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Requiem For Mrs. Zweibel

To-day marks the 100th anniversary of my marriage to my beloved wife, Mrs. Zweibel. Not a day goes by in which I don't think of my 41 years with her. I only wish I could remember her name. I think it was Mabel. Or perhaps Henrietta.

How reluctant she was to marry me! Perhaps it was because she was 12 years old at the time. But don't think ill of me for marrying such a youngster. Early matrimony for girls, much like father-daughter incest, was the custom of the day.

Mrs. Zweibel had a lovely singing-voice which rivaled that of the great Geraldine Farrar. I was determined to share her trilling soprano with the world, building an opera-house in Chicago and putting her on tour in the lead role in Salome. Unfortunately, her career was cut short when she foolishly mistook a bottle of rat-poison for her nightly sleeping-potion. She barely survived and was returned to the Estate to embark on a new career, that of a wife and mother.

At first, it was difficult to impregnate Mrs. Zweibel, because I was as impotent as one could get short of being a eunuch. But my physician discovered an effective animal-husbandry technique, and, from then on, whenever my issue could be extracted, Mrs. Zweibel would be found, pinned down, and inseminated. This some-times deeply embarrassed her, particularly if she was in the middle of tea with her lady-friends. Anyway, it did the trick, and in short order, I was the father of six strapping boys.

In 1917, a boy, D. Manfred, was born, but it was apparent from birth that the creature looked nothing like me. I deduced that he had been the product of a torrid union between Mrs. Zweibel and the coal-hauler who came to the Estate twice weekly. Incensed, I forbade Mrs. Zweibel from contact with the out-side world, despite her protests of innocence.

Sadly, she later died from a freak accident in which her neck came into contact with a curtain-cord. A note in her hand-writing was found pinned to her dress which read, incomprehensibly, "I can no longer continue to be joined in union to this hideous Beelzebub."

Despite her eccentricity and infidelity, Mrs. Zweibel still occupies a place in what is left of my heart.

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