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Taking Care Of Business

After I returned from the Zweibel Estate following several months of wandering in the cruel wilderness, I found that my study was full to bursting with paper-work and correspondence, much of which predated my time in penurious exile. There were multitudes of dunning letters from vulturous creditors who called in their debts upon learning of my misfortune. It seemed that every trades-man in the county, from the black-smith to the chandler, came out of the wood-work to proclaim that T. Herman Zweibel was beholden to them. So, upon the restoration of my fortune, I had my man-servant Standish pay what was owed to these craven bastards, then sent my Swiss Guard out to burn their rude shops to the ground. Now they know who's boss!

I also received many letters of inquiry from readers of The Onion news-paper. For example, several readers queried about the spelling of the surname Zweibel; some even had the galling temerity to insist that it was misspelled and should actually read "Zwiebel."

The truth is, in olden times, the family name was indeed "Zwiebel." When my Prussian great-grand-father, Friedrich Siegfried Zwiebel, came to the English colonies in 1751, he was assailed in the streets by the colonists, who dirtied his waist-coat with offal and ridiculed him viciously. At one point, several rogues, drunk on rum, staged a mock nuptials in which they wed my poor ancestor to a she-beaver they had snared in the woods.

My great-grand-father quickly discerned that the source of this humiliating mockery was his exotic German name, Zwiebel, which proved unwieldy to the English tongue. But instead of wallowing in petulant self-pity, he strived to adopt the customs of the new land he now called home. So he Anglicized his name, changing it from "Zwiebel" to "Zweibel." Soon, the colonists ceased to torment my brave fore-bear, and held him in as much esteem as they would any native of London. The story of the august Zweibel surname is one of courage against adversity, and a lesson from which many of you could learn, instead of fretting about spelling, you pedantic idlers! Shouldn't you all be shoveling coal or some-thing?

I also received an interesting, if some-what perplexing, note from a 13-year-old lad who asked if I "had a clue." I fear I can-not adequately answer, as I am not aware of any immediate clues at hand; but that is not to say there are none present. Perhaps Standish has some spare ones stored away in the pantry.

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