What Our Republic Needs Is A Merry Jig

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Vol 35 Issue 04

Plane Delay Leaves Hundreds Whiny

ATLANTA—A flight-routing error at Hartsfield International Airport delayed the departure of Delta Airlines Flight 387 nearly 40 minutes, leaving over 200 travelers whiny and dozens more pissy. "This sucks," whined Janet Hoesch of Huntington Beach, CA. "What are we supposed to do, just sit here?" Free meal vouchers redeemable at any of the airport's 23 restaurants eased the whining only slightly. "Oh, great, 10 bucks worth of food," bitched Jim Heinrich, one of countless passengers left unappeased by the vouchers. "If they can't get us there on time, they should refund the whole ticket price."

Daddy Hitting Mommy Again

MURFREESBORO, TN—In the fourth such reprisal for bad behavior this week, Daddy is hitting Mommy again, under-the-bed sources reported Tuesday. The hitting, which was caused by Mommy's failure to have dinner ready on time again, also involved screaming, lamp-breaking and sobbing, as well as bad words. It is hoped that Mommy learns to behave better so that similar hitting incidents can be avoided in the future.

Bernadette Peters Comes Up Twice In One Day

COLUMBUS, OH—In an incident observers are calling "kinda weird," mid-level celebrity Bernadette Peters' name came up twice Monday in separate conversations had by Columbus resident Chris Loew. "At like noon, I forget what brought it up, but me and this guy Rich were talking about that one part in The Jerk where Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters sing that song," Loew, a 22-year-old pizza-delivery driver, told reporters. "Then, like five hours later, me and my buddy Dave were vegging out, watching Animaniacs, and he was like, 'Did you know that Bernadette Peters does the voice for Rita?' It was so freaky." Adding significantly to the freakiness, Loew said, was a narrowly averted triple-referencing of Peters at approximately 11:30 p.m.: "Me, Jeff and Josh were gonna watch [the Peters film] Silent Movie, but we wound up playing Sega instead. That would have been insane." Pop-culture statisticians estimate the odds of a single-day triple-Peters reference to be 4,750,000 to 1.

Russia's Power Shut Off

MOSCOW—Russia came one step closer to eviction Monday when the beleaguered nation's electricity was shut off due to nonpayment. "Russia has been on thin ice for months now," landlord Bob Nowicki said. "They keep saying they'll pay the bill, they'll take care of it, but then nothing happens." Russian president Boris Yeltsin has begged Nowicki to restore power, promising him that the nation will "almost definitely" have the money by the end of the week, when the World Bank is slated to vote on a $5.3 billion Russian aid package. Monday's power shut-off leaves more than 148 million Russians without heat or running water. "I hope our leaders can somehow come up with the cash to cover rent," St. Petersburg resident Olga Krupskaya said. "This would be a difficult time of year to have to find a new country." Russia has already forfeited its $44 trillion security deposit.

Hubby Rick... Ya Gotta Love Him!

First off, I'd like to thank all those Jeanketeers out there who've written to express their condolences for the passing of my dear kitty, Arthur. That includes the woman who sent me information about the grieving-cat-owner website, goodbyekitty.com. I wish I could say it comforted me, but scrolling past those dozens of kitty obituaries just bummed me out even more. But it's nice to know there are so many people out there who care.
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Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

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  • Night Out Consecrated With Opening Exchange Of High-Fives

    CHARLOTTE, NC—Kicking off the evening with their customary expression of excitement and camaraderie, a group of friends reportedly consecrated their night out on the town Friday with a ceremonial opening exchange of high-fives.

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What Our Republic Needs Is A Merry Jig

Booooooooo! 'Tis I, Herman Ulysses Zweibel, long-dead founder of The Onion, or, as it was more eloquently known in my day, The Mercantile-Onion. Boooooooo!

Faithful readers of this space know that it is ordinarily occupied by my half-witted son, T. Herman, who dispenses his usual worth-less opinions without ever remotely approaching the heart of the matter. He believes the Republic is in grave peril because people refuse to work an honest day and mind their betters. But there is a far deeper reason. The Republic is in grave peril because of the terrible absence of a merry jig or horn-pipe to which to dance and frolic!

My reasoning is simple: If there are no jolly tunes, the masses will grow discontented and choleric, and leave their ploughs and looms to agitate in the streets. In no time, the mill-owner, the parson and the mayor will find them-selves being disemboweled, and mind-less rebellion will be the order of the day!

In my day, there were as many merry jigs as there were grains of wheat, and each one was a joy! How Mother Zweibel and I used to spend many evenings capering and gamboling to the fiddle and the spinet! In fact, one of the most popular songs of the 1830s was my very own "Zweibel Reel," which went like this:

O, the cows low in the meadow
Mike Fink's aboard his keel
Darky take up your banjo
Sing hey for the Zweibel Reel!


[Chorus:] O, the merry, merry, merry, merry
Merry Zweibel Reel!
Raise a cup of hard cider
For the sake of the Zweibel Reel!


Young men shall go a-courtin'
Mercantile-Onion in hand
Fathers untie your daughters
And rollick to the lively band!

[Reprise Chorus]

I defy any-one to say that their heart is not now a thousand-fold lighter. O, that I were no longer a mere wraith! Would that I could shed this confining shroud of ectoplasm and bob and spin about like a care-free sprite!

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