Articles by T. Herman Zweibel
I'm sick and tired of ghosts visiting my bed-chamber. At first, I admit, it was terrifying. Then, it became endearing. But now, it is down-right tire-some.
Like many successful and wealthy plutocrats, I am often asked by one or another of you god-damned sheep exactly what it is to which I credit my good fortune. My reply, which I give unhesitatingly, is always the same: Do you call being a wheelchair-bound, half-withered, leprotic corpse-man, whose great iron-lung pumps him like a steam-calliope day in and day out, "good fortune"? You are an envious pack of wheedling, braying jack-asses!
I must admit that my relationship with my man-servant Standish has been strained ever since he won a kingly fortune in a sweep-stakes last year. In spite of his new-gotten wealth, he chose to remain in my employ, because it is, after all, the only life he has ever known. But some-times I think it is also because he wants to rub it in my decaying face. Upon winning, he bought all the servants comfortable shoes, including the lowly field-hands. Even the furloughed convicts who boil down pine trees into turpentine in my vast forest have been receiving an extra pullet or two in their monthly rations. Recently, I decided I'd had enough.
Rare it is that I call upon my ignorant reader-ship to rejoice and be merry, but I am afraid that just such an occasion is almost upon us. Zweibelmas is here! Turn your filthy rags colored-side out! Clash your chains together in the most musical manner possible! Please to put the pennies in the Swiss Guard's hats! Sept. 21 brings the annual celebration of all things Zweibel, and this year shall be a Zweibelmas to remember!
All this recent cock-roach-being and cherry-orchard-selling has diverted my attentions from both the up-coming presidential election and the progress of my beautiful son, N. Aeschylus. I must admit, how-ever, that I am far more concerned about the latter. As I have said here before, I am disgusted by the sad state of politics.
Well, my month-long travail as an enormous cock-roach has ended, and not one God-damned minute too soon! Though I truly enjoyed the benefits of insect life, such as the adhering to walls, the brisk scuttling, and the ability to eat the toe-nail parings of others, it did begin to wear on me after a while. Between the fondness I developed for dank, cramped under-sink areas and the attempts on my life by my staff, being a cock-roach was becoming a decidedly unnerving ordeal.
dear readers do not be alarmed
As my more astute readers will no doubt recall, about three weeks back, I was mysteriously transformed into a gigantic cock-roach. Though the change has been decidedly odd and shows no sign of reverting any-time soon, I must confess that I am having the time of my life. I can now eat all the foods that age and infirmity once denied me: binding-glue, horse-dung, toe-nail parings, silver-fish–everything! I can carry myself about my enormous mansion, though I cannot seem to keep from disappearing under furniture whenever the lights are suddenly switched on. I can even climb to the ceiling and suspend myself for a time. (It is quite luxurious to sway in the air-currents and doze off!) I leave a much smaller slime trail than I did as an aged gentle-man, and if my looks are not much improved, I gather that my odor most certainly is.
Well, week two of being an enormous cock-roach, and I must admit that it's not so bad. If this sentiment sounds curious to you, bear in mind that prior to this metamorphosis, I was a 132-year-old human being who was constantly bed-ridden. My mobility has greatly improved, and I can skitter about quite ably from room to room on my six hairy legs. I have a commanding set of mandibles, and my shell is of an attractive mahogany hue. It's not glamorous, but I must say that if I had to metamorphose into an insect, I could have done far worse, such as a meal-worm or one of those creepy luna moths. Ewww! My exoskeleton crawls just to think of it!
Observant readers of this paper know that the first week of August is traditionally set aside in the Zweibel household for the scald-cleaning, acid-etching, and shriving of my iron-lung, and this year was no different. Last Sunday, Doc McGillicuddy arrived in my bed-chamber and, with the help of the stable-boy Augustus and a pair of swarthy roust-abouts from the village smithy, removed my time-blasted carcass from its tomb. An audible hissing pop accompanied the loosening of the last bolt, and at the sight of my leprous fore-arms and the great plates of scabrous horn which have overgrown my chest, the roust-abouts screamed like a pair of God-damned fat ladies. Doc McGillicuddy, seeing that I was apoplectic with rage, filled my veins with the laudanum and transferred me once again to the wheeled death-bed that is my temporary resting place on these occasions. Exhausted from the effort, I fell into a fit-ful sleep.