As I recall, it was the night of August 8, 1932. Hoover was in office, and my family was fighting to rally support for his re-election bid of that year.
Let him finish the job! Only Hoover can get America back to work!
Nurse! You infernal she-beast! Apply my ointment!
I swear to you, dear reader, that half-bovine nurse of mine is stone deaf. I’ve been ringing her bell solidly for the past three days, and she has yet to respond to me with more than a grumpy look and a perfunctory and slipshod performance of her bedpan emptying duties.
The newspaper press foreman was wiping down the metal blocks of type from the previous day’s issue of The Onion.
The cover story was a hearty skewering of Roosevelt’s latest cock-and-bull welfare program, as I recall. Throw the Harvard bum out! He’ll never get re-elected!
Down with the Menken–Horace Act!
And it was on this stormy night, some 56 years ago now, that an event which shaped our history was brewing.
I have called and called. That god-damned infernal nurse is not coming. I’m bleeding out of my wrinkled old anus! My shriveled pancreas is secreting yellowish fluid through my esophagus!
Hear me, witch! You wretched old withered husk of a woman!
I am a feeble, dying man. Yet with all my strength I cry out for the nurse. Every three seconds I bellow at the top of my shrunken, black lungs, encrusted as they are with printers’ ink and cigar resin: “Infernal nurse! Come to my aid!”
It was a night of legend, a night of which history is made. Magic was truly in the air.
I was remembering something just now. What was it? Ah, dammit.
Death to the heathen Chinese! Remember the Maine! 44-40 or fight! Loose lips sink ships! A chicken in every pot! Vote for Huey Long! Every man a king!
T. Herman Zweibel, the great grandson of Onion founder Friedrich Siegfried Zweibel, was born in 1868, became editor of The Onion at age 20, and persisted in various editorial posts until his launching into space in 2001. Zweibel's name became synonymous with American business success in the 20th century. Many consider him the “Father Of American Journalism,” also the title of his well-known 1943 biography, written by Norman Rombauer.