The Zweibel Estate is no longer merry and gay. The weeping willows droop even lower to-day. The milk-maids' tears mix with the milk in their buckets. Even the lowliest, most tooth-less field-hand is rending his thread- bare garments and howling in the most abject agony. Miss Bernadette Fiske, my fiancée and mother of my child, is no more! Having perished from the very femininity that I treasured above all else, she now belongs to the ages.
I, the bereaved swain, whose once-tender heart is love-sick, shall for-ever don a mourning shroud. Curse this moribund, woeful orb, where all that is beautiful and good is so cruelly ephemeral! t
So wracked with anguish was I that I begged to be buried with my deceased beloved. I wished to share her very coffin and be placed on top of her eternally slumbering corpse, ideally with her legs drawn apart a little. Alas! I was denied my request, and Miss Fiske's earthly remains were, I was told, interred at sea, as stipulated by her last will and testament.
I retired to my death-bed, determined to join her in short order in Heaven above. My attempt at expiration was short-lived, how-ever, when I learned that Miss Fiske's will granted me custody of the son I have never seen, N. Aeschylus. My son! My son! The sole product of the love between Miss Fiske and I would finally be coming to the Estate at last! From the grim sepulcher of Death emerged the promise of Life!
When Standish entered my bed-chamber to announce that my son was in the main sitting-room, my melancholy heart was leavened with joy. "Bring the dear tot to my bed-chamber, Standish, perambulator and all! I wish to hold him in my lap. But since my lap was surgically extracted long-ago, perhaps you could balance him on my shoulder!"
"Sir," Standish said, "I'm afraid that N. Aeschylus has rather out-grown his perambulator, or any other trappings of infancy, for that matter."
Before I could respond, a seven-foot-tall man in a black suit lumbered in. He was very broad in the shoulders and stiff in gait. His skin was bluish and looked as though it was stretched to the breaking-point over his squarish head. His gait was very stiff, and I could have sworn I heard a metallic squeaking noise every time his joints bent.
"My son!" I cried. "How you have grown since your December birth! But there's no mistaking it: From your piercing red eyes to the heavy iron feet emerging from your trouser legs, you're every inch a Zweibel!"
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.