Long-time readers of my column know that I am a vengeful and jealous man gifted with a fear-some wrath. I did not become the great news-paper-man I am today by being soft! Of those miscreants who crossed me, opposed me or served me tepid mutton-broth, none remain; their homes have been washed away by boiling rivers of blood, and the earth where once they walked has been sown with salt.
Yet I now have cause to bury the hatchet, for the world has borne witness to the blessed birth of my son. And though I have not yet decided whether he shall be known as N. Aeschylus, Q. Laertes or, as his mother would have it, Gary, my heart swells in my breast. I may be the fore-most publisher in all the Civilized World, but even I cannot hold a grudge at Christ-mas-time when another of my heirs is newly-spawned!
To that end, I have decided to grant absolution to certain of my enemies. (But not all of them, God-damn it! I still plan to one day sport a gilded truss wrought from the innards of Mr. Tin, my treasonous automaton-servant!) Here goes:
Stella M. Harbaugh, a woman, is hereby forgiven.
I forgive my former table-boy Joseph for his otherwise unpardonable crimes of Irish heritage and Papist faith, as well as for spilling a hot toddy on me during the fabled Winter of '07. I hereby renounce my stated intention to slaughter all of his male offspring unto the third generation.
Though I am probably not much loved there, I shall curb my ire and allow the godforsaken alkali desert of California to become a state.
The Dauphin is forgiven.
Any member of the Flemish race under the age of 12 or over the age of 60 is safe from Hessian mercenaries in my employ.
I shall rescind my practice of purchasing "Black Indulgences" from twisted Anglican vicars, thereby permitting the soul of P. Oliver Gummidge, deceased publisher of The Brickton Atlas-Trumpet, to ascend to Purgatory.
Many of my readers are forgiven and will be notified by the absence of a sulphurous blasting-powder in their Christ-mas supplements.
Posonby H. Balfour, my former homo-sexual lover, is forgiven.
Ah, my heart grows light despite its thick coating of marbled yellow fat! Forgiveness is a benison to the soul. However, if my son turns out to be sickly or does not sufficiently resemble me, all bets are off.
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.