For over a century, I have taken pains to respond to each and every reader who has written me a letter. I am always interested in hearing the opinions and concerns of The Onion's readership, and I try my best to address them as succinctly as possible.
To illustrate this point, you may recall my recent column lamenting the shortage of high-quality whips in the Republic's dry-goods stores. Once upon a time, you could walk into such an establishment, and the first thing you would lay eyes on would be an attractive display of rawhides hanging above the proprietor's counter. But ever since the advent of the auto-mobile, the whip supply has dwindled to a mere trickle, and many a child now grows to adulthood without ever hearing the sharp, stirring sound of the whip-crack. It's a damn shame is what it is!
No sooner did that column hit the streets than I received an angry letter from some house-wife complaining that I was encouraging violence and blood-shed with my reckless words. She concluded by calling me a vile brute.
I'll be damned if a female talks to Zweibel that way! I was prepared to release the bear on her, but my level-headed man-servant Standish suggested we publicly smear her good name and destroy her reputation instead. To that end, the woman's name is Eleanor Marie Hartwig, and not only does she suffer occasionally from "bad hair days," she's addicted to "shopping." Take that, Eleanor Marie Hartwig!
Another reader took me to task for writing too often about my personal life. "What kind of selfish person are you to waste news-print griping about your nurse? Don't you realize there's a whole world of social injustice out there that needs to be brought to light?" My response is simple: The issues of the present day do not interest me. You live to be 128 and see if you give a rat's ass about the gold standard or Grover Cleveland's chances of winning the Democratic nomination. I don't care if the moon-men invade Earth in air-ships and rain gas-bombs on the populace. You wretched ninnies all deserve it!
Nurse! More laudanum, and make it snappy!
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.