& Recently . . .

Those from Whom No Guff Will Be Brooked

by Mary Phillips-Sandy

1. Ne’er-Do-Wells
The first rule: no well done, no guff brooked. Inviolable.
2. Shams
Those who are imposters, those who cover pillows.
3. Thoughtless Cads
It is not the caddery that disturbs, it is the lack of thought that so often accompanies it—the rare thoughtful cad can be excellent company, and his guff will be brooked if he is handsome …

Selling Myself, Installment I

by Kent Roberts

The following is my application letter for the Pulitzer Prize.
Update: A case of beer was dropped off to their offices, around lunchtime on October 28. I hope they enjoyed the beer and expect to hear from them shortly.

Dear Pulitzer Prize Chairman Lee C. Bollinger:
I am a winner. I’ve always been a winner…

Polish Fact

A Polish Glimpse of Earth
Anglia -- England
Szkocja -- Scotland
Walia -- Wales
Irlandia -- Ireland
Wielka Brytania -- Great Britain
Zjednoczone Królestwo - United Kingdom
Niemcy -- Germany
Japonia -- Japan
Stany Zjednoczone Ameryki - The United States of America
Francja -- France
Hiszpania -- Spain
Wenezuela -- Venezuela

Learn a Foreign Tongue!

Learn Portuguese!
Christ Doce! Esse prostitute é realmente um homem!
Sweet Christ, that prostitute is really a man!

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Literary Folderol
Tuesday, December 13, 2005   |    Fiction

A Message from Avian Influenza A (H5N1) to the People of Planet Earth: I Will Kill You All!

by Dennis DiClaudio.

H5N1Surrender all hope, human beings!

I, Avian Influenza A (H5N1), have you in my crosshairs. You have no chance. Stand down and accept your fate. When my reign of terror has been fully realized, the atmosphere shall grow thick with the effluvia of my victims. Metropolises shall crumble under the weight of their dead. Rivers shall run black with decay. There shall not be a single survivor.

That said, don’t bother trying to find any sort of vaccine that would cease—or even slow—my progress as I cut an insidious swath through your populations. It is really just useless anyway. I can reform myself as different strains faster than you can possibly ever keep up with me. So, just give it up. I mean, it’s a waste of your time, not mine.

Nay, huddle in cowering masses! Be afraid! Pray to your Christian God for clemency. Or, if you’re one of those other people, then pray to your make believe god. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. It will do no good. I will kill you all!

And, also, don’t even worry yourselves about why I’m suddenly such a serious threat, even though I’ve been around for a long time. I’ve only just recently decided to kill all of you. Why is not important. Just because. I’m bored, that’s why. O.K.? And now I will rain down my wrath upon you! My influenzic wrath. Horrible, horrible avian birds. All infecting you with their infectiousness. Look at them all. There’s birds all over the place. Is that a bird behind your shoulder? Well, there could have been. There will be! A terrible, terrible infectious bird. There is no escape!

Listen, I’ve killed a hundred people in the past eight years. Possibly more. A hundred is a lot of people. That’s like ten baseball teams. O.K., slightly less than ten baseball teams. If you count all the pitchers and the people on the bench that aren’t playing. But still! That’s a lot of dead baseball players. Have you ever killed a hundred baseball players? I didn’t think so.

You are all going to die! Except for those of you who don’t die. Like those of you who just get regular flu-like symptoms. Abhorrent fits of coughing! Accompanied by sore throats and muscle aches! And maybe a fever! A terrible fever! And let’s face it; nobody likes achy muscles or a sore throat. Nobody!

But that’s beside the point anyway! Some of you will die! Some of you will definitely die. I swear to God! It’s really important that you listen to me here. And fear me! Don’t forget to fear me. Don’t waste your energies reading the newspaper or watching the news, unless you’re reading about me. Or if you’re watching Fox News. That’s a different story. You can watch that. And don’t talk to people who read the news, especially if they’re going to talk about any global events besides me and my fearfulness. That’ll just screw everything up. You’re going to waste your energy on a bunch on nonsense that was probably just made up—or was definitely made up, I mean—by a bunch of libelous jerks who just want to be jerks, and you won’t have any energy left for fearing me. And that’s what’s important. You have to fear me! Fear me, goddamnit! Just shut up! Don’t think! Pay attention to me!

Remember those terror threats a few years ago? Yes, the ones with the color codes. I don’t really know what was going on with all that, but it was scary, right? Well, I am a thousandfold scarier than those terror threats! Why did I even bring up those terror threats? They have nothing to do with anything. Forget them. I command you to forget the terror threats or that I ever brought them up! Whatever. I don’t care. I don’t need to justify myself to you. You, to whom I will lay waste.

Bow down before Avian Influenza A (H5N1)!


Dennis DiClaudio submitted this Recommended Reading List for Jerked Off Pseudo-Intellectuals in lieu of a real bio: Samuel Beckett, Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable; William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch; James Joyce, Finnegan's Wake; the Marquis de Sade, 120 Days of Sodomy; Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Ecce Homo. In addition to being jealous of people who can read these books and enjoy them, Dennis is an editor for (parenthetical note).