Sunday, March 16, 2003

The Burned-Out Newspapercreatures Guild's World-Famous Encyclical
No. 617


For March 17, 2003. Well, other than that, how did you like the Azores, Mr. President, and you're obviously ready for today's New York chill, says the Burned-Out Newspapercreatures Guild, and this is BONG Bull No. 617!

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REALLY, MS. CHICK! You have no reason to apologize to the president, Dixie Chicks. Texans do things to embarrass each other all the time, and they don't need the 82nd Airborne to do it. But for those who don't understand the Lone Star ethos, here are some things to understand:
-- God invented funny hats so that cowboys could wear them in dining rooms. This lets everyone else know who didn't clear the eighth grade.
-- Get over the gas consumption, unwieldiness and ugliness of SUVs; Texans drive them so they don't have to do without penis envy between stops.
-- Yelling into a cell phone in public is how Texas women take your attention off their thighs.
-- If there were no Texas, thousands of Oklahomans would be stung each year trying to spread jellyfish on their toast, and New Mexico would be at war against Louisiana because they don't know what that Cajun just said but it sure sounded like an insult.
-- Thanks to Texans, a bulky four-word phrase ("bought and paid for") is reduced to one easy word ("politician").
-- Texas, like Ohio, sends many news people to nationally known papers and broadcast networks. The Texans leave humbly and come home proud; the Ohioans do it the other way around.

BUDDY, CAN YA SPARE A DIME? Jeff with probable Baltimore Sun connections noted the Canadian apology in BB616 and observed, "Cute. Ver-ry cute. But then there was the military type who said he wished that when the Canadian forces show up on the horizon, the international commander would say, 'Thank God, here come the Canadians.' But he said that commander is more likely to say, 'Here comes a pain in the ass that is going to borrow vehicles, borrow ammunition and borrow food within the first 24 hours they are on the ground.'
"Who said that? Not some knuckle-dragging Yank, but Lewis Mackenzie, the retired Canadian major general who commanded U.N. forces in Sarajevo during the Bosnian civil war, quoted by columnist Hugh Winsor in March 10's Toronto Globe and Mail."
Well on behalf of knuckle-dragging Yanks everywhere, we're glad to clear that up, Jeff.

OCCULT HAND STRIKES AGAIN. Ed Culhane is endowed with all the rights and privileges of membership with this Feb. 16 report on ice fishing in the The Post-Crescent, the daily font of knowledge in Appleton, Wis.:
"Pottner said he was heading back to his sack and had just turned for the door when this great, huge sturgeon simply materialized in the back left corner of my hole, no more than 16 inches under the surface.
"I thought, 'Shark!' Then, 'No, sturgeon.'
"It seemed impossible. It was as if an occult hand had simply reached through from some invisible dimension and placed it there. For a millisecond, I couldn't speak, couldn't move. I'd lost touch with reality. My brain disbelieved my eyes."

COMIX SECTION. The Further Adventures of Herman "Speed" Graphic, ace photographer for the Chagrin Falls Commercial Scimitar, and his Faithful Companion, Typo the Wonder Pig.
PANEL ONE: Typo tries to talk Speed out of his funk, coaxing, "C'mon, Boss! It's no disgrace to get rejected from a private club! You don't even play golf or tennis!"
PANEL TWO: Speed grumps, "It wasn't that kind of club, Typo! I just don't think they should be so hoity-toity because I won't buy eight more books within two years!"
PANEL THREE: Typo affectionately scrapes barbecue sauce off Speed's trenchcoat, a deathbed gift from an ancient mystic wire service executive editor on a fog-shrouded eastern island, and remonstrates, "Forget it, Boss! Why, every day an average newspaper publishes the contents of two or three whole books! On that scale, we're a best-seller!"
PANEL FOUR: A look of glee crosses Speed's face as he shouts into the newsroom, "Hey you guys! Fox is making a TV movie of our Thursday final, and Stallone's playing Absentee Publisher Gimlet Peen!"
PANEL FIVE: Helping Speed slide furniture against the splintering photo lab door, Typo speculates, "Definitely the most bloodcurdling threats I've ever heard from the copy desk, Boss! Maybe we better check our clip files from last Thursday!"

UNTIL APRIL FOOL'S DAY ONLY. Personalized Chagrin Falls Commercial Scimitar Foreign Correspondent press cards, reg. $5 each, three for $8 to the same address until April 1 or when the war ends, whichever comes first. Sorry, no sales to APO addresses (hey, spooks open that mail!). See them and other stuff at

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BONG Bull is the product of Chief Copyboy Charley Stough, a copy editor at the San Antonio Express News. Email here for any reason. Phone (210) 250-3191 after 6 p.m. central time.