Voyd of Course

"It's like the Onion, only skinnier!" --Milton Swift "Still worth the price of the paper it's not printed on." --Felicia DuBois "The unspeakable, spoken." --Malin Wuptke "More interesting than computer solitaire, though perhaps not so effective a distraction from the void." --Harlan J. Rippington "Satire today, history tomorrow." --Steven Wallace

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Location: Santa Fe, NM, United States

In 1966, I wrote a fake newspaper article under the headline "JACK CASS SETS WORLD SHOWERING RECORD." Mr. Yohans, my 9th grade English teacher, liked it so well that he read it aloud--to much not-quite-suppressed giggling, at the sound of which, Mr Yohans said, "What? What? Did I miss something here?" I spent the rest of the afternoon in Principal Leon Duff's outer office. When Mr. Duff, who was a busy man, decided he didn't have time to see me, his secretary sent me back to the classroom, where I was greeted like McMurphy returning from solitary. Emboldened by my de facto exoneration, my friends began work on their own fake news stories. I remember a spate of Russian names in the stories, including "Ivan Kutchikokoff" and "Ivan Jerkinov." Needless to say, our newly suspicious teacher sent both of my friends to Mr. Duff's office, where they were not as bureaucratically blessed as I had been. They sat detention for a week. This I took as a lesson in subtlety--and in how to start a commotion and slip from the room before the law comes down.

Friday, May 19, 2006


Matt Whidby, center, spontaneously invents new reality show in which contestants have
fingers removed before a life-or-death bowling match. Friends
Ed Atterbery, upper left, and Dan Wilkerson, lower right, "inadvertantly" encourage him.


Norton, Massachusetts—On Thursday afternoon, roommates Ed Atterbery and Dan Wilkerson announced to those assembled in the Wheaton College cafeteria that they’d “had all they could take” of their roommate Matthew Whidby’s ‘that’d make a great reality show’ jokes. The two roommates admitted they’d chuckled politely at Whidby’s first few such jokes, but maintain they were unaware that by laughing they were actually encouraging him.

“One night we were sitting around drinking beer,” said Atterbery, “and Sue Hagar started vomiting in the middle of the floor and Matt said ‘Hey, that’d make a great reality show. You throw a kegger and then have five contestants crawl through the vomit to the door of the dorm.’ We didn’t know him well, so we chuckled a little to make him feel comfortable. But things quickly spiralled out of control.”

That night alone, Whidby came up with “at least six” “great reality show” premises, according to both Atterbery and Wilkerson. A surprising number of such scenarios, Wilkerson noted, featured “naked” or “scantily clad” coeds. Others featured fully-dressed coeds who endured a surprising number of situations in which clothing might be soaked or “accidentally” damaged.

Atterbery and Wilkerson noticed that their female classmates were becoming increasingly brusque in their communications, a brusqueness the two attribute to their association with Whidby’s “reality show” routine. “Frankly,” said Wilkerson, “we want to let it be known that we like our women fully clad—at least intitally.” Atterbery agreed, adding that they generally refrained from hosing down their dates. “I hope this clears the air,” added Wilkerson.


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