TheShortStraw editor-in-chief, Jack Zippididoodaa,* calls it a "dark day" for journalism

SANTA FE, NM ( the Washington Post, then the New York Times, most recently USA Today. Now TheShortStraw. Where will it end?

Brian Heldegund, the recently retired prize winning writer for TheShortStraw, after months of speculation finally admitted to having fabricated most of his stories.

As it turns out, Mr Heldegund had never been friendly with the Easter Bunny; had never met the deceased Mao Tse Tung in person; had never interviewed the Unknown Soldier, and had never placed a foot on Mars. These were just some of the elaborate stories Mr Heldegund had fabricated.

Across the US, TheShortStraw's loyal readership was incredulous. Frank Lombard of Topeka, Kansas said: "I just can't believe it. I get all my news from the Straw. Every morning. I have never doubted its accuracy. Even today I just can't believe it. I am devastated."

Shamelessly, Mr Heldegund had also to great acclaim freely quoted as his own the works of writers such as Hemingway and Shakespeare, without anyone having noticed.

In 2001 Mr Heldegund won the Pulitzer Prize for his candid interview with John Doe, the quintessential everyman.

"It was the pressure. I had deadlines every day. They expected interviews with Jesus Christ. Liberace. Santa Claus. You name it. I broke down, I admit it, but if there'll be a movie made about me out of it, it'll be alright," Heldegund said from an undisclosed location where he works as an elementary school teacher, assuming even that can be believed.

"I didn't even want to be a journalist," Heldegund added, "I wanted to be a garbage collector, but my parents forced me. To this day, recycling is one of my hobbies. You name it: paper, scrap metal. I just dig it, so to speak."

"He's been lying all his life," said his mother, Linda Heldegund. "We never forced him into journalism. He's a born liar. I don't know where he gets it from. I knew he had never met Mao. How could he have? Mao's an old family friend that visits us every Friday night. But he only started visiting us once Brian left for college."

Jack Zippididoodaa,* TheShortStraw editor-in-chief, blamed himself.

"I should have known," he said. "I should have guessed it. To be or not to be. Damn it, it rang a bell. But I just couldn't remember where from."

Rupert Murdoch, a shareholder in TheShortStraw, said he didn't know what the big deal was all about. "What's a little fabricating in a newspaper? Frankly, I don't know what the hoopla is all about. I hope Brian comes back. He's been an asset to this organization all along."

* for the purpose of this article, to avoid further embarrassment, not his real name

Copyright © 2004, TheShortStraw


TheShortStraw is intended for use by those age 18 and older. All stories are fictional and satirical and should not in any way be construed as fact. All contents Copyright © 2004, TheShortStraw. All rights reserved.

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