A LETTER FROM THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Happy new year, now give me some truth, says Heldegund
NOUAKCHOTT, MAURITANIA (TheShortStraw.com)--Dear loyal readers of TheShortStraw:
I know I speak for many of you when I say it has been a tumultuous year,
to say the least.
Our staff and I thank you for your continued support.
Need I mention, however, that were many of you to at last pay your subscription
fees instead of buying awful publications like Men's Health and
Oprah Magazine, we could publish many more ground-breaking stories;
stories such as you have become accustomed to from TheShortStraw?
It's no wonder that Leonard Downie Jr, the Executive Editor of the Washington
Post, was recently seen swaying unsteadily and slurring to a wino
on Sixteenth Avenue: "Listen to me: I am not the envious type, but I do
envy one man--Brian Heldegund. Don't laugh--sometimes it drives me to
drink a bit. C'mon, don't snigger, if there's anyone who can understand
that, surely it's you. You know how it is--I can't help myself. I envy
his suave good looks, his sense of dress, his trademark hat, the cute
little tick above his lip and the beads of perspiration when he describes
holidays in San Francisco, and his charm. But I sure as hell don't envy
his salary. Dammit, wake up when I'm talking to you, and pass me that
Lack of salary notwithstanding, in 2004, who else but the Straw brought
you scoops on Dr Phil actually being a woman; the cure for dingleberries;
the Vice President wearing no underwear; Nauru declaring war on the US;
and many more?
But enough of the self-adulation. The purpose of this missive lies elsewhere.
Many of you send us year-end letters, all sugary and deceptive, all of
you doing ever so well, all your children ever so clever, each of you
ever so content in your marriages, careers, all of you making stupendous
amounts of money, but remaining ever so humble and faithful to yourselves
and your fellow man.
You know what I say? What a load of s--t. Why not be honest? Wouldn't
that be refreshing?
Well, I am taking the initiative, and I urge you to follow suit.
Let me tell you what sort of year my staff and I have had:
Many of you may have wondered, I know, why you haven't seen more articles
from Hansen Pockets, TheShortStraw crime correspondent and doughnut
boy. Pockets, a spectacular journalist but a fetishist second to none,
got arrested for necrophilia, not once, but three times; and not necrophilia
with a human, but pterodactyl necrophilia at the Museum of Natural History
in Washington, DC, much to the horror of a class of third graders and
their teacher on a fieldtrip from Iowa to the nation's capital.
"It wasn't right. I take myself for an open-minded person, but it wasn't
morally right," said the teacher, Mrs Robertson, 52. "The energy and enthusiasm
with which that journalist took that poor bird; the sheer gusto, the delight
and lust, those strong masculine legs, those sturdy buttocks just moving
back and forth, up and down, up and down…"
Mrs Robertson fainted
before finishing the sentence.
Marc du Toit, our graphics editor, went AWOL, only to reappear as an animated
character in The Incredibles, playing the daughter, albeit with a plum--yes,
a plum, not aplomb, smarty pants (did you miss the erotic plum-eating
scene?)--and verve. Rumor has it he's been nominated for an Orchid--that's
the Gay and Lesbian version of an Oscar.
Jamie B. Hannah, TheShortStraw gossip editor and film director
extraordinaire, was last sent on an assignment to interview cannibals
in the Brazilian rainforest. That was in March of last year, and we still
haven't heard from him. (Although, mysteriously, a letter from a village
at the edge of the rainforest arrived in April, requesting bar-b-que sauce).
Hush LaCroix, TheShortStraw sexy White House correspondent, said
she seduced President Bush and Dick Cheney, alone and together, on numerous
times, yet still no one believes her.
"What does a woman have to do to get noticed in this lousy White House?"
said a distraught Ms Lacroix.
In response, said a perplexed Laura Bush: "Heavens, why would anyone do
that? It's bad enough I have to do it--with George, I mean, not with Dick,
and certainly not with both. I have my pride." Mrs Bush reflected, and
continued mischievously. "Well, maybe back in college I'd have thought
about it--but that was a long time ago."
And last but not least, personally, I was kidnapped by the mafia, had
my pinkie cut off, got accused of plagiarism and fired, only to be rehired
and promoted by my boss--that dimwit majority shareholder of the Straw,
Murdoch (truth be told, I was hoping for early retirement)-- and finally,
went into hiding after Du Toit nearly got assassinated by a Putin spitball.
Like I said, what a year.
Yet: do you see me
trying to mislead you, to keep the truth from you, no matter how painful
or embarrassing it may at times be? Why, hell no. We're the Straw, for
So, we'd appreciate if you, too, could show the same honesty.
Got arrested for getting drunk and doing a no. 2 on the front lawn of
the town's sheriff? Don't be shy, tell us about it! Kidnapped by a renegade
band of disenchanted nuns and forced to be their gimp for several months?
Lay it on the line! Scored the lowest IQ since Neanderthal times, lower
even than many a Bush voter? Shout it out!
For heaven's sake, there's enough bulls--t in the world. Who needs more?
This is Brian Heldegund, wishing you a wonderful and bulls--t free 2005.
And remember, as the late, great Walter Cronkite used to say, if you haven't
read it in the Straw, it ain't worth s--t.
PS I presently and mysteriously find myself naked in a hot tub with Mauritanian
Prime Minister Sghair Ould M'BARECK in Mauritania's even less pronounceable
Eat your heart out, Leonard Downie, Jr!
Copyright © 2005, TheShortStraw