Happy new year, now give me some truth, says Heldegund

NOUAKCHOTT, MAURITANIA ( 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 paper bag."

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 Chrissake.

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 capital.

Eat your heart out, Leonard Downie, Jr!

Copyright © 2005, 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 © 2004-2005, TheShortStraw. All rights reserved.

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