Moan's formidable response
Portrait of a Murder
An Ode In Prose To The Serendipitous Pseudonym
by Sir Wellington Bitch III
Greetings and salutations! Sir Wellington Bitch III here! I come to guide you all, the honored unwashed, to a plane of mental nirvana. I will accomplish this with the considerable scope of my enlightened mind and humble manner of presentation. This I do out of love for the finer things in life, lest they be soiled by the minute and unmastered mentality of a certain upstart hick! And since discretion is a virtue, I shall refrain from mentioning the name of said blathering bumpkin. I would not profane my discourse by giving my hemorrhoid of a literary rival a name... ....aaaaaa.... AAACHOOORUTHERFORDBMOAN!!! Ahem! Pardon me! But I digress! Let us proceed to the subject of this week's (as the oh so cultured French might say) Ode Le Bitch...THE PSEUDONYM! OOOOOOOO PSEUDONYM! Thou noble pseudonym! Let me delve into thy etymological richness! Pseudo, from the Greek, meaning "like", only to be followed by more Greek, nym, which means "name"! Oh, clever ones, those ancient Greeks! They made more than gyros and wooden horses! Without your blessed existence, dear pseudonym, there would be no Mr. T, no Bozo the Clown, no Pee-Wee Herman! And what would the world do without an ever so handsome and melodic Englebert Humperdink?! (I hope I spelled your beautiful pseudonym correctly Mr. Dink! May I call you Hump? Humpy?!) And who could forget the one and only Slappy Stink Monkey, mascot of the Iconoclast, last bastion of free speech in the civilized college world?! Why, pseudonym, without you, we would not be graced by your only begotten child, the euphemism! The world would simply not function without that polite and all- pleasing offspring! Think of it, oh course and common reader, how dreary and mean this world would be if they took away little baby euphemism! That child is the bearer of joy and political correctness, making us feel better as we are dubbed visually, vertically, and mentally challenged! Imagine the horror of instead being known as blind, short, and crazy again! Oh, I shudder at the very whim! After all, what would life be without a bit of challenge! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

How very funny!

Well, There you have it! Allow yourself to bask for one more moment if the breathless ecstasy of the words that have just caressed your eyes! And beware of jealous, banjo-slapping men from the Moan clan! Gossip has it that one of them has actually stopped pleasuring himself long enough to desecrate paper and pen. If you come across a copy of his crayon scrawlings, replete with backwards letters and sentences that end with the word "is", be sure to use it for the purpose it is best suited...wipe yourself after visiting the bathroom. I must away! Until my next poetic interlude, ta ta! And as RuPaul says, "Keep a tight buttocks!"

The unnecessary necessity of pseudonyms
(a cuffing about the head with the stick of reason)
by Rutherford B. Moan
You can call me Rutherford B. Moan. No doubt you have read the commentary by my esteemed colleague Sir Wellington Bitch the III and are no doubt wondering "Where is the side of reasoning and practicality here?" "Who will stop this rambling rhetoric on the necessity of false names?" You have heard his opinion, but now allow me to come down off the mountain and smite you with the CORRECT opinion.

Hark, do I hear a drum role making my entrance? Indeed I do.... Pseudonyms. Nom de Plumes. Pen names. Bullshit Made-Up Writer's Names. Designs of a writer who cannot take responsibility for what they have to say. I understand that some writers, like Sir Stinky Pants over there, cannot have his delicate ego bruised when people say his point is wrong. However, mark the day when the people rave about his work for he shall come running through the streets saying "Hey! That Sir Beef Wellington guy is me! 'Tis I, the greatest writer in all the land!" If people want to complain about my work, they need only mosey to the iconoclast office and ask for Mr. Moan (I have regular office hours Monday through Friday). Do you who use pseudonyms think that the masses of the world care who you really are? When the world found out the Richard Bachman, the Wizard of Oz and Mark Twain really are Samuel Clemmons, Stephen King and that balding man (not necessarily in that order) the world stopped for a second, everyone said "oh that's nice," and went about their business. My colleague here is the chap who gets his paper read out loud in class, anonymously I might add because God forbid his precious delicate flowery little ego takes some face to face criticism, and babbles on about how great it is. Is Halloween your favorite holiday there, Mr. Sir Duke of Bitch Slap or whatever your name might be this week? Ha! Hide behind your falsehoods. If it's your fancy to prance around like a damned fool doing the Frisky Dance and proclaiming yourself Sir Slappy Stink Monkey, go ahead. I throw down my literary gauntlet in challenge for you to be more concerned about what you write instead of WHO you write as. If you, sir, wish to preach your bogus ideas from a bully pulpit masked by some witty nom de plume, do not do so near me.

And so concluded the voice of reason. I have spoken. Off I shall trot into the horizon with my esteemed partner (my esteemed partner whom I know the true identity of but shall not disclose out of some sort of respect for him I suppose. It's not like his profound writing would bring the commoners en masse to his door step with torches if they knew who he really was) to further inform you on the troubles of society another time. Thank you and goodnight.

Portrait of a Murderer
by Andy Roberts
In his mind he had killed her many times. Each death was as brutal as the previous death; and the act never seemed to end the pain caused by her. He had killed in the war. But the killings were a preserve his own life.

Killing her was different. The act would be premeditated, barbarous, inhuman, unforgivable. How could he end the life of someone he loved more than himself? Was she awful enough to kill?

As he wrestled with the questions, he opened the black, hard-plastic case. It was lined with gray foam meant to protect the valuable contents. He removed the shiny, black pistol and felt the weight pulling his hand down. It seemed heavier now than ever before. He checked the chamber to make sure it was unloaded. With a full magazine of bullets, he loaded the pistol and checked the safety lever to make sure it was in the RoffS position. The pistol welcomed him and was ready and its weight increased. He slid the top of the pistol back and caused a bullet to enter the cham ber. "Killing's easy," he remembered from the war. With the muzzle aimed at its target, he pulled the trigger. The pain was gone.

The Next Issue
in which it is learned that phallic symbols are way cool, and human beings are cancerous
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