Vol. 1, Issue 16, September 2, 2003
Dr. Watson Cures All.
The Bentinel

A Laborless Day

Ezekiel F. Watley, Esq.

Monday Morn, as I finished my Coffee and prepared for my preprandial Scotch, I noted a strange Stillness in the Office: a silence most Unlike the usual Bustle of our crack news-crew in its Herculean efforts to set forth the next Edition of our Broadsheet early Tuesday. The strange Chirps and Chimes of their newfangled Difference Engines were silent: not a Creature was Stirring, not even a Mouse.

What the Devil! - I thought, as I sprang to my Feet with but half my Coffee spilled. But the answer was Plain, for as I strode to my secretary's desk, it was Empty. The doughty Elisabeth, journalistic Muse and Girl Friday, have you now forsaken me? But she had Left a Note prominently Tacked to her Chair: "Should you Forget, Mr. Watley, Monday is LABOR DAY, Sir, a Federal Holiday (as I have told you several times), which is why I am absent. Good day, sir."

Labor Day! - Aghast, I staggered into the newsroom. Silence! Well, there was Snoring. Plentiful, rasping snoring from Ephram, Edward, and Emmett, still in their Cups.

"Journalism knows no Holidays, miscreants!" I thundered. "The Herald-Tribune, the Times, the Post - all publish Nonetheless! Shall we do Less than They? Shall we Fail to Measure up to our Peers in Publication?"

Ephram, the scoundrel, had the audacity to say "Why, yes, Uncle Zeke," before rolling over on the couch.

Disaster! I shall manage the Difference Engines myself! I strode to the nearest control panel and situated myself. A button here, a Command there: hie now, let us not Fail to bring Forth our Webamagraph publication! But the Television Screen was dark. Clearly there was insufficient Electricity; so I searched around for a Cable or a Generator. Nothing. I picked up the Telephone and demanded to be Put Through to the Internet; thinking to Dictate an edition, failing all else. However, the Operator was shockingly Unhelpful.

I quickly took a dram of Blended to calm my Nerves, and then did I reflect upon my Situation. No staff, no machines, no Secretary: clearly, there was but one course of Action.

So I spent the day Golfing, which I have not been able to do for Ages; and I reflected that we have come a long Way from the simple Union Parades whence this holiday Began. Next Holiday, I shall endeavor to be better Prepared, and perhaps have Elisabeth put a Note on my Walking Stick or some such place. But we are none of us perfect; even the great poet Homer nodded now and then. I am, alas, Human.

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