Vol. 1, Issue 31, December 16, 2003
Education for the Otiose
Humorfeed

The Last to Know

Ezekiel F. Watley, Esq.

There is nothing quite so Important for a News-Paper Man as remaining informed. At the center of the hustle and bustle in our News-Room, amid the Hum of our Difference-Engines, the quiet Clacking of the Teletype, the clinking of Glasses and (sometimes) gentle Snoring from behind the Couch, one is veritably at the Hub of a great web of Information. A few bracing Minutes amidst this Wholesome Chaos usually fills me up to the very Top with News-Worthy information, and I am then free to head out to Lunch and perhaps a game of Darts while Ephram and his Cronies take care of the tedium of printing our quality Virtual Publication.

I am, thus, accustomed to being rather Ahead of the game with respect to the Fellows at the Club, often ready with a wry and knowing Wink as they learn of the day's Events through some slower and less reliable News Source, such as the Butler. But the other day I was taken Aback; for Harold G. Farnsby made a rather off-color Joke about that Mesopotamian dictator Hussein and Holes. (Farnsby is ever the Wild Card at a social event, I must say.) When I responded with a hearty Wish that we could Find the miscreant, the Gentlemen in the room stared at me all Agog.

"What, Watley, don't you know?" said Farnsby with an unaccustomed Twinkle in his eye. I was Befuddled, for he had Appropriated my Wink and wry Demeanor! What! Saddam captured you say! And I was the last in the Room to hear of it, though I alone practice the Journalistic profession. How embarrassing indeed! - But the rosy Flush in my Cheeks was perhaps masked by the immediate chorus of "My country 'tis of thee" in which I led my Club-mates, followed by a round of excellent patriotic 18-year old Chivas Regal which I purchased for All.

But I was utterly Shocked that our busy news-room was Silent on this most Salient point! I burst back into the Press-room with eyes Flashing and beard a-bristle, demanding to know how this most Major of Stories had slipped through our Fingers. What claim could we Lay to being a Quality News-Source with such gaffes to our credit? How could a prominent Editor such as myself learn of Saddam Hussein's capture from an off-color Joke? Scandalous, by thunder!

It was the gentle Elisabeth who pointed out that our crack Journalists (Emmett and Ernest) were at a Physician's appointment and Tennis Match respectively, and that our trusty 1911 Morkrum Tele-Type - vital lifeblood of the Office - was Smoking in a way that it did not normally Smoke. So that's where my second-best cherrywood Pipe went...

I am reassured: our Standards are Intact, though caught Napping for a moment. I shall eventually live down the Scandal at the Club, but I do hope for the sake of my Reputation that Ephram and the Lads can avoid further such Lapses. Otherwise I shall be forced to purchase rounds of Chivas Regal on a regular basis.


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