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Another Topical Depression

Aug. 26, 2010
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I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So listen, sorry to have to tell you it’s that time of that week of the year when I have to interrupt what should’ve been a thought-invoking if not nearly entertaining essay to speak directly to you and deliver the pitch.

And just who the fock are “you’s”? Why, you are nothing but a bunch of the best so-called readers who week after week after week pick up this newspaper and turn to this page even if you have nothing better to do. And that’s why I need your help.

Why? (Hold on, let me get the script and I’ll lay my pipe on the line. OK. Here we go.)

“As members of my reading family, I feel betrothed to grab your ear and tell you that it’s come to my attention that the out-of-the-focking-pocket costs involved in the manufacture and producement of my little weekly newspaper article have skyrocketed like a focking banshee, I kid you not.

“How do I know this? I’ll tell you. The other evening I happened to stop by the Uptowner tavern/charm school with my pal Little Jimmy Iodine in tow, so as to enjoy a nice ice-cold bottled beer and to discuss a range of big-time topics that maybe I ought to delve into, topics that could wake a sleeping nation, what the fock.

“Well sir, no sooner did we park our butts stool-side than did I realize I had not enough loose change to spring for a pack of beer nuts—a lousy pack of focking beer nuts—let alone a couple cool ones. Seems our meeting the previous evening to discuss the very same subject at the very same location had gone the whole nine yards in closing out my personal cash register, and now I was faced with having to shut down my entire research and development department. And that’s not all.

“Add this deficit to the rise in cost of necessary materials—your coffee, your Old Crow, your cigarettes, lead for my pencil—and I’m thinking I may have to shut down my whole goddamn operation unless I come up with some kind of Einstein revenue plan. And the only thing I can think of to stay in business is to pass my costs on to you’s, the poor pissant consumer.

“Now, the monkey wrench lodged in the wheel of this scheme is that the Shepherd is a free focking paper—the choice of cheapskates and freeloaders the metropolitan area over. No way the price of this rag can be jacked up any higher than it already is, and I’d think you’d agree, ain’a?

“So my business plan can only succeed with the understanding that when you, as a member of my reading family, comes by a couple, three extra bucks to please take the time to cut a nice check and send it to this paper, care of me.

“Only with your generous contribution can I continue to sit on my dupa over by the Uptowner and muse upon a method with which to battle, for example, the mercenary ways of the big drug companies, as illustrated by this story:

At a major medical convention a noted internist arose to announce that he had discovered a new miracle antibiotic.

“What’s it cure?” asked a member of the audience.

“Nothing we don’t already have a cure for,” the internist replied.

“Then what’s so miraculous about it?” someone asked.

The internist said, “A side effect is short-term memory loss. Several of my patients have paid my bill three or four times.” Ba-ding!

“With your generous help, I could continue to muse about a bunch of other stuff, to boot. But please, no bullshit phone calls promising to pony up the dough at a later date, like I was born yesterday. And come to think of it, don’t mail me a check either. For the good of both of us, cash is the way to go. Stuff a couple, three Jacksons into an envelope (attention: “Art Kumbalek”) and drop it off here at the office. That way, the tax man will be none the wiser and we screw the IRS, just like a regular fat-cat big-shot Republican does, what the fock.

“So hey, thanks for your consideration. Next week we’ll return to the usual programming, maybe, ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.”


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