Annals of Japery Archives - Page 5 of 8 - The Millions

November 1, 2013

A Will Shortz Murder Mystery Reviewed 4


Stylistically, Shortz is perhaps over-fond of the pun, haphazardly abbreviates words, and is allergic to apostrophes, but no other living author can so seamlessly integrate crosswordese — those rare words that pop up frequently in grids — into a narrative.

July 26, 2013

Détente by Index: On Earl Sprague’s Invitation to a Subheading 0


How fitting that their notorious feud end via the healing powers of a well-constructed index, which Indexer’s Weekly proudly presents here in full.

May 30, 2013

The Things I’ll Ban when I Get Elected Mayor of New York City 8


Since everyone else in the city is running for mayor, I figure I might as well get in on the fun. My qualifications? I have never posted pictures of my erect penis on Twitter.

May 10, 2013

The Adjunct 4


Avoid passive voice. When you write in the passive voice you sound like a landlord or a lawyer; you sound like you mean to avoid responsibility. Is that true? Do you eschew responsibility? Were you up until four a.m. writing on the walls of girls’ Facebook pages before you started this paper?

April 26, 2013

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Poets 3


I once had a real-life encounter with a poet at four a.m. in a Las Vegas Denny’s. He leaned over the back of his booth, made some awkward introduction, and began reciting lines from a wrinkled paper about the haunting sound wind makes or some nonsense.

This encounter gave me an acute poet-phobia that lasted for years.

April 19, 2013

I Have So Many People to Thank 0


My love of writing began in kindergarten, and so I would be remiss not to thank Mrs. Rosemary Porter and everyone at Chester Arthur Elementary School, from Principal Tucker to Esmeralda from the lunchroom, not to mention all of my classmates. Wherever all of you are, I hope you know that you have not been forgotten and your efforts to include me in your spirited games of kickball were not in vain.

April 1, 2013

Amazon Announces Purchase of English™ 25


Plans are also in the works to acquire German, Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese, Bezos said, as well as several nonstandard dialects of English™, including African-American Vernacular English, popular among the highly desirable 18-25 upscale suburban demographic.

March 19, 2013

Conspiring Minds 1


The often naïve heroes of conspiracy fiction must quickly learn to read the signs of an increasingly sinister world, and read I did. The students in my composition class on conspiracy fiction were in fact conspiring against me.

March 5, 2013

Announcing a New Reader Tax 2


It is with a mixture of regret and unrestrained joy that I would like to announce that I am now charging a $3.00 processing fee for all new subscription requests sent to me by literary magazines.

August 31, 2012

The Universal Penman Revisited: An Illustrated Tale 2


Today, penmanship is considered the trifle of homebound scrap-bookers, a craft for people who read Martha Stewart Living. But in Bickham’s day, penmanship was an essential business tool — as essential then as knowing how to make a spreadsheet is in today’s office. You knew a good accountant based on the elegance of the ledger.