Annals of Japery Archives - Page 5 of 7 - The Millions

August 31, 2012

The Universal Penman Revisited: An Illustrated Tale 2

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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.

June 22, 2012

The Game’s Afoot: The Case of the Mystery Genre’s Terrible Secret 21

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The biggest secret in crime fiction is that there are really only, like, four ways to tie up a mystery, and I’m going to show you all of them in 1200 words. Get ready to have an entire genre irrevocably spoiled.

June 15, 2012

Multiple Joyce (A Wee Little Quizling) 2

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To commemorate the centennial-plus-eight of that schoolmasterly interlude, attendees at this summer’s ReJoyce Jubilee―a smaller, less abstemious version of Bloomsday― were asked to compose a sample test question in the gleefully subversive spirit of the wizard of wordplay. The following is a selective compendium of those inventions, transcribed from boggy cocktail napkins and edited with wild(e) abandon.

June 14, 2012

More Soon: A Sampling of Electronic Correspondence with Magazine Editors 7

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FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY WON’T YOU REPLY? IT’D BE EASIER TO HAVE MY HUMANITY ACKNOWLEDGED BY A NORTH KOREAN PRISON GUARD! JUST REPLY!

June 1, 2012

A Note on the Paper: An Encomium to Larry 1

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The tree that became this particular book was a 37-year-old spruce, tall and sturdy, by the name of Larry. Larry was a happy tree, home to children who enjoyed swinging from a tire attached via rope to one of his lower branches. The marks from the rope can be witnessed in the upper left-hand corners of pages 134 and 136.

April 3, 2012

Killer Read 2

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This is the Reading Group Guide for the new psychological thriller, The Reading Group Killer. 1. Which member of your group do you think is most likely to be plotting the death of everyone else in the room?

 2. Are you sure?

January 25, 2012

Why I Must Charge People Fees for Their Own Art 14

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People don’t want to buy rocking chairs anymore. But the lack of sales doesn’t stop people from making them. As a result, we rocking chair sellers have come up with a solution.

August 25, 2011

Paris, Wikipedia, and My Middle Age Crisis 7

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The crisis goes on like this night and day. It matters little whether I’m on YouTube, watching television, flipping through my wife’s magazines or churning through RSS feeds and Twitter updates, there are always endless amounts of famous, middle-age men to look up.

May 10, 2011

The Dog Massage 3

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I am an old dog, yes, but like to think that I’m open to new tricks.

November 24, 2010

The Hot Stove Report: A Parody 3

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Now that the 2010 season has ended, it’s time to look at the off-season transactions that will shape next year’s division rivalries and pennant races.  Here, then, are a few of baseball’s most notable available free agents.