he letter arrived by registered mail. Odd. I pounded on it several times with a wrench and turned it over to my dog Boomer for opening.
Phew: not a letter bomb; or if so, not much of one. Another false alarm. What the hell's the matter with people these days? I read the damn thing:
"Are you a prominent member of the arts community who is baffled by the rules of grammar, punctuation and word usage in this letter? Are you ...."
And so on. There was a phone number at the bottom; I dialed it and left this message: "Dude? I got your letter. And you should know that I have no idea what you were trying to communicate to me."
Less than an hour later I received a visit from Mr. George Clark. That's right: The Mr. George Clark.
He goes, "Thanks for your call. Listen, we're putting together a new Seattle parody sensation to be called The Wanker. It will directly satirize The Whimper, the award-winning parody of The Stranger, which is itself the (non-award-winning) parody of Young Boners, the popular teen sex fanzine that is loaded with typographical errors."

Me: "Yes. Word on the street has it that each of these publications belongs to The George Clark Family of Parodies; that you are in fact the mastermind behind them all."
He grunted. "The grand scheme is to make each successive parody more moronic than the previous. Onward and upward, ever setting new standards of incompetence. And I just ... I can't do it anymore. I am old and tired and, well, I have a reputation to protect. And here's where you can help. I ... I want you to be editor of The Wanker."

Whoa! Editor? I mused on the matter a moment. "What does an editor do?"
"An editor leads by example. Helps establish the tone. The Wanker will be infused by your good name and reputation and particular way of doing things. We need your ... your ... do you speak French?
I smiled: he had noticed my beret. "No."
"We need your joie d'imbecilité."
Indeed. "How much do I get paid?"
"I'll pay you twice what I pay my regular writers. And that is a lot, because I don't pay them anything."
And that would be several times what I earn now as an unemployed prominent member of the arts community. "Wow."
"And you'll be famous."
"I'm your man."
Right then and there he had me bash out a wise, witty editorial essay on a paper towel, which he took with him. The next day he sent me an edited version for my approval.
I called him. "Dude? I got the edited version. And you should know that I have no idea what it says." I did not mention the dog slobber or wrench marks.

"That's because I corrected your errors of punctuation, grammar and word usage; that's what a publisher does. But don't worry: it is still imbued with your spirit."
So here it is, then: The Wanker. Bold, sassy, and setting new standards. Timeless incompetence in the classic style. And about this editorial essay that you're enjoying: I didn't write a word of it. Not one fucking word. Didn't need to: it's imbued with my spirit, after all. And when I have one of my friends read this to me I will probably be pissed because it makes me look like a complete moron, but I won't have a leg to stand on in court because I have other problems in that area and anyway I am in fact a complete moron and maybe that was the idea.

by Jason Sprinkle

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