20 August 2005


From Lemony Snicket's introduction to McSweeney's Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren't as Scary, Maybe, Depending on How You Feel About Lost Lands, Stray Cellphones, Creatures from the Sky, Parents Who Disappear in Peru, a Man Named Lars Farf, and One Other Story We Couldn't Quite Finish, So Maybe You Could Help Us Out:
If you enjoy tedious stories, you may read the following paragraphs for your tedious enjoyment, and if you don't, don't.

--"I have an adorable announcement!" cried the King of Teddy Bear Land. "In honor of Princess Buttercup's marriage to Prince Appletree, we will have a Teddy Bear parade throughout the Town Square, which happens to be made of candy!"

--It was another heartbreaking day for Mark, who lived with his abusive father in a run-down shack by the railroad tracks, which were crawling with both poisonous and regular spiders. Coughing in pain as he eased himself into his wheelchair, he wondered how he had become addicted to various drugs, when he had only a few dirty pennies to buy them with.

--There had been talk in the village all week—something about a "revolution," I reckon. But I was too busy workin' all day and sleepin' all night as an apprentice to a blacksmith, which was a very common occupation in 1776. But then one day my life changed when a man walked into the shop dressed in the appropriate clothing of the 18th century. His name was Paul Revere.

--"But if you're a wizard," asked Henry, "why can't you just defeat the Shadow Lord and his army of vicious porcupines with a wave of your wand?"
"That's a good question, young Henry," replied Thistlewing. "You'd better sit down, because I'm going to take the next nine pages to explain what wizards can and cannot do in this particular magical land."

--No Girls Allowed. Those words rang in my ears as I raced across the soccer field, my cleats glinting in the afternoon sun which beat down on McGilly Field here in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where I had been living for all twelve of my years with my dad Horace and my mom Cindy, who were both veterinarians. No Girls Allowed! It was so unfair!

--"But Grandmother said never to open this small box made of shiny wood," said Shirley. "I'm as curious as you are about these mysterious carvings, but we'd better not disobey Grandmother."
"You're right," Billy said, and the two children put the box away and never, ever opened it.

--"But how can we rescue an enchanted pony?" asked Timmy, brushing tears out of his eyes with his grubby palms. "We're only little kids."
"Little kids can do anything in the whole world," said the Dark Pink Fairy, "as long as they close their eyes."

--"Don't be silly!" cried the Long Division Worm. "Math is fun! Come with me and I'll show you!"

--Ma gave me a mysterious smile and tied her apron around her waist. Then she went to the henhouse and got two eggs, which she beat in a bowl with an eggbeater until they were the color of sunshine, assuming sunshine is light yellow. Then she got a sack of flour and sifted it into the egg mixture. Then she went to the old barn and came back with a bucket of milk, which she dribbled into the bowl, humming as she did so. Then she went to town and came back with a small packet of cinnamon. It made the whole house smell like a Christmas dream come true. She sprinkled the cinnamon into the bowl, and then went back into town and came back with a small packet of nutmeg. This, strangely, also smelled like a Christmas dream come true. Then she went back into town, humming all the way, and came back with a packet of baking soda, which didn't smell like anything. "Only seventy more ingredients," she hummed to herself, as she walked back out to town.

--"You can talk!" Betsy cried. "Golly! I knew it wasn't my imagination! I heard you with my own ears! I can't believe it! Goodness gracious! And yet it's true! Yippity skip! You're a real live talking paperweight!"

--The sun rose over the half-built pyramids, and Anano the slave boy scurried out to tie his Master's barge to the banks of the Nile, which is the biggest river in Egypt. He ran his fingers along the letters carved on the side of the barge, which were called hieroglyphics back then in case you didn't know, and wondered if he might ever learn how to--what was the word the High Priest used? "Read."

--"HELP!" screamed the King of Teddy Bear Land. "Paul Revere is hitting me with a small box made of shiny wood!"

I'm sorry. That last excerpt might not be tedious after all.

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