From The S-Mart Shopper: It’s been a dream of mine for quite a while now to have my works published, Net: We used to dream, too. We dreamt of days of endless sun and sandy beaches. Of a place where the beer flows like wine and everybody is entirely above average. Of tolerable Network entries. Then we realized dreams were a waste of time, and that we were destined to live a life of wretched ignominy and endless servitude to The Man. Sigh. and for many months, I’ve been sending out short stories of mine to large, widely circulated magazines with the meager hope that they would publish me.
However, for equally as many months, I would find rather harsh “I regret to inform you …” rejection letters in my mailbox when I got home from work.
And yesterday was the last straw.
Upon arriving home from work, I opened my mailbox to discover my latest epic had been soundly rejected by Penthouse Forum. Net: Try the New England Journal of Medicine. They’re always looking for clever short stories. You know, about anatomy and cancer and stuff. While I suppose that the whole barnyard animal angle might have been a bit much, the piece was nonetheless a very moving story about the love between a man (not myself, mind you) and a goat. Net: We read somewhere that was the basis of the pilot for “Lassie.” We never found out why they went with a collie instead, or why all the relationships in the show became entirely platonic. Anyhow, I was more than a little depressed about the fact that the editors of Penthouse weren’t touched by the story in the same way I was, Net: Not surprising, considering you were the one apparently “touching” the goat and after bawling like a baby for awhile, I started to think about where I could possibly get my works published.
And then, like a lightning bolt from God, it hit me. Net: Oh, gee. Who could it be. The tension is killing us.
The answer had been sitting there all along, right beneath my nose. Yes, yes, I would seek to have my works published in the illustrious and mighty Network (Yes, I’m brown-nosing because it makes it more likely that I’ll get published). Net: Naaah, that really has nothing to do with it. Entries are actually selected using a very complicated process that involves the old “Mouse Trap” game, Saran Wrap, a 50-gallon drum of Vaseline and two pitchers of Hamm’s beer. It’s entirely out of our hands. Immediately, I was seized with a fit of sheer inspiration.
I would send an entry into Network and they would publish me dammit!
Reaching for a sheet of paper (I always put my thoughts on paper before typing them out) and a pen, Net: How novel. Pen and paper. Let us guess — you made yourself a PB&J with the crusts cut off while you were at it. I began to write. And I wrote for hours.
About 2 a.m., the pen ran out of ink, but I was not yet finished with my magnum opus. I had to continue, and so I gnawed a hole in my finger and continued to write in blood. Net: Just one pen, huh? That happened to us once. We found another pen. During the ensuing long hours, I found myself penning my life story, idle musings, a novel about a park where they raise genetically engineered dinosaurs (which I’m attempting to get published under the name “Jurassic Resort”). I wrote about anything I could think of. Net: Except for a point to this entry, of course.
At one point, I even penned whole pages of the Necronomicon (the book of the dead, for those not in the know) with my finger.
Anyhow, at about six the next morning, I passed out from the lack of blood. Net: We know the feeling. The same thing happens when we read banal, humdrummy letters. No offense.
When I awoke several hours later, I sifted through the crimson stained papers, looking for something, anything to type up and send in. And eventually, I found a piece that I thought truly shined. Net: Indeed, this entry shines … much like the way the sun shines through a majestic stream of urine. Yes, it’s the piece you now hold in your hands (or computer screen, I suppose). So, thank you for the opportunity of publication and if you could ask your readers, if they have a spare moment and AB negative blood, to go the local blood bank and donate a pint or two. I could really use it. Net: Could someone give this hack a clue while you’re at it?

From MLT: This letter is in response to Inspector Cheeseburger‘s pathetic attempt to score a phone number. My guess is that the girl for whom he is lusting probably belongs to a sorority and would be duly unimpressed by his lack of social skills in procuring her phone number during a routine-to-her phone call. Net: After all, everyone knows it’s nearly impossible for someone who lacks social skills to get a sorority chick’s digits. Sheesh … the odds must be astronomical. He probably came off as a GDI or GDR. Net: BTW, what’s the MO of a GDI or GDR? Let us know ASAP. She must get tons of horny, non-fraternity, anti-social guys calling her all the time asking for some false number in order to talk with her. Net: C’mon … all the horny, nonfraternity, anti-social guys work in Morrill Hall. Or at the Daily. I say to the mighty Inspector, get a life. If you can’t have enough self-confidence to ask a girl for her number or name over the phone, what does that say about you ever meeting her in person and the ensuing conversation? Net: Pardon us, gentle scribe, but aren’t you being a little hard on the guy? We thought his lustful plight was kind of cute, in a teeming-horde-of-drooling-businessmen-at-Sheik’s kind of way. To learn an ever-effective way to score not only a phone number, but maybe a date or two, consider joining a campus organization Net: We hear MSA Forum meetings are a regular swingin’ singles shindig. Get a dozen or so friends to vote for you and you’re in like Flynn. or applying at 625-5000. Peace.