Journal Entry: On the Dead

Journal entry, 10 Thermidor 223: Minotaur conversed today with Sherm HatPines, an unemployed ballard master whose nephew recently perished from the bite of a deranged yak. HatPines opined that the dead generally do not seem to show much continuing interest in the living–at least we do not hear from them that often, in general. Minotaur saith: “It seems there are two probable causes for the behavior of the dead (and by speaking of probable cause I do not mean to invoke the separate legal doctrine of the United States that goes by that same name): there is some kind of huge sale at the heavenly Costco (and if there is no Costco there, it be not heaven); or, the dead are displeased with us because we have not made the acquisition and use of smartphones a sufficiently high priority.” Further Minotaur saith not.
(Remainder of page intentionally left blank–ideally to write recipes.)


Gallows Humor–Installment 8

Black-Jackie Gallows, a lover of the earth (literally too–he eats a scoop of moistened dirt every day for breakfast), has found that he can recycle some of his old cartoons by simply changing the caption or coloring in something that was formerly in black and white. Here is his first recycled cartoon. This will undoubtedly be received as warmly as recycled gargle or recycled underpants.

A dog in a ruined police uniform

This public service campaign with MacDorf the crime dog seems to be really getting out of hand. I don’t feel safe at all.
(Gallows Humor, by Black-Jackie Gallows [formerly Dill Huggington], presented by Justice Korbin Minotaur)

Notice to Court Employees

Justice Minotaur posted a notice today at chambers. The notice, consisting of typed text and a full-color scan of a photograph, was copied on salmon-colored copy paper, after which Minotaur taped copies all over the front of all the vending machines, entirely covering the faces of them. He also placed one copy in the bowl of each toilet.

The text of the notice and the photograph are reproduced below.


To: All Court Employees
From: Your Boss, Justice Korbin Minotaur
Re: Loss of Important Powder

Evidence being held in my office in an important and/or significant case has disappeared. A photograph of the evidence is included at the bottom of this Immediate Notice.

As you look at the photo you may think it looks like I have drugs in my office. As I think of your evil surmises, I am reminded of the line from Pope: “All seems infected that the infected spy / As all looks yellow to the jaundiced eye.”

In fact, the powder is sugar, mere sugar. It is at issue in a case where someone’s grandmother made some very important sugar, very tasty, leading to great contention among her posterity. Why would a family fight so desperately over sugar, mere sugar? This important issue is one that I, Minotaur, am contemplating daily and feeling sadness over.

If you have taken or should find this evidence, do not test it yourself. The sugar is very expensive. Not a grain may be wasted.

Two razor blades that were with the bag of evidence are also missing and should be returned immediately.

If you return these things immediately you will not be fired, at least not in connection with this evidence heist. Powder in a bag

Journal Entry: Publisher Rejection Letters

Journal entry, 28 Messidor 223: Minotaur commanded Mr. Cornwall today to publish on this informal electronic newspaper/diary some of the “most devastating” phrases from the rejection letters Minotaur has received from publishers over the last several decades. It is unclear why Minotaur wants this done–it seems the result will be to embarrass him. Perhaps this is a way of trying to purge his demons and move on. Making the selection was difficult for Cornwall, since Minotaur has submitted thousands of manuscripts for pamphlets, monographs, novels, brochures, hymnals, anthologies, magazine and newspaper articles, broadsides, and other print media. It appears that perhaps only about five of his works have ever appeared in print (outside of published judicial opinions). In the instances where he was published, it was probably because the publisher was under the mistaken belief (probably planted by Minotaur) that Minotaur was either a justice of the United States Supreme Court or a visitor from another planet. Here, then, are some of the choicest nuggets from the huge treasure trove of rejection letters. Publisher names have not been included (Minotaur doesn’t want to alienate them, as he continues to submit several manuscripts each week).

“As a publisher of medical textbooks, we were not looking for a prequel to Beowulf.

“Unfortunately, good writing typically goes beyond making a list of verbs used in the martial arts.”

“In a 1400-page novel, we would expect more character development on the protagonist than to merely learn on page 1342 that his mother was a Nepalese anchoress. If you resubmit, please also give him a name other than Tonald Tuck–maybe it was clever the first time, but by the end of the book (really after about page 4) we wanted to kill you.”

“It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

“Your disquisition on admiralty law will probably be lost on the kindergartners to whom the book is supposedly directed.”

“You will recall that after your last submission—the daily desk calendar titled Stalin’s Breakfasts—we asked you to stop submitting to us.”

“We have reason to believe that our audience is not interested in a history of different salves.”

“It was not credible to us that your encounter with the diabetic leprechaun had actually occurred.”

“We tried your recipe for ‘hiker’s granola’ and ended up with a rapidly growing blue paste that appears to be immortal.”