Worthless Statistics

Justice Minotaur has just completed “an exhaustive 45-minute survey” of statistical data reported in the newspapers of New Salem “from the year 1846 to the present, not counting the newspapers Gneyburhould Gnus or The International Eye Wash Update.” He has asked that Mr. Cornwall transcribe here “the most worthless statistics” found in this study, to wit:

“Of all the fruit that might have been eaten in that old Datsun while the owner was commuting or driving around or whatever, it is really hard to imagine that any more than about half of it could have been mango.”

“0 = The number of bottles of Aleve found in the excavated ruins of the ancient citadel at Hisarlik.”

“After striking the locust 860 times with a giant pan, we observed that it was in a quite liquefied state.”

“Basically any guy you meet named Brint is a total loser.”

“7 = According to Shellby, the number of times her dad told that story about Mount St. Helen’s ‘royally blowing its top.'”

“If you have less than two blades in your secateurs, they probably aren’t going to work properly.”

“The letter ‘r” appears three times–and no more than three times–in the English word ‘railroader.'”

“100 percent of cephalectomies performed by Dr. Frowg could be described as either successful or unsuccessful, depending on what you believe they were intended to accomplish.”

“If the manager is out of town, I swear it usually takes the assistant manager like eight days longer to do anything because he is such a friggin’ idiot.”

[Thinking of donating an organ today? Please click here to trigger the process.]


Journal Entry: Second Trip to St. Louis

Journal entry, 20 Messidor 225: Minotaur is scheduled to fly eastward tomorrow, for the second time in as many months, to the city that he believes is called “San Luis” but is actually St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America. Just in time, his first issue of The Frightened Traveler arrived yesterday. This is an eight-page annual printed on brown paper lunch sacks affixed together with industrial staples. Articles in this issue include the following:

Where to Sit if You Think the Plane Will Shear in Two

U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Ear Damage from the Sucking Low Pressure of Airplane Toilets

On the Likelihood of Feeling Pain if the Plane Goes into a Mountainside

What to Eat to Make the Coroner’s Job Easier

How to Act in an Emergency if You Want to Be the Focus of a Made-for-TV Movie

Forty-Eight Capital Crimes Unique to Burma

The front and back covers of the magazine bear the following label in large red type: “You Can Use the Bags on Which This Magazine Is Printed as Barf Receptables [sic].”

[Remainder of page intentionally left blank.]

Journal Entry: Observation on Lotion

Journal entry, 7/7/2017 (Minotaur has temporarily reverted back to regular dating, having lost his French Republican Calendar conversion ruler). Minotaur saith: “Researchers have not been able to artificially reproduce the sound of a man lotioning his own toes with viscous, nourishing body cream.”

[If you are late for dialysis, click here for help.]

Announcing Suddenly Tacos!

KISSIMMEE, FL — Unholy Retribution Publishers LLP (URP) today announced the publication of its newest title, Suddenly Tacos! ($89.95, hardback, screw-bound), authored by Korbin Minotaur, who styles himself as a justice of the peace in the country of New Salem.

“The title speaks for itself,” said Nim Chimsky, deputy editor of URP, who acquired the manuscript after learning about it in a roundabout way from members of a prisoner work crew who were casing a local playground. “You don’t have tacos and suddenly you do.” When pressed for more detail by this reporter, Chimsky said he had to referee a matkot tournament and hung up the phone.

Two other people who claimed to have read the manuscript but spoke on condition of anonymity offered contradictory perspectives on the content of the new volume. One person affiliated with the publisher said the book is a collection of recipes for how to make tacos out of miscellaneous ingredients, even some non-food items, that one might find “in a junk drawer, under a fridge, in a boy’s pockets, or in a glove box.”

Meanwhile, a source connected to the author opined that the recipes are “purely metaphorical and teach us conclusively that there is no God.”

The book will be sold initially at domestic hot air balloon festivals. It is also available to the library market as an interactive CD-ROM priced at $1,850.

Letter to Green Grocer

The Compound

June 26, 2017

Dear Mr. Vernix,

My mediocre scribe and I visited the produce section of your market, Vernix’s Grocery Enclosure, earlier this week. Your display of edible plant material, including fruits, seeds, tubers, leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and shoots, was truly remarkable, though it fell far short of being the “8th wonderment of the world,” as your published promotional material would have us believe. I noted how the artfully arranged, crisscrossing citadel of imperator carrots seemed to envy the even more Babel-like tower of red bell peppers next to it. “What the anvil? What the hammer?” I asked myself, marveling at the talents and audacity of he who had prepared this installation–a feast for the eyes but also quite practical in taking advantage of the display area. And most important, the wares were so colorful, so plump, so ripe, so moist, so crisp, so ready for consumption. As my scribe and I studied the layout and activities in this area for several hours, we noticed how every 10 minutes, as if the spinning of this giant forsaken orb depended on it, a mist began to blast forth, like the mist that rose up in Eden, the tiny drops wetting every square inch in the display area to keep the items fresh and succulent. And then in a few moments the mist shut off without the apparent agency of any man, and so cycling again and again every 10 minutes.

This state of affairs created a firm and reasonable expectation on my part that when I purchased your produce I was also obtaining a commitment and promise from the universe that this intermittent wetness would distill upon the produce wheresoever I might take it.

Imagine, therefore, my disappointment when, after I had been home with the vegetables for several hours, I did not one time see their skins magically bedewed. Your produce–that which is so precious to you and was once precious to me–is now all in a pile in my garden compost, on the fast track to achieve that atomized state that is the ultimate leveling out of all life forms.

For my misery I seek $100,000 in damages or naming rights to your new pinto.

Justice Korbin Minotaur

by hand of Eric of Cornwall

List of Names

List of “certain names,” as found on leaf of wrinkled foolscap paper in one of Justice Korbin Minotaur’s soiled robes, 3 Messidor 225:

certain names

J. Voorhees Prowler

Angus Benediction

Tenny’s Jim

Jose Cansecko

Terpander Anderterp III

Dainty Kennedy-Buckwasher

Kedger Fisher

Chlodoric the Parricide

Clark Clerk

Emmeline Puups

Helper Wilson

get tickets to Araby

Journal Entry: Cynosure

Journal entry, 28 Prairial 225: Justice Minotaur asked the staff to convene this evening in the courtyard of the Sleepy Imaret at eleven o’clock. Some fifteen employees, including Mr. Cornwall, responded to the invitation. When the group gathered, Minotaur instructed them to gaze upon Cynosure, which was done for about one hour, with no one allowed to speak or move, until he finally released the group. During the entirety of the event, a zephyr blew in the most putrid scent from the nearby yard where night soil is blended with landscape debris to make fertilizer.