Banned Names

To: All Citizens, Residents, and Domiciles of New Salem
From: Justice Korbin Minotaur
Date: 9 Floreal 223
Re: Banned Names

Acting on behalf of the authorized ministers and council of reeves of our beloved nation-state, I hereby proclaim that the following names are forever banned as names for children born on national soil or imported herein. If you have any children bearing any such name, you have twenty-four hours to change the name to something acceptable or the child’s name will be irrevocably changed to Melchior the Wet. For purposes of this decree, intelligent mammals will be considered as children.

The banned names are as follows:

-Melchior the Wet [banned unless assigned by official government decree as a form of punishment and ignominious branding]
-Anticipatory Valley Forge
-Trimm Angus
-Testatrix Beverlies
-Agonizing Peterson
-Hyundai Git
-Try Jennie Bloodsport
-Cherokee Anti-Jackson
-Darling Imagine Fresh Graham
-Crisp Salude
-Andrea the Giantess
-Brass-Then Wilderness
-Trust Hurdz
-Freddie “First” Manassas [the banned version of the name is the one with quotation marks around “First”; the name Freddie First Manassas, without quotation marks, is authorized]

p.s. In case you haven’t heard, we are also now following the French Republican Calendar in New Salem, this land of child geniuses, this earth of beautiful majesty, this seat of Mars, this realm of overpeopled Walmarts, this other Hades.

CC: The Estate of Spiro Agnew


[Remainder of page intentionally left blank]


Journal Entry: Blog User Profiles

Journal entry, 10/29/13. Many of you out there have probably had the experience of developing a new product meant for consumption by some portion of the public, such as a website, a magazine or other periodical, a new piece of software, perhaps even a radio or television program. In such situations, Justice Minotaur and Mr. Cornwall have learned, it is not uncommon to go through a process of creating sample user profiles. The idea here is to identify some characteristics of fictional members of the primary audience so that clients, developers, designers, and others can focus on the needs of these key targets. Justice Minotaur and Mr. Cornwall have recently completed the process of creating profiles for fictional target users of this blog under the direction of the intrepid Katty Proone, a product manager for Hannibal’s Crossing LLC, a web design firm based out of a two-story Ford van. Final versions of the three user profiles are presented below.

Lad Tanahara
Age: Seventeen
Handedness: Left

Lad Tanahara is a brooding Japanese teenager. That he is Japanese is hard to believe, but in these politically sensitive times we must take his word for it. He is six foot four with red hair and fair skin and was raised in a family of cordwainers in St. Paul. He participates in what he calls postmodern pentathlon, which is the same as the modern pentathlon except that the competition is held in a coffee shop and the participants deny the existence of God. That he can describe with great precision the events of every day of the Ford administration, including the names of those with whom the American president swam, calls into question his age as well. It should be said that he appears to be more than seventy years of age and suffering of vitamin E deficiency. He visits the blog based on a misunderstanding that it is literally run by a creature with the head of a bull and the body of a man.

Madge Dockers
Age: “Forty something”
Handedness: Unknown

To say that Madge Dockers is cautious is as much of an understatement as saying that Bruce Lee was capable of doing “a little bit of damage” with his fists. Against some kind of unspecified threat, Dockers wears two layers of clothing at all times, including two layers of socks and undergarments. This gives her a bulky look but appears to impart to her an enviable degree of self-confidence. She follows the French Republican Calendar, which situates this blog post squarely in the month of Brumaire in the 222nd year of the Republic. Most of her meals are consumed out of souvenir bowls of various kinds. Her web browser has been tuned to this blog for twenty-two days straight, but that is because she accidentally fell into an abandoned antimony mine while walking to a store to buy emergency supplies. Her present location puts her approximately ten kilometers from her desktop computer, assuming a direct route were possible. Her chances of survival are listed as “grim.”

Age: Twenty-five
Handedness: Ambidextrous

Bain is a former high school American football punter with three weeks left on a prison sentence he received for deceiving a fletcher out of his arrows using a Svengali deck. To his credit Bain apparently intended to use the arrows–his mother described him in the court proceedings as “an archer even greater than Orion.” In less troubled times, he often went to Subway restaurants and asked workers to remove their hygienic gloves before preparing his sandwich. His prison sentence was handed down by Justice Minotaur after a trial before a three-person jury; his interest in the blog is probably based on a strong personal interest in Minotaur’s habits and whereabouts.