Four Famous Writers Born with Tails:
An Interview with Tobias H. Cromley of the American Deformities Institute
“Oh yes, Shakespeare almost certainly had a tail. If read closely it becomes apparent most of his sonnets weren’t written to a woman at all, but quite clearly to a prehensile tail. Most contemporary scholars believe that late in his life Shakespeare began to rely almost entirely on work ghost-written by the tail, most evident in the stylistic shifts that take place in The Tempest.”
Henry David Thoreau
“I was actually quite hesitant to include Thoreau, as his tail was not a true tail, but a prosthetic he fashioned out of reeds and twine. Thoreau claimed this was an attempt to become truer to man’s animalistic nature, but sources contemporary to the author indicate that the tail was worn for fetishistic reasons, a perversion for which he was jailed. Original drafts of ‘On Civil Disobedience’ confirm this, although it is known he discontinued wearing the tail after his arrest.”
“Dickinson was never able to come to terms with her own tail, isolating her from society. Many see her use of dashes as coy reference to the tail (a dash rotated 90 degrees, after all, is a tail), but personally I believe them to represent interruptions caused by the appendage.”
“Hemingway’s life was fundamentally tied to the tail with which he was born. It was his tail that kept him out of the Army, leading to the experiences with the Red Cross that would form the basis of For Whom The Bell Tolls. It was his tail that facilitated his extraordinary drinking ability (and helped coin the expression ‘he drinks like he has a hollow tail’). It was his tail that inspired Gertrude Stein’s most memorable line, written spitefully after the two had their falling out, ‘A tail is a tail is a tail is a tail.’”
Answer Page from Even Fewer Lateral Logic Puzzles
Puzzle 1 (p. 8): He used melting ice.
Puzzle 2 (p. 16): Ice again.
Puzzle 3 (p. 21): The “car” is a [C]laims [A]djustment w[R]iter. Ricardo is a midget. Also: blind.
Puzzle 4 (p. 27): Bo knows baseball and football.
Puzzle 5 (p. 35): The author never cared for logic puzzles, but they were always pressed upon him by his militant, overbearing father.
Puzzle 6 (p. 37): Surprise: ice.
From the Files of Vomit Hönig: Punk Rock Psychiatrist
- Subject: Joey R.
- Complaint: Joey was brought in by his siblings who expressed concern regarding the patient’s withdrawn state. Deedee R. (brother): “He doesn’t want even wanna walk around with [me] or go down to the basement anymore. All he seems interested in is sniffing glue, saying it’s ‘something to do.’”
- Diagnosis/Treatment: “Lanky” body type, difficulty with language and diminished responsiveness all support diagnosis of profound developmental disability related to XYY syndrome. We advocate a program of chronic care management that includes social skills, speech, and occupational therapy, with light assembly work recommended as the most likely avenue to financial independence.
- Subject: Henry R.
- Complaint: Feelings of persecution and physiological insatiability have caused the patient severe distress, leaving Henry in a state he characterizes as “damaged.”
- Diagnosis/Treatment: Hypomania and paranoid delusions are consistent with psychiatric effects of long-term abuse of anabolic steroids. The immediate employment of an estrogen supplement regimen is advised, even if treatment must be performed surreptitiously (e.g. added to patient’s food or drink).
- Subject: Mike M.
- Complaint: Patient was referred to this office by his parents after complaining of growing dissatisfaction with and resentment of himself and others.
- Diagnosis/Treatment: Patient has acute (likely sexual) fixation with Pepsi brand soft drinks and reacts violently to inquiries regarding his obsession. This leads us to believe Mike is “crazy,” as his parents have determined, and requires institutionalization, as they have suggested.
- Subject: Johnny R.
- Complaint: Patient cites hopelessness regarding the future and unintentional hostility towards others as his motivation in seeking treatment: “I try to reach out to people, I really do, but it never comes out like I want. Does that make any sense, you cretinous bogey?”
- Diagnosis: The unlikely blend of belligerence and self-importance appears to be a rare example of a reverse messiah complex. Administration of ECT (electroshock) therapy to Johnny would likely improve the condition of both the patient and the mental health professional greatly.