Skeptik’s Lexicon

ASSEMBLY LINE, n. A mechanized form of mass-production whereby a series of uniform parts are sloppily assembled by a succession of disinterested workers performing singular, repetitive tasks in the line of automation to manufacture cheap, perfectly homogenous merchandise that will in the not-too-distant future demand its own replacement. This division of labor is said to have been inspired by the “disassembly line,” a method of slaughter common to the abattoirs of the early twentieth century, but is one by which the commodity is, conversely, pieced together, and only the laborer’s conscience so butchered.

BAGPIPE, n. An instrument that emits a shrill, reedy sound when blown into and squeezed by its owner. The senator is another.

FLATULENCE, n. Gas. A principal export of man’s interior economy, customarily distributed through one of three outlets: the mouth, the anus, or punditry.

HALFWIT, n. The quotient obtained in dividing a man by his traditional number of testicles.

Although the Chair may recognize

The senators from New York State,

It wonders if (through doubting eyes)

A whole wit do two halfwits make.

Brian Swiffft

MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER, n. A psychological condition that develops in a subject when that subject somehow finds inadequate the disorder of a single personality.

Christopher Washburn, who once studied dactylic pentameter with Rod McKuen in a hot tub seminar at the Esalen Institute, is described by COINTELPRO as someone who is “inept,” “childish,” and “likely to sue.” He can be approached (“discretion advised”) through