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Skeptik’s Lexicon

ACCOUNTING, n. A system of complex, autolegitimated abstractions used to provide an effective means of removing losses, not from gains, but from balance sheets altogether.

Fearing Hell, a man without mores

Confessed to his bilking the poor.

“Don’t fret your sins,”

Said the priest with a grin,

“My accounting will hide them offshore.”

Maximilian Edsel, S.J.

 

FORKED, adj. Of, relating to, or resembling the shape of a statesman’s tongue.

LITERATURE, n. A linguistic artifact of diminishing social import and quality, often employed in book form plurally as adornments for the shelves of the upper classes—who are best able to preserve them in their original, unread condition.

RIDER, n. The pan in which pork-barrel legislation is roasted and the taxpayer rendered.

STUPIDITY, n. A morbidity of intellect. Labeled Mens inanis and defined as “a sclerosis of the wits” by the eminent Dr. Nazarene Foretop (Ladies Home Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 38, no. 4 (1972)). This disorder, though pandemic in scope, remains unclassified and without nomenclature due to the vast and heterogeneous nature of its outward symptoms, which are often benign to the infected, but malignant and possibly fatal to those vicinal.

            Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. —Friedrich von Schiller

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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 www.jobspotsherd.com.

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