April Fools

Every year, we get some submissions that just seem a little out there. April, the month for fools, seems to be a good time to let the best of them get some ink. It seems that two of our fools are also favorites of ours: Michael Aaron and John Wiswell have been published before in our pages, the former with a not-quite-sword-and-sorcery tale called “Numbers Game,”, and the latter with the hilariously offbeat “Alligators by Twitter.” Writers sometimes get a little close to their content, and that seems to have happened in Michael’s case. But he’s not writing about writers, or writing about writer’s block, as so often happens. Punctuation takes on a life of its own in “CAPS LOCK and the Ellipsis of Doom.” (Of course, proofreading this story was diabolical, but Michael is enough of a pedant — or so he calls himself — to get every jot and tittle just right.) Our second story comes from Jakob Drud. I wasn’t looking for zombie material, really, because so often it’s so campy — but there’s something that just works in the campiness of “Meditation for the Dead.” I love the title, too; a brilliant choice, invoking an idea of religious meditation while meaning something quite different. John Wiswell’s title is similarly red-herring-esque. “Sun Belt” is about geography only in the extraplanetary sense. My favorite line? “I’ve been hitting the elliptical.” When you’re looking for classic humor, the venerable Punch is one of your best resources, and I lean on them heavily for our Classic Flash feature. This month, in honor of April and the wacky weather we’re getting (it’s snowing in upstate New York as we go to press), I’ve resurrected “Another Ruined Trade” from November of 1914. The dry wit with which it’s delivered — right through to its inevitable ending — is classic in every sense of the word. For you writers out there, don’t forget to check out Bruce Holland Rogers’s latest Technically Speaking column. You don’t have to trust him — he’s a professional liar, after all — but if you want to lie well, that’s the kind of person you should be emulating.