By Wil Forbis
It was a morning like any
other at the Acid Logic offices. The whiskey bottles lay shattered on
the concrete floor. The strippers were gathered on the office couch
in quiet slumber. Groaning, I fumbled about for some coffee in an attempt
to start the morning right. It was unusual to for me to spend a whole
night at the AL complex, but I'd be informed that certain authorities
were looking for me and had figured it'd be best to lay low.
"Morning, Wil!" Osama bin Laden said while strolling through
the hallway. "I wish you an Allah-filled day."
I replied. "Still comfortable in the attic?"
"It is most splendiferous,
good sir," Osama replied. "Your safe harbor is most generous.
I wish a thousand deaths upon your enemies in the hopes that when they
perish they descend to the hundred levels of hell while birds pluck
at their eyes and barb covered snakes travel through their rectums causing
unimagined agony while the Afghani fruit bat claws at their
"Okay, Osammy, okay!
Why don't you run along now?" I muttered. He'd been giving that
speech every morning and it was starting to get tiresome.
"Osama!" I called
out. "Before you go
what day is it?"
"It is the day the many
infidels meet their final doom and the bat wings of justice fly forth
"Okay, okay, forget
I asked." I grumbled. "That sounds just like yesterday."
I rummaged around the desk and managed to produce a calendar. "Jesus
Christ!" I exclaimed. "It's January 1st of 2002! It's a whole
new motherfuckin' year!"
For most people, this would
be a time a great joy and jubilation. A New Year is often seen as a
new beginning; a time to cleanse oneself of old habits and begin life
anew. For myself it only caused increased anxiety and stomach pains.
After all, I had said that in the Jan 1st issue of Acid Logic, I would
release my Ten Best Acid Logic Articles of 2001 awards. What the Grammies
are to music, this award ceremony would be to humorous writing. Well,
humorous writing on the web. Okay, humorous writing on the web found
at the address www.acidlogic.com. It really was a momentous occasion!
Only one problem: I'd yet
to write the damn thing. I knew what the ten best Acid Logic articles
of 2001 were about as well as my cat knew the Ten Commandments. So in
the same panic filled, anxiety-laden state most Acid Logic material
is produced in, I sat down to write.
I was about ten minutes into
it, when a knock came on the door. "Max!" I said when I looked
up." Why it's Max Burbank, all the way from Boston. How are you?"
"I'm doing pretty good,
Wil. I told the wife and kid I needed to step out for a moment. They
won't miss me for a couple days."
"Kid?" I queried.
"Don't you have kids, including a new baby?"
"So that's who that
is!" Max exclaimed. "I thought we'd opened a halfway house
for incontinent midgets. I've got to start paying more attention!"
"So what brings you
to the big city, Max" I asked.
"Well, I just thought
I'd stroll by, you know
I mean I know those Acid Logic awards
are coming out today. I wanted to see if I should clear out place on
the old mantel place next to my Weenie award from Justlaugh.net. Did
I mention I won that? I beat out Dave Barry, you know. Soddy old bastard."
"Yes, Max, I believe
you mentioned that a few thousand times. Congratulations. Unfortunately
the Acid Logic Awards have to stay secret until I go about the painful
task of contemplating each contribution made this year and formulating
their intrinsic value in relation to
you have picked them yet?" Max asked.
"Well, I got a general
idea I replied. But I have nailed down the
Max hurriedly said. "I've got to get going. But, I thought you
might want this little belated Christmas gift I picked up back east.
It's a quarter gallon of Jim Beam Bourbon. The best in the biz!"
"Max, you know I have
to give an honest opinion as to what the ten best Acid Logic articles
of the year are. If I accepted this it would give the appearance of
Besides, I only drink Old Grand Dad. Now shoo! Go
play 'Battleship' with Osama!"
"He's still here?"
Max exclaimed. "He borrowed my box cutters last summer and never
returned them. Not to mention my Plutonium supply!" And with that,
the esteemed, Weenie award-winning humorist stormed off.
Writers! I thought
to myself. Next they'll want to get paid. And with that I went
back to work designating the awards.
monkey!" came a call from the door. "How are you?"
"Why it's none other
that Acid Logic's London correspondent, Tarryn Stewart!" I said
out loud, to nobody in particular. "It's great to see you again!"
"I thought I'd finally
visit your 'Merica. It doesn't seem like that big a deal. I can't see
why we even bothered to fight you Bluecoats for it. But I know that
today's the day you release your ten best awards. I thought I'd scamper
on in and see if I picked up anything."
"No offense, Tarryn,"
I replied. "But you only wrote one article this year. The odds
don't look good"
"Well, come on now Willy-Monkey
Tarryn cooed. "That was a delightful piece. What was it called
again?" She then moved in and began massaging my neck.
"Uhh, it was the Hanging
Cross Diet, Tarryn," I replied. "Look it was a great piece,
but there were a lot of great pieces this year and
"Let's just say,"
Tarryn said, breathing in my ear in her warm, sexy British accent, "That
if I happened to win that award I'd be very interested in celebrating
the occasion with someone, if you catch my meaning." With that
she dropped a hotel key in my lap and walked out the door."
I managed to yelp out in a mouselike voice. I reached for a glass of
"Hey, buddy," a
new voice came from the window. Who was climbing in but none other than
John Saleeby. "How's it goin'?"
"Hey, John!" I
replied. "Any reason you couldn't use the door?"
"Yeah," John replied.
"The doorman wouldn't let me in. I guess this is a real class joint.
It's okay, I had a lot of experience climbing out of windows whenever
I did my Kennedy jokes back when I was a stand up."
"Well, the doorman does
kind of like people to be wearing pants." I said
"Heh, he's a crazy old
guy." John laughed. "So, you figger'd out those Acid Logic
awards yet?" He gave me a friendly pat on the back.
"Well, I'm working on
it." I said. "But look, John
You've consistently turned
in great material for more than a year now. I don't think you have anything
"Let's just say,"
John said, breathing in my ear in his cool, somewhat confusing Arab-Cajun
accent, "That if I happened to win that award I'd be very interested
in celebrating the occasion with someone, if you catch my meaning."
With that he dropped a hotel key in my lap.
"Get the fuck out, John."
The rest of the day was more
of the same. Jesss offered me an original copy of her poetry and a quarter
ounce of some white powder she claimed wasn't anthrax. Pete Moss offered
me one of his restored Stonarellos. Sean McBride plied me with some
original artwork from his web zine, The
Swing Machine. Kurt Kitasaki brought in baseball tickets. Cody Wayne
gave me several sheets of pink blotter. Seana Sperling, Gary Sloan,
there was no end in sight.
However, I would not be swayed.
I was going to decide these pieces based on merit. A lot of people had
put a lot of work into Acid Logic and it would be disingenuous for me
to not take this effort seriously. Not giving these awards the thought
they deserved would be the height of condescension.
"Wil, honey," Drew
Barrymore appeared at the door. "Are you ready for our date?"
"Gadzeeps!" I exclaimed.
"Hold on! Ennie, Meenie, Minnie, Moe
And with that I give you
- THE TEN BEST ACID LOGIC ARTICLES OF 2001, YEAR OF OUR LORD.
"Don't you mean 'Year
Shut up, Osama.
10) A Few of Our Favorite Things - David Chorlton
David has consistently turned in quality material for some time now,
but when I first read this piece, his humorous contemplations on the
neo-patriotism after September 11, it didn't exactly stand out to me.
It took a few entries on the guest book and some comments from acquaintances
to make me realize that David had managed to tap into a sentiment a
lot of people were feeling.
9) Last New England Yard
Ape Dies In Captivity - Max Burbank
Like a lot of Max's work, when I first read through this piece, I found
myself saying, "What the fuck is he talking about?" But after
doing a little research on the main subject of the piece, sculptor Claes
Oldenburg, it all started to make sense. And I realized not only was
this a funny article, it was also a poignant look at that too short
period of our lives known as childhood.
8) Interesting Motherfuckers:
Joan and John Cusack - Wil Forbis and Pete Moss
When Pete handed in his impromptu interview with John Cusack, there
was no doubt that it was funny, and that it was unlike any Cusack interview
ever published. (I still wonder when I'll be receiving a notice from
his lawyers.) But its shortness made me hesitant to run it by itself.
When I sat down to write an accompanying bio on Cusack, with his sister
Joan thrown in, the words came pouring out, and I realized how important
the siblings were to cultural landscape that I came of age in.
7) Ten Things You Should
Know About Jerry Lewis - John Saleeby
John has deluged Acid Logic with great material over the past 12 months,
and as such, choosing his best work was an especially difficult task.
This piece has always stood out to me for a number of reasons. One,
it's incredibly funny. But it also does a great job of driving home
the Saleeby agenda. It espouses the cause of square versus hip (e.g
Jerry Lewis versus Lenny Bruce) and refuses to let people treat comedy
as insignificant. Instead, John present humor as what it really is -
the best art form for getting at the truth.
6) Report from Ground
Zero - Steve Forbis
After September 11th, a lot of people, including myself, were wondering
if humor and magazines such as this had become irrelevant. Steve's account
of his profound (and illegal) venturing onto the remains of the World
Trade center three days after the attack, managed to cement the magnitude
of what had happened in both a physical and spiritual sense.
5) Daddy Warrant - Pete
Pete has been the original Acid Logic fan from the early days, and has
sent in several of his fictional works, all of which focus on a Pete
Moss-like protagonist making his way in a unapologetic world. "Daddy
Warrant," was one of the best, exploring the family dynamic in
a Mickey Spillane voice, eventually resolving on a touching and affirming
ending. The great strength of Pete's protagonists, like himself, is
that despite all they've been through, they still manage to see the
silver lining in the clouds. (For a related non-fiction work, check
out his Teller and Me.)
4) Interview with Curtis
Armstrong - Wil Forbis
A lot of interviews ran in Acid Logic over the course of this past year,
but the one that stuck in my head the most was this discourse with the
comedic actor Curtis Armstrong. Featured in Revenge of the Nerds and
the classic Savage Steve Armstrong teen comedies, Curtis, like John
Cusack, was a recurring face in my teenage years. He was also a gracious
interviewee, and completely unashamed of his belief that comedy is serious
3) Wanted Immediately: Revisionist History Shelter - Max Burbank
As Ronald Reagan teeters on his deathbed, Max fired the first shot in
what is sure to be and endless debate over the ex-President's legacy.
While I didn't agree with the entirety of Max's assessment, I appreciated
the directness with which he made his point, leaving no doubt where
he stood. (We can be sure that we when Reagan dies, like Nixon, many
of his harshest critics will line up to offer tribute.) It's also a
very funny piece.
2) Interesting Motherfuckers:
Bob and Tommy Stinson - John Saleeby
There's no doubt that John defined the format of the Interesting Motherfuckers
articles that run in Acid Logic every so often. They're humorous, loving
tributes to a variety of b-celebrities, often unafraid to point out
their target's flaws. John's look at Bob and Tommy Stinson, the lesser
known members of influential punk band the Replacements carried forth
this motif perfectly, as well as making a legitimate argument that while
Paul Westerberg may have been the 'Mats songwriting genius, the Stinsons
were its moral center.
1) The Healing Power of
Dead Baby Jokes - Wil Forbis
Editors of other web zines might posses a certain humility that would
prevent them from awarding themselves the top spot in their own magazine.
Fortunately, I possess no such restrictions. On the whole, I felt our
special WTC attacks issue was one of our best (Including the aforementioned
Ground Zero" piece as
well as Saleeby's "The Death of the American
Wise Ass" and Max Burbank's "No
Working Title." My great struggle over the course of this zine
has been to try and combine humor with serious themes. It was only after
numerous comments from several readers that I realized I had done so
in this analysis of how tragedy breeds comedy.