On the Subject of Armored Trains


If the recent troubles over the Transvaal have taught lounge parlor strategists but one thing it is the humble idea that military men must take it upon themselves to examine more appropriate use of the armored locomotive in war time.

When the enemies of the Great Republic take up arms to endanger her, good men must be prepared for the struggle, be it with Spaniards, Irish or the Red Indians. The American race has for its use the vast power of our industry: we must and shall endeavor to trans-form the articles of peaceful industry into mighty machines of war; here the coal fired locomotive, perhaps covered in plating of steel, will show itself as the unstoppable Juggernaut of the Coal Age.

Imagine if you will before you a gleaming Titan of Iron: the super armored locomotive. As it belches out smoke and roars to life like a testy lion even the most hardened cynic would find his belly stirred with emotion. Behind the industrial monster could be towed a train of varied carriages and upon many of these could be mounted large artillery pieces; field guns of tremendous fury.

Without fear I can say that our foes will want for so splendid a monstrosity. Instead they will charge at us much as the Persians did at Thermopylae; on foot or on horse-back. Our armies will meet them from the mouth of a steel leviathan, our cavalry shall rout them by attacking their flanks, not on horseback, but brandishing pistol or saber as they speed through in their gleaming, modern motorized carriages.

In the days of old, such as when our forebears met near the waters of Bull Run, wars took years, campaigns months, battles days. In thanks to the Might of Industry, the Republic’s Army now, with the marvels of the armored locomotives, motorized carriages and with the life saving comestible of tinned meat product to sustain them, may subdue an enemy army in
but an hour. Instead of pricking with bullets our Armies will subdue the foe with a rain of shells;enough to level the countryside, to leave only a scape of mud, craters and devastation.

Such will be the glorious future of mechanized, industrial war. So severe will be the enemy’s destruction that they will surrender their sovereignty without delay, ending all wars in a short period and allowing American domination of all dominions, nations and parcels of land, and of the several oceans.

News of the World: Fabuly 2006


The normally staid and chaste U.S. Constitution has put on a slinky red dress and is out on the prowl with the recent passage of Amendments XXIX through CCVII. State legislatures, legal scholars and ordinary Americans are still trying to get a peek at The Constitution’s new panties. The nation’s collective pants are tightening at the prospect of this sexy new opportunity.

As unnecessary as g-string underwear, the most drastic of the New Amendments is CII, allowing the discontinuation in the Congressional cafeteria of Yankee Bean soup, a staple on the menu for decades. South Carolina’s congressional delegation, representing the largest provider of Yankee Beans to Congress were understandably dismayed at CII’s passage. Amendment CXIV, among the most sensible Amendments passed, protects the right of all Americans to assemble cyclotron-type particle accelerators in their basements, garages or state approved backyard tool sheds.

The “Hairmendments” (CXXIX through CCVII) only affect the procedural processes for official Presidential hair cuts and limit which styles are acceptable for the President, Cabinet Officials and their staffs. While the shag and bowl cut are right out, the bouffant, pompadour, buzz cut and reverse mullet are in. One much-criticized oversight of the Hairmendments is the ambiguous role of dreadlocks in the Cabinet. Because of this, Elizabethian voters have rejected the set outright.

One potential Amendment (what would be CCVIII) is still awaiting passage by Congress. There is little known about its prospects until Congress returns from Amalgamated Holiday #1 recess, but the feeling in Washington is that the Broccoflower Amendment should pass easily.

Letters: Fabuly 2006

Written Correspondences from Good Natured Gentlemen Who Have Read Our Previous Installments and Wish to Comment on Some Aspects Thereof.

Dear Editors,
Recently there has been a bit of controversy concerning the attack on Pearl Harbor. This dastardly sneak attack by Japanese forces left much of the US surface fleet in tatters. Many have tried to blame Admiral Kimmel or even Roosevelt himself. This is silly. The plain fact of the matter is that, due to the presence of the International Date Line, the Japanese actually attacked on December 8th, 1941, while the US sailors and soldiers were still enjoying December 7th. There’s no possible way the US could have foreseen the attack, since Japan lies on the other side of the date line and thus exists one day in the future. How could the US prepare for or defend against an attack which happened a day before it actually occurred? With the powers of time travel at their disposal, it was easy for the Nips to travel back one day and attack us unawares. The Japanese still have this time travel ability at their disposal, so they must be destroyed, but only by attacking from the West to minimize the destructive power of the International Date Line.
Taisho Agari
Mie, Hokkaido, Japan

My Lords,
The peasants have been without barley for much time and the stores of coarse black bread will not last through winter. What shall they put in the pottage, I ask? Dirt? Methinks not. If they are not prepared for by Your Graces, what shall they consume? Surely they will starve in the coming winter and there shall be no one to work the fields. I suggest slaughtering an older ox and salting the meat to provide for the serfs in the coming colder times.
John the Bald,
Herald of Norwich
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