SW10: May 2010 #3, The New Look

Scott Eiler seiler at eilertech.com
Thu Aug 26 18:39:20 PDT 2010

May 14, 2010     See Our Other Issues!

Why the World Journal Monthly Has Changed

On Monday May 10, 2010, the reporters of the World Journal Monthly
were told there'd been a change of ownership and we should stay home
through Tuesday. We usually stay home anyway. But there was no "new
owner" meeting like we were used to. So we were curious. On Wednesday
we all came in to the World Journal Monthly office.

Our desks had been moved to a stairwell! There was a big wooden
chainsaw sculpture in the office, looking like a big wooden man.
Another sculpture like it was being moved in. One other was being
moved out.

Our editor wasn't there. He'd never miss a staff meeting... but there
wasn't a staff meeting today, This takeover didn't need one.

Joyce had gotten there before us. She said, "We finally pissed off the
wrong people! They bought us!" She stalked off. Bruce and I just
shrugged and said, business as usual, only more so.

But then Bruce and I started thinking: Was Joyce right? Who could have
been offended by recent stories?

The three leading candidates were the Catholic Church (over Saint
Cecilia), the Ivory Coast (over the Last Chocolate Crop), or the Mayan-
American community, mostly Guatemalan refugees ("The Mayas Were

Without Joyce, we could only pick two candidates to investigate. So
Bruce and I went after the Ivory Coast and the Vatican. But no luck.

Then we had a stroke of inspiration. I was looking at my "Chairface"
action figure from The Tick series, thinking of What Chairface Would
Do. Then I remembered, Mayas just might have a master villain made of
wood, kind of like Chairface - or like those wooden sculptures in our
office. And the sculptures would be perfect cover for a wooden
creature who wanted to move among humanity. The Wooden Man is coming

We checked the archives. One of the junior reporters said, the lair of
the Wooden Man had been discovered, but the Wooden Man himself wasn't
there. There was a credible shipping trail from Guatemala to
Manhattan, though. And the World Journal Monthly had just had a change
in management. The Wooden Man might be here - and running the paper!

But why would the Wooden Man target a newspaper? Well, he does have
the powers of the Mayan priesthood. So he respects literacy above all.
He's therefore tracking down the newspaper which broke the story about
him: the World Journal Monthly.

Bruce went to find his friend, the Doom Koala of Speed. The Doom Koala
likes reporters for some reason. I went to find a flamethrower, just
in case.

Then the Doom Koala and I went to find the Wooden Man together. He'd
been shipped to the uptown Manhattan Catacombs! I got us past the
guards with journalist credentials.

As we arrived in the Wooden Man's chamber, there was only silence,
with what looked like a wooden statue in the corner. I have to admit,
I tried to intimidate the Wooden Man with my flamethrower. But the
Doom Koala said, "Quiet, man. He wants to play a game."

I said, "I don't hear him say anything!" The Koala responded, "He
talks quiet. Like Doom Creatures do." I remembered, the Doom Koala was
himself a mystic creature which symbolized the end of the world for

Everyone seemed to be waiting for something. So I said, "So let's


Our challenge was a game of Mayan stickball, where two players try to
knock a leather ball through a small stone hoop. The Wooden Man had
already set up a court, because it was part of every Mayan community.
If the Wooden Man won, his changes would stand and he would mystically
command his challengers. He'd already commanded a lot of people to get
here, because he has the powers of the entire Mayan priesthood. But if
he lost, we reporters would get our offices back and run the World
Journal Monthly.

The Doom Koala told me he could take the challenge and win easily
because of his speed. But we found, the Wooden Man can stand perfectly
still and launch with perfect aim, even when bouncing his shots. He
was winning easily.

Then Joyce Darcy came in - with a troop of women in Mayan ceremonial
clothes, who did a dance! The Wooden Man sits down. He's deactivated!
While Bruce and I had investigated the obvious threats, Joyce found
the true source of the changes to the World Journal Monthly.

We thought the Wooden Man was done. But he spoke again - via the Doom

"You sent the ones who disturbed my sanctuary. I have come to your
sanctuary in response.

"You have won against me. Now I greet you as ruling priest-scribes.
Write with care.

"Your world is on the judgment scale. Now that the scribes are chosen,
the scales are tipped. My calendar will let you track your doom."

The Doom Koala said, "He is right. Doom comes now. I know Doom. We
could not have stopped it." The Koala is supposed to have a Doom
Sense, so he supposedly knows. But he doesn't know details.


We left the Wooden Man in his catacomb. He'd paid in Mayan gold to
stay there. And whatever deal he'd made with us, he still owned the
World Journal Monthly. We were expecting a monster, but we got a new
publisher instead. Which one's scarier?

But Earth has its own scariness to deal with. The next day, the bad
news started. An oil platform near Venezuela and a dam in the Zambezi
both started leaking, apparently due to colder temperatures than these
places ever had before. So there's an oil spill in the Caribbean, and
floods in southern Africa. People on Facebook have started saying, "We
are so doomed."


Here at the World Journal Monthly, the Wooden Man subtly influenced
the publishing staff to produce a New Look, more like what he was used
to reading. This month, we're finding out what the New Look means.

Articles are going out under the New Look for now. Bruce and Joyce and
I will change the format back as soon as we can, because that's what
we like to work with. But let us know if you like this format better.
At the World Journal Monthly, we're all about you.

(signed) Acting Editor, Sylvester Morrow.


Afterword by Wyatt Ferguson.

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