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THE FOOLED ISSUE

In folklore, fools are everywhere. German tales have the Schildburgers; the people of the Netherlands wax on about the simplefolk of Kampen; Latin Americans make fun of the people of Galicia; and the ancient Greeks fabricated that Boeotia was home of the fools. There are historical lands of fools, too, in the old stories of Moravia, Bohemia, Sweden, Finland, Spain, and even Nazareth. Fools are simultaneously silly and cautionary. They are designed to make you laugh and teach you a lesson at the same time. And while fools are often conveyed as simple, the mask of a fool can be used to tell wise but unpleasant truths. As much as we might not want to admit it, we all kind of need the fool. Without her, life would be even more dangerous than it is now; and worse: it would be utterly boring.

 

This month, we celebrate the fool in all her humanity. We bring you stories of tricks, pranks, and gags; but we have more than just that. Here, too, are tales of love, which can turn us into great fools. And there are stories of death, which eventually makes a fool of all of us. There will be new content every week, and — best of all — we’ll be accepting your comics, satire, and creative nonfiction on this foolish subject throughout the month.

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If We Want To Be The Best Insurance Company Our Commercials Need To Be Way Funnier

by Brian Cullen

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If We Want To Be The Best Insurance Company Our Commercials Need To Be Way Funnier

Dear Team,

 

This is a dire time for Homestead Insurance Company. As you know, we’ve just reviewed the Q2 results and our market share is down another 8 percent – the sixth quarter in a row where we’ve been in the red. I won’t lie, ladies and gentlemen — this puts our brokerage in serious financial jeopardy. Things aren’t looking good. In my opinion, however, the solution is clear.


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Our Reunion Meta Movie Review of Begin Again

by Paul Handley

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Our Reunion Meta Movie Review of Begin Again

Hey guys, it’s been too long since we have been together and mocked an aspect of pop culture to momentarily provide push-back to our inferiority complexes. I thought we could do a little cross-country bonding through a joint movie review in Mystery Science Theater 3000ish fashion.


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Knots

by Rachel Charlene Lewis

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Knots

Tonight is our second-to-last goodbye before we separate for our sophomore year of college. A few weeks from now, Rayne and I will get Italian ice, sit in her car in my driveway and talk for three hours. I will spill cotton candy-flavored ice down my tank top and, when Rayne laughs at my clumsiness, I will press my sticky fingers to her shoulder.


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I’m Sorry I Ruined Your Presentation on Wage Inequality

by Tom Connor

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I’m Sorry I Ruined Your Presentation on Wage Inequality

Teresa, I’d like to apologize for my actions during your presentation to the board on the pay gap between men and women. I assume you worked hard on it, and in retrospect I showed very poor form.


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Alcée Fortier and a Thousand Scheherazades

by Stephanie Knapp Stoeker

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Alcée Fortier and a Thousand Scheherazades

Alcée Fortier doesn’t get it.

 

 

He’s spent decades listening, absorbing, and translating a vast collection of stories recounted by the humans living in and around the great estate of Le Petit Versailles built by his grandfather – the first to refine sugar in Louisiana – Valcour Aimé.


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Why I’ll Never Be An Astronaut

by Shane Cashman

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Why I’ll Never Be An Astronaut

I was 12 when I first realized I’d never be an astronaut. I had been failing math and running slow miles. The kids from middle school, who ran six-minute miles, I bet, are all astronauts now.


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Mr. Roy

by Roy White

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Mr. Roy

I wish that I could give you a face, but even loved faces have faded in the years since I lost my sight. Besides, my mental image was already based more on a couple of photographs than on direct memories of early childhood, so all I can offer you now is the shadow of a shadow.


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Dinner

by Christine Giustra

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Dinner

“The thing is, if I got that wrong, how can I ever know about anything for sure ever again in my whole life?”

 

“Bingo,” said the friend from book club, divorced for four years with a young son.


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Celestial Intercession

by Jupiter Diego

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Celestial Intercession

My mother died on my birthday while I was in rehab at the Betty Ford Center. People were supportive and generous on that day, my 57th birthday. My best friend at Betty Ford, a quiet, deep fellow named Aaron, had a private room next to mine. On the morning of the day that my mother died, Aaron gave me some terribly important chocolate from Madagascar. This is a treat one must not take lightly or unconsciously. It was a deep, dark, and earthy bar with a light dusting of African sea salt, and a winner of the Paris Salon du Chocolat “Best in Show.”


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Shut Up, Internet #3

by Dave Hotstream

Cat and Laser

by Sophie Lucido Johnson

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Cat and Laser

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Sophie Lucido Johnson is the editor-in-chief of Neutrons Protons. She blogs and stuff here

A Small Selection of Lies I Have Believed

by Jen Overstreet

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A Small Selection of Lies I Have Believed

 

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Jen Overstreet hails from Brooklyn, NY, where she lives in a precarious stack of modular furniture with her 5 cat allergies. Her pursuits include illustration, painting, web design, media criticism, cross-stitch and Skyrim. You can see her work at www.streetoverjen.com.