Fact Checking Department, Library of Alexandria, Egypt

Mon 1 Jun 1998 - Filed under: Free Stuff to Read, Reviews | Leave a Comment

FROM: Dept. Head
TO: Editor
SUBJECT: Submissions for volume 2, number 1
DATE: September 25, 1998

Enclosed is a brief summation of major points on the latest batch of submissions to the magazine. The summation here is brief as you should have the completed report by this time (Editor’s Note: the report itself, while I don’t doubt it’s existence, has yet to make an appearance). As this is being sent telegramatically I shall keep it short.

Perpetual Motion – Dora Knez
Great story, but we advise you to hold onto it as yet. We have contacted agents, lawyers, booking agencies, manufacturers and Head Waiters in all the Best hotels, anyone and everyone who might be in any way connected to such a high profile artist as Malfi. None of them could supply an address, most seemed not to have heard of him. I fear we may have created a ‘buzz’ around him however, so care should now be taken with anyone claiming to be him.

Similarly with the lizards. We found extensive references to them in scientific literature but no interplanetary ships are ever mentioned. This is being researched more deeply. There are companies named Boeing and Pratt & Whitney (much to our surprise) and also Rolls-Royce. However with the latter company the final owner of the name (either BMW or Volkswagen) is still in doubt and we advise leaving it to the motoring magazines. We personally know Douglas and despite his being an artist he has stated thast he has never produced anything entitled DC-8 or DC-10. We put Seigfried to work on the title. So far he has managed to procure a grant, a university laboratory, a research team and a wife. He has yet to make headway on the title.

Hollywood’s Masterpiece: James Dean – Joe Bills
We spent a long time looking at the photo of the cute boy through the barbed wire. While there was a lot of stuff in the article and most of it seemed true it distracts from the picture. Cut it in half and enlarge the picture. My god, those cheekbones. Publish, he’ll be a star.

My Friend, Eustace – Gavin J. Grant
This was easy: we called all your friends. None answered to the name Eustace. One became threatening. You can’t publish this, we’d have to

The Grand Gesture – Tim Emswiler
Aaron Copeland wrote a Third Symphony, ok. “Fanfare for the Common Man,” ok. But here’s the thing–there’s a part of it, about a minute and a half worth of the second movement that I simply can’t remember. I can remember the gist of it, but not the specific notes. There’s something about this story that makes my teeth itch. Bicycles, the oddly named Slinky’s and Frisbees all exist. After heavy research we have yet to locate a dentist named Floss. Hold this story until dental work is complete (partial bill included).

watch tissue – David Findlay
Again, this presented difficulties. We found a David Findlay living in Stoke-on-Trent, England, who, for a small annual consideration in perpetua (see attached contract and bill) agreed to participate in an experiential re-enacting of this poem. Between that and the problem with my Grandmother and the parrots, we
advise against this one.

Illumination – Sareen Grant
It appears that Motley Crue once played a show at the Cavern Club, Liverpool, dressed as tyre men, little yellow birds, or shepherds. Or maybe all three. We have found a cheese press (included as Appendix 14(ii) with the report). In a random sampling of 1000 UK adults (air ticket charges included below) we did not find anyone who took their hat off to it. Therefore pass.

The Money Tree – Nalo Hopkinson
This author certainly exists, our cabin, sorry, tea-boy saw her on Blue Peter. All that Anglified spelling needs to be changed, and prawns are shrimp in the US. We again used David Findlay to research whether the mind has an eye or not. Mr. Findlay declared he would bloody well see us in court. While his vision seems a little different from ours, it does appear to work, therefore this phrase passes muster. Our team that went in search of Jackson’s gold has yet to return, but in the meantime we have confirmed the presence of a Water Table under both the Caribbean and Toronto. Opinion: Hold this one until the team reports back.

Blind Faith – Stuart Davies
Forget it. Welsh rugby? Even with a coach from New Zealand they don’t stand a chance. Also, God’s existence has yet to be proven, neither is it known whose side It would be on. This is the kind of poetry that even Welsh Radio would refuse to read.

Academia – Euan Reilly
We pondered this for a long time. All of us have spent many years in the revered halls and this poem differs so greatly from our experience. Then we realised the author must be a cleaner. Ok.

Art of Passion – Gaston
The questions addressed (and undressed) here were great. Young Meadows had to be quietly taken aside after she attempted contemplation of them with Mr. Spender of Accounts. We anticipate many such problems and therefore advise passing on this. As you will therefore not require the manuscript we have kept it.

Survivor’s Ball, or The Donner Party – Kelly Link
Another difficult one. The Donner Party attempted to cross the US but failed to find any of the major highways or truck stops. They took the American ethos of consumption too far and ate each other. This thing about them being in New Zealand is claptrap. The geographical features mentioned do exist but we found neither any town named Serenity nor any jasper for sale. We felt it was all some kind of fantasy of the author’s. On rejecting it you might suggest Mr. Link submit it to a suitably fantastic magazine such as The Wall Street Journal, Exchange & Mart &c.
That concludes the summation of the report, which I hope was rendered redundant by your receiving the original in the mail. The third box was mailed a few days after the others, so it may be late. I hope these statements of facts and facts checked help with your publication decisions and reduce future legal costs. The Defence Fund, as I need hardly remind you, is still reeling after the H. Belloc affair. Please let me know when the next batch of submissions to be checked,

Ever your servant,

I. McIttup

Back or Home


Leave a Reply