by Ace Reporter
Rebekka Twaintoing

It's a cold blustery day here in Clam City, the sort of day that everyone with any sense stays indoors, still here I am standing outside at the corner of 3rd & Main. My purpose? To interview the 'person on the street' as to what theme they would choose for an issue of world acclaimed ezine, EOTU Ezine, if they were allowed to choose. Which they aren't, really. Did I mention it's cold? And blustery?

Did I mention that the only reason I am out here on a day the police are warning civilians to stay inside is that I've been ordered by the editors of The Clam City News to conduct this on-the-street interview. If it weren't for me needing another draw on my paycheck I certainly wouldn't be here.

As I look up 3rd Street and then turn the corner and look down Main I see that most citizens of Clam City have heeded Sheriff Van Driver's advice and stayed home. Shops are closed all around me. Up and down the streets nothing moves, no cars, no taxis, only a few stray dogs seeking shelter.

The only open establishment is the Clam City Pet Emporium, and even its 6 employees are locking up to go home. Still, it is my job to answer the editors' burning desires, so I go inside the Pet Emporium to interview any humans I can find.

CCN:  Pardon me, I am Rebekka Twaintoing with the Clam City News. Is it okay if I ask you a few questions?
MARY BETH:  Sure, I guess.
CCN:  Fine. So, what's your name?
MARY BETH:  Mary Beth.
CCN:  You work here?
CCN:  You like the manager or something?
MARY BETH:  Oh, no. No. I kinda run the fish department.
CCN:  Oh.
MARY BETH:  Yeah. You know, like tetras and cichlids and goldfish and stuff.
CCN:  Right. So. Anyway, the question I need to ask is:  If you could pick a theme, any theme, for an issue of EOTU Ezine, what would it be?
MARY BETH:  Oh. Well, look, if it's a question about EOTU Ezine you'd better not use my name.
CCN:  really?
MARY BETH:  Yeah. Well, see they just bought the Pet Emporium, I think as part of a larger plan to buy up the whole block and put up a complex of Presidential Suites for their editors, so, since I kinda work for them now, I don't want them to know I'm saying anything about them.
CCN:  You won't be saying anything bad.
MARY BETH:  I know. Still.
CCN:  Okay, I'll tell the editors not to use your name.
ANON:  Thanks.
CCN:  So, if you could pick a theme...?
ANON: A theme for EOTU Ezine?  I think I'd do an issue about fish.
CCN:  Fish?
ANON:  You now, little swimmy fishies.
CCN:  Swimmy fishies?
ANON:  Yeah.
CCN:  EOTU Ezine did a 'fish' just last year.
ANON:  Oh, well how about an issue about animals, then. All kinds, little soft furry ones.
CCN:  Okay, animals.
ANON:  Hey, let me get the other gals over here so you can get their opinions, too.
CCN:  Okay.
ANON:  Sandy, Leslie, come over here. Where's Julie? Find her too. And Corinna and Dot.
SANDY:  Sure, what's up?
ANON:  This lady is from the Clam City News. She's doing a survey about what theme we would choose if would could choose a theme for an issue of EOTU Ezine.
LESLIE:  Oh, the ezine.
SANDY:  You know, if we're talking about EOTU Ezine to the press we should probably remain anonymous, what with the Pet Emporium purchase and all. You can keep me anonymous can't you?
CCN:  Certainly.
LESLIE:  Me, too?
CCN:  Yes.
CORINNA:  And me.
JULIE:  And me.
DOT:  You don't have to keep me anonymous. I'm not scared of what a mega-corporation like EOTU Ezine thinks it can do to me.
ANON:  You're not?
DOT:  Certainly not. What's the worst they can do? Fire me? Scraping up doggie poop at the Pet Emporium isn't exactly a job I'm willing to fight for.
ANON:  But what about the kittens?
ANON:  And the turtles?
CCN:  Ladies, can we get back to the question so we can all get out of here? What theme would you choose.
ANON:  That's easy. Animals.
ANON:  Yeah, animals.
ANON:  I'd narrow it done to Aardvarks.
ANON:  Aardvarks? Do know how hard it would be to find a dozen stories and poems about aardvarks?
ANON:  I pick sulphur.
DOT:  Sulphur? What kind of theme is 'sulphur'?
ANON:  Haven't you ever been curious about the properties of sulphur?
DOT:  No.
ANON:  I can honestly say I haven't either.
ANON:  Me, either.
ANON:  I don't care what you say, my pick for a theme is 'sulphur'.
CCN:  Fine. Sulphur. And that leaves you, Dot. What do you pick?
DOT:  I'd pick "The Decay and Decadence Created in Western Civilization by the Emergence and Rise of the Mega-Corporations to World Dominance". Something like that.
CCN:  Right. Got it.

And there you have it, Dear Readers. Four out of six people on the street would choose 'Animals' as a theme for an issue of EOTU Ezine if they were allowed to choose, which they're not. So, editor Larry Dennis, who chose 'Animals' as the theme for the February 2002 issue of EOTU Ezine, lazy slacker unable to come up with an original thought, or master genius with his finger on the pulse of the street? You choose. I'm too damn cold out here on the street to care.

-- Rebekka Twaintoing, Ace Reporter.

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