Catchy Title

For Beauty, Grace and Style, de winner takes de Cake.

The author invites you to take an active interest in this essay, although he doesn't want you to know exactly what it will be about, because that would take the fun away. He doesn't want to take the fun away. If you do not already sense the unmistakable parallel between this story and your own life, the author grants you the freedom to bend, ever so slightly, the meaning of his words so that you may wrap yourself in them, tightly, and be succored.

The author feels you should now be acquainted with the main subject. But first you must adopt a suitable looking device through which to properly examine the text—something that will enhance and bring out its true meaning, protecting you from the gross injustice of the naked eye. It's said the best way to get at the truth is to get as far away as possible. For this, he recommends the fully collapsable Sony XL50 two-mirrored long range telescope. Versions of this essay can be viewed on Mars, Neptune and beyond. Others would argue for an up close approach. Here, most critics would focus on the Nikon Eclipse ME600L, which comes with replaceable triple filter turrets, or the Olympus OME-8000, which has more versatility than you need. A handful of serious American readers say they'd rather die than use anything less than a Hitachi scanning electron beam. Perhaps a more moderate perspective is in order. Leaders of the Women's Liberation Movement favor the Mamiya 645 E, while the NAACP has unequivocally backed the Ebony SV45. Many Slavs in the know swear by the Linhof Technika 45, while a splinter fraction of Lithuanian scholars remain loyal to the Kiev 88. German scholars still in Germany rely on their Spandau double filter Mark 14's, while French literati are always falling back on their Arca Swiss F-line. Meanwhile, Thomas Edison's great great great grandson has written several not unwitty position papers in support of the monocle.

At this time, the author feels it would now be appropriate to reveal a very important word—knoogle. He realizes that many of you will not understand the word, and for this he is willing to forgive you. Because he knows you will now rededicate yourselves to broader learning. Still, he fears some readers may remain unconvinced of his authority on the subject—may not be feeling themselves insignificant. He recommends they reread the first two paragraphs. And for those who are wondering if they are deserving even of reading any more, he would like me to reassure them they are not alone. He has instructed me to relay the following account of Norse gods who have also been impressed with his work:

Odin, Thor and Freya were all in agreement as were Alvis, Amma and Arnamentia. Loki and Angerboda were impressed enough to dedicate one of their better schemes in his honor. Also awed were Kied Kie Jubmel, flamboyant and misunderstood running back for the Valhalla Volts and gentle Marjatta, who conceived a son after swallowing a cranberry. One must watch out for that. Then there was Berserker who was so moved he suspended his raging just long enough to catch his latest column in the Asgard Times. Why even Snotra, goddess of fragrant literary magazine editors, had nothing but the highest praise. Kornjunfur, goddess of corn, purchased the complete collection on Amazon. She lent them to Jarnsaxa, who was the wife of Thor and wouldn't that be enough. In fact, so pleased were all the gods with his writing they decided to give Ragnarok a miss again this year. Frigg.

Not concerned in the slightest for his own reputation, the author has charged me to convince you that he is complex; that he is an enigma, who, in addition to his justifiably arrogant manner, can at times be more self deprecating than Woody Allen, more self knowing than Lenny Bruce and more coked up than two John Belushi's, three Robin Williams' and a doctor. He would like all of you to know he is aging just like the rest of you, but to save time, he will not elaborate on how his children are more technologically advanced than himself, or how he is secretly not bothered by this.

The author would like now to smudge you with his human side. He begs me to relate to you a very touching story about the time he saved that old lady from drowning in two feet of water. He didn't even know her name. Real heroes don't ask questions. He was like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. No, he was like Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver. No, he was like Kirk Douglas in Paths of Glory, minute eighty-seven. The author would like to provide another example from his personal history, but because of copyright and other intellectual property concerns, including online rights and current negotiations with several third parties, he cannot.

Of course, a writer of his abilities—in fact, possibly unparalleled abilities—knows there are two sides to every thing, and that a real author should never take sides. And so he asked me if there is any chance some of you might misread his satire as, well, a bit biased. I told him there was this chance. Thereupon, he beseeched me to include some lines of my own, you know, just in case someone of you mistook his pointed barbs for pointed barbs. Let me assure you that he would never be so mean. If only you knew of the countless times I've heard him walk about the palace tormented, saying that for every invective, there is self hatred, for every shout, there is self-doubt and that true love conquers all. [2002]