by Clarence Brown
American Reporter Corresponden
December 26, 2001
SEATTLE, Wash. -- One of the pleasures of the holiday season is that I get to meet all the staff of this column at our grand Christmas reunion here in the office atop the World Overhill Emeritus International Something Memorial Enterprise (WOEISME), an affiliate of the Mickey Mouse Foundation
Dr. Soup is of course the Grand Old Man of the column. He was here not only from the beginning but from before the beginning, writing Ink Soup five times a week - but, as the Russians say, for the desk drawer. For no one, least of all a respectable online newspaper, had the slightest interest.
But it was Dr. Soup who had the original idea, stuck with it, and eventually sold it to an unsuspecting Joe Shea, the hardbitten, cigar-chomping Editor with the usual heart of gold.
That same Dr. Soup, I rejoice to say, is here today and wishes togreet all his friends ... A bas le docteur soupe!...
Joyful ovation is not enough for those thronging Ivar Avenue, theyhave to shout it in French. And now while the SWAT team is clearing thearea, we bring you this, from another regular, my cat Huck: Meow. Thanks, Huck! You could not have said it better! Now here is Emma, my granddaughter, who will soon be four.
I am three, Papa. Right. I said soon. What is your wish for the readers of INK SOUP? Do they have a kompyewtah? Most of them, I shouldn't wonder. I wish them games.
Consider it done. To all of you with kompyewtahs, may St. Nick bringyou all the games you, or your children, have ever desired. With clearinstructions.
Now Dr. Soup is back and wishes to have a few more words before theSWAT team whisks him away to an undisclosed location in, or beyond, theDelaware Water Gap and its intricate system of caves ... .
Thank you, Brown. Many readers have complained to me about the wayINK SOUP, in my absence, has underperformed in its original role as mediawatchdog.
I wish therefore to quote without comment a headline in the "Key Reporter," the newsletter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, which Ithink you also get, though the dear Lord knows why. Here it is: TRAGIC EVENTS OF SEPT.11 STRENGTHEN PHI BETA KAPPA SOCIETY'S DEDICATION TO ITS MISSION.
As even you probably know, Brown, history is said to repeat itself - first tragedy, then farce, but isn't this farce rather too close on the heels of the tragedy?
Dr. Soup, you said you would quote this without comment. How cruel could you be with comment?
Dr. Soup: Merry Christmas, Brown, to you and to the spineless everywhere! Tally Ho!
And off he rides through the window on his broomstick, though I have told him a thousand times that it should be the sleigh and reindeer at this season. But part of Dr. Soup's charm, if this is not an oxymoron, is that he is not seasonal goods.
To those loyal readers who have stuck it out to this paragraph, I wish you peace and all the joys of this brief interlude of kindness and hope. Shalom!
Clarence Brown is a cartoonist, writer, and Professor Emeritus ofComparative Literature at Princeton University.