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We got a few more responses to our April Fools' prank:

This is two years in a row I have fallen for the April Fool's. I actually talked to my girlfriend about talking to her dad who still works with the FBI to see what he knew about it. I started to worry I may have put them on to you for real, but she said her dad was too busy with other stuff so she never said anything. Close Call ! degenerate DD

A couple of you said you didn't buy it because it was unbelievable. Sorry, but I, and the Secret Service, disagree! Andrew J. O'Conner, 40, was detained by the Secret Service in
February for writing in an internet chat room that Bush was out of
control. It hasn't been mentioned much in the news, but you can find
a brief article about it here:
So for those of you who thought our April Fools joke was funny and
"too far-fetched," watch what you say. You never know who's listening.

In other news, we got this personal article from degenerate SS:

I remember playing there as a small child. The sidewalks were slate in front of MiMi's house, cool, gray, mottled shale on the edges. It was amazing to me that the trees overhead had been there so long that the regular drip, drip, dripping from them had worn small hand-sized depressions that collected pools of rainwater. After short bursts of summer storm, the pools were warm and perfect for floating ladybugs on small leaves with my MiMi.

Finally tiring of sailing the ladybug across a sea vast only to her, I'd slide my feet as though ice skating, slipping by Danny's white house next door with green shutters, and sit on Reverend Saylor's front steps. It was OK to go there, so long as I didn't go past the corner.

I never had to go to the front door. Mysteriously, he always knew when I arrived. The door would open, the old metal screen door would clatter, and he would appear with half of a Popsicle. Reverend Saylor usually had his coffee with him, even on a summer afternoon.

He was wise. Apparently, the topics were unimportant, but the visits are burned into my recollection. He was kind and patient.

I had forgotten this place and these images. We moved away when I started second grade. Now, I'm back for MiMi's interment.

How can I express what she was to me? My parents were away while Dad was in the military. It was the sixties. This was home from my earliest memory. MiMi was strict, consistent and structured, but kind. She was my teacher, guardian and playmate. She set my path. "Stay the course," she always said. "Education is most important."

She let me get into those old boxes in the attic if I promised to put it all back. She saved every special dress, jewel and hat across generations for my daughter to play dress up in now. How did she know so many years ago that Ally would cherish these?

At the service, the new priest kept calling her Helen so I stopped listening. It was disrespectful and he didn't know her. That's when the ladybug sailing recollection popped up. My mind wandered to find a favorite vision of her. I was 12 and playing volleyball on the beach at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. She collected me from the sand and took me to Grotto Pizza for a slice and a birch beer. Funny, she really didn't care for pizza, but knew I even loved the overwhelming smell from the place. Her hair was swept back and she was wearing her trademark "cherries in the snow" lipstick. The sun was setting behind her and she was radiant.

Going through her things, I discovered too many new old things about her. I am a bit hurt to find a shockinglly beautiful photo of her with my grandfather she never shared. He died before I was born and was mythical. Today, they both are. I know he sits with her now, as in this picture, with his arms around her while she leans back against his chest. She's raising her face to the sunlight filtering through the trees.

I never underestimated her. She was the strongest person I'll ever know. I wish I inherited her elegance. When I was three, one of the nuns at my nursery school suggested that I manipulated the other children. MiMi told her that I would need that skill as a lawyer. She was right. That day, she took me home and laid down on the porch swing with me for a nap, singing me to sleep. I can smell the jasmine.

She was 94 and had a Master's Degree in Mathematics. She was the only female actuary at Douglas Aircraft in 1941. "Helen" invested in her country and her church all her life. At 90, she asked me to set up an email account for her. Why doesn't the young priest tell them these things about her? His Eulogy is esoteric.

Her old house is for sale now for $57,000. It's been in our family four generations, ever since my grandmother's grandfather, John Stump bought the farm, literally, from the Penn brothers. My great, great uncles built the blood red brick Victorian with their very hands. It is an architectural wonder. There was a community barn raising. We have the pictures. It's on historic land where a Revolutionary battle was fought. John only left the house once to fight in the War Between the States. In any historic Atlanta neighborhood, it would bring seven figures.

The depressed little town is a variable and multi colored quilt of working class descendants of European immigrants. Streets reflect family names and neighbors have been neighbors for two hundred years. It's a sad place. The grand homes stand empty on "Nob Hill." MiMi's falls silent with the rest. Their stained glass windows stare emptily onto the vacant streets. When the glass factory closed, the people left. She was one of the last.

Now, nothing will bring me back here. I am melancholy. I cherish my memories of summers here with MiMi. The smell of summer rains, jasmine and old trees always takes me back to the swing on the porch, Popsicles and pleasant afternoons with MiMi.

Degenerate SS


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