1 April 1999

Happy 2nd birthday to La Maga!
Hi everybody. 

Well, it's no secret that we here at Newspoetry Intranational are operating on a shoestring budget. I mean, one look at the Newspoetry skyscraper will tell you that it hasn't been built.  Also, it would be helpful to me to have a real computer to manage the website with. At the moment I am using an old Underwood manual typewriter upgraded with a Pentium 2 Processor, and it is pretty slow.

Well, I've been trying to look into new ways of generating revenue for the Newspoetry project. As you remember, the Board vetoed the idea of making our website a pay-per-view credit-card access site, so I've been trying to find ways of bringing in money other than selling our poetry. To this end I have hired as consultants the international patent lawfirm Weltschmerz & Zeitgeist so I could run some ideas by them. Here they are: 

What I think is the most promising product we are currently developing (and this is still a secret so try to keep it under wraps) is all-meat vegetable substitutes. We have been working on a type of lettuce - looks and tastes like real lettuce - made entirely of beef. We are pretty sure there will be a market for this. Some meat-eaters get a craving for salad now and then just like the rest of us. We have also been developing pork carrots and blood tomatoes. 

Now some of you may remember from a few years back (right during the three weeks or so that Zima and Crystal Pepsi were all the rage) my failed attempt to market transparent Crystal Beef, and also Crystal Pork ("the other clear meat"). Well, I admit, that idea wasn't very good. We had some success with the Crystal Menthol Light 120's (the invisible cigarette) but studies revealed that clear tar is, if anything, even worse for your lungs than the black stuff. Anyway, I think the vegetable substitute is a better approach. Our all-meat vegetable substitutes are a more direct way to target that segment of the middle class who would like to become more health conscious without actually becoming more healthy. 

Now don't think this is the only product I have been working on. It occurred to me recently while reading Simulating Thermonuclear Fusion Using High-Powered Lasers for Dummies that, if one were really a dummy, the book wouldn't help much. That's when I called up the Dummy people and tried to pitch my idea of a series of books "for Real Dummies." They expressed some interest and so I contacted Brad Wank, a technical writer I know, and started work on Coffeecups for Real Dummies - a 150-page guide (laden with helpful illustrations) on how to operate a coffeecup safely and properly, with a minimum of breakage or spillage. Real dummies sometimes try to pour in the coffee when the cup is upside-down or lying on its side, but after reading through our manual, we think they will soon be able to achieve a 50 percent success rate. We're also working on Shoes 4.0 for Real Dummies

In unrelated news, we are having a little bit of legal trouble. As some of you know, our Newspoetry web server was obtained under very informal circumstances - a man sold it to me out of his trunk in downtown Champaign. Turns out that it was (and let me tell you this comes as a total shock to me) stolen. Stolen, in fact, from the Republican Party national headquarters (which explains why their site has been down for so long - I know this because I like to surf the web looking for images of Dan Quayle (lots of straight liberal guys think Dan Quayle is cute - there's nothing wrong with it, it's not like I'm going to call him for help with my spelling)). So there's a little bit of legal trouble right now (but nothing as bad as what we went through last year when one of our newspoets kidnapped Illinois State Representative Rick Winkel, drugged him, and tried to use him to make graphics for use in a Newspoem - the nighttime cleaning lady over at the Beckman Visualization Lab called the police when she found an unconscious naked man on a flatbed scanner). However, this business with the server belonging to the Republicans might explain why the recycle bin on my Windows 95 desktop keeps disappearing, and might also explain why, when I have a paper jam, it won't let me abort the print job. 

Well, thanks to all of you for helping with the Newspoetry project. And let me know if you can think of any ideas to run by our patent lawyers. 

All my Best, William Gillespie

Newspoetry at Spineless Books