June 2022


It has come to our attention that some in this state have been complaining that guns have more rights than women in this state. This is, clearly, an absurd state of affairs. Therefore, the state legislature majority caucus has authorized and passed SLB 117, also known as the “Firearms Right to Life Bill.”

This important bill, the first of its kind nationwide and hopefully the first of many, rules that guns are legally classified as living beings and that bullets are legally classified as children. Therefore, it is now illegal in this state to unload a loaded gun, which would be tantamount to an abortion, or to destroy and existing gun, which is now legally equivalent to murder. Guns and ammunition may, of course, still be freely manufactured.

What does this mean for you, the gun owners of this state? First of all, take care of your guns. If you are found to have destroyed or improperly cared for a firearm, you will be liable for stiff penalties including mandatory fines and jail time. Second, all bullets must be fired, birthed into the world as God intended. Unloading is tantamount to murder and will be subject to the same harsh fines and jail time. Both will be enforced by tip lines, bounty hunters, and handsome cash rewards from the state coffers for those who report any such crimes.

I have been asked whether firing a gun into a steel or paper target, or a dirt berm, constitutes a crime under this new law. The answer: absolutely. God intended bullets to be fired into and pierce living flesh, and we are but His humble servants. Therfore any firing of a gun that does not result in a wound will be tantamount to masturbation, which the Lord also frowns upon. The penalty will be the same, though smaller bounties are authorized for its reportage. We have given the firing ranges and gun clubs of the state 30 days to convert to live targets, after which they will be raided and closed. In a seperate, unrelated, decision, we are pleased to report that inmates of state correctional facilities are now available to rent as targets.

The legislature’s majority caucus thanks you for your continued support via intensive gerrymandering, and urges you to go forth and birth as many bullet babies into the world as you can.

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In a stunning decision that flies in the face of 50 years of zombie precedent, the justices of the Supreme Corpse voted 6-4 in favor of ending the federal protection for brains, overturning the landmark Sarah v. Bellum ruling. This means that it is now up to individual zombie state legislatures to decide whether, and how, it is acceptable for zombies to legally slay the living and consume their brains.

The decision was not wholly unanticipated, as the full text of the decision had been leaked a month prior. In addition, former Zombie President Brayne had championed the repeal of Sarah V. Bellum, and due to legal manuvering, assassination, and devouring, he had been able to appoint a record seven justices to the Supreme Corpse in his four-year term. His successor and bitter rival, Medulla “Dully” Oblongata, has only managed to appoint one-half of a justice despite his party controlling both houses of Zombie Congress. Zombie President Oblongata’s half-nominee voted against the measure, as did the only half-nominee of Brayne’s predecessor, President Amygdala.

Previously, under Sarah v. Bellum, the right to posess a brain and the right to not have it eaten without consent was a controversial cornerstone of zombie jurisprudence. While many credit it with ending the zombie wars of the 1960s and making it possible for the undead to live and prosper alongside the living in a parallel modern nation-state, many conservative zombies have long opposed it. Since the 1980s, a repeal of the right to one’s brains has been their top priority.

While Zombie President Oblongata has signed an executive order enforcing a right to one’s brains on federal zombie lands, it is feared that his party will lose control of the Zombie Congress in the next election, making the gesture moot.

At press time, roving gangs of zombies had already begun slaying the living and consuming their brains in states with so-called “brainstem laws.” Those laws stated that, if Sarah v. Bellum was ever overturned, they would immediately legalize the right to slay the living and consume their brains. A member of the Zombie Legislature of Mississippi, reached for comment as he snacked noisily on the brain of an innocent, insisted that the repeal was a matter of “states’ rights” and that he was intent on making his a “pro-death” state.

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Named after Carmelita “Una” Dos Santos, who had ranched the land for many years, a dispute over the land after her death kept it in legal limbo for decades. Her second husband, Philip McKean, claimed the prairie along with the rest of the ranch, while Una’s son from her first marriage, Ernesto Smith, claimed that it had been left to him as a future homestead. Legal wrangling didn’t end with the deaths of Smith or McKean, either, with both men’s families pushing the issue as a matter of family honor. In the meantime, the prairie gradually returned to its natural and wild state as a sort of unintentional preserve. Starting in the 1940s, the state ag school’s extension service began to do surveys of the land, and it was identified as a biodiversity hotspot, becoming popular with eco-tourists and birdwatchers. But that was before the last descendants of both Smith and McKean came to an agreement for a buyout, with the full legal title to the land finally being settled, before promptly announcing that the prairie would be bulldozed and converted into a cattle pasture.

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Pooka Valley was named for the impish streak of its original Anglo settlers, and that tradition continues with its annual Halloween celebration, Books Valley. The town streets are all “renamed” with temporary overlays containing scary puns (Main Street becomes Bane Street, for instance). Bales of hay are brought in and stacked for the “Baleful Maze” in the town common. Bickerwood Manor is redressed as a haunted house, and the largest pumpkins from surrounding farms are brought in for a “pumpkin patch” that serves as both contest and commerce. Any unsold gourds are bought by the city and used in the “great gourd chuck” on Halloween Day. If H’ween falls on a weekday, school is canceled for that day and November 1, if that is also a weekday. This serves to allow the school to be cleaned, as well, since it is invariably egged and TP’d back to the Stone Age.

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Head woman’s counselor Marion Russell and head men’s counselor Mitchum Bottoms run this YMCA-affiliated summer camp despite their mutual loathing of one another. As the YMCA movement has gradually faded, the camp has been increasingly forced to take on business from church groups, scouting, and other special and often esoteric interest groups. Often at the same time, since there were few groups that could occupy all twelve campsites anymore. In addition to bible campers and scouts, Camp Merrydale has hosted a Coven Camp for Wiccans, Survival Camp for the county Republican Party, Earth Camp for the national Save the Nematodes campaign, and even a Crypto Camp for the Young Investors outfit. Despite attempts to keep disparate groups apart, tensions are often high and the counseling staff, mostly high schoolers working summer jobs, largely have no affiliation or affection for any of the groups, leaving it to their adult volunteers to vociferously complain to the management. The County Youth Orchestra retreat is coming up, in fact, which is sure to create friction with another group scheduled over the same week, nuns of the Holy Order of Our Lady of Quietude.

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Clark Quitman was the first to loudly remind anyone who would listen that he was not a quitter, or lazy. He’d thunder on, with little to no provocation, that ‘quit’ just meant ‘leave’ when his ancestors took on the name, and that its association with bitter failure was a modern invention. He’d then assail listeners with notable Quitmans, from Sheriff Quitman who plied the law trade in the 1920s to Quitman County in Mississippi. Some locals were heard to say that it was his way of compensating for being a meter reader for the county water department, which he clearly felt represented a step down from his father’s job as a postal sorter. This imperious attitude carried over to his presidency of the local philately group, having inherited his father’s impressive stamp collection and built it up to even greater heights. Quitman has been able to harangue the city into giving the stamp club both a budget and a weekly meeting space, as well as a float in the annual Memorial Day parade, with the free food and free stamps serving to attract folks once Quitman’s attitude had driven others away.

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Early advertisements for Loxley Mobile Home Court proclaimed it as “stealing housing from the rich and giving it to the poor” with an overall chintz medieval theme to the central building and signage (“Ye court” and whatnot). What seemed mildly chintzy in those days has decayed to full-on camp in the modern day, with the stained and fading signs and the sad plywood battlements of the central “castle” crumbling, Loxley has been a pilgrimage site for conessieurs of roadside kitsch of late, much to the annoyance of residents. But with the recent death of William Cost Jr., the “Sheriff of Cottingham,” rumors are afoot that Loxley will be sold out from under its long-term residents and redeveloped into a strip mall.

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Despite being a scion of the Fairhope Lumber Company, a family-owned clearcutting business that aided and abetted in the extinction of the ivory-billed woodpecker, Daphne’s interests turned to nature and the earth early. Cast out and partly disinherited after a logging protest led to the destruction of three logging trucks, she now spends her time living on a “landslip” house on a private Maine island, running a surprisingly successful mail-order wildflower business, FlowahPowah. She often has a protegĂ©, but has left a trail of broken and exiled protegĂ©s who were cast off for being insufficiently committed to the environment. The irony of this situation seems entirely lost on her. With her second cousin J. Winthrope Fairhope in ill health and childless, there is a very real possibility that she might inherit what remains of the Fairhope empire upon his expiry.

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The chow-chow with the distinction of taking best in show at the county dog fair for an unprecedented 5 years running, Shubuta was also canine non grata at every boarder and groomer within a 50-mile radius due to his aggressive behavior and tendency to bite anyone other than his owner. Dog show judges were apparently temporarily exempt, but everyone else was cruising for a biting if Shubuta wasn’t firmly clutched (or firmly in his traveling clutch). Attempts to put him out to stud had also repeatedly failed due to his attacks on would-be paramours. He had made a little bit of stud money as a mail-order dad, but when the resulting puppies had exhibited his tendency toward mastication, that avenue too had dried up. Speculation remains rampant about whether Shubuta will extend his reign as county dog champion or be forced into retirement as controversy swirls around his unruly personal behavior.

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Despite his nickname, Scooba Schuqualak couldn’t swim and in fact hated the water. The name came, instead, from a youthful attempt to pronounce his own long and galumphing last name, which came out as “Scoobalack” until he was in middle school. He was an amateur health nut, known locally for his herbal teas, homemade kombucha, and other substances of questionable purity and efficacy that some locals nevertheless swore by. Attempts to turn his hobby into a business were frustrated by his paternal cousins who owned Schuqualak Car Wash and were militantly protective of the name, especially with the watery implications that came with the name “Scooba.”

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