My Letter To Me, The Associate Editor
February 29, 2004
Dearest Associate Editor,
Seemingly, this should be an exciting time for FLYMF. Today we launch the debut issue of our online humor magazine, essentially bringing pure, hardcore hilarity to the fingertips of the world. Growing up in America, you don’t get a lot of opportunities, so it gives us great pride and joy to see our magazine and our names—Michael Zimmer, James Seidler, and Nick Holle—up on the almighty internet.
Six months ago, the three of us had not yet met. James was touring the country, stealing babies and starting forest fires. Michael was using Tai Chi and taxpayer dollars to drum up support for his pro-oppression organization, W.A.I.F. (Wonderous American Indigent Fascists). And I was in Southern Mexico defending schoolchildren from tyrannical, bus-burning bandits.
Yet our paths crossed taking night classes at an accredited Los Angeles university, and it was shortly thereafter that Michael and James approached me about doing a humor magazine with them. “Are you guys funny?” I asked them.
“No,” they said, “that’s why we need you.”
“I don’t know.”
“Equal partners,” they said, “50-50-50.”
I agreed to join them. They seemed like swell enough guys, a little dull, but it had always been a nightmare of mine to see someone start a humor magazine and have it be unfunny. They called themselves FLYMF (pronounced: fly m-f), a mysterious half-acronym, half-abbreviation, which I thought was thoroughly annoying. But they were convinced it was cool and funny, a notion that proved that they really did need me.
The more we worked on FLYMF, though, the more I realized what a rotten situation this magazine was in. James and Michael tried to be nice guys, but that was only because they wanted my hilarity.
James is subtly manipulative. He is prone to giving passionate, emotional speeches about life and love, only to turn on you at the drop of a hammer. This was most evident when he reprimanded me for writing a dirty limerick about his mother’s face. He is a lot like Hitler, without the I-killed-six-million-Jews moniker.
Michael is more of a bully. He likes to demean you by using big words, and he bowls over oncoming sidewalkers with his manly chest without thinking twice. Then, a few months after declaring his friendship to me, he showered with a trio of my ex-girlfriends. I was heartbroken, and he showed no remorse.
James and Michael also allow a lot of foolery to go on at FLYMF. And not funny foolery. I’m talking about office politicking, backstabbing, inter-office affairs, anonymous memos, and, God help us, football pools. It’s just not a healthy environment.
Then just yesterday—as we were putting the final touches on our first issue—Michael and James approached me about my job title.
“Nick, you put a lot of work into this issue, and we’d like you to be an Associate Editor.”
“An Associate Editor? What the hell is that?”
“We will be the Founders and the Co-Editors-In-Chief. And you will be the Associate Editor. All it means is that you do all of the work, and we take all of the credit. How does that sound? Not a bad deal, huh?”
“I thought we were going to be equal partners,” I said.
“You kidding? FLYMF was our idea.”
Then Michael suggested I would also be a good candidate to prostitute myself to raise money for a print version of FLYMF.
I couldn’t believe it. There’s a bunch of jackasses running this magazine. I nearly quit. How long could I go on being manipulated and degraded? I was going to take my comedy back and FLYMF would fail miserably. Sayonara, punchies!
But then I thought about the people of the world, our potential readers. They’re the ones who would suffer from FLYMF’s fall. They’re the ones who’d be robbed of laughs. That’s what this magazine should be all about. Maybe I needed to sacrifice myself and accept my Associate Editor position for them. For the people.
James and Michael view the magazine as a nice career-launching type thing. It looks good on a resumé. It’s an easy way for them to get published. That’s fine if you want to be a self-serving jerkoff.
I, however, am in this for one thing only. And that one thing is: pure, hardcore hilarity. I don’t care if this magazine makes me a thousandaire, if I can afford a Jetta. I don’t care if a whole bunch of girls want to fuck me because I write for FLYMF. I just want to make myself laugh. And I want to make one other person out there laugh. And if a million people laugh—if only for a moment, long enough to forget about their jobs, mortgages, and bastard husbands—then that would make all of this worth it. If we get a small fraction of that, FLYMF will have succeeded!
I’ll live with that. I would love to live with that. That’s if the “Co-Editors-In-Chief” don’t shitfuck this all up. I can’t speak for them, as we are not speaking at go-live time.
But in the meanwhile, congratulations on the first issue. It made me laugh. Now, good luck with the rest of the world.