Date: Mon, 26 Apr 1999

Dear Misters Dark and Malice,

I hear that you guys have like a thrift store or mail order catalogue or something like that--perhaps you can advise me. I am trying to put together the comprehensive disaster-preparedness bag so that if the Big One or Y2K or the Little Green Men or whatever other disasters hit, I can just grab this backpack and head for the hills. Contents currently include some food, water, first aid supplies, matches, playing cards, and curiously strong mints. What vital things have I left out?

G.K.

Fresno, CA

__________________

Dear G.K.,

What Mister Malice and myself have is an elegant little shop known as The Apotheosis. When not called upon to answer the mewlings of Mister Wonderful's pathetic gaggle of feeble-minded hangers-on, we are purveyors of Curious Goods at Reasonable Prices. If you are looking for the eldritch, the arcane, the unspeakable, or merely the very painful, The Apotheosis has something for you. There is a mail-order service, but we are not "on-line", as that method of commerce is for pussies.

Here are some items from our spring catalog that may be of use in your preparation for inevitable doom:

  • A CLUE: Straight from the Clue Bag! If you think the "Y2K Bug" isn't about making money, or that the Ozone Layer has a hole in it, you need one of these! Makes a perfect gift for friends who drink and drive!

  • BUG SPRAY: Your outdoor camping experience needn't be marred by annoying pests if you have a handy can of D&M Bug Spray! Simply aim, press the button, and a swarm of chittering insects will engulf your target. Adjust the nozzle to get spiders, beetles or grubs. No park ranger will be able to tell you where to sleep!

  • THE INFLATABLE COFFIN: New Item! When traveling in groups across the barren post-apocalyptic wastelands, it's often difficult to dispose of the weaklings. This fully functioning coffin packs light, being only 4"X6"X1" when deflated, and can hold a two-headed bulbous mutant easily!

  • TROTSKY'S ICE-PICK: Freshen your drink and deal with traitors with this exclusive historical item from Dark and Malice! A thousand and one portable uses, plus it sends you dreams of eternal revolution!

  • HOT-HANDED PISTOLS: A Chinese import brought to you at cost! Fired until empty and only dropped once, these black metal death guns hold an astonishing thirty bullets each! Used by assassins, cops and gamblers, they protect and serve with unparalleled accuracy. A better tomorrow can be yours!

  • SELF-PLAYING CARDS: When all your friends have died of plague and you're too weak with hunger to set up a game of solitaire, you need this "pack of fun"! Animated by the archetypes of the tarot, it's fifty-two pathways to entertainment! (Dark and Malice are not responsible for any altering of reality caused by this item.)

  • THE JEWEL OF DENIAL: Watch your troubles disappear! No worries! Formerly a Crown Jewel of England's Royal Family, more recently in the hands of certain American Presidents, this little gem is now on the open market! The Jewel is suitable for formal wear, as well as dumpster diving. You don't need to care!

<<CAVEAT EMPTOR>>

You cannot afford any of these items.

We do not sell Comfort or Hope; We do not deal in Dreams.

IN THE DARKNESS, EVERYONE IS MALICIOUS

Comment