The Flutter: No. 14 

T. O. a. Uncensored Nwsl. ot Scty. f. Mkg. Ppl. Btr.

It's been many a month since your Rajah has directed our Public Relations Division to issue another monthly newsletter, and it's been even longer since we've added a new rule to our SFMPB Rule Book. Today is as good a time as any to rectify both omissions, as today has turned out to be a day when your Rajah can't think of anything else to write an opinion about.

Oh, there is news galore, certainly. But it is not the sort of news Rajah Bill can shape an opinion around. "Hundreds Dead in South Korean Ferry Disaster"--It is truly awful. What more can Rajah Bill say?

"Dozens Die in Mississippi Tornadoes"­--Rajah Bill feels so sorry for those poor people and hopes it never happens again.

"Scientists Confirm Earth Is Struck By Many More Asteroids Than Previously Believed!"--What a scary thought," thinks Rajah Bill, then almost immediately forgets about it.

The point is, when it comes to forming an opinion, not all news is equal, and as a general rule, the more Mother Nature has her hand in a news story, the less there is to have an opinion about--other than shrugging your shoulders and muttering "Oh well... what do you do?"

So! It's Flutter day! Only first, your Rajah must apologize for the unusual way he's had to letter our motto. You see, until The Flutter gets its own layout department, editorial staff, printing presses and distribution vans, we must rely on the charity offered by the generous souls at the Boise Weekly, one of whom still insists that the subtitle does not exceed a predetermined number of characters. And as you can see, our Rajah has added the word "Uncensored" to the motto in reference to what certain people have been trying to do to a certain book in a certain school system.

(For less up-to-date members of the SFMPB, the Rajah would explain that the certain people are a few parents in the Meridian School District who have insisted that a Sherman Alexie novel should be dropped from the recommended reading list. Rajah Bill acknowledges that some of you might have considered this news worthy of an opinion, but the Rajah would answer that he considers the desperate efforts by many parents to raise their offspring in their own image is an Act of Mother Nature, to which the only suitable response is a shrug and an "Oh, well... what do you do?")

But back to the SFMPB motto: You see, by adding the words "and Uncensored," turning it into "The Official and Uncensored Newsletter of the Society for Making People Better," Rajah Bill drove the character count far beyond what he has been allotted. So he had to turn almost every word into an abbreviation of itself. It was either that, or he could have bought the ad space to the side of where you are reading and let the entire motto run unabbreviated.

However, "buying ad space" necessitates having money in the budget to do the "buying" part, and of all the things the SFMPB does not have in the budget, money is one of them.

•••

Now, where was your Rajah? Oh, yes. New rule. Wheeeeeee!

But first, your Rajah wants you to know that in some near-future edition of The Flutter, he intends to reprint the SFMPB Rule Book in its entirety! It is only too easy to imagine that many of you have procrastinated in keeping your personal rulebooks up to date, or that you have misplaced your rules under loads of laundry or bags of Weed & Feed.

And then there is the reality that since the early days of the SFMPB, there have been scads of new people move into the availability range of The Flutter, meaning they missed out on the early rules. This predicament needs to be corrected, and your Rajah will see to it that that correction gets done! But since the SFMPB Rule Book in it's current state would almost fill this space from top to bottom with virtually no room left for anything else, your Rajah will likely save the reprint for another day on which he can think of nothing else to write about.

Now, on to the new rule (which, for those of you who keep current in your personal SFMPB Rules Books, will be Rule 17):The faster someone talks, the fewer reasons you have to listen to him.

Your Rajah is certain that this new rule needs no explaining. But for those who aren't as certain about things as your Rajah, this rule is inspired by the countless times Rajah Bill has been listening patiently while somebody is spouting out words as rapidly as his­ or her little pink tongue can wiggle. It could easily be during a local news production, in which some fresh face who has just yesterday been hired away from Iowa or Guam to report the weekend weather is blabbing away like an angry squirrel, hoping nobody realizes he (or she) is mispronouncing words like "Kuna" (Que-nuh as opposed to Coo-nah) and "Moscow" ("co" as in "know," not as in "now").

Or it might happen in a restaurant, after you have asked an innocent enough question such as, "Can you tell me what comes in a Pollo Quesadilla Grandé." Then, you end up ordering a bean burrito--something you understand--because your waiter for the evening has confused speed talking with service.

Or it might happen... oh dear. Your Rajah sees he has used up all of his allotted space before he's quite finished telling you why we need a new rule addressing the crisis in modern communications brought on by these high-volume wordifiers. Oh well, next time.

Incidentally, Rajah Bill is going to write the word "masturbation" as he finishes up this newsletter, just to reassure you he will let no one tell him he can't.

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