Devil’s Guide to the 21st Century

edited by ANDREW J HICKS

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Tony Fyler presents the following definitions with respectful acknowledgment to the great journalist Ambrose Bierce, who wrote the original Devil’s Dictionary in 1911. -AJH]

A: Indefinite article. (See also: “Sarah Palin’s Brain.”)

Advertising: A subtle combination of lies, damned lies and statistics.

American football: A good run, ruined.

Axis of Evil: A collective term for the nations of Iran, Iraq and North Korea. Any student of geography or geometry of course knows that these three countries do not form an axis of any kind. If using straight lines, they are at best an Angle of Evil. If curves are allowed into the proposition, they become an Arc of Evil. Both of these more accurate terms, however, were discarded as being insufficiently terrifying.

Bailout: What one does to a sinking ship in a desperate attempt to avoid the inevitable.

Blog: Device that allows people to indulge their creative impulses, without any of the usual tiresome requirements that they be interesting.

Cowell, Simon: The best available evidence that hell is real.

Deficit: The operating condition of world economies in the 21st century. The chief role of any government now is to decide how to spend the money they don’t have.

Economics: The mechanism by which a fool and his money are soon parted.

Funny, We’re Not: Web collective that stands as the guardian against Taking The World Too Seriously in the 21st Century. Now with extra dick jokes.

GPS: Global Positioning System. Billions of dollars’ worth of space hardware and in-car equipment employed to mechanize the ubiquitous backseat driver.

Health care: The principle that one has a right to be healed when one is sick without necessarily facing a life of unutterable penury as a result. They have this in other, less-American countries.

Internet: The fastest method of spreading stupidity the world has yet devised.

Lawyer: A bastardized form of “liar.”

Music: Form of harmonious noise, sadly now defunct. (See also: “Cowell, Simon.”)

Podcasts: The radio for lonely people.

Prayer: Supernatural plea-bargaining.

President: America has two types of president – the good ones and the bad ones. As soon as the entire nation agrees on which is which, the Rapture will occur.

Roe v. Wade: A ruling that secures the right of a woman to abort a fetus once she realizes she slept with a moron the night before. Oddly, this is opposed by many people whose mothers could probably have made productive use of the law.

Secretary: One whose job it is to remember where, and in how many pieces, their boss has left his brain. (See also: “Smartphone.”)

Skiing: Russian roulette with trees.

Smartphone: A device, slightly larger than the average penis, that has more processing power than the male brain. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that many men made a switch and started thinking with their smartphones.

Social networking: Online system that allows people who are very clearly antisocial to convince themselves they really have friends.

Tea Party, The: The reason your parents are always telling you to get an education.

Televangelist: Con man with a really large bullhorn.

Text speak: A language understood only by teenagers and some advanced forms of bacteria.

Trump, Donald: There are some people (See “Palin, Sarah” and “Miss World”) who when you look at them instinctively make you think “If they had a brain, they’d be dangerous.” Donald Trump is the proof of this concept.

Weiner: Slang term for the penis. Also the name of a politician forced to resign after sending pictures of his penis to a woman on the internet. This was the day satire spontaneously combusted in America.

Wii: A device that lets you have virtual fun, for people too lazy for the real thing. A case in point is the Wii game that lets you make a virtual stir-fry.

Xenophobia: Equal-opportunity ignorance (See “Tea Party”).

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