Believe it or not, the fifth issue of The American Bystander, the crowdfunded humor magazine published by the redoubtable Michael Gerber, landed with a disconcerting thud at my doorstep a few days ago. This issue continues the bitter effort to maintain an American humor magazine at a time when American humor is having a hard time of it, with contributions from a variety of fine humor writers, both veteran and new: head writer Brian McConnachie, M.K. Brown, Merrill Markoe, Drew Friedman, Jack Handey, Ron Barrett, Ron Hauge, Howard Cruse, and, in the pages of the magazine for the first time, the one-of-a-kind Ed Subitzky, who offers “101 Beginnings for a Novel.” My personal favorite is #36:
“To gain the hand of my beautiful daughter,” the sorcerer said, “you must solve three riddles. The first riddle is, ‘What are the second and third riddles?'”
The issue is now available through amazon.com, but you can subscribe to the magazine here, which I’d recommend. Let’s make Michael happy. I may as well also note that he’s embarked on the disastrous course of publishing some highlights of past issues on the internet here.