Dan Hook, the son of a poor glass-blower from Pennsylvania Dutch country, became a ruthless oil baron of the late 19th century. He quickly rose to prominence as the leader of a mysterious cult of outcasts and Christian Fundamentalists, which is rumored to have enacted many a dark and godless ritual before Congress declared such things illegal.
One Thursday morning in 1903, during one of his frequent visits to New York City, Dan sat at his usual table in the Russian Tea Room and gravely requested that the waiter bring him "a shoehorn, one dozen peach pits, a polished disc of stained mahogany, a copy of the Magna Carta, and a spoonful of paraffin". When the waiter refused this extraordinary request, Hook's eyes sank to his lap as he muttered "Then you have condemned an honest man to his death." He left in a private carriage a few moments later, and was of course never heard from again. His necktie, however, was removed from the stomach of a sturgeon caught off the coast of Normandy on the first day of the World War One.
The necktie soon made its way to the hand of a French Communist sympathizer who went by the name of "Jules Verne". It hung for 56 months in a small French wine shop just outside Lyon, where it achieved small notoriety by being used to wipe up a spill on Marshall Petain's pants. Afterwards, it was swiftly whisked through Italy and the Baltics by an intrepid female Swiss explorer and her pygmy sidekick, with a short stop at the Vatican to have the necktie blessed by the pope.
Hook's necktie made to Russia just in time to be used by Lenin to staunch the bleeding of a paper cut. It was quickly appropriated by one of Lenin's many half-nephews to be used in highly secret biological experiments. Conceived in the heady spirit of the eugenics movement at that time, a cloning proposal lay tied in red tape among the scientific bureaucracy, until the mid 1970s, when a small infant was successfully produced, proclaimed "Russia's answer to Elvis", and who then swiftly disappeared from history's record.
figure of some repute among the architectural design
community, Cort led the secret double-life of an opium
addict. After his death of the grippe, Cort's radical,
drug-inspired politico-philosophical rantings remained
in the attic of his estate, unread for some
twenty-five years. The collected works were finally
discovered and published by Cort's nephew, but the
first edition met with scathing reviews. However, a
later revision met with some success when it was
awarded the Newbury Medal for young adult fiction, and
later became the basis for the design of the New York
City subway system.
To set a few matters straight about Cort:
He was hever exhibited in public houses to the
curious; only briefly, in 1875, to selected gentlemen of
standing in the scientific and literary
He did not have a vestigial tail.
He did indeed have what most people would commonly
understand as "eyes".
He did not spend the twilight years of his life unable
to say anything other than variations of the phrase "No
They never DID find the body...
Second Vice President: Kirstin "Two Sheds" Connors
The details of Kirstin's young life are shrouded in mystery. It is widely believed among occult circles that she was actually an elite soldier from the future, sent back in time in a desperate attempt to alter the outcome of the 1961 congressional elections. Though dispatched by a crack squad of US snipers shortly thereafter, a recording of her voice reciting Keats's "To Autumn" was discovered on the telephone answering machine of a taxi company in Toronto in 1979. Sadly, the tape was erased by a temporary secretary who failed to understand its worth.
However, some "heretics" believe that she is a hybrid clone of Zsa-Zsa Gabor and Jackie Onassis from an alien-instituted plan to breed the nation's top female stock who would corner the world's real-estate and pork futures markets. This group maintains that Kirstin was raised by a group of Shakespeare-quoting hillbillies in the Ozark, and as a child was intensively trained in poetry, fencing, and swine-calling. She supposedly faced intense familial pressure to run for high office, but ran away from home, so the aliens were forced to go with their second-best prospect.
And what of the Laplander man frequently seen in her company? What he knows of the tragedy, he isn't sharing; after misinterpreting a listing of winning lottery numbers as an unmistakable sign of the impending apocalypse, he solemnly filled his bathtub with grain alcohol, climbed inside, and struck a match.
Recording Secretary: Margaret "James" Delap
The markedly less celebrated younger sister of the Tooth Fairy, Margaret is best known through a popular urban legend, which was subsequently proven to be a modernized adaptation of one of Vincent Van Gogh's early landscapes. As the story goes, Margaret patrols the midnight skies of suburban America, wafting from rooftop to rooftop and visiting the bedrooms of small children. If the sleeping child has been particularly well-behaved, she will distribute small bottles of scented ointments throughout the bedroom as a sign of her approval. If angered or spurned, however, she has instead been known to leave small stacks of back issues of "Watchtower".
Her younger years were as some would say, "checkered." She was first apprenticed to an ancient Eastern European woman with a severe case of halitosis who was often mistaken for the Baba Yaga, although she was actually the patron spirit of sausage makers. After moving through a number of small jobs and overcoming an opium problem, she spent much of the nineteenth century as the Fairy in Charge of Odd Construction Mishaps, as well as Charles Darwin's guardian spirit.
Throughout her nocturnal travels, Margaret carries with her a pouch of magical "magic dust" and an enormous tome, bound in the hides of countless chipmunks and other small rodents. She can often be seen crouched beneath the mighty sycamore, smiling contentedly to herself while covering page after page of her book in her neat, block handwriting. What secrets of the cosmos has Margaret squirreled away in her notes? Mankind may never know, and perhaps it is best that way.
Corresponding Secretary: Sean "Teki" Dobbs
A noted philanthropist and heir to the substantial "Quaker Oats" fortune, Sean "Teki" Dobbs is best known for his numerous and revolutionary contributions to the field of embalming. Upon his death in 1897, his impressive collection of perfectly preserved British school-children was donated to the Dublin College of Surgeons. It may be inspected by prior appointment, although several of the older boys were damaged by falling masonry during an IRA terrorist attack and have since been removed from the permenant exhibition.
Also renowned as a leading publisher of the times, Mr. Dobbs broke famous stories such as President John Adams' "mishandling" of his file clerks, the uncovering of the secret Moon Men conspiracy to turn the Earth into cheese, and the revelation that George Washington was actually living in secret in an underground bunker with his ex-slave mistress and their 17 children, in preperation for the time when he would emerge to herald the Second Coming.
A celebrated crasher of famous parties and expensive equipment, Mr. Dobbs also owned a large collection of rare and antique printing presses, which he would often show off to young visitors. He would often stay up late at his plant, ensuring that his high journalistic standards were correctly maintained, or off in the back of the complex, teaching new apprentices the tricks of the trade, and later on, the mysteries and secret techniques of embalming.
No one knows how or why he got his nickname.
Treasurer: Chris "Clark" Clark
Chris Clark is the only man to be elected posthumously to the United States Senate. He served three terms and became known throughout the South as "Old Iron-Nose" before being narrowly defeated by a living candidate in 1934, whereupon he retired from public life and spent the remainder of his years penning self-published romance novels under the nomme de plome "Franklin D. Roosevelt". Until recently, his jawbone was on display in the Smithsonian Institution.
During his younger, alive years, Clark traveled extensively throughout the Orient, where he studied the strict discipline of Zen banking, as well as the martial arts, where he excelled in unarmed combat utilizing cocktail hors'deourves and pipe cleaners. After amassing a small fortune by cornering the market in fancy kimono accessories and those cute little umbrellas you find in mixed drinks, he returned to the States as he acted as a financier for a number of odd, ill-fated projects. Historical analysis of documents showed that, in a freak steam-powered time machine accident, he was responsible for causing both the Panics of 1889 and 1909 simultaneously, as well as releasing the demon Zathang into this world, which exists, sealed in a shoebox, unto this day.
After completing her undergraduate work at Princeton, Laura apprenticed herself to an anthropologist, and was later responsible for the first complete lexicon of the Matai language. However, despite both this and her highly-publicized but ill-fated forays into the world of interpretive dance, true fame escaped Laura until the 1960s. One chilly weekend, waiting in what she thought was a line to renew her driver's license, Laura instead found herself at an audition. Before anybody knew what was happening, Laura had become the opening act for the Grateful Dead on their first nation-wide tour. Laura travelled with the Dead for decades, becoming a staple act at all of their shows. Her extended 15-minute fully-improvised solos on the electric jewharp (which she never studied formally) became a legend among popular-music afficianados of the era.
After spending the next decade or so in an ultimately unfruitful search for the Higgs Boson, Laura "returned to her roots", producing a number of popular anthropological works on the meaning of small plastic objects and trees in modern Western culture. Widely hailed as the person who introduced the term "post-modern" to the pop lexicon, Laura spent much of her remaining years as a radio talk-show host and high-wire performer, as well as the director of a botanical institute dedicated to the study of psychoactive flora, based just over the border in Mexico.
Dossiers supplied by Cort Stratton, Sean
"Teki" Dobbs, and occasionally swiped from Sandman:
Seasons of Mist by Neil Gaiman.
Current top banner: The night before Carnival 2005. (credit: Abe Wong) Reload for a new one.