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December '05 -- guest edited by Christopher Monks

New York Times Exclusive
  by Greg Ames

The Writer's Life
  by Tom Barlow

Let the Reader Beware
  by Richard Grayson

Use Your Indoor Voice
  by David Gianatasio

I am so sorry that my homing device was chafing your ankle
  by John Jodzio

The Six Times I Tried Smoking
  by Nathaniel Missildine

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Happy December! To honor this festive time, all of this month's stories are full of holiday cheer. For instance, one story is about smoking; another features a woman with a homing device on her ankle; and another closes with a familiar epithet directed at the reader; Now if those stories aren't a recipe for holiday fun I don't know what is!

Okay, you got me: none of this month's stories are particularly holiday-themed. I could have gone that route, but I figured I'd leave all the mirth and frankenwhatever to other sites. I decided to shake things up and step away from the norm. I'm about pushing envelopes, and licking stamps, and writing return addresses in cursive; that's just how I roll.

However, I would like to address the dearth of women writers in this month's issue. I love and admire women writers. I really do. It may not appear that way, given that all the authors in this issue are men and one of the stories features a woman with a homing device on her ankle, but believe me, I am very pro-woman writer.

I'm actually pro-women anything. Women are wonderful. I know this because I 'm around women all the time: my mother is a woman, my cleaning lady is a woman, and most of the cashiers at the Stop 'N Shop I go to are women. Plus about half of all my relatives are women—and they all like me. They buy me cool things for Christmas and often tell me how handsome and smart I am. Heck, I'm even married to a woman; she's wonderful and she likes me. She's not talking to me because I didn't include any work by women in this issue, but I'm sure if she were she'd tell me how handsome and smart I am.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these stories. Each of them made me laugh and I hope they'll make you do the same. Thanks for reading and happy holidays.