.....This item appeared in a FAPA one-shot bearing the awkward and unweildy title of WAWCRHBSJWGATWCMWPMSSACW, (pronounces as spelled), which title being made up of the initials of those involved. On the off chance that anyone who might read this might not know, Charles Burbee was one of the Elder Ghods of Fandom.....
(from WAWCRHetc; JULY '54)
THE OTHER MORNING I was eating breakfast when the mail came. I opened it. "Ghod," I said, spreading marmalade distractedly on a crudzine from N. Carolina. "Ghod!"
"Not......?" said Madeleine, growing pale.
"Yes," I said, "It's from Him. Charles Burbee."
"What does He say?" she asked.
I pulled myself together, and spoke in hushed tones. "He says I have Impeccable Taste."
"Burbee says you have Impeccable Taste?" said Madeleine.
"Yes," I said, "He says I have Impeccable Taste. He also says that one of my articles was Very Fine."
"Will you continue to live with me?" asked Madeleine humbly.
"Yes, woman," I said. "I shall not allow this to turn my head. I shall continue to mingle with ordinary people. Besides you need not feel inferior. Burbee says I have Impeccable Taste and since I chose you, you must be a very paragon among women."
"Thank you," said Madeleine, "You make me feel humble ... and sort of proud."
"That is all right," I said approvingly. "Burbee thinks well of Pogo. Your taste, while not so Impeccable as Mine, is quite good."
I continued reading His fanzine, absent-mindedly proceeding with my breakfast. "Another crudzine?" asked Madeleine, passing me the marmalade.
I ignored her. My mind was on higher things.
"Ghod," I said, "I wish I could write like Burbee."
"Hell," said Madeleine, "You're always saying that. Why don't you try to write like Burbee?"
"Because," I said, "for one thing I do not live in California and do not know Frances Towner Laney, Al Ashley, and similar fabulous fannish characters. Observe that even Lee Jacobs did not write like Burbee until he went to California. My Taste is far too Impeccable to attempt to produce a travesty of Burbeeism."
"You have fabulous fannish characters here," said Madeleine. "Chuck Harris, he who is coming to stay with us tomorrow, is a fabulous fannish character. It is not essential to live in California to be a fabulous fannish character. Though it helps."
"Woman," I said, "You are right. My Impeccable Taste tells me that you are. I shall suggest to Chuck Harris that we produce a one-shot for FAPA."
Next morning I went down to the docks to meet Harris. I saw his sensitive fannish face loom greenly towards me through the cattle. I ignored his greetings.
"Burbee," I said, "Burbee says I have Impeccable taste."
"He said that?" said Harris.
"Yes," I said. "He also said that one of my articles was Very Fine."
Harris turned humbly to get back on the boat again.
"No," I said, "You may stay. With my Impeccable Taste I have decided that you are a fabulous fannish character. We shall produce a FAPA oneshot after breakfast. Do you like marmalade on your crudzines? Or I have some books from Ackerman in JAM condition."
Harris looked doubtful.
"I am sorry," I said, "That was not worthy of my Impeccable Taste. That was not Burbee-like, that was a lousy Willis-type pun. It is my Impeccable Taste which enables me to recognise these things."
"What are you talking like Burbee for?" asked Harris.
"I am not talking like Burbee," I said, "and if you had Impeccable Taste like I have you would realise this."
Harris abased himself and beat his head on the ground.
"Never mind," I said kindly. "I am in fact talking like Lee Jacobs talking like Burbee. It would be disrespectful to Ghod to imitate Him; instead we shall imitate Lee Jacobs imitating Burbee. Lee Jacobs, though a fabulous non-fannish character, and whom I have met in London and Chicago, is not Ghod."
"What shall we do first?" asked Harris.
"First," I said, "I must now address you as Randolph instead of Chuck. Then you must go out and expose homosexuals."
"Have you," he asked, "any particular homosexuals in mind, or is the ability to recognise them a by-product, a facet, of your Impeccable Taste?"
I smiled kindly at Madeleine, who was cleaning my shoes in the corner. "We shall find them," I said. "We shall have no difficulty. Vin¢ Clarke, one of England's fabulousier fannish characters, has declared that North Irish Fandom is remarkably homogenous. I am the genius, therefore the others must be homos."
"That was not like Lee Jacobs talking like Burbee," he pointed out. "That was like Willis talking like Lee Jacobs talking like Burbee. That was a lousy Willis-type pun. Are you sure you have Impeccable Taste?"
"Burbee has said so," I pointed out reprovingly.
"I am sorry," he said humbly. "It is just that I cannot become accustomed to the honor of being a fabulous Burbee-type character. Could I not be a fabulous Harris-type character instead?"
"Very well, Randolph," I said. "I know how difficult it is to be a fabulous Burbee-like character. Even I should find it difficult were it not for the Impeccability of my Taste. After we have finished breakfast I shall go to my fabulous attic where I have Fandangoes which list the characteristics of these homos. Meanwhile I can tell you that I understand they are fans who prefer to go about with men rather than girls."
Harris went out into the morning.
Some hours later he returned. "I have found no less than three homosexuals," he said.
"Randolph," I said, "I am proud of you. What are their names?"
"Peggy Martin, Sadie Shaw and Madeleine Willis," he said.
"Randolph," I said, "I am no longer proud of you. You have made a mistake. These are not homosexuals."
"But they go about with men instead of girls," he protested. "They are effeminate."
"Randolph," I said, "These are girls. I fear you have been concentrating too much on your fanac. Since you have been out I have been reading my Fandangoes. It seems that homosexuals are men who act like girls, have high voices, wear strange clothes etc."
Harris went out into the afternoon. Some hours later he returned. "Bob Shaw wears a green corduroy jacket," he said doubtfully.
"No," I said, "Bob Shaw is a fabulous Burbee-like character like ourselves, who collaborated on The Enchanted Duplicator. He is above suspicion."
"Well, he said, "George Charters wears shirts with coloured pockets."
"No," I said, "George Charters is also a fabulous fannish character. He cut the stencils for The Enchanted Duplicator and is above suspicion. That shirt is merely part of his cowboy set which he wears while reading Max Brand."
"Well," he said desperately, "James White helps pro editors off mountains and lies in hotel corridors passing notes under their doors until walked on by chambermaids."
"Randolph," I said, "you are wrong again. The pro editor in question was a female-type creature called Bea Mahaffey. James White is a fabulous fannish character too."
Harris went out into the night. Some hours later he returned. He had a distraught look on his face, like Laney finding out that E. E. Evans had several stamps he needed for his collection.
"There are no more fans in Northern Ireland," he said.
"Very well, Randolph," I said. "You may finish your breakfast. Do you prefer mimeo or hecto?"
"No!" He cried. "You, with your Impeccable Taste, have declared that there must be homosexuals in Northern Irish fandom. It is my Ghod-given duty to expose them. I realise that James White, George Charters, and Bob Shaw are above suspicion, but the others I mentioned answer your description. I shall denounce Peggy Martin, Sadie Shaw, and Madeleine Willis. I shall run them out of fandom."
"Randolph," I said patiently, "Calm yourself. I explained this to you. These fans are girls."
"No!" he said wildly, "They are men! Homosexuals!"
He began to roll about the floor, frothing at the mouth. "I shall expose them!" he screamed. "Perverts! That Madeleine Willis is the worst of the lot. He has been sleeping with a man for years!"
"Randolph," I said. "Randolph. She is a girl."
"NO!" he cried. "A queer! A homo! Painted and padded! Disgusting! It must be exposed!"
"Randolph," I said. "I assure you that Madeleine Willis is a girl. I am in a position to know."
He rose to his feet, a wild gleam in his eye. "Let her prove it!" he shouted. "Let her prove it to me!"
I looked at him for a few minutes.
"Very well, Randolph," I said. "You may call me Oscar."
Data entry by Judy Bemis