"What are Sphoxolis Trees?" - Gibbous Saunders, age 13.
Garth Haversham (Managing Editor) replies: "This is the seventh or eighth time you've written in, right? Listen, Gibbous, you're going to have to start doing your own research now - you're old enough to no longer be young and innocent. Perhaps the next question to consider should be 'how can I find answers on my own?' While we certainly appreciate your continued attention and status as a Preferred Reader, there comes a time when you just have to Answer your own Question, if you know what I mean. But, I'll give you this, your final response from the Folktown Records.""Sphoxolis Trees are found in many places across known Ghyll, but if you're looking to get up close and personal, head to the Evesque Valley. The harvesters up there will bark poetic about the wood's use in Besq Boats, and go fruity about the magnificence of the Office of Knowledge About Things. The pliable nature of the lumber has purportedly helped in the creation of dynamic skeletons for the EctoMechanauts. Whatever you do, though, don't ignore a 'naut for an extended period of time... next thing you know, you'll be running from a Ghoulanaut."
The following notes were recently unearthed on the layout and proofing copy of issue 396, and were not available to the public until 0 EC. They lend some credence to the theory that Gibbous Saunders, so upset at the continued and public literary abuse of himself and his family, engineered the accidental Answering in issue 399 which led to Haversham's banishment.
Uh, are we going to print this? - Cyrus Grandville
Why wouldn't we? That snapper's monopoly has to end. - Garth Haversham
Eight times over 192 issues does not a monopoly make. Which is it this time, the Winelust or the Adlorst? Seriously! You barely answer his question, you make a crack about that trick you tried to pull a few years back, and "Ghoulanaut"? We both know that's nothing more than an urban legend! Where are our Quality Assurance Standards?! There's nothing about the white bark, nothing about its fruit, and nothing about the effects of the encroaching stillicide! And what about the root system and the animals that make their home there! How about I write this entry, and you can handle the Classifieds? - Cyrus Grandville
Nothing but Umlaut, my dear boy, nothing but Umlaut. You see, this is intent, not drunken stupor. If he wants to know the real and in-depth answers, he can do his own research into the boats, file his own requests at the Office, and take his own joy rides on the 'nauts. I'm sick and tired of silver-mooning him! And hey, if he happens to shakily etch out an "artist's rendition" of a Ghoulanaut, hazmat! More readers for us, and more brownies for you. - Garth HavershamI don't feel good about this. At all. - Cyrus Grandville
--Morbus Iff 11:52, 18 Feb 2005 (EST)