The print version of "News Nots" appears in
a daily (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review), and two
weeklies (St. Louis Bugle and Pittsburgh's The
Tim Esaias, a long-time resident of St. Louis,
MO, now resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife, a
physician. He studied biochemistry at Washington
University and philosophy at the University of
Missouri, St. Louis, before moving on to the
construction and janitorial jobs that are de rigueur for
the aspiring writer.
Between columns, he writes science fiction,
which seems to sell far better outside his native
country than in it. His two major story sales have
been to the British SF magazine Interzone. One of
those stories, "Norbert and the System" has resold in
Romania and the Czech Republic. His science
fiction poetry has appeared in TransVersions
(Canada), Tales of the Unanticipated, and the online
Other poetry has been committed in Elysian
Fields Quarterly: The Literary Journal of Baseball,
Job's Turkey, and Prairie Dog.
His mission in life: "To sell out for the highest
possible price, with the least possible appearance of
It was Timons Esaias who alerted an
inattentive world to such varied phenomena as chia
carpets, the disturbing presence of Indonesian
testicle leeches in our sewer systems, the proposed
Mick Jagger Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,
Harley-Davidson lingerie and God's recent move to
refinance the Universe.
Only he covered the protests against the movie
Jurassic Park for alleged cruelty to dinosaurs;
uncovered the cruelty of parents who get cheap
postal babysitting by mailing their kids to fictitious
addresses; traced the devastating effects of the OJ
trial on the weather in California, and the possible
connection between celebrity trials of the past and
the fall of ancient civilizations.
His exclusive coverage of the formation of the
Blonde Party, and their plan to tame the deficit by
"getting someone to take care of the bills for them"
helped launch it into political prominence.
News Nots exposed the unethical hunters who
hang around deer lavatories for easy kills, and the
NFL's plan to revive interest in the Super Bowl by
instituting human sacrifice at half-time.
And only News Nots reporter, Timons Esaias,
had the courage to decline to cover the whole Prince
Charles/Princess Diana catastrophe. In recognition
of that distinction, News Nots has been appointed
the offical American satire column of the Royal
IDN: I understand that you're a leader of the
movement to impeach Millard Fillmore?
IDN: Some of your columns have caused a stir
when readers mistook them for the truth. Could you
mention some examples?
TE: My favorite was when I wrote that the
Vatican was moving to St. Louis because the Italians
are too disrespectful of Catholicism and because all
the history involved in the present buildings makes it
difficult to renovate the physical plant. Apparently
another newspaper ran the story (without
permission) thinking it was real, and a year later
their reporter called my editor to do a follow-up
My editors have been asked where you can buy
the flash-frozen bird entrails for fortune-telling that I
described, and exactly which section of the
Mississippi was going to be closed for bottom
maintenance. A number of folks got upset that
Clinton was going to cancel Mother's Day.
Most recently I said that the Pittsbugh city
fathers were going to add Prozac to the water for the
general good of the community, along with sodium
pentathol around tax time. The Water & Sewer
Authority had their lines tied up for days with phone
calls about it.
IDN: Have you had the opposite happen? A
story that didn't stir a ripple when you thought it
TE: I tried to raise the question of Maine
statehood a while back, but the public doesn't seem
ready to deal with it yet.
IDN: Maine statehood?
TE: Well, Maine entered the Union as part of the
Missouri Compromise of 1820, on the understanding
that in exchange Missouri would be a slave state.
Slavery has been outlawed, as it should be, for quite
some time now--but Maine's still a state.
I wrote a column pointing out this little
discrepancy, and then wrote letters to all the
Governors, Senators and Congressmen of Missouri,
Maine, and Massachusetts (which Maine would
revert to if it were decertified) but not a single
politician was willing to go on the record about the
IDN: This concerns you?
TE: I'm no advocate of slavery; but a deal's a
deal. It's ignoring prevarications like this that makes
our children cynical about society and government.
They can see that this whole situation just doesn't
TE: If you say so.
IDN: What is the point of writing satire, anyway?
TE: The main thing, of course, is just to amuse
people. But I also hope that my News Nots will make
people think a little more critically about what they
read in the rest of the news. Maybe, now and then,
they'll keep their knee from jerking the same way all
It's bad enough that our legislators make every
decision on mindlessly ideological grounds, without
the rest of us doing it.
Mr. Esaias, on the advice of his tax
accountant, is seriously considering chucking it all to
assume imperial control of the disorganized
remnants of the USSR and the Ottoman, Mogul and
Chinese Empires. The Timian Empire would create
numerous employment opportunities for computer-
savvy chipheads with the vision to forge a network
with real authority. Watch this page for
Sheila Harris, his sister-in-law, asserts that
Timons Esaias is definitely "more amusing than
washing the car."
Frank Lee Petty of the Associated Nitpickers
of America, Ltd. thinks the whole "News Nots"
phenomenon is questionable. "These columns aren't
satire, they're just sloppy journalism," he insists. "All
news writers make up their so-called 'facts' but with
this Esaias you can tell half the time."
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