Onion Presents: Our Dumb Century, The Easter Egg - T. Herman Zweibel's Special Code Message!

For those of you who don't know, "The Onion" is the leading satirical publication in the United States, and for their first book "Our Dumb Century," they created a completely fictitious history for the newspaper, lampooning news events from 1900-2000 (the book was published in 1999) by creating fake front pages for the newspaper throughout their 100-year "history." Page 51 features the front page of "The Onion" from December 10, 1936 - the middle of the Great Depression. There is an homage to the "secret code" puzzles that were very popular at the time. It reads exactly like this:

"Kids! Here's today's T. Herman Zweibel special code message!

Use your special code-deciphering rings to translate this secret message from your swell pal, Onion publisher T. Herman Zweibel!

21-14-3-12-5 / 26-23-5-9-2-5-12
8-1-20-5-19 / 25-15-21!"

Of course, no ring came with the book. But, if you use a simple decrypting code where 1 stands for A, 2 stands for B, etc., you will find that the message translates to: UNCLE ZWEIBEL HATES YOU! Zweibel is the fictitious, crotchety old editor of "The Onion", so this is really in tune with his character. A great put-upon from the great and seriously funny people from "The Onion."

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Contributed By: naregt on 12-23-2002
Reviewed By: Webmaster
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nxdgirl writes:
Also, I believe that The Onion's slogan is Latin got "You are Scum" -Mary
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Patsy writes:
The Onion's slogan, "Tu stultus es", means "You are foolish".
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TomTom writes:
Also worth mentioning that "Zwiebel" is German for "Onion".
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