Category Archives: News Of Yore

News we were too slow to report when it happened

Obituary: FM Observer Secretary Gertrude Clagbung

News Of Yore: 27th May, 1899


RIP Gertrude Clagbung (1866-1899). Stung to death by intestinal parasites.

The FM Observer is sad to report that the ravages of dysentery have claimed a valued member of our fake news agency. Our beloved secretary, Gertrude Clagbung, fought a short-lived battle with the Red Sickness, only to succumb to its evils just yesterday afternoon. She was a gorgeous and lively 33 years of age.

Gertrude, or “Gertie” as we so affectionately called her, was many things to many people. But to us, she was a superstar secretariat. Oh, the way she handled those editorials was nothing short of superlative.

Gertie got her start at FMO by a lucky turn of fate. One magical afternoon, our editor-in-chief witnessed ol’ Gertie standing on the sidewalk, eyes closed, just flailing her fingers wildly through the air. It was like she was typing away at nothing! Our editor sat her down at one of his typewriters and the rest is history.

She used to plow away on that typewriter like there was no tomorrow, editing content and re-formatting typefaces well into the night. Tap tap tappity tap–ding! That was the sound it made.

Gertrude is survived by her vast collection of hairless dolls, her pet boll weevil Jared, and a life-sized replica of herself made entirely of hair that she gleefully constructed out of a lifetime of hoarded haircuts.

Go forth into the uncharted blackness, dearest Gertie. RIP.

From The Archives: Woman Trapped In Man’s Body Yearns For Freedom

News of yore, dated 14th June, Eighteen Hundred and Ninety-Five


Woman trapped in a man on a horse

Fargo, ND—Local cowboy Theddy Crumpsmith longs to be free, the Observer has learned. Crumpsmith is suffering from a disorder not well known to mankind; one for which mankind currently has no solution. You see, Crumpsmith believes in his heart of hearts that he is a woman. He is a woman trapped in a dusty, hairy, smellin-all-kinds-of-awful man’s body.

Theddy is in pain. He truly yearns for a way out. It is clear he wishes the town doctor would clamp those rusty forceps around his ol’ gopher and somehow, by some magical pluck and tuck, transform it into female genitalia.

“If’n I had me a way, I’d free myself from this penis-havin’ prison,” says Theddy. “But there ain’t no way to do that. I’ll forever be stuck here wearin’ women’s britches underneath these here chaps. Can’t tell nobody I’m really a woman for fear of gettin’ laughed at and run outta town.”

Town doctor Emblett Durgiss sympathizes with Theddy. “Every so often, a cowpoke will approach me with some strange request. He’ll say ‘Doc can ya help me, I’m a woman’ or ‘Doc, I don’t want my peener anymore’ and I can only throw up my hands and say sorry, I ain’t a got-dayum miracle-worker. Poor fellers.”

Theddy has lived with this for so long, he’s even considered self-mutilation. “Starin’ off into the prairie sunset at twilight makes a guy wonder: Could I do it? Could I carve up this here weasel and nards in just such a way that I’d turn hussy? Hell, I dunno.”

It seems that this bizarre affliction affects these men who are what they simply are not. These are men of a feminine essence. 

Early Fargo Business Man Attacked By Giant Blue Mountain Swallowtail Butterfly

caption here

Downtown Fargo, September 12, 1924

Fargo, ND – On this date 90 years ago, a Fargo businessman was attacked by a very large butterfly while crossing a street in the downtown area.

The man’s name was Mr. Simon Cummings who owned and operated Cummings Shoe Store.

Witnesses said that while Simon was negotiating some lunch-time puddles from a September rain storm, a giant blue butterfly seemed to attack Mr. Cummings out of nowhere and for no apparent reason.

One of the on-lookers that day was hotel owner Betsy Donaldson, who was quoted as saying: “If I wouldn’t have seen it, I would not have believed it. This will really make me rethink butterflies.”

The butterfly was later determined to be a Blue Mountain Swallowtail butterfly whose scientific name is Papilio Ulysses.

This special type of butterfly is normally found in Australia where they have been known to attack humans for no obvious reason.

NDSU butterfly expert Norman Winger wrote of this incident: “Of course, there is always a reason for things that happen, but we might not ever be able to know what was going through the mind of a giant teal-toned butterfly, in downtown Fargo, on a rainy day in September, in the year 1924.”

Area Maiden Sues Tailor After Corset Does Not Collapse Ribcage

From the archives: 23rd of May, 1894

corset5_bigFargo, ND — Area maiden Kreelen Maughth is suing the Main Avenue Tailor over what she claims is poor workmanship. Maughth says a 12¢ corset purchased over four score moons ago has had no ill effects on her ribcage and that her breathing is still far from irregular.

The lawsuit alleges that the tailor measured incorrectly and cut the wrought iron and horse hair a snug-but-not-too-snug length anyway. “My cage of ribs is of a fair comfort and my torso unconstricted. This should not be! I’ll have him lynched for his ignorance,” she declared.

Main Avenue Tailor Polten Von Cerklanak had this to say: “Perhaps m’lady purchased a size too big for thy bosom? ‘Tis not for me to decide. Present to me a bill of sale and I shall reimburse.”

Maughth has filed a formal paper with the Main Avenue Office of Law. If proven guilty, Von Cerklanak is set to be hanged at high noon this Sunday, 27th of May, 1894.