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280 Dog Years


The Holy Grail Press is dedicated to promoting work that standard publishers... you know, those with standards, might be reluctant to publish, which pretty much leaves poetry.  And let's face it:  No one publishes poetry.  So in the end, we’re left with a lot of free time.



Word of the Every So Often  

May 27, 2022

wonk:  (noun)  often used derogatorily, a person who takes a particularly specialized interest in the minute details of a field of study, especially with politics.  You want to know about the influence of Russian immigrants on the passage of the infrastructure bill?  Then just ask Bill, he's our resident wonk.


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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bum Steer


3:21 pm pdt 

The History of the Future 


Rule 146A, Section B, Subsection 32:  Nomenclature  (also known as the Silly Name Rule)

Enacted February 23, 2018

No player shall be allowed to join a team as an active player whose name is just plain silly, either as a result of an intentional change on the player’s part, or the unfortunate circumstances of when a player of foreign heritage has a name that is perfectly normal in his home country, but is just plain silly in English.


For more information, see Kosuke Fukudome.

3:13 pm pdt 


In an effort to promote International understanding, and to make a few quick bucks, the Holy Grail Press is now hosting the island country of Islematainia’s Official Web Site, at least until they get the Internet.  Since Mary Ann Joblonski is our History Editor, and since that’s close enough, we’ve put her in charge of keeping up with their site.  You can find them over in the Editorial Staff tab, or just follow the hyperlink.




2:46 pm pdt 

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Conscientious Objector

 I knew this guy... a guy named Oliver.  Grew up with him.  So he got drafted.  They made him join the Army.  They were going to send him to war.  They were going to send him to this hell of a backwater where he’d probably get blown all to pieces all over some piece of ground that nobody truly cared about, much less him.  Understandably he was reluctant to go.  So he comes up with this scheme.  He starts telling everybody that he is God.  Not an angel or a prophet or some relative, but God the Almighty.  He was hoping they would think he was crazy, and then he wouldn’t have to go.  You want to know what happened?  They believed him.  They really did.  Guys were coming around to his tent and confessing their sins.  They gave him the chapel on Sundays.  Even the General got his blessing.  I mean, they really believed it.  But they made him go anyway.  He came back unscratched.  You know... a thing like that... it has to mess with you.  Just a little bit, I’d think.  But it has to.

9:13 am pdt 

Friday, August 12, 2011

An Open Letter from the Most Honorable Senator Leonard K. Bullfinch

My Fellow Americans,

The United States of America has been observing the Labor Day holiday on the first Monday of September since 1882.  According to the United States Department of Labor, an agency of our very own government, Labor Day “is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.”

I may be just a country boy who went to a small country school, but I know that people who are “dedicated to …social achievements” are nothing more than socialists.  And anybody who has studied communism at all, knows that the only thing those godless pinkos are concerned with is the “worker.”  Let me ask you this:  Where would the worker be without people to create those jobs they work at?  Nowhere, that’s where.

Therefore, any way you look at it, Labor Day is a “holiday” devoted to socialism, and where you have a socialist, communists can’t be far behind.  And there is nothing more that the communists would like to see than our great country fall in ruins.  This cannot be allowed.

Our country was not made great by people staying home and sleeping in.  We did not create our unparalleled nation by our workers going on picnics and having barbecues… and getting paid just the same as if they were at work.  It was made through work, hard work.  And if we want to keep our nation great, then we can’t stop working, not even for a day.  And we certainly can’t be asking for the job creators to be giving us money when we’ve done nothing to earn it.  No wonder productivity has fallen in this once great nation of ours.

Therefore, I propose that the Labor Day holiday truly become a labor day.  It will be a day where everybody is required to go to work and not get paid for it.  Imagine how much more money the job creators would have to create jobs if everybody in the country worked for free just one day of the year… or two… or more.  Why, if nobody ever got paid at all, just imagine how much more productive our great nation would be! 

So this year on Labor Day, I am asking all Americans to go work just the same.  And if they give you extra money, or any money at all, you need to give it back.  And if they won’t take it, then you can send it to me.  It’s the American thing to do.

Thank You,

Senator Leonard K. Bullfinch (at-large)


10:52 am pdt 

Sailboat Semaphore 

The sailboats.  They’ve got to be stopped.  Every Tuesday night, on the lake in front of my house, there’s a whole armada.  Oh, they’re quite clever.  They didn’t think anybody could figure it out.  But I did.

They’re spelling things.  Oh, it’s really hard to tell, because you have to be really high up, and at the right angle.  And able to read ancient Hebrew.  But they are spelling things.  I figured it out.

They’re sending messages to God.  They’re telling him that they’re ready for the apocalypse.  And, apparently, according to them, which I got on good authority, that’s all God is waiting on – to be asked.

So we’ve got to stop them, because if they are wrong, then they’re making a mockery of all that’s holy.  And that just ain’t right.  But if they’re right, then maybe we can stall God from killing us all.  And if we can stall him long enough, maybe he’ll change his mind.


10:48 am pdt 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Comrade Jack and the Beanstalk 
From the Holy Grail Press Archives, we have resurrected Comrade Jack and the Beanstalk,
the illustrated Marxist version of the classic children's story, originally written by somebody
our legal department assures us has been dead too long to care if he's been plagiarized.
9:35 pm pdt 

Ms. Mary Ann Joblonski Finally Does Something! 

Our Short Fiction and History Editor, Ms. Mary Ann Joblonski, who joined the Press... oh... 28 years or so ago, has finally agreed to do something, other than constantly complain that her title is redundant.  Ms. Joblonski has graciously acquiesced to write a short history every now and again.  Below is the first of what she is threatening to be many.


3:59 pm pdt 

The San Juans:  A Brief History 

(or how islands “discovered” by a Greek were given a Spanish name and then almost fought over by the Americans and the British before becoming Canadian)


The Strait of Juan de Fuca was named after Ioannis Phokas, a Greek navigator aboard a Spanish ship, in 1592.  Phokas, who apparently changed his name when he enlisted in the Spanish navy and went exploring, was the first European to see that part of the world, and, consequently, one of the first Europeans that humans living in that part of the world had ever seen.  He wouldn’t be their last.

Spain apparently wanted little more to do with the Islands than to rename them for the natives (after all, shouldn’t they be named something that everybody can pronounce?), and they were left pretty much uncontested for the next 150 or so years, pretty much as they had been for the last… well… forever.  But then, it would’ve been a bit silly for the United States to fight over the islands with Britain until after 1776.

It took until 1818 before either Great Britain or the upstart United States seemed to care much about the Islands, and then until 1846 neither side apparently cared very much.  It was in 1846 that the 49th Parallel was established with the Treaty of Oregon as the border between Canada and the US.  Unfortunately, the 49th Parallel goes right through Victoria Island, so Britain magnanimously kept that, moving the line of demarcation south through the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which meant in went straight through many of the islands in that Strait, including San Juan.  The result was both the United States and Canada claimed all of what are now known as the San Juan Islands.

For each side to prove they seriously wanted the Islands, they quickly established settlements there.  Salmon and sheep seem to be the popular trades for the British.  Just being there was good enough for the Americans – all eighteen of them, among whom was a fellow named Lymon Cutler, who shot and killed a pig that was rooting in his garden on June 15, 1859.  The pig, unfortunately, happened to be British.  Great Britain, understandably, was upset that one of its citizens had been killed by somebody they thought had no right to be there in the first place, so they sought to arrest Cutler and have all the other Americans booted off.  The Americans, on the other hand, called in the Calvary.  Captain George E. Pickett landed on the island on July 27, 1859, along with 64 others, all of whom were rather heavily armed.

The Victorian Governor, not to be outdone, sent in the warship HMS Tribune to dislodge Pickett’s men… peacefully, if possible.  Before long, two more British warships were there, along with a variety of soldiers and marines, all ready to remove those pesky Americans. 

Of course, that would’ve been rather easy, but then, America, then as now, doesn’t take too kindly to anybody pushing around its citizens, especially when those citizens are wearing uniforms and hanging out somewhere that America has claimed as its own, or at least thinks it would like to claim as its own.  And that’s why the Americans sent in reinforcements, over 400 of them, who dug in on the other side of the island.

To prove they were serious, the British shot at the cliffs with their cannon, which apparently became an attraction for tourists bopping over from Victoria for the afternoon.  War, for many, was still something that was played at mostly by professionals, amounting to little more than a more lethal version of a contact sport, and ultimately meaning nothing for the people who weren’t lucky enough to have their homes where the two opposing teams decided to duke it out.  Let’s face it:  For centuries it really didn’t matter whose flag flew over the courthouse; you worked too much, paid too much taxes, and had no hope of much, if anything, ever changing.  There are those who argue that it’s till that way.  But I digress.

So what started with the killing of a pig could’ve turned into a full-blown war in a hurry, or as much as anybody got in a hurry to do anything back then.  But it didn’t.  For once in history, it seems that both sides, on the verge of senselessly killing each other, stepped back and said, “Oh… why bother?” 

In fact, nobody there, at least early on, seemed to want to do more than shot cannon at cliffs.  After all, if you had a real war, then somebody might get hurt.  Quite possibly, if they had a real war, then somebody would presumably win, which meant the loser would have to go.  And there were a lot worse places in the world that a soldier could be stationed.  Both sides were content to call it a draw, with the American officers even attending church on the British warship HMS Satellite after socializing together throughout the week.

It took the upper officials of both countries awhile to realize just how strange things had gotten on the small island of San Juan, with two great nations on the brink of war over the killing of a pig, but nobody there really wanting to do any of the fighting.  I mean, if somebody else were willing to get killed, I suppose that would be their business.  Just don’t include me. 

So a deal was worked out.  Both sides would withdraw their forces, but each would leave behind a settlement, and the Island, more or less, would be jointly governed, which it was for the next 12 years, give or take.

Finally, both countries decided to once and for all settle who got to keep the Islands, so they let Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany decide.  Hey… makes sense to me.  Wilhelm decided to turn the whole thing over to arbitrators, who, after a year in Geneva (after all, it’s Geneva… who’s in a hurry to leave?) decided in favour of the Americans.  The final boundary between the US and Canada was set through the Haro Strait, the US got all the San Juans, and the British got to keep the “u” in favour.

The British pulled out in November of 1872, and the American troops left in July of 1874.  All told, the only casualty was the pig.  Rumour has it that he was delicious.

3:53 pm pdt 

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