Sir: Last night I purchased a bag labeled “Everything Salad” from a certain supermarket which I shall call, for the sake of convenience, “Whole Foods.” A superficial examination of the contents through the transparent plastic was, of course, all that was permitted me by the packaging, but I took the label at its word and spent my $5.95.

When I opened the bag at home, what did I find? Not a single 1957 Dayton trolleybus token in the package! I carefully sifted the contents, but there was not a Ruckers harpsichord to be found. If the Virginia House of Delegates was hidden in that pile of lettuce and cabbage, I certainly failed to locate it. I did not see a badminton shuttlecock or a terrarium. I did not even find a single pulsar, which ought to have been quite easy to locate if it had been in there at all.

In short, the salad, in spite of its deceptive packaging, did not contain everything. I will say that I do not blame the manager of the store. He agreed to refund my money after I had spent half an hour explaining the problem to him, and indeed he seemed quite eager to make sure that I left his store happy, or at least that I left his store. But still, fraud is being committed in the packaged-salad industry, and I think it my duty to inform other consumers that packages labeled “Everything Salad” may not in fact contain everything. Thank you for providing the forum in which to do so. And, by the way, just how celebrated is this magazine? —Sincerely, Melville P. Gaspipe, East Liberty.


Dear Dr. Boli: Every once in a while I hear people talk about the “seven arts.” But they never say which seven they mean. Can you provide a canonical list of the seven arts, or will I have to go to Reddit and take my chances? —Sincerely, M. R. Jackson, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts.

Dear Madam: The canonical list of the seven arts is updated periodically by the competent authorities, so it is important to keep up to date, which you can easily do by paying a small annual subscription fee to Competent Authorities LLC. For example, the list promulgated in August of 1971 specified the seven arts as tie-dye, macramé, protest songs, macaroni painting, carpet bombing, free verse, and laugh tracks. If you mistook that for a current list, you would be accused of wallowing in nostalgia. Here is the most recent list of the seven arts as it was announced in April of this year:

AI prompting
Tattoo removal
Telephone scams
Tragic backstories


Alcoa Corporate Center

Our friend Father Pitt published some pictures of the Alcoa Corporate Center on the North Shore in Pittsburgh. It is a striking building that makes a good advertisement for aluminum as a building material, but to Dr. Boli’s eyes it seemed to be missing something. It took a while to decide exactly what it needed, but at last it came to him in a flash.

Alcoa Corporate Center

This building needs appropriately scaled Lionel trains.


On this day in 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas was signed, dividing all newly discovered lands between Spain to the west of a certain meridian and Portugal to the east of it. This treaty established an important principle of international law: that if you are a band of thugs intending to muscle in and take over already-inhabited countries, it is proper form first to make a gentlemanly agreement with any other thugs who might have their own plans for conquest and massacre in the same territories.


Pantocrator Pictures Corp. confirmed today that classically trained Shakespearean actor Theodore Naphtha, best known for his role as Irv in the 2006 comedy Herb and Irv Hit Themselves on the Head with Hammers, has signed on to play the title role in the new darker reboot of the Book of Job. Director and screenwriter Monty McCarrion promises “a world-class spectacle” in the climactic battle with the supervillain Elihu. The project earlier generated some controversy among fans when McCarrion revealed that this updated take on the venerable franchise would not include the character of God, a cult favorite in some corners of fandom. Most fans seem to agree, however, that giving the Job character superpowers has obviated the need for the God character.