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The Untimely Demise of Our Favorite Emoticons
by Bayard Russell

This popular emoticon was always secretly despised by the other emoticons for being so sickeningly cheerful.  Late one night, the other emoticons snuck into its bedroom and held a big fluffy pillow over this happy-go-lucky emoticon's face.  The big fluffy pillow helped to muffle the sound of the .45.

This emoticon, though it was also very popular, didn't need the help of a big fluffy pillow to end its existence.  It soon found that without a nose of any kind and unable to breathe through its freakishly wide mouth due to its perpetually closed smile, it had no way of bringing oxygen into its cheerful little head.  Eventually it turned blue, and then purple, which made all the children laugh and smile.

This emoticon was a naughty, naughty emoticon.  Every time someone wrote a nasty thought, it was there.  Every time someone made a come-on to someone but wanted to pretend they were just kidding, it was there.  This emoticon just couldn't get its head out of the gutter.  Soon the mean Republicans realized that it was this emoticon that was corrupting the fragile minds of America's youth, and locked it up in those desert prisons with the Native Americans.

This emoticon, over the years, became increasingly confused with its own identity.  "I'm winking, so that means I'm happy, right?!  But I'm frowning, so that means I'm sad, right?!  Oh God, it hurts my brain!"  It got so bad that one day it couldn't take it anymore and its head exploded, and like a pinata it showered candies and small gifts to all the good boys and girls.

This emoticon was always being picked on by the other emoticons for being nerdy, but it had always stayed strong because its parents always told it that it was special and the others were just jealous.  But one day it realized that it wasn't actually special in any way, but merely nearsighted.  Later that day it got punched in the face and its glasses broke.  It cried all night, but the next day life went on as usual and no one cared.

This emoticon was content just to be itself and be left alone while it sat in its room watching anime.  But the critics bashed it for its refusal to conform to sideways-positioning emoticon standards and for looking "Too much like those foreign chins."  So it was sent back to Africa where it belonged.

This emoticon was perpetually hungry.  It was drooling over everything in sight, it was sooo hungry.  So it started eating and eating and eating some more, and one day it mistook its own hand for someone else's hand and ate itself right up.

This emoticon was a super-robot in disguise, and when planet Earth fell under attack by the dreaded Feel-Bots, it emoticoned into a giant robot turtle and very slowly saved the day.  Then it died.

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