I guess you have to pick which online outfit you write little humor pieces for wisely. It's heartening to know that the website wing of a literary magazine that was all just a year or two old when I managed to slip a couple of pieces past their gatekeepers in 2000 has done well enough in the following decade that they not only can still pay their server fees but have done a major site upgrade, one result of which is that every contributor now has their own url. Mine is http://www.mcsweeneys.net/authors/tom-nissley.
You'll only find two pieces linked there, both written when I was contracting for Microsoft Encarta and McSweeney's Internet Tendency was my daily, makes-every-day-a-little-more-worth-looking-forward-to fix in a way that I guess Some Came Running or Paris Review Daily are today. It was one of the great thrills of my writing life to get a note from one of the guys who had recently been included in their staff photograph in the New Yorker saying they'd publish my list, 13 Fraudulent Martyrs. (I think my original title was "The Book of Fraudulent Martyrs.") And then six months or so later, they wrote again, saying they'd like to post my mournful, pre-9/11 Reader's Digest goof, Humor in Uniform, too. (I can't remember if I originally sent them in together, or separately.)
Needless to say, I was at the time such a wise husband of my literary career that I took advantage of this rare opening by never submitting another thing to them. Why? Did I think I had proved myself and could move on? Move on to where? I still have no idea.
Neither piece lends itself to excerpting, but I will say that among the topics covered in the two items are squirrels, big cats, rhesus monkeys, plastic reindeer, and William Friedkin. And that, to be quite immodest, there's nothing I've written that I like better than the 13 Martyrs: I'd keep it ahead of just about anything--certainly my dissertation, and maybe even the 140 pages or so of a novel I keep tacking microscopic layers onto most days. I hope you enjoy it (although if there's anyone reading this blog who hasn't seen it already I'll be surprised).