Back in 1986, USA Today was being introduced. For a while, the Canadian distributor would drop off free bundles of USA Todays at the University of Windsor, hoping I guess to establish a broader readership. The Lance felt this invasion of a pappy American paper on a Canadian campus was ripe ground for parody.
The USA Toady, published for April Fools 1986, predates my participation with The Lance. So I know very little about the inspiration behind the articles. Suffice it to say, however, the USA Toady was a benchmark that Terry and I had to shoot for when working on our four parody issues.
Fortunately, there are still some surviving members of The Lance from that era, notably The Legendary Kevin Johnson. In email, Johnson explained the interesting way in which this parody issue was produced. Basically, the paper staff hauled a typewriter (a mechanical device like a word processor that outputs text directly onto paper) down to the student pub. In sort of round robin fashion, with several pitchers of beer afore them, one person would begin an article, write as much as he could, and then hand it off to the next person.
Kevin picks up the story…
“To the best of my recollection, this collective effort was made by Mike Lyster, John May, Desmond McGrath, John Slama, Glenn Warner and myself. I hope I'm not forgetting anyone. I can still tell where I started working on a story, because that is generally where conflict was introduced. For example, in your cover story [pictured below], my part starts where Congressional leaders are opposing the war.”
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