Dear Distinguished Reader,

            Welcome to the very first issue of Xtreme Penance Bimonthly, or as we like to call it, XPB!  If you're looking to atone for your sins but aren't quite sure how, then boy have you come to the right place!

            It's been several weeks now since the staggering discovery of the Spufamov-God recordings, and it's safe to say that the world has changed greatly during that time.  Church attendance is at an all time high, as is cryogenic-freezing and other methods of self-preservation among the exceptionally wicked.  Conversely, and seemingly contradictory to the previous fact, organized religion is in steep decline.  Experts believe that this can be attributed to the fact that the God revealed in the recordings bares no resemblance to the Creator described in most major religions.  The Pope was even heard to exclaim, "Oh, shit…" upon hearing the divine conversations. 

            On a brighter note, the Arab-Israeli conflict has finally come to a peaceful conclusion.  After both sides scoured the recordings for weeks on end, a cease-fire was proclaimed and negotiations announced soon after.  Last Thursday, the creation of a new middle east nation, Israelistine, was unveiled to the cheers of a stunned world.  The reasoning behind this decision to share a land that had been the object of such intense fighting and death?  Joint Israelistine President Ariel Sharon explained it in a press-conference held shortly after the announcement: "Well, God doesn't seem to give a damn.  Why should we?"

            On an utterly unbelievable note, Atheism has seen a slight spike in popularity since the discovery.  "Atheist Clubs" have begun popping up in North America, Europe, and random spots around the world.  We at the XPB managed to interview a member of an American club, whereupon we asked him why he refused to believe in God despite the overwhelming evidence supporting his existence.  "Cuz it's all a sham, man!  Anyone could've made those recordings!  Anyone!  It's just part of a plot to distract people from the REAL threat: alien invasion!  It's like the moon-landing all over again…"

            Not all changes have been as radical.  We here at the XPB have gone through our fair share of adjustments.  Ever since we decided to change our name from the Atheist Review (for obvious reasons) all the editors and writers on our staff have begun a strict regiment of floggings and cobra handling to make up for our past transgressions.  I'm sitting on a rubber donut right now… 

            Though the pain is intense, we here at XPB are bolstered by the thought that each stinging crack of our studded, black whips and deadly mishaps with our reptilian friends brings us one step closer to eternal salvation.  However, there are times when I wish that I hadn't sinned so darn much when I was an atheist…

            Anyway, we hope that you find this fine publication not only entertaining but useful as well.  If not, then you're probably in big trouble…

                                                                          It hurts so good,

                                                                               John T. Wilcott and the XPB crew

                                                      Words from beyond…

"Never poop and smoke at the same time…"

          -  Bob McDougleson

"Grades aren't everything, so don't let them control your life.  Besides, there are plenty of OTHER things one can obsess over that are just as satisfying…"

          -  Charlotte Hindleburg

"Words are just words, nothing more, but the meaning you put behind them are far more significant.  Language is the only way humans can interact with one another, so watch your mouth, motherfugger!"

          -  Trey Peters

"A little kindness goes a hell of a long way.  If you think about it, people are all alone in this world with only the kindness of others supporting them on their voyage through life.  Don't take that for granted.  Show a little goodness to others – even if you're a jerk-wad at heart…"

          -  Gloria C.

"'You are never so far gone that you cannot return home…'  I guess I'll see you all there… eventually…"

          -  Armando

"Don't overanalyze the world.  The sooner you realize just how little sense it makes, the happier you'll be."

          -  P4Pancho

"Sadness is a human invention of which we all share responsibility for.  We are the authors of our own emotions – masters of our own happiness.  Whether or not you live a "Good Life" is totally up to you…  Unless you have a chemical imbalance or something, then you should probably see a doctor…"

          -  Frank Perez

"See ya soon…

          -  God

Author's Final Note:  (wipes forehead)  And I'm done!  That took freakin' longer than I thought!  It was worth it though; I'm pretty proud of how this all came out…  Thanks again for reading.

            Make sure to write a review telling me what you thought of the series as a whole.  I'm dying to know what you all think, so I can apply it to my future writings.  Did it make you laugh?  Did it make you cry?  Did it at least make you think?  You know, it's easy to write a bunch of silly crap and make people laugh, but I think the best comedy does more than that…  If you can actually make people use their brains, then that's quite an accomplishment in my book.

            If you have any questions about the stories, just ask'em in the reviews.  Make sure to write some sort of critique though – I don't want someone ratting me out for some BS reason…  Later!

                                                                                           -- P4Pancho