Wizardly Ways At American Handgunner


By Tank Hoover

The Beginning

I admit to not knowing much about computers and such. Heck, the first story I sent to His Editorial Immenseness, Roy, was written on a brown paper sack my fried catfish sandwich came in. I wrapped my story and accompanying photos in a folded up Kentucky Fried Chicken box, with red stripes, so it looked important, like prioritized mail or something. I wanted Roy to be real impressed with such an official looking document!

Roy later told me he had never seen such an ensemble for a story packet before. “It was original, Tank,” he told me. Roy said my story was crummy and it stunk. It made him cry. Dejected, I asked for details. Roy explained he rubbed his eyes (in disbelief) after brushing the crumbs off the stinky paper bag and got some Old Bay and hot sauce in them. But good ol’ Roy musta’ seen something, besides the grease stains on the bag. He told me to send the next story using a computer.

It took me a while and Roy was surprised to hear from me again. He told me so. I borrowed my wife’s computer and learned about a document with a big blue “W” on it! I think it means Wizard! After you get done writin’ your story, you just push the paper arrow-plane button and it’s off to Roy! I don’t know how it gets to him, but it does, real quick, too!

Next, I even got rid of my Polaroid camera and got one of those new digital numbers. I learned how to send my pictures into my wife’s computer and then pull them out into a file, but not the kind of file you cut metal with, but a file like you keep in a drawer, only not really. Amazing how it happens. I don’t understand it, but Roy can open up my file and see the pictures that go along with my stories. Sometimes I send the wrong pictures, but Roy don’t care much. Roy works his wizardry and a pretty story appears with pictures. Amazing stuff!


An Idear…

Then I got to thinkin’ maybe I should write how things work at American Handgunner, as far as I know. It’s actually pretty miraculous, almost magical like if you stop and think about it. I figured you guys would find it just as amazing as I do.
Roy has a buncha’ guys what writes for him real regular like. They all have their own colons. Those are mostly one-pager artikles and stuff. Some guys have more than one colon. Even Roy has a colon in the back. His colon is the Insider, because he knows all the inside scoop on everything. Then there’s the big artikles called “features.” They have a lot of words in them, probably at least two sacks worth. Roy tells me not to worry about such things, though, bein’ since I’m a “long ways” as he says, from doin’ a feature.

Lotsa Work!

But anyhow, these regular guys all write a story and send pictures to Roy. Roy reads them over and does his editing job, whatever that means, but I think it means spellin’ all the words right. Then he somehow puts it all together and makes a real nice, pretty book out of all the guy’s stories. It must take Roy all month long to Xerox all those stories and make enough magazines for all the readers. I think he said he has over 200,000 readers, or maybe it was two million, I can’t remember, but it was a pretty-alot. That’s a lot of work for one man. And it must cost Roy a pretty penny, too! But he’s dedicated like that.

After Roy prints them out, he has to staple them together, then deliver them. I think he saves money by doing it himself, so he don’t mind. He must have a big truck! I think this is why American Handgunner only comes out every other month, it takes so long for Roy to deliver it.

Besides the printed book, Roy helps out on the computer sight, too. That’s where most of my stories are when I can remember the Internet address to check. Roy says there are over 50,000 subscribers to this. I don’t know how Roy sends out that many emails but he must be a fast typer or something. He does get help from Lorinda, though. I think maybe she yells the names off to Roy as he types and sends them.

So there it is, the inside scoop on the goings on at American Handgunner. And I’ll bet you thought it was all easy to do. I’m here to tell ya, it ain’t. It’s a good thing Roy has fellers like me to help out though. He’s always sayin’, “Tank, I swear, if I never heard from you again, I’m not sure what I’d do.” Then he talks about having more time and relaxin’ more and drinkin’ more good bourbon and stuff. But he’s always crackin’ jokes like that since I know he acktually likes having my help.

I’m pretty sure.

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