The Apocalypse

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Four Horsemen.jpgNews that the Christian Science Monitor is killing off its print edition put me in mind of a story my late father used to tell. It was just after World War II, and freshly demobilized from the Army he was traveling around war-torn (as they said) Europe stringing for the Monitor. He had a purple streak in him in those days, and so began one of his stories, “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse–Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death–are stalking Europe.” Although the paper has never worn its religion on its sleeve, there have always been certain Christian Science no-nos, one of which was an absolute prohibition on the word “death.” (“Passed on,” I believe, was the locution of choice.) So Dad’s lede would not do. Edited, the story began: “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse–three of which are Pestilence, War, and Famine–are stalking Europe.” CSM print edition, RIP.