Dear Dr. XXX
 
 	Thank you for your thoughtful response to my decision letter
concerning the above-referenced piece of excrement. I have asked
several experts who specialize in the area of research you dabble in
to have a look at your pathetic little submission, and their reviews
are enclosed.  I shall not waste my LaserJet ink reiterating the
details of their reviews, but please allow me to highlight some of the
more urgent points of contention they raise:

  1.  Reviewer A suggests that you cite his work EXCLUSIVELY in the
introduction.  He has asked me to remind you that he spells his name
with a final "e" (i.e., Scumbage), not as you have referenced him in
the last version.

  2.  Reviewer C indicates that the discussion can be shortened by at
least 5 pages.  Given the fact that the present Discussion is only
three pages long, I am not certain how to advise you.  Perhaps you
might consider eliminating all speculation and original ideas.

3.  Reviewer D has asked that you consider adding her as a co-author.
Although she has not directly contributed to the manuscript, she has
made numerous comments that have, in her view, significantly improved
the paper.  Specifically, she believes that her suggestions concerning
the reorganization of the acknowledgments paragraph were especially
important.  Please note that she spells her name with an em-dash, and
not with the customary hyphen.
 
  4.  Reviewer B has asked that I inform you that, even though his
suggestions were not mentioned in my decision letter, this doesn't
mean that he is an imbecile.
 
  5.  My own reading of the manuscript indicates that the following
problems remain:

 	 a.  By "running head," we do not mean a picture of your son's
face with legs attached.  Please provide a four- or five-word title
for the paper that summarizes the report's most important point.  May
I suggest, "Much Ado About Nothing"?

	b.  Please make certain that you have adhered to APA stylebook
guidelines for publication format.  Please direct your attention to
the section entitled, "Proper Format for an Insignificant Paper"
(1995, p. 46)
 
	 c.  Please submit any revision of the paper on plain, blank
stationery.  Submitting the article on Yale University letterhead will
not increase your chances of having the article accepted for
publication.
 
 	d.  Please doublecheck the manuscript for spelling and
grammatical errors.  Our experience at the Archives is that
"cycle-logical" slips through most spell-check programs undetected.
 
	 e.  Although I am not a quantitative scientist, it is my
understanding that the "F" in F-test does not stand for "f___ing".
Please correct the manuscript accordingly.
 
 Yours sincerely,

 Prof.  Art Kives


To: Editor, Archives of General Psychiatry

   Dear Sir, Madame, or Other:

   	Enclosed is our latest version of MS #85-02-22-RRRRR, that is,
the re-re-re-revised version of our paper. Choke on it. We have again
rewritten the entire manuscript from start to finish. We even changed
the goddamned running head! Hopefully we have suffered enough by now
to satisfy even your bloodthirsty reviewers.
 
  	 I shall skip the usual point-by-point description of every
single change we made in response to the critiques. After all, it is
fairly clear that your reviewers are less interested in details of
scientific procedure than in working out their personality problems
and sexual frustrations by seeking some sort of demented glee in the
sadistic and arbitrary exercise of tyrannical power over hapless
authors like ourselves who happen to fall into their clutches. We do
understand that, in view of the misanthropic psychopaths you have on
your editorial board, you need to keep sending them papers, for if
they weren't reviewing manuscripts they'd probably be out mugging old
ladies or clubbing baby seals to death. Still, from this batch of
reviewers, C was clearly the most hostile, and we request that you not
ask her or him to review this revision. Indeed, we have mailed letter
bombs to four or five people we suspected of being reviewer C, so if
you send the manuscript back to them the review process could be
unduly delayed.
 
  	Some of the reviewers comments we couldn't do anything
about. For example, if (as reviewer C suggested), several of my
ancestry were indeed drawn from other species, it is too late to
change that.

   	Other suggestions were implemented, however, and the paper has
improved and benefited. Thus, you suggested that we shorten the
manuscript by 5 pages, and we were able to do this very effectively by
altering the margins and printing the paper in a different font with a
smaller typeface. We agree with you that the paper is much better this
way. One perplexing problem was dealing with suggestions #13-28 by
reviewer B.  As you may recall (that is, if you even bother reading
the reviews before doing your decision letter), that reviewer listed
16 works the he/she felt we should cite in this paper.  These were on
a variety of different topics, none of which had any relevance to our
work that we could see. Indeed, one was an essay on the
Spanish-American War from a high school literary magazine. the only
common thread was that all 16 were by the same author, presumably
someone reviewer B greatly admires and feels should be more widely
cited. To handle this, we have modified the introduction and added,
after the review of relevant literature, a subsection entitled "Review
of Irrelevant Literature" that discusses these articles and also duly
addresses some of the more asinine suggestions by other reviewers.
 
	 We hope that you will be pleased with this revision and
finally recognize how urgently deserving of publication this work
is. If not, then you are an unscrupulous, depraved monster with no
shred ofhuman decency. You ought to be in a cage. May whatever
heritage you come from be the butt of the next round of ethnic
jokes. If you do accept it, however, we wish to thank you for your
patience and wisdom throughout this process and to express our
appreciation of your scholarly insights. To repay you, we would be
happy to review some manuscripts for you; please send us the next
manuscript that any of these reviewers sends to your journal.
 
 	Assuming you accept this paper, we would also like to add a
footnote acknowledging your help with this manuscript and to point out
that we liked this paper much better the way we originally wrote it
but you held the editorial shotgun to our heads and forced us to chop,
reshuffle, restate, hedge, expand, shorten, and in general convert a
meaty paper into stir-fried vegetables. We couldn't or wouldn't, have
done it without your input.

 Sincerely,


 Dear Dr. XXX  :

 If your original submission had been as articulate as your most
recent letter, we might have avoided this interchange.  It is too bad
that tenure and promotion committees at your university do not have
access to authors' correspondence with editors, for it is clear that
you would be promoted on the basis of your wit alone.  Unfortunately,
it's the publication that counts, and I'm sorry to say that the
Archives is not prepared to accept this revision.  We would be
perfectly ambivalent about receiving a ninth revision from you.