ISSUE 40

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  Wish you could escape to a place that stays a balmy hundred and five year-round with no vegetation or water? Come on over to Mordor, a land where conservation is a joke and recycling sure isn’t what you think it is. Formerly closed off as too dangerous and genocide-y, Mordor is the new Cuba, the untouched paradise for the adventurous tourist.
 As rightful ruler of Middle Earth with a penchant for fascism, Lord Sauron welcomes all to his humble abode, ensuring everyone that the whole “enslaving the world thing” was a simple misunderstanding. Flights from Isengard to the capital of Barad-dûr go for less than $69 one way. Fiery Torment Airlines, the regional provider for Mordor, even offers frequent flyer programs for people who can’t get enough of those wonderful sulfuric fumes.  
 From the tortured plains of Gorgoroth to the only continually active volcano in Middle Earth, you will find the perfect barren wasteland to bring the family. We like to say it’s like Los Angeles with less of a gang problem.
  Meet locals who will let you sample native delicacies like raw mutton, maggoty bread, and select appendages of the weakest member of their community.
  Traveler’s Tip: Don’t be the weakest or you might end up on the menu!
  It’s prison rules here, so make sure to assert your dominance and challenge the most threatening resident in hand-to-hand combat. If you win, you’ll make some friends—or at least enemies who will keep their distance until your back is turned.
  If you’ve never met a creature with a brain made for smashing and not necessarily for linguistic capabilities, this is your chance. We’d love to introduce you to a troll with a single syllable name like Bill, Tom, Joe, or Trump. Confuse one with simple math problems and the hilarity will follow.  
  While you’re in Mordor, make sure to tour the fortress at Barad-dûr, where you can view our legendary spawning pits and real prisoners being tortured for information. You can even watch as we incite our community to bloodlust, then equip them with primitive weapons and send them to burn down some innocent villages.
  Stop at Nine Rings Gift Shop before you leave and pick up some pro-slavery magnets and a mug in the shape of a volcano. It’s our Mordor promise that someone was exploited in the making of your product, maybe even one of your relatives. Grab a postcard there and mail it to family members with a quick ransom note. Try to sound desperate, otherwise you might not ever get home! 
  Opportunities to get outside and see the local wildlife abound in Mordor. See animals such as fell beasts, horses with red eyes, wolves, wargs, elephants who like to stomp, and spiders, lots and lots of spiders. The spiders in particular like to pose for photos—but be careful because they’ll jab you with their stinger.
 Traveler’s Tip: Remember to pack an adventurous spirit and a can of mace!
  Stay in authentic mud-covered huts at a bed and breakfast or in a barracks where a friendly four o’clock wake-up call is provided free of charge. Work with select members of the community in their daily tasks like digging trenches, digging pits, or digging for the sake of digging. Talk about meeting your daily exercise goals!
Have no trouble getting around when you can rent a member of our community to carry you wherever you’d like. And if they break down or threaten to eat one of your legs, we promise to replace them within twelve hours. We even provide a hefty knife to fend them off in the intervening time. 
  So, at the end of your trip, don’t be surprised to hear your kids say, Thanks for the great trip, respected authority figure! I learned how to butcher a person in less than five minutes and why a free market economy is just plain silly. Plus, that skin rash will always remind me of what an awesome time we had. Can we go back again next vacation?
  Yes. Yes you can, little maggot.
   
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