Eli and Nikki here! We just wanted you to know that we wrote this piece together. Fifty fifty. Down the middle. Michael Ferness was also a big help. And Veronica Cohen. Erica Olivetti fact-checked the thing end-to-end, and Christopher Lin was with us in spirit. Nikki, for one, couldn’t have done it without Angela Reynolds, and Eli of course had support from Ruth, Marcus, and Beth.

Beth was really the inspiration for the idea, if you ask Mia Leighton, Nikki’s sister-in-law, who between us chickens really did most of the work. (If you call concepting, drafting, and editing “work.”) But we’d be remiss if we didn’t thank Big John Filson, who had as big a hand in it as anyone.

John came to us by way of Elmo Fuentes, who was really the inspiration for the idea, at least according to Ryan and Ann Nguyen. Word has it the three of them burned the midnight oil, getting everything in order, before we (Eli and Nikki) were even in the picture.

But the lion’s share of the thanks should go to Ines Jackson, who not only wrote the entire thing from beginning to end, but proofread and copy-edited it to perfection. You rock, Ines.

In an indirect way, Margot da Silva is most to thank, specifically because she conceived the whole thing and dictated every word to a stenographer who shall go unnamed (Pearl Amboy). Margot’s late husband Bill Hudson, meanwhile, was responsible for cutting a number of sections—comprising some 25,000 words—which really tightened up the piece. Thank you for seeing the sculpture in the marble, Bill.


Teamwork is a beautiful thing. Rodney Michaels, who’s been with us for scarcely a month, wrote every single joke, while Rhonda Talbot, a veteran in the group, punched up all the descriptions. Ara Hasan, who Eli has never met but is Nikki’s nearest and dearest, deserves singular thanks, since she took on the type-setting and selected most of the nouns and verbs.

Yes, we wrote this together, Eli and Nikki. And Jagmeet Rai. The three of us. Thick as thieves. And Little John Franklin, who isn’t as big as Big John but is undoubtedly his equal in talent.

Needless to say, Tariq “The Writer” Karim was indispensable in the writing of this piece, but in the most literal sense David Dudley is the sole author.

Between grammatical support from Father Sinclair, a keen eye for punctuation from the Martin twins, and a non-stop flow of ideas from Mei Chen, the piece, if we’re being honest, kind of wrote itself.

Senator McAdam was pivotal in getting it through to publication (he also wrote it in toto) and without him, the piece wouldn’t be half as good.

Legal rights, finally, go to Alice Ikeda. Considering her contribution, we can all agree it’s her baby in the end.

Yes, folks, when you put Eli and Nikki in a room full of other people together, magic happens.