I am called Phineas J. Magnetron, although my unusual surname was not bestowed upon me in the usual fashion by accident of birth, but rather as a byproduct of an altogether different class of happenstance. As a matter of historical record, I was born Phineas Juchnook Mugglesworth on June 7, 1843 in West Chester, Pennsylvania, the United States of America. The circumstances and events that led me to change my name are the subject of a lengthy story which I shall save until a later time.
However implausible it may seem, what follows is my true and unembellished account of actual events I have witnessed with my own eyes. Despite numerous past admonitions against making such recordings, I have set about writing this memoir for the same reason that most men put their thoughts to paper: to unburden my soul. Indeed, as I anticipate no human being will ever have occasion to read these words, they can serve no other purpose.
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