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How to be a Successful Movie Criminal

ACTION! Asian girls on bikes! ACTION!!!

In this post-911, Bushcraftian wasteland of an economy, many people are searching for jobs which will not only provide them with enough money to support their halfwitted families, but will additionally explain the meaning of the word "Bushcraftian" which I believe I just made up. I'm thinking it's some highly clever metaphor that compares George "President Bush" W. Bush Jr. to the underwater abomination known as C'thulu, but I don't really know how this analogy applies or remotely makes sense in any aspect whatsoever. I blame the post-911, Bushcraftian wasteland of an economy for my poor writing skills. Regardless, the fact remains: it's hard as hell to get a job these days, and many members of the American public are turning to less orthodox methods in order to get money, such as becoming a professional welfare recipient or starting up a Scientology cult temple that can transform into a gigantic flying metal fist with laser rockets when authorities get "too close" in their investigation. Fortunately, Americans are incredibly resilient, and history has shown time and time again that when god closes a door of opportunity, the average American responds by taking a rock and bashing in the lock, proceeding to loot everything inside. This can-do attitude is responsible for such historic American inventions as the assembly line and smallpox.

Let's face facts: it's hard as hell to get a job these days. The economy is tanking, dragging millions of jobs down with it, and the only position companies are actively trying to fill these days is the job of the person who fires other people and then escorts them from the building to make sure the ex-employee doesn't try to steal any pens or urinate in the water cooler on the way out. Luckily there's a little known occupation that is always hiring yet many people don't know about because they're either stupid or drunk: the job of a movie criminal. I've been watching "The Action Channel" lately, a cable station which derives its name from the fact that whenever you turn it on you immediately engage in the action of changing the channel to something which sucks a lot less. Regardless, the Action Channel is a great reference source for gritty, in-your-face documentaries about realistic crimes which just happen to revolve around kidnapping the President while releasing a deadly airborne virus into the public and maybe preventing an asteroid from colliding with the Earth. Each of these movies share a common bond; the important role of movie criminals. Although they usually have bit roles and don't really do anything to further the plot, hundreds of movie criminals in each film serve a highly useful purpose, which may range from unskilled labor to being killed in a very exciting fashion, preferably in slow motion. The Action Channel has taught me many key elements needed to be a successful movie criminal, and I shall now share these points with you in an attempt to not only educate you, but also take up space on the front page:

ACTION! Cop cars hitting errant air molecules and detonating! ACTION!!!

If the good guy ever has something you need for world conquest or to further your career in the illegal cough drop smuggling industry, it's always a good idea to ransack their house to find this item. By default, the good guy never keeps any important things in their house, but this should never prevent you from ransacking their home. There is a movie criminal procedure you should follow when engaging in this activity:

1) Break in through the front door and leave it slightly open. Never, under any circumstances, close the front door! A slightly open door signals to rival movie criminals that you have either raided the house or are in the process of raiding the house, so they should either go somewhere else or hang out by some barrels which may explode when the good guy shoots at them. The last thing you want is to ransack somebody's home and have to deal with another group of movie criminals who planned on invading the same place. If possible, you should hang one of those "DO NOT DISTURB" signs from a local Ramada Inn on the outer doorknob.
2) Despite the fact that no good guy has ever hidden anything behind a painting on his wall, you should always tilt all wall art slightly askew at a 40-degree angle. The only people who hide things behind paintings are bad guys, and those are all safes that cannot be cracked unless you know the secret code which is located under his phone three feet away, or you have access to some high tech tools like a cigarette lighter and childproof scissors.
3) Use a knife to cut open all the pillows you can find. This will make a whole shitload of feathers fly out in every direction, even if they aren't necessarily feather pillows. The Movie Criminal Labor Union signed a contract with the pillow industry decades ago, and if you fail to slice up each pillow you can find, then one day you'll receive a nasty letter from some bigwig pillow manufacturers. I don't think I need to point out that the pillow industry is one of the most ruthless, cutthroat businesses out there and they'd just as soon break your skull open as look at you. If you don't believe me, then do some research to see how many people were killed by pillows last year; you will discover hardly any people died directly due to pillows and bedding-related products. This is because the pillow industry is so ruthless and powerful that they were able to successfully remove nearly all their pillow crimes from the government records. Let's see the supposedly "powerful" tobacco industry try to pull off such a feat!
4) If you're feeling particularly saucy, you should hide to the left of a wall and slowly emerge from the shadows when the person who owns the house returns. They will instinctively know you are there and will use some psychic power to anticipate your every move while beating the snot out of you, no matter how outgunned and outnumbered they may be. You will then receive an opportunity to tell the good guy who employs you and where his secret warehouse is located (in the mysterious warehouse district of downtown). This serves a very useful purpose, as the good guy will then proceed to kill your boss and therefore prevent your employer from throwing you into a vat of molten lava once he discovers you weren't able to find whatever stupid thing you were intended to find in the target's home.

The most important thing to remember in these situations is to make a terrible mess. Bring stacks of papers from his study into the living room and carefully scatter them across the floor every inch. If you cannot find enough papers, go to a nearby Office Depot and buy a few crates of printer paper so you can throw them around. Make sure to save the receipt because it's a tax write off. If the target good guy has a wife or kid, be sure to locate a picture of them and break its protective glass covering. This demonstrates how much you hate protective glass coverings.

ACTION! Manwomen in leather outfits! ACTION!!!

Your boss will sometimes ask you to "tail" the good guy, which is bad guy lingo for "follow his car in such a way that it's impossible for him to not notice you." Once the good guy sees you trailing him, which should take roughly 13 nanoseconds, he'll start pulling a bunch of fancy-ass driving maneuvers like "going to the right" and "going to the right and then going left again." You should wait for his tires to squeal three times before losing track of him, at which point the person in your passenger seat should remark, "we lost him!" You know, because you might not be sure if you actually lost him. As soon as he announces that your target slipped away, he will magically reappear in front of you exactly five seconds later. Then the passenger should shout, "there he is!" because there's a slight chance that you could've gone blind or maybe forgot who you were chasing within in the last five seconds. It doesn't matter if your car cannot catch up to the good guy's vehicle because you will invariably either end up hitting a fruit stand which is in the middle of an alleyway or driving off a pier which is also in the middle of an alleyway for no discernable reason.

Never walk up stairs. NEVER. Walking up a flight of stairs is an open invitation for the good guy to shoot you, thereby causing your corpse to fall off the railing and plummet to your dead body's death. It's a proven scientific fact that once any movie criminal reaches an altitude greater than 30 feet above sea level, he will immediately be shot and fall over a railing. If there is no railing to fall over, then members of the 374th Movie Criminal Railing Union will come by and construct one. On a related note, if you and four other bad guys are on a helicopter with the good guy, at least two of you will be thrown out during a fistfight, even if there's no railing on the helicopter.

The larger your gang, the less damage each individual will be able to sustain without falling down and suddenly falling asleep. Common sense dictates that there's strength in numbers, but action movies have an unfortunate tendency to disprove this. There is a direct correlation between the number of bad guys hanging out with you and the amount of total damage you can take before getting knocked over. If you're attacking with one other member, both of you will be able to take a fair amount of beatings to the face with a wood plank just as long as you have some kind of coordinated attack plan which you mapped out in advance and have written down on the back of your arm. If you are accompanied by three or more members, then you can pretty much assume that you'll last, at the most, two seconds in combat and will be rendered unconscious by a gust of light wind or the light reflecting off your enemy's wristwatch. Ideally you should attack by yourself, and if you're really interested in being able to sustain the most damage, you should rip off your shirt and scream before combat. Shirt tearing gives you an extra burst of energy which is critical when you're being hit in the face by somebody's shoe.

When you're driving any type of vehicle, never never EVER put your hands out in front of your face and scream. This action ensures that the vehicle you're driving or piloting will explode within the next two seconds due to the fact that every Bad Guy Approved vehicle has a large red button near the steering wheel which is labeled "PUSH HERE IF YOU DON'T WANT TO EXPLODE." Once you move your hands away from that to shield your face, this button is depressed and a small bundle of plastic explosives located in your gas tank immediately detonates. Blame Ralph Nadar or, better yet, George "Bush" W. Bush.

Never wear the standard bad guy-issued uniforms! If you put on their clothing, you will lose all your strength, coordination, and ability to form completely sentences. Your role will be instantly reduced to that of "the guy who gets knocked out after one punch" or "the guy standing next to the wall when it explodes." You will be able to serve no functional purpose whatsoever and will rival many brands of office furniture in terms of sheer usefulness.

ACTION! Black dudes waving red scarves around! ACTION!!!

The odds of you dying are directly proportional to the importance of the area you're located in. For example, if you're simply walking around some downtown street with a few of your dullard buddies, you'll probably suffer a bloody nose at the worst. However, if you've been asked to guard a top secret moon rocket which contains a nuclear warhead full of bees and poison snakes, you will be violently murdered during a security breech. Before your employer assigns you to hang around a particular area, ask him if you'll be guarding anything and, if so, the street value of this particular item. If the item is appraised at a value above $100,000, then your wife should probably take out additional life insurance policies in your name, because the only way you're going to ever be coming home again is charred and in hundreds of Ziplock baggies.

Although you may falsely believe that kidnapping children would be an easy, problem-free chore, all kids related in any way to heroes or police officers or retired Army veterans are more clever than Albert "Thomas Edison" Einstein and can probably devise even deadlier weapons. These genius youth are able to take even the most basic, primitive pieces of technology and use McGyver-esque techniques to transform them into fully functional communication tools. If they are given a calculator and disposable pen, they will be able to create a cellphone within an hour. If you mistakenly give them access to a battery and bird's nest, they will have a GPS navigational tracking system completed before you can count to ten. Don't even ask what they can build with a towel and pack of used condoms; let's just say that the words "robot holocaust" immediately spring to mind. If you are given the task of capturing and holding a child for some unspecified amount of time, expect the kid to engage in three spectacular failed escape attempts before your arch-enemy, the hero, busts in and directly causes you to fall over a railing to your death.

As you can see, the movie criminal industry is one of the few remaining profitable ventures in this post-whateverian society we live in, the others naturally being a lawyer or a leader of an organized religion. However, there are many responsibilities and "tricks of the trade" you must keep in mind when pursuing such a lucrative career. If you don't abide by these simple tips and hints you could end up dead or, even worse, Rutger Hauer. Now that's a Bushcraftian nightmare of epic proportions!

Shaving cream, the fabric of our lives

Ryan "OMGWTFBBQ" Adams cutting today's "Comedy Goldmine" a little short on my end so I can go to bed early and thus wake up early and go grab The Two Towers and Simpson's Season Three DVD's tomorrow. Just a heads up in case you forgot. Thank me later if you did.

Think how exciting every day would be if there were more Kung Fu masters around. Exciting, isn't it? I thought so to, and so did the Goons. They liked the idea so much they started photshopping Kung Fu masters into every day situations. Cleaning, cooking, sweeping, things like that.Click here like a hobo on a ham sandwich!

– Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka (@lowtax)

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