There is a very unique contest being backed by an anonymous group of eccentric billionaires. The premise is simple: A questionnaire will be e-mailed to a random sampling of comedy website visitors, and the humorist voted most popular will win a brand new green luggage set by Samsonite. I am willing to do whatever it takes to win this contest. I'll sell my soul, I'll crawl across broken glass, I'll sell broken glass. My artistic integrity means nothing to me. I will throw away all that makes me unique without a moment's hesitation and write whatever it will take to become popular. Why, you ask? You god damned fool! Can your underdeveloped brain not grasp how dire this situation is? I kind of want some luggage, and green is my favorite color.
As things stand, my chances aren't all that great. The fact that I only update once every two weeks is just the beginning. It seems that everyone else around here has a recurring theme or character that resonates with readers. I have no gimmick, unless being forgettable is a gimmick. To stand a chance of winning that luggage set I'll need to spend the rest of this update ripping off the most popular themes of my fellow Something Awful writers, spending about a paragraph on each style while I pass on the endearing tale of my life story. If I'm not your favorite updater after today, you're probably a girl. I'm not so popular with the girls.
You could say that I have been forced to overcome adversity since my first day on Earth. Born in the Valley Of Racist Dinosaurs, I was a small white human in a town full of intolerant bear traps. I have no idea who put them there or where my mom went to after she gave birth to me, but when you can barely crawl and you're trying to negotiate a three mile stretch of pointy steel teeth you don't really have time to question things. I eventually found my way to the Valley Of Tolerant Dinosaurs (no dinosaurs here either, just cats and dogs), but I will always recall the town of my birth fondly. Sure, there were all those bear traps, but what town is perfect? If I ever have kids I think I would like to raise them in the Valley Of Racist Dinosaurs because hey, bear traps have become the fastest growing activity for kids since lawn darts were outlawed.
The dogs and cats that resided in the Valley Of Tolerant Dinosaurs took me in as one of their own, and throughout the course of my childhood I learned many things about their behavior. My adoptive mother was Scruffy, a spastic retard of a cat who would spend 98% of the day in a slumber so deep a thermonuclear blast wouldn't rouse her and the other 2% suddenly bolting across the house for no apparent reason other than to give me a heart attack or to run into my closet door. My father was Bojangles, a 12 year old Golden Retriever who served as the town's elder. Most fathers teach their sons to fish, to play baseball, or to hide when daddy drinks, but Bojangles stressed the most important aspect of being a dog: licking yourself. It may seem odd to you, but the taste of your own crotch grows on you over time and eventually you accept it as a delightful treat, sort of like tasting your tears. If a dog is eating (their number one hobby) and finds his food bland, the first flavor he thinks of to liven things up is the succulent moisture that collects in the curve of his taint. It goes with everything; Kibbles N Bits, bones, squirrels, and couch cushions. Or so I hear. Being human, I was never able to reach my crotch regardless of how hard I tried. My father was a good dog and never expressed his shame, but I knew it was there. I couldn't stand hurting him so at the tender age of 16 I ran away in the middle of the night.
Venturing into the woods on my own with no survival skills to speak of turned out to be a bad idea. Within three days I was lost, cold, and unable to find water. You could say I was in a real big pickle. That was when Steve Perry showed up and bit the pickle in two, freeing me from my crunchy prison. Most people don't know that Steve is capable of growing and shrinking at will, but he totally is. After placing me in his earlobe he explained that becoming a giant made his strolls across the countryside quick and safe. As he walked on, his enormous leather boots shaking the ground and sending deer fleeing with each step, Steve told me his tale. After completing his latest tour with Journey, he had set off on a spiritual quest of sorts, outwitting Gary Kasparov in a dazzling kung-fu showdown and perfecting his ability to dive to the bottom of the ocean without an oxygen tank for days at a time. The odyssey had been a good one, and the knowledge he had attained manifested itself in his hair. Spectacular as always, those flowing locks were now encircled in a halo of light and love. He had been on his way back to the studio to cut a new album about this entire experience (tentatively named Bon Jovi's Greatest Hits) when he happened upon my pickle. If it weren't for the fact that he was hungry because he had last eaten seventeen days ago when he single handedly consumed every bovine infected with Mad Cow disease in Scotland, I might have never been freed.
When we came upon civilization once again, Steve set me down gingerly and continued on his way with a kind wave. I sought work in the local Mc Donald's, breezing through the interview by drawing a detailed map of every secret shortcut in Super Mario Brothers 3. My crayon strokes were masterful. My rendition of the Hammer Brothers gave every woman who glanced upon it an orgasm of When Harry Met Sally proportions and sincerity.
"This looks pretty good, but where's the whistle?" Lauren asked.
"The whistle flies in the face of everything that is Mario." I said. "Blowing that whistle blows away the charred ashes which are all that remain of our culture. It's cheating. There's a reason that whistles aren't allowed in the SATs or in rooms full of sound-triggered bombs."
Lauren grunted dismissively. "You always bring up whistle theory. Face it, you're stuck in the past. This is a glorious new age of electricity and automobiles. Your map is great and all, but I'm afraid you'll have to tell me about yourself before I'm forced to shoot you with this laser gun I fashioned out of random items from the lost and found box instead of hiring you."
I had always assumed my life would end at the hands of a circa-1990 Tiger handheld version of Double Dragon duct taped to a sweat-stained wooden leg, but not this soon. Having no other choice, I cleared my throat and delved into what made Dennis Farrell the person he was.
To understand a man you must understand his favorite WW2-era tank. In my case it is the T-84 Gas Tank. Developed by the Germans, this marvel was engineered to travel farther without refueling than any vehicle of its time, even sailboats. This incredible feat was reached by sealing the entirety of the tank's body and filling it with fuel, leaving approximately 3 inches of airspace along the roof for the crew to breathe. I managed to buy one of these bad boys on eBay, and I frequently crawl inside to get away from the world, sprawling out across the spacious cockpit that's capable of seating four adults comfortably or three adults uncomfortably. Once inside the serene T-84, it's easy to forget that there are tens of thousands of people dying in the world beyond the protective armor plating that surrounds me. How long will it be until it's you or me rotting beneath a marble slab stained with birdshit? Our lives are fleeting yet we waste so much of them glued to our television sets, feeling superior without having accomplished a single thing. Shake your head sadly at the news because some poor saps in a third world country have been ravaged by illness, a little girl was kidnapped, and it turns out that eating too many carbs might turn out to be bad for us after all. Go ahead and cry into your Kleenex brand tissue, then have a Bud to replace the moisture you've lost and numb yourself a little more. Not too much though, because in a few minutes you have to make the most important decision you'll likely face all month: should you watch washed up celebrities box each other or a paint by the numbers sitcom? Our very existence is owed to a series of ridiculously improbable events taking place over the course of billions of years. If one fish with crude feet had turned around after that first hesitant step, we simply would not exist. We are the jackpot of the universe's crapshoot with billion-sided dice, and we have nothing to show for it but Diary Of A Mad Black Woman.
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
The Something Awful front page news tackles anything both off and on the Internet. Mostly "on" though, as we're all incredible nerds.