Recently I had to read through about 80 or so applications to fill the two vacant spots in Something Awful’s daily update schedule. Here’s a typical example. I'm not making these up, but the names are withheld:
Image from a rejected entry: WACKY!
Dear Hairy Jacknipe, this is a letter regarding the hybrid-store of Coast Mountain Sports and SportCheck . In a striking analogy that my English teacher would circle with a red pen, I find a convenient parallel between the unfortunate marriage of these stores with the dangerous and unnatural creation of that great fiend and monster, Frankenstein. If I could be so bold, or maybe at least my type, both are a mistake of Miltonesque proportions!!! Even if this makes little or no sense, and that English teacher in you is trying to break free and write 3 question marks in a rouge arthritic scrawl, please bear with me; for once you finish you can write a gratifying "F" at the bottom of the page. (It will make you feel better, it's what keeps University professors alive.) Now an astute reader might think that this letter has strayed off course a little and is merely a thinly veiled attack against some PhDs, or if read critically, the preamble for a diesel engine manual. However it is neither. 3 eggs, a pinch of salt and a whole hell of a lot of chopped walnuts. Confused? Welcome to me IN YOUR STORE!!
I recall a video game I played as a child called Price of Persia. In this game, the player must navigate a devilish labyrinth fighting many evil turbanized sword wielding fiends and avoiding razor sharp spikes of death. Trying to get through your store reminded me of this adventure. Yes there were less swordsmen (only 4-5), but more annoying people (close to 9000). Which is worse? I contend the latter, for you are not allowed run annoying people through with your sword, and I should know, for five years of writing a book entitled The 'Crazy' Swordsman at Wal-Mart Affair: My Side of the Story proves that point.
The death-spikes, or in this case your merchandise displays, are doubly offensive. I must imagine that the conception of the floor plan involved a lot of illegal drugs and one of those coin operated horsey rides I was banned from at the super-market. The combination of these two things could only arrive at something in an advanced state of retardation, and lets just say your store would come last in the Special Olympics. To put it more bluntly, your "Frankenstein" has the reading level of my friend Tunsis, the "no eyed" cat. In regards to your irrational floor plan, I would like you to know that I could not prance three times, without bumping into something that I didn't need. (I must take this time to praise your Screen Door Canoe and Concrete Tent, they are both at the bottom of a lake gaining tremendous resale value). With all this in mind your store is amazing. This should not be read in a good way, but as a salacious pun and double entendre. (get it? "a-AMAZing". It’s a maze. Okay never mind). If you are still reading, you must be commenting to yourself that this letter is rather long and you have better things to do with your time like getting that potato powered alarm clock working. Imagine having to wait for this letter to be printed out twice before you could read it. Imagine how annoying that would be. Once again, welcome to me, IN YOUR STORE!!! As previously mentioned I purchased 2 items from your store, the receipt was 76 feet long, one copy for me, and one for you. Maybe you should be in the process of printing Bibles? (You get into Heaven much faster.) While waiting for this undoubtedly entertaining piece of paper, I couldn't help notice that your printers sound like a chorus of dot matrix printers that have ensnared a family of singing cats. Factoring in the Dickensian length of your receipts, the hideous noise pollution and the festering abscess in my ear, your purchasing process is the equivalent of some arcane medieval torture. Why would I ever want to buy something if it felt like my intestines were being pulled out by a rotating fire-poker? I DONT KNOW EITHER!! But before I start down the slippery slope of revenge, I implore you to change your store, for I am in the market for a pair of fishnet stockings (with the electrocution pack); which is an item I'm sure you have an abundance of and are wearing right now under your pants.
Here's another one!WACKY WACKY WACKY!
Sometimes when I get too bored I watch TV you know when Hobie’s not home yet so I’m just sitting there and I can’t think of anything to do and he isn’t home he’s my roommate. So when he gets home, you know, we’ve got plenty to do like sometimes we just sit around with lots of grapes and we throw them and try to catch them in each others mouth. This one time it was so funny. We were doing that, and Hobes pretended to choke, and so I called the police. You know like the doctor police. And they showed up with their ambulatory, and they came in, but when they got there, they start asking me what’s wrong and all, and Hobie is got this giant grin on his face. And they ask him what is the deal. And Hobie says “DOCTOR! I AM DYING… OF A MASSIVE ERECTION!” And then he spit the grape in their face and jumped out the window. And then boy howdy, he really DID need them doctors cause he broke his ankle we’re on the third floor you know. Then he would go around having people sign the cast, but when they leaned down he’d kick them in their face he’s quite a guy.
Remember those advertisements they used to have? They had those ones for heroin back before it was against the law to advertise heroin on TV and the bunny would come out with the needle. And he would say to those kids “everyone is a winner with heroin!” boy those commercials were great. I asked Hobie if he remembers those, and he says there never were any such commercials because heroin was always illegal, so we got in a big argument about it, and I ended up punching his mom cause she was visiting. So then I remembered maybe it was a dream I had and there was not such an advertisement. Either way they should bring back those ads back cause that bunny was cute.
I remember this great ad, you know, there’s this guy. This big chess-board is in the ad like where you play chess, but it’s big enough for people. And this guy has a sword, and he’s for some reason he’s got to fight this I don’t remember it was a monster thing. And so anywho he hits it with this sword, and the thing crumbled up or something, and it was over, and there was some lightning. And then by that time, you know, it was so cool, I want to know what it’s an ad for. But then it turns out its an ad for the marines, you know? And I was like man what a rip off. Because I don’t know much about marines, and I am not against them and all. You know, I want them to get that Osamama Bean fellow as much as the next guy god bless America, but you know, I really think that they lie when they say you get to fight a monster. Cause if you did I bet all those kids from lunch in high school, who had the long black coats and would talk about dragons, you know, I bet they would all be marines but you never see them in the marines. They all grow up to be computer men and science men and stuff, or else from what I understand they go around shooting people at school, which is sort of like a marine but its really messed up, you know? And I don’t think that’s all-right.
That reminds me of this time back in that school, the other one. And it was when I went to school with William Amherst, he is my friend from school before we got kicked out. But then after we got kicked out we went to this other school, and hoowee was it a not very good one! The desks were real like tiny like, very small. And the teachers were like the teachers at the old school pretty much, except with more of a certain quality of drunkness. And you know those kids like I mentioned before, with their coats and their talking about dragons all the time? Well there was lots of them at that school. So anyway, one time at that school William and myself decided to have a little bit of fun because that’s what you do you know he’s a real cool guy.
And anyway we were at the zoo this one time with our biogical science class and we sorta got separated with them you know cause we want to do our own things when they were with the boring tour group man who had got the mustache. So we look at all the animals you know, and none are more amazing than the ardbark, who look sort of like a nut with a furry elephant nose what eats the ants. And this thing is about the size of a large-shaped dog. And he’s behind this really small fence and all, and William starts formulating crazy ideas, you can tell cause he makes the real sly face. So William says to me, what is keeping us from riding on the back of this creature? Well I say to him, William, do you see those claws? Those things could tie you a knot you won’t forget. But he wasn’t too worried.
So he hops over the fence and he starts moving toward that little fellow. And he get near it, but it starts looking a little bit horrified, and it gets those claws moving at him. And he tries to tackle the big guy, but it is pretty amazing how that thing moved, it was like a little horse. And I am there outside the fence you know, wheeping and a whooping at him, with my arms awave in the air like I’m at the cow circus thing with the cowboys and all. But then the zoo police hear me and start running toward us yelling. And William jumps off that little fellow and hops the fence and he and I run like crazy and hide in the house with all the animals that live in the dark.
And we’re there in the corner, hoping they don’t find us, but we had to leave that place. Cause we’re sitting there in the place and it’s all dark, and William points at this little guy in a tree, and he’s got these big big eyes, and he says shit Harley, look at that. Look at how he looks at us. He knows, Harley. And we sit there staring at this little fellow, and he’s staring back at us, and eventually it is just too frightening and we leave. And right when we get out the door, we get caught by the zoo police, and they put us in the back of their zebra-stripe van and take us to their little place. And boy oh boy are they ever furious at William.
And they take us to meet the main zoo lady, and she is furious too and asks to speak with us alone. She says, this animal is rare and fragile and don’t you ever try to ride the creatures at the zoo, she said it was reprehensible and blah dah dah, I remember cause I looked it up when I got home. And she says she is going to call the police which is a really bad problem for us because oh boy do they ever not like William he punched a cop and that’s why we’re at this dumb school instead of regular school in the first place. So William talks to her all smooth like he does, and then out of nowhere he asks her if she’s ovulating. And I thought he had gone crazy or maybe the terrifying night-monkey had planted crazy ideas in his head when we were in the dark. This question certainly surprised and confused the zoo lady and she was all shocked and said how in the world could you tell? And then William starts laying on the charm, he’s a real smooth operator, he goes “Girl, I can always tell, girl.” When William is laying on the charm, you know, he starts and finishes every sentence with “girl,” and it really works.
So William starts putting on his lover-man routine real strong with this lady. And I guess she bought it, and eventually William gave her his phone number and let us go. I guess the zoo lady was not above his wild flattery. And it was a fake number anyway. But so I ask William when we finally get to my house, “William, how in the world did you know the zoo lady was ovulating?” And he says tells me we were screwed anyway, and he had no idea if she was ovulating or not, but he just took a guess at it, cause he says the ladies are always impressed if you get that one right, but it’s only good for those times when you really got to gamble because you’re only going to be right one in ten times or so. So I guess we got lucky that time.
And other times on television there are those shows that talk about animals like the ones that I mentioned in the story up there that I just said about. Like the fragile nut-shaped dog that is the ardbark and the evil terrifying big-eyed creatures who live in the dark at the zoo and whom I still have horrifying nightmares about them. And Hobie and I always watch those things when there is nothing else, it is our favorite kind of show ever. Except when those evil night things are on, I swear to god I get all worked up and start running around the room and Hobie has calm me down. William and I tried to go back to the zoo a week later to destroy the evil thing, but they wouldn’t let us in because apparently the zoo lady had banned us for life even though William played her like a fiddle.
So Hobie just got home and there’s going to be something good on television I think let me ask him. Okay Hobie says we got Magnum PIE and there is no way we are going to miss that one, that man’s got a mustache to beat all others so I better go watch that. Oh man, okay that was a great show, he plays this private guy who does all sorts of action and has all these women, that was really cool.
Multiply this by 40 and you’ll get some idea of the suffering I had to endure. Screw all those penniless-starving-homeless-legless kids in some backwards ass third world nation scrounging for food among land mines and the stinking carcasses of their school friends, I’m the guy who deserves the pity. And tens of millions of dollars financial support, so if anyone from the U.N. is reading this, please contact me as soon as possible regarding a wire transfer of $10 million dollars to my personal checking account. Thanks.
P.S. - This experience has traumatized me and that’s why my past few updates have been utter garbage. At least that’s the best excuse I could come up with.
Do you wish to know what computers will be doing in the year to come? With a sigh I shall exert the minimal effort it takes to reveal all. Feel free to print out these predictions and share them with your friends via fax.
Old mixed signals feeling a little stale? Try some new ones!
day 2: still working on the car
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