The Something Awful LLC Gigaplex is an imposing fortress. Standing at seventy stories high (and thirty stories deep), the administration and infrastructure goings-on were handled by hundreds of employees, most migrant-farm workers who had been given cushy new jobs. And here I was, walking to reception, about to lose a job that paid me $650,000 a year. Parking my Ferrari Testarossa somewhere safe in the kill-or-be-killed state of Missouri was no mean feat, especially considering I'd circled for a half-hour, looking for on-street parking. Garages could cost something like $20, and then you have to tip the guy, and they could potentially steal one of your four or five GPS systems.
After going through the metal detectors, dealing with Richard "Lowtax" Kyanka's many intermediaries and bankers, I finally got to walk into his office for - unbeknownst to me - the last time.
"Is it about Webcam Ward?" I said, before even "hello."
"It's about Webcam Ward. You're being canceled. I'm sorry."
I could just about spit at his handsome face, and his stupid diamond-and-emerald encrusted smile. "Is this about that MUGEN video from two articles ago? I told you, Diabetus and I were having an off-day." I laughed a bit, "I'm playing this video game and it's really stressful. You ever heard of 'Metroid Prime: Corruption'? It's a real gasser!"
"No, no, no! This doesn't have to do with your performance," he said, pushing forward a manila envelope. "Your comedy potency levels are fine. I mean, below-average, but fine otherwise. No, we're taking the feature in a new direction, and as for you and Cancer-boy, well, there's just no room for you."
"Diabetus doesn't have cancer!" I said. "He has diabetes! It's like cancer, only you get it if you're really fat."
"Look, whatever. The point is we're replacing you."
"With what?" And then he said the three words which would haunt my soul forever. Let me type that more dramatically. And then he said the three words
Which would haunt.
"Khad's Random Webthoughts."
"Yeah, it's just an hour of Khad talking about nonsense." And then Steve "Khad" Banks (who I call "Spanks") stepped out of the shadows, wearing a sharp Armani suit with his shiny black shoes. But he looked like an asshole, regardless. Seriously. Dressing Khad up is like tying a ribbon on a turd.
"Shit. Now I know how Conan O'Brien feels. Well, mark my words, Lowtax. I'm going to go to some equivalent of TBS, and let my wings fly!"
"Yeah. Since I'm Conan O'Brien. That makes Something Awful like NBC in this metaphor. So I guess we'll be making videos for like... I dunno, what's the Internet equivalent of TBS? Farmville, I guess. I'll make videos for Farmville or something. It could work."
But clearly, Kyanka had other things to do. Other fires in the iron, other fish in the fryer, other whores in the bordello. "I wish you luck in your future endeavors," he said, as security led me out.
The exact midpoint between New Jersey, where I reside, and Alabama, where Diabetus resides, is a small out of the way hamlet, that takes forever to drive to. It's called Las Vegas, which is Spanish for 'The Vegas' I think. I was pretty drunk when I was figuring out what was between Jersey and Alabama... Oh, what does it matter now? I wanted to write off playing blackjack as a business expense. I went to the office Betus and I rent out to break the news.
"Your dunce cap is askew," I said as I walked in.
He straightened it, but I could see the dilation in his eyes. He was high off insulin. So nothing unusual. "We got fired," I explain. "Again. Only this time, it's not Lord & Taylor's where they give severance packages."
Diabetus sighed. "I told you that MUGEN video wasn't any good."
"Look, it's fucking MUGEN! Those people are crazy! And that guy, he had douchebag written all over his face!"
I sat down across from his desk and just slumped down. I undid my tie. "Let's keep things in perspective," Diabetus said. "At the very least, we have millions and millions of dollars."
"Millions, my ass! With this economy, we'll be broke and destitute in like three fucking seconds. And what am I supposed to do? Go back to flipping pancakes at Lord & Taylor's? Well, they don't even serve food there! I think that's why I got fired!"
"I thought that was because you were stealing money from the register."
"Christ, you don't get corporate politics at all. It was the pancakes, Diabetus. The stealing was just for a tax write-off."
Angrily, I looked over to the wall. I didn't want to give Lowtax the satisfaction of knowing I was about to cry. I guess maybe I shouldn't write this part down, then. And because I'm not a good writer, there was suddenly a knock on the door. Really just then. Right after I said that. Wow, that is a little overly convenient. Opening it, we saw a guy whole looked and dressed like Agent Smith from The Matrix.
"I'm Hugo Weaving," the man said. "I'm working for the government now. So we're not here all day, you've been audited by the IRS and you committed a lot of tax fraud. You have to give us exactly the amount of money that makes you rich so that you and Diabetus will be broke, in order to move this terrible story along."
So yeah, I wrote him a big check and that happened.
"Now," I said. "We start a new website. One that's bigger and better than Something Awful. One where forum members pay us a subscription. And you can search and never be banned and be god-damned happy!"
"What should we call the website?"
"Let's call it," I said... and then with a smile: "Brokendreams.com!"
Betus began typing on a computer, which I don't know how he had because we were poor. Shit. Uh. Well, let's just say that the government guy took all of our money minus the cost of one computer. Also minus the cost of any other props I need to tell this thing, like Internet, and a desk to put the computer. Look, whatever. Where were we?
"That URL's already taken," he said.
So we died broke and alone. And cold. And angry. Especially Diabetus. I mean, the way he went out? Man, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. Actually, I did okay after all. Years later, scientists cloned us in space and we time-travelled back and made this video for Webcam Ward.
So here it is!
|Yeah, I know it's not so accurate to the video. But I'm not looking up whatever that was supposed to be. Added: Oct 10, 2010|
Description: no description available
Best Viewer Comment: I didn't want toÿ see that.
(slowbeef's note: No one did.)
That really does it for the Webcam Ward! In truth, we didn't get fired, we just ran out of steam and needed a long break. It was a fun gig, and I'd like to thank:
Khad - for getting us the front-page feature in the first place, and not being such a bad guy when it really comes down to it.
Lowtax - for hosting and walking me through professional audio editing stuff and all that.
Garbage Day - for helping out a lot with article writing and administration
Diabetus - Whose real name is John Assfucker. That's why he never wanted you to know.
You can read all about our misadventures in my upcoming biography, which I'm suing the authors of for libel: "Webcam Ward: Beneath the Headsets." Even the title is for assholes. How can you be beneath a headset?
TOTAL WRECK - crazy-eyed hound is covered in cobwebs, has a vespiary on back, graffiti on side and savage thirst for boat fuel. Frankly, I'm in over my head. He's in room 115 at Motel 6, yours free. 555-2851
Yes, it's the perfect form for surviving a car crash. But it's also the perfect form for so much more, like surviving the trauma of reading any news headline in 2016.
Long before the internet, very boring people created very boring home videos. Thanks to cheap bandwidth and fast internet connections, these people are not only able to share their horrid disasters with the rest of the world, but they are actually encouraged to make more! The Webcam Ward is staffed with the finest internet guardians, all ready and willing to draw a line in the sand and shame the shameless into video retirement.