Sunday, January 29, 2006

It's Good (Sort of) to be Back!



Despite my best efforts, I lost the First Ever International Internet Stare-Down with the Playaz.

Those of you who have listened to the Letter to America podcast (find it here under Chapter 20) will know that Jett and I recorded the show something like 5 hours before the contest was supposed to begin but he edited it in such a way as to blow your simple minds.

"Whoa!" you said. How'd they do that? It's like they're all there in the same room and stuff! And how'd they travel to the future and then back again without knowing who won?" Well, believe me when I say this--I'm too lazy to explain it to you.

Anyway, both Jett and I assumed that I would WIN the contest so I decided to take a victory climb up the crane outside Jett's apartment.

I found the January air exhilarating. Climbing in my pajamas gives me freedom and a "breathe-ability" not found in lycra.

Oh, how shall I explain the wonders of this Belfast view from the top!?! It's just too beautiful! (But there is an awful lot of gum on your street, Jett!)

Of course, all of this took place before I knew that I had actually LOST. Always the thinker, Jett decided he'd better go forward into the future again and find out who won before I tried something really stupid.

Too late!

I slipped on 3-in-one motor oil and some loose ball bearings that were carelessly left on top of the crane! I was doomed!

(Author's Note: From this point on all characters involved will be represented by cuddly toys. It protects the identity of the innocent and gives a warm, cuddly feel to potentially tragic events. Did I mention that they're cuddly? Cuz they are!)

(Continue on...IF YOU DARE!)

(Meanwhile, in an Intergalactic Time Loop, Phil was staring into the future--his minions at his side cheering him on and refreshing his drink which he claimed "re-hydrated the tear ducts". Whatever. Phil had nothing to do with my AMAZING rescue. He just sat around and watched.

Finally, through a long and tedious turn of events my life was miraculously saved and I celebrated the precious gift of life with an old friend.

Whew! That was some adventure! I think I've learned several important lessons that I would like to share with you:

1. Don't mess with The Playaz.

2. Never climb buildings in your pajamas.

3. Don't post a blog that requires Photoshop unless you're POSITIVE your wife will finish the job for you and you don't have to resort to snapping quick pics of stuffed animals to come up with a lame ass conclusion.

Oh, I almost forgot. Phil has graciously allowed me to use my real name of 'Wayne' again. In return, I will pay The Playaz royalties every time my name is spoken, written or shouted in fits of passion.

That is all.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Final Countdown

The Playaz are in over their heads.

Oh sure, they’ve stopped missile attacks, met with heads of state, killed a whale or two, etc. but where’s the actual proof of their capering? Photos? You got to be kidding me! (Between you and me, I’ve heard of a computer program apparently called ‘PhotoShop’ that allows you to manipulate your pictures so that theoretically anything could be forged. Me, I think ‘PhotoShop’ is nothing more than an Orwellian dream concocted by bloggers who have nothing better to do with their spare time than sit and create superfluous skirmishes while…well, you can see where I’m going with this.)

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes—The Playaz are going down in just a couple of hours in the first ever on-line staring contest. If I am correct, I believe it will be Phil (if that IS his real name) gazing hawk-like on the other end of the Skype line. Judging by the look of the Playaz, Phil is the weakest of the five. His love of Jack Daniels will, I believe, be the ultimate cause of his downfall. Surely the stress of facing me one on one will force him into an early afternoon binge. I give him 5 seconds into the match before he nods off.

But just in case he proves to be a more worthy opponent I’ve pre-moistened my eyes with thorough viewings of ‘The Way We Were’, ‘Sophie’s Choice’ and ‘Forrest Gump’ (not that FG is all that sad but the part about Tom Hanks downward career spiral gets me every time. I’m weeping like a small girl scout lost in K-Mart even as I type this.)

You’ve been warned Playaz! Oh, how I’d hate to be you right now.

You are sooooo going down!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Game on!


At the age of 5 Mozart composed his first piece of music. Dead by 35, he left behind some of the most important masterpieces in the history of mankind.

By the age of 33 Jesus Christ had managed to save the souls of the world.

Wayne Ordinary American (AKA Frank and his pet rat Beans): Age 36, about to compete in the first documented on-line staring contest.

Playaz, beware the glare!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Today is Frank and Bean's Day!


In light of the recent LTA pod cast I have decided to not make things any worse than they already are and rename my pet rat as a pre-emptive measure. The Playaz might get me but they won’t, I repeat WON’T get my fuzzy little friend. Instead of ‘Phil’ I have taken to calling him ‘Beans’. Somehow I find it comforting. Frank and Beans they’ll call us. Good ol’ Frank and Beans, I love those guys! Going on a picnic? Let’s take Frank and Beans! And so on…

So an internet stare-down is in the cards? Sounds good to me, though my life of near darkness has made me very sensitive to light and I worry that the LCD of my laptop will blind me permanently. It’s worth the risk, however, whatever the price.

Also, it has come to my attention that the story of Mr. and Mrs. Bear (see below) has somehow been twisted and skewed and this classic children’s tale has now become an over-sexed, overly-violent cautionary tale of modern society. Bah! That’s all I can say. BAH!

In fact, I hear rumours that another happy little adventure is coming soon…

Friday, January 20, 2006

Hooray for Mr. Bear!!

Despite what you might think, life in solitary confinement isn't so great.

Oh sure, you say to yourself, "Myself, I think I'll commit a hideous crime and spend the rest of my life alone with my thoughts and take up yoga or Buddism and find my 'true' self.'"

Or:

"Myself, living a life of solitude away from the jackasses and busybodies of this screwy ride we call existence would be a dream come true. I could write the Great Novel, solve the problems of the universe and/or Wank myself silly."

And though that may be true (especially the wanking part), this is what else you might be thinking, "Fuck the rest of y'all. This blows."

Keeping this in mind, I have to say that I am anxious to hear what the Playaz have to offer because my sanity rests solidly upon it. If I can regain my name and go about my daily life I would surely do whatever they ask. This is not a point of weakness on my behalf. The Playaz, as most of you should know, never lose. That's a fact.

Anyway, Jett has/will set up some sort of competition and we (the Playaz and I) will have to follow wherever the chips may fall.

In the meantime, Phil, my pet rat, has delivered a Palm Pilot. With it, I have discovered an unsecured Wi-Fi connection in my vacinity. I am using it now to type this in with my thumbs (my other fingers being rendered useless by my constant scratching at the cement walls). Also, with my new accessory I have been able to download a cute little story making the rounds around (and around) the cell block. It's a good story (Me likes stories!)

Enjoy...















This is Mrs. Bear. Mr. Bear has been neglecting his lovely wife. Mr. Bear spends his time at the pub. Can you say "Pub" boys and girls? Mrs. Bear spends many, many nights all alone in a GREAT BIG BED. All alone, is Mrs. Bear. Poor Mrs. Bear!














What's this? Why, it's Cuddle Monkey! He feels bad for Mrs. Bear and it looks like he's come to keep her company. Yay! Mrs. Bear won't be alone anymore!




















MMMM! Cuddle Monkey's breath taste like cinnamon!















Well, it looks like tasting cinnamon all night makes you VERY happy and VERY tired.



















Oh NO! Mr. Bear is home from the pub. He doesn't like cinnamon AT ALL! It makes him all bloated and cross.

But what's this? It looks like Mr. Bear has had a change of heart! He DOES like cinnamon! In fact, he LOVES it! What a happy ending!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Countdown.

Phil the rat, has made only sporadic appearances lately—and then only for a few moments at a time. He seems to fear for his life but I can’t quite put my finger on why that might be so…

Anyway, I have good news! LTA has heard my pleas and passed my cry for help and mercy onto the Playaz. Details are sketchy but some sort of competition is being discussed. My release can’t come a moment too soon.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I HAVE TO GET OUT!!!


I've spent the last day (or is it a month? I have no idea.) thinking of a resolution to this insane controversy. I understand that Wayne from Playaz Ball is, or claims to be, the original all encompassing Wayne, but good God, man can't you let sleeping dogs lie (in fact, aren't you dead, for crying out loud!?! Talk about sleeping dogs!)? What about the rest of us Wayne's? We can't help what our overly-sedated, bow-legged Mammys named us. IT'S NOT OUR FAULT!

Anyway, here are some ideas that will hopefully get me out of this chip/pish-scented dungeon of hell and back to my real job of copywriting:

1. I live by a conglomeration of the names "Frank" and "Wayne" (no, that won't do... I could NOT live my life named "Wank"... either in the U.K. OR America.)

2. I indebt myself to eternal servitude to the Playaz. (Not bloody likely, thank you very much... I'm already married.)

3. I listen to their indubitably irrational demands and do my best to comply. (Probably the best option... they are the Playaz afterall.)

Anyway, I send this via Phil the Rat through the sewers and hope and hope and hope that my pleas will be heard by somebody on the outside. I HAVE to get out of here! My rent is overdue!

Until that day, dear reader, I remain forever "Wank".

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

All my prayers are for Phil


Day 2 (or is it 3?)

Cold...so very, very cold...

I have lost count of the hours since my incarceration. The guards deemed my crime of flogging unacceptable advertising space so blasphemous that I have been sent into solitary confinement. My only companion is a lone sewer rat I’ve named “Phil” for purely aggressive reasons. All day he scuttles in and out of the hole government contractors chipped into the floor for inmates to dispose of bodily fluids.

To pass the time I have trained Phil to act as courier between myself and the outside world. This message, written in excrement on a decomposing Chicklet box and tied to the wee bastard’s tail, will hopefully be delivered to Jett at Letter to America—as he is the only one privy to my blogger username and password.

This is how my day transpires:

Breakfast: Cold malleable porridge served with goat’s milk and pine shavings.

Countless hours of singing “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” and its Northern Ireland equivalent “99 Cellar Temperature Pints of Refreshing Guinness on the Back Garden Fencepost.”

Lunch: Algae licked from rusty bottle caps.

Spinning endlessly in circles to attain a “natural high.”

Dinner: Charred acne scabs served on a bed of lipids.

Ah, here’s comes Phil now. I kiss this parchment for luck (and vital nutrients) and hope that my message will be heard. Godspeed little Phil. Godspeed.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

I need you Playaz...

I write this from the cold cell that has become my home--a message scribbled onto coarse linen scraps I traded my body and dignity to attain. (Ben in laundry is expecting his "payment" soon so I shant dally. Time is of the essence.)


As many of you know the Playaz demanded that I change my name from Wayne to "Frank". At first I was fine with this arrangement. After all, what good has the name "Wayne" ever brought to anyone? Not counting Wayne Gretsky, Wayne Newton, John Wayne, Bruce Wayne and Wayne "Scrumpy Jack" the used car salesman on the corner of Colfax and Meridian, I'd say the name is more or less jinxed. Therefore, the chance to become new again was too much to resist. Of course I played the tough guy, threatening the Playaz (meaning none of it! I mean it!) and pushing their buttons purely out of badness until their only recourse was to take legal action and demand on the worldwide podcast of Letter to America that I "cease and desist" from using my Christian name.

So I did. I became Frank.

Unfortunately, I became Frank "Lazy Media Buyer" O'Malley, wanted in all six (or is it seven?) counties of Northern Ireland for selling poorly placed billboard space with limited visability to shopping mall tycoons.


So this was the scene (captured on poor quality CCTV) this morning as the Police Service Northern Ireland bull-rushed the agency in the small hours of the morning and found me rolling in piles of ill-gotten bank notes and snorting instant coffee granules. I fear that life, as I know it, has ended unless the Playaz lift their name embargo and let me become me again.

I only hope that this message will be heard before the damp excerbates the tuberculosis and Ben from Laundry finds me hiding beneath this pee-pee-stained mattress. That is all.

Friday, January 06, 2006

You Win Playaz


I've officially been served notice to quit my own name.

Bummer.

I've informed my parents of the circumstances surrounding this necessity and they understand but that doesn't dampen their desire to spank Phil and the rest of the Playaz and send them to their room without dinner (are you into that sort of thing, Playaz? Spanking? You like that? Do you?) By the way, my mom makes killer chocolate pudding cake and her toasted cheese sandwiches are to die for (she uses English Muffin Bread. MMMMM!) so your punishment will be much worse than losing your complete identity like I have. Her culinary expertise will have you drooling pools of saliva in no time so I feel that it's only a matter of time before you guys wise up and drop your frivolous lawsuit.

Meanwhile, I'm stuck with the name Frank (I have a Blazer to sell. I can't afford legal representation). It IS a manly name and franks are quite delicious... Especially around July 4 or when you're starving in the back alleys of D.C.--not that I would know. (Unfortunately, here in Belfast the closest thing we have to nitrate infused wieners is a pickled "frankfurter" type thingy-ma-bobby. It's just not the same.)

Make a move Playaz. I dare ya.

Until next time, I remain forever Frank. I plump when ya cook me!

The Dog's Bollocks


I noticed a huge whoopsie (or ‘Fuck up’ as the French would say) on my last entry. It was one of those forehead-slapping moments that nearly lead to tears, like when you realize too late that you’ve set out in a sea of milk in a boat made of graham crackers (No, I don’t know what that means either. It’s Friday. Cut me some slack why doncha?)

I constructed my affirmations in such a way that I felt was clear to everyone—including the laws of the universe. Well this just goes to show why I am not hoeing a deeper row in the evolutionary field.

My goal- I thought- was simple: “I will sell my Blazer in the next ten days.”

Now who can tell me the ENORMOUS flaw in the logic of this? That’s right, if I say, type or curse into my pillow late at night these exact words, I am prolonging the deadline into infinity since everyday I repeat it I am essentially saying I will sell it ten days from TODAY. The solution, I suppose, would have been to set an exact date but as many of you know, I am a very, very lazy man.

Here I was, so desperate to sell a hunk of devaluing Chevy workmanship that I fell to the charms of unproven Shirley MacLaine psycho babble. Secretly, I had even hoped that if enough people took the time to read the affirmation that they would be doing the work for me—unless of course all my readers also have Blazers, which could lead to problems-especially if theirs wasn’t for sale in the first place. This, my friends, is why magic- in all shapes and sizes- is better left to the professional faith healers and grandpas with too many quarters and grandchildren with ears.

Well thank god for Phil from the Playaz who has offered a solution. For one hundred dollars he promises to gladly “take it off my hands.”

My question is this: how so? For a mere 100 American clams is Phil suggesting, figuratively, that he knows someone who knows someone who might perchance leap at the opportunity to indulge in a 4X4 “adventure” in the wilds of Lynden, Washington (where, for reasons I won't go into at the moment said Blazer is being kept), therefore granting me access to a tax-free insurance claim? (Notice I didn’t mention the words “steal” or “car-jack".) On the other hand, perhaps Phil was simply offering to take the Blazer literally off my hands when the credit union from Hell parks it on them when I miss another payment...I'm not sure.

Either way, I feel that this experiment is a complete failure and I think it’s fair to say that I’ve learned my lesson. (I hope your happy Mr. Universe...whoever you are.)

(To myself:
I will no longer dabble in unproven theories. I will no longer dabble in unproven theories. I will no longer dabble…)

By the way Phil, either option is fine. You know where to find me. (Wink. Wink.)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Blinding you with (sorta) science!


Ah…the NEW YEAR.

Despite my somewhat negative/sarcastic tough talk on Letter to America, I am actually looking forward to starting off 2006 on the right foot.

Recently, I’ve been toying (again) with the concept of Affirmations. (OK, this is a rather La-Dee-Dah take on the subject. I'm going by the last chapter of The Dilbert Future by Scott Adams. His explanation on the subject is supported by actual physics and/or theories therein. It's too long for me to explain. Check it out if you're interested.)

Being an icy rationalist, I usually like to tear down concepts such as this and mock those who sing their praises. However, I have tried this in the past with some success so I’m compiling a list of things I want to accomplish and see if I can bend the waves of space and time and actually take part in forming the future. Crazy, I know but it’s a new year, goddamn it and I’m tired of waiting for the bus rather than phoning a cab, if you know what I mean.

In a nutshell, this is how the process is supposed to work:
Everyday I write down something I want to accomplish 15 times. I do this until I either get bored or it actually happens.

I’m not going to share any goal that I deem too personal but this time I will because I’m really friggin’ pissed off over the fact that we still have a perfectly good Chevy Blazer rotting at a car lot in Washington that we’re still making payments on (the car, not the lot... oh, you know what I mean). This thing needs to be sold because it’s $325 a month that I could really use at the moment and I’m sick of dealing with the fucking morons at our credit union back in the States. (Avoid these people like the plague. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

So here goes…

I will sell my Blazer in the next ten days.
I will sell my Blazer in the next ten days.
I will sell my Blazer in the next ten days.
I will sell my Blazer in the next ten days.
I will sell my Blazer in the next ten days.
I will sell my Blazer in the next ten days.
I will sell my Blazer in the next ten days.
I will sell my Blazer in the next ten days.
I will sell my Blazer in the next ten days.
I will sell my Blazer in the next ten days.
I will sell my Blazer in the next ten days.
I will sell my Blazer in the next ten days.
I will sell my Blazer in the next ten days.
I will sell my Blazer in the next ten days.
I will sell my Blazer in the next ten days.


In the past, I have resorted to just chanting these affirmations but I thought for the sake of science (pseudo or not) I’d actually, physically type them out.
Here’s hoping…