Thursday, October 18, 2007


Apparently my little diary was linked to the other day by a women's book club from Publisher's Weekly. Amazing! Women can do anything, including blog and read. But this made me think, "hey, I have yet to work for a woman!" Hard to believe, considering that a whopping ten Fortune 500 companies are run by women CEOs, which when broken down into a percentage is actually pathetic. Well, once word gets out about them being able to read now with this Publisher's Weekly thing, I'm sure work will pick up.

I asked the girl at the temp agency if I could be employed by a woman on my next job. She inquired as to why, and I told her that if there was ever going to be an evolution in gender relations in this country vis a vis the role of leadership in a corporate environment, then it must begin with a sea change of enlightenment at the ground level. Then I made up some other junk and tried not to mention boobies. The girl at the temp agency smells like flowers.

So, next stop London! Blogs can be used as grounds for termination, so to protect myself I'll call my new employer "Donatella". She's terrifyingly thin, has badly dyed hair and cheekbones that could cut glass. All she thinks about is fashion and her only pleasure seems to derive from the misery of others. In other words, she's exactly like every girl in Los Angeles.

Her diabolical plan? To steal some puppies. No, seriously, that's her plan. Not holding a city hostage, not world domination, puppy theft. On second thought, I'm thinking that male/female CEO ratio might be just about right after all.

And not just any puppies, they must be dalmatians. Why she wants this breed specifically, I'm not sure. Dalmatians are just about the dumbest animals on Earth, so inbred they'll willingly run into fires, which of course inspired people to invent "Firemen". She's going to make a big coat out of them, which will surely impress the common-dog-coat owning hoi polloi you always hear so much about. Look, we've all got some article of clothing made out of dogs hidden in the back of the closet-I myself have a delightfully rakish tri-corner hat made out of basset hounds-but dalmatians?? Tacky.

Together with my fellow minions Jasper and Horace, we manage to steal the puppies and get them back to Donatella. What happens next I hesitate to mention as it may be the most embarrassing moment for villain-kind ever. The helpless, adorable puppies escape with the aid of another dog, a cat and a horse. They covered the dalmatians with soot to make them look all black, and this baffled us.

Horace: Where are those blasted dalmatian puppies?

Jasper: Dunno. I keep looking for a writhing pile of precocious dalmatian puppies, but instead all I see are a writhing pile of precocious black lab puppies. It's bewildering.

Me: God, I hate you people.

In the end we wound up chasing the dalmatians in a madcap car race that ended with us crashing our minion-car into Donatella's car while the freshly newborn, inbred animals outsmarted us and escaped. If our little scheme was a boat, it'd be the titanic. If it were a war it would be Iraq. If it was a dog it would be a dalmatian, but even stupider, hard as that may be to imagine.

Still, this escapade hasn't soured me on evil women masterminds. I know that someday there will come a woman who'll lay scourge to the land, who will drive her legions across battlefields and conquer all that lays before her. My money's on Oprah.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Puzzler

There are pitying looks, then there's the look you get from a travel agent when you tell them you need a ticket to Gotham City. I had heard rumors that Gotham was bad, but all the stories couldn't possibly describe the desolate, gloomy, degenerate, crime-infested wasteland of Evil that is the festering bile-sac known as Gotham City. Still, at least it's not as bad as Detroit.

Not knowing my way around, I was mugged in quick succession by:
  • Some hoods in the airport bathroom
  • Some hoods in the airport concourse
  • A shoeshine boy
  • Hare Krishnas
  • The girl at the information counter, and
  • Some hoods in the airport bathroom (I really had to go)
Afterwards, I staggered dazedly out to the cabstand where I was mugged by rats. Finally, I managed to get to my hotel, only to find it burned to the ground. Lying in the charred rubble, the mortally-wounded hotel concierge gave me directions to The Puzzler's hideout before mugging me and then breathing his last.

He directed me to an abandoned warehouse, which was quite difficult to find as Gotham City consists of nothing but Police Headquarters, Stately Wayne Manor and abandoned warehouses. Eventually I spotted a sign that read, "PUZZLY MCPUZZLETON'S CROSSWORD PUZZLE FACTORY???" and went inside.

The warehouse stank of stale urine and tears. There were three other minions playing "UNO" at a rickety card table, their hands shaking a little as they laid down the cards. The lieutenant introduced himself as "Query", with the other two named "Boggler" and "Feathers". Query explained that Feathers had recently been traded from a rival bird-themed gang and had yet to receive his new costume and nickname. The Gotham-style "henchman-swap" was much like the trading of groupies between rock bands, but with even less dignity.

Just then The Puzzler pranced out of the shadows holding a question mark-emblazoned bowler hat, carrying a question-marked-shaped cane and wearing extremely tight tights covered in question marks. Immediately I knew two things about my new boss: he liked question marks and he was circumcised.

Query laid out our fiendish plan. "First, we detonate a series of mini-bombs hidden in the Gotham sewer system under police headquarters. This should keep the cops occupied if it doesn't just bring down the building entirely. Second, key government workers have been hypnotized and brainwashed over the course of several years, and with a single phone call they'll spring into action: raising bridges in strategic locations, changing traffic patterns by altering the schedules for stoplights and-"

"KAA-KAW!!!" Feathers screeched triumphantly, strutting chicken-like around the warehouse floor.

"Goddammit, cut that out, Feathers!" Query yelled. "I told you, we don't do that in this gang."

Feathers sheepishly shuffled back to the table, and over the next four hours Query explained our scheme in painstaking detail. I don't want to bore you with the details (plus I kinda nodded off a few minutes in) but in the end The Puzzler would rule Gotham, we'd all be rich beyond our wildest dreams, and the words "Catwoman", "naked" and "whipped cream" would be figuring prominently in our immediate futures. I have to say, I've heard quite a few dastardly plots in my time, but this was by far the most brilliant. It was almost entirely foolproof.

It was at this point that The Puzzler informed us that he had planted clues to our intentions in the form of puzzles all across the city. He gave clues in the newspaper, on the local TV news, on a radio call-in talk show, in the sky via bi-plane sky-writers, in carefully arranged seashells at the beach, in cryptic tattoos adorning patrons at local biker bars and on Commissioner Gordon's answering machines, both at home and at work.

We all stared at him in shock for a few long moments until finally Query spoke for us all. "You... you... you complete and utter dumbshi-"

Just then the lights in the warehouse went out and the skylight shattered as a huge, dark, caped figure dropped to the ground in our midst. The Puzzler let out an idiotic giggle, while Query quietly wept and Boggle belted out a girlish scream of terror, his feet now surrounded by an ever-widening yellowish pool.

"Kaa... kaw?" Feathers offered placatingly, but to no avail. A second later his teeth were smashed into the back of his throat by a perfectly executed roundhouse kick. A lightning-fast backhand sent Query spinning off into some crates, his spine hopelessly shattered. A sharp uppercut aimed low rocketed Boggle's testicles up into his lungs.

I decided it was time to go.

As I left the warehouse The Puzzler was in the process of eating his cane, with only the curly part at the top remaining. A black car was double parked at the curb outside with a kid wearing red and yellow fetish gear sitting on the hood painting his toenails. He gave me directions back to the airport and I hightailed it there as fast as I could, stopping only at a dark, Gothic church to offer a heartfelt prayer that this would be my last assignment in Gotham City. On my way out of the cathedral, an elderly nun tottered over to me and smiled benevolently. "Young man? Before you go?"

"Yes, Sister? What is it?"

She mugged me.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Generalissimo

Here I thought it wasn't going to get any better than Jamaica, but I have to say that sunny Los Angeles is changing my mind. I think the girl at the temp agency may just like me. I've been sent here to work with the "Shadow Company", who I originally thought might be purveyors of large, shade-giving trees. That, or an all-black educational TV show spin-off of The Electric Company. Turns out the Shadow Company traffics smack and kills people, but hey, I was close.

It's Christmas time, and I must say I'm feeling a bit homesick right now, especially after seeing that coked-up, naked girl jump off a skyscraper and plunge to her death, her bones pulverized by the impact with some poor sucker's car. I mean, jeez, do they even have an insurance policy to cover that? Later on I discovered that the car was actually my rental, so after extricating my luggage with the Jaws of Life, I took the bus to meet up with Shadow Company.

My first meeting with "The Generalissimo" went extremely well. First, I don't have to worry about getting another rental car, as the Company always uses attack-helicopters to get around. With L.A. traffic, I can't tell you what a plus this is. (That first night I borrowed the chopper to pick up a six-pack and some scratch tickets at the 7-11, and even though I accidentally chain-gunned the Slushie machine and fired a micro-missile pod at a tied-up cocker spaniel, I think the goth-girl working the counter was pretty impressed. When she digs herself out of the rubble I'm totally going to ask her out.) Second, the only adversaries we have to worry about are a couple of mismatched buddy cops, one of whom is suicidal and has a mullet and the other who may or may not be getting too old for this shit. Third, the Generalissimo has all his limbs, so I avoided any faux pas that might have plagued me on my last job.

The only downside is the Generalissimo's enforcer, Mr. Joshua. Holy craparoni, he's not just the Crazy Club President, he's also a member. He's so unhinged that if a movie was made about his life, he could only be played by Gary Busey. To make matters worse, I think I got on his bad side when I went to open what I thought was the refrigerator, and it turned out to be one of his gigantic teeth.

Mr. Joshua also set a horrid example for lackeys everywhere by burning his own arm to prove his loyalty. I hate to do it, but I'm reporting Joshua to the agency. If you want to prove your faithfulness you burn someone else, or just get your boss tickets to Nugent.

Soon we're off in one of the attack-choppers, and Mr. Joshua shoots a guy in the back while he's drinking a carton of egg nog. Fair to say, egg nog was a bad choice. Perhaps it would have gone better for him if he'd been guzzling liquid Kevlar out of a carton of titanium. Plus, he would have had to have been facing the other way. Regardless, it turns out he was the naked cokehead girl's Dad, so it's a pretty bad week for that family. Riggs (mullet-cop) takes a few shots at us as we fly away, but I'm too confused about our plan to pay much notice.

Before I know it we've nabbed one of the cop's daughters for some reason. Our shipments have been compromised and now we actually want to kidnap the cops, which seems like it could be counter-productive. Shouldn't we be avoiding the police? Frankly, I'm totally lost as to what we're trying to accomplish here, and my bafflement is compounded by the fact that these pseudo-military outfits tend to communicate only via walkie-talkie/death squad-style chatter. I try to pry a little when we lure the cops into a trap using the girl as bait:

(via walkie talkie:)

Mr. Joshua: Target is at killpoint. Proceed with attack posture alpha.

Chip (another minion): Copy that. Note eight mile an hour southwest crosswind.

Mr. Joshua: Roger. Pull it in tighter on the left flank. Watch your vectors.

Me: Breaker, breaker. Flamin' Hog, this is Screamin' Toad, come back, over.

Mr. Joshua: What the- who is this?

Me: Smokey bear is reachin' into the honey pot, big daddy, and we're halfway home to Texarcana, figuratively speaking, I suppose. By the way, what the hell are we doing? We're actually trying to kidnap a couple of cops? It doesn't seem like that's all that good of an-

Mr. Joshua: Get off the damn line! Clear this line, goddamn it, or I'll-

Me: I'm sorry, did you receive my earlier transmission? You didn't say "roger" or "copy" or any other CB-style jibberish. Let's keep it professional, people, or I'll have to tell Mr. Joshua.

Mr. Joshua: This is Joshua. Now identify yourself so I can snipe your dumb ass!

Me: Uh... this is Chip.

Chip: Wha- (sound of gunshot)

After we captured the two cops, it was time for beatings and electrocutions (note to self: good name for an album if we ever get our all-temp-minion band together). Our torture man is Chinese (!), and Mr. Joshua says he's forgotten more about dispensing pain than you or I will ever know. I laughed when he called him a pain dispenser, it made me think of Pez. Mr. Joshua was not amused. Still, Endo was more than a little impressed when I showed him how to electrocute a pork roast to tender perfection in only three minutes.

"I've forgotten more about electrocuting a delicious meal than you'll ever know, Endo." He responded by showing me his respect and admiration the only way he knew how: by electrocuting me. When I regained consciousness, the cops had escaped, Endo was dead and my roast pork dinner party plans were in shambles.

When I finally caught up with Mr. Joshua, he and Riggs were in a fistfight on the lawn surrounded by about a dozen policemen just standing around. I didn't want to give them any ideas, but eventually my curiosity got the better of me. "Shouldn't you be, you know, arresting Mr. Joshua or something?"

The officer next to me muttered, "Ordinarily, but this is payback."

"Then shouldn't you all be beating him instead of having it be a fair fight?"

He gave me a shocked sidelong glance. "Ordinarily, but he's white."

Mr. Joshua eventually had the crazy beaten out of him and it was all over (I forgot to mention that The Generalissimo was blown up by a grenade earlier. Seems kinda important with him being the title of the post and everything. My bad). The L.A. cops let me go once they checked my I.D. and confirmed I wasn't famous, and I wearily staggered off to the airport to receive my new assignment. Perhaps I too was getting too old for this shit.

The only bright spot was I got to keep one of Mr. Joshua's teeth as a souvenir. I had to check it at the gate as it wouldn't fit in the overhead compartment.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Doctor "N"

So I took the temp job, and boy am I glad I did. I'm now blogging from sunny Jamaica! Turns out there's a Physician on the island that needed some help in a nuculer reactor. Or is is nucluer? Nerculer? Regardless, I totally b.s.'ed my way through the interview process with the temp agency and they think I'm some sort of expert. Yea, mon!

My new boss is someone I'll call "Doctor N". Blogs can be used as grounds for termination, so whenever I talk about my employers I'll be giving them pseudonyms.

The Doctor is prety eccentric. He spent a million bucks on a fish tank and he enjoys wearing a water-cooler on his head.

Oh, and here's the really wild part: he has no hands! He's pretty sensitive about it, so when I was first introduced to him I tried to be as Politically Correct as I could. Luckily his Lieutenant, Professor Dent was there to help me over the rough spots:

Me: Doctor, I think it's just great that you've built this huge island lair, especially with you being crippled-

Professor Dent: (Clears throat)

Me: Ah... pardon me. Crippled-American.

Dent: (Clears throat louder)

Me: No, that's not right. Differently something? Differently... differently crippled?

Dent: (Clears throat and begins loud coughing spasm)

Me: Er. How about just handicapped? Ew, shouldn't mention hands. Damn. Hand-challenged? No, hands again. Otherly-abled? digit-deficient? Stump-a-riffic?

Dent: (Pounds on the floor and violently shakes head from side to side)

Me: Anyhoo, thanks for hiring me, Doctor. I'll go familiarize myself with the neckular reactor while you turn around, stare out of your undersea window and sob quietly. I won't wave goodbye, I don't want to draw attention to your... well, you know. Or maybe you don't. I was going to say hands, or lack thereof.

Later, I asked one of the other lab boys why the Doctor was so sensitive about being a horrifically disfigured freak. His answer was cryptic, as we were wearing those plastic hood things and I couldn't hear a word he said. Later in the break-room I asked him again. He replied, "Once, the Doctor received a fortune cookie. The message inside read: 'YOUR GREATEST WEAKNESS WILL BE YOUR UNDOING'."

"Wow, that's-"


"-IN BED!!!" I added, laughing. "Pretty impressive fortune telling. Those Chinese are so clever. They're like clever little bugs, really. Clever, slimy, commie bugs."

"Doctor N is half-Chinese."

"Ah... well, hey, that's cool..."

"And I'm Chinese," he added. "And everyone working here is Chinese."

I noticed that everyone in the break room was now staring at me. The moment stretched out, the silence growing unbearable until I yelled, "IN BED!!!"

The next morning I was recuperating on the beach, nursing my wounds from the little hazing incident in the break room, when a vision of loveliness rose from the sea. At first I thought it was Hally Berry, but then I saw she had a speck of acting ability. Her name was Honey Wilder, and the moment I saw her I fell deeply in love. Her hair... her eyes... her lips... all these things threatened to distract me from her breasts, and failed. Then right as I was going to make my move, some sweaty English guy pulls up in a boat and acts like he's got a license to cockblock.

I needled him, "So you're English, huh? Then why are you speaking with a Scottish accent? What are you, some kind of spy?" He got this weird, panicked look on his face for some reason, then we both settled down and found common ground by staring at Honey's breasts.

After a couple of hours of this I gave them directions to Doctor N's lair (James said he needed a bathroom) and sent them both on their way. Later, in a completely unrelated incident, the island blew up.

I floated away on some driftwood- using a pair of scavenged, shattered, metal hands as paddles- and made my way to the mainland.

P.S. There was a dragon, too! Or so I thought at first glance, but then after .00000001 seconds I realized it was actually a tank with a flamethrower. Still cool, though.

Still Looking for Work

Unemployed now for three months. This being the summertime I can't complain overmuch, but the ol' wallet's looking a bit thin. I've got two prospects: one with a temp agency working mainly with evil masterminds, the other with Microsoft. They're totally different jobs in that the temp position looks to be more temporary.

I think I'll sleep on it.