Back in High School I was forced by the powers that be in the Seminole County Public School system to take an elective art class for a credit. For some reason the bureaucracy that was the School Board deemed this a necessary course and thus thrust people like me, with zero artistic talent, to take it. I can tell you this, never in my adult life when at an interview or applying for a job did the recruiter demand I draw a perfect 3-d table or sketch a pineapple. I’m not saying that learning how to draw is pointless, but in the pool of life skills one needs to survive this modern world it’s about as useful as a shark is as a floatation device.
So, reluctantly, I took this course. It did not go well, it did not go well at all.
The first assignment was to draw a table, sounds simple enough right? Well not for me, I suffer from a particular retardation that seems to make me incapable of drawing anything properly, straight lines, even basic shapes like circles come out looking like spaghetti noodles. There was one thing I could draw though, and that was the majestic beast of the western United States… the mighty Bison.
I do not know where I discovered this intense burning talent I possessed to draw the Bison. Perhaps I was imbued with the spirits of all the Bisons slain by western settlers who cried for one man to make people remember their proud majestic existence upon birth, it could be that I was born under the long lost Bison constellation, or maybe the Bison is my spirit animal eternally watching over me. All I know is that my Bison-drawing skills were my only chance at passing this class. Sure I couldn’t draw a bike, or a person’s face… the actual assignments the teacher gave us, but damn it I could draw all sorts of Bisons.
Draw a table? I drew a Bison playing poker. Draw the weather? Bison in the rain. Draw an abstract concept? The regression of man as witnessed by a bison. To explain that last one, I drew man… well as good of a facsimile of man as I could muster slowly turning back into an ape while on a hill in the background a lone bison watches over it. Draw a still life? Stuffed Bison. Draw a 3-D shape? I drew a bison inside a shaky retarded looking sphere. I dubbed that one, by the way, ‘the trapped Bison.’ Each time I did this my grade got progressively worse, not better. The teacher said I wasn’t taking the class seriously on my report card. I never thought I’d see the day that an art teacher would discourage one student’s talent because it was unconventional. I felt hurt, betrayed, and angry. I cursed my Bison-drawing skills, if only I could have translated it into other drawings… but alas, Bison was all I knew. I felt like… a lone Bison in the rain.
The true face of sorrow.
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Of all the things on the interbutts that I’ve ever encountered in my years, I find that there’s one particular fandom that stands out. Sure there’s otaku, cosplayers, furries, and role-players who all bring their own unique form of drama and cult like fervor for the target of their obsessions; however, it’s rare to find a fan base that combines so many to create a Frankensteinian horror to lurch it’s way through the internet like one of the great old ones breaking the bindings that hold them deep in the heart of the city of R’lyeh. A twisted amalgamation of sheer awkward stupidity that would put even the most ridiculous AOL roleplay profile to shame. I of course speak of that dreaded dreamless cult that sleeps deep in the bowels of the net. The cult of… and forgive me dear reader for some mild trepidation in calling for it’s name for fear they may be listening… Sonic the Hedgehog.
You heard me, Sonic the fucking Hedgehog. You see, the Sonic games themselves took a bizarre design turn somewhere between Sonic 3 and Sonic Heroes for the Dreamcast creating a huge number of furry-tastic side characters! For those of you who never grew up in the 90s or ever owned a Sega console, allow me to fill you in before we continue, Sonic was Sega’s answer to Nintendo’s Mario. Basically he was their mascot character, and from a gameplay perspective they were nothing alike. Mario games tend to be more focused on exploration, platforming, and occasional puzzle solving. Whereas Sonic games involved you basically trying to control a blue spinning ball as it rockets around like a small child that has been given a coffee enema. The levels were on rails and you’d just watch as your little blue ball rolled it’s way to the finish line. Exciting!
For some reason… reasons I have yet to determine the source of, Sonic has become extremely popular with furries. I found several pages that go on for extreme lengths about the history of the Sonic Fandom and how it’s apparently like the snake eating it’s tail or something like that, and aside from boring me to tears it never seemed to get into the part where it turned into the AOL Roleplay of this generation. Something needs to be done to stem the tide. Don’t believe me? Do me a favor. Navigate your way to Google/Bing and type your first name followed by ‘The Hedgehog.’ Go on, I’ll wait.
Oh, you’re back! Now you see exactly what I’m talking about. The furry community has latched on to this video game mascot with a bizarre fervor that I have yet to fully understand. All I know is that somewhere in the world someone is possibly erotic roleplaying with my name as a furry Sonic the Hedgehog ripoff character, and this disturbs me to the core. That ever elusive ‘why,’ chasing it has led me down a trail of fail that would put even the worst ex-Flame Town poster to shame. There are hundreds of characters, who their creators all claim are original, which are basically re-colors of Sonic the Hedgehog. Many of them are his ‘children’ or lovers, in some cases both. There’s immortal Hedgehogs, evil Hedgehogs, vampire Hedgehogs, and of course sexy erotic roleplay hedgehogs. Well, actually, sometimes you don’t need to be a hedgehog, they just seem to make up different combinations. Bunny hedgehogs, dog hedgehogs, walrus hedgehogs, the possibilities are endless!
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We’ve all done things we are horribly embarrassed of, lets face it. You live on this planet long enough you’re bound to have something in your past that, upon recollection, makes you cringe just a little. Sometimes we must silently bear these scars alone, but not I. For you see, my tragyic past is something of a shared experience. A group effort, if you will, forged through the ever cool and not lame bonds of online roleplay. More specifically chat room based, late 90s, AOL Roleplay. Ah the late-90s, Dragon Ball Z was the hottest anime on TV, Final Fantasy 7 and 8 were released, along with a re-release of Star Wars, and The first Matrix film. It was a time of great entertainment milestones, iconic moments in the world of gamer and geekdom, a glorious time for a socially maladjusted nerd like myself to fully engross himself into. What better place to do it than RP Chatrooms on a dial-up modem?
In AOL Roleplay the realm was named RhyDin or Rhy’din or just Rhydin. It was based on the rules of ‘uh…. what were the rules again?’ There was dice, but no one seemed to pay attention to it. There was no level-up system. No DM. No universally recognized rules or real ways of enforcing said rules. The RP community was so vast and there were so many variations on the rules that if you found two people following the same ones in an open chatroom it was the RL (Real Life for all you non-RP coolkids) equivalent of finding the Yeti riding the Lockness Monster like a jetski. There were however some universal rules that most everyone seemed to follow, and I wished they hadn’t, some of the more notable ones were:
- Every room has rafters for the Vampyres to lurk and hiss in, even if the room is called ‘OPEN GRASSY FIELD WITH NO RAFTERS.’ Also, even if they don’t mention it in their profile, in character, or at all, virtually everyone is at least 25% vampire.
- Every child character is a super-genius of some kind, and can speak ‘perfect’ English, do magyick, and in general outsmart you at every turn, even if the person who is RPing him/her can’t seem to spell properly or show any signs of said advanced intelligence.
- Every female character is a badass battle maiden who don’t need no man with massive heaving tits and a seemingly endless libido.
- Virtually everyone is a ‘dark’ and ‘wycked’ and will endlessly make reference to using a ::wicked grin:: or a ::sinister laugh:: repeatedly in conversation, even if you’re just asking for directions.
- Everyone either wears all black hooded outfits, billowing capes, or some sort of celestial battle armor forged by Jesus.
- The Medieval crowd will insist on speaking in ye olde English, even if their only understanding of said dialect is that you add random ‘y’s into words and ‘e’s at the end of others. If you speak to these people in any other way they will pretend you are speaking martian to them and yell at you in the dreaded out of character brackets in instant messages.
- Everyone has a tragyic past. No one has gone through life apparently without their whole village being murdered while they were out gathering berries or some shit. As if it’s an entire realm filled with JRPG protagonists. Almost every female character has been raped, sometimes repeatedly. Sometimes male characters too.
- No one has a normal name. You must have at least three names, all with special characters and accent marks. (¯`’·.¸.·::»¥« Trîllÿånå §ådærå-Ðrågðñ »¥«::·.¸.·´¯), is an actual example and not something I just made up. Seriously.
- Your Geocities, Angelfire, Homestead, etc. website is only allowed to use RED on BLACK colors, and everything must be bold text. NO EXCEPTIONS. Animated .gifs from Diablo 2 optional. ::wyckid grin::
- Never, under any circumstances, question how it’s possible to be 25% werewolf or 50% vampire and not just a werewolf or vampire unless you’re prepared to listen to long typo-ridden dissertation containing elements of all of the above rules.
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Believe it or not, even during the tremendous lulls of this site where there were no updates there were plenty of ideas and half-written articles. Sorting thought my archives I came across one that stood out as a truly, truly, terrible idea. This was originally designed to be an article series, in some way, attempting to illustrate how terrible fast food is for you to eat, especially on a consistent basis. This, of course, is a relatively pointless message to try to convey. You’d have to be an idiot to think eating any of that crap is actually a good idea. There’s more studies and information about the dangers of fast, cheap, and processed foods out there that anything that I would do or say would only come off as either redundant or preachy.
That’s actually only part of the reason. The idea was, to ‘review’ each new fast food sandwich or product that came out and describe in detail the after-effects of consuming said product would be. The name of this article series, because I thought after eating some of these sandwiches that it was a real possibility I was going to die, was ‘Fast Food Suicide.’ Now, I’m not a paragon of health and fitness, but I don’t normally eat a lot of fast food. My general tendency is to cook my own meals at home, and in general I don’t eat a lot of extremely fatty or salty foods. I don’t even have cheese or breads that often. This is actually the perfect storm for fast food to come in and thoroughly wreak havoc on my guts. Thus there were some pros and cons to consider in such a writing endeavor.
– Could be humorous.
– Could serve as a warning.
– Could deter sales of certain fast-food products.
– I’d have to actually eat this crap.
– In addition I’d have to actually pay money to eat this crap.
– The after-effects are not always super unpleasant, but when they are… oh buddy.
– Do people really want to know in great detail that the triple baconator nearly made me die in the bathroom?
In the end, I did try four new fast food products. Below are the actual reviews I wrote up for three of them. The fourth I tried was that double-chicken sandwich that KFC made, but I never wrote a review for it. Forgive me for anything that is written beyond this point, and may god have mercy on my soul.
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There was a time in my life, when I had a near-death experience. Though there was no tunnel of light, and the ghosts of my loved ones to greet me or anything quite as dramatic as that. Since I did not actually achieve cardiac arrest, thankfully due to the fact that fortune smiled upon me. For once.
Several years ago, I used to work for a small-time computer wholesaler, and one of my co-workers was this Russian guy named Dmitri. Dmitri’s family was originally from Moscow, they fled the soviet bloc in the 90s due to the political changes taking place and the sudden dramatic rise in the crime rate and corruption, as well as the higher cost of living. That’s all I really knew of his family’s situation. Dmitri himself seemed to wax nostalgic about the good-ole days growing up in Russia. He said ‘it wasn’t that bad.’ He was semi-built, but shorter than me by about seven or eight inches, had brown hair center-part and almost shoulder-length, to give you an idea what he looked like.
Dmitri and I actually had no reason to get along, he was my opposite in terms of what he did for fun and what his hobbies were. He tended to like really heavy rock and metal, either screaming lyrics or dumb shit like Saliva. You know, the guys responsible for that obnoxious ‘click-click boom’ song. He was also a car enthusiast, and would often tell me about his car, which was a Mazda RX-7. One time giving me a ride in his, he managed to achieve a speed of about ninety five miles per hour on the highway adjacent to our building. A ballsy move considering the speed limit was only forty five. Often these fairly one-sided conversations were about the supposed superiority of rotary engines to the standard, and he would often download engine sounds and play them at me, explaining the differences in great detail. To me all I heard was a bunch of obnoxious and loud noise, but his eyes seemed to light up with excitement every time, which I never understood why. In addition he had a tendency to really like clubs, and drinking. Especially drinking.
What we had in common was twofold. First we hated the working conditions we had to put up with at our place of employment. The wages were low for the technicians, even though not everyone could do what we did, but the sales people made about a thousand a week. We were barely making three hundred. We were working for Chinese Jews though, so perhaps some stereotypes can be true on occasion? To give you an idea, the owner was this old Chinese lady, who sat in an office filled with gold and jade statues and wall-hangings, behind a massive mahogany desk that had to at least have cost a small fortune because the top was surfaced with a jade slab. She would pull us in this office and tell us how they could not give us raises whenever we asked for better pay. I myself, worked there for almost four years without even a slight pay increase. They probably still wonder why I stopped showing up on time.
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Other equally good titles for this article could have been:
Craig’s List Hot Tub (And Other Bad Ideas)
Build Your Own Home Mosquito Nest
Like Hammer Onto Big Toe
Creeping Mold in the Carpets and Other Tales of Horror
They were not chosen due to the fact that they only cover one aspect of this spiral of fail that could only have been achieved through a combination of gross incompetence, stupidity, testosterone, and stubborn defiance which has become increasingly obvious to be par for the course when dealing with my brothers.
So, this spiral staircase into Hell begins at a familiar destination, Craig’s List. Part online trading post and part hooker solicitation service Craigs List is home to (mostly) defective and useless junk that other people attempt to sell to suckers for a quick buck. With that in mind, in walks my brothers deciding to purchase a hot tub to go into my mother’s condo. Of course a discount hot tub that they haven’t even planned the logistics of how the fuck to even get it inside of the house could be nothing but an amazing idea. So the younger of the two brothers of mine shows up at the house one day with a hot tub in the bed of his hitch trailer (in true alcoholic conservative fashion he runs a lawn care business), several of his retarded ‘friends’ (people that hang out with him so they can smoke his weed), and absolutely no plan whatsoever.
There are many layers to this onion of failure, but I think it would be wise to reveal them in the same order I figured them out, for maximum comedy. I’d like to preface the following by saying that from the start I thought this hot tub thing was a terrible idea. A local radio guy I listen to recently had purchased a hot tub on, you guessed it, craig’s list and it was defective to say the least. I think I even told my brothers his tale of woe, but being young and with that ‘whatever I do what I want’ attitude they basically ignored me. Allow me to also state, and I say this with as little arrogance as possible, that usually when I think something is a bad idea (especially when it’s a plan or idea of my family’s) it usually turns out to be even worse than I imagine it to be.
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Bangoria… a land torn by strife and war. Upon it’s shattered planes and rocky mountaintops the fires of battle burn like a bloody candlelight vigil for all the warriors who have fallen in the conflicts that sweep this ever changing land. Warriors, mercinaries, assassins and even more unsavory types constantly sell their blades and sometimes their very souls to the highest bidder all in the name of profit and a chance at spoils. Yet many also hope to change this world, make a difference for good but those guys are total pussies and we’re not going to talk about them. Nay, we shall talk only of the legendary man and women who grace this theater of death. Fir though the most well-known ones shall be revealed.
The most deadly and legendary warrior that roves this land is the mighty…. BEARMASTER.
The BEARMASTER skates into battle, on roller blades forged in the darkest mountain and infused with the blood of two liches, a red dragon, and a werebear. The skates, as he rolls across the land, leave a perpetual bloody streak on the ground, to signify that the BEARMASTER has been there. His weapons are two bears, that are attached to whips. The bears are named Cuddles and Fuzzywuzzy. In battle the BEARMASTER skates doing flips and turns while wiping his mighty whip bears into foes, causing them to suffer an instant mauling.
The BEARMASTER is a mysterious force, for he never seems to have any motive to these mauling attacks. His glorious tanned body and loincloth (woven from the hair of powerful swamp hags that he killed because they were ugly) forming a blur of flesh toned death as he buzz saws his way across the various battlefields. His long uncut blonde hair wafting dramatically in the wind as his bears maul his foes. Their blood splattering on his perfect white teeth that glisten brightly as he smiles enjoying the sheer carnage of war. His loincloth bulging with a possible erection, he is truly at home on the battlefield.
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When I first registered to Blog Catalog, I did so at the behest of The Warden. Somehow, I was under the mistaken impression that it was a good site to ‘get noticed’ on. I was only half right, as it’s a good place to get noticed by Habeeb and Hadji’s spam emporium, good luck finding a breathing and intelligent human being in this seething pit of stupidity. I don’t know who moderates this site, but whoever it is must be the most down syndrome infested retard to ever walk the face of the earth. Holy shit, I have never seen so many Viagra blogs, recycled content blogs, crappy online storefront blogs, ‘blogging tips’ blogs and ‘make money online’ blogs in my entire life. This site barely encourages ‘networking’, it’s a lot easier to just add every spammer who makes a friend request and leaves a stupid comment on your ‘shout box’ than to try and pick and choose. If you’re looking for actual humans and not whoever is surfing the web looking to promote his Viagra blog while working from his local Sprint call center in New Delhi, then you, my friend, are fucked.
It’s fairly common on some sites to have junk, and such. You can’t keep all the spammers out, which is true in and of itself. Whereas most sites at least endeavor to keep most of the spammers out, Blog Catalog has taken a unique and novel approach to the spam issue… they don’t even try to prevent it. I spent three hours today clicking blogs, of the blogs I clicked only 2 of them were actual blogs about things other than ‘blogging’ or ‘internet marketing,’ and only one of them was a blog that actually had content on it that didn’t consist of some jack-offs twitter ‘tweets.’ This isn’t the only day I’ve tried to find some people a random either, but some days I try to find people by interests. So I would go to say the ‘humor’ group and browse the members there, and they were Indians as well! It’s like a really boring version of Night Of The Living Dead only instead of zombies trying to eat your brains it’s Indian guys trying to sell you cell phones and cheap prescription medications.
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Oh, what’s that? ‘It can’t be that bad.’ Yeah, take a look at these shout box comments that I’ve had the pleasure of receiving, they are so legit and not at all generic form spam intended solely to get people to come to their blog and buy shoes made by slave kids in Hong-Kong.
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I have a kind of knack for coming up with delicious concoctions in the kitchen, well at least most of the time. One thing I’ve discovered over the years is that sometimes, if you’re just good enough at something, at times you can be extraordinarily bad at it. So I was making wings one night, mostly because it was the only thing left in the damn freezer, and wouldn’t you know… it was the frozen kind that don’t come pre-coated in a layer of delicious and heart-attack enduing sauce. So I was left with one alternative, I had to make some damn sauce. Now, an old friend of mine could do wonders with a couple of cans of this stuff called Nazi sauce and a stick or two of butter. I know it sounds gross, but it was oh-so delicious. So I decided to sort of replicate that recipe with some butter, some sweet bbq sauce, and a splash of hot chili sauce…
So as I was setting up the pot on the stove to mix all this stuff up in, began to feel this may not be a good idea; however, when put in a situation where I should probably not be doing something like this I present myself with two options that make me either question my manliness or embrace it.
OPTION ONE, PUSSY OUT: A decidedly unmanly option if there ever was one, if I decided to back down now not only would my wings go sauceless but I would have failed at my attempt to craft a new and delicious wing sauce recipe. Granted, there was a chance I’d fail anyway, but it never looks good to pussy out without even trying.
OPTION TWO, GO BALLS DEEP: Hell yeah! That sounds way more macho (stupid) and manly (extra stupid with a hint of crazy)! Don’t think about things, if you’ve already started doing them go balls deep and just pray whatever you end up doing doesn’t destroy you. Going balls deep has been a key factor in determining American Foreign policy since the 50s and nothing about that shit has gone wrong. In a way, with that in mind, there was no way I could fail!
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