But Oh! To Be Freshly Pressed!


I am currently enrolled in a class at university called “Roman Republic and Empire.”  We have learned many things, but the most interesting fact to have lazily drifted into my mind is that the penultimate goal of the Roman experience was to win a Triumph.  A Triumph, for those of you who have not taken Roman Republic and Empire, was a parade for a conquering General, where he was allowed to ride in a chariot with four white horses as the citizenry of Rome cheered his name and shouted insults at his captives, who were towed behind the general in chains.  It’s where we get our word triumph from.  The triumph was the highest honor a Roman could receive, and was the dearest wish of every Roman citizen since time immemorial.

Triumph General

A roman general in Triumph. Note his four white horses, legionary standard bearer and captives.

“This is all well and good,” you may be saying as you slowly lose interest, “but what does this have to do with anything?  Your title has nothing to do with the Romans.”

“Why, my dear Watson!” I would respond, shaking my head and chuckling to myself, “My title has everything to do with the Romans.  Did you not know that WordPress.com has it’s own triumph?”

“Conrgoblin, whatever are you talking about?  How could you have a triumph on wordpress?”

“By becoming freshly pressed of course!  Now be quiet and listen.  Everyone who creates a wordpress blog hopes to one day become freshly pressed.  It is our goal, our dream, even!  Just like the romans of ages passed, we want our own triumph.  To become freshly pressed is to be victorious!”

Tomb Robbers triggering a booby trap

Here we see some tomb robbers becoming "freshly pressed" by a clever booby trap. Their prayers for mercy will most likely go unanswered.

But what is being freshly pressed?  Blogs that are freshly pressed are displayed on a special tab on the main page of wordpress.com!  As you might expect, this brings a great increase in traffic, which in turn will greatly increasethe ammount if people who follow your blog if it is good, or increase the amount of apathy or even hatred you receive if your blog is bad.  I have often thought that the worst sort of comment a blogger could ever receive would be a self styled Ignatius Riley replying to a post with a mere “Ho hum.”

I have always yearned for the honor of becoming freshly pressed.  There are of course criteria that one must meet to even be considered.  I have included a list of the criteria here, for your reading pleasure.

The Criteria of Freshly Pressed

1. Write unique content that’s free of bad stuff.  This includes language, images and other nasty things.  No wonder I have yet to be pressed!  I break this rule all the time.  You may have noticed the pictures in this post have deviated from my standard “google keywords and then post the image’s that a find with some pithy title” approach to blogging.  All of these new images are painstakingly hand drawn, and are owned by yours truly.  I also have written a single swear word in this post so far!

2. Have visuals.  Checkity-check!  I use visuals all the dam… err… darn time!

3. Sacrifice a bull on a full moon.  What a happy coincidence!  I do this anyway.  Well, I say that “I” do it, but that’s not entirely true.  I get my cult to help me, too.

Cult of Cybele Sacrifice

A fairly accurate depiction of our monthly meetings.

4. Cap off your post with a compelling headline.  I think all of my headlines are compelling, especially this one

That’s really all there is to it!  When these four things are completed, there will be a knock on your door.  Don’t be afraid.  Go and answer the door, but make certain to open it with your left hand.  If you have no left hand, than you must use your left foot.  A man wearing a trenchcoat and fedora will be waiting for you.  You will not be able to see his face, nor would you want to!  He will extend his hand, and you must give him exactly 3 trout fins, which he will eat.

How to be freshly pressed

The proper procedure in the vitally critical "presentation of the trout fins" stage.

Warning: Do not look away.  It is important to have your head bowed but still be able to watch him.  Upon consuming the trout fins, he will sing a song.  The lyrics are unimportant, but be sure to remember the melody, which you must hum back to him after he finishes.  Do not hum the melody incorrectly.  If you sing it back to him correctly, he will nod and leave.  As soon as he is gone, shut your door and pour salt on the floor in a protective semi-circle around the threshold, and then immediately go to sleep.  If you did everything correctly, you shall be freshly pressed the next day!  I hope this guide has helped you in your goal to become freshly pressed.  Leave a comment if it did, or even if it didn’t!  Oh, and here’s a picture of an awesome Latte I had one time.

Latte

It's from a place called Red Katz in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. Please freshly press me!

A Golden Age is Dawning


Some of you, my dear readers, may have noticed a sudden resurgence of interest in blogging on corngoblin.wordpress.com.  Some of you may have not, but that’s ok, I don’t blame you, I blame your lack of perceptiveness.  Before the tabloids begin to have a field day, let me lay to rest once and for all the rumors that have been floating around of the coming of a golden age here on corngoblin.wordpress.com.  You might want to put on your safety goggles, because I’m about to blow your mind.  If you don’t know how to put on goggles, the doctor is here to demonstrate:

See? It as easy as pronouncing Raxacoricofallapatorius!

IT’S ALL TRUE.  ALL OF IT.

We are entering a golden age here at corngoblin.wordpress.com, or at least that’s what the experts at MIT and Cambridge think, and who am I to argue with experts?  Four posts in just as many days is no coincidence, they say.  It is in fact classic evidence of a golden age, just like the one in Greece that one time!  In honor of this auspicious happening I am now going to assemble list of some of my favorite things.  It won’t be a complete list mind you, but I’m planning on updating it regularly.  Oh, and if you’ve found your way here because I liked or commented one of your posts, I’d like you to know that yes I did in fact read it.  It wouldn’t be fair otherwise.  So, if you agree with what I say, feel free to comment.  If you disagree, feel even more free to comment.  If you don’t care, feel even more even more free to comment.  And lastly, if you TL;DR, then you can just go back to your troll cave sir, and cry yourself to sleep as you are want to do.

My Favorite Movie

If you argue, then I have just one thing to say to you: Ni!

I lik funny things, and lads who work at conrgoblin.wordpress.com and I agree that Monty Python and the Holy Grail is about the funniest damn thing we have ever seen.  Not convinced this is a great movie?  Oh, ok.  Maybe rotten tomatoes can convince you.  A 95%?  Even Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked didn’t get a 95%, and some kid at the mall told me that movie was “fucking awesome, bro!”  Every scene in this movie is hilarious, and could be a skit in its own right, but the movie doesn’t feel like it’s a bunch of skits loosely strung together, it feels like a real movie.  And I think that’s the true beauty of the film.  It was made with no budget, and never takes itself seriously.  I even went to an interview for the writing program at the Florida State Film School and said that Monty Python and the Holy Grail was my favorite movie at all time.  They laughed.  One of them went so far as to say “bold!” while shaking her head.  They didn’t let me in, but I’m sure it had more to do with the absolute state of bowl releasing terror i was in during the interview than Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  And even if it was the movie’s fault, who cares?  It’s only a flesh wound!

My Favorite TV Show

Ok, first off, let me say this was a hard one.  I really, really, really like arrested development.  But there’s one thing about Futurama that makes it my favorite show: the writers can write whatever the fuck they want.  There is literally nothing holding them back.  Futurama is set in a crazy magically advanced future world with no rules.  It’s beautiful.  Wanna assassinate Hitler?  No problem, time machine.  Want to have celebrity appearance?  All of their heads are preserved in a museum.  Want to do anything else?  Time travel, infinite planets, extra dimensions; they have it all.  It’s like going to a cafeteria salad bar only to find out that the shitty lettuce has been replaced with every beer on the planet.  And its all free.  That’s Futurama.  Deal with it.

deal with it

Favorite Soda

It’s got 23 flavors.  I mean, come on!  Nothing has 23 flavors.

Favorite Toaster

 toaster that makes eggs

This one.  You can cook eggs and toast stuff at the same time!  What’s not to like?  You know, unless you are allergic to eggs or something.  Can you be allergic to toast?

Favorite Historical Thing That Can Also be a Halloween Costume

Vikings are as awesome as Pirates, and they have a crazy awesome battle religion to boot.  Plus, everyone dresses up as pirates.  Hardly anyone dresses up as vikings.  It’s probably because they’re scared to.

Favorite Element

Not only is francium all the way down on the bottom of the table of elements, but it’s also the most unstable naturally occurring element.  This means that if vikings were an element, they would be francium.  Vikings conquered parts of France(ium) didn’t they?  Answer: yes, yes they did.  My logic is irrefutable.

Favorite Medieval Torture Device

The Iron Maiden.  It’s also one of my favorite bands.

Favorite Fantasy Race

goblin

Goblins, duh.  Have you not read my blogs name?

Hopefully this list sparked some interest.  What are your favorite things in these categories?  Comment your answers, and we can argue and ruin each others day.  It’ll be just like the league of legends forums.  Dr. Who knows what I’m talking about.

dr who yell

The Prince of Parties


Heres a story I meant to post quite some time ago, but never got around to finishing it until just now.  Enjoy

Can it really be true?  30 posts on this most auspicious blog?  What?  You mean i have more than 30, and didn’t post this when I intended to?  Oh how the time has flown.  Word press is even giving me some sort of automated reward to commemorate the occasion.  I find it heartwarming that they would take the time out of their computers busy schedule to reward me for something as mundane as 30 blog posts.  Don’t they know that we bloggers don’t do it for the automated rewards we receive?  We do it for the .002% chance that we might actually make some money out of it!

We be up in the club makin' dat stimulus rain!

 Anyway, I digress…

I had realized a few days ago that I haven’t really done much this semester other than play games on my new PC, schoolwork, and exists.  I decided that I was in desperate need of reintegrating myself into the social circles that I had left dormant upon long forgotten shelves, dusty and ensconced with cobwebs.  This metaphor was bad news, because I am deathly allergic to dust, and irrationally afraid of spiders.  But my mind was firmly set when i glanced at the GIF above me and realized that there was no purpose for Obama to make it rain, if not for the benefit of his homies and any fine biotches that may be within cash-showering range.

I therefore quickly hatched a most cunning plan.  My main obstacle to overcome in becoming a campus celebrity was that no one ever invited me to anything and I have no friends.  Sure, I live with three other guys who I almost exclusively hang out with, but I have always regarded them more as my enemies.  I only hang out with them because I live by the maxim “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”  In order to make actual friends, I decided that I needed to appear to already have friends.

To do this, I made up a cast to my own private sit-com.  Oswald, an English ex-patriate who runs a coffee house in Pelham, was my best friend and chum.  Giselle was a love interest and close friend, but untrustworthy due to her dark good looks and Gypsy heritage.  Penny was an annoying blowhard and Giselle’s best friend.  Nobody liked her, especially Oswald, but she a Giselle were a sort of two for one combo deal, and she was therefore tolerated, if not despised.  Giacomo was Oswald’s friend and work mate and by default a friend of mine.  He was a dumpy, short italian-american who wished to marry Penny so he could finally gain citizenship.  Penny always spurned his advances and wacky attempts to woo her.

I was constantly off to do things with my new compatriots.  “Where are you going?”  Roommate Tyler might ask.  “I thought we were going to play Shogun Total War 2 together?”

“I can’t!” I would reply, “Oswald is having the gang over to watch a pretentious foreign film!”  I would then beat a hasty retreat to the local Starbucks, where I would make use of their partnership with Marvel and read free electronic comics while I sipped on caffeinated beverage.  I would occasionally take breaks to think up what hijinks Penny and Giacomo had gotten into today and decide what pick up lines I had fruitlessly tried on Giselle.  I had created facebook accounts for all of my imaginary friends, but restricted the access other people had to their pages, so their absolute dearth of friends could not be seen, and I would occasionally post things on my wall about all the fun we were having.  They would often reference idiotic inside jokes that the rest of my facebook friends must have found insufferably annoying  After three hours or so, I would return home and tell my enemies all about it.  They in turn would become progressively more jealous of all the fun I was having without them and complain about my new set of friends to anyone who would listen.

Word quickly spread of my social prowess, and of the unachievable heights of friendship my fake comrades and I were achieving, and my plan began to reach it’s final stages.  You see, by merit of always being out doing things with my “friends,” people assumed that I was fun to be around.  This assumption led them to suppose that they were missing out on something fun.  Suddenly, I was daily bombarded with requests to go do things.  “Hey!”  They’d say to me, “wanna go to the paint party on friday?”

“Can’t,” I’d reply whimsically, with a toss of my head and a flick of the wrist, “I’ve got a prior engagement.  My friend Giselle is having a trance party.  It’s gonna be a cornucopia of licentiousness and debauchery.  I simply couldn’t miss it.”

“Oh, well have fun…”  They would then leave, all the while trying to figure out how to get into my made up party.  This had the two fold effect of making me concurrently detestable and desirable, a powerful pairing.  I was the prince of parties.

I'm the pretty prince of parties. Your a tasty piece of pastry.

Everyone wanted me to come to theirs, but I always had something more cool going on and was forced to decline.  This worked perfectly for me because it satisfied my need to feel wanted and conformed to my unbendable laziness, in that all I ever did was go hang out at Starbuck’s and read free comic books.

It all worked perfectly, that is, until the day that I walked into the room to find all my room mates waiting for me.  They had a very serious look about them, and I instantly knew I was in trouble.

“Charles,” Tyler the room mate said, “We’ve been talking and we have had it up to here with your parties.”

“What, you want me to stop my party hard, carefree lifestyle?”  I asked, my voice rising in volume with every syllable.  “Preposterous!  Poppycock!  It is against all common decency and I simply shall not do it!  Good day, sirs.”

“No!  We don’t want you to stop.  We want in.”

“Yeah!” Matthew chimed in, “You’re always off having fun and we’re stuck in here watching reruns of Battlestar Galactica!  We want to come!  We hear you have a new party planned for this weekend.  We want that one.”

“Well I’m sorry guys.  My new friends are very selective and they don’t want to…”

“We’re gonna move out if you don’t let us come.” Brian said flatly.  This statement initially pleased me.  I would have the whole room to myself!  I could combine me all four beds into one normal size bed, and use Brian and Matthew’s room as a study room/activities space.  I then realized, however, that I would no longer be keeping my enemies closer than my friends.  What trouble could they cause if left to their own devices?

Hitlerbot, perhaps?

“Well I’m terribly sorry guys, but the party is simply too full to permit you entry.  I would be remiss if I were to tell you that you could come!  We are having another one next week, and perhaps i could wrangle up some extra room…”

“No, dude, I don’t think you get it.”  Matt said, advancing menacingly towards me, “We’re coming to that party.  One way or another.”  I glanced around at all of them, taking the very serious expressions they were now directing toward me.

“Ah… well then… to a party you shall go.”

“Good.  When and where?”

“Um…” I had to think fast or they would unravel the great secret of my fake friend world and bring everything i worked so hard to achieve crashing down. “Why, at a stylish downtown loft, of course.  The party begins at the coolest time of the night.”

“When’s that?”

“7:35.”

“Ok, we’ll be there.”

“Excellent.” I said as I backed up to the door.  I then gave a nervous laugh, which my comrades picked up.  We were all laughing, but no one really knew why.  My eyes darted about madly, vainly looking for an escape of some kind, but I dare not stop laughing.  I increased the volume and reached for the doorknob without looking.  My friends were now truly laughing, and having a great time.  Seeing that my ruse had worked, I swung the door open and ran for it.

“C’mon… start, you bastard.  Start!” I said, getting into my car  I don’t know why I said this.  My car is fairly reliable.  I guess I just found it to be appropriate.  I could see Bruce Willis saying something like that while terrorist’s bullets were thudding into the side of car like so many waves upon a stony beach

I floored it out of the parking lot and headed over to Starbucks.  Fortunately, there was a seat available on one of the couches, next to a little girl in a periwinkle dress.  She smiled at me, but i had no time for niceties.

“Move aside girl!”  I bellowed, plopping myself down and pulling out my computer.  I needed friends.  Fast.  I immediately went to Google and searched “friends for sale in Birmingham, Alabama.”  Many things came up, but one looked especially promising, a business run by a certain “Mama Twerk.”  They even had a number to call.  Excellent.

“Hey baby what’s up?” answered a raspy female voice.

“Hello?  Hello?  Mama Twerk?  Please, this is an emergency!”

“What kind of emergency you mean baby?”

“I am in desperate need of friends!”

“Then you came to the perfect place daddy.  We got the best friends in Birmingham and they all clean.  Real talk.”

“Uh, good.  Im glad.  One wouldn’t want to employ friends who are hygienically unsound.”

“How many friends you need?”

“Four.”

“Four!  Sounds like you planning some kind of crazy party, daddy!”

“Oh yes!  Yes I am!  The likes of which you have never seen!”

“Hey!  I don’t even want to know what ya’ll been plannin.  You want certain kinds of friends, daddy?”

“Yes.  One must be European male, one must be a devastatingly gorgeous gypsy woman, one must be an insufferably shrew and unattractive, and one must be short man.  Ooh hey could you get a Danny DeVito looking character?”

“…”

“Hello?  Are you there?”

“Yeah daddy I… I’ll see what I can do.”

“Good.  It has been a pleasure doing business with you, Mama Twerk, and I shall recommend your services to anyone who so needs them in the future.  Good day.”

“…”

I hung up and rubbed my hand together conspiratorially.

“Excellent!  EXCELLENT!”  I shouted.  The little girl who had been staring at me earlier was now yanking on her mothers shirt to get her attention.  She then whispered something into her ear, and the woman gave me a disgusted look.  She must have found out that I had to hire friends!  I beat a hasty retreat as the mother approached one of baristas and began gesturing towards me and saying something.

When I got into my car, I did a quick search for realtors on my phone.  I needed someone who specialized in downtown apartments, if such a person existed.  Fortunately, one such person did.  I called her.

“Hello?  This is Margaret Thatcher, no relation.  How can I help you?”

“Yes, Ms. Thatcher.  I am in desperate need of a stylish downtown loft.  Do you know of any such places?”

“Uh, yes.  But who are you, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“You hideous troglodyte!”  I roared into the phone’s receiver, “I need answers, not questions!  Will you help me or not?”

“Um…” she started, horribly confused, “yes.  Let me see what I have.”  There was a brief pause in the conversation, wherein i could hear naught but the subtle clickity clack of keys searching for a stylish downtown loft.

“Yes sir, Mr…?”

“Mr…” I thought for a moment.  It would have been unwise for me to use my real name, in case i became liable for anything that may happen at my party.  “Big,” I finished, “My name is Mr. Big.”

“Well Mr. Big I have the perfect place for you.  When would you like to see it?”

“Saturday,” I responded, “Saturday at 7:20 p.m.”  I thought for a moment.  “Actually,” I continued, “Is it furnished?”

“Yes, this is one of our demo models.”  She responded happily.  I chuckled.

“Excellent… Excellent!  It’s all coming together now by god, it’s all coming together!”  I hung up the phone in my joy, forgetting to ask where the place actually was.  I sent Ms. Thatcher a sheepish email several hours later asking for an address.

The next day was filled with anxious waiting.  Madam Twerk called to inform me that my friends would be ready tonight and I told her the location of the party.  She informed me that I owed her four thousand dollars for her services.  I assured her that I would indeed pay after the party was completed, though god only knew where I would get that kind of money.  I had spent all of my paltry funds on essential party supplies: Fritos and Pabst Blue Ribbon.  Perhaps I could pay her in installments? I would have to check with my new friends when they arrived.

Margaret Thatcher was waiting for me when i got to the apartment, and she must have immediately recognized that I was a cool customer from my appearance.  I was wearing a scarf and wool cap even though it was the middle of spring and almost 80 degrees outside.  I had a long sleeve plaid shirt and painfully tight jeans, which caused me to waddle rather than walk, much like a horrible crab monster fleeing from danger, or perhaps merely shuffling into the cool, dark waves of the refreshing sea.

“I can see a stylish downtown loft suites you!” She exclaimed, informing me that cunning disguise had worked to perfection.

“Quite.” I replied austerly.  She began to say something else, but I held up my hand to silence her.  “Before you say anything else I must warn you that I have some friends coming over to check the place out.  I trust this will cause no problems?”

“Well, Mr. Big, that’s not really how we do things.” She said anxiously, frowning at me.  Then a smile crossed her face and she said conspiratorially, “But I don’t think it should be a problem.  I always ask my friends for advice, too.”

“Splendid. Now, would you help me with the beer and Fritos?”

“You brought beer to an open house?”

“Yes.”

“Oh. Um, ok, sure.  Why not?”  I left her to lug the party supplies into the loft while I searched for a stereo.  I located one on a shelf by the TV and set it to an alternative rock station.

“Just set it down on that table there,” I said to Margaret, who was staggering under the weight of several beer cases.  I checked my phone.  It was 7:25, and my “friends,” should be arriving any minute now.  Just then, someone knocked on the door.  I went over and opened it, and let out a shudder of revulsion.

“Who are you?” I demanded.  The people at the door didn’t respond, but merely stared at me.  This must be them, I thought.  There were indeed… four individuals standing in front of me, but the hallway was dark, and so I beckoned them to inter so I could get a better look.

“Dear god,” I breathed hastily.  Something had gone horribly, horribly wrong.  Perhaps the phone connection on Madam Twerk’s end was malfunctioning and she was unable to understand what I had wanted, for standing in front of me were not the sit com cast of friends that i had envisioned, but rather four of the most disturbing individuals i have ever set eyes on.  There was a 40 something year old woman who had pink hair that had been bleached and colored so much that it was falling out in places and was painted up like a trollop and.  She was wearing painfully short jean shorts, lord knows how she found some in her waist size, with fish net stockings and stiletto heels; and a skimpy leopard print tube top.  She smoked a cigarette in one hand and had her other hand on her waist, which was thrust out at an angle that seemed to suggest that she was about to say something ’bout my mamma  Next to her towered a stick thin woman who must have been nearly 7 feet tall and appeared to have just woken up.  She was wearing a black leather skirt and a bikini top, which clearly showed her Caesarian scars.  The two men seemed to be very aged twins, and were dressed in  dirty old sweats.  They both had long, wispy and tangled white hair, and beards that reached well below their wastes.  I cleared my throat.  There wasn’t enough time to return these creatures now standing in front of me.  I had to make the best of what I had.

“Well, I am quite glad that you could make it here.” I said as I pulled some papers out my shirt.  “These are your character dossiers.” I said as I passed out information sheets that i had made about my fabricated friends.  I gave Giselle to the tall woman, who eyed it lethargically.  The squat one got penny an the more terrifying of the two men got Giacomo, the other received Oswald.

“What are we supposed to do with these?”  Giacomo asked in a rugged British accent, eyeing his sheet suspiciously, as if it were food.

“Oh dear,” I said nervously, “You can read, can’t you?”  They all responded in the affirmative.  “Good, good!” I said.  “These sheets have information about the characters you are going to be playing tonight.  For the remainder of the evening, you must pretend as though you were the person on your sheet.”

“What, like we was movie stars?” asked the tall girl with a voice graveled from years of cigarette smoke.

“Yes!  Yes!  That’s exactly right!” I exclaimed.  I glanced behind them and noticed that the elevator was coming up to our floor.  I glanced at my phone.  7:30!

“Come inside and take your places!  My friends are almost here!” I ordered as I ushered the gang into the main room.

“Where we supposed to be?” asked, who I was unable to budge.

“Doesn’t matter.” I grunted, straining to move her.  She was a rather large woman, but I managed to get her inside just when the elevator dinged.  “Just act like you’ve been here before.”  They began to spread out in the main room, reading their papers.  “And for god’s sake, put those papers up when they come in!”

“Oh, hello!” Margaret said, coming into the room, “These must be your friends!  I’m Margaret!  What do y’all think about the loft?”  My friends stared at her and then went back to reading.  I rushed over to Margaret and gently led her away from them.

“Hey, Margaret, would it be alright if we just sort of hung out in this room for a bit, just to get a feel for the place?”

“Sure!” she replied happily.

“Great!” I said, leading her away.  “If you could just up the snacks over here that would be great, thanks.  Your doing a wonderful job, Margaret!  I am quite sold on the old place!”  A knock sounded at the door and i spun around to address the group.

“They’re here!  Places everyone, places!”  I ordered, clapping my hands together.  Oswald raised his hand.  “Yes, Oswald?”

“What’s our motivation?” He asked.

“You want me to pay you,” I replied dryly and I went over to the door and opened it.

“Hey!  Welcome, Welcome!  Come on in!” I said to my room mates, who I ushered inside.  “Guys,” I said to my hired friends, “These are my room mates: Tyler, Matt and Brian.  This is Oswald, Giacomo, Giselle and Penny.”  And with that, the party was in full swing.

For professional actors, my hired friends seemed to have a rather poor grasp of their characters.  They were always glancing down at their dossiers for facts about themselves.  Furthermore, they seemed less concerned with talking and keeping up the illusion of being my made up friends than with pocketing whatever they could lift and eating all of my Fritos.  They liked the bear too.  Brian was in a deep discussion about apartments with Margaret, who looked more and more worried every time I saw her.  I think she was beginning to realize that I had no intention of buying this loft whatsoever.  Oswald and Giacomo had sat down at the beginning of the party and started drinking, and they had yet to stop.  I reckoned that they must have had 20 or so beers  already, and they were showing no signs of slowing down.

I spent my time floating in between the various groups, trying my best to keep up the illusion that the actors were my friends, and that i Was genuinely interested in renting a stylish downtown loft.  The party was serving it’s purpose at least.  My friends didn’t seem to suspect that Oswald and company were not my friends, but merely actors whom I hired.  But then, disaster struck.  Giacomo, who by now was roaringly drunk, let out a tremendous belch that attracted the attention of everyone in the room.

“This is a great party,” he slurred, looking at me, “Hey!  Didn’t you say we gonna get paid?  When are we gonna get payed?”  Everyone turned to look at me.  I was dumbstruck, frozen in place.

“Giacomo,” I angrily said through gritted teeth, “Whatever do you mean?”

“Well, you said you’d pay us…”

“Oh yes!” I shrieked, “You must mean when will you get payed for the party supplies, yes?”  He just looked at me blankly.  “Fear not, all accounts will be settled once my friends have left!  Now why don’t you go back to your beer?” My room mates were giving me suspicious looks, and I knew I had to act fast.  “Let’s dance everybody!” I shouted, sprinting over to the radio and cranking up the volume.  In my nervous state I only managed to flail my legs and arms like an epileptic at a rave.  “Come on everyone!  Dance!”

“Charles…” Margaret said as she walked up to me, “I don’t mean to sound rude, but this is supposed to be an open…”

“An open dance floor?” I howled, “Yes, it is!  That means everyone can dance. Everyone!”  No one moved.  I stopped moving and glared about the room.  “Dance.”  I ordered.  “Now.”  I must have had a mad glint in my eye, because everyone except Margaret looked frightened and started reluctantly swaying to the rhythm.  I scowled at Margaret, and she backed off and ran into the hall.  Good riddance.

“Now it’s a party!” I shouted.  There suddenly came a knock at the door. “I’ll get it!  You guys keep having fun.”  I shuffled over to the door and threw it open.  Two police officers were waiting outside.

“Hello sir, are you the owner of this residence?” one of them asked me.  Someone must have seen the police at the door and turned down the radio, so now everyone could hear me.

“…Yes?” I hazarded slowly.

“We’ve had a call about someone hiring prostitutes at this residence.  May we come in?”

“But of course.” I forced a smile and bowed low.  The police entered and immediately walked over to Giacomo and Oswald, who were fidgeting nervously.

“Who are these two?” one of the police asked asked.

“Why, those are my dear friends Oswald and Giacomo.  They aren’t prostitutes!  I mean, just look at them.”  Oswald smiled and waved, Giacomo vomited down the front if his shirt.

“What about her?” asked the other officer, gesturing to penny who had climbed on top of Matt and was shaking spasmodically.  Matt looked terribly frightened.

“Oh that’s just penny!” I laughed.  I sidled up to the police officer and whispered “She get’s like this when she drinks.  It’s disgusting, I know, but I didn’t invite her.  Giacomo did!  He has a thing for her, you see.”  The police stared at Penny, who was oblivious to their attentions.

“Well, everything seems to be in order here” said one of the male police officers, as he took off his hat and began to fan himself with it.  “I just have one more question.  Is it getting hot in here, or is it just….”  Suddenly, the man ripped his shirt off and began dancing in a most disturbing way as all of his compatriots began doing the same thing.  “…us?”

“Wha..?” I began as the two female officers sashayed over to me and began gyrating and wiggling most provocatively.

“Sorry we’re late,” one of them whispered, “Madam Twerk gave us the wrong directions.”

“Yes, that’s all very well, but why are you behaving like this?”

“What do you mean, honey?”

“Shaking!  Gyrating!  Twerking!  Et Cetera!”

“Well what do you want us to do?  You’re the one who hired prostitutes!”

“Prosti…” I began, but the word caught in my throat, “Pros..ti…tutes?  You’re prostitutes?”

“Yes…”

“No wonder you cost so much!” I exclaimed.  I was relieved that these were not real police officers arresting me for accidentally hiring prostitutes, but merely the prostitutes that I had accidentally hired impersonating police officers who were arresting me for accidentally hiring them!  This relief, however, was cut short by a creeping sense of dread that began to pervade my mind as I slowly turned to the frightening individuals standing around the room. “But if you are my prostitutes, ” I whispered to the hooker who was presumably meant to be Giselle, “then who are they?”

“I don’t know, it’s your party!” Giselle said as she watched her counterpart pick up a one of Brian’s kicked off shoes and begin to gnaw on it.  There was nothing for it.  I had to ask.

“Um, excuse me…” I said to Giselle the lesser, “who are you?”  She looked down at her sheet.

“Gisel…” she began before I interrupted her,

“Yes, yes I know who you are pretending to be.  Who are you really, though?”

“Agnes,” she grunted in between shoe bites.

“And what is it you do, Agnes?”

“Homeless.”

“Ah,” I said, realizing what I had done, “And your friends…?”

“Homeless.”

“Wait, so these homeless looking people are actually homeless people?  Then why did you introduce them as your friends?”  Tyler asked.

“I.. I was too embarrased to tell you guys,”I said, hanging my head, “but my friends, Oswald, Giacomo, Giselle and Penny…” They were all looking at me expectantly. “… lost their jobs and became homeless!  Now im super embarrassed and you need to leave, all of you.”  I walked over to the door and threw it open. “Out.  Now.”  A line soon formed.  At the front were my room mates, who apologized for being so rude and were quite sorry that my friends had hit upon hard times.  Next were the prostitutes.

“Sorry we were late,” said Giselle, “We’ve talked it over and, since you didn’t even want hookers in the first place, we’re just gonna charge you our cab fare home.”

“I have nothing left except Frito’s and PBR.” I told them flatly.  Giselle eyed the leftovers for a moment.  She shrugged.

“Ok, seems fair to me.”  They picked up the coolers and Fritos bags and made their way out.  Lastly, I was approached by Margaret.

“Are your friends all right?” she asked.  Gicomo and Oswald had drunk themselves to sleep ,and Penny and Giselle were fighting the prostitutes for the party supplies.

“Yes, they get like this, I’m afraid.  Don’t worry, they’ll wake up in a few hours and all will be well.”  I patted her on the shoulder and made my escape.

“So, did you like it?” she asked nervously as I passed.   I paused and thought for a moment.  “Which part?  There were some that were better tha others”

“Oh, um, I meant the whole thing…”  I thought once more

“No, not one bit.  I found it to be absurd and unbelievable.” I gestured in a sweeping motion around the loft.  “A stylish downtown loft at this price?  Poppycock!  Now, good day, Margaret Thatcher.”


The Detective: A Short made in 48 hours


In case you haven’t read my post the red carpet, I was recently in a 48 hour film competition, in which we had 48 hours to write, film and edit a short film. Here’s our entry.

Reflections upon nearly finishing university.


The world is a cruel place, my friends. A mere glance outside my window tells me of this. To see the thronging crowds of homeless begging, banging on the glass, is to see my own future. I’m relatively certain that I shall join their ranks not long after my graduation, and that you will to, for what jobs are there other than the exciting career of homelessness?

“Why is this my future?” You may being asking yourself. The answer is relatively simple, and it is this: You, just like I, have no idea what you are doing. From the age of 5 to 20 something, your life has been laid out before your by your parents and the government, but then, upon the completion of your BA in Classics (or english or whatever) , the path you had been walking has suddenly split into an infinite number of directions. One choice, as it were, into 10,000. You know only a few hard facts:

1. You want to be alive. You know this because you have yet to kill yourself, or are at least very bad at doing so.

2. To survive, you need food and water. I am making an assumption that whoever may be reading this is human. If the reader is some sort of vampire or other undead abomination, he or she or it can substitute blood and/or brains for food and water as needed. Don’t worry, I won’t mind, provided they are not my blood and brains.

3. You need some sort of method to acquire food and water. It’s not like water falls from the skies or food grows on trees, is it? What? It does? Oh! Well, unless you are planning on being a farmer or some sort of hunter gatherer, two noble professions that I am in now way besmirching, then…

4. You need money to buy these things. And then, lastly

5. You probably need a job to find money

That’s all you know concerning your hazy and amorphous future. And so out you trot, into an strange, new world that doesn’t really want you there anyway, searching, vainly searching, for some sort of way to earn money. Fortunately for you there are lots and lots of people out there who want to give you money. Sadly for you, they probably want something in exchange. Also sadly for you, they probably want someone experienced in doing whatever it is that they want to pay you for, and won’t give you money if you have no experience.

“Hang on!” You say, scratching your head at the gangrenous sea captain who is refusing to hire you, “How am I supposed to get experience working on a merchant marine vessel if i am to inexperienced to work on a merchant marine vessel in order to gain experience?” The captain then leans in very close to you, so close that you can see the crustaceans scurrying about in his filthy beard, and feel the smell of foul old tobacco creep out of his acrid mouth and force it’s way into your nostrils, and whispers “No one knows me lad, no one knows. Now, get the fuck of me boat.” With that, he gives you a fatherly punch that sends you sprawling down the gangway, crashing into some barrels and fracturing your spine. Alas, such is life! All you can do is pick yourself up by your own bootstraps, dust off your exposed vertebrae, seek immediate medical attention, and try again.

Eventually you discover an oily man who tells you “Yes of course we have an opening! We always have openings!” He will then lead you into a damp and dark warehouse, populated entirely by under fed Indonesian children and their whip wielding overlords.

“Don’t worry!” He exclaims, clapping you on the shoulder and leading you to a bench with a sowing machine from the 1800’s and a grubby, empty glass, “The feeling of crippling despair will dissipate in time, along with you soul and dreams!” You nod mutely, and then ask “What’s the glass for?”

“Why, your tears of course!” He laughs. “The more you cry, the more you get to drink! Don’t worry though, anything you don’t drink will be collected after work and used to power the machines.”

“Your machines run on tears?” He recoils from you in shock, staring at you long ways down his scaly nose, curling his arms up into reptilian looking claws and hunching his shoulders in a most disturbing manner. He then hisses at you, like a vole, for some time, until he at last composes himself.

“No, of course not! Now, you are B shift, so your work hours will be 6am to 8 pm. If you are late, you will be fired. I suggest sleeping under your table, unless of course the bones will bother you…

“The bones…?”

“Ha! Don’t worry, they don’t belong to anyone who needs them. Not anymore at least…” His face softens, and he stares off into space as if remembering something long since past. He then snaps out of his reverie and smiles much like how a snake would if it had just gotten you to eat an apple. “Glad to have you aboard, work drone #5674! Good day, and work hard! Or else! Ha!”

You spend the next 20 years silently toiling at your machine, weeping only when you are thirsty. You’ve learned to save your precious tears for such instances. You occasionally pause and stare off into space, as a mutinous thought creeps into your brain, questioning why you ever left college in the first place. It was like a giant day care, you recall, but for adults! There were these interesting classes you could go to pretty much whenever you wanted! If you went to one, though, they made you take a test at the end. This was the only bad part you could recall , but it was surely better than stitching your fingers into a Nike logo on an almost daily basis! And you could drink beer instead of tears!

The thoughts pass, however, as quickly as a stinging backhand from your overseer. How did he get his job? You wonder, turning back to your sewing machine with a wistful sigh. It’s almost closing time, after all, and you have been looking forwards to your four hours of sleep for the past half day or so. The bones that litter your floor have now become your friends, and you can’t wait to tell them about the exciting day that you had! They are ever so good at listening, and dont seem to mind that you almost always fall asleep half way through your stories. They are always there when you wake, aren’t they?.

Such is your fate, but don’t feel bad! It’s mine too. Therefore, you should endeavor to stay in college as long as possible, because the real world is scary, and full of violent sea captains and oily, half reptilian slave masters. College is a safe place. Trust me, I’ve seen the signs in front of the library.

The Red Carpet


Tonight is the dreaded apex of an event that began less friday, the snapshot film festival.  Tonight the short films that we designed, wrote, filmed and edited in just 48 hours will be shown.  Tonight, the truth will at last be revealed; who was the best and who wasn’t.

Luckily for all of us, Party Spock did not compete this year, though i'm sure everyone will continue to have a logical time in his absence.

Every  year I do this i find myself sitting around and staring during the week before the big premier.  As I stare, I wonder.  I wonder how good the movies will be this year, when mine will be shown, if it will be the best etc.  I am always torn on the issue of hoping that the films will be good this year or not.  On the one heand, the whole event would be far more entertaining if every film is utterly fantastic and as any movie goer can tell you, there are few things worse than sitting through an awful movie, regardless of the length.

It doens't say on the poster, but the blood war is what happens when, at the end of this movie, everyone realizes that not only have they lost nearly two hours of their lives, but also $10.

I then realize that if all the movies are good, there is a better chance that my movie will be bad.  Good and bad are often relative terms.  Consider the movie Hangover 2.  We already saw that movie 2 or three years before it came it, in it’s less evolved form of hangover one.  Relative to hangover one, hangover 2 is bad.  Relative to ultraviolet, it is the best damn thing ever made.  Such is the case for film festival shorts.  If a good film shines out from the pile of pig filth that is the rest of the movies, it appears to amazing.  On closer inspection, however, one might discover it’s not as good as one previously thought.    The same stands for a good movie surrounded by better ones.  It’s still good, but in comparison to the other, better movies, it sucks.  There’s a formula for this.  It’s called the theory of relativity.

And so the pattern goes, back and forth, back and forth.  The film festival is, after all, a competition, with prize money to boot, and I want to win terribly, because I am competitive and I enjoy money.  But I don’t want to win by having everyone else be terrible.  Far better if everyone was good, but i was just better.  This thoughts constrict my insides like a burmese python, and always put me in a fowl mood.  Therefore, when I come upon other film makers during that wretched week of waiting, I often try to not say anything, and merely attempt to ferociously scowl.

“So how’d your movie go?” they always good-naturedly ask.

“Fine.” I growl, giving them nothing.  These pleasant exchanges are merely ways of gauging the competition, you see, and the less they know the better.  This confuses them, and makes them feel on edge.

“Well, good luck on friday” they say as they slowly make their escape.

“Break a leg.” I tell them, but I don’t say it like most people.  I say it like a curse.  I actually want them to break their fucking leg, maybe even both legs.  Would that I were to enter the brock forum, where the movies are screened, to discover a group of people surronding fellow filmmaker young Timmy, who’s gripping his severed femur and trashing about in pain.

“What happened here?” I would ask, hoping beyond hope that I had guessed the truth.

“Little Timmy,” a bystander would say, “He was just walking… and… and then his leg just broke!  Pow!  Just like that, almost as if he had been cursed or something.”  I would be barely able to contain my maniacal laughter.

“What’s so funny?” they would ask, offended.

“Oh, nothing!” I would laugh, “I just remembered a really funny meme I read, earlier today.  Berks, I think it was called.”

Ha!

I would then make my way to my seat, doubled over in joyous laughter, one opponent already out of the competition.  I know that his film would still be here, but hey, it’s my fantasy, leave it alone.

I don’t actually want anyone to break their leg(s) though.  I’d have to be some sort of deranged psychopath to want that.  In reality, I’m, just nervous about that movie.  I’m sure my fellow film makers can sympathize with me on this.  You, the audience, see a seamless whole, a complete narrative for your enjoyment.  We, the film makers, see a disjointed series of images, sometimes with audio, patch-worked together in a most inexpert manner, trying so hard to make sense of an already poorly written story, hastily spawned in the back of a cafeteria last friday night, and we weep.  We weep for the insanity of it all, the absurdity of some human being wanting to lose hours of sleep cutting and editing these videos.  We weep for you, who we entice to the screenings with promises of cupcakes and free drinks and force to watch or movies.  But most of all, we weep for ourselves, who cringe at every competitors clever plot twists and jump at every one of their cool camera angle, who look around expectantly after every joke, hoping beyond hope that you get it.  You seldom do, but that’s not your fault, it’s ours.  And for that we apologize.

And for this too. Despite me having nothing to do with it, I do so heartily apologize.

So to all my fellow short film makers, sweating copiously as the minutes slowly tick by before the debut of your masterpiece, I say this: you’ve already won.  You did it.  Who cares if it sucks?  Who cares if it’s the worst fucking thing the audience has ever endured?  It doesn’t matter, because you made it and it’s yours.  And you only made it in 48 hours.  Imagine what you could do with a whole week?

The Wizard -or- I haven’t posted in a while. Deal with it.


Read the title.  It’s difficult to find time during college to write things on the blog, especially with me working on several screenplays and a novel.  So in the effort of posting something, here’s a short scene i wrote for one of my film school applications.  I couldn’t figure out how to get it to keep it’s proper format, so I just copy and pasted the whole damn thing.  Enjoy, or else!

The Wizard 

By 

William Charles Brock

————————-

INT. MAGIC SHOP

The shop has many old wooden tables and bookcases, crammed

full of all sorts of magical ledgers, tomes and instruments.

A man sits behind a counter, reading a People magazine. He

is dressed in some tattered old wizard robes and has a

damaged wizard hat on his head. The hat has large, faded

silver stars clumsily patched on.

The door opens, ringing an antique bell placed over it as a

man walks in. He is holding a wand and looks very

angry. He approaches the counter purposefully, as if he has

been there before. The wizard continues to read his

magazine.

MAN

Ahem.

The wizard continues reading his magazine, oblivious to the

man standing in front of him. The man glares at the wizard

for a moment, and then furiously rings a bell on the

counter. The wizard jumps in terror, throwing his magazine

into the air.

WIZARD

Yes?

MAN

I would like to return this magic

wand. It doesn’t work.

The wizard takes the wand in his hand and looks it over. Be

bends it a few times.

WIZARD

Seems fine to me

MAN

You said I could use it to turn my

boss into a toad.

WIZARD

Yes. Thats right.

MAN

Well it doesn’t work.

WIZARD

Did you use it as instructed?

MAN

Yes!

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: 2.

WIZARD

Did you wait until the moon was

full?

MAN

Yes!

WIZARD

Did you get close to the spell

recipient? You have to be very

close, you know.

MAN

Yes! I was practically right up

against him! I’m telling you, the

wand doesn’t work!

WIZARD

You do know you have to aim for the

head, yes?

MAN

Of course! You told me so

yourself! I aimed at his head and

swung the wand furiously, shouting

the magic words…

WIZARD

Which are?

MAN

Take that you bastard!

The wizard nods sagely at this as the man continues.

MAN

All that I managed to do was

savagely beat him to death with

this ordinary bit of wood!

The man angrily brandishes the wand.

WIZARD

Well that settles it then. The wand

is working fine

MAN

Fine? Fine? I killed a man! He’s

dead!

WIZARD

Yes, but didnt you want your boss

turned into the toad because you

wanted his job?

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: 3.

MAN

Yes… but

WIZARD

And are you not now the new head of

the research department?

MAN

Well, yes…

The wizard smiles and his eyes twinkle knowingly as he

slowly nods.

MAN

Dear God…

The wizard sits back down and returns to his magazine.

MAN

Well I’d still like my money

back. The wand didn’t work as

advertised.

WIZARD

(not looking up)

I would think that a man who had just commited murder and

had hitherto escaped the authorities has far more pressing

matters to deal with than a silly malfuntioning wand…

The man pulls on his collar nerviously.

MAN

Ah…I see. Well then… Good day,

sir.

The wizard clears his throat and points at a jar labeled

“tips.” The man grudgingly deposits the entire contents of

his wallet into the jar.

WIZARD

Quite kind of you. Good day.

MAN

Yes, good day.

MAN exits

FADE OUT

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