Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Spencer's Chronicles: The Final Chronicle

This will be the final entry in my short-lived series: The Spencer's Chronicles. Why? Because my job there was seasonal, and now that the holidays are over, they don't need as many workers any more-- which sucks, since this is the only job I've ever had that registered lower on the "Things I'd Hate To Do" meter than sticking my hand in a reciprocating saw.

I just hope I can find another job before I need to resort to making my own clothing and eating only what I can kill. You don't want to see me chasing a rabbit around my front yard with a golf club.... naked. Trust me, there are better ways to damage your retinas.

Like staring into the sun for instance.

The most beautiful way to liquify your eyeballs.

Getting back to Spencer's, do any of you know what a plasma ball is? And before you say it, I know that you just looked at a picture of the sun, which is literally a ball of plasma. Way to be a smart ass.

No, a plasma ball is a product that we sell at Spencer's. You've certainly seen one before:

It's a glass ball that uses electricity and noble gases to make you feel like Emperor Palpatine for a couple seconds. You can't really harness the energy to smite your enemies, but science is trying.

I can't tell you how to do anything dangerous with a plasma ball. That would be irresponsible.  So I'm not going to tell you that if you place a penny on top of one and hold a pointy, metal object close to it you will cause the electricity to arc through the air. I won't tell you, but I'll certainly show you.

Putting myself in harm's way-- for science!

But I digress. Just before Christmas, two women were in Spencer's looking at our plasma balls. We have three kinds: the one you see above, one where the orb in the very center is a peace sign, and one where that orb is a marijuana leaf. I overheard a very small portion of their conversation and it went like this:

Woman #1: "Should we get him the peace sign one?"

Woman #2: "I think he would like it, but I don't know if his parents are into all that hippie stuff. What will they think when he opens it on Christmas morning?"

Woman #1: Yeah, you're right. Ooooh! I know! Let's get him the snowflake one!

Woman #2: Yeah! That's a good idea.

Now, my level-minded readers, go back and re-read the three types of plasma ball that we sell. Did I say "snowflake?"

Pictured: Not a snowflake.

They bought it. I can only imagine what that house was like on Christmas morning when little Johnny opened his present from grandma and shrieked: "Oh boy! A snowflake!"

And I love to think about the mortified look on his parents' faces: his father staring with a mixture of anger and horror at his grandmother, and his mother attempting to appear like nothing was wrong saying: "Yes, Johnny. A snowflake. Say thank you to your grandmother."

But they never returned it, which means there's only one way it could've actually played out: Johnny's father smashed it over his grandmother's head in a fit of rage. Regardless of grandma's fate, the shattered plasma ball could never be returned.

Monday, February 6, 2012

I'm An Internet Writer? When The Hell Did That Happen?

So, a lot of you that are reading this were probably linked here from one of my recent Cracked articles. If that's the case, thanks. You didn't have to take the time to do that. That's really sweet, and I didn't get you anything in return. You should've told me sooner.

To be honest, when I pitched my first article to Cracked about a year ago, I never thought it had a chance-- and I was right. That article idea was terrible and it wasn't anywhere near the sort of thing that Cracked runs. But what I didn't expect was to learn enough through the mountain of failed pitches that followed to actually get one through.A literal mountain. Some evil guy forged a ring there. And it's a problem.

And my second article is on the front page today (co-authored by my friend Karl Smallwood, check out his blog "Internet Adventures" on the right) so it seems that I'm a comedy writer on the internet all of a sudden. And I still don't know how it happened so fast. One day, I was an aspiring writer with nothing in my portfolio and zero publications. Now, I've got two articles on the most popular comedy website on the internet. Holy crap!

Don't get me wrong, if I were to attempt to live solely off of my writing, I'd have to adapt to a different lifestyle:

Namely the "this is my house" lifestyle.

But it's a start. Before I wrote anything for Cracked, being a published author was only a fantasy; something to be yearned for but probably never attained. Now I've actually got some publications to my name and some clout to throw around when I pitch ideas to new places.

And let's be honest here, two million page views on a prolific comedy site is certainly better than a notebook filled with novel ideas that I read aloud to my cat. But at least she doesn't judge.... much. 

Don't talk to me until you improve that characterization.

So, I'm going to wrap up this short, less funny than usual blog post (expect a normal post later tonight) with some advice. It doesn't matter how big and out of reach your dreams may seem, never give up. You never know when you're going to have that first, little bit of success that sets everything into motion.