Friday, November 30, 2007


Where they were going, John didn’t know, but thither he drove, ever mindful that Mischa Petrovitch may well have been after them. As it turned out, he wasn’t, but John didn’t know that either.

In fact, Mischa couldn’t possibly have been chasing them, since he’d had his license revoked the previous month, part of a settlement he’d been forced to sign after crashing his car into an arbophile’s special oak tree.

But he had connections.

Immediately after John and Bill escaped, Mischa called Josiah, who (after excoriating Mischa for calling collect) notified his contacts in the military. Within minutes, a pair of Apache helicopters were in hot pursuit of John’s purple Honda.

“Where are we going, John?” asked a curious Bill.

The needle on John’s speedometer had broken off miles ago; he’d never driven so quickly before.

“If you ask me that one more time, I’m ripping out your kidneys and selling them on the black market,” replied John, sharply turning left for no apparent reason.

After pondering that for a moment, Bill said, “My mom doesn’t let me in that store.”

“It’s not an actual store, you idiot; it’s just a blanket term applied to illicit businesses and transactions,” said John.

“My blanket’s made from goose feathers!” bragged Bill.

John sighed, then turned right. Suddenly, however, he heard the unmistakable sound of twin Apache helicopters, approaching far more quickly than he could ever hope to outrun them.

“Oh no!” he yelled. “That strange Russian man has sent the military after us. We’re doomed!”

“Don’t worry John, I’ll take care of them!” claimed Bill.

Bill stuck his head out the window, turned around, and started making machine gun noises while pointing his fingers at the helicopters. One of them exploded, but the other was closing in fast.

John continued driving, making another sharp right. Then he saw a road sign. Without realizing it, John had managed to bring them to within a very short distance of the local airport.

“If I can get us into the airport, we may be able to take a plane to safety!” he thought, pulling into the parking lot and hurriedly exiting the car. “Come on, Bill!”

John and Bill ran through the parking lot, unnecessarily leaping over speed bumps and savagely pushing aside dozens of innocent bystanders.

The two ran into the airport and made for the nearest terminal, but much to their dismay, no fewer than two dozen US Marines were already there on patrol, having been sent straight to the airport by Josiah, who was really, really good at planning ahead. John grabbed Bill and pulled him up against a wall, shielding them from the marines’ line of sight.

“Bill, don’t let them see you,” cautioned John, now speaking in a whisper. “They’ll shoot you on sight. And then they’d shoot me, which would be a bad thing.”

“I bet I can yell louder than you can!” boasted Bill, bellowing boisterously.

Before John could berate his foolish companion, the marines came running toward them, and John and Bill were again forced to run for their lives.

Through the airport they dashed, once again pushing aside bystanders (many of whom weren’t in their way) and jumping over speed bumps (which only Bill could see). They made it to the exit and burst through the door.

As soon as they did, however, they saw a pitch-black Escalade driving right toward them. It stopped abruptly, and out stepped Josiah Malum, along with Mischa and, for some reason, the driver. John and Bill, afraid, turned around again, only to see the marines filing out of the airport, guns ready.

“You’ve led us on quite a chase, Mr. Morgan; but I’m afraid it ends here,” said Josiah, taking out a pack of cigarettes as he slowly stepped forward. “Kill him.”

The marines started firing, but Josiah’s driver suddenly lunged forward, tackling John and Bill to the ground, saving them from the deadly volley of bullets. Before he landed, John had just enough time to catch a brief glimpse of the man’s emerald green tie – it was Shamus Flanagan!

“You’d best be leavin’ the fighting to me, laddies!” he said, rolling up his sleeves and walking confidently toward the marines.

Without waiting to be told, the marines charged at Shamus. Completely unafraid, Shamus proceeded to take down every marine there, using a unique combination of boxing, Muy Thai and Irish dance – an impressive sight to behold.

“Why aren’t they using their guns?” demanded Josiah. “Shoot him, you idiots! And what the hell happened to those helicopters?”

As soon as Shamus was finished dispatching his adversaries, he turned to the Secretary of Evil, who quickly hopped into his car and sped away, driving it himself (for the first time he could remember). Mischa, upon seeing his boss desert him, looked around nervously for other options, then started chasing after the Escalade.

Shamus, casually dusting himself off, walked over to John and Bill, a broad grin spreading across his face. He straightened his tie, took a four-leaf clover out of his pocket and kissed it.

“Well laddies, looks like I took care of ‘em!” said Shamus cheerfully, tucking the clover carefully back into his pocket.

“Who are you? What just happened?” asked John, clearly confused. “Don’t you own a restaurant?”

“No time to explain now, me lad. No, you’d best be goin’ off somewhere to hide for a while, till me and me boys straighten things out,” he suggested.

“Where?” asked John.

“I’ve got a fine friend in Mexico; he’ll look after ya for a while,” said Shamus. “Hurry up now, don’t tarry!”

Bill and John walked back into the airport and bought plane tickets for the next flight to Mexico, pushing aside many innocent bystanders as they stood in line.

“Well John, I –”

“Whatever it is, don’t say it.”

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Bill had inexplicably managed to convince John to attend the party, so the two met up in front of the Clark Bar (which they were no longer permitted to enter) and set off for 666 Death Row, a location John shoedly – sorry, shrewdly – found rather suspicious.

As they walked down the dark, narrow street, they noticed that there was nobody else outside. No lights were on in any buildings, and gusts of cold wind frequently made Bill shiver. John had had the foresight to bring a jacket, evidently being smart enough to have realized it was mid-December.

“I’m a little surprised that we haven’t even seen a car yet,” said John as they passed yet another seemingly unoccupied building.

“I know what you mean! I want to drive a racecar!” said Bill, agreeing to a statement nobody had made.

They arrived at their destination to find an imposing concrete building, somehow even darker than the others on the block. When John looked at it, his stomach lurched, more violently even than after a meal at Mexican Munchies. He shifted his gaze to the ground and started to shudder, but then he noticed that Bill was also shuddering, so he forced himself to stop, so as to look better by comparison.

Looking up at the building again, John could discern – although barely, what with all the darkness – a stone archway that surrounded a large wooden door, in the center of which was a door knocker crafted from what appeared to be a man’s skull but was actually a woman’s.

“I don’t know why, but I have a really bad feeling about this, Bill,” said John. “I think you should go in first. If you don’t die, I’ll know it’s safe.”

“Okay!” said a cheerful Bill, traipsing to the entranceway and knocking.

“Who’s there?” came an irritated voice from behind the door with a heavy Russian accent.

“I’m Bill!” said Bill.

“Did you intercept a letter addressed to the editor of Newsweek?” asked the Russian even more irritably.

“No, that was my friend John! John Morgan. He’s standing out here with me though, if you want to meet him,” replied Bill.

John, furious with but not at all surprised at Bill’s stupidity, impulsively ran up to Bill and smacked him across the head, right as the door swung open to reveal Mischa Petrovitch, Deputy Secretary of Evil of the United States of America.

“John Morgan, come in! It is time for your execution. I mean, party,” said Mischa, glancing around nervously, as if he expected Josiah to come belittle him any second.

John looked askance at Mischa, then at the room behind him. It reminded him strongly of a sepulchre, probably due to the multitude of corpses lying around the place, which aside from those corpses was actually quite elegant. A magnificent purple rug covered the floor, and the walls were painted gold. The expensive, ancient rug had belonged to Josiah’s parents, until he had them executed; now it lay on the floor of Josiah’s favorite ancillary building. With a bunch of corpses.

“It’s the ironic juxtaposition that makes it such an effective decoration, Mischa,” Josiah had said. “You wouldn’t understand it.”

But John did – he understood all too well.

“Bill! We need to get out of here,” said John, frequently glancing backward, already planning an escape route.

Bill, however, had failed to notice anything suspicious at all, and he was quite looking forward to a terrific party. He entered the building, waiting for John to follow.

“Aww, come on John – it’s just a party. What could possibly go wrong?” foreshadowed Bill, as Mischa picked up an assault rifle from a nearby table.

Firing his Kalashnikov indiscriminately, Mischa started spouting incomprehensible Russian obscenities. Bill had found a bowl of chips and was looking for dip.

John, however, had been prepared for such an unfortunate turn of events, and with his only exit being continuously pelted by bullets, he knew he had to stay and fight.

Not owning a gun, he’d been forced to bring the next best weapon he possessed: a small sack of marbles. Swinging it above his head to gain momentum, he hurled it at Mischa, missing and hitting Bill, who collapsed.

“Damn!” swore John, desperately searching for something else to use as a weapon.

Mischa, exuding a confidence he rarely had a chance to exude, boasted, “My boss, Josiah Malum, Secretary of Evil, will be very pleased! By killing you, I am fulfilling his orders. And – oh no…I sure hope I don’t trip on those marbles!”

Mischa tripped, though it was solely his fear of tripping that made him do so; no marbles were even near him.

John took the opportunity to run, forgetting Bill – unless he left him behind intentionally…which seems more and more plausible, actually, the more I consider it.

John hurried back to his car to find Bill sitting in the passenger seat, eating a slice of pizza. Where, why, and how he’d obtained it, nobody knows. Including Bill.

Having no time to marvel at the sheer impossibility of Bill’s miraculous escape, but pausing to snatch the remainder of his pizza, John drove quickly away with swift, rapid speed.

“Well, that was fun!” said Bill.

“I really, really hate you.”

Monday, November 26, 2007


– newly elected Pope, Keanu Reeves, is expected to begin his duties on Monday. In other news, if you came across a letter addressed to the editor of Newsweek and impeded its progress in any way, report to 666 Death Row for a…party. Yes, that’s it. A party. Speaking of parties, the Communist Party is at it again! A rally called ‘Heart for Bark’ was held in Mississippi earlier this week to grant local man Randy Bonaparte the right to wed his beloved oak tree, Missy…

Bill was sitting on his living room floor playing with some Pokemon cards when the message was broadcast on the evening news. He leaped up, slipping on the recently waxed hardwood floor and flying headfirst into the wall. Undeterred, he picked himself up and began addressing a nonexistent companion.

“John imposticulated a letter addressed to the head of Newsweek! And my dad left my mom for a tree named Missy! But going back to the first thing I said, wow! John got invited to a party. I wonder if he’ll take me!” wondered Bill excitedly.

Dashing out of the room, slipping once more and again crashing into a wall (but a different wall this time), Bill took out his cell phone, which he’d only recently obtained, his mother being quite loath to give him any tools with which to communicate with the outside world. Running upstairs, he tried to call John, but John had never told Bill his phone number, so Bill just called a random one. Fortuitously, it was, in fact, John’s.

“This had better be important; I was singing lullabies to my petunias,” said John.

“John, it’s me, Bill! Bill Williams,” replied Bill.

“Ah, yes, hello Bill,” said John, gently caressing his flowers.

“The garbage man,” continued Bill.

“Right, I know who you are,” answered John.

“We went to a bar the other day,” said Bill.

“Get to the point, you idiot,” commanded John. “After this, I need to take a bath with my water lilies. They’re filthy!”

Completely unfazed, Bill asked, “Can I have $50?”

“Why the hell do you need $50?” demanded John, pouring copious amounts of bubble bath into his floral-pattern tub. “Moreover, why would you ask me? I’m extremely greedy, and broke, at least until my counterfeiting business picks up.”

“To buy a suit,” answered Bill.

“Why do you need a suit?” asked John.

“For the secret surprise party I’m bringing you to!” responded Bill.

John sighed in exasperation. “Well first of all, it’s not a surprise anymore, thanks to your moronic inability to keep a secret. And second, who on earth would throw a party for me? It’s probably a trap!” retorted John.

John suddenly heard a series of excessively loud beeps, which forced him to tear the phone away from his head. Bill had just figured out how to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” with dial tones; he hadn’t been this amused in months.

Cursing Bill and pressing the phone back to his ear, John continued, “Are you sure this party is legitimate, Bill? I don’t want to find out this is somehow related to that letter I intercepted, because not only would that be dangerous; it’d also be trite and predictable.”

“Of course John! I’m really sued when it comes to things like this,” said Bill confidently.

John hesitated for a second.

“Do you mean shrewd?”

“Yeah, that’s it. Shoed.”

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Mischa sat in the back of Josiah Malum’s jet-black Escalade. Josiah was running an errand, the nature of which he refused to reveal, and he’d ordered Mischa to remain in the car. Mischa, insufferably bored, once tried talking to the driver, a large man with a tie as green as the emerald isles. There was no response.

Finally, the car door opened and Josiah entered the vehicle, smirking maliciously. He carried a nondescript brown bag, which he hurriedly shoved under his leather seat as he bade the driver start the car. As the Escalade began rolling down the busy road, Mischa remarkably mustered the courage to ask Josiah what he’d been doing.

“That’s none of your business, Mischa. We still need to discuss your most recent blunder,” retorted Josiah, his cold eyes flashing Mischa a look of sheer hatred.

“B-blunder, sir? W-what are you talking about?” asked Mischa.

“When I said to locate our target ‘by any means necessary,’ I mistakenly assumed you’d come up with something more efficacious than asking him to report for his own execution. Nobody would be stupid enough to do that, Mischa! Well, maybe you would, now that I think about it…” said Josiah.

“No, to lure him to his death will require subtlety and tact, of neither of which you seem to possess even the slightest amount.”

“W-what do you r-recommend, sir?” inquired Mischa.

“I’m going to find this man myself,” said Josiah, now picking up the plain brown bag and resting it on his lap.

Mischa again wondered what Josiah was keeping in the bag, but he restrained himself from asking, instead focusing on Josiah’s plans to capture their antagonist. He looked out the window to clear his head, seeing nothing, as the windows had been tinted from the inside, specifically to make sure that Mischa never got to look out of them. It was another way of crushing his spirits - one of Josiah's personal favorites.

“How, sir?” asked Mischa.

“Your idea of a newscast was poor at best, but I think I’ll use it anyway. There will be one key difference though: my newscast will work. Do you know why, Mischa?” questioned Josiah.

“No, sir. Why?”

“Because I’m better than you!” answered the secretary, his voice rife with vitriol.

Mischa hung his head in shame as the car continued on its way. It hit a pothole, and Mischa, who on Josiah’s orders wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, fell out of his seat.

Josiah chuckled as he took out his cellular phone and quickly dialed a number. Pressing the phone up against his ear, he delivered a sharp kick to Mischa’s ribs, partly to get his attention and partly due to good old fashioned sadism.

“My contacts in the media will have my newscast on every channel in America tonight, Mischa. Even if our would-be thwarter doesn’t see it, someone who knows him will, and he’ll be led right to us,” said Josiah. “He’ll be dead by the end of the week, and then I’ll be able to move forward with my evil plan!”

Mischa, back on the seat, sat as still as he was able, making a conscious effort to imbibe every word his boss spoke, which was fairly difficult thanks to the searing pain in his ribs. Before long, however, the mysterious bag once again piqued his interest.

“S-sir, if I might be so b-bold as to inq-quire…what’s in the bag?” asked Mischa.

“I already told you, I’m not telling you,” said Josiah, reaching into the bag, pulling out a cookie and taking a bite.

Mischa lowered his head, disappointed.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


First and foremost, happy Thanksgiving. Second and forermost, here's the eighthest chapter in The Ultimate Book:

John and Bill sat together in the Clark Bar. The Clark Bar was – wait for it – a bar, and it was owned by a man named Robert Clark. In his earlier days, Bob had been a successful poet, but a rare liver disease had forced him to retire to a quiet life of bartending and alcoholism.

There were many things that made the Clark Bar unique. For starters, the walls were adorned with scrolls featuring Bob’s best poetry, all of which were autographed. Twice. Then twice more on the back.

Bob, never having been professionally trained as a bartender, didn’t serve too many drinks; in fact, he only knew how to make one: beer. And he didn’t make it either; he just ordered it. But he never paid for his shipments. Some say the feds are still after him to this day.

John, in keeping with his policy of being slightly less cruel to Bill, had decided to invite his new friend for a few drinks. Unfortunately, it soon transpired that Bill had a very low tolerance for alcohol, and after half a beer, he was out cold, lying supine on the hard wood floor.

“I may owe him my life, but he’s really starting to piss me off,” said John to himself as he repeatedly hit Bill over the head with an empty mug.

Bill finally came to, very disoriented – even more so than usual. He spun around in circles for a few minutes, then sat down on the barstool and started chewing on autographed napkins.

“Are you all right, Bill?” asked John.

“All what?” asked Bill.


“Left! Hahaha, I win!”

John opened his mouth, then shut it, going back to his drink. He noticed that there was a TV in the corner of the room, but it was off.

“Barkeep!” yelled John. “Switch on that television; I want to watch the news.”

Bob, who was cleaning a pitcher with a very filthy, very autographed rag, stared directly into John’s eyes, a look of pure revulsion on his face.

“Who the HELL do you think you are, giving orders in my bar? If you want that TV turned on, then go on home right now – begone!” he rhymed, gesticulating at all the appropriate intervals.

Taken aback and unsure whether to be impressed or horrified, John apologized and, against all logic, decided to make another attempt to engage Bill in conversation. Bill, however, had passed out again, which was quite odd, as he hadn’t been drinking anything.

“Wake up, Bill! We’re leaving,” said John.

Bill woke up instantly and started reciting the alphabet – slowly and inaccurately. John waited impatiently for Bill to finish, but as he was doing so, he heard the unmistakable sound of a newscaster.

“You turned on the TV?” he asked Bob, wondering what could have convinced the barkeep to change his mind.

“I also like to watch the news; I watch it while I’m selling booze,” replied the bartender. “Let’s listen to the woman talk; I wish I could have sex with her.”

“That didn’t rhyme,” noticed John.

“I know it didn’t rhyme!”

By that time, Bill had only reached the letter d, so John, acquiescing to defeat, sat back down on his autographed barstool and began watching the news.

“ –death count is expected to be well into the millions. In other news, if you recently intercepted a letter addressed to the editor of Newsweek, please report to the office of Mischa Petrovitch for execution.”

John stood up abruptly, knocking his barstool to the ground. He grabbed Bill by the shoulder and shook him violently.

“BILL! Did you hear that?” he asked.

“No,” said Bill. “Why, was it funny? I like funny things. You’re funny, you know that John? I think you should be a comedian. Or a mailman. I wish I were a mailman. I remember a funny joke I heard –”

“This is no time for humor!” shouted John, who was now receiving hostile glares from every patron in the Clark Bar.

Bob, who was much more intelligent than he let on, had managed to put two and two together. He knew exactly what was happening. He set down the mug he was cleaning and turned to John, pointing at him authoritatively to get his attention.

“I’ve got no clue what’s happening here, but I think you’ve had too much beer. I’ll say this once, for I’m no mime: hurry up please, it’s time!”

“Actually, I think you’re right, barkeep. Come on Bill…we need to go,” said John quietly.

“Hurry up please, it’s time! Hurry up please, it’s time!” repeated Bob.

“Hahaha! He keeps saying it! Look John, I bet he’ll say it again!” said Bill, eagerly watching Bob.

But Bob, of course, was fully still; he started scowling right at Bill. As Bill was saddened by the glare, he followed John right out of there.

Monday, November 19, 2007


Josiah Malum was irate. Three weeks had passed since the day Mischa had sent the letter, but it had yet to appear in Newsweek – and it was now doubtful that it ever would. Josiah was not a very patient man. Deep in the Pentagon, in his private chamber, he sat across from his assistant and eyed him contemptuously.

“Mischa,” began Josiah menacingly, “we have a problem.”

“W-what’s the problem, sir?” asked Mischa, whom people now frequently mistook for having a severe case of Parkinson’s.

“When I asked you three weeks ago, you informed me that you had sent the letter to Newsweek. For 21 days, I have waited; but I refuse to wait any longer. I demand answers!
There are, as I see it, two possibilities: Either you lied to me, and you never mailed the letter at all; or it was intercepted. So which is it, Mischa?” demanded Josiah.

“S-sir, I assure you, I sent the l-letter!” pleaded Mischa.

“Very well. Then it was stopped,” concluded Josiah. “Somebody is interfering with our plans. This means we have yet another obstacle to overcome.”

“W-what obstacle is that, sir?” inquired a quaking Mischa.

Josiah was silent for a moment.

“You’re an idiot.”

He stood up, lighting a cigarette as he did. Slowly he began pacing around the table, stopping every few seconds and glancing upward, as if searching for some sort of inspiration (in reality he was making a note of all the light fixtures that needed replacing). Mischa never dared to look away from his boss, and his eyes followed Josiah across the room.

Suddenly Josiah looked directly at Mischa, who fearfully leaned back in his chair and fell crashing to the floor.

“Mischa! I have a new assignment for you. Whoever intercepted this letter obviously didn’t want it to be printed. It thus stands to reason that he must be prevented from interfering any further. Before I continue with my plan, I want this man killed,” stated Josiah. “And you’re paying for that chair. That’s the third one you’ve broken this week.”

“K-killed, sir? Isn’t that a bit…extreme?” asked Mischa, pretending not to have heard Josiah’s last comment as he lay immobile on the ground.

Josiah glared at Mischa. He didn’t speak, but his message was painfully clear. Mischa began to cry, and Josiah let out a sigh of frustration.

“God dammit, not again. Mischa! Stop crying!” he commanded. “I still can’t believe I hired him over that assassin who applied. What the hell was I thinking?”

Mischa, sniffling, regained what little composure he had. Wiping his eyes on his sleeve and picking himself up, he began nodding slowly and then tried to sit down on the chair he’d just broken, which he shortly remembered was…broken.

“I-I’ll do it, sir! B-but, how do I find him?” asked Mischa, now opting to stand.

Josiah, exhaling a cloud of smoke, flashed a mirthless smile and sat down. He folded his hands and leaned forward portentously.

“By any means necessary.”

Josiah’s laughter reverberated cacophonously throughout the room. Mischa nervously joined in, but Josiah interrupted him.

“Only I may laugh, Mischa.” he said. “You're not evil enough.”

“S-sorry sir.”

Saturday, November 17, 2007


It was now Thursday of the same week. John hadn’t talked to Bill since his foiled suicide attempt on Tuesday, and he was looking forward to seeing his new friend again, kind of.

John drove his mail truck toward the final house on his route, just as he’d done the previous Tuesday and just as he’d done on hundreds of days before. But this time, something was amiss.

“Something is amiss,” said John, bringing the truck to a premature stop.

He looked out his left window and saw Bill happily pushing his wheelbarrow toward some destination unfathomable to all rational human beings. Bill, noticing John, turned to his friend and started waving, dropping his wheelbarrow and spilling garbage everywhere; but John – as he had been wont to do in the past – ignored him.

“Something is definitely amiss,” John repeated, now looking down at the letter he was about to deliver.

It was unsealed, much as the last one had been. John, however, made no move to read it. Something held him back; there was something unsettling about that letter. Instead, John turned it over, looking at the return address with great interest.

“Mischa Petrovitch, Department of Evil,” read John aloud. “And it’s addressed to Newsweek. The man in that house is the editor of Newsweek? That’s odd. I should’ve known something like that; I’m supposed to know everything!”

John, caught up in his conceited contumely, grew steadily more determined; he resolved to read this letter, come hell or high water. Or Bill.

Bill came.

“Hey John! Didn’t you see me waving? What’s up? What are you doing? Delivering mail? I wish I could deliver mail, but I’m just a garbage man. I took the mailman test once, but I failed. My mom –”

“ – Took away your X-Box, I know. Not today, Bill. I’m about to transgress the boundaries that separate postman from postbeast. I’m about to read this letter!” said John.

Bill gasped, horrified. In reality, he had no qualms at all with what John was about to do, but he figured John would appreciate a powerful reaction.

John took the letter out of its envelope and began reading aloud: “Dear Editor, I am writing this to express my sincere displeasure with…GOOD GOD!”

“What is it, John?” asked Bill.

“It’s – I – I can’t say! It’s unspeakably evil!” said John, his expression slowly changing from horrified revulsion to steadfast resolve. “I know what I have to do. I can’t allow this letter to reach its destination. I must destroy it.”

“Cool! It’s just like Lord of the Rings! Are we going on a quest to a volcano? I’ll bring ice cubes so it doesn’t get too hot!” said Bill.

John quickly tore up the letter, then looked over at Bill and said, “I’m sorry, what? I was ripping up this letter; I couldn’t hear you.”

“Never mind,” replied Bill, clearly disappointed.

He cheered up instantly, however, as a passing butterfly caught his attention. Immediately he took off, in hot pursuit of the elusive insect.

“Well, that’s the end of that,” said John.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


But first I'm going to thank all the people who have thus far told me they like what they've seen (you're awesome), and excoriate all the people who haven't (I hate you). Seriously though, leave comments so I have something to read other than that hit counter I'm always compulsively checking.

And tell your friends. Or enemies. I don't care. I just need more free advertising.


With Josiah Malum’s threat looming constantly over his head, Mischa Petrovitch was extremely careful. He set to work on the task to which he’d been assigned, assiduously checking and double-checking every punctilio – even the slightest error could mean failure.

“This letter to the editor is perfect! Mr. Malum will be very pleased,” said Mischa to no one in particular as he hit the “save” key and printed out his letter.

Yes, Mischa’s assignment was a relatively simple one, at least for now. He had been ordered to send an indignant letter to the editor of Newsweek.

The contents of this letter – which, incidentally, give away the gist of Josiah’s plan, and subsequently the contrivances of the Department of Evil – I won’t reveal, but Josiah had continuously emphasized the importance of perfection, and Mischa was not one to question his superiors.

The letter finished printing and Mischa read it aloud, making sure it was indeed flawless. Once satisfied he placed it into an envelope, addressed it and strutted out of the Radio Shack where he’d been typing. He was much more confident without Josiah around.

“So sir, are you interested in buying that computer?” asked a helpful clerk as Mischa stood up.

“No. Sucker!” shouted Mischa, running for the exit.

The clerk (who hated being insulted) took out his handy handgun and fired a few shots in Mischa’s general direction; but never having used a gun before, he was a terrible marksman, and Mischa managed to escape, letter in hand.

“That was close. Now I understand what Mr. Malum meant when he told me of the high risk of failure!” thought Mischa as he ran through the mall toward a mailbox, of whose location he had only the faintest inkling.

A few security guards noticed his running and tried to stop him, but nothing could stop Mischa now, except maybe a wall. Inevitably, he soon ran into one, giving himself a painful lump on the forehead.

Now moving much more slowly, Mischa limped out of the mall and through the parking lot. At the other end was a sidewalk, and along this sidewalk was, most conveniently, a mailbox.

He slipped the letter inside, exhaled deeply, and sat down on the curb, exhausted but satisfied. A black Cadillac Escalade suddenly drove up beside him and stopped abruptly. Mischa looked up as the window rolled down.

It was Josiah.

“Mischa!” he yelled, quite unnecessarily.

Mischa, already completely aware of Josiah’s presence, nevertheless gave a startled jump, landing on his back. Groaning with renewed pain and now shaking with fear, he stood up, looking apprehensively at his cruel boss.

“W-what is it, sir?” he asked.

“Did you send the letter yet, Mischa?” asked Josiah, smoking another cigarette.

“Yes sir, I d-did, sir! I t-typed it up in R-radio Shack, and I mailed it just now!” said Mischa proudly. “It w-wasn’t easy though. The shopkeeper, he tried to sh-shoot me!”

Josiah stared at Mischa, hardly daring to believe what he’d just heard. A wave of indescribable fury began to boil up inside of him, but when he next spoke, it was with his usual coolness – Josiah Malum masked his emotions very well.

“You typed the letter on a public computer? You typed the letter in the middle of a crowded mall?” demanded Josiah.

“W-well, you see, sir, I had to s-sell my home computer to b-buy food after you c-c-cut my pay again, so I figured –”

“MISCHA!” yelled Josiah, finally abandoning his usual air of calmness, “That letter was the first and arguably most important part of a brilliantly evil and convoluted scheme! Typing it in public is quite possibly the stupidest thing you could have done! At least tell me you had the sense not to save it?”

“Umm…I don’t…think I did, sir,” lied Mischa, now shaking so severely it was a wonder he managed to stay on his feet.

Josiah shook his head, “For your sake, Mischa, I hope you didn’t. Because if you did, you’re going to get the spanking of a lifetime!”

Mischa Petrovitch fainted.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


John drove as fast as he could to Suicide Bridge (an eerily appropriate name) and parked a few feet away, not even bothering to lock his door. The bridge itself was constructed from now-weathered stone, and it was situated sixty feet above a lake.

Lake Suicide (this was a very uncreative town) was ridiculously shallow, littered with jagged rocks that pointed upward, as if a thousand stone fingers were flipping off the heavens. Rumor had it that the lake was also inhabited by man-eating monsters, though this claim was never proven, except once, when two men on a fishing trip were mysteriously eaten.

John got out of his car and walked slowly, deliberately to the center of the bridge, a look of grim determination now etched onto his perpetually scowling face. He stared down thoughtfully into the abyss below, black water pounding violently against the numerous rocks.

“I always knew my death would be the result of jumping off a bridge. That fortune cookie really nailed it,” he mused.

As he leaned over the edge and prepared to leap, a familiar voice interrupted his thinking.

“John! Hey John, what are you doing? Going swimming? Can I come too? I love swimming! As long as the water doesn’t go above my ankles, I mean. Then I get scared,” said Bill, cheerfully unaware of John’s intentions.

“No Bill, I’m not going swimming. I’m about to kill myself, and I’ll thank you to let me die in peace,” explained John.

“You’re gonna kill yourself?!” exclaimed Bill, alarmed. “You can’t do that! You’re the only person who’s ever been nice to me!”

“Nice to you? I haven’t been nice to you! I broke your nose last week!” argued John, perplexed and frustrated.

“But you also taught me to believe in myself,” said Bill.

“No I didn’t,” said John venemously.

“Oh, right. Well you still can’t kill yourself, John. It’s just like my mom used to say: ‘Life is like a box of exploding tissues. You can wipe your nose with them, but then they’ll explode, and you’ll be in pain, and it’ll be much worse than just having to wipe your nose, so you’re really better off not using them at all, since they do more harm than good,’” said Bill.

John stared blankly at Bill for a few seconds.

“I’m so confused I can’t do it anymore. Thanks Bill. You stopped me from making a big mistake. I’ve never known anyone who cared so much about me before,” said John. “But I have to ask: how did you get here so quickly? I was driving the whole time, and you didn’t have a car.”

Bill began loudly counting a flock of passing birds, and John decided to drop the subject. Abandoning his car for no reason at all, he and Bill walked home. Despite all their differences, there was no denying that John and Bill were now officially friends.

“Let’s get one thing straight, Bill: I may be walking home with you, but we’re only friends on a completely unofficial basis.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Shamus Flanagan’s Mexican Munchies was the only Mexican restaurant in town, which explained how the proprietor got away with being Irish. It was an excellent dining establishment, with good food, good prices, and rainbow-colored menus.

Shamus himself was a retired boxer who at one point was on the Japanese Olympic boxing team (being an obsessive anime fan, he’d taken a pilgrimage to Japan that just happened to coincide with the time Olympic trials were held and figured he might as well go for it). He was a large, well-muscled man who knew very little about restaurant ownership yet still attracted an impressive crowd for some reason.

Bill and John walked into the restaurant and were quickly seated; the place was busy, but somehow, there were always seats available. John was trying to make polite small talk with his companion, to little avail; and he was most grateful when Shamus took their orders, granting him a small reprieve.

For a brief while, John and Bill sat around the shamrock-shaped table, waiting for their food. John was now sincerely regretting his decision to invite Bill to dinner.

“So then the teacher said it was for my own good. My bottom was really sore though. I couldn’t sit down for a week!” said Bill. “So how was your day, John?”

“Wait a minute: if she spanked you today, how could you possibly know how long it would be until you could sit down?” inquired John. “And for that matter, how could you have been in school today? You were working…well, in a manner of speaking...”

Bill grinned fatuously, then stood up and started doing jumping jacks. John buried his face in his hands, once again contemplating suicide.

Shamus (who in addition to owning the restaurant, cooked the food and waited on the customers) walked over to their table, two plates of food in hand. His eyes were a stunningly radiant green, though nobody knew for certain whether that color was natural – except for me, that is (it wasn’t).

“The Haggis Fiesta?” he asked.

“Right here!” exclaimed Bill, shooting his hand into the air excitedly. “That’s what I ordered!”

“And…the Shepherd’s Pie Tacos?”

“Well, obviously they’re for me; I’m the only other person sitting here,” explained John sardonically.

“You got a problem, laddie? I’ve been a restaurateur for nigh a month now, so if there be a problem, you can take it up with me and me boys here!” said Shamus, kissing his muscles just a tad too passionately.

“Just give me my food,” demanded John.

“All right then, enjoy your meals!” said Shamus, setting down the tacos and skipping away.

Bill and John ate in silence. Well, John did, anyway. Bill was, as usual, talking up a storm.


“So then the power went out! I couldn’t watch TV, I couldn’t play my X-Box, I couldn’t have fun switching the lights on and off…it was real boring,” said Bill.

John resolutely kept focused on his tacos, a delightfully discordant fusion of Mexican and Irish cuisine. Soon, however, Bill’s incessant chatter got the best of him.

“Shut up, Bill! I can’t stand another minute of this vacuous piffle!” yelled John.

“Why? What’s wrong? Did they not cook it enough?” asked Bill.

John’s eyes widened as he shook his head slowly, then turned his attention back to his meal. The urge to kill himself was growing ever stronger.

Bill, of course, simply thought that John hadn’t heard him, so he repeated his question.

“That’s it, I’m out of here,” said John abruptly, tossing his napkin and $50 onto the table and making for the door. Bill stood up obediently.

“So am I!” he declared, marching proudly behind John.

John started walking faster, then broke into a run, jumping into his Honda and beginning to drive away without even closing the door. Through his mirror he could see Bill following him, panting and waving.

“John! You forgot me! Hey John! John? John!” he called, now completely out of breath. “Boy, he’s gonna feel stupid when he realizes I’m not there!”

Meanwhile, John was driving at top speed – on his way to commit suicide.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Mischa Petrovitch sat trembling at a gigantic conference table deep in the heart of the Pentagon. No one else was sitting there, and there was in fact only one other man in the room at all, who had opted to stand instead: Josiah Malum, the newly appointed Secretary of Evil.

In recent years, the government had created a number of new Cabinet offices. One of these was the Department of Evil (surprisingly and disturbingly enough, the least controversial new addition). What it actually did was a complete mystery to most Americans, and so it shall remain to you, because I’m willing to bet you’re no better than the average American.

Mischa was by nature a very nervous man, having had abusive parents. Whatever creative potential he might have had was thoroughly squelched by the efforts of his father, who was determined that Mischa not amount to anything. After emigrating from Russia, Mischa was almost immediately chosen by Josiah Malum to be his new assistant, a job he was remarkably bad at.

“Mischa, it is imperative that you understand the importance of this assignment,” said Josiah flatly, his face betraying no emotion as he took a drag from his cigarette.

“Y-yes sir, I do understand, sir,” sputtered Mischa nervously.

He was always nervous while in the same room as his boss. Josiah Malum, tall, fit and always well-groomed, gave the impression of possessing a boundless, maniacal energy; yet he always remained perfectly calm. Few men could stand to be in his presence for longer than a few minutes, a fact attributed in part to his eyes, which were, in a word, unpleasant.

“Well good, good,” said Josiah. “You do, of course, realize that the mission I’m about to send you on carries with it an extraordinarily high risk of failure, do you not?”

Mischa nodded, then hastily added, “But I won’t fail you, sir!”

“You’d better not. Because should you fail, there will be consequences. You are aware of the consequences, aren’t you, Mischa?” asked Josiah, a cloud of smoke shrouding his face in darkness.

“Y-yes! Yes s-sir, I’m aware, sir! I-I know what the consequences are, sir!” said Mischa, a bit louder than necessary.

“You remember what happened the last time you failed…don’t you?” continued Josiah.

“YES! I r-remember, sir!” yelled Mischa, his nerves now dangerously on edge.

Josiah put down his cigarette.

“I do not tolerate failure, Mischa. I taught you that the hard way once. I don’t want to do it again. But if you force me…”

“No sir! Not my X-Box!” pleaded Mischa.

“Yes, Mischa! The X-Box! If you fail, no X-Box for a month!”

“I won’t fail you, sir! I’ll succeed! I’ll do it!” proclaimed Mischa.

He stood up abruptly and hurried to the door, which was locked. He looked left, then right, then left again. Finally he looked back at Josiah, who was now comfortably seated directly in Mischa’s line of sight.

“One more thing, Mischa,” added Josiah, a sinister grin spreading across his smoke-obscured face.

“Y-yes sir?” asked Mischa, trembling.

“You have to go out the other door. That one’s broken.”

Josiah pointed to a door located a few feet to Mischa’s left.

“Oh. Thank you, sir.”

“Don’t mention it.”

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Wellity wellity wellity (and CHAPTER ONE)

Welcome readers, old and new, to my new and ultimate blog, the Ultimate Blog. You won't find musings or rants here; for those, head on over to my Rentsy Journal (rated R...for Rentsy! And heavy profanity.)

This blog is, simply put, the place where I am going to post what was at one point my magnum opus, The Ultimate Book. In the words of one of my dearest friends, Will Colton, "it's kind of funny, actually," and if that doesn't make you want to read, I don't know what will.

If you like what you see, comment. If not, comment, but lie, please.


It was a Tuesday like any other. John Morgan, a postman, was finishing up his daily route. He passed the usual people, delivered the usual letters, received the usual thanks and went on his usual way. John lived a comfortable life and was perfectly content.

“I’m going to kill myself,” he muttered happily.

As it turns out, Tuesday was not John’s favorite day of the week. In fact, it was his least favorite, and he made a point of telling everybody he met just that. John didn’t have many friends. People found him disturbing for some reason.

He was neither tall nor short, neither attractive nor unattractive. He didn’t keep in shape, but he wasn’t out of shape either. His hair was black as night, his eyes brown as pinecones, and his face wore a permanent scowl, as if to emphasize the fact that he considered himself superior to everyone.

“Ah, the last letter. It’s about damn time; this day’s taken forever. Whoops!” said John, accidentally dropping the envelope.

Blaming his mishap on fate, which he asserted was constantly plotting against him, he bent down to pick the letter up but noticed that it was already open. Disgusted, he stopped his truck abruptly, cursing loudly.

“Who could be so stupid as to forget to seal his letter? I swear, everyone on the planet is a complete idiot except me. Well, this person obviously doesn’t care much for security, so I guess it won’t matter if I read the letter,” he said.

John picked up the envelope and, tremulously, took out the letter inside. John received a visceral thrill every time he read someone else’s mail, but the Postman’s Code (a desultory combination of his own twisted ethics and federal law) prevented him from opening a sealed envelope.

He unfolded the single sheet of paper and lifted it to eye level, beginning to read, when all of a sudden –

“JOHN!” someone shouted, making John drop the letter for the second time.

The man who’d yelled was Bill Williams, the town’s blonde-headed garbage man. Bill and John crossed paths twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday. Every time they did, Bill tried to initiate a conversation, only to be brutally snubbed by John. Last Thursday, Bill had gone home with a broken nose and a slight concussion.

Bill was not an intelligent man. Unlike John, he was humble and obsequious, but that was probably less a sign of maturity than it was of general obliviousness. He was stout in both heart and stature. His bright blue eyes alight with enthusiasm, Bill waved to John.

“Hey John! What’s up? I haven’t seen you since Thursday! Boy, what a day that was, huh? I remember…well, I don’t remember much, actually, since you gave me that concussion, but the doctors say I might make a full recovery! Isn’t that great?” asked Bill.

“Go away, Bill. I’m not in the mood for your shenanigans,” said John bitterly. “I just need to deliver this letter so I can go home.”

Bill, whose supervisor no longer trusted him with a vehicle, had to haul his garbage bags in a wheelbarrow. He set it down and trotted over to John’s truck smiling, clearly having misinterpreted John’s words entirely.

“Deliver a letter, huh? That’s real cool. I wish I had a cool job like that. I even took the mailman test last week! I failed though. Mom took away my X-Box,” lamented Bill.

“Took away your…aren’t you a grown man?” asked John.

Bill just grinned, staring blankly at John. After a very awkward pause, John started the truck up again, driving to the next house. Bill didn’t move.

“Sometimes I wonder why I still do this job,” said John to himself. “I’m clearly overqualified, what with my degree in hyperbotanical engineering. Oh well.”

He dropped the open-but-unread letter into the final mailbox and turned the car around, heading home. He passed Bill, for whom he then inexplicably felt a surge of pity.
“Hey Bill…” he began.

“Yeah John?” responded Bill. “What is it? Do you wanna talk? Wanna come over and play? I got a new water gun. We can have a water fight! Except I can’t get wet, or Mom’ll be mad at me.”

“Err, no, that’s all right,” said John. “I was just wondering if you’d like to have dinner with me sometime. I know a good Mexican place.”

“Mexican?!” exclaimed Bill. “I’m not allowed to eat Mexican food. Mom’s allergic.”

“But why does that have any bearing on what –”

“She swells up like a balloon. I tried to pop her with a pair of scissors once. She didn’t like that. I got grounded. I don’t wanna get grounded again,” stated Bill.

“Well, suit yourself, then,” said John, already driving away.

When he finally reached his house, Bill was standing in his driveway, grinning and waving.

“How the –”

“Hey! John! Ready to go to dinner? I’m ready! I asked Mom, and she said, ‘Bill, anything that gets you out of the house is fine by me. Go, please. Just…just go.’ And so I went! And here I am! Here, at your house. In front of it, anyway. In your driveway, really. So let’s go!”

John gaped at Bill for a moment, then shook his head, “Tuesdays…”