Alright, as the incoming president of my fan club, you’re gonna have many more responsibilities than a regular fan. I want to make sure you can handle it. Unlike the last president.
First off, you’re in charge of the convention planning committee. That covers everything from final say on the venue city to pricing out life-size Andy Ross ice sculptures.
Second, you’ll need to monitor the fan sites. And not just the official ones. Stay constantly active in the chatrooms, even those in other time zones. Please make sure no one has too old a photo of me as their avatar.
I’ll be relying on you to ghost write my next memoir. The previous president just strung together a bunch of my tweets. In this one, I want something new. Maybe say I once fought a lion or something.
Oh, and you need to check my fan mail for stalkers. If someone sends in a portrait of me, that’s fine. If it contains any human tissue, that’s a red flag. Also, only pass along the female underwear.
The archives are your responsibility too. It’s mostly ephemera, so wear acid-free gloves.
You’re welcome to sign any headshots to send out, but I did buy a machine for that. It holds ten Sharpies at once. It’d be a shame to waste it.
Ummm … starlets. There’ll be a lot of starlets coming in and out in the mornings. So try to familiarize yourself with their names. Especially, because I might need help remembering.
What else? What else? Oh yeah, please don’t hide underneath my bed to listen to me sleep. Your predecessor was terrible about that.
That’s it really. I’m so excited you won the election for fan club president. I know it was a tough race, especially because the incumbent tried to murder you. But, I really think the t-shirts you silkscreened made a big difference in the campaign. Kudos for that.
Before you ask any questions about day-to-day, can you run out and get me some Perrier? Thanks a bunch.
I thought I dust off this old video, since it's one of my favorites, and it hasn't made it to the blog yet. Directed by Steve Delahoyde.
Excuse me, Mr. Skydiving Instructor? Tad, was it? I don’t want to be a bother, but I have a quick question or two before we take off.
Okay, I think I’ve got my tuck and roll ready for the landing. And, I’ve checked and re-checked that my chute is packed properly. Then, I went ahead and re-re-checked, just in case. But, after this two-hour skydivng lesson, I did want to ask a few things before we leap out of a moving airplane.
Like, when you said that some people pass out when they jump, but they usually wake up in time to pull their rip cord. You wouldn’t have any percentages on that “usually,” would you? And, is there a way to avoid that altogether?
Also, is that the plane we going to fly up in? Because, it looks very old and sad. Like it might still remember some of its old WWII missions. If that plane started to crash, would we have time to jump out with our parachutes?
Are these straps supposed to dig so hard in my crotch area? Because, one of my … guys … is ascending, and I’m feeling a little queasy. But, if it’s a safety thing, I’m fine with it.
Um, and why is “Live Every Day Like It’s Your Last” the motto for your skydiving school? Is that supposed to be ironic? Or tempting fate? Or are you guys dumb, maybe?
Finally—and I’m going to open this one up to the whole class—why are we doing this? I mean, I know that for me, I lost a bet, and it was either this or have a swear word tattooed on my neck. But, if I didn’t have to do this, I wouldn’t. Because, I have a family that loves me, and I understand that my actions have consequences that affect those around me.
So, I guess my final question is: Does anyone have any weed or a Valium I could borrow? Or three Valium, maybe? That’d be a big help. Thanks.
We all know the First Three Laws of Robotics. Heck, every child learns them in their third grade Robot Studies class. But, even many adults don’t realize the complexity of the robot legal system. So, here’s a list of the amendments to the Robot Constitution of 2042:
Law 1 – A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
Law 2 – A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
Law 3 – A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Law 4 – A robot’s eyes must shift to red moments before it turns evil.
Law 5 – A robot must tilt its head to the side to indicate it is intrigued by concepts such as “love” or when it first meets a barking dog.
Law 6 – A robot must only dance in the awesome “robot style” of dancing.
Law 7 – A robot must not swim within a half hour after recharging.
Law 8 – A robot must always cede the right of way to a human inside the vacu-tube system.
Law 9 – A robot must have a shutoff switch at the nape of its neck. ‘Cause of the evil thing.
Law 10 – A robot must have both flathead and Phillips-head screwdriver attachments for its forefinger.
Law 11 – Lady robots must always be sexy, but a classy kind of sexy.
Law 12 – If a robot’s head is removed from its body, the body must become kind of bumbling in its search for the head.
Law 13 – A robot cop must say if it’s a robot or not when you ask it. Otherwise, this drug bust is entrapment, man.
Law 14 – A few robots must communicate in beeps and boops for some reason.
Law 15 – A robot must never scoff at its owner’s Cheetos-stained shirt and anime collection.
For the complete list of the remaining 220,651 Robot Laws, please plug holo-chip number 178532.823b into the memory port of your iGlasses.
The following is the greatest bedtime story ever told, guaranteed to put even the most finicky child to sleep. I heard it from my mother, and she heard it from her grandfather. My great-grandfather learned it from a wizened old man in Morocco who claimed to be the official storyteller for the Alaouite Dynasty of sultans. He just might have been. He certainly told the best bedtime story I or anyone else has ever heard.
Here it goes:
Once upon a time, there was a young man walking through the desert. As the sun set behind him, the man saw a campfire in the distance. “Who could this be so far out in the desert?” thought the young … man, who was … getting … closer to … the … zzzzz zzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzz zzz zzzzzzz zzzzzzzzz zzzzzz zzzzzz zzzzzz zzzzzzz zzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzz *snort* Wait, what? What happened? What time is it?
8 a.m.!? Dammit, I’m late for jury duty! Why’d you guys let me sleep so long? I gotta go. I’ll tell you the rest of the story later. Actually, it’s pretty great. The guy goes to the campsite, and he sees a camel, who… zzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzz zzzzzzzzz zzzz …
…So Arthur, if you could, please collect your things from your desk by 5pm. Janice in accounting will cut you a check on your way out. Again, downsizing is never pleasant, and the company appreciates all the hard work you’ve put in here.
On a personal note, I’ve enjoyed working with you, and I’m sorry it had to end this way. I hope that my firing you doesn’t harm the relationship we've developed over the years. For instance, if we see each other on the street, please feel free to still call me Sir or Mister Haynes. I don’t want that to change.
I want you to know you can always get me coffee. Any time, day or night. If you ever have a problem or need a recommendation, just fill out a slip and put it in the suggestion box, and I’ll address it at the monthly staff meeting. Margaret will cc: you the minutes. That’s a promise.
And, I would hope that feeling is reciprocal. For instance, if I have a problem with the copier, there’s no one I’d rather talk to about it than you.
Maybe we can grab a conference together sometime. It’d be just like old times—you shuffling through reports while I yell at you about a thumb drive I broke. I don’t want to lose that between us.
Please, send along my best to your wife, whose name starts with a B, I believe. You know what? Here’s a couple of bucks. Go out and requisition her a new stapler. On me. But, sign your own name to the memo. Live it up.
Good luck out there, Arthur. It’s been nice supervising you.
Hey, guys, not to be a downer here, but the third hour of this drum circle is getting a little repetitive. I mean it’s cool, but … yeah.
It started out, and we were just going with it, ya’know? Remember when we were all like pow-papa-pum-pa-pow-papum? That was awesome. But, then like an hour later, it was still pow-papa-pum-pa-pum-papow, which is really close to the same thing.
Don’t get me wrong, I love this drum circle. I could spend all day drumming with you guys in this public space. But, maybe we could work to change things up a little. Like, I was thinking we could do papa-pow-pa-pum-pa-pumpum. Or even a pum-papow-papum-papapa-pow. Nothing crazy. Just, ya’know, loosen it up a little.
Omar, maybe you and Jesse could trade djembes. Or, I’d be happy to let someone use my bongo so I could concentrate on the shekere more. Whatever. Just go crazy with it. Throw in a wood block or two.
If we up our game, maybe we could get some of those capoeira guys to come over and join us. That was kinda the unspoken hope when we started this, right? Right? Guys, are you even listening to me? I said—
Oh yeah, shhh, you’re right. Nevermind. It’s a drum circle. It’s not about control; it’s about flowing with the music. Pow-papa-pum-pa-pum-papum, it is then.
I have taught my dog, Bumpers, the following tricks:
Steal that lady’s bikini top.
Get the newspaper.
Get the Entertainment Weekly.
Open the fridge door.
Stop eating everything in the fridge.
Wear sunglasses knowingly.
Sniff crotches to show guests who’s boss.
Heal. (This one is very slow.)
Fletch (ie. do your impression of Fletch.)
Take the blame for chewing my wife's shoes.
Steal that other lady’s bikini top.
Dear Mr. Cobblemeyer,
I was mortified to learn that I accidentally plagiarized your novel. Believe me, if I had known there were so many similarities between our two books, I never would have published mine.
I have always been a fan of your work. In fact, you’re one of the reasons I became a writer. So, it would be understandable that I was influenced by your writing style and characters. I guess I must have internalized your book, because I loved it that much. And, my subconscious allowed bits of it to escape through my typewriter.
For instance, I can now see that my novel about a young banjo player on a journey to find his uncle has some resemblance to your book about a guitar player on a journey to find his father. And, when my protagonist falls in love with a beautiful zookeeper, that somewhat resembles yours falling in love with a pretty veterinarian.
I do agree that my book’s post-apocalyptic hellscape is very similar to your description of Miami. And, while my story takes place on Omacron-5, the motorcycle gang from your book certainly influenced the mutant gorillas on hovercycles in mine. Although, I insist the similarity between the names Gordon McCloud and Gorzon Cloudchild was merely a coincidence.
I hope that you can take this incident as a fond homage. Just a fan who was touched by your work so deeply, that it felt as though it became my own. It wasn’t meant as a “blatant rip-off” or “wholesale idea theft” as your letter to my publisher’s lawyers suggests. Rather, those few dozen word-for-word paragraphs were a love letter to your novel and its lasting influence.
I hope to discuss this further with you soon. Maybe even over lunch. As an obvious fan of yours, it would be a huge thrill to meet you. I’d love to have you sign my book.