Monday, January 3, 2000

Report from the Bunker

Hey ho everybody, it's me Percy
Allied's Marketing Director. As you may recall from
our last entry, Alex ray inadvertently trapped himself in his private bunker
due to a rather unfortunately jiffy pop incident. Now thanks to shoddy workmanship
in one of the lead-lined corners we have been able to at least get a lap
top squeezed through to him one of those super slim Sony jobs, (thanks
Hiro!) We've been working hard in Mr. Ray's absence -- productivity
has been up across the board. But still, things have been awful dull
without our leader around to keep us on our toes -- we haven't had to hire
new cleaning people for at least a month!

Well fortunately, through the miracle
of the internet, we can at least bask in Mr. Ray's pearls of wisdom.
So, without further ado: Alex Ray...

Goodness Gracious Godness Agnes,
what a month it's been. I'd been trapped down in this bunker with
nothing to occupy my mind but my Sanford & Son laserdiscs.
After about three episodes, however, I realized that this was not what
I had in mind -- I thought I was stocking the bunker with episodes of that
show about Rock Hudson solving crimes with his wife, man she was
hot. After a while though the bespectacled geek squad upstairs
figured out how to get one of them laptop computer jobbies down
here to me so I could finally get some work done.

Of course, the problem is, I haven't been
able to get much work done because I discovered this internet thing.
Have you heard about this? Apparently, I can connect to any one of
a truckload of different "websites" from around the whole world.
The whole damn world! Why didn't anyone tell me before?
Did I miss a memo or something?

Anyway, I figure I need to
get in on this trend before it catches on and gets completely
out of hand. I bet there's a whole bushel and peck of cash to be
made on it.

Macmilln and Wife

For example, there's this "eBay"
thing. It's an "auction" site. What auctions have to
do with the word "bay" or the letter "e" I don't know.
On the other hand, a lot of folks seem to be making a killing off of stuff
they've got lying around their house, so I suppose they know what they're

Now, I've always prided myself on being
a dyed-in-the-wool capitalist, and I've always lived by the axiom
that everything has a price, but eBay is living proof! I mean, EVERYTHING
is for sale on this blasted thing...stamps, spatulas, star wars toys,
and those damn annoying beanie babies. What is it about beanie babies,
anyway? Apparently sane grown men and women are willing to spend
hundreds of dollars on a senior citizen's craft day project called Squirty
the Clam
. Good gawd Y'all. Of course I did pick up the
KISS set -- you can't be too careful.

At the top of this list, the holy grail
of eBay products, is used underwear. Now I've never thought
of used underwear as a particularly lucrative commodity, but apparently,
thanks to the large number of middle-aged Japanese businessmen in
the world, used women's underwear goes for $300-400 (US) -- that is if
it belonged to a particular type of woman (cheerleader, dancer, nun).

Well, a little light went off in the old
Alex Ray noggin right then and there. I got right on the horn
to my assistant and told her to go right out and get as much used
as she could lay her hands on. Two days later,
I was set up as a full-out eBay seller with a full line of used
undergarments ready for sale.

This could be yours for the right price

Every single one of them in High
Heel shoes

Much like these

Now, I figured, it was time
to branch out of the usual stripper/schoolgirl world and diversify
into more unusual types of previous underwear owners. The results
were darn fascinating; Methodist Sunday school teacher was a big
seller, public school lunch lady not so much . Suburban
soccer mom
was huge (must be the thought of all that time commuting
in the minivan), but I took a bath on the Incontinent Rodeo Clown.

Flushed with the success of underwear,
I noticed there were an awful lot of people out there buying used shoes
too! Now that one knocked me flatter than a boll weevil on the business
end of a Mack truck. I mean, underwear I suppose I can understand
-- it's spent some time around some body parts that people are understandably
fascinated by -- but what's exciting about a foot? It's a
foot, for Allah's sake! Still, never let it be said I didn't give
the people what they want. Besides, I've got about three hundred
folks working in our plant on our private island nation of Farnaq
and they don't seem to mind that every Wednesday is Stilletto Heel Day
(okay, the fellas were a little reluctant at first, but it's amazing what
the power of the dollar can do -- or in this case, the power of the nickel).

Just goes to show you there is a market for
just about anything, well anything but the Jalepeno hickory hamspread
flavored lollipops.
Heads rolled for that one -- hated to fire
my daddy but it had to be done.

Now back about this here internet thingy
, I'll tell you it is a bit distracting. I keep meaning to be working
on the Outer Mongolia Hamspread sales projection spread sheets, but then
my mouse starts to get a hankering for something different.
Something daring. Something naughty. I was on
one site and they had a lady that you could talk to and she did things
on camera for money...we played cards. I beat her by
10 points in rummy.

I also got to look at our very own site,
they actually do put up these little missives I write every month
-- who knew? The one thing I do know is that I got to get me
another picture, especially now since they haven't been able to get a
razor down here, and I look somewhat like Dan Hagerty (TV's Grizzly

Who knows? I may even keep the old
chin carpet -- either that or shave it down to those really cool sideburns
Neil Young had in Buffalo Springfield.

TV'S Grizzly Addams

Saturday, January 1, 2000

Happy New Year everyone.
Marketing Director, Percy Grumby II here. The darndest thing
has happened. It seems Alex Ray Jr., our beloved C.E.O., has
been locked into his underground survival bunker. The details are
a tad fuzzy right now, but it seems he witnessed what he interpreted at
the time to be the first sign of Y2K failure at the Happydale Campus
(but was in fact a temporary power outage due to a drunken chemist
attempting to microwave Jiffy Pop during the millennial changeover),
and bolted for the survival bunker, per the Allied
Chemical Y2K Apocalypse Strategy Handbook, Section 8.3-8.7.

Drunken Chemist

A bourbon stained message was taped
to the survival bunker airlock door upon which was scrawled, "HA HA
Also with the note was a drawing of what appeared to be a WW2
gunning down some sort of giant squid.

We tried like mad to let him know everything
was fine, no honestly we did. Sadly, initial all-clear reports sent to
the bunker were ignored (again, this is consistent with the provisions
of the Allied Chemical Y2K Apocalypse Strategy
Handbook, Section 9.5-9.9
). Finally we were able to establish
and maintain contact with Mr. Ray via the Allied Chemical Pneumatic
tube network
, and a mid 50's manual Smith Corona Typewriter.

From A.Ray. 1/3/00
800 hours

Well gosh that was a HELL of a
Years party
. Every New Years it seems like I pull some sort of
boner that comes back to haunt me, but this is no simple lampshade-on-the-head
, or unwitting conversion to Islamic Fundamentalism.
Yessiree -- I do seem to have gotten myself into a bit of a pickle barrel
this year.

I sort of jumped the gun on that whole
End of the World thing. But what do you expect? If flickering
, showers of sparks and the smell of burnt popcorn
don't make you think it's all over, well, you're made of sterner stuff
than I am me bucko. Hit the anti-mutant repulsor shield first,
and ask questions later, that's what I say.

Sanford and Son

So, the long and short of it is, I
locked myself down here
. 'Course the kicker is the calendar for
the time lock reads Jan. 3, 1900. I guess them round boys
forgot to make the necessary adjustments and I've been told we're looking
at a few months before you get to see my bright shining face topside.

Despite the unfortunate problem with the
door, some things seem to be working well. The water decontamination
is humming along like a pack of malaria ridden mosquitoes,
the auto-prod medical diagnostic center is running like a charm,
and the food stores are fully stocked with Farmer Fred's Happydale Hamspread
and Blobster. My silver jumpsuit fits like a kid glove,
and I've got the entire run of Sanford & Son on laser disc.

On the other hand, my Coleco Electronic
Football game is running down, and I forgot to bring any damn 9-volt

Now, I'm not complaining, mind you.
I certainly don't want to be one of those needle-nosed bellyachers
who actually seemed let down by our failure to degenerate into bloodthirsty
mobs looting the local convenience store, and declaring their block
as a new independent republic
. Now honestly, who'd really think
that a bunch of Gap-wearing, Olive-Garden eating, cul-de-sac
were gonna get all Rambo on us? Did anyone really
believe we'd be besieged by Ford Explorers and Subaru Outbacks
bearing down on Wal-Mart, their freshly welded machine gun turrets
blazing in the night?

Prom Queen
I mean, of course that's what I thought
when I locked myself in here, but come on, it was New Years Eve, the power
was out, and I was as drunk as a prom queen. Guess I snapped.

Anyway, it's all going to be OK.
I'll be here in my bunker running the company from below.
All is well. My every possible need is met here, and what better
way to spend the winter than with a nearly inexhaustible supply of the
most versatile food known to humanity, Farmer Fred's Happydale Hamspread?
What more could I need? Well, I could use the company of my on-again,
off-again love interest, the lovely Brigitte Bardot, but I've got
the tech boys working on that one.

Brigitte Bardot

So Happy New Year everyone. Nice
to see it's all good for another day.

The funny thing is, I still don't know
exactly what I meant about the squids.

Saturday, December 25, 1999

Rock the boat , Rock the boat baby

It's been brought to my attention recently
that there's this thing called Y2K.  I know about it because
everywhere I go people just can't stop talking about it.  Even that
Cheerios breakfast cereal has gone to the trouble of becoming Y2K
compliant. What exactly that means I couldn't really tell you, though
I am sure it does make someones breakfast a might cheerier

I had to pay one
of these bespectacled, eggheaded fellas his weight in gold
just to be able to say "yup, that'll work.  Your computers
now understand that time continues to move forward in spite of
the lack of  years that start with "19".

Seems a little like racketeering
to me...first I have to pay out a whole truckload of dollars
for the machine in the first place and then I find out there's
some magical problem that I now have to spend more money to
fix.  What's next, Bill Gates coming to my house asking
for $100 not to burn it down?

You know, I met Bill Gates.
I ran into him at one of the many secret societies of which I am
a member.  He came over to say hello while I was playing Chinese
with Rupert Murdoch and Suge Knight

At first I thought it was one of
those Little Rascals kids all grown up -- maybe that Baretta
fella.  I made some general comments about cockatoos and
keeping one's eye on the sparrow, but he didn't seem to understand
what I was talking about.  What was the deal with that show
anyway?  He had a cockatoo but was supposed to keep
his eye on the sparrow -- is he protecting the cockatoo
from the sparrow?  Are there viscious sparrows on the loose
that we must all be wary of?  What sort of bird-infused
hell did this man live in?

Watch out
Well, by the time I figured
out this wasn't the guy who dropped his pants on the Tonight
on a regular basis, but was, in fact, richer than the cheese
at the Friar's, Gunter announced that the
sherry had been poured and the ultimate fighting match was
about to start.  Boy Howdy, did we have a time!  That
Gates fella was alright.  Not much of a conversationalist,
but the man enjoys semi-legal hand-to-hand combat just like
any man.
Suge, Me, and Bill
Now this Y2K thing is a perfect
example of what happens when you don't rock the boat.  Thousands,
maybe millions of people seeing the big problem on the horizon,
knowing full well there'd be a problem a few years down the road,
but why stick your neck out?  Why try to fix it now? 
Someone else'll catch it.

out pretty well for the computer folks, but I've got to tell you
it's been a big giant pain in the keister for the rest of us. 
Never mind the billions of dollars we've had to pay them to fix
a problem they created -- there've also been the TV Movies
and incessant blather of every survivalist yahoo this side
of the Blue Ridge Mountains to deal with. 

Did we really need another reason to think
the world was going to end in the year 2000?  Wasn't Beneath the
Planet of the Apes
enough?  Frankly, there've been days I thought
the idea of hanging out in black robes worshipping a big A-Bomb didn't
sound all that bad.

You see, that's what apocalypses do.
They sneak up on you.  You don't get the rivers of blood,
the rivers simply run dry.  Frogs don't start falling
from the sky, they grow a third eye and start speaking in
iambic pentameter.  Computers don't go crazy and try to impregnate
Julie Christie, they just threaten to shut down unless Julie
goes down to the Office Max and buys new software.

The point is, if someone had opened
up their cakehole in one of them meetings and said "hey,
we've got to fix this 19 problem", maybe we'd have taken
a little time to decide whether or not we needed to put everything
on computers.  For example, how hard was it to run the generators
before?  Seems like we get just as many blackouts as we did
before they were on computers, and the people that ran them then
could be convinced to work New Years.

Julie Christie

Everybody's afraid to speak up.  Time
to get over that, folks and start rocking the boat.  Don't
worry about the boat.  If a boat can't take a little rocking it
ain't that much of a boat
.  You might want to get on a bigger
one.  I prefer cabin cruisers myself -- Dom DeLuise can dance
the night away with one of them Kate Moss style supermodels and
not have to worry about them tossing their dinner overboard (well, not
on purpose anyway).

Just like I say in my book Alex
Ray Portrait of a Rebel
, you've got to be a rebel if you want
to succeed in this world.  Oh...did I mention I
wrote a book?
Even recorded some of the most important
parts for you to hear.  Straight from my mouth to your brain
with little to no discomfort involved.

the Boat is what it's about people
, so this New Years
, make sure you rock hard.  Get out of the house. 
Drink a little bit.  And when midnight comes, don't waste
your time worrying about the lights; just give someone a big
and start singing.  Kissing is better with
the lights out anyway and everyone knows the words to Auld
Lang Syne
(well the important ones anyway).

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