This was seriously one of my biggest stressers in elementary school, moreso even than the crushing peer pressure to smoke cigarettes.
Episode One of the Series that Changed Humanity™. If you put that TM on things, it means that it’s a trade-mark, a phrase the government says no one can use in the same way that you use it, but it might as well mean “totally made up” because motherfucking Red Bull does not give you wings.
Anyway, this is episode one.
“Listen, I’m a busy man, and that business is our business, the business, Poop, Inc., so when I have to take time out of my busy business schedule to talk — not about business business — but about the business of running a business, that’s less business business that I can get to. That means less productivity, lowered efficiency, and increased marginal cost. That translates to higher costs for our customers, the loyal patrons of Poop, Inc.
“Now, I’m not going to pretend like I don’t hear it: yes, our company’s name does sound — to certain, uncultured ears — irresistibly close to a playground synonym for fecal matter, otherwise known as doo-doo caca. But if we bow to the pressure of the morons, the uneducated, the lowest-common-denominator, then we’ll be no better than those we are trying to appease.
“Look, my great-grandfather, Ernest T. Poop, founded this company before it meant that. In his days, a man was known as a Poop if he professed uncanny financial acumen. That’s one of the reasons he Christened the company Poop, Inc. The other, of course, was that it was his last name and he wanted his name on the sign. Who wouldn’t?
“So, what you’re telling me, is that we need to strip my great-grandfather’s reputation away from him. And replace it with what? What name changes have you so-far suggested? Shitstorm, LTD. That’s pretty good, I’ll admit. It conjures up images of us navigating through a storm to safe harbor. I like it, but it lacks the punch. Jerk-Offs, Unlimited. Yeah, that one’s nice, too: we jerk-off all the obstacles in our way. I’m also a fan of Shark Vagina, though I can’t see what it has to do with our mission statement, which is to deliver quality manure to anyone who wants it. Oh — no, wait — this one is nice. All right, yeah, I can go with this. You guys win, all right? I’ll admit I was wrong.
“From now on, we will be known as Penises-a-Plenty. Jerry, get to work on the sign.”
“Really? Are you sure it wasn’t playing opossum?”
“No, I’m pretty sure it was a real opossum.”
A friend of mine has a Star Trek-style transporter and I go through it, but what he doesn’t tell me is that it’s not transferring my body, it’s creating an exact copy at the teleportation destination.
So, for one of me, the experience is that I step into the machine, hear a buzz, and then find myself half-way across the country at a Star Trek convention I wanted to attend. For the other me, I step into the machine, hear a buzz, and then nothing happens. I’m like, “Is it broken?” but it’s not broken. It’s behaving exactly as it was designed.
My friend reveals this and then explains that — sadly and somewhat inexplicably — due to a quirk in the machine’s futuristic technology, if one of us is not dead in a month, we both die from Duplicity, which is the name my friend has decided to give the horribly painful death a victim of Duplicity experiences.
My friend then gives me a Star Trek-style phaser and tells me that since I’m not going to be able to see that Star Trek convention (and also because, having talked to me and not the other me, he likes me more), he’s going to give me a head start and a marked advantage: I’m the only one who’s being told about the stakes. The other me is completely in the dark. So, if I so choose, I can run up and shoot my other self in the back.
Now, keep in mind: up until the moment of teleportation, we are both completely identical; the only differences now are our experiences post teleportation. We both remember the same childhood, we have the same memory of busting our lip open in pitching machine baseball when the ball bounced out of our gloves, we both lusted after Chelsea Scroggins in junior high but never worked up the courage to ask her out, we both were editors of our high school paper and stoners in college. In short, we are each other, but for the last few moments of our lives.
Now, for the moral quandary:
Is it all right to sleep with myself before I kill me? (You know, just to see what it’s like. No homo.)
Here are the new rules, ladies and gentlemen. Now, keep in mind: the old rules stay in effect unless they are specifically overruled by the new rules here. We’re not crazy. Many of the old rules — “Don’t run while carrying scissors” — are perfectly okay to stay.
1. No more itchy T-shirt tags. All T-shirt companies are to remove their tags immediately, replacing them with ink printed directly on the T-shirt in order to prevent itchiness. While tagless shirts are currently available, the feature is usually only present in the more expensive brands. It’s time that America woke up and realized that it’s unconscionable for a first-world country to let its poor have itchy necks.
2. Dancing is forbidden. This is not for moral reasons but because this Institution (heretofore referred to as the iBlogopedia) has accepted advertising money from MTV Films and Paramount Pictures to promote their remake of Footloose and this seemed like a great marketing move. Footlose: Now with less Bacon.*
3. Everybody Gets $5! You heard us: everyone. Seniors, blue-collar workers, babies, everyone. Even dead people and fictional characters: the government will cut the checks, and you can do whatever you want with it! People say, “My family is starving. What the fuck am I going to do with $5?” Well, we recommend you spend it on sandwiches (mostly because of the Quizno’s ad money we’re also getting).
4. The word “apple” is now a highly-offensive slang term. It’s so offensive that we’re not able to tell you what it means without violating obscenity and incitement-to-violence laws. We can give you a hint, though: it’s an extremely religious reference to poop sex, hitting the profanity trifecta (excrement, sexuality, religion).
5. Every year, the poorest person in the world and the richest one fight to the death in an electrified cage.
6. We’re getting rid of the number 6. From now on, 7 minus 1 equals 5. 2 times 3 is undefined. We’ll work out the kinks later, but this part is going into effect immediately. Bakers take note: selling a half-dozen of anything is now illegal. This rule takes effect after this list is over.
7. Everybody has a theme song. If you cannot afford to have a theme song written for you, one will be assigned.
8. The optimal strategy to Tic-Tac-Toe will be explained to all children, thereby ending the game and destroying the fun of youth. Here’s what you do: go first, and put your X in the corner. If they go anywhere but the middle, it’s a guaranteed win. If they go in the middle, put your next X in the opposite corner. They can Cat’s Game it by putting an O in a side-square, but for some reason, people like to put their O in the corner, which actually forces you into the final corner, which splits them and wins the game for you. (Have fun crushing your friends, iBlogopedia readers! And if you like that fact, subscribe in the upper right hand corner for lots more!)
*This is not a good thing.