What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

8th Do It Yourself Post

Only on a blog _______________.

Life Tip #68

If you are a married father of two, spend time with your family.

If you are a married father of two and don't spend time with your family, do not spend time alone with an attractive 15-year old singer.

If you are a married father of two who doesn't spend time with his family but does hang out alone with an attractive 15-year old singer, do not commit adultery with the 15-year old singer.

If you are a married father of two who doesn't spend time with his family but does hang out with an attractive 15-year old singer, with whom he commits adultery, do not lie about it later.

If you are a married father of two who doesn't spend time with his family but does hang out with an attractive 15-year old singer, with whom he commits adultery and lies about it later, do not lie while you are under investigation for illegal steroid use.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I am AxxO

Online piracy, long a thorn in the belly of the IRAA and a boon to bandwidth wholesalers the world over, is as much an industry as the entertainment off which it siphons its life blood. We pirates put countless hours into developing, marketing and distributing our product to a pimply faced consumer base while hiding our activities from the authorities. We take music, movies and other media and make them accessible for free on the internet.

Expressed acronymically, we bring MMM to the WWW.

My name is AxxO. That's not my real name, of course. That jealously guarded secret is housed with a cool million in cash where the FBI will never find it. AxxO is the name I use on any of the millions of piracy sites where normally expensive media are available for free, not unlike the gum beneath eye level at a convenience store.

I purchase movies and rip them to my hard drive, using a pirated proprietary software that is, I am sure, really expensive for most people. I then upload these ripped files to millions of users the world over, who share them with others in a big commune of entertainment equality. My files are relatively small (often a tenth of the size of the original film), but they maintain most of the quality, leaving pirates with the impression that they are watching the real thing, not a cheap knock off.

Only my name, AxxO, identifies my product.

You may have seen my moniker on various piracy websites (my name is the most common search term on several of them) and you may even have one or more of my ripped (off) files on your computer, if I can truly call them mine.

I am a sworn enemy of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), a terrorist organization with ties to Hollywood and Tom Cruise. I will do everything in my power to see the record labels brought to their knees and to keep the owners of intellectual property from making money off of their media. I am the Marxist of the internet world and the file housed in your share folder is my manifesto.

Funny Class Notes is my online home. That's right. I, AxxO, am a contributor to FCN.

For years I have kept my identity secret. Despite pleas from thousands of webpages and tens of thousands of fan emails, I have not revealed my true identity. And I will maintain my secrecy even through this post. Know, however, that one of the authors of FCN leads a secret life as AxxO. Now you know; don't tell the RIAA.

This post should answers a lot of questions. I hope it clears the air on what has become an unnecessarily convoluted subject and an issue that has divided many in the peaceful world of cyber stealing. It is such a relief to get this off my chest in my own way and own time, exactly the way Roger Clemens didn't. The truth was bound to come out eventually: IP addresses can only be concealed for so long and a demanding public loves to uncover embarrassing connections. Why not reveal the truth on my own terms? You know my work; now you know my blog.

Thanks for believing. Thanks for uploading. Thanks for reading. Please, upload what you’ve downloaded, and then some.

Monday, April 28, 2008

College Entrance Essay

After several pleading emails from the faithful few, I went to my personal files and retrieved my old college entrance essay which is now caked yellow with a dried coffee stain. My writing bears the mark of youth and literary inexperience. It also demonstrates a number of significant stylistic faux pas that defined the creativity of my adolescence. Still, it got me where I needed to go, so I guess I can't complain too strongly.

I look at this tome the same way I view the London Bridge: it is a relic of a bygone era, now dug up and placed haphazardly in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. This piece was never intended for the fun-loving FCN reader, but was written with a bearded admissions officer in mind, for the kindly octogenarian (or at least a septuagenarian) who dresses up like Santa and rings his bell outside Wal-Mart. If you find it funny, that's excellent. I, however, will always view the following as a personal testimonial, a plea for help in a dark educational world and a manifesto academia, albeit laced with white lies.

Being an underprivileged minority youth is never easy, but when it is compounded by abandonment, addiction and abuse - the three As of my childhood - it can be the death knell for academic achievement, the two As of my future.

For many, the poverty line is an unrealistic basement, a floor you read about in Dickens but never have to experience. The concepts of subsistent wages and hunger so intense that it causes physical pain are foreign to the American experience and, indeed, to most in our wealthy nation. But for my father and his father before him, it was a day-to-day reality.

My grandfather came to this country looking for opportunity. Instead he found the bottom of a bottle and alcohol consumed his marriage, his job and, eventually, his life. He died alone and forgotten somewhere in New York State, but left a male heir to carry on his name and, hopefully, improve that name's reputation.

My father tried his best with the cards he had been dealt. He stayed away from the bottle, but married a twice divorced home wrecker whose affinity for Amphetamines and cocaine was exceeded only by her penchant for wild men. Seven children were born from this crazed union; six of them had major birth defects.

People on the outside looking in would have said that I was the "normal" one in our family. But I wasn't normal. A learning disability landed me in a special education classes that did little to direct my focus. My father, perhaps angry with the state of his life, took out his frustrations on me and his regular abuse continues to be a dark spot in my memory.

In spite of troubles on the home front - or maybe because of them - I strove harder in school. I overcame my disability and started a charitable foundation for others in my position. I volunteered in my community and led successful campaigns for three of my siblings to have surgery for their birth defects. Two of them survived their operation and began successful academic careers.

The summer before I was to begin my freshman year of high school, a fire burned down my family's house and we were forced out onto the street. Police suspected arson and my mother made disparaging comments about an ex-lover who may have had a motive. My father died in the flames of smoke inhalation. He was too young.

At fourteen, I was the de facto man in the family. I lied about my age to get a job at McDonald's and found part time work as a ditch digger for the city sewage department. I struggled to balance the responsibilities of adulthood with those of high school, but somehow managed to cope.

When I lost my left leg to a drunk driver in a freak car accident, I knew my life would become more difficult. We did not have the resources to get a prosthetic limb, so I fashioned a support out of a piece of driftwood I found at my sewer job and used bailing wire to attach it to my stump. I lifted the spirits of my brothers and sisters by telling them I was a pirate and to this day my youngest sister Beth-Ann still believes me.

Graduation was bitter-sweet. For my mother it opened up old wounds and her wailing shrieks could be heard above the motivational message I delivered as Student-Body President. My five surviving deformed siblings sat in the front row and smiled. They were proud of their brother and his accomplishments in the face of adversity.

No one in my family has ever gone to college. My mother, like my grandmother, was forced to quit school in the tenth grade because of a pregnancy, one of many that would haunt her teenage years. My father chose factory work instead of higher education, but was forced into less lucrative labor after he lost two important fingers on his right hand.

I want to be the first one to take the leap and strive for self improvement. I am living proof that a checkered past does not spell the end of academic achievement. Intelligence is not limited by circumstances and, indeed, can be nurtured and grown through difficulty.

If accepted to this University, I will continue my work with charitable and community organizations to open doors for others like me. I will refuse to renege on the promises I made my dieing father and always strive to be the best, no matter what the challenge. I may limp onto your campus, but I bring a full compliment of mental energy that more than compensates for my physical deficiencies.

I see higher education as the proving ground for those last two As and as a preparation for life for a young man who has already seen a lot of it.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bond Stunt Man Injury due to Incompetence, Cowardice

LAKE GARDA, ITALY (FCN) - Yesterday on the set of the next Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, Aris Comninos won the dubious recognition of stunt man with the weakest sauce in recent memory. "It's unbelievable," says fellow stunt man Aston Martin, who skidded into a lake on the same set last Saturday, "he definitely wins the Darwin award."

Comninos participated in a fairly straight-forward one-take stunt involving driving a moped off the top of a skyscraper, activating his jet pack just before striking the ground, then firing a rocket into a hummer (pictured) to blast it out of the way so he could streak, inches above the ground, into a parking garage just before a B-2 Bomber crashed where he had been.

"The moment he drove off the building," says stunt coordinator Gary Powell, "I knew it was going to go sideways." Comninos began his comedy of errors by losing his cool halfway into his three-hundred foot fall and sawing away at the jet-pack spark plug. "It's lucky the activator on the unit was only for show," says Powell. "He could have ruined everything. Not that he didn't anyway." Powell had his own remote activator in his hand, and activated the jet-pack at the correct moment one and a half seconds before impact.

Alas, the incompetent Comninos was in charge of the controls. Instead of steering toward the parking garage, he maxed out the power and got as much distance as possible between himself and the ground. He wasn't fast enough - the B-2 intercepted his upward course and crushed him deep into the pavement.

"The medical breakdown isn't complicated," reported Seth Mont, one of the paramedics who flew the cowardly stunt man out of the area by helicopter. "Basically he broke every bone in his body, including those really tiny little bones you have in your ear drums." Mont predicted a full recovery following two years of therapy and a hot water bottle, pending new advances in cryogenic and teleportation technology.

"What's really tragic about it is the shot," replied director Marc Forster when asked to recount his feelings regarding the incident. "Film isn't cheap, and he totally ruined the take... it's very unprofessional to... sign as a stuntman and go and do something this childish. If you don't want to be a stunt man... get out of the way, because I can guarantee ... there are a million other people just waiting in line for a chance at the life Aris leads."

Or led, as the case may be.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Obese and Bulimic are Responsible for the Food Shortages

Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon announced earlier this week that our world is suffering from a food shortage. Ki-Moon, himself a perfect stranger to want with a figure that challenges the svelte Asian stereotype, announced a plan to begin searching for a committee to start thinking of a way to develop a method to find a solution to this problem. When asked about implementation, Ki-Moon responded that it is too soon to be talking about such final details. With the average cost of food soaring and some Malthusian experts predicting immense food shortages in the future, Ki-Moon is trying to bring attention to a problem that he claims will eventually rival oil price shocks and Al Sharpton in severity.

Perhaps, some experts intone, the problem is that we send too many of our food stuffs to our engines and not enough to our tummies. When oil prices started their meteoric rise a few years ago, some government leaders panicked and intervened in the market to redirect agriculture products like corn and soybeans to the world's gas tanks. Maybe now we are paying the price.

Other political watchdogs say the culprit is the weather and that harvests have declined substantially due to changes in meteorology.

Others blame George W. Bush.

Here at FCN we were dissatisfied with all of these mainstream diagnoses, so we put our crack(ed) staff to work researching the real cause of the world's food shortages. What we discovered will make you want to lose weight the natural way, even if you are 6'2" and 145 pounds.

The obese and bulimic are responsible for today's food shortages. I know, that's a lot to swallow if you've already chomped down on the pre-chewed answers the media are feeding us. If you can keep it down for a couple of minutes, maybe I can add enough spice to make this proposition palatable.

So sorry.

Without exception, fat people weigh more than skinny people. That's a position you can take to the bank and earn interest on forever. In order to maintain their immense bulk, they have to eat more of the scarce products that could prevent starvation in the third world or keep the afternoon growls away in the first world. That's right, when an obese person reaches for another donut, someone dies in a poor country and a white collar American goes without. Further, all the fat guy or girl has to show for it is another wrinkle in his or her fanny.

A good way to redistribute wasted calories and reduce the obesity problem at the same time is to steal food from the hands of fat people. If you see a big guy reaching for another donut, run in front of him and grab it first. Then find a white cardboard box, write "Africa" on the top in a black Sharpie and drop it in the mail. Your postman will either find an emaciated Kenyan to feed or scarf down the donut himself; either way, you will be helping to third world or preventing a decent human being from going postal.

A more insidious threat to global food security is found in the bulimic population. People who eat food, but don't digest it waste the caloric value of their diet entirely and so deprive billions of stable nutrition. Bulimics are especially dangerous because they are so hard to spot. A chronic binge eater may consume two to three times the amount of food an obese person will, but generally looks relatively fit. Without outward signs to warn the rest of us of a bulimic's selfishness, society has no way of knowing who is wasting food and who is using it the way the farmer intended.

If you find a bulimic, get a large white cardboard box, put the bulimic in the box and label "Africa" on the top. Your postman will deliver item to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Finally, start drinking ethanol from the pump. In many states, gasoline is 85% from corn, which is the same thing they make sugar out of. In other words, drinking gasoline is paramount to drinking corn syrup or eating donuts. Just don't smoke afterward.

That's FCN's solution to the problem. It's too bad the Secretary General didn't ask our advice before he...well, wait, he hasn't done anything yet. Mr. Ki-Moon...?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

7th Do It Yourself Post

You can't _______________ until you _______________.

Life Tip #67

Don't transport cocaine on a public highway.

If you must transport cocaine on a public highway, register your vehicle and install a valid license plate.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Kelsey get low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low.

I was well on my way to living an incomplete life.

There's nothing like getting elbow-deep into college and then realizing you never really went to prom. You get a sort of vague uneasy feeling like you forgot something – the kind of feeling you get just before you realize you locked your keys in the car. When I dropped out of college and got a minimum wage shift job, I more or less forgot about that nagging feeling in the back of my head.

Then one day, I overheard a friend of mine in discussion with someone else. We'll call her Kelsey, because that is her name. Kelsey was lamenting the fact that everyone had recruited prom dates months before she even thought about it. “I've asked everyone!” She said. “They're all booked.”

I unleashed my FCN wit to make a stupid smart-alecky joke. “You haven't asked me.”

She whirled to face me. “Are you serious?'

“Hm? What? Me?”

Four weeks later, I found myself rushing home from work to pull on a tux I borrowed from a friend of mine whom we will call John, because that is what everyone else calls him. Then came the florist: “Oh, you're the yellow sunflower boy! Issues. You should seriously have gotten something red or white. Yellow? Come on now. Issues.” Then pictures at Kelsey's house. Kelsey's parents were friendly but vaguely suspicious. I decided to keep my driver's license in my pocket where it belonged. They didn't need to know I was a college dropout bum who writes for FCN.

Then off to someone else's house, where flash bulbs chattered like machine gun fire. You know that last scene in The Rookie where he hits the lights and everyone is taking pictures? Yeah. It felt like that. My eyes were a bit off after the pictures – I remember a 20-passenger white hummer limo (heck yes) professional photos, and a restaurant. I also remember my trophy date, Kelsey, constantly telling me to suck it up and/or deal with it. Whatever that means.

So after about five and a half hours of hanging out, someone finally got the bright idea of actually going to the prom itself. After a short and very exciting breathaliticizer-o-matic test, we got rid of most of the accessories/jackets/etc that we'd carefully donned to go to the prom. This seemed very counterintuitive. Why bother dressing up if it's all going to go in a numbered paper sack anyway?

I learned the reasoning as soon as I hit the dance floor. See, I come from a background of what I call “morphed” dancing. That is, if you trace social dancing back a few hundred years, you find waltz, swing, line – stuff like that. You can put all these different dance styles on a timeline and see how they've morphed from one to the next. But this was not morphed dancing. This was dancing evolved.


The first prom ever was at Cambridge High in 1740. Everyone got all dressed up and got their pictures taken, then went into a big room and talked. It wasn't much of a hit, but the school staff was determined to make prom a success. So the next year, they brought in some violinists who played background music. This enhanced the atmosphere significantly. Prom started spreading to other schools. Everyone liked standing around listening to music.

Proms remained largely unchanged until 1912, when Jojo Spudwink of Miami Unified snuck a bongo drum past security (security wasn't nearly as advanced back then as it is now, in a post-9/11 world). About an hour into the violin music, Jojo whipped out the bongo drum and started pounding. The beat was so overwhelming that the party goers couldn't resist nodding their heads to the rhythm. Jojo became an instant legend. The drums continued to be popular at Miami Unified but didn't really catch until heavier rhythms because popular in music around the sixties.

Not that much has changed since the bongo drum days. The head bobbing had become marginally more complex, and the music has become marginally simpler.


And that's about what we experienced. It doesn't take any skill or practice to Prom dance. You just walk into the crowd with your date and start feeling the beat. Of course, there are a few no-nos. The most popular is freak dancing, (also known as booty dancing – avert your eyes children!).

But perhaps the biggest no-no is not feeling the beat. About two hours into the dance, ignorant of this important convention, I launched myself off into the crowd in agonizing slow motion, gradually turning and stepping in what I wanted to think was graceful elegance. Almost thirty seconds later, a school official tapped me on the shoulder.

“Are you okay?” He asked. Now there are two ways you ask if someone is okay. The first is the way he didn't do it, which is to ask in a concerned way as if to offer help. The second is the way he did do it, which is the way police ask if they can help you when they really want to know if you need to be shot to improve the gene pool. I got back into the crazy bopping and the official backed up, grudgingly satisfied.

Nothing individually was particularly special about prom. It was the whole collected experience – dressing up, photos, limo, good food, a friend winning the title of Prom Queen – that really made it a night to remember. Had I not gone, my life would just not have been complete.

Now all I have to do is check out this whole Disney Land thing everyone's talking about.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The 'Great' Wall

SAN DIEGO, CA (FCN) – The Bush administration is putting its full backing behind plans to complete the San Diego border fence, a policy which some experts say could reduce the flow of illegal immigrants by as many as three per year. Homeland Security Secretary Micheal Chertoff has agreed to new plans which supersede existing state laws with the auspicious goal of completing the fence.

Click here to keep reading "The 'Great' Wall," originally published in The Pacifican...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Life Tip #66

Do not get into a fight with your wife, especially if she has had a few.

If you must get into a fight with your inebriated wife, do not do so at your mother's house.

If you must get into a fight with your inebriated wife at your mother's house and she tries to drive away, let her go.

If if you must get into a fight with your inebriated wife at your mother's house and chase your wife as she drives away, do not get on the hood of the car to stop her.

If if you must get into a fight with your inebriated wife at your mother's house and chase your wife as she drives away and get on the hood of her car to stop her, get off before she merges onto a major freeway.

Friday, April 18, 2008


My biggest mid-term of the year is this afternoon and I have not yet completed my preparation. Time flew by like Al Gore's son in a Prius, leaving my hair pushed back and my brain woefully empty. I tried to get ready - honest I did - but my life has been a big league pitcher, throwing me curve balls with all the strength of his steroid-bulked arm. Obligations too numerous to fully enumerate, but including email, Facebook, phone conversations, movie watching, jetpack and, yes, females took too much of my heavily appreciated time and left my exam study sheet as blank as the stare I gave my mother when she asked yesterday whether or not I was ready.

I may be a derelict. I may be a lazy derelict. I may even be a lazy derelict with bad hair, but I do have gumption. (As a side note, I considered starting my collegiate entrance essay with the last three sentences but settled instead for "Being an underprivileged minority youth is never easy, but when it is compounded by abandonment, addiction and abuse - the three As of my childhood - it can be the death knell for academic achievement, the two As of my future." In a related story, I got accepted to every school I applied. I'll post the entire essay sometime for all you aspiring derelicts.) So where was I? Ah, yes, gumption. It took a little psyching to prepare myself, but I marched directly into my professor's office yesterday and laid down my pathetic case in the hopes of finding some sympathy.

Dr. Monarch, as my female instructor is aptly titled, was not interested in the sordid details of my personal life or the scheduling conflicts that landed me in the undesirable position of begging for mercy before sitting for the exam. Her lack of interest notwithstanding, Dr. Monarch did nothing to halt my remonstrations and even laughed occasionally, a gesture I interpreted as encouragement. On I plowed, through three minutes of memorized material and two of improvised verbal gymnastics.

I talked about my Spring allergies and the ill effect the wind was having on my general disposition. I drew attention to my dislike for particular breakfast cereals and established a link between Kashi Go Lean and indigestion. I talked about the Laker's game earlier in the week and how disappointed I was that the number one team in the Western conference had to clinch its seed at my team's expense. I even described a small sore that had cropped up between my big and second toes and how distracting little abrasions like that could be when trying to focus on something as arcane as macroeconomics.

In retrospect, I spent more time preparing my case for leniency than I did studying for the test. But I consoled myself knowing that an hour of writing and considering a grade defense was well spent when it precipitated a poor performance, because I would have a poor performance. If I could inoculate my evaluator to my inability to draw a Cartesian plain with straight lines (much less calculate an IS or LM curve) , she might think twice before smashing through my responses with red ink. Regardless, I might be able to make a friend in this lonely world.

When my verbal flow ceased, a silence so loud it could be packaged as the rebellion music of the next generation filled the room. Dr. Monarch cleared her throat, an action that was less productive than it was discouraging.

"Young man," she began, using a title that generations of males recognize as the prelude to a rebuke, "I have been teaching at the college level more years than you have been alive and yet I have never heard such locution. Have you considered developing that presentation for a politician? You would have to remove the bit about your big toe, but it might work otherwise. The style sounds vaguely like something I heard from John Edwards once (or fifty times). Anyway, kudos for that. The biggest mistake you made was a temporal one. You presented your spiel before taking the mid-term - a mid-term you might very well ace - now the only thing your words will motivate me to do is examine your answers more carefully. Congratulations. My advice to you is to go get a menthol lozenge and a good night's rest. And try to remember that the IS curve is downward sloping."

I was rejected like a basketball in the air against Hakeem Olajuwon. I was in the third row and heavily discombobulated. But I had made my case, said my piece and recorded my complaint. Now all I have to do is take the test. The test I haven't finished studying for...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Desperate Student, Episode 16: Cupid Loveline

This continues the Desperate Student series. Get caught up here before proceeding. Or you can just wait for the book.

I hate medic planes.

You would too if you contracted the obscure VIRUS 200 (vernacular: Orangutan flu) during a job-related safari and woke up on your way back to the states for extensive medical testing.

I don't remember most of it. I recall waking up - always with a nurse standing next to my bed with a clipboard - and being asked all kinds of fairly intuitive questions like "Would you have a beer with a pony you'd never met?" and "What color are triangles?"

You know. The sort of questions you ask people with Orangutan flu.

When we finally landed, my arms, chest, and back were pocked with needle marks and there were about thirty little sensor things taped onto various parts of my head and torso. I had an IV running on each arm and a third, smaller one on my left thumb. There were staples holding together a fresh scar near where my appendix presumably no longer hung out. Everyone was now wearing blue face masks and the light had been dimmed.

"Wh ... whuh hathibined?" I asked. My jaw was numb.

"We ran some tests," Said the nurse with the clipboard.

"I'm guh be okay, righ?"

"You were never in any danger. Orangutan flu is like a severe head cold."

"Buh theh why dih you do all thah? I nevah gay you puhmishuh."

"Yes, you did, sir. We have a signed consent form given to us by your former employer."

Jane was more wily than even I'd given her credit for. "Cah I go now?"

The nurse shrugged. "Sure, I guess."

"Wuh abow ah this stuff ah me?"

"You're welcome to take it off, sir."

"Wew ah we?"

"O'Hare International Airport. We'll disembark in a few moments."

"I wan go now."

"Suit yourself." The nurse tossed her clipboard onto the table next to my cot and walked off into another room. I noticed zebra doodles all over it.

With great effort (I was feeling pretty weak), I yanked all the probes and needles out of myself and staggered to my feet. It felt like the room was whizzing by; I fought to stay standing and took a hesitant step forward, steadying myself against the cot.

"Careful," the nurse called from the other room. "You've lost a lot of blood."

I reached the door to the plane and sagged against it. The plane was about a quarter mile from the bustling O'Hara airport B terminal. With careful deliberation, I took the first step onto the stairs down to the tarmac.

I awoke on the tarmac with pieces of asphalt embedded in my forehead. I stood slowly and staggered across a vast expanse of criss-crossing runway to a chain link fence, which was made of chain link, the bottom of which was poorly buried. I yanked up a section and wriggled under. Then I wandered for a few hours with a vague understanding I needed to get away from anything related to Jane Goodall.

I awoke at the foot of a rundown white building in an old metropolitan section of town. A burned-out sign outside read: "Chicago Herald."

Now I don't expect you to believe this. I suppose if you believe I once took a bullet for the president this might not seem like that big a jump. But to me, what happened next was the most extraordinary and absurd thing I'd ever experienced since my episodic autobiography began. There was a fifty-dollar bill slid under my left hand. No unique markings. No note. No one around. I just suddenly had fifty dollars. For a moment my mind flashed back to the tales of King Midas. But King Midas never forged Mexican citizenship papers so he could work as an agricultural laborer.

I slowly pushed myself up to my feet, weighing the bill in my hand. Besides this bill, I was at rock bottom. And even with it I couldn't go home or survive for very long. This was no time to be conservative. I studied the money for a long moment. Ulysses S. Grant stared back at me with unblinking eyes that seemed to give me quiet reserves in inner strength.

"Go ahead, son," He seemed to be saying. "I didn't split the confederacy in half by eating taco bell until my funds ran out." It wasn't so much the words so much as the fact that Grant seemed to be talking that really got me. I knew I needed help. I had to shake things up. I crumpled the bill tightly into my fist and walked deliberately into the Chicago Herald office.

There was a payphone in the corner. I checked the number, then walked to the receptionist and spoke through clenched teeth.

"I want to take out an ad - the best you can get me for tomorrow's circulation with fifty dollars."

"For 47.99 I can give you an inch-by-half-inch with simple text."

"Perfect. I want it to say: 'Don't like what you see? Stop the blind search with a personal matchmaker. Professional, discreet, guaranteed happy match within two weeks. (847) 334-6991.' Can you fit that into an ad that size?"

"That's a bit wordy."

Eventually she got me down to a more reasonable ad. It ran:

MATCHMAKER (847) 334-6991

Very economical.

Satisfied, I went back to the somewhat dilapidated couch and passed out. I was awakened at ten o'clock by a janitor. "Can I help you?" He asked.

"Hm? No. Thanks. I'm waiting for somebody."

The janitor looked dubious but nodded and moved on. I passed out again.

At around eight the next morning, the phone rang. I picked up the receiver before the first ring ended, then spoke, trying not to sound too eager:


"I saw an ad in today's paper for a matchmaker?"

"You've got the right number. That is, I'm him. I am he. This is him."

"My name is Wade Roberts."

"I'm ... Cupid ... Loveline."

The man sounded confused. "What should I call you?"

"My friends call me ... Cupid."

"Can we meet?"

"How about we just discuss over the phone. It's faster."

"All right. What do you charge?"

I thought fast. "Five hundred dollars."

"Five hundred!"

"Well, yes, I mean ..."

"That's a fraction the cost of the last person I called."

"Well I mean, five hundred for the basic service. It's two thousand for the premium service."

"What do I get with premium?"

"Most of it is behind the scenes. We use a complex process to bring your chance of success from ninety percent to ninety-nine percent."

"I want the premium. Sign me up right now."

"All right, Mr Roberts ..."

"Call me Wade."

"Wade. So tell me a little about yourself."

"Are you serious?"


"You mean you don't know me already?"

"Should I?"

"I mean everyone knows me. Just everyone! You haven't heard my music?"

"I don't think so ..."

"Last Time I Kissed You? I Could Be The One?"

"I don't think I've heard those."

"Why, that's amazing. You're one in a million. I'm very popular. That's why I want a matchmaker. I want to use a forged name so I don't get swarmed by adoring fans."

"They won't recognize your face?"

"Uh ... well ... I mean there's always that risk. But people don't seem to recognize me generally. I mean I go out all the time and no one takes another look. It's because I'm so reclusive. It's what A-list celebrities do."

"So what are your interests? Your hobbies?"

"What, am I on a date with you now?"

"No, I just wanted to know a thing or two about you so I could match you."

"Listen Cupid. You're the professional. I don't pay you to make small talk. I pay you to find me the girl I'll be happy with until a highly publicized and messy divorce in four or five years. Make it happen!"

"All right - well what kind of a girl are you looking for?"

"You know - sweet, pretty, smart, fun, talented, a good smile, looks good in blue jeans. Also I want someone who will hang on my arm and announce all my achievements at parties so I don't look quite so boorish. And stare at me across the room with an adoring look. And call me all the time when I'm out of town. And leave me sweet little notes in random places. And she needs to be good at yoga."

"I can get you a girl like that within the week, Wade."


"Let's talk about payment."

"Half now, half when we're engaged?"

"Fair enough. Where do you live?"

"In the ritzy section of town."

"I'm out of Chicago on a private mansion. I'll send one of my lowly servants out to meet you halfway to pick up the money."

"Where's halfway?"

"Oh, shall we say ... the Chicago Herald Office? It seems fitting somehow."

"That's not in a good section of town."

"It'll be good for you. Oh, and bring cash." I hung up hastily. My hands were cold and clammy; I rubbed them together briskly. Someone was coming with a thousand dollars to my location. Maybe life was finally starting to pick up.

I waited outside for half an hour, then a black limousine pulled up and a tall beefy man in a suit with sunglasses got out. He walked straight to me. "Cupid Loveline?"

"I work for him."

"Please deliver this briefcase on behalf of my client, Wade Roberts." He handed me a light but promising black leather briefcase. I tried to accept it as casually as possible, wondering in the back of my head if I'd ever been this close to so much money.

For several minutes after the limo drove away, I stood on the sidewalk holding the suitcase in an agony of indecision. A big part of me wanted to jump ship - to take my thousand dollars and fly away and pull the same hoax on someone else later on. But for some reason I stayed. I'm not sure if it was the chance of more money later on down the line or a vague sense of moral compulsion. But I was contracted as a matchmaker, and I was going to follow through.

Cupid Loveline was going to make Wade Roberts a happy man.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

6th Do It Yourself Post

Life is like _______________. It _______________.

Life Tip #65

Do not rob a post office.

If you must rob a post office, do not threaten the employees with a chisel.

If you must rob a post office and threaten the employees with a chisel, do not rob one operated by family members who can identify you.

Life Tip #64

Don't rob a bank.

If you must rob a bank, do not coat yourself in gasoline before demanding money.

If you must rob a bank and coat yourself in gasoline before demanding money, do not point a Mountain Dew bottle at the bank teller.

If you must rob a bank and coat yourself in gasoline before demanding money while pointing a Mountain Dew bottle at the bank teller, do not dress in Muslim holy garb.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A = E, I = U

Un thus post every unstence of one common vowel hes been repleced wuth enother common vowel, leevung eech word confusung end peunful. Uf you cen reed thus wuthout essustence, you should strongly consuder e future un wrutung or decodung. U heer they heve openungs et the CUE end FBU.

Usn’t ut emezung the umpect e chenge to e couple of vowels cen heve? U left the mejoruty untect, but the two thet were substututed ere very dustrectung. E lue us much more powerful when muxed wuth e luttle truth.

Sincerely Yours, Me

Do you ever get pronoun confusion? It's when the wrong pronoun sounds right (not left) and your friends give you dour looks when you start referring to yourself in the wrong person. You is confused with I even though proper grammar is used throughout. It's a writer's third biggest nightmare (behind actionable nouns and proper verbs). It's linguistic schizophrenia on crack.

We would write a post about the concept, but it's already been done. Our friends at Enlarged to Show Texture, a snazzy blog that just underwent a sexy redesign, have a record of correspondence between two first-person pronouns. And, while I am no editor (please don't make wise cracks about that moment of honesty), all appears to be grammatically correct. Go check it out and leave the girls at EST a nice comment or two.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Prius. No.

If you're like me, you watch television whenever one of your close friends is being arraigned or when a significant sporting event demands attention. A couple weekends ago, I managed to watch all three Final Four games, including the requisite advertisements which were, I must admit, almost as entertaining as the spectacle itself. Almost.

Besides the "Dude" ad from Budweiser, which I hope doesn't catch on more than it already has (do we really need more reasons to say "dude?") and the "number one cheers" commercial (also from Budweiser), the funniest ad was for a car.

I know, a digitally enhanced jumble of carefully engineered steel and rubber gliding through a closed course under the controlled guidance of a professional driver could be described by many adjectives, but "funny" isn't one of them. Most car ads are designed to appeal to women, so the 30-second spots may show safety features or the on-board computer, but they are unlikely to make the viewer laugh out loud, to spell out a common internet acronym.

One car ad broke the female appeal mold and, in the process, invited a good natured ribbing.

Toyota had the most unintentionally hilarious sales pitch for its Prius, the most fuel efficient car on the road, according to heavily suspect EPA mileage figures. Yes, FCN did just link to Mother Jones. That's not an endorsement; you'll get over it.

If you haven't seen the "Yes" ad for Prius, you need to. A grainy YouTube copy (vaguely reminiscent of a pirated camcorder capture) is embedded below:

On it's face not that funny, right?

Pictures of smiling upper middle class Americans hopping out of or into their new hybrids with the word "yes" emblazoned on a convenient sheet of bright white cardboard. Only one of the happy owners (we assume they are owners and not starving actors willing to sellout for the commercial interests of the bourgeois) holds up a sign that says "si." We can tell from the man's complection that he is French, where the word "si" means "if." This man is undecided and is raising a sign that says "if my wife agrees to the exorbitant monthly fees we will owe Toyota for the next three years and if I can convince my engineering buddy that battery disposal is not that big a deal, I will consider purchasing this vehicle."

And all along you thought "SI" stood for Smithsonian Institute.

The ad played several times; Toyota has to spend that energy conservation grant money somehow. On the third time through, I noticed how little is said about the product itself. The fuel efficiency, safety and crash test ratings, dealership locations, onboard features and legroom dimensions are all omitted in favor of the not so subtle admonition to say "yes."

It's like the DEA's "Say 'NO' to drugs" campaign, except the key word is changed to "yes." And we aren't talking about drugs. And that PSA isn't run anymore. Now we are counseled to talk with our parents about drugs, so they can tell us if we should use them experimentally or not. Come to think of it, the Prius ad is nothing like the drug commercials.

If you look carefully, you might be able to see some information about the Prius in the fine print at the bottom of your screen and at the end of the spot. It doesn't come through legibly in the YouTube copy I've embedded, so you can take my word for it or start watching a lot of TV.

In sum, Toyota is trying to sell women cars by omitting important information and just raising a white sign emblazoned with the desired response. Here at FCN we think that's sexist, childish and pretty doggone funny.

So funny, in fact, that we have made our own ad for Prius. It uses a little reverse psychology to sell the cars. Ever been told you can't step on the grass? What did you do? Ever been told you can't spend twenty grand on a new car that has a hard time going faster than 70 MPH (unless being driven by Al Gore's son)? What would you do?

That's what I thought. Anyway, here's the image. Hopefully Toyota will use it in its next campaign. Who knows, it might actually help sales.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Note to Self #7

Warm the instant oatmeal before eating.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Todd’s...Bush’s Problems

Todd gets up earlier than normal. His Palm Pilot promises a busy day ahead and he wants to make doubly sure his hair is combed and that he scrubs all the grime out of the hard to reach places before tackling the challenges de jour. Todd doesn’t think about the filth or the process of removing it, he just knows that uncleanliness is a Bush-sized problem and that it needs resolving with an old fashioned washing.

While Todd is brushing his teeth, he flips on his television. A riot in the capital city has erupted over low wages and President Bush is to blame. On the screen, hundreds of angry union representatives chant pro-worker slogans and Todd finds himself joining in with the professional protesters, lifting his free hand in a fist while moving the toothpaste around in his mouth with his Sonicare bristles.

Those poor souls, why did President Bush have to hang them out to dry like that? Isn’t there enough wealth in this country for us all to prosper without depressing the blue collar laborers of our country? Todd can’t comprehend the logic that would motivate Bush to treat the backbone of the American economy so unfairly.

Todd walks into the kitchen and pours himself a bowl of Cheerios. He goes to the fridge and reaches in for the milk, only to be greeted by an empty cold shelf. Todd is out of milk. Todd is confused at first, but then he understands: Bush miscalculated with the dairy product allotment. Todd can’t understand how the President has control over his own milk supply, but he doesn’t need too. He knows that Bush is at fault and leaves the figuring to others. President Bush wasted a perfectly good bowl of Cheerios.

On the way to work, Todd passes a nasty car accident. He joins the other drivers on the road in rubbernecking the incident and rolls down his window for a better view. A woman is sitting on an overturned 5-gallon bucket with a shawl wrapped around her shoulders. She is shaken badly by the accident and cries loudly, so that even Todd can distinguish her words as he drives by. “If Bush hadn’t started his radio address just as I was merging, the accident never would have happened. What an idiot we elected!”

The radio has good news. The stock market rallied yesterday and appears to be doing well today in early trading. A commentator notes that some caution should be maintained in analyzing the data as long as Bush’s economic policies are in place. “Short-lived growth will invariably be followed by periods of contraction as long as Bush is in the White House,” the voice on the radio said to conclude his analysis.

Todd shakes his head in agreement. All the talk of recession makes so much sense now.

Todd gets to work a few minutes late. His boss is waiting at his desk with a stack of files and looks upset to see his employee arrive tardily. Todd explains that he was held up by road construction and would have told the story about the traffic accident had his employer not interrupted. “That construction on Fourth and Vine?” The boss’ face softened as Todd nodded his assent. “If Bush had only vetoed that transportation bill, we would not be wasting money on this kind of project.”

Todd’s job keeps him hopping until lunch when he leaves the office with Janet to grab a bite. On the way to the local sandwich depot, he notices the price of gas. Janet sighs and makes a disparaging comment about Bush’s foreign policy. Todd knows Janet is right and dreams of change...and hope.

At lunch Todd flips idly through the newspaper while Janet tells him about her financial difficulties. A violent crime was committed the night before and the gruesome details are revealed in stark black and white. The police chief blames the President for not giving his force adequate funding. The article is sympathetic to the suspect and critical of Bush.

Todd zones back into his conversation with Janet. Her car payment is coming due and her alimony check is late. Todd grimaces with each new detail Janet adds and finally offers some encouragement. “If Bush had passed his tort reforms, maybe you would have that resolved now. He sure did mess up family law.”

While Janet agrees with his remark, Todd thinks about what he said. He had never given the court systems much thought, but knew exactly who to blame when confronted with a problem. And why not? Everyone else finds reasons to blame the President; who’s to say he didn’t cause all these problems?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Back behind the wheel...

Boy it feels good to be back. This is my first post since the hijacker frenzied around our little baby, made child's play of our template and generally was cantankerous.

While the hijacker was in control of FCN, I got to know what it's like to be one of the faithful few. I didn't know what a post would be until it came out. When it did arrive, I'd be disappointed.

Throughout the hijacker's brief but notorious tenure, I rose early for my morning FCN fix, only to discover that our hijacker kept a different schedule than I and posted much later whilst I was in class. So my mornings, all four of them, were much more dour.

Every day held a scary moment, a few terrorizing seconds as my browser connected with the blogger servers and made its request. As the information was exchanged between my local terminal and the Big Kahuna central, I found myself holding my breath, even when my lungs had already expired their last oxygen (Big Kahuna central can take a while to respond). So any reports you hear about an FCN author fainting yesterday had nothing to do with the hijacker and everything to do with forgetting to breathe.

I know this is the second reflective post on the nefarious activity of one hijacker - and believe me, that fact weighs so heavily on my conscience that I will find a way to introduce new content into this tome - but it's worth delving into the issue once again to discourage any copycats. Acts of senseless terrorism invariably engender mindless duplication. School, Olympics and mall shootings have all been tried, but idiots keep on doing them anyway, thinking their take on mass killing is unique. So taking over a FCN, a crime so similar in magnitude to senseless murder that we dare not dwell for too long on the link (we've young readers, folks), is likely to encourage further attempts.

Like our elected leaders, FCN had to change its policy to reflect the open animosity and, let's be frank, actionable hostility toward friendly humor blogging. That's right, ladies and gentleman (not a typo), from this day forward FCN will make like a Danish newspaper and negotiate with terrorists. The next time someone offers to guest blog (with an implied "or else), we will be much more inclined to say yes. When an anonymous heckler sends us a letter with a copy of a picture we would rather you all not see, we will write a check before calling the authorities.

Heck, if you get me in an armbar I'll do pretty much anything. But I'd like to see you try.

OK, so that new content I promised earlier. Touching fingers to keyboard again reminded me of my first experience driving a tractor on an April morning some years ago. I couldn't have been much older than Dakota Fanning when I slid behind the wheel of our family's powerful Kubota and listened attentively as my father taught me the basics of driving. That's right: I learned to drive a tractor before I learned to drive a car. Maybe that's why I drive at such safe speeds.

The rumble of the diesel engine erased all my father's warnings about maneuverability and safety, but didn't keep me from having a riot on my first tour of agrarian authority. At least for the first twenty minutes. See, the thrill of controlling a cumbersome and slow craft over rough terrain turns from exciting to dull faster than molten iron in a bucket of cold water. What started as a novelty soon became a chore.

The great thing about working on a small farm is that the boring work comes by rarely and passes quickly and a simple mind like mine can easily forget the monotony of driving given a few months of memory fermentation.

To tie the analogy back to FCN, in a couple weeks I forgot what it is like to be up at 5:30 AM sitting in front of a blank post, knowing that work and school will soon call and not having anything to write about. I am back behind the wheel and feeling as energetic about today's post as I am about the breakfast I am about to eat (you would be too if you saw these peanut butter coated waffles in which I am about to indulge).

Oh, yeah, and I'll be on the tractor again this month; I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

5th Do It Yourself Post

When _________________ goes, _________________ ensues.

Life Tip #63

Don't commit murder for the insurance money.

If you do commit murder for the insurance money, don't collect on three different policies.

If you do commit murder for the insurance money and collect on three different policies, don't rat out your partner in an empty (though video monitored) interrogation room.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I Told You So

Well, we sang another, you know, song, if you could call it singing, to say nothing of calling it a song, and, well, without further ado, here it is along with the rest of the album.


01 I Forgot

02 Tune Up (Prelude)
03 Tune Up
04 I Told You So

Monday, April 07, 2008

FCN's Golden Age has ended!

The hijacker relinquished full control of FCN back to us yesterday, much to our dismay. We got down on our knees and begged him/her to stay. "Please don't go," we said. We said it just like that. We used those very words. Alas, they were to no effect. He/she insisted on leaving, so we're back, and we have to come up with content again.


We know there were some pretty harsh things said about the hijacker. He/she was accused of being unoriginal, pandering, and dull. We would come out and say this was hogwash, but we don't want to disagree with a reader publicly. So we'll say that, while this may be true, there are other angles from which to approach the situation that may lead to seeing the facts in a different light.

We think - no, we declare - that the hijacker's short tenure represented FCN's Golden Age. With a legacy of intellectually stimulating and entertaining posts on a range of relevant topics, this hijacker is leaving not in shame, but to rest on his/her laurels, satisfied with a week well run.

So now we have to plod on alone, as we've been doing for a year or two, depending on how you measure it. We don't even know what we'll do for you guys tomorrow. Maybe we'll sing a song. We'll see.

People like the hijacker, who presumably has a personal blog elsewhere, are the reason FCN is still more than 78 million years away from global domination. We don't mind the wait. We're in very good company.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Saturday Commentary on the Comments

EDIT: As of some time this afternoon, the post I wrote is officially the MOST POPULAR FCN POST EVER! The new record to break is 25 comments. I sure hope FCN has it in them!

These last few days have been a lot of fun and I'll really miss being in control of this blog. When I began planning my takeover a few weeks ago, I couldn't help walking around with a big grin on my face. That grin hasn't left me for more than 5 seconds in the 5 days I've had FCN under my thumb.

It's been terribly amusing to read the readers' comments and before I sign off forever, I'd like to address some of those commenters (commentors?). I'll start with April 1st's comments and end with yesterday's.

guitarbob: You may pride yourself on your ability to call April Fool's jokes, but you totally missed it on this one.

matt: Deliver the you-know-whats to 480 S. Marion Pkwy, Building A. Please leave the goods with the doorman and ask him to see that "Carleen" on the 6th floor receives it.

chris: You're right, it was an elaborate hoax. One that worked, too, since my goal was to fool the faithful into believing that FCN had not been hijacked.

big: Here's an aspirin. Hope it helps.

rob: Where's that post? And really, promoting your knock-off site on the site you knocked-off is is lamer than lame.

lazr: Good thing FCN doesn't base its self-esteem on the Blogger choice awards, isn't it?

matt: Would you like to join my cheerleading squad?

batman: No. Because. Classified.

big: Done.

OK, enough of that drivel. Now for the interesting part:

The Top 7 Most Popular Posts in FCN's History

Instead of using Uncle Wally's garbled formula to determine which posts in FCN's past were the most appreciated, I decided to use a simpler method and based the following statistics on the number of comments each post received. For the long-time readers who remember LLFCN, following the links will take you on a pleasant walk down memory lane; for the new FCN readers, the links will provide a valuable glimpse into FCN's past.

#7. Two posts tie for seventh place, each one clocking in at 16 comments. The most recent was a retelling of a famous fairytale by FCN's last-but-certainly-not-least author. It tied with the 2nd Todd post. The first one had only half as many comments.

#6. Here we have a 3-way tie. These posts received 17 comments each. All three were written in 2008. If you add up the numbers 2+0+0+8, it doesn't equal 17. I don't think it's a coincidence, though, that two of those posts are do-it-yourselfers, and the last is a high in a long series of lows.

#5. With 18 comments, number three is all by itself. It includes a video that contains the most highbrow discussion of facial hair to ever grace this site. Ok, sorry. Bad pun.

#4. We once again have a 2-post tie. This daring duo amps it up to 19 comments and tells us just how long a post should be and why we should always pay heed to fortune cookies.

#3. I don't know why there are no posts with 20 comments, but for some reason FCN's readers saw fit to skip that quantity and go right to 21. It should come as no surprise that this was the 1st Do-It-Yourself Post.

#2. I have to say I was shocked when I realized one of the posts I wrote would be included in this list. Having received 23 comments, it came in just 2 shy of breaking the FCN record.

#1. Finally, number one in the Most Popular Countdown received 24 comments, for what reader can resist the opportunity to tell FCN which posts to repost?

Well, I hope you all enjoyed this peek into FCN's past as much as I did!

Goodbye for now,
Your hijacker

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Sideburns' Last Stand

On a fine morning of April, that valiant warrior of a month which enlists even the heavenly showers in its mission to "pierce the droughts of March to the root," I awoke to the reassuringly baritone voice of NPR's Robert Siegel blaring on my radio clock. Only a British accent can lend a voice as much credibility as being three octaves lower than normal does. This blog of male readers will understand the rejuvenating effect such a voice must have on a mind groggy after staying up way too late playing Halo doing homework.

Peering into the bathroom mirror, I realized that I had a problem. My sideburns were downright bushy.

Sideburns should never be bushy. You can wear jeans for two weeks straight and get away with it (I have), you can carefully wipe your fingers on your socks without serious consequences (or so my uncle tells me), and you can even shave all your hair off like a wannabe swimmer and not look totally dumb. But whatever your blunders in the way of hygiene or appearance, don't ever for the love of Elvis Presley mess up on your sideburns! Sideburns make the man. They are manly. In fact, despite what some people think, most women don't even have them. Grow your sideburns too long, and you'll look like a failed Taliban who wants a beard but can't quite manage. Cut them off completely and you'll look—shorn. Like a suited scrivener who's too meek to venture into the bold land of real whiskers. (Apologies to certain individuals out there who are at this moment angrily protesting.) And blond, unshaven peach-fuzz burns are the worst of all.

Now, there was a good reason my sideburns were a little unkempt. My barber down the street is not the kind of person I like to visit more than I need to. Not that he's a Sweeney Todd or anything. That would be cool. A creepy, exciting, mysterious monster of a barber would make a haircut worth the thirty dollars that haircuts cost in our degenerate age. But this barber is just a run-of-the-mill, sleepy chatterbox whose head is shaved to about a half inch of graying growth, and who is fond of garrulously and affably rambling about any subject from sports to politics to how he pirates the most awesome stuff on the internet and has a mega CD collection that he downloaded for free onto his quad-core computer with a terabyte hard drive. I'm not jealous; in fact I am quite happy for him. I hope his computer has a long and satisfying life and that he thoroughly enjoys it. And then I hope it blows up his house.

Just kidding. Did I mention that he doesn't have sideburns?

I, on the other hand, do have sideburns. I have stronger, healthier, sideburns than most people. My virile hair does not grow "very slowly"; in fact, it sprouts up faster than the kids in that family your mother hasn't seen in five years. ("My, how little Jonny has grown! I just can't get over it! *pinch embarrassed sixteen-year-old's cheek*) When I looked in the mirror, my sideburns were of moderate length, but way too thick and positively rebarbative.

Being a resourceful fellow, I knew exactly what to do. Out of my shelf came an electric shaver. Out from the shaver popped the trimming attachment. And I set to work shaving off just enough hair to thin out my burns and polish my already dashing appearance. But alas! My hand is not so steady as I thought it was.

Ten minutes later, I stood in the mirror staring at my vanished glory. To repair the slip, I had been compelled to remove every last whisker from my jaws and cheeks.

Of course, it will grow back soon. But after a few days, I am finding that a smooth, clean image really suits me. In fact, I'm not sure why anyone would want those scruffy strips of bristle running down his face.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Unveiling FCN's Makeover

One of the benefits of hijacking a site is having access to all of that site's owners' information. For instance, I now know who F's secret crushes are, how many times C has gotten a speeding ticket, and why N won't tell anyone how he earned money last summer.

Another thing I learned is who they hired to redesign the website and how much they paid for the redesign. Unfortunately for FCN, the "designer" they hired actually used a standard template from Blogger, one FCN could have gotten for free.

Personally, I think the new design is heinous. But since that is what FCN decided to go for, who am I to stand in the way?

So, even though you've probably already noticed the new template gracing this site, without further ado, I would like to unveil:


The NEW Funny Class Notes!

No longer drab, boring, or un-cool, the new FCN is setting the trend for hip blog decor. No longer sporting last millenium's idea of web design, the new FCN is paving the road into the next year, the next decade, and the next century! (We would say the next millenium but that would seem too presumptive.)


Well, I hope all of you faithful few (and the faithless many) like this new design. For my own part, I might be prevailed on to give up this blog sooner than I planned, just so I don't have to look at it.

Oh, and FCN, don't you think that $57 would have been better spent bribing me to keep quiet about, you know, your secrets?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

This is the Hijacker Speaking

Dear Readers,
The purpose of this note is simply to alert you to the fact that yesterday's post was not an April Fool's joke. Perhaps it was foolish of me to launch my takeover on the first of April, but nevertheless I am now in control of FCN. While I have not completely removed the original members from this blog, they have been demoted from admins to mere authors.

Given the track record of this blog, I should have known that you would not believe yesterday's post. Unfortunately, it did not occur to me that since you do not know my identity, you would have no reason not to doubt my veracity. Allow me to assure you that I have, indeed, taken over FCN.

Please forgive me if the content over the next few days is more sporadic than what you are accustomed to; I am either less dedicated to FCN, busier, or maybe just lazier than the three friends who (used to) own this blog.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

FCN Hijacked by "Faithful" Reader

Los Angeles, CA - As the cyber world slept peacefully this morning, the popular humor blog Funny Class Notes was being hijacked. The crime ocurred at approximately 5:17am, although experts say it is impossible to know the exact time.

At first, FCN assumed their arch-rivals - err, friends - at RFCN had stolen their password, but after conducting several hours of interrogation comme Jack Bauer, they concluded that RFCN was not responsible for committing the crime of the century.

Confused, but determined to discover the perpetrator, FCN consulted Uncle Wally, who decided, through means too complicated for your correspondent to understand, that the primary suspect is none other than FCN's fifth reader.

"We are deeply hurt by this, presumed, betrayal from one of FCN's faithful few," F said. "We hope that our fifth reader, whomever he/she is, will repent quickly and restore the blog to its rightful owners."

Others among the FCN faithful few have decided to remove the fifth reader from their ranks and relegate him/her to what, they say, is his/her rightful place among the "faithless few."

Mommy G, however, encouraged FCN's readers not to be too hasty. "Let's not forget that Uncle Wally has identified the 5th reader only as the possible perpetrator. Remember readers, no one is guilty until proven guilty."

Nice alliteration, Mommy G.

Others already ranked among the faithless few include, but are not limited to, anyone who contributes to RFCN, anyone who reads RFCN, and anyone who criticizes FCN.

"On second thought, maybe they should be called the 'faithless many,'" N said in a last-minute phone interview.

C was unavailable for comment, but your correspondent received the following note from an undisclosed source:

"I am livid. When I find out who took over our site, I am going to pound them into the ground. I am going to play the piano when they're trying to sleep. I am going to make them watch reruns of Dancing With the Stars for 3 days straight!"

Anyone with information leading to the discovery and subsequent pwning of the guilty party is asked to email FCN at funnyclassnotes at gmail dot com.