Friday, June 01, 2007

100th Post!

So it occurred to me that this post would be my 100th, and I thought I should serve up something special to mark the centepostal moment.

And that's what I've been doing for the past week — all week — trying to come up with something to write that would be worthy of a hundredth post.

A whole week lost to cogitatin' and ruminatin', and what do I have to show for it? A whole lot of NOTHING. No fanfare, no pageantry, no hoo-ha, no hullaballoo, no pomp and circumstance. No ceremonial recitations, no commemorative poem inscribed in marble, no unveiling of statuary, no 21-gun salutes, no ritual sacrifices to the sun god Ra. I collapsed under the pressure of the moment (that's a small "m" moment, until further notice), and all you get are these lousy T-shirts.

(available in white and ash grey, all proceeds will go to the Phutatorius & Co. World Domination Fund, all rights reserved, all liabilities disclaimed)

Here's hoping Post 101 goes better. In the meantime, I'm going to undertake a searching review of the base-10 numbering system, once we take power. It's so arbitrary that we celebrate the 100th iteration of anything -- if we were on a base-12 or base-16, we'd be honoring the 144th or the 256th, and no one would be complaining. 100 is just an artifact of history. I think it's worth spending some time poring over the numbers and selecting a numbering system that balances the competing goals of (1) supplying a sufficient quantity of milestone parties to satisfy the drooling masses, and (2) keeping those of us who have to stage these celebrations from tearing our hair out.

Anyway, 100th post — yippee. Go buy yourself a frickin' T-shirt.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

How Could They?

Not Adriana! I find myself bereft and bereaved. Not only is this a tragic and unfair result, but I'll surely miss the Hispano-Jersey flounce-and-pout stylings of Celia Juarez, sister of Adobe Fortifications Foreman Edgardo Juarez, and inspired real-time interpreter of Miss Drea de Matteo's lines during this period of illness.

Celia, I can't see you as any other character. It is therefore with a certain bittersweet sentiment that I dismiss you today. Go then, Celia — vamoose, as they say in your country — get thee hence to some other, more rewarding existence. Your stage talents are wasted on entertaining the pale, unshaven, pock-marked likes of me. Maybe we'll meet again, someday after the Ascendancy.

Honestly, it hasn't even been two weeks, and I'm dying here. I don't know how Howard Hughes did it.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


I've got them, too. SON OF A BITCH. We'll be rescheduling the hard-sell to the Yali tribesmen. Everything pushed back three weeks. 'Saright — I'll just hole up and watch some video. PePe just gave me the first 5.5 seasons of The Sopranos on DVD — pirated through a cousin of his in Lima. He didn't have to pay them a cent.

Problem is they're dubbed over in Spanish by a handful of this cousin's scofflaw friends. They sound stoned out of their minds and are giggling half the time. They do the men's voices all buffoonish and the girls' in falsettos. It's hard to listen to, and I don't understand what they're saying, anyway. So I've hired away some of the English speakers on the crew to come over and retranslate the dubbed Spanish back into English, in real time. It's not ideal, but it's television. I've got a couple of the domestics doing the women's roles: some of them are pretty talented.

Frickin' 'pox. I can't stand it. Whatever. I'm clocking out. This laptop's got my legs itching again.

Monday, May 07, 2007


Sea Monkey Brother Jarvis has the chickenpox! What a stunning reversal for the Terrarium Terror. No sooner is he given a name than he's covered in a raft of unsightly blotches. What is it with my peeps getting sick like this?

Ho there, Phutatorius! you say. Why all this consultation with doctors? Don't you know chickenpox when you see it?

Well, I do. At least I think I would, but on a dude with such a small amount of surface area, you're talking about only 10-15 button-sized marks, from head to toe. So for all I know it could have been a breakout of acne.

Anyway, all we can do right now is keep The Boy comfortable until the virus clears. I got a good-sized tub of Noxzema, scooped a big wad of it out, and set it down half-full for him to sit in. He spends most of the day up to his neck in moisturizer, and he seems content (or at least the glass is muffling his complaints).

The real bitch of it is I wanted to take his picture for The Yali Presentation. He is, after all, the much-discussed Little Man from their Prophecy. But I want to put my best foot forward here, and I'd rather that he didn't look all unkempt and diseased.

I guess there's always PhotoShop.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Morning After

Well, the late morning, anyway . . .

If you hadn't gathered as much from my last post, it turns out I was really lit up last night. In fact, things got so bad that at one point I was out on a corner of the Patio, mashing pretty hard with a chick that I thought was the spitting image of Flora Pachado (the Most Beautiful Girl I've Ever Seen in Peru, if you remember).

Now I'm told that the Object of Last Night's Misdirected Lust ("OLNML") was in fact a giant stuffed panda that we had raffled off to the kids earlier in the day. The girl who had won it had (thankfully) gone home to bed with her grandmother, but her parents were still at the party and were planning to take it home later that night.

PePe's got a bottle of Woolite and is cleaning the OLNML off right now — this wouldn't be that big a project, but apparently I had a mouthful of Oreos when I moved in for the kill. I'm all for just getting little Juanita a new panda bear, but PePe thinks this one is still salvageable.

I've written up a blog post on this because I think there's some wisdom in this story, and I want to draw it out for you. So here goes: if I were some lesser form of being — say, a politician — I'd be trying to cover up this Incident. But as you all should know so well by now, Brothers and Sisters, life is all about having Incidents — and the number and nature of my Incidents are what make my life in particular so rich. Persons (note that I didn't write "men," Sisters) who are truly Great don't need to cover up their foibles, their indiscretions. They lay their lives open for the world to see, because they know that when all the assets and liabilities are tabled and calculated out, they're still Great.

So I got to third base last night with Somebody Else's Stuffed Panda. What of it? Some years down the road we'll not only be laughing about this: I'll have commissioned some world-renowned artist to recreate the scene in oils for the Capitol Rotunda. Count on it, People.

¡Cinco de MAyo!

Oh oh oh ohhh ohoh ho ho am I hamered. Fuapachewita, Bros and Sissses! That's Spanish, you know —, specail Phutatorius diale3ct for ";celebrate goood times cm'on!""

So I gave the bulding crerws the day off for Cinco de Mayo. Not sure what that's all about, but I've been to enough Mexican restraunts to be aware of the holiday and when its celebrated. Chalk me up as a BIG fan of holidays that have their dates built into their names. When I get my crap in order and overhaul the calendr, we're going to chuck Easter and Thangksiving and Election Day too: all that shit in favor of moreeasily scheduled festival days. You have to have to figure that there was a month/day when Christ came back from the dead, when the pilgrims sat down with the INdians for dinner. Somebody just needs to roll up their sleeves and DO THE FRICKIN' RESERCH. Once we have precise calendar dates, we can settle these wandering hollidays onceandforall. If the Detroit Lions and Macy's don't like it, bring on BLOOMINGDALE'S AND THE B ROWNS. ¿How you likeme now, bitches? Worrrrrrd up.

Anyway, any excuse to trhow a party, right? Awwwwwright. I told the crews to bring over their families. Stocked up on José Cuervo, broke out the quesdillo maker, even brought a projection screen out on the patio to show last week's Sabado Gigante off the TiVO. I know, I know, you here all this talk about "assimilation," but sometimes it's not the worsdt thing in the world to give people a taste of home. Ya know? For the muchachos I picked up a couple piñatas at a party warehous: one shaped like a donkeyyy and the other some dude in a suit — the tag on it said "Tom Tancredo." Never heard of the guy, but he sure fires up a crowd full of MeXcans a party. Even the adults were lining up to take a swing at him.

We had ourselves one raucous little fiesta, let me tell you. I always say you know a good party when the cops arrive, and you know a better party when they stick around, get jacked up on margritas and dry-hump the topiary nudes. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeha!

Now I don't go looking to pooop on a partay, but here are two bummer: (1) I didn't make much progress on the Yali presentation today — or yesterday or the day befor thaat; and (2) Sea--Monkey Jarvis was under the wether and notable to join us for the party. Not sure what's ailing Lil' Bro, but I've got calls in to a doctor and a vetenarian. Should know something by tomorrow.

BedTime now for El Jefe. All that sangria's taking it's toll==

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

PePe's Back

I'm writing from a Motel 6 (Official Hotel Chain of the Ascendancy, mind you) in Atlanta. Had to drive down here to pick up PePe, who was released yesterday from the Centers for Disease Control. Well, I didn't have to drive: we could have flown him up to New England, but flying's been a bitch for Phutatorius & Co. lately (see "Stupid &#$@* No-Fly List!," Dec. 2, 2005). And I wanted to show my Piper some love: he did, after all, have to spend forty days getting pin-stuck by government nurses under fluorescent lamps.

PePe doesn't seem much the worse off for the experience. His illness left some pock marks on his face, but I've told him — half-kidding, of course — that we'll just ask the sculptors to chisel some updates into the busts and statues I've commissioned for the world's major cities.

PePe tells me he thinks his diplomatic foray into Yali territory went pretty well. There's a bit of a divide among the tribal elders re how I fit into their Prophecy. I'm putting together a presentation that I think will make an authoritative case; PePe says the elders have a retreat planned for mid-May, and I hope to have my pitch together by them. The problem is I'm accustomed to working in PowerPoint, and it's not clear to me they'll have teleconferencing at this retreat. I mean, if you already live in the wilderness as part of a hunter-gatherer society, where do you go when you want to "get away from distractions?" Seems to me you could go either way: to a prime hotel in The Big City, or to an Even More Remote Location that doesn't even have electricity, much less the sort of communications infrastructure that would enable me to run slides from one hundred and forty time zones away.

Logistics aside, though, the point is that the Yali are willing to listen. If I can get them to buy in, that's one society I can dominate without even striking a blow. And who knows? Maybe they can fight.

As for PePe, he used up all his sick time + ten personal days while he was in quarantine. I could make allowances for him, but what kind of message would that send to the rest of The Staff? If he can show me he was working during some of this down time, I'll set it off against his out-of-office totals. Absent that, my dedicated and diligent Piper will just have to settle for winning April's "Employee of the Month" award — and the much-coveted $50 gift certificate to Chili's that comes with it.

Here's to you, PePe: Piper, Sidekick, Emissary, Trouper. Let's get you back home.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Naming Contest Winner

I know, I know, people: I've let this go on too long. It's been over two months since I announced two finalists in the Contest To Name My Sea Monkey Brother (see "Contest Finalists 'Named'," Feb. 22, 2007).

Announcing a winner is long overdue, then — both for the contestants and for my Sea Monkey Brother, who I'm sure would welcome a bit of closure on the Nomenclature Front.

At this point I'd like to ask that all of you hold your reactions until the end of the post here. I anticipate just a smidgen of outrage here, and I want the opportunity to explain the situation before the hate mail rolls in.

All right, then. Here's goes.

The winner is . . . ME!!!

I've named my brother myself. It happened a couple of days ago, and quite by accident. I walked by his tank, stopped, took a long look at him, and the name came to me: JARVIS. He just looks like a Jarvis. There's no way around it. He's Jarvis. I looked my brother in the eye on Tuesday, called him Jarvis, and now I can't look at him and see anyone else but Jarvis. It's almost like I had some kind of divine visitation on this score.

Over the past 48 hours I've fought a little bit of a battle with myself on this. I did pledge, after all, to award naming rights to the best contest entry. At the same time, however, in light of this sudden, crystal-clear revelation (which I think could well qualify as an upper-case-M Moment for me, by the way) it would be a crime to call my Sea Monkey Brother anything but Jarvis (or an affectionate nickname to be determined at a later date). So Jarvis it is.

Plus I've been thinking: I never did say I couldn't enter the contest on equal terms with the rest of you. And for that matter, I didn't close off the pipeline of entries when I named my two finalists back in February. On the contrary, I affirmatively solicited more entries. There's no reason why I couldn't submit my idea. And so I did. And I win.

I'm thinking I'll take myself out for a steak dinner.

Consolation prizes are due, of course, to those Fabulous February Finalists, Magdalena in Mauritius and Chumsley in Oxford. To Maggie I intend to forward a digital copy of the bootleg video I made of a performance of The King & I on Broadway. This was a show from the 1996 revival, with Lou Diamond Phillips playing the King. Great stuff: I had terrific orchestra seats and caught all of the first and most of the second act before they confiscated my Camcorder. To Chumsley, a round trip ticket from Oxford to Limerick, redeemable any weekday between May and October.

Content-appropriate prizes, I should think.

All right, then. If any of you still think I've double-crossed you, have at me. I can take it.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Announcing The Loot-the-Church All-Stars Summer European Tour Dates!

As I think I've mentioned in at least one other post (see "Ketchup (get it?)," Oct. 12, 2006), I've been in talks to take my highly successful "Loot the Church"™ fundraiser/interactive history lesson on tour.

Turns out the USA dates aren't going to work out. About half of them were set up at Episcopalian churches. We were negotiating the appearances in bulk at the diocese level (you can't get anything done going church-to-church), and when some of these congregations found out what was brewing, they got all huffy, broke off the national church and realigned themselves with more traditional Anglican churches in Uganda and Nigeria.

(You know, because no one's ever looted a church in Uganda or Nigeria. Right.)

Anyway, because of Episco-Schism-Gate we lost opportunities in three big revenue sweet spots: northern Virginia; eastern Pennsylvania; and Charlotte, North Carolina. After that a couple of investors pulled their money, and the whole US plan fell through.

But I don't dwell on bad news. I just poison the messengers and move on to the good news (kidding! I'm kidding, Mr. DHL Man! Have a tartlet. They're homemade.). The good news is this: we're on for the Euro tour this summer with Cirque du Soleil! The dates are set in stone, I'm told, and here they are:

June 16-18: Copenhagen
June 21-23: Helsinki
June 27-29: Riga
July 1-12: St. Petersburg
July 13-20: Moscow
July 24-26: Tbilisi
July 28-30: Kiev
August 3-7: Prague
August 11-13: Budapest
August 16-18: Dubrovnik
August 22-24: Thessaloniki
August 26-30: Athens

I don't know all the particulars as to the churches involved, but I hear there are some pretty terrific cathedrals in play in this part of the world, complete with reliquaries and crypts and everything. And the plan is to mix in a couple of monasteries, too.

I know some of you were hoping we could get something done with the Vatican, but it's not so easy to steal a minute to talk to this new Pope. Add to this that he's not the type to delegate the authority to bind the Church in contracts, and you end up having to stand in line along with all the other suitors, petitioners, contractors, and process servers. You thought it was a bitch to get to the Sistine Chapel: it could be another eight months before we get our audience with Papa Benedict. (You hope Peter manages the bureaucracy a little better at the Pearly Gates . . .)

I'll be announcing the All-Stars lineup — a veritable who's who of friends and relations of Phutatorius's friends and relations! — in a couple days. If I served up all the juicy bits at once, you wouldn't have to come back here for more, would you?

Monday, April 02, 2007

April Fools, Mother F**ka!

Well, la-di-da, Brothers and Sisters. I pick up this morning's Boston Herald, and what do I see?

Seems as though my caseworker at the Department of Labor, Francis X. Gilbert — a/k/a "Mr. Integrity" — got busted yesterday for possession with intent to distribute. A bag of H and a monogrammed syringe — nice touch, guy — surfaced in his cubicle at the DOL offices, after an anonymous caller tipped off building security about a "party pack" in Gilbert's desk drawer.

As they were hauling him away in cuffs, Gilbert apparently declared that the evidence was planted, and he'll be vindicated in a court of law. "I've been framed!" Gilbert insisted on his perp walk. "And I have a pretty good idea who did it." Right, dude. Whatever. Blame everybody but The Monkey. Life's a bitch, innit?

And I suppose the six marijuana plants that police found in earthenware pots on your enclosed back patio — those were, uh, planted, too? Heh heh.

Open letter from Phutatorius, World Leader Ascendant, to F.X. Gilbert: kiss my lily-white butt, G-man! No one's buying your Joe Friday, Elliot (sp.?) Ness schtick anymore, are they? Turns out you're not just a user, you're a trafficker. Ouch. You're out jacked up on horse in your off-hours, peddling gateway drugs to God-knows-whose teenage kids, and here all I was doing was helping to instill some discipline into some poor Mexican families with dreams.

Joke's on you, pig. And to think just three days ago you turned up your nose at the Cabinet-level Minister of Labor Conditions gig I was offering. Hell of a negotiator you are.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Re: Your Policy Questions

All right, all right, ALL RIGHT, people. All is forgiven, and you can stop sending me the gift baskets. I'm up to my neck in chocolate-covered pretzels and shrink-wrapped peppercorn salamis. I normally wouldn't complain, but I've been overindulging these last couple days, and now I'm hurting. If you're going to send anything, dial up this red-headed Betty and send me some TUMs. In the meantime, I'll shift some of the overflow to the workers, see if I can't buy myself a few "Excellents" on the surveys they're completing for the feds..

Some of you have asked what I intend to do once I've seized Absolute Power over the Geopoliticus. "What will you change, Phutatorius? How will you make life better for us?"

These are fair questions — complicated questions, and I'm not sure it makes a great deal of sense to try to answer them now. I understand that some of you are cautious types, and you don't want to put your eggs in a basket if you don't know what lies in the bottom of it. I also appreciate that you've been watching all these early Presidential debates (at least those of you in the States, anyway); all these candidates are getting hot and bothered about how they're going to fix the health care industry and save endangered whales and protect the American flag from forest fires. I get that a lot of you have come of age under democratic regimes, and you've been lulled into thinking you're entitled to ask these questions of your Would-Be Leaders. And maybe you do have that right (to be honest, I haven't decided that question just yet), but please understand, Brothers and Sisters:

I don't think these questions are very fair to me right now. I have so much going on, so much to do. An Ascendancy is an Ascendancy; I'll give thought to how I'll use my mandate once I have it.

Now I hate to resort to clichés, Brothers and Sisters, but I really do need to take this one step at a time, and I will cross the Bridge of Setting and Implementing Policy when — and only when — I get to it.

When you're playing a high-stakes game like I am, you just can't afford to get too far ahead of yourself.

So I apologize for leaving you in suspense, and I beseech you all to show some patience with me on this point. It's not that I'm trying to be secretive. It's just that I've got a bit of a one-track mind right now. My preoccupation at this moment is to get the Power. Once I've done that, I'll take a three-week vacation, sit on a beach somewhere, and sort through how I intend to use It.

Good enough?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Loose Lips . . .

. . . I won't finish the sentence, people, because you all know what loose lips do. They suck. They suck just like the person who read my last post and went out and started blabbing all about it up and down the landscape, so that now I've got the federal government up here running an investigation into my labor practices.

These DOL people . . . arrgh! Give them a reason to get all up in your bidness, and they never let up. Sniffing around The Compound with their clipboards and Geiger counters, handing out self-help/report abuse pamphlets to all and sundry, hassling my guard dogs. It's just unbearable.

The simple fact is, Diego and Felix tried to rip me off, and in exchange they got to spend a nice couple of weeks kicked back on a couple of pristine almost-new Army issue cots, with three squares and forty-nine channels of cable television wired directly into their cells. So they couldn't come and go as they pleased. Whoop-dee-doo. Based on the on-demand charges I'm seeing on my cable bill, these hombres weren't exactly lacking for entertainment. Plus I bet if you went to these two guys' apartments, you'd find beds there that aren't as luxurious as the cots, and fewer channels on the TV set. How can it be an illegal labor practice to lock a worker into a room that, by every measurable standard, is nicer than his own house? Not to pile on, or to be snarky, but I'd wager dollars to doughnuts that the living conditions in my Detention Facility rate at least two stars higher than any veterans' hospital in the Lower 48 (I won't speak for Hawai'i: I hear it's lovely there). Get your own house in order first, U.S. Government.

It's just so frickin' absurd. And now I'm either going to have to bribe these inspectors or swallow a citation and consent decree — not a desirable result either way. All this because some Brother or Sister can't read my confidential communications and keep His or Her mouth shut about them.

A blogger's relationship with his readers, like all relationships, is built on trust. Someone's gone and wrecked that trust, and now I'm in a snit. And I won't come out of it unless some critical mass of my Loyal Readership sends me chocolate and Hickory Farms gift boxes in the mail (links provided). And at least one of those three-way cheese/butter/caramel popcorn tins you get at Christmas. In the meantime, consider this blog's Candor Level dialed down to Need To Know Only.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Construction Update

As I'm still recovering from the surgery and can't do air travel for another month or two — I've been spending most of my time hanging out in the Compound. The weather is ugly up here, and promises to remain so at least through March, so I don't have much occasion for or interest in stepping out (especially now that I'm trying to ramp down my friendship with Aldo: I can't even go to the grocery store without him cropping up). I'm becoming a bit of a homebody lately, and I figure it's high time I treated my readers to an update on the construction effort.

Work continues through the winter. These Mexican laborers moan and groan now and then about the cold weather. I throw them a bone now and then, offer them extended coffee breaks with hot apple cider and flautas. The little things mean a lot to these folks, and if the occasional refreshment will keep them from unionizing on me, it's money well-spent.

Six of the forty-one buildings on the site plan are "substantially complete," per the contract language. That may seem like minimal progress, but at least half of the planned structures are cabins, sheds, outposts — small-time buildings on the periphery of the estate, and they're slated to be the last bits built.

The Big Six currently in progress — (1) the Residence, (2) the Garage, (3) the Rec Center, (4) the Armory, (5) the Café, and (6) the Detention Facility — are really taking shape. We fast-tracked the Rec Center, since I've been stuck around the house. The home theater system is wired and fully-loaded, hot rocks are fired up in the steam room, and I've played a few hard-fought games of ping pong in the billiard room (the ping pong is just temporary: we're still waiting for the snooker table to be delivered).

The café kitchen is fully equipped — restaurant-quality, top-of-the-line appliances. I have an RFP out for restaurant services. Posted the ad in Vermont Restaurateurs Weekly. Six vendors come in next week with tasting menus, and I can't frickin' wait. No more frozen pizza turnovers for Phutatorius. Henceforward, it'll be fresh pizza turnovers.

The tunnel complex interconnecting the principal buildings is coming together, too. We had a cave-in just outside the Armory, but no one was seriously injured. I flew in a friend of mine with an MD to treat the half-dozen casualties (if you can even call them that). He set a few bones, rigged up some slings and splints, divvied up a six-pack of Bactine bottles and sent the workers home to recuperate. I've offered them double pay for the lost hours, and they've signed releases of liability and promised not to go tattling to OSHA. Not bad compensation, and when word got out about the deal a couple of the ne'er-do-wells on the work crew staged a few accidents of their own. They're now in the Detention Facility. Two weeks for each of them, sentence suspended until we finally got light and heat in the cells two days ago. (I didn't want to violate any of the Geneva Conventions.)

Everything seems to be on schedule, and I don't anticipate any serious cost overruns. For materials you always have to pay through the nose, but I'm starting to know people who know people around here. A lot of times they'll cut me a break on pricing, on account of how I'm a World-Renowned Internet Personality. Now and again I'll get frustrated with the pace of things, but all in all, a nice little Compound is taking shape up here.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New MySpace Page!

So I've been reading all over tarnation about how anyone who's anyone has a "MySpace page." For a while, I personally didn't see what all the hoo-hah was about, but if I had to list my Top 50 Character Traits, an open mind would be #15. I'm a Man Of the People, By the People, For the People. And if the People dig this MySpace site, who am I to gainsay them?

Without further ado, then, I proudly announce the opening of my spanking-new MySpace page. And I have to say, this website is a pretty terrific networking resource. I've already made inquiries with at least one other subscriber about signing a House Band of My Imperial Ascendancy. This was a big-ticket act, and no sooner had I written them than I had a notice promptly returned announcing that I've become one of their "friends." No answer yet on the House Band gig, but I understand people have calendars and commitments to consult before they drop everything and hitch their tour bus to my rising star.

But at worst, by simply introducing myself I've become close friends with a troupe of seasoned indie rockers. Not a bad payoff for ten minutes' work. Clearly there's something to this MySpace business. All you need is a computer and Internet port, and pow! — you're instantly hobnobbing with political and cultural elites. And for that matter, it seems I'm already absorbing some of the clout and cachet from my rocker buddies: hardly a day passes without some winsome, usually nude twenty-year-old girl leaving me a "message," asking me to "be her friend." That's right, Brothers and Sisters, your Internet Personality has become a bit of a hot property since his MySpace page went up.

In fact, the way things are going, I figure I won't have to hang out with Aldo Nova much anymore, which is a relief. Don't get me wrong — I normally despise social climbers — but Aldo's cool has been slipping for some time. He won't stop talking about his Juvenile Gout Foundation work (see "I Found Myself Going Once . . . Going Twice . . . and SOLD!", Phutatorius, Dec. 2, 2005). He's become a real sanctimonious bore, and because of it there isn't a hot club in Montpelier or even Burlington anymore that hasn't blacklisted him. I have to take the guy to Hardee's now, and he never has any cash on him to pick up the tab. Bees and Esses, the Aldo Nova train is at the end of the line: it was high time for me to take my aspirations elsewhere.

And of course the organizing possibilities a site like this offers are significant. I figure all I need to do is drop a note to Puff Diddy and I could well have half of Harlem enlisted and mobilized Downtown in support of The Ascendancy. Shoot! Thanks to my deffest homey P. Daddy, I could have full battalions storming Wall Street by Whitsuntide.

It may still be the dead of winter up here in Vermont, but things are looking up in Phutsietown, people. Come check out the site. You'll want to "befriend" me early, if you want the plum cabinet appointments and proconsulships.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Contest Finalists "Named"

I've got two finalists in the naming contest. Finding both entries equally brilliant, but in fundamentally different ways, I'm confronted with a difficult apple and orange problem. So at the moment I don't yet favor one over the other. Unless and until I have a breakthrough here — and I won't rule it out — I consider the following entries to be the front-runners:

The first comes from Chumsley in Oxford, a bit of an aesthete, I gather, who framed his entry as a limerick:

A fellow we like to call Linus,
lived for years in his big brother's sinus.
But when he got gangrene,
Bro did not seem so keen:
"When he's out, let no doc recombine us."

I love the poem, but I'm not sure whether the name sticks, outside the context of the limerick. Big points, though, for Chumsley.

Another writer, Magdalena in Mauritius, proposes that I name the Little Fellow "Yul," after Yul Brynner, who of course played the celebrated role of King Mongkut in The King and I. "That commemorates the whole Siamese twin thing," Magdalena writes, "and at the same time it takes note of the fact that he was born during the Christmas season." One thing to keep clear, people: my brother was born — that is, delivered of his mother — right alongside me in September 1973. He was extracted on December 26 of last year. I just want us all to keep our terms clear. Otherwise I'm kind of digging the Yul/Yule pun. Maggie, you're my other finalist.

Now you know what you're up against, people. Hop to!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Aetna Sucks

Ugh. My Piper's in some kind of Customs quarantine, where he'll sit and rot for the next forty days (did you know, by the way, that the word "quarantine" comes from the Latin for "forty?"). They took him off the plane at LAX, claiming he had some kind of infectious tropical disease.

I had thought, at first, that the feds were just hassling us again (see "Stupid &#$@* No-Fly List", Dec. 2, 2005). But PePe called me from a pay phone — it's like an old dormitory, where they've placed him, with a community coin-op telephone in the hallway — and said he really does have typhoid fever. He says everyone in the facility is friendly. The food is good, they show second-run movies in the auditorium, and the medical care is more than adequate. Not a bit like Guantanamo, which is a relief.

Here's the thing, though: sitting in quarantine with typhoid fever really sucks, and this was an avoidable event. Phutatorius & Co. has contracted with Aetna to provide health care benefits to the staff, and you would think — a stitch in time being worth a pound of cure, as they say — that the coverage would extend to immunizations. But when PePe went down to the travel clinic before the trip to Papua New Guinea, they told him Aetna doesn't pay for the shots.

(You know what I think it is? They're cheap bastards, for sure. They're an insurance company. But it's more than that: they're based in like Texas or Oklahoma or something, and they just don't want anybody to leave the country. You know, because there's nothing worthwhile that's not in the U.S. of A. That's Aetna for you.)

So PePe had to go into the middle of the diseased South Pacific wilderness without any vaccines. Not on vacation, not for his own pleasure or broadening of experience: it was a trip for work. An assignment: he had no choice. And wouldn't you know it? Bam! Typhoid. Flared up on the plane. Something ugly, too, as I hear from Dead Eye, who rode home next to him. She was scared to death, scrubbing herself with Purell the whole time. Flayed off half her skin with that stuff.

Now there would be some justice here, if Aetna then had to pay for all the expensive treatments you need to get rid of frickin' typhoid. It might be worth PePe getting typhoid, to make the point to these jerks that they should it's better for everyone if they pay for prevention, rather than cure. But nooooooo. This one's on the federal government, because he's in quarantine.

And Aetna skates. The pricks.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Wait. Wait a Minute . . .

I just had a Moment.

Do you suppose . . .

that the dearly- and overexposedly-departed Anna Nicole Smith (November 28, 1967 - February 8, 2007) might be the Platinum-Haired Goddess from the Yali Prophecy?

And do you suppose some cosmic ordering principle had an agency in the otherwise unexplained circumstance of Ms. Smith's death?

And do you suppose Ms. Smith's death accomplished the "Platinum-Haired Goddess . . . leav[ing] the Earth" precondition for the ascendancy of the Chosen Big Man?

Now before you all start writing me, wet handkerchiefs in hand, to complain that I'm exploiting the passing of an American icon, or that I'm some kind of ghoulish opportunist, let me make clear that I haven't gone around systematically gunning down good-looking blondes in the hope of moving this Prophecy along. Nor have I applied a more literal reading to the Yali chieftain's pronouncement and launched a Supermodels in Space program (not that certain strict constructionist-types in my inner circle haven't advised it). Not my thing, Brothers and Sisters: to be sure, keeping an abundance of buxom blondies alive and on the planet is a big plank in my Geomanagement platform.

But I'd be a damned fool — wouldn't I? — if I didn't take note of the Prophecy when the departure of an obvious candidate for Platinum-Haired Goddess lands in my lap.

Look — draw your own conclusions, people. But I'll be looking into this. Closely.

Betty! See what you can pull together on Anna Nicole Smith.

(Betty's the new Research Specialist.)

I want her Wikipedia entry, printed out. I want biostatistics, accounts from her childhood. Travel logs and itineraries: especially any trips to Oceania. If she had a divine revelation, I want to know about it. I want to know the trade name and chemical composition of every drug she ever took: did she ever do peyote? And photos — for God's sake, get me photos. I'll want to look these over closely: she may have some kind of a birthmark somewhere that sets her off as a Figure of Cosmic Importance.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I Am Getting Soooooo Tired . . .

of this Anna Nicole Smith thing. I mean, my Gawd. You can't turn on the television without seeing once-serious news commentators going on — as if they're still serious people on a serious subject — about Anna Nicole Smith.

This is the problem of being stuck at home recuperating from illness. Yeah, sure — you might get 500 channels on The Dish, but then some nonevent of a news story happens, and every single stinking one of them abandons its regular programming to cover the nonevent.

So some bleach-blonde beauty queen dies before her time. Whoop-de-doo. It's not like there's some great cosmic consequence to it, right?

Monday, February 05, 2007

My Call, Ma

Add my mother to the list of complainers. She just wrote me on the Blackberry (man that thing's addictive!), asking to have "a word." Turns out she's miffed about the Naming Contest. Says she's the little Sea Monkey's mother, and it's her prerogative to pick a name for him.

Now the way I see it, a mother acquires naming rights over a child in one of two ways: (1) she carries the child around inside her for nine months, which I hear is uncomfortable, and (2) at a certain point the kid comes out of her, which I hear hurts like hell.

All that's well and good, but this is a special case. By either measure, I have a greater entitlement, viz.:

(1) Ma might have carried my brother around for nine months, but I bore the load for thirty-three years. Shoot — even when the little guy was inside her, he was also inside me. So there was never even a moment when Ma had exclusive sovereignty over my brother.

(2) When my mother went into labor with her twin sons, it was the bigger one — me — who brought the pain. Remember, now: my brother was lodged in my head. So as much as it probably sucked to give birth to me (I was a big 'un, weighing it at 8 lbs., 15 oz.), Ma did not suffer any additional pain on the margin in delivering her second son. We both came out at once. And she got all this done overnight. Whereas the pain I felt over Christmas went on for days. I don't know how it compares to labor — and I won't dare to speculate, Sisters — but the headaches I had sure lasted longer, and I'm looking at four months' rehabbing from the surgery. In short, I believe I can confidently say that I went through more hell getting Lil' Bro extracted from my sinus than Ma did delivering him so many years ago.

I'm naming this kid, Ma, and that's that. Don't try writing me again on this — I've reconfigured my spam filter to bounce any further messages on this subject.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Naming Contest!

I've got all this downtime — I need to amuse myself. How about a naming contest? I realize I've been calling my brother "The Little Guy." That can't stick, and I'm hurting for ideas. Any help out there, Bros and Sisses?

Tell you what: y'all can write me with proposals. I'll pick the best one, and the winner gets a TBD prize. Only one name per person. By name I mean set of names — first and middle. So an entry of "Thomas Alva" counts as one name. An entry that says, "how about Thomas? or Alva?" gets disqualified.

That settles it. No deadline for entries. I'll know The Name when I see it.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Diplomatic Mission

Well, it took a fair amount of elbow-throwing and threats, but my travel agent managed to put together a short-notice itinerary from Boston Logan to Papua New Guinea. It's amazing what those bums at American Express Travel can do when you hold their feet to the fire a little. They've even arranged for an English-speaking escort to conduct my emissary, PePe, to his destination among the Yali.

What — you thought I would be going? In my condition?

We discussed the matter around the Compound and concluded that although it would certainly be best for me to appear among the Yali in person (as, after all, I am the Big Man Who Carried Etc. &c.) but my doctors communicated to me some concern about how my sinuses would handle the pressure of ascent and descent on those plane flights (not to mention the jungle humidity over there — an infection waiting to happen). I don't know if any of you have traveled to the Far East, but — let me tell you — the airline pilots over there aren't particularly attuned to Western sensibilities about airplane landings. They pretty much drop the nose and go into a full dive. I've told Gloria more than once: if you're going to send one of your jets to fetch me, make sure the pilot isn't a goddamned kamikaze. But she never listens.

It was also mentioned — by an unnamed staff member I will hold in disfavor for at least the next couple of days — that I might not be the best candidate to make initial diplomatic overtures. This after I suggested that we propose certain modifications to the Yali Prophecy, to wit: that the words "his personal guard" be stricken from the oracular text, and that the words "Rock 'n' Roll" be inserted between "Wisdom" and "Harmony." These seem to be reasonable requests, as I'd like to preserve maximum flexibility in appointing and dismissing security personnel (and I'd like them to have firearms training, and not just a facility with boomerangs or whatever these Yalis have in their limited arsenals), and one big reason I'm taking on this burden is that I'm really frustrated with the state of popular music these days. The Certain Staff Member remarked that redlining the Yali's sacred prophecy would be insensitive, and proposing it would surely get the conversations off on the wrong foot. Certain Other Staff Members agreed (the way they all fall in line with one another, I swear they're all sleeping together), to which I say,


It's generally the case that a head of state doesn't carry the bulk of the diplomatic load. So there's no reason for affairs to be managed differently in my case. Upon consultation, it was resolved that PePe would embark on this journey to establish diplomatic ties — and if possible, a formal alliance and pledge of mutual cooperation — with the Yali. I've recorded a greeting on a DVD, for PePe to play on his laptop when he meets with the tribal elders. So I will have a presence at the meeting, even though my brain trust apparently doesn't trust me to address these people in real time.

This being a journey of some historical significance, I assigned one of the Stenos (Dead Eye) to travel with PePe and record the proceedings as best she can. I understand that she'll be traveling in rough country, largely unsupported and without any of her fellows to relieve her. So I don't expect a 24-7 rendering: she's just required to jot down the good stuff.

In the meantime, I'm short-staffed at home, and my contracts with the other two limit their shift length to eight hours daily. So with only sixteen hours of coverage, I've resolved not to speak for eight hours each day. So long as I remember when I'm flying sans-Steno, that shouldn't be so hard to do. I've been sleeping ten hours a day anyway. It's just a question of coordinating the naps.

I must say I remain a bit nonplussed about this Platinum-Haired Goddess, whose shuffling-off from somewhere seems to be a precondition for my Ascendancy. My best guess is that the Goddess is Hillary Clinton, and that the Prophecy requires me to wait until the end of her Presidency to make my move. That's a gagger on so many levels. But I just can't think of many other blondes I'm in competition with right now.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I Love a Good Prophecy

A guy with aspirations like mine loves good pub. I like to think I have a nose for a good story, and a knack for self-promotion. But I certainly can't take credit for the developments of last night. Sometimes the Good Stuff just falls in your lap.

As any of you read the papers knows, the story of The Twin in My Head broke in the large media outlets three days ago. I've been on the phone much of the past couple days giving follow-up interviews, licensing photographs of Little Bro to the Associated Press and Reuters. If I didn't own the news cycle, I had a pretty strong market share in it. There's an Apple Dashboard widget that plots, on a map of the world, where the hot news stories are, and when I consulted it yesterday, there was a big fat red dot over this part of Northern Vermont. I don't see anyone else in this sleepy burg generating any news. So it's gotta be me.

Anyway, it turns out that news of my brother's extraction made its way into a deep, secluded corner of Papua New Guinea. Not sure how, as I can't imagine they have broadband or even dial-up Internet in these remote Oceanian jungles, but a Yali chieftain got wind of my story, and he walked a brisk sixty miles overnight to the nearest telephone exchange, found himself an English-speaking interpreter, and dialed me up. I took the call at around 8 p.m. EST. The chieftain endured all this hardship because he wanted to recount to me a generations-old Yali prophecy. It's a cornerstone of tribal lore, apparently, this prophecy, which was uttered from the dying lips of the Yali tribe's greatest warrior king (I forget his name; it sounded something like "Samsonite," which I know isn't right) and passed down over twenty-one generations to my phone correspondent. The prophecy goes as follows:

One day all the world's forces will converge and concentrate in a single man, the Chosen King — Samsonite renewed. You will know him as The Big Man Who Carried the Little Man in His Nose, and he will be revealed to you in that fashion. The Little Man will be separated from the Big Man, and into the vacant space the Big Man will inhale and absorb great leadership attributes. The Platinum-Haired Goddess will recognize him and leave the Earth, out of deference to him, and the Earth will be his to hold and manage. The Yali will be the Big Man's protectors, his personal guard, and under his tutelage and government the Earth shall enter an Age of Abundance, Wisdom, and Harmony.

The prophecy goes on — which was brutal, because this guy called collect, and the charges from Papua New Guinea aren't negligible — but that's the gist of it. In short, this Yali chieftain's pretty convinced I'm the Chosen Big Man, which works for me, because that's what I'm thinking, too. And now I have the benefit of an age-old prophecy to support my case. The guy's talking about forming an army to support me. I told him to hold off for a bit, while I think how I might best use the talents of him and his band.

(I say "band" because this fellow doesn't have authority over the entire Yali ethnic group — just a subset of the tribe. I believe anthropologists use the word "band" to describe the suborganizations of "tribes." This is confusing, I know because when we hear "band," we think, "oh — Phutatorius plans to hire a house band. Brilliant!" But this is something different, Brothers and Sisters. This is an opening for a possible power play in Papua New Guinea. And anyone who has played Risk knows that New Guinea is one of the four component territories of the Australian continent — the easiest of continents to hold, once you take it over. So wahoo (as they say!).)

You've got to love a good prophecy. Now I wonder who the Platinum-Haired Goddess is . . .

Friday, January 12, 2007


I'm back at the Old Homestead now. Wish I could say a lot of construction progress was made in my absence, but alas! Very little in the way of noticeable improvements. I've been told that there was a plumbing overhaul — copper pipes now instead of lead (lead?!? were we really drinking our water from lead pipes all this time?) — internal support structures were steel-reinforced, that kind of thing. Important work, certainly, but not the sort of thing to wow a guy who just had his twin brother carved out of his head.

I mean, for Christ's sake, they still haven't installed the spa. And it could be July by the time the wine cellar is stocked. The temperature and humidity consultant refuses to fly in from France until "appropriate guarantees can be made for [his] safety." I don't know what the hell that means, but he's the World's Finest, so I suppose he's entitled to his idiosyncrasies.

We've set up a nice little room for The Bro. Not so much a room as an alcove off the master bedroom suite where I'm laid up these days. Kid's ten inches tall (not sure whether to say "tall" or "long," to be honest), and he doesn't need a full-sized room so much as a couple dozen square feet of private space. PePe went to the store and picked up a nice terrarium and a multiple-setting heat lamp. We've got a couple of plants in there with him, and we set him down on a shelf opposite the window. He can watch the work crews buy their ham-and-egg bagels from the food truck in the morning. The space gets good light. The Stenos chipped in and painted the walls a pastel green — their welcome-home gift to the Little Guy. It's a "soothing color," according to the psychologists, and it's supposed to help ease him into his new surroundings. I dunno. Sounds like a lot of hocus pocus to me.

We bought him a Bose Wave Radio, and I play him CDs. He seems to like Beethoven, the White Stripes, Carmina Burana. Not so big on Dylan or the Beatles. You get the impression he wants his music primal. I put the remote control in the terrarium, in a Ziploc bag so he can't pee on it and short out the circuit board. Little guy will flop over on the buttons, causing the player to pause, fast-forward, shuffle, repeat. It's not clear that there's any intentionality to it, or that he understands he's controlling the flow of music through the speakers. He may just like the feel of the pips on his backside. We all have our kicks, I guess. Even if we're still covered in embryonic hair.

I've got some reporters coming in tonight to interview me about the experience. There's a guy from the Weekly World News ringing my phone off the hook. Keeps leaving messages emphasizing that his rag is above all others peculiarly suited to cover this story. I don't deny that, but I've got interest from the BBC, the New York Post, and CNN's Offbeat News desk. I can't overstretch myself and appear everywhere I'm wanted, regardless of quality. I can be Matt Damon or Ben Affleck here. That's no choice at all.

Anyway, I've got to get hopping. Drain line to my cheek is clogged, and they've got to clear the blockage before the fluid backs up into my face again. Waking up in the middle of the night to that was no fun at all, let me tell you. Anyway, it's great to get back in front of a keyboard again. All my best to the Blessed Readership — I'll be logging on again soon.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


[Start Dictation.]

Wow. I've got to get me one of those, when it comes out.

[End Dictation.]

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Holy Frappe!

[Start Dictation.]

Hot damn! A brain freeze from a chocolate milkshake is one thing. Now try it a few days after you've had your sinus torn open.

Felt like a glacier advancing up over my head from my soft palate.

Jesus God, that was a bad idea.

[End Dictation.]

Still "in Hospital" . . .

. . . as the English say (they're so cute). Plan was to street me today, but now my hematocrit levels are low, so I'm looking at another couple days On the Ward. I don't feel like my hematocrit levels are low, and I suspect there's some bloodworking ledgerdemain going down, just to keep me around: the national news crews have descended, and the novelty of it hasn't yet worn off on the hospital staff.

(You wouldn't believe how well some of these nurses clean up, suddenly, with Anderson Cooper around. Sure makes my days here a lot nicer. That Barbara who works the early morning shift? Yesterday you could have got a staph infection from her fingernails alone. Now she comes in a dead ringer for Gina Gershon.)

Anyway, I'm on the laptop now. No Internet, because there aren't any Ethernet jacks in the rooms, and they can't do wireless: would interfere with all the machines, they say. I had PePe run a longline from the jacks at the nurse's station — they have a whole cluster of computers there — but of course some lady tripped over it and reopened some wound or other, and he got a talking-to for it. So I'm typing up this post offline, for somebody on the Staff to publish later.

Still no interviews with the press. I'll probably give a statement on the way out the door.

I've got a roommate now. Real talker, this guy. Says he names cars for a living. Says he's the hot car-name guy in the industry, and Toyota just hired him away from Kia. I asked him what cars he named at Kia. He said, "all of them." I got the impression he was full of shit, and I asked him for specific names. He paused for a minute and said, "well, the Kia Boysenberry, for one . . ."

Turns out he is full of shit, and I talked Frankie Big Cheese into doctoring up the guy's medical records to conform to my diagnosis. A minute ago Gina wheeled him off to have somebody "disimpact his bowel." Ha ha ha.

I tell you, B/S, Frankie's not half-bad at forgery — medical forgery, especially. It's like he knows all the notations and abbreviations. A potentially very useful talent, I should think. Already useful, don't get me wrong, but I figure a crack medical forger is good for more than just buying me ten minutes of peace to write a blog post.

Maybe I'll get him to write me a prescription for a chocolate shake. I've got a craving.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Hey, Brother

[Start Dictation.]

I finally felt good enough to get out of bed today. Still haven't mastered the fine motor movements required for typing, so the Stenos remain on the job. But I put a couple hundred yards on the Old Odometer after lunch, walking laps around my floor here in the hospital.

More importantly, today I got a first look at my little brother (little in size, of course, and not age, as we were born simultaneously, and since I entered the birth canal in the conventional head-first manner, by the Who Was All the Way Out Test, he's my senior). They wheeled me down to the Nursery — that much ground would have been too much for me to traverse on foot — where they have him in an incubator. I had to wait all this time to see him because they wanted me to undergo six hours of counseling first.

It's a traumatic thing to learn, after all this time, that you have a sibling.

"It's a traumatic thing, too, to have someone basically take a jackhammer to your face on Boxing Day. I think I can deal with it."

Phutatorius, you just can't go traipsing in down there. You need to prepare yourself mentally — emotionally. And so on.

So I talked through my feelings with the on-staff clinical psychologist over the past couple days. Then finally they gave me the go-sign, and Stan the Orderly came by with the Wheelchair of Truth. He rolled these old bones down to see my brother, and I've got to tell you, people: there's not a whole lot there to see.

It's all right, Phutatorius, for you to feel ambivalent. He's a human being and your brother, but he's also severely disabled and terribly small. You might find it difficult to forge an emotional bond with him, at first.

He's basically just this raw-skinned Sea Monkey-looking thing, lying under a heat lamp with a bandage over his leg stump. When they uncoil him, he's about eight inches long. Weighs barely two pounds. (I tell you, Brother/Sister, having a two-pound object taken out of your head is pretty trippy. I've got these overdeveloped neck muscles now, and they whip this new head of mine around like an empty piñata. So this is how the other 99.99999999% live. Wild.)

He's all squinty-eyed, too. Not used to the light, I suppose — but neither am I these days. He blinks constantly, needs the help of a respirator to breathe, and they feed him a mixture of saline and fish food with an eyedropper six times a day.

I'm all like whoa there —

It's completely understandable for you to feel abstracted from your brother. You can't go beating yourself up with guilt over it. It will take time, Phutatorius. Understand that it will take time.

They want me to sign papers, become his legal guardian. I'm not sure I can handle this. I watched the nurse with the eyedropper, trying to work that mush into his tiny mouth. I just don't know if I have the patience. I've never even had a cat, and for the most part they go out and feed themselves.

It's an opportunity for you to grow as a person.

Yeah, we'll see. He's literally a scaled-up Sea Monkey. An overgrown brine shrimp.

Still, though, he is kinda cute. And we've come this far together, the two of us . . . Coochy-coochy-coo, there, Little Buddy. Coochy-coo!

[End Dictation.]