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.