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Mr. Wrong

The Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told

By Joe MacLeod | Posted 1/19/2005

I swear, people (like you) are alla time telling me what I should write in this column. I'll be standing someplace, minding my own business, and then pretty soon it's all, "Hey, man, I read your blah blah once about blah and you should write a `Mr. Wrong' about blah movie blah, blah, this funny blah blah thing I saw, blah blah magnet-ribbons on everybody's blah, my web site blah, Starbucks, blah, blah, this guy Dave, blah, those blah blah vacuum cleaners that catch on fire when you blah blah blah fucking blah, me, and then blah, umkay? Blah."

So look, I don't like to be constantly hikin' up my skirt too much to show what's going on underneath, but here's how it works, seriously: When you want something in this column, I think it should be customary to present me with enough cash to get my attention. How much cash? Hey, you hear about that William Armstrong guy or whatever? The, like, television political commentator pundit-guy who got paid $240,000 to talk about some shit the President of the United States of America wanted to have happen-some laws or some shit like that? Well, he's my hero, OK? I mean, he gets paid to do his teevee show, and then he gets paid to talk about some crap on his teevee show? By the President of the United States of America? Is this a great country or what? Fuckin' genius, seriously.

I guess the guy got in trouble or something, but for what? I mean, people get paid 24-7 to talk about shit on teevee and the radio so other people will be brainwashed into obeying, so what's the big deal? I heard about how they pay movie and teevee stars to mention shit on talk shows so that people will think it's cool and go buy whatever-the-fuck got mentioned. Please tell me how that's Destroying America, OK?

Anyway, I get $165 to file my crap every other week, and it's usually about nine-hundred-and-fitty words, so that's about, like, 17 cents a word, I think, if I'm doin' it right with my little Texas Instruments TI-1726. Which I did not get paid to mention, but would mention again and again and againandagainandagain if somebody slipped me some dough, see? Texas Instruments TI-1726, boy, that's some calculator, man, the Texas Instruments TI-1726. It's got, like, one of those little solar panels and it's got buttons to do the adding and subtracting and multiplying and gozintas, and square root even, and it's smarter than me and I love it, because it just sits there on my desk, my little Texas Instruments TI-1726, waitin' for me to be dumb and not know how to add or subtract or anything even though I went to school and got taught all that shit but I forgot it all. My Texas Instruments TI-1726 does not judge me, no, it just tells me The Truth, man, about Numbers, and it told me just now I get 17 cents a word (as long as I pressed all the right buttons). But I don't think I'd enjoy to get 17 cents in the mail for one word, right? In my column? I figure I gotta have a minimum, OK? I'm thinkin' like maybe 10 bucks. So it'd be something like this:

  • Name (single mention) $10
  • Name (multiple, obsessively) $25
  • Product (single mention) $20
  • Product (repetitively, relentlessly) $50
  • General Observation ("Hey, there's a lotta those ribbon stickers on cars.") $10
  • Observation and comment ("Hey, there's a certain lack of commitment to putting a magnet on your car instead of a sticker.") $35
  • Question ("What's the deal with those yellow livestrong wristband things?") $12.50
  • Anecdote ("I bought one of those yellow livestrong wristband things, but I think it's a fake one.") $15
  • Entire 950-word column, supplied by you $330

So besides the mind-numbing amount of loot the guy got, the only difference between me and that Armstrong guy is he said he really, really believed in whatever They (and you know who They are) were paying him to say, so that's nice, I guess, but whatever. And sure, I know I'm a nickel-and-dimer, incomewise, but this is where I think my level of game is a bit higher (lower?), because, man, I don't think I gotta believe in any of this junk, dig? All I gotta do is trim a few words outta whatever crap I come up with every other week and massage in some subliminal messages or whatever gets sent in. And I don't want checks, umkay? I'm talking cash money here. Look, the dollar is kinda soft right now, so gimme until next week to work my calculator and figure out how much my column would cost maybe in euros.

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