April 1st, 2005


Wenchy Oughta Like This One...

Oooh, something SHINY!Hokay, so...

I'm at some kind of convention, I'm not sure what exactly. It's sorta like Dragon*Con, except a little more animé-ish, and with a bit more of a teenage demographic. As in, everyone who's an attendee is a teenager (or younger), whereas everyone who's an adult is (either officially or de facto) an organizer. Somebody (I don't remember who now, but it was someone I know) informs me that I've been selected to do the traditional "Cobra Commander pep speech routine" that happens every year.

See, there's this event where all the attendees pretend to be Cobra troopers, and some relatively well-known persona dresses in a Cobra Commander costume and gives a ridiculous rally speech. Apparently, at last year's convention, graveyardgreg did the honors, and got lots of laughs being terribly swishy. This year, however, he's off in another auditorium doing Destro, instead.

GeekboyChromedome(If you've ever met Graveyard Greg, the irony of him doing Destro is not lost on you!)

So, can't disappoint the fans after all, I get into the blue suit and shiny helmet, get up on stage, and start improvising my best Cobra Commander spoof, squeaky voice and all. First I rail against G.I. Joe, then people who talk on cellphones in cars and restaurants, then the United Nations. I seem to remember there are digs at the Super Friends, and possibly the Powerpuff Girls as well. (Or maybe it was the Girl Scouts. Or possibly Sailor Moon? You get the picture, anyway.)

Then I opened up the floor to "Question and Answer Period," which is when things really get rolling. Whenever somebody asks me what I intend to do about something or other (e.g., "What are you going to do about those people who talk on cellphones in cars?") I give the same answer: "DeSTROOOOY THEMM!!!" Whenever anybody makes a snarky comment or asks something embarrassing (e.g., "You've been trying to destroy G.I. Joe for twenty years and haven't succeeded yet, what's up with that?") I stop, stare for 10-20 seconds, then point at the person and shriek, "SEIZE THEM!!!"

It's all very silly and a good time is had by all. When the time is up, I lead everyone in a rousing cry of "COOOOOO-BRA!!!" and leave the stage to applause. Back in the green room, I encounter Graveyard Greg, still in the Destro mask, which gives me the giggles something awful.

Then I woke up. Sad thing is, I'm not even particularly a G.I. Joe fan.

-The Gneech ("Not a hoax! Not an imaginary story!")

PS: And yes, I did use Wenchy's "I'm making faces at you behind this thing!" joke in my routine. :)
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Today's Forgotten English

cross haul
An imaginary article used in logging. A greenhorn is sometimes sent to the boss to get one. Aroostook County, Maine.
--Joseph Carr's A Word-List from Eastern Maine, 1907

April Fool's Day
Into the twentieth century, it was common in both England and America to make fools of apprentices by having them perform mildly humiliating tasks known as "sleeveless errands." Examples included sending naive naval recruits to retrieve the key to the "starboard watch" or to "Davy Jones' locker" (the sea floor). Their rookie counterparts in the army were dispatched to bring back a "firing line" or a "bucket of recoil." Young printers were sent to look for "italic periods," a "paper-stretcher," or bottles of striped ink, while inexperienced butcher boys went in search of a "meat-auger." Veteran tailors loved pretending to need a dozen buttonholes, and electricians might request some "short circuits." Even bankers would sometimes send an office boy out for "white carbon paper," naughts for the adding machine, or a nonexistent piece of furniture called an "interest table."

Okay, I admit it, "a bucket of recoil" is pretty funny.

-The Gneech
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