The Legend of Dickinurass

Gather round, all, for now I will tell you the legend of Dickinurass:

It occurred to me that we inadvertently recreated the plot of “Ender’s Game,” with my college buddy Jay as Ender, in 2000-01. You see, in our sophomoric apartment that year, C13, we had a functioning Super Nintendo, and a copy of Tecmo Super Bowl III: Final Edition (1995). We played a football season on that game, with each of us as our respective favorite NFL team. Jay, of course, was the Miami Dolphins.

This game had a novel feature for a Tecmo football game: a player editor, in which you could create custom players with custom abilities. Being the adolescent rapscallions we were, we set out to deceive and harm Jay for our own amusement, and for no other reason at all. Entering the player editor, we created a quarterback named “Dan Marino” (coincidentally), with a wet spaghetti-noodle for an arm and less mobility than a quadriplegic. We replaced the real Dan Marino with our own. We also gave him an offensive line made of paper dolls, bearing names such as “Johnny Hugetits.”

The franchise player, though, was given the surname “Dickinurass.” He was a Caucasian slot receiver — cut from our own whole cloth — who we convinced Jay was actually on the 1995 Miami roster. “You just never heard of him before, he was on the Browns prior, and only played in Miami for one year, mostly on the bench . . . .” With cackling glee, every time Dickinurass grabbed a pass from the ersatz, crippled Marino, we’d yell in chorus: “Dick in ur ass!!!” A dozen times per game, for the whole season. 

The Tecmo Dolphins early games were a floundering nightmare. The paper mache offensive line, anchored by J. Hugetits, crumbled instantly upon each snap, as if hit by a localized, highly-effective, high-voltage Taser. This was because each and every one of them was attributed a “6″ in “hitting power” — the lowest score a player could have in that category, less than most teams’ punters had, and also the most important attribute for offensive linemen to have. And the most disastrous for them to lack.

We got away with this because a crumbling line isn’t altogether an oddity in Tecmo football games: if you “pick the play” of your opponent, the offensive line as a matter of design buckles for that single play, leading to a nearly certain quarterback sack. So there was our pretext: “They’re just picking your play, Jay.” Every . . . single . . . down. For the entire season. “Bad luck, man.”

And so the games went: spaghetti-golem Marino lobbing up lame ducks with absurd height-arcs and punishingly slow speeds to a fictitious Dickinurass, who played as though his hands had been severed in an industrial accident prior to the season. And with the Hugetits-anchored offensive line having massive heart attacks and collapsing, without even being touched, upon each and every snap.

Midway through the season, though, a strange thing happened: Jay began to adapt. With the half-second he had before the every-down-guaranteed-sack came, he angled ersatz Marino just right, and wafted his wobbling, cottonball pass across the field. Dickinurass, open. Grabbed. First down. 

Jay started winning.

And then came the “preseason” matches. You see, Tecmo will allow you to have a one-off match, with no season or statistical implications. Sometimes we just wanted to do that, to play against one another. The caveat: there were no custom players allowed in the preseason. Our band of Play-Doh merry men was shelved. So Jay got the real Marino. No Hugetits and his band of every-down-dying-men. No Dickinurass dropping hovering beach balls. No indeed: instead, laser-armed real Marino gunning touchdown after touchdown.

Because Jay had already learned to win with the equivalent of dollar-store squirt guns, he was absolutely unstoppable once given actual, effective tools. Ripping through the preseason games with his high-powered offense like the Imperial German Army machine-gun-slicing through the French in the early battles of the Great War. We had created a monster. Jay was Ender. Painstakingly trained to be the master of the games.

The jig was up, of course, when we went back to the regular season. Jay could then see the stark contrast, as if someone had removed the bones from Marino’s throwing arm between preseason and regular season games. And, of course, there was no Dick in Your Ass in the preseason. 

And that, my friends, is the legend of Dickinurass.

How to Get Money

 

 

HOW TO GET MONEY

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Interest-piquing title, no?  If you are reading this, you’ve been suckered.  Had, even.  But luckily, as an American, you’re used to being both suckered and had from birth, by virtually every institution and the majority of the individual flesh golems with which and whom you interact.  So no bigs.

And you’ve not even been suckered that badly.  Had I put a paywall between you and this content – an art-form perfected by Microsoft’s Xbox divisionthen you’d have been really suckered.

You pay me, say, $1.99 for a blog entry about how to get money; I get wealthier; you get poorer.  Everyday, hum-drum, normal, par-for-the-course human touch-points in this cultural cesspool we have built and in which we all now terminally reside, while we await our inevitable future cancer diagnoses.

Had you paid, I’d of course have said:  ‘you get money by creating a blog entitled How to Get Money, and then setting up a Microsoft-style paywall.’  You then have parted the suckers from their meager money, and simultaneously taught them the sucker-punch itself, to be used later on still other suckers.  So no breach of implied warranty.  Then they can pay the whole fuckstick scheme forward.

But there is no paywall.  So no fuckstick scheme.  It’s free, and you’re here. “So, what is exactly your point, sir?”  Okay, here goes:

How do you get money? 

Stop and think for one second.  What is the process and the system by and in which money getting occurs?  At the most fundamental, if you wanted some, how would you get it?

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No, no, you can’t grow it, like certain natural resources.  Nor can you create it, like certain artisanal products.  Well, if you had a cheap scanner and a pirated copy of Photoshop and the right kind of printer . . . but you’d then be running the risk of strangers accosting your body and imprisoning you against your will, another lovely, ever-present potentiality with which we in our homemade and self-imposed cesspool must all live.  Hell, the accosting strangers might even come in a MRAP!  At least that would be cool.

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So back to the drawing board.  You can’t grow money, nor can you print it.  The only way to get it is to acquire that money which already exists.  Sure, the already-existing money pool expands as the Federal Reserve prints more, more-or-less in proportion to population increase (and a pinch more, to game shit a bit), but I bet — and I do like my odds here — if you personally asked the Federal Reserve for some money, you’d probably be turned down.

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That is, unless you have the respectable and august suffix “National Association” following a comma after your name.  In that case, the Fed would gregariously hand the money to you at interest rates around those you ask of the homeless when you add to their cups.  Hell, if you were a bank, you could then lend that Fed-gifted money to the disenfranchised flesh golems taking shelter in the nearby alley at a higher interest rate — so the Fed has not only given you nearly-free money, but a fully-guaranteed profit too!  Kiss kiss.  But not too wet now.

But this isn’t much help for those of us not lucky enough to be born as banks.  So how do we cesspool-living humanoids get our grubby little digits on some cold, hard, bacteria-laden cash-money?

Two ways.  One:  we borrow it from a bank at interest, giving the bank, as we have seen, quite literally something for nothing.  But because we owe the bank back more than we received (the entire purpose, after all, of usury), we have actually lost money this way, not gained it — unless we engage in method numero dos.  So here it is.  Two:  we have to get money from other people.  You sell them something.  A good.  A service.  High-definition streaming videos of your genitals in some stage of sexual congress.  Perhaps even with the flare of a well-selected niche fetish!  What isn’t more American, after all, than strange fetishes exercised for cash behind private, glowing screens by night, followed by public puritanical moralizing and Manichean religious bullshit by day?

So you get the cash from others by selling your behaviors or things you acquired one way or another, whether those things be real, like a kidney or lung (you only need one of each, after all), or abstract, like a fractional investment interest in tranches of securitized real estate mortgages, which you know are actually worthless, but your buyers don’t, so you sell them anyway as if they had value.  To be successful at money getting, the behavior or thing you sell to another must be worth less than the amount of money you extract from him or her.  This means your wealth has increased:  you sold something for more than it was worth.

How does one accomplish such a head-scratching feat?  Here’s where the distinguished and hallowed arts of sales and marketing come in.  It is not enough that you have something worth X, and access to a human, let’s call him “mark,” who has both an interest in the thing and X+1 money to boot.  No:  to get mark to spend X+1 on X, you have to affirmatively fool him.  Here’s where my expertise ends, but you have certainly performed countless case studies yourselves in the noble tactics of parting mark from his +1.  The case studies are available to you nearly every moment of your waking life.

You know, for one of infinite examples, the interruptions in-between the banal, humorless, laugh-tracked television programs you stare at in a nutrition-less torpor, instead of doing anything spiritually redeeming?  The interruptions where some tall and healthy-in-form post-adolescent hairless female primate shows the top circumference of her mammary globes to you, and then proceeds to offer you chewing gum.  The gum?  Worth way less than X+1.  The shoes?  Way less than X+1.  The Snuggie?  Way the fuck less than X+1.  Yet you see the mammaries and maybe you think you’ll get to touch them somehow if you buy the thing and oh boy I bet they’d feel oh-so soft. They can, after all, do wonderful things with saline solution these days.

Or maybe with that razor blade you could not only shave the stubble off your chin (a behavior which serves no survival purpose whatsoever, by the way), but also perhaps your chin would become robustly square and powerful, with a perfect little dimple in it, just like that young, shirtless, be-penised stranger’s on the glowing rectangle in your primary living space.  Hell, I bet he can even get an erection without requiring an oral prescription tablet, the side effects of which likely include vertigo, painful male breast growth, and waking lucid nightmares.

So you trick ‘em.  Got it, kiddos?  You manipulate human psychology to bridge the gap in others between ‘have-money-and-want-thing’ and ‘but the money was hard to get — maybe it cost some bone marrow or the intrusion of a stranger’s unlubricated member up my excrement tract — and I’m not sure the thing is worth it.’  Sigmund Freud’s nephew knew this nearly a century ago.  He actually got women to smoke, something that used to be a cultural taboo, by calling the be-damned cancer sticks “torches of freedom.”  No, seriously!  We American flesh golems are so unabashedly stupid, you can actually sell us cancer and our own premature deaths for a tidy profit, if you just pander to our narcissism, nihilism, and low self-esteem.  This, kiddos, is how you play the game.

But wait:  if you’re playing well, what happens to the other players?  You’ve sold them X for X+1, and you’re +1 wealthier!  Pat yourself on the back, savvy market participant.  There are even philosophies that go so far indeed as to justify what you’ve just done as some kind of moral imperative!  So just read that and you need not consider ever feeling bad for anything.  Either that, or for faster relief that doesn’t entail suffering through monotonous, pedantic, sociopathic harangues, you can instead take one of the myriad psycho-pharmaceutical neuroleptics available on the bless-ed market to snow yourself sanguine.  But remember, you’ll be paying X+1 for X if you buy them.

But what about our friend mark, whose wealth has just become -1?  He can’t grow money.  Nor can he make it himself.  He has to go out and find yet another embattled market participant, and try to sell some behavior or thing for more than it is worth.  And he’s already down one.

But fear not:  suicide is illegal, kiddos — dejected mark can’t simply give up because shit is so despairingly horrible and there certainly is no god.  Quitting the game is against the rules.  You will live, and you will suffer.  How else could we part the would-be quitters from all the delicious +1s they will produce and lose to us over a full, statistically-average lifetime?  They’re the geese laying the golden eggs today, which become our own golden omelets tomorrow.  Or at least copper or zinc.  And if you haven’t learned by now to take whatever you can get, there’s no schooling you.  So don’t let the geese hang, shoot, or exsanguinate themselves.  That shit’s simply not fair to us.

You got it, kiddos?  Crib notes:  you get money by depriving others of the same; you increase your own wealth by decreasing others’; and you viciously compete in a social structure commensurate to a cut-throat, winner-take-all board game.

And that is how to get money.

And speaking of:  if you want to voluntarily support this site to get more words and drawings, here’s your chance to give me, your humble author, X+1 for X:




 

Thank you mark,

Sterling Lambert

 

 

 

Adult Kickball

Adult Kickball

Crossing out of your youth, and the strange social interactions that occur with the generation behind you, of which you are no longer a part:

I played adult kickball for a couple of years during my late-twenties into my early-thirties. Teams were all over the board, but you got to play some college-aged kids, you know, late teens, early-twenties. Sometimes uncanny situations would arise.

You see, I have this ability of dubitable worth: I can drink twelve-to-sixteen ounces of beer faster than anyone I’ve met. (And I roll with several problem drinkers.) I’m not fucking around here. In undergrad, this was a laudable badge. A decade later, it is but a grotesque totem. But I still fucking do it, so screw you buddy!

So a decade post-undergrad, I met the equivalent of my undergrad self on the kickball field nearly every game. Sometimes twice. You see, close calls were subject to ‘shotgun challenges’ — each team puts forth their best drinking pawn, and they have at it — whoever slams a full beer faster wins. Each game allowed for two shotgun challenges, one by each team. The throw out at the plate becomes a score, or vice versa, if only your team’s chugger can out-drink the other guy. And boy did I win every single one of these challenges. Almost as good as this guy, another call-back to my own college days.

So some faux-hawked cut-off-wearer with the thick, undefined musculature that attends a simultaneous lifestyle of both heavy weight lifting *and* heavy drinking steps up, and sees the old thirt-ski-year-old man in the tie-dye. “You got this bro, you got this!” — the chorus of his undergrad buddies, surrounding the spectacle, still young enough to enjoy life. And then the old man trounces him. Badly. Embarrassingly. The old man drinks that toxic, mass-produced domestic swill faster than the undergrad dude can score an Adderall on his state-school campus.

The run counts. Score it.

In fact, soon after my playing days, a new rule was instituted in the adult kickball league: a team cannot use the same chugger twice in the same game. Call it the ‘Lambert Rule,’ if you will. Fugg yeah.