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: "Leonard Leonard Leonard! Wake up!"

"Bah! I was having a dream about a friendly tortoise! What do you want?"

It was Bob, my idea man. Always looking for the quick buck and the flashy sound bite. His Crummy.com Gasoline-Soaked Dollar Bill Giveaway had cost me millions in legal fees alone, and his plan to put advertising messages in my Java variable names had yet to recoup the cost of the banner ads. But he was working for me under a highly illegal indentured servitude scheme, which meant I couldn't fire him or he'd go to the feds.

"This is going to be huge, so you'd better sit down. Oh, you're lying down. That's even better. Now, picture this. This is huge! You know the Jake Berendes West Covina franchise?"


"What if it were a board game?"

A board game?

"Yeah! 'Out of maple syrup candy, go back two spaces.' You could play with Berendes Bucks instead of Monopoly money. Or even better, it could be one of those games that's exactly like Monopoly except for the names of the properties. That way we wouldn't have to come up with new rules!"

"Bob, nobody plays board games anymore. Too much crap to get lost in the rug. It's all collectible card games now."

"How about a collectible card game?"

"There aren't enough distinct words in Jake Berendes West Covina to make a collectible card game. You'd have to get into implicit stuff like 'the cheap 35-millimeter camera the kid at the McDonalds bought with his money'.

"You could write the next episode."

The truth comes out. Bob was always trying to get me to write more Jake Berendes West Covina. It was the only thing of mine he knew how to sell. Perhaps waking me up at three in the morning was his way of catching me off my guard.

"You know there is no next episode, Bob."

"Okay, so how about this. You know that Weezer song American Gigolo?"


"What if instead of 'my love walks right to your door', it went 'my love walks right through your door'? It would be about some Herman Munster-like guy who went crashing through doors."

"Now you're talking!"

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