Advent Calendar 2014 — December 21

Unlike a night out at Red Lobster, these previous Advent entries are totally FREE.

December 1               December 9               December 17
December 2              December 10             December 18
December 3              December 11              December 19
December 4              December 12             December 20
December 5              December 13
December 6              December 14
December 7              December 15
December 8              December 16


Bet you thought you were going to end up in a chocolate factory! Instead, you’re seated in the middle row of an empty movie theatre. Did you know that chocolate accounts for 56% of all concession stand sales across major American theatre chains? If you didn’t that’s fine because it’s probably not true, but the fact remains that chocolate is a major piece of the movie going experience, which is why the Advent chocolate that the aliens gave you, brought you here.

Speaking of which, you give your head a stroke, checking to see if the hairstyle that E.T. gave you survived the trip. It feels like strands of denim, so yep, it’s still there. You hope it survives all the way home because you’re sure your cousins will get jealous at the annual family Christmas party and it’s definitely their turn. Last year they showed up wearing elbow pads and everyone went nuts. The only other time you felt that jealous was when your local library got Blu-rays before you.

You wouldn’t mind catching a flick right now and hope that in this dimension they got The Hobbit because you like any story where little people don’t complain.

The house lights start to dim, the curtain rises and the projector fires up.

Empty Movie Theater and Screen --- Image by © Corbis

Fuckin’ typical. You don’t even get to see the previews. You were really hoping to catch a glimpse of that new Chevy Chase movie where he plays against type and portrays a poor guy who isn’t cool.

You reluctantly approach the screen and decide to cause a little mischief by punching a hole through it. If you’re not going to be able to see The Hobbit, no one will. Instead of making a perfect, fist-sized puncture, you hand goes through the screen without making as much as a scratch. You quickly understand that this is a Last Action Hero type situation, take a deep breath and walk through the screen into nothingness. Lights, camera, acting!

 

Advent Calendar 2014 — December 20

You gotta add the detergent before you drop the fabric softener, ya know? So read these before you read this. Man, people should add fabric softener to their pools so their bathing suits stay soft all summer.

December 1               December 9               December 17
December 2              December 10             December 18
December 3              December 11              December 19
December 4              December 12
December 5              December 13
December 6              December 14
December 7              December 15
December 8              December 16


After touching the artifact you’re transported from the corn fields to an alien craft. You’re on the bridge of the ship surrounded by friendly-looking beings.

aliens-watching-tv

“My name translates to ‘Dylan’ in your tongue,” the alien with the biggest dick begins. “But you may call me anything you’d like including ‘Butt Duck’. Our species cares not for such trivial things as names.”

“Pleasure to meet all you shit pads,” you say, extending your hand and testing the limits of this name thing. “You may call me ‘Lord’ or whatever, I guess I don’t care either.” ‘Lord’ was your old college nickname that went extinct once your legendary volleyballs skills diminished after that taco-laden summer of ’06.

“Tell us of your journey and what it is like to have hair,” responds Dylan.

You bring them up to speed on your adventure and they seem pretty into it judging by all the gasps. Then again, maybe gasping is how they piss or something, who knows?

“You have faced many hardships, young warrior. Feel free to rest and eat while we tend to your wounds,” the fattest alien says.

You spend the next couple of hours completely relaxing, eating and getting medical attention from another alien who tells you some really funny stories about a species of aliens who worship twine. You’re chilling in the quarters they provided when Dylan politely knocks, then enters.

“It seems your journey is almost to an end. It might be wise for you to go on your way,” says Dylan. He’s not being pushy or anything but you’re kind of pissed that he’s not letting you hang out.

“Thanks Dog Stain, but why do you think my journey is almost over? This thing could go on forever for all we know,” you retort.

“Earthen Christmas falls on the twenty-fifth moon of December, correct? If your data is accurate, your journey should end on that same day,” he says while staring at your new haircut that the on-ship stylist gave you.

You never really put much thought into it, but he’s probably right. If this Advent thing holds it should all be over after the 25th gate.

“Hmm, you’re right. You guys are smart. You even correctly assumed that the birth mark on my leg is actually a deep set wine stain from that time I went camping and took peyote. I just need to find another date gate and I’ll get out of here. You got anything that says ‘December 20′ lyin’ around?”

Dylan’s head starts to glow and he hums a tune that sounds like a shitty, early Beatles track. Another alien enters the room, its head glowing in the same fashion. It’s holding something.

“Trent, show the Earthling the relic,” Dylan says to the new alien.

Trent hands you a thin, cardboard box-like thing and immediately you recognize it as a classic Advent calendar.

“Where did you get this?”

“We went shopping two days ago in Michigan,” responds Trent.

Upon closer inspection, the calendar is used up until December 20th.

“We have enjoyed your company and your recipe for chili. We never thought to add cinnamon. Good luck and hopefully we will see you again,” says a teary-eyed Dylan.

You want to give him a hug but he smells like dead frogs that have been wrapped in wet carpet. You open the December 20th window on the calendar to find a little chocolate underneath. It looks like this:

chocoart_072909_m

You give the aliens a quick wink then pop the chocolate in your mouth. As soon as it starts to melt you disappear, onto your next stop. If only it were another alien craft, that was fun!

Advent Calendar 2014 — December 19

I only listened to the last episode of the famous Serial podcast and I didn’t understand who Don was. Don’t make the same mistake with the Advent adventure:

December 1               December 9               December 17
December 2              December 10             December 18
December 3              December 11
December 4              December 12
December 5              December 13
December 6              December 14
December 7              December 15
December 8              December 16


You’re plopped into the potato fields of a large farm. Maybe it’s a small farm, you don’t know. Ever seen a small farm? I haven’t. You’re ankle deep in mud and your tum tum feels strange from scarfing that handful of fries in the interrogation room. You don’t feel like doing any hard labour and figure you can nap among the spuds while you wait for something to happen.

Right as your about to drift off to sleep, a farmer pulls up in a purple tractor.

Farmer Luther and his wife, Bambo

 

“Hey there. There’s another one of them crop circles out in the corn. Take the drone up and take a look, would you?” he asks, nodding toward a small shed. “And stop nickin’ my beets!”

The only crop circle you’ve ever seen live was in your babysitter’s backyard and it wasn’t made by aliens but the babysitter’s boyfriend who was performing a dry-run of the senior class prank, so you’re mildly excited to see another. You wander over to the shed and open the door. Inside the tiny enclosure is a decent sized remote controlled drone, a few watering cans, a shovel, a stack of broken alarm clocks and two cats fucking. You grab the drone, give the cats a wink and head out to the corn.

It takes you five hours but you finally find the corn field in question. Along the way you fall in a pond, meet a wizard, stub your toe and find a time capsule from 1934. All it had in it was newspapers and cigarettes. I’m not going into detail because none of that stuff related directly to the Advent adventure. Wait, the wizard said something about Bethlehem, but he also claimed he could turn toast into DVDs so who cares.

You fire up the drone and launch it across the dry, dead corn. At first you find it tough to watch the drone and not the small LCD screen on the remote that displays the drone’s camera but after awhile you get used to it. If two cats can fuck in a shed, a human can control a flying machine, eh?

You finally manage to position the drone directly above the crop circle and take a couple pictures using the drone’s camera. You’re startled when you get a good look at the image:

cropcircles

Shiiiiitttttt, the Advent date gate! You quickly forget about the drone (it crashes into a garage where a high school band is practicing. The band’s keyboard player, nickname “HardWire”, reprograms it into a flying synthesizer that gains the band much notoriety) and enter the crop circle hoping to find your way off the farm.

You’ve always believed in aliens because there’s no other explanation for volcanoes, and your belief is only strengthened when you find the crop circle area dusted with goo. Lying in the middle of the main circle is a strange-looking device that turns out to be an old modem, but next to the modem is an even stranger item that looks like this:

Alien_artifact__122338

You pick it up and it makes an otherworldly noise:

And you’re off! Out of the farm and into… harm??? Find out tomorrow!

Advent Calendar 2014 — December 18

“You can’t have a baby unless you have sex and you can’t read today’s entry without reading the rest.” – Salt-N-Pepa

December 1               December 9               December 17
December 2              December 10
December 3              December 11
December 4              December 12
December 5              December 13
December 6              December 14
December 7              December 15
December 8              December 16


You’re being interrogated by two cops. Hahahahaha, remember how a donut brought you here? Get it? No? The police invented donuts. Just kidding, the joke is that people assume that the police eat more donuts than anyone else in the world so they get made fun of a lot. It’s dumb because no one makes fun of firefighters for snacking on cod between alarms.

love-285x245

This photo was taken right after you leave

Anyway, there’s a big box of golden fries sitting on the table between you and the cops. The mysterious force behind your Advent adventure has obviously picked up on your hunger and is toying with you like a toddler toying with toys. The two cops are staring right at you and not saying anything so you decide to break the silence before they play hard ball and start burping at you.

“I’m going to have some of these fries if you don’t mind.”

You reach out for them but the woman snatches them before you can take hold. She selects the top fry–the perfect two-incher that got your attention in the first place–and eats it like someone who loves crunchin’ as much as you do. She then presents the box to her colleague who takes what looks like three fries(!), and pretends to eat them before throwing them over his shoulder like a guy discarding his oats because he found a snail in ‘em.

182fy4neetfdkjpg

The perfect fry is subjective!

“I’ll waste this whole fuckin’ box if you keep wasting our time,” the male cop threatens.

“We’ll ask you one more time. Where were you on December 18?”

The date gate! You gotta find the treat before these two exercise their rights as officers of the law and beat the shit out of you. You say the first thing that comes to mind.

“I was in my backyard, trying to make my own glue out of sugar, whiskey and old scraps of tape and then I went to the store to buy a blender because the tape didn’t dissolve in the liquor like I thought it would. When I got home I gave up, made an angel food cake then fell asleep.”

This was what you did last year on December 18th so it’s not like you’re lying or anything. You remember because the ordeal took up a full six pages in your diary and was featured on 60 Minutes‘ “Science and Innovation” special.

The two cops look at each other and smile.

“That’s the most sane thing I’ve heard all day,” the female cops says.

The male cops slides the box of fries toward you, “I think you deserve these. If they taste funny it’s because we had to investigate them before bringing them into the station, standard protocol. It’s a good thing too because one of them was wearing a cute little wire.”

You figure you’ll disappear once you taste a fry so as not to waste them you grab a whole mitt full and cram them in your hungry ass mouth. Bye bye, it’s magic time!

french-fries_855

Yeah baby

Advent Calendar 2014 — December 17

You can comb through the Internet all you want but the only place you’ll find the COMPLETE Advent adventure is HERE. It’s also begun circulating through the Winnipeg Public Library system so there’s that too. 

December 1               December 9
December 2              December 10
December 3              December 11
December 4              December 12
December 5              December 13
December 6              December 14
December 7              December 15
December 8             December 16


You’re on a roller coaster ascending a huge hill! You never really liked roller coasters because they always made you go aggro like a queen bee on hive build day 1, but being outside feels good after being cooped up in all those offices you’ve encountered over the last few dimensions.

The roller coaster’s cars are made to look like wheelchairs and you glance over the edge and see this logo on the side of the car:

wheelscare

You hope you have time to buy a t-shirt because it’s a nice logo and because your current shirt smells like plums and vinegar.

The coaster approaches its peak and the teen boy seated beside you goes, “let’s fly!”. You like his enthusiasm but can’t imagine that someone who would say such a thing would be a very popular kid. There was this chick in your high school who would shout out “here we go again” before every exam and she got voted “Least Likely To Turn Things Around” at graduation.

When the coaster drops you feel a rush of excitement and you remember to roll your eyes back into your head to make the team in the photo booth think you’re dying. As you zoom around the track, the kid beside you won’t shut up, basically commentating the whole ride.

“First loop! I call it The Big Asshole hahaha!”

“You’re going to need extra diapers once we enter this turn.”

“Put your hands up over this next drop, I learned it from the Internet.”

“This corkscrew is the stuff of nightmares–don’t you go falling asleep!”

“Pulling into the station, right on time.”

He checks his watch during that last quip and you get the feeling he does this after every roller coaster ride he goes on.

When you stand up you’re surprised to find that you’re slightly nauseous. You’re not worried about puking because you’ve never been good at it and also you realize you haven’t eaten since this adventure began so what’s going to come up, your fuckin’ lungs? Still, you feel something brewing and decide to play it safe. The kid who rode with you is staring at you like you adopted him and since he seems like an expert on the park, you ask, “hey bitch, where’s the nearest barf zone?”

“Follow me, I’ll show you my favourite can.”

He grabs you by the hand and leads you to a pedestrian concourse where he proudly presents the garbage can in question:

DSC02437 copy

Thank goodness, the date gate! You stick your head in and try to let out some vomit but nothing comes out but you still want to honour this garbage can and the giddy teen so you spit. As you track your “hot water”, you see that lying on top of the trash is a half-eaten donut. Because you’re hungry and because this is clearly the only treat within the gate you decide to give it a try. As soon as you bite into it your flavour buds erupt and you’re gone.

Was that anti-climatic? I tried to match the writing with the feeling of being on a bad roller coaster.

Advent Calendar 2014 — December 16

Are you having one of those days where you filled your canteen with soap instead of stew? Turn your life around by reading the FULL Advent adventure. 

December 1               December 9
December 2              December 10
December 3              December 11
December 4              December 12
December 5              December 13
December 6              December 14
December 7              December 15
December 8


You re-appear in a plain, white-walled room, sitting among four others who don’t look very happy.. You assume you’re in a group therapy session of some sort and based on the magic Adderall pill that got you here, you’re thinking you could be within a chic mental hospital. Check out these chairs!

group-counseling

The man in the cream-coloured turtle shirt is babbling on about something.

“I had been watching Night Court 24/7 for a month and recording my own, personal commentary track and life couldn’t get any better. I felt free, I felt engaged, my family would stop in and record guest spots that I obviously erased once they left because it was MY commentary. But I didn’t mind, I liked that they were taking an interest in my passion. Then, as I was finishing season 7 I felt this urge to eat my TV. So I did it, somehow. I don’t remember the hospital visit, the stomach pump or the interview with Yahoo News but I do remember being admitted here, and I think I’m growing. It was really nice of the staff to bake me those remote control cookies because I’ve been tempted, I’ll admit that.”

The woman in the beige smock nods and places a caring hand on the man’s shoulder.

“Thank you Bart, that was very honest and as we say here all the time, ‘honesty isn’t crazy, crazy is crazy and so are a lot of us’. Let’s all keep up our efforts in making sure Bart doesn’t stray into the entertainment centre for another screen lick, the cleaning staff would really appreciate it. Becky, you’re next.”

The woman in white begins, “As Dr. Oggy recommended, I read the biography of Henry Ford and participated in the group viewing of Gone In Sixty Seconds and it helped briefly but as soon as I looked out my window and saw the trout pond I reverted back. I don’t understand why we don’t drive boats and keep cars for leisure! There’s more water than land on Earth! 71 percent!”

“Becky, as you know we here at the hospital don’t disagree with you and are working on changing the way humans view boats. The key to your recovery is to chill out in the meantime.” The doctor then turns to the man in white. “Kenny, your turn and make it quick because I have go to the chapel and apologize to Father Jiff on behalf of Ollie who got in there with his rollerblades again.”

The man in white shifts uncomfortably. Out of all these bad brains, he seems most screwy.

“I don’t know how many times I have to explain this but I’ve been trapped in an Advent calendar and unless I find a December 16 portal I could be trapped here forever.”

Shit! This guy is in the same boat as you are. You almost blurt out “Fuck off, me too!” but you bite your tongue, not because you didn’t want to say it but because the Adderall must be kicking in.

“You’ve been here for seven months, Charlie. We cannot help you if you do not begin to entertain the thought that you all of this is in your head,” the doctor explains tenderly. “Let’s come back to you. Our new patient, why don’t you take a turn addressing the group.”

The doctor turns to you. You’re not sure what to do here. If you tell them that your situation is the same as Charlie’s, it’ll probably help him out and maybe you both can work together and talk about what’s been happening. On the other hand, fuck that guy, you thought you were special and now some random stain is on the same nutty trip you are? You say the first thing that comes to mind.

“Uh, I’m uh… I feel like I might uh… eat a TV too.”

The doctor shakes her head. “Mocking other patients is not what we’re about here unless a mock will help their recovery.” She brandishes a walkie-talkie and speaks into it, “December, please come to the solarium and pick up patient 16.”

Your head snaps back to Charlie whose eyes widen.

“What did you just say?” Charlie asks, rising to his feet.

“Our new nurse will come retrieve patient 16 so we can avoid any further distractions,” the doctor responds.

Charlie responds by backing down into his chair. You can tell he’s waiting  for the apparent date gate to arrive, but you know it’s all yours. Right as the Becky burps, a nurse with a wheelchair enters the room.

????????????????????????????????????????

Charlie immediately makes a run for the chair but is tripped up by Bart, who looks directly into your eyes and says, “Go. Now.”

You stand up and get into the wheelchair. Charlie looks up at you, extending his arm in your direction. “Don’t you dare! That’s my gate!”

You want to say something witty but the only thing you can think of is, “Fuck you, go… eat a TV.”

As December starts wheeling you away you begin to vanish and the next world awaits. You hear a faint, blood-curdling scream behind you from Charlie and start to relax, almost anxious for what awaits.

Advent Calendar 2014 — December 15

This isn’t a real calendar, it’s an Advent calendar-inspired action adventure where YOU’RE the hero. I know, I know, sounds similar to the last Indiana Jones, but trust me, it’s much different. Get caught up!

December 1               December 9
December 2              December 10
December 3              December 11
December 4              December 12
December 5              December 13
December 6              December 14
December 7
December 8


After your little trick at the magic show, you’re transported to… another goddamn office? This adventure is getting boring. Too bad this isn’t a video game instead, eh? Is print dead? That’s more of a post-Christmas debate, let’s get back to it.

At least this time you’re behind the desk and not… in front of the desk? And this office looks pretty swank. You’ve never been interested in interior design before but this space is inspiring some creative thoughts about sofas and shelves. An idea for computer monitor sunglasses strikes like lightning in your brain before you’re interrupted by the person sitting opposite you.

modern-office-interior-design

The desk

It’s a woman in tears. Not knowing what to do because you have no idea where you are, you say what your mom would always say when you’d tell her about that recurring dream where you’re a reverse firefighter (extinguishing oceans with fire) stationed in beautiful San Francisco, California.

“Go on.”

The lady looks up. Her makeup is running down her face making her look like Alice Cooper after he found out there aren’t any Hardee’s restaurants in Canada during the Northern Nitwit Tour, ’88.

“I asked him again, ‘are you sure I have to do this?’ and he told me, straight-faced, ‘you do want to be one of J.D. Powers’ Associates, don’t you?’. So I did it because who doesn’t want to be one of the Associates? I rolled up my sleeves, stuck my head into the toilet and tried to find the bone. That was only the first task.”

She’s clearly embarrassed about what she just admitted to you. You’d always heard weird things about J.D. Power and Associates but never anything firsthand. Sounds like she’s got some pretty juicy info and it’s been awhile since you’ve heard some good gossip. You still don’t know what the fuck is going but before getting her to elaborate, she continues, “So I still work there but I think I need something to get my through the tough days. Like next Monday, J.D. wants us all to bring in a childhood memento for him to destroy. Can you prescribe me something so that I don’t totally lose my mind?”

Based on this modern office and the woman’s out-pour of emotions, you think you’re a therapist of some sort. You’re pretty interested in more J.D. Power stories so you quickly root through a desk drawer to find something to give her so she’ll spill more beans. You find this:

Untitled-1

Before winging the pill bottle over to the lady, you take a peak to make sure you’re not giving her something serious like eye melters, and notice that the expiry day on the bottle is December 15. The date gate already?

“FUCK,” you say out loud.

“I’m sorry?” responds the lady with a look of genuine fear in her eyes.

“Sorry, I’d love to hear more about J.D. Power, I truly would. But it looks like this shrink has gotta grow.”

You’re surprised at how good that last line was and pop one of the Aderalls, making you disappear and sending you to some other fuckin’ place. This was a short phase but I think we all needed it because that magician thing was kinda long. See you tomorrow!

Advent Calendar 2014 — December 14

Put down that soldering iron, you don’t need a time machine to get caught up on what’s going on. Here they are, draped in a beautiful shade of “link blue”:

December 1               December 9
December 2              December 10
December 3              December 11
December 4              December 12
December 5              December 13
December 6
December 7
December 8


There’s a very bright light shining into your face so it’s tough to tell where you are but it smells like cigars covered in cheese and sounds like a group of people having a high five party. Once your eyes start to adjust you figure you’re on some sort of stage in front of a clapping live audience somewhere in… Turkey? You quickly dismiss that possibility because you’ve never been to Turkey and can’t confirm that it smells like cigars and cheese, and because every place you’ve visited on this journey has had a unique odour so this is nothing new. A voice booms over the loudspeakers, startling you.

“Give it up for our volunteer!”

The crowd goes nuts and you turn around and see a man in a tuxedo and large top hat, brandishing a wireless mic.

Latest201010

The Amazing Scott Incredible

Next to him is a small table with three replicas of the top hat he’s wearing. Okay, you get it — the three rabbits you found after scratching the Leafs ticket has brought you to a magic show. Either that or you’ve finally made it to that famous haberdashery your youth basketball coach told you about where it’s as much about the experience as it is the hats.

As you stand all dopey-eyed, taking all this in, the magician grabs your arm more forcefully than you think necessary and leads you to the table with the hats.

“Our volunteer’s job is simple,” the magician begins as his assistant (a man who looks exactly the same as the magician except for his coveralls) passes him a pretty ugly white rabbit that you will later name “Jordy”. He turns toward you and continues, “all you must do is select the hat that the rabbit is under. If you are correct I will personally give you my entire fortune plus the secrets of the universe including one about how fire can be used to clean the tub. Of course, no one has ever been correct!”

Jordy in 2011

Jordy in 2011

The crowd goes nuts and you’re already bored of this. You’re pretty sure you saw your uncle perform this trick at his birthday party, only he used little goats.

The magician places the rabbit under the middle hat then begins shuffling the them like in three-card monte. Rather than humour the guy and pay close attention to his shuffling, you turn your back to the table and sit down on the stage.

“Looks like our volunteer is more confident than that outfit would have us believe!” jokes the magician.

You look down on your white cotton outfit and red canvas shoes and see that the once-pristine ensemble has attracted several strange stains and a few choice rips since this adventure started.

“Okay, time to choose. Which hat do you believe the rabbit is under?”

You stand up, grab the mic out of the magician’s hand and pretend to study each hat. You have some fun with the crowd and smell each one, which is tough because the stench of cheddar cigars is growing strong. You glance over to the magician and he looks pretty pissed.

“Well it’s definitely not this one,” you say as you remove the middle hat. Underneath is a basket of Christmas oranges. The magician snatches the mic back and gives a little twirl.

“You are correct! Feel free to take those home to your malnourished children,” responds the magician harshly. You don’t have kids but the crowd doesn’t know that. What the fuck? You decide to move things along.

“If it’s this one I’ll eat my own hair,” you point to the hat on the left and the crowd laughs uproariously. They’re back on your side. You choose the left hat and sure enough, a heap of Christmas holly lies underneath.

“Oh my, there’s only one left so it simply must be the rabbit. I might finally have to give away my vast fortune and wealth of secrets. I guess you won’t need to eat this holly for Christmas dinner as you’ll be able to afford a real bird for once!” the magician says with a flourish of his hands.

Rather than let this guy keep telling you what to do, you ignore his insult and lift the hat on the right before he can prompt you. Underneath is this old newspaper clipping:

December 14, 1978, Sumter Daily Item - AP, page 16-A, Layton Accused In Jonestown Shootings,

You grab the clipping and completely tune out everything else around you. You make out the words “idiot” dand “baby licker” from the magician but whatever, you think you’ve found a way out of here. The clipping’s date is December 14 so you’ll just have to find a way to activate it. You’re momentarily distracted by the crowd gasping. You look over to see the magician removing his own hat and just like your uncle taking off his pants to reveal a half-dead goat, the rabbit is underneath.

“Sorry, you lose, the rabbit was under this hat. Classic trick. Sorry, you do not get my fortune and you must now leave the show. Give it up for our volunteer!”

You try to put aside your embarrassment and get this date gate activated before the assistant comes to drag you off the stage. You try rubbing the clipping, kissing it, scratching it and still, nothing. The whole crowd is laughing at you. Then, you get an idea. You walk over to the magician and snatch the mic out of his hand.

“Here’s some real fuckin’ magic,” you say, holding up the newspaper clipping. You start rambling off as many magic words as you can think of. “Abra Cadabroo, mooby doo, screeny deem and wonder stew, magic words and boffy meer, get me the fuck out of here.”

The newspaper article vanishes in a poof of smoke and left in your hand is a shitty rolodex. Geez, some treat. Your disappointment quickly fades as you yourself fade from the stage and into the next world. Before you’re fully gone you see the magician barfing on the stage. Seems you spooked him. The next time you attend a magic show is many years in the future when magic is real and very scary.

Advent Calendar 2014 — December 13

There are 12 days of Advent adventure to enjoy before eye blasting this one. You gotta eat your lettuce before getting into the pickles, you know? 

December 1               December 9
December 2              December 10
December 3              December 11
December 4              December 12
December 5
December 6
December 7
December 8


You’re sitting across from a stern-looking man wearing a boring business suit. Good thing you just sucked on a breath mint because this looks, sounds and smells like a job interview!

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Before you have a chance to ask him who the fuck he is, he says:

“Tell me about your employment history.”

This is quite the change of gear from your last experience where you were already employed as some sort of tech messiah. You decide against telling the guy about that embarrassing stint as a stamp-licker at a very low-rent retirement home and get into your most recent work.

“I worked for, uh, SMOOF, designing apps and shit,” you put your feet up on his desk, knocking over a custom stapler monogramed, ‘Z.I.P.’, “and you know, I’ve dabbled in a bit of this, a bit of that, few ups, few downs, a couple zig zags and one solid year spent hyping underground chewing contests.”

You’re lying about that last part but it’s not like you pulled it out of your ass. Your dad once tried to publish a series of novels on the subject but they never really caught on.

“Is there anything you made at SMOOF that I would know?” the boss asks excitedly, ignoring the stapler.

“Uhh, does BAARK exist… here?” you genuinely wonder, hoping that your scary dog app is reality in whatever reality it is that you’re in.

“Sure, it helped me avoid a feral dalmatian last weekend! If it weren’t for your app I would’ve been forced to drop my bag of spices and run through Old Man Lisa’s moss bog. I wasn’t wearing boots so it would’ve got messy. Or should I say ‘mossy’.”

You both share a hearty laugh that you cut short with the best fake sneeze you’ve ever delivered. You decide to cut to the chase.

“Am I hired, dude?”

“Sure sure, we could use someone like you around here. Snowmen don’t melt themselves as we say.”

You can’t imagine why a guy like this would be in the snowman demo biz but Kurt Rambis never looked like a basketball player and he ended up fine.

nba_hair_rambis

Kurt Rambis

The boss continues, “To show we’re serious, take these tickets to the Leafs game tonight. No monkey business though, you represent the company henceforth.”

He slides these babies across his desk:

$_35

The date gate! Time to get out of here. The only thing left to do is to activate it somehow.

“Don’t just stare, give them a rub,” the boss says playfully. You’re not sure whether he’s giving you a hint or if he’s simply a nut bag, but your tolerance for bullshit has gone up considerably since this adventure started so you give them a rub. Nothing really happens so you use your fingernail instead. Sure enough, the Leaf jersey starts to disappear like on a scratch card and underneath is this:

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You look up at the boss and he’s smiling ear to ear.

“Three conies! Lucky duck.”

You’re kinda sick of this guy, which is totally fine because as soon as “duck” leaves his beak, your body disappears and you’re off to the next stop.

Advent Calendar 2014 — December 12

Deck the halls with previous chapters fa la la la la la la la LARM

December 1               December 9
December 2              December 10
December 3              December 11
December 4
December 5
December 6
December 7
December 8


After favouriting the space Tweet you’re transported into a modern office. There’s colourful furniture everywhere, one of those old Virtual Reality rigs, a vending machine stocked with rare snacks and flash drives, a trampoline, Gandalf’s horse cart, beanbag chairs on the ceiling, a living wall that’s growing ginseng, a bar that serves cereal and Magic cards, a life-sized Clue board, Anna Paquin’s Oscar, a wood-fired pizza oven, a car wash for hats and a small group of nerds huddled around a white board.

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You listen to them brainstorming, throwing around words like “social currency”, “engagement” and “digital sphere”, and this combined with that Tweet you saw inside your own head convinces you they’re trying to invent a new social network.

You figure this is a good a time as any to pitch your own ideas that normally come to you while you’re waiting for your garbage to cool. It reminds to to stop throwing out soup so close to garbage day.

Anyway, you interupt one of the participants and pitch your ideas:

“A service called Moopsy ‘Do – Take a picture of your haircut and create your own unique profile pic. Start networking with other hair without anyone judging your face. Share info on gels, sprays, ‘poos, oils, combs, beads, mousse, clips, dyes, and bald.”

The leader of the brainstorm nods approvingly and scrawls “Moospy – big time integration, smart metrics!!!” on the board. You don’t know what that means but you keep going:

“ClamShare – An online directory and social networking site where users share credit card information and buy stuff on each other’s dime. Post a picture of your monthly statement, which when added to the site, becomes part of a Darth Vader mosaic.”

minivader

There’s an obvious buzz among the group. The head guy writes “ClamShare – cultural AND real world currency, avatar marketing interactions, too fast? beta could integrate multimedia streams >> revenue”.

HA! When you told you sister that idea she called you a “fucking stooge”. Okay, you’ve got one more:

“BAARK – a mobile app that pings the user any time it detects a scary dog. The app then offers escape routes and locations of public washrooms for hiding and butcher shops for diversions”.

Someone in the group says, “oh baby!” and the head guy writes “BAARK has bite – upside engagement opportunities, e-commerce components and @leverage collaboration with third party suppliers”.

The head guy caps his marker and pumps his fist awkwardly. The others in the group look back at you in awe and you roll your eyes at them as if to say, “I know, I know, I’m radical sometimes”. The Mark Zuckerberg guy at the front stares straight into your eyes and says:

“You all know my policy when a game changer comes along and changes the game AND the social web. Ideas are the new Automobiles and this employee just invented the power window. Along with an expensive new cat that will be delivered to your backyard on Tuesday, I also present you with this,” the head guy says, holding out his hand.

You make your way to the front of the room and the guy flips you this coin:

gv mary token reverse

“It is of course a token to commemorate the 1911 Imperial Durbar, celebrating the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary. That event is at the heart of everything we do here at SMOOF.”

You feel like you should make a speech but these dweebs are cramping your style and you kind of want to get out of here. You’re not sure how to activiate this gate date so you try kissing it, which receives another round of applause from the audience, then try flipping it like a quarter, driving the crowd nuts. What’s with these people?

Then you figure it out. You start to peel away the silver and underneath the coin seems to be made of breathmint. You could’ve used some chocolate, but whatever. Before you pop the mint in your mouth you bow majestically and pull down your pants. It’s about time you had a little fun. The mint is then in your mouth and you’re out of there. Where to next?