Sunday, December 02, 2007

Backwards Bergerac

This is themed and continuing post of Foxxfyrre: The Fugitive of Bloggingham. See how it all began!
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Episode Two: Backwards Bergerac

The head hunters haven't caught up to me yet, but there has been some close calls. Sir Lancecannot seems to be everywhere, at every turn, but so far Karma, Murphy, the Fates---whoever, seems to be on my side. After leaving my stint as Ruby the waitress, it's been back alley to boondocks and back, and still no sign of the One Legged Man that stole my memes. I have heard dribs and drabs of his whereabouts, but these leads only turned up more dead ends. He couldn't have just fallen off the end of Bloggingham. It's much too large a 'Queendom' for that. I did find out that he was single, and that little tidbit of information gave me an idea. I started to search through the classified personal adds of the Bloggingham Herald, and I found a help wanted advertisement. I followed up on the ad, and apparently this company hires people to write responses to single men's personal ads that they place. I was surprised to find out that these responses are in the form of put-downs. Their reasoning is that they want to weed out men that are not serious about wanting to be in a relationship. It's a way of testing their sincerity, for if they can handle a few put-downs from a woman and still show sincerity in their correspondences, they may be worthy of actually meeting one of the real clients. Each staff member is given a real personality bio from a woman that is also looking for a relationship. We are to study this bio so that we can write the put-down correspondence to men's advertisements as if we were that woman. His responses to these put-downs are then placed before a panel to be rated, if he performs well, the woman is contacted and she may decide to continue with corresponding with that man.
The job is like being Cyrano de Bergerac in reverse.

My thinking was, if the One Legged Man was using relationship services, I might be able to fish him out by writing targeted put-downs that might give me an idea as to his whereabouts.
I took the job. I was interviewed by the proprietor, a Ms. Lenox, who seemed quite warm, but adamant about the nature of the service her business provides. Ms. Lenox handed me bios of ten woman that I was supposed to learn about and write their put-downs for. I was curious of why a man would be selected to write for women, but I was told that the Bachelors would never meet the authors of these put-downs, it is the quality of these put-downs that's important. The Bachelor would only get to meet the woman you're writing for if he passes the ratings, and if that woman finds him interesting.

There was no wasting time with Ms. Lenox. After accepting the position I was led to a computer cubicle on a very large floor filled with identical cubicles. There must have been two-hundred cubicles on the floor. Ms. Lenox told me that I had until Friday to make at least three different correspondences from ten Bachelors to match the ten women's bios that I need to study. On Monday, the correspondences are placed before the board and the men are either passed or rejected. On Wednesday the women are contacted for their approval for continuing with the correspondence to eventually meeting the Bachelors.

I studied all the women's bios, but I wasn't going to waste time by really getting into their heads so-to-speak. I just wanted enough information so I could start writing these put-downs in order to get to the Bachelors as quick as possible. By lunch time on Monday, I felt I knew the women's bios well enough to start searching for 'One Legged Bachelors'. I still had some tip money left from waitressing, so for lunch I thought I'd head to 'Dairy Queen Mimi's Brazier Burgers of Bloggingham' and have a Deluxe Double Mimi burger with Queenie Curly Fries and a Chocolate Royale Truffle Shake--moat sized of course. I placed the order and the cashier asked, "That will be 11 Mims 35 P., please?" So I pulled out a Twenty-Mim bill and she got my change and started to fill my order. I heard a couple of people behind me talking about some of the Bachelor bios they were reading today. I knew they had to work for Profiles 'R Us, so I turned and introduced myself as Mr. Shaw'tz, Durstan Shaw'tz. They introduced themselves as Mr. Bond, Ms. Turnbaby, Mr. Spinnerz, and Mr. Lance (who looked eerily familiar by the way). They invited me to join them for lunch. I accepted and listened very carefully to their Bachelor bio stories, for maybe one of them might mention a Bachelor with one leg. They also gave me some valuable pointers in order to write the put-down lines better and get quicker responses back from the Bachelors. Turnbaby said to go snarky right off the bat because the good Bachelors might see the humor in it and open up. The rest agreed with that point and added their own experiences and suggestions. After lunch we all headed back to Profiles 'R Us. I leaped right into finding One Legged Bachelors, for I was armed with a lunch full of good suggestions.

In my cubicle, there was a list of at least fifty different online services that feature available men, such as hmtp://QMW.Serf'sUp.regina, hmtp://QMW.Grooms4Grooming.regina, hmtp://QMW.ShineMyArmor.regina, and hmtp://QMW.Plenty_O_Knights_in_the_Moat.regina.
For those of you who may not be familiar with the Internet in Bloggingham, hmtp stands for Her Majesty's Transfer Protocol, and QMW is like WWW but stands for Queen Mimi's Web. There is no dot com or dot org either. The ending of an address will either be dot regina or dot rex depending on the gender of the ruling monarch at the time. Since it was Queen Mimi that founded the Internet in Bloggingham, QMW will never be allowed to change by Royal decree. I decided to go with Serf'sUp.regina and Mimied (there is no google or yahoo either) to search for One Legged Bachelors, but it turned up no hits. So I tried the others, and that turned up nothing either. Then it donned on me that if I was a Bachelor, I wouldn't emphasize a feature like that in a bio on a relationship site, but I would use some other more subtle expression so that I wouldn't be accused of hiding anything that important. I Mimied, "Will get on one Knee for you", and "I'm always a foot ahead of the crowd", and "I'm no shoe in" and these expressions turned out over three hundred responses on Serf'sUp.regina alone.

The clue hunt began. I read bio after bio to try to find a single lead that would identify my One Legged Meme Thief. Other than his brief appearance on MemeTV for the Bloggingham Meme awards, I had no real idea of what the One Legged Man actually looked like. I did have a picture that he uses on his "stolen" memes, but that only shows him from the back.
So I payed very close attention to any details in Bachelors bios that might give his identity away. Really close attention to every word they wrote on their bios. Too close attention. After eliminating just three Bachelors, the headache started. Who are these people? What kind of nerve they do have. The first line on the first Bachelor I eliminated was, "Goof Ball Wants a Goof Girl." And I thought "Goof Balls" went out of style in the seventies when Glitter Rock gave way to Punk Music. The second Bachelor I eliminated was no prize either. He simply asked any women to, "Jump In The Ocean With Me!" and he used a cartoon guppy with sunglasses and a cape as his bio picture. A Charlie Tuna Wannabe? To each his own I guess. Maybe he'll attract a nice twenty-something Goth girl--just don't get too caught up in her Fishnet stockings and safety pin piercings there Mr. Codpiece. Two hours of reading such prizewinning literature as these bios, I was ready for a stiff drink. Does anyone have any Miminol? AcetoMimiphen? White Mimphandel even? Help! It hurts! But I knew I had to plug on if I was ever going to clear my name--no matter how much it hurt.

I was in the middle of eliminating my fourth Bachelor bio when I did notice something a little peculiar. Every writer for Profiles 'R Us is filtered through a database prior to collecting Bachelor bios. This way it eliminates three or four of us 'Front Liners', as we're called, from working on the same Bachelor. If a Front Liner is already working on a Bachelor, their correspondences to the Bachelor flashes with an alert telling other Front Liners that this Bachelor is being profiled by another Front Liner. so move on to another Bachelor. What I noticed is that Mr. Lance was sending correspondences to three of the four Bachelor bios I had worked on, but his correspondences were not flashing. This got me really curious, so I used telnet to log in under a subnet mask to try to hack the origins of Mr. Lance's comments to Bachelors. If he was working through the system as the rest of us Front Liners, his comments should send back the Profiles 'R Us domain. But they didn't. His comments returned from Bloggingham Yard. I knew it. I knew I recognized Mr. Lance. It was really Sir Lancecannot working undercover. But why? So much for his detective and undercover skills. He's no Sam Spade if I can sniff him out in just a few hours.
Why would Sir Lancecannot be working undercover at Profiles 'R Us? I knew he didn't recognize me at lunch, and I'm sure he couldn't be here looking for me because everyone knew from my wanted posters that I am a married man. What could he be after?

Before I knew it, even with a massive headache, the 5:15 Royal Bell rang and it was time to go home, well, for most people anyway. Queen Mimi is a real stickler for strict office hours in Bloggingham. Queen Mimi runs Parliament from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, but the Royal Bell goes off at 5:15 for the commoners to finish work. This gives the Royal Chariot a fifteen minute head start back to the Palace before rush hour really starts. You could hear the hum and click of two hundred computer terminals logging off and shutting down simultaneously throughout the floor. As I gathered up my stuff and shut down my terminal, I noticed Mr. Bond, Ms. Turnbaby, and Mr. Lance walking toward my cubicle. Ms. Turnbaby said, "We're all going down to the Honk'n'Holl'r for a quick one, wanna join us?"

Pausing for a second to really look at Mr. Lance for any clue that he has recognized me, and I concluded that he hadn't so I said, "Sure, I'll join you. The Honk'n'Holl'r? I don't think I'm familiar with that place."

"It's a great little pub just down the street from here," said Mr. Bond.

"It's fun," said Ms. Turnbaby. "It's run by this quirky gray haired guy that's just a laugh riot. He's got a comeback for anything and anybody. Where do you think we get most of the snarky stuff we write for these Bachelors from? You don't think we actually study the Bachelor's bios, do you? We just buy Frank a Grande Marnier and let him loose on his own clientelle."

"It's a deal," I said. "I could use a little help writing these things. It's not quite as easy as I thought it would be."

The four of us took available seats right at the bar. The pub was quite busy, "Must be Cocktail Hour," I thought. And Turnbaby was right, it wasn't that bad a place, even with a name like the Honk'n'Holl'r. I thought it would be a combination Redneck Bar and Blue Collar gin joint, but it didn't seem that way at all. Turnbaby saw Frank come in from one of the back areas and waved him over. He headed right behind the bar waving the bartender off with an 'It's okay, I've got them motion.' "Tunbaby, Lance, Bond how are you guys? The usual? And you, what's your name and name your poison? No one is a stranger in the Honk'n'Holl'r."

Caught a little off guard by Frank's directness, I stammered, "F-F-Fox... Durstan, Durstan Shaw'tz. I'll have a Snifter of Grande Marnier and a glass of ice water please."

"Oh, I'm so sorry Durstan," Frank said. He paused for a moment and then added, "Grande Marnier is the Honk'n'Holl'r's private stock, so, uhmm, let's see what, hmmm, I guess...It'll have to be a double on the Ole H'n'H then." He looked at Turnbaby and motioned his hands at me and said, "A man after my own heart. Or did you put him up to this Bond?" Then a let out a big, but moustache buried smile.

"It was Durstan's first day at Profiles, so we thought he might need a drink," said Bond.

"I know on my first day, I could have used several drinks," added Lance.

"There was some real winners today," said Turnbaby. "One guy had the nerve to write, 'I'm Not a Gynecologolist But I'll Look.' Can you believe the guy?"

"He must be a thief," said Frank.

"Thief?" inquired Turnbaby. "I don't get it?"

"Sticky fingers," said Frank.

We all laughed, but at the same time we were a little shocked at Frank's Frankness, for he said it so matter-of-factly that you would believe he believed it. But you could see, if you looked closely, that there was a hint of a twinkle over Frank's left eye, so you could tell he was trying to stifle his own laughter. We sat and drank for a couple of hours. Frank seemed to work the room dropping one liners to almost everyone in the pub. Just before Turnbaby, and Bond were ready to call it a night, I noticed that Mr. Lance was showing signs of intoxication. I decided to buy a round for the road. Turnbaby and Bond said their thanks but refused.

Lance and I stayed and had another round, but before he could decide that he wanted to leave as well, I quietly ordered another double round. I needed to find out what he was up to at Profiles without giving myself away, so if I got him just drunk enough, he might spill the beans without really knowing what I was after. It worked, and it didn't take much coaxing. Mr. Lance was careful enough not to give himself away as Sir Lancecannot FRA Agent, but he did use terms like 'off the record' and 'hypothetically speaking'. After a final round of drinks, Mr. Lance told me that he had a hypothetical friend that has been wronged by a man with a physical handicap. He said he believed his friend's story and was hacking into Bachelor Bios to find this man. He wanted to let the man know that his friend was deeply hurt by his actions. I tried to push deeper, but he wouldn't budge further. Was it the One Legged Man he was looking for? Was this 'hypothetical' friend, really Foxxfyrre-- et moi, who is now on the lam running for his freedom in Bloggingham. Did he believe I was innocent? At least there is a glint of hope now, that is, if I am right about Sir Lancecannot's intentions. It seemed to me to be just a little too right to be just a strange coincidence that there could be something else he could be looking for. If I was careful not to blow my identity, Sir Lancecannot could help in my quest. To think, not even a year ago, I would never have foreseen myself, and an NRA Agent, ghostwriting as women on the same Bachelor Bios.

How's that for Three's Company?

_______________




10 comments:

Mr-Lance said...

I can not stop counting the ways this story is both scaring and disturbing for both myself and the bloggingham world!

Don't take that the wrong way, but come on, did anyone really need to see me in a dress? I think I'm going to be sick.

oddly, I can not stop laughing!

Let's hope the queen lets us (you) keep our heads!

good writing, thanks for going easy on me!

FoxxFyrre said...

Ha ha! But Lance it's not a dress, it's just real short shorts. Umm you might want to get some Nair.
He's got short shorts, ggg

I think Queen Mimi will let us keep our heads. It's not like I told the real story of last Wednesday night. A night of your quick imbibing which inspired this post BTW gggg.

You really do need to get some Nair.

He's got short shorts gggg.

Mimi Lenox said...

I agree with Lance. I came here once before tonight and couldn't look at the threesome any longer. What were you THINKING?

I'll be back once I've collected my thoughts...and my lunch.

Mimi Lenox said...

Excuse me, I need to sharpen my sword.

Linda said...

Uhm ... er ... I am somewhat speechless!

Is it bad that Mimi went to sharpen her sword? I don't think that's a good sign at all!

polliwog said...

HAHAHAHAHAH!!! I just peed my pants.

Lovin' this series Frank.

Hey, did you know I work for Queen Mimi? Yeah, I do admittance to the dungeon and all the flogging. I've misplaced my high-heeled sneakers though so no floggings today.

FoxxFyrre said...

Mimi, it not what I was thinking, it's what we--us comeback contestants do every week--the male ones anyway. We write comeback lines to dis bachelors as a women. Lance and I do this every week to the same bachelors, but we really don't play dress up though ggg.

FoxxFyrre said...

Linda, I hope it's a figurative sword *crossing fingers*

I was speechless after making this post, and the last picture. I think I really could carry off a witty, but smart blond ggg

FoxxFyrre said...

Polli
Darn, I was really into a good flogging today. What brand of sneakers were they, Air Spikey? Stiletto Avias? PokinPuppies gggg

Mimi Lenox said...

A special post for the 50th comeback challenge this weekend. I've posted some of your funnies. Thanks for playing. I appreciate it.
50th Comeback Challenge Celebration

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