Rejected submission: Gulden’s mustard commercial

As a man ages, he realizes that he must give up childish pursuits. As my rapid, chronological descent into adulthood brings me ever closer to sobering reality, I am forced to confront such wisdom. Once upon a time, I enjoyed writing, simply as a creative release; an exercise in conceptualization. Now, I look to the future: how can I turn my passion into something less personally engaging, but something far more profitable?

This line of thought has led me, inevitably, to writing ad copy. The copywriting field has long been a lucrative abort-button for the creatively inclined who lack the ambition to write the next great American novel, or who otherwise enjoy eating and living inside things as compared to never eating and living outside. Given that, I have sculpted the next great masterpiece, as far as mustard commercials go.

Edit: This piece was originally withheld from publication on BLAG, as I was submitting it for publication elsewhere. It was rejected. Fortunately, my failure is your victory and you can now read the submission in its entirety, below.

Gulden’s mustard commercial (to be used during the Super Bowl)

Two men sit at a high-top table in a burger restaurant. The waitress arrives with two cheeseburgers.

“OK, you’ve got the cheddar burger. And the California burger with swiss, for you. Can I get you guys anything else?”

“Yeah,” says Man #1, “can we get some mustard?”

“Sure,” says the waitress. “We have French’s or Gulden’s.”

“I’ll take some French’s, please,” says Man #2.

“And for you?” the waitress asks Man #1.

“Oh, I’ll have Gulden’s, please,” he replies.

The room grows dim, as if the ambient light has been sucked through a hole in the wall. The camera jumps to the faces of some of the other customers in the restaurant. The music that had been playing lightly in the background stops abruptly. As the room darkens, the customers look around, confused.

Suddenly, the groaning of old, thick spruce beams fills the dining area, as if a clipper ship was being bent from stern to bow. CRACK. The ceiling shudders under the tremendous stress. Customers begin looking upward just in time to see the ceiling give way to the magnificent force. A complexity of fractures begins to appear, line by line. The cracks reach critical proportions. Chunks of the ceiling begin breaking free, only to be pulled upwards, revealing a violent, galactic tempest. It appears as if a black hole is destroying the restaurant. People are crying, praying. Through the now gaping hole in the ceiling appears a nebulous charybdis, inhaling napkins at first, then place settings and food, tables, empty chairs and, finally, some of the customers. Their screams echo briefly, before the very sounds of the restaurant exit through the overwhelming wormhole that has formed where the ceiling once was.

Man #2 looks at Man #1. “What the hell is happening?!” he mouths, but his cries are whisked into the gaping maw overhead before they can ever reach Man #1.

Man #1 says nothing. His eyes begin to roll back into his head. His hair, standing at ends, writhes like thousands of electric snakes wriggling in all directions, as if escaping a scalp set aflame. His skin begins to illuminate as his eyes whiten and glow as if two 1,000-candle flashlights were jammed into the back of his skull.

Man #1 begins to rise from his seat, just as the high-top table he and Man#2 are placed at suddenly shoots upward and through the hole in the ceiling and out into space at incalculable speed. His stool falls sideways, but makes no sound as it hits the ground. In fact, everything is silent now. Man #1 is levitating. His skin turns a polished bronze, his eyes now blinding Man#2, burning his skin. Man #2 tries to look away, but cannot unfix his gaze. Suddenly, Man #2 is thrown against a wall. Immobilized, he can only watch in awesome fear as Man #1 levitates higher, now in the center of the dining room. One by one, each of the other restaurant patrons appear to be screaming in agony. Still, there is no sound.

Man #1 is now hovering in the center of the room. His hue changes again, from a dim copper to a near-blinding gold. His expressionless face becomes invisible to mortal eyes amidst the overexposure. One by one, the other customers seem to devolve into creatures formed purely of agony. And, one by one, their heads explode without the slightest sound, bodies collapsing into heaps on the hardwood floor.

Then, as suddenly as it began, the unworldly tempest ends. The ceiling replaces itself, piece by piece. The cracks glow, then meld and disappear. Man #1 regains his human hue, his eyes dim back to a calm blue. He floats, gently, back to his seat. He carefully squirts some of the Gulden’s mustard that the waitress had brought moments before on his California-style burger with avocado and replaces the top bun and takes a bite. “Mmm,” he says. “That’s a good mustard.”

The shot cuts to the Gulden’s logo. Voiceover: “Are you a Gulden God?”

End.

[ETA: I kind of get why they rejected this, in retrospect]

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Excerpt from my new sitcom-novella, ‘The Odd Couple Who Are Also Both One God’

Happy Easter, everybody. As a small celebration, I here present to you a short excerpt from my forthcoming sitcom-novella, “The Odd Couple Who Are Also Both One God.” It’s about two guys who decide to save money by living together, and who are also God and Jesus, who is also one person/God. Hope you enjoy it!

Some rough art for the cover/promo poster

The main characters, God and Jesus, and their talking pet seagull, Moses.

God stares past His reading glasses, over the the New York Times crossword puzzle that He has already completed, immaculately, in indelible ink. “Well. Look who’s finally risen.”

Christ digs hazily through the pantry closet for a K-cup and does His best to ignore God. He groans and rubs one eye with a stigmatic hand, stopping to peer through the hole at God, now back to reading His morning paper. Under His breath, Christ mumbles two syllables: “asshole.” He then takes three Advil and begins brewing a dark roast.

“I heard that,” says God. “You’d better lose your dog-shit attitude before everyone comes over for Easter dinner. And would it kill you again to shave?”

Stay tuned for more excerpts and keep an eye out on Amazon for the full release!

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The top 10 reasons why being an introvert is really great

Hey guys! I’m a huge introvert so, naturally, I feel compelled to write an exposé to the Internet about who I am and what I’m like! Extroverts may spend more time in the spotlight, but being an introvert is, in my dumb little opinion, vastly superior. Also, like most great journalistic exposés, this will be a listicle.

Pop quiz: can you tell if this is an introverted or extroverted brain? Trick question! This brain is neither; it is dead.

Pop quiz: can you tell if this is an introverted or extroverted brain? Trick question! This brain is neither; it is dead.

1. Introverts love being all by ourselves!

What’s better than being surrounded by friends and loved ones? Being totally alone! While humans are typically regarded as social animals who use numbers to an advantage, compensating for their own physical frailty with teamwork, strategy and communication, many humans have been successful completely on their own, and with no inclination towards self-promotion. This is what the United States military referred to as an “army of one.” Think about it: does having friends around make it easier to order a pizza? Fuck no, it doesn’t. We seek our happiness in the shadows, away from prying or caring eyes. Society’s rewards mean nothing to us!

Continue reading

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Haha, oh, man

Haha, OK, buddy — you’re all done for a little while!

Let’s back up a bit: It looks like George Zimmerman (who shot that kid last year) is shopping around for a tactical shotgun at the same manufacturer that produced the pistol that he shot that kid last year with.

Also, he posed for a photo with the manufacturer’s son, and he rearranged the hair on his head from courtroom Boy-George back to regular Grown-Up-George who shoots kids.

ku-xlarge

(George is the heavier fellow on your right.)

See? Anyway, it’s only logical that George needs a larger gun, now. Pistols are great, but kids are getting bigger and bigger these days, what with all the steroids we pump into our foods and athletes, and sometimes you just need that extra bit of stopping power to get the desired “effect on target.”

If you think this guy is really going over the top, let me stop you right there and give things a little context. Truly understanding George Zimmerman is more about understanding the extreme measures he isn’t taking:

  • NOT taking martial arts, or otherwise exercising
  • NOT violating Geneva Convention with things like chemical weaponry
  • NOT engaged in any means of torture that we know of
  • NOT frowning/scowling in photographs

See? Chill. Other stuff he HAS been doing:

  • Caught speeding in Texas with a gun in his glove compartment three weeks prior to the above

Haha, what?! Oh man … get a grip, pal! (And I don’t mean a pistol grip!) Here are my — and I assume everybody else’s — favorite parts of this story:

  1. When asked by the police officer where he was going, Zimmerman replied “nowhere in particular”
  2. The officer told Zimmerman to “Just take it easy,” and “don’t play with your firearm, OK?”

This raises some interesting, and particularly American, questions regarding the state of our nation.

No, no. Not about gun laws. About something far more serious.

What does one do — and indeed, where does one go — when they’ve already fucked up so bad they can’t retreat to Florida?

Maybe Puerto Rico? I don’t know. But if we don’t consider these problems, we are only going to create more and more heavily armed nomadic fatties with no place to go and nothing to lose. Can you imagine? Roving bands of hungry marauders, stalking our highways in search of trouble? It’s like that book The Road.

~BALG

Whoops,

~BLAG*

[Ed. note: This story contains content aggregated from news aggregate Gawker.com, which I won’t even provide links to, because they ignored my resume. All unquoted words are mine, however.]

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Introducing: BLAG Design Solutions

Dear blags,

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, American youngsters had big dreams:

“I want to move to Hollywood and be a star.”

“I want to become an astronaut, and explore the stars.”

“I want to be a bounty hunter, like Boba Fett in Star Wars.”

Now, young people have a different dream:

“I want to move to Manhattan and do graphic design for a Web star-tup company.”

Sure, this dream is a lot more boring. And given that there are just as many aspiring designers in Manhattan as there are hopeful actors in Hollywood, and bounty hunters in Florida, it’s about just as unlikely now that everyone will find success as it was before.

That said, an important part of being a writer, like me, is understanding zeitgeist. Which means I’m all done with writing and I’m a graphic designer now.

That’s good news for those of you in need of someone to do graphic and, sure, why not, Web design for a competitive price. My portfolio is still a bit limited (see if you can find the masterpieces I’ve already sprinkled throughout the archives!), but that’s where you — and your money ($$$) — come in.

So, think about it. But before you make a decision, let me just whet your appetite with a free taste. I promise you’ll love it. Then you’ll start feeling a little sick. That’s when you come back to me when you want the hurts to stop. Of course, I’m not in the business of giving this stuff away for free forever, I have operating expenses, there’s a certain amount of risk involved, and … I’ve said too much. Here you go:

I provide creative solutions for a fucking insane amount of verticals.

I provide creative solutions for a fucking insane amount of verticals.

 

~BLAG Design Solutions

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The gentleman’s guide to how much you should drink at different things

It might seem like I haven’t written any posts in a while to you folks out there who aren’t me. Nothing could be further (farther? father?) from the truth. I write posts all the time. In fact, I’ve written some material that’s far better than anything viewable on this site by miles. That’s why I save it just for me. I save these gems for my secret death portfolio. That’s right — my most brilliant material is located in a safety deposit box. Every week, I submit a new short-form masterpiece. All of these manuscripts are set to be released to the public at the time of my death. There are no stipulations as to how I must die in order to trigger this release. It could be by apparent accident, or … well, let’s just say the game has begun.

In other news, it’s summer. You know what that means, right? Yup, same as the dead of winter — lots of drinking! A little background in case you’re a new person: lots of drinking has been done by humans since at least as early as 8,000 B.C., which was probably when the first job was created and man needed to push his abbreviated leisure time into hyperdrive with extra, alcohol-induced leisure. God later invented the hangover, because of gay people, presumably (I’m making some assumptions here because I can’t read Sumerian).

So there’s the history of it and it all seems fairly simple. However, modern man (and, to a lesser extent, woman) is faced with an ageless quandary: when can I drink next, and how much? With that, I offer my help with the following list of scenarios and their respective amounts of drinks to be consumed. Units will be in “drinks” (= 1 shot, 1 beer, 1 cocktail, or 4 glasses of wine). Because my unique brand of science is based on personal, anecdotal field research, I will use my rough proportions as well: male, 6’1” (rounding up), 175 lbs. lean muscle, 0% body fat, and those weird lower-hip dimples that Brad Pitt and other guys in ridiculous shape have. Here we go …

Middle of a work day
Monday-Thursday, no more than two at lunch. Friday – nothing matters.

Baby shower
Five. (Keep in mind that this equates to 20 glasses of wine.) More if you hardly know anybody.

The beach
Ha, you can’t get drunk on a beach! Go nuts, then blame your behavior on heat exhaustion. Plus, a quick ocean dip lowers BAC by about 0.5%.

Birthday party for someone in early 20s
Like, 12.

Birthday party for someone in late 20s and beyond
Like four. You’re probably celebrating on a weeknight anyway because nobody goes out on the fucking weekend anymore.

By yourself, at home
So now that you’re home from that mid-week b-day party, it’s time to really cut loose! Three drinks. In 40 minutes. Maybe check to see how old girlfriends are doing on Facebook, just out of curiosity. You’re over them. You’re over ALL of them.

Job interview
Just enough to get the jitters out. One-two drinks.

State of the Union address
Depends how many times President _____ says “____.” Grab at least a six pack, though. These fellas like to talk.

Funeral
None at the wake/burial (unless you’re related); seven at the reception.

Sporting event
Now, this one’s tough, and it’s going to depend on the sport. Soccer’s only 90 minutes plus half-time, so that’s a solid five drinks. Hockey is similar. Football games, you’re gonna need a couple beforehand, plus some food, then another five to eight during the games, cause those are pretty long. For baseball, you’re going to want to show up with about 10 drinks in your system, or a good book, because that sport is close to unwatchable so you’re going to need an activity. Games also last like three-to-six hours, so make sure to have at least one drink per hour to keep your liver from catching up and leaving you wildly sober/aware of where you are and what you’re doing.

Wedding
Ah. This is what those of us on the wrong side of 25 like to call “The Ultimate.” Aside from recovering from surgery, weddings are one of an adult’s only opportunities to really let loose and hit rock bottom, for a safely contained period of time. The sky is the limit. Hopefully you’re responsible, and are already hungover from the night before the wedding so you won’t make a dummy out of yourself at the actual wedding. All bets are off for the reception. In all likelihood, you will ruin things. You will say things to the bride that you will regret. You might even dance if you get really drunk. And then, the next day, you will pull the pieces together and fly away, like a mysterious, substance abusing Cat in the Hat.

Don't worry! You don't have to do all this shit while you're drinking.

Don’t worry! You don’t have to do all this shit while you’re drinking.

Well, that’s it for now. If I get some positive feedback, I might continue this. Or, if it’s like every other post, I won’t and will keep driving blind.

~BLAG

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Death.

If you’re all wondering where I’ve been since the last post, I’ve been sitting Chivas.

For the uninitiated, “sitting Chivas” is a lot like when Jews “sit shiva” — a week-long period of traditional mourning for the loss of a close relative. The only difference is, of course, that sitting Chivas is when you sit and drink a bottle of whiskey. And no, it doesn’t have to be Chivas Regal-brand whiskey. The name is just a coincidence. Sitting Chivas is for people who are not religious, and therefore need another way to indulge in self-induced sensations of dread and guilt. Also, we don’t have to wait for a relative to die — any death can be a great excuse to sit Chivas!

Exhibit A: the rabbit that always — I mean, used to — stare at my dog from the treeline in my family’s back yard.

Relax: this still photo could have easily been a video of me trying to scoop him up with a shovel.

Relax: this still photo could have easily been a video of me trying to scoop him up with a shovel. Trust me, that was way worse.

Yes, this rabbit was a well-known visitor to my family’s back yard for a couple of years. He had even developed some level of understanding with my dog, in that he wasn’t afraid of my dog, and my dog couldn’t reach him without being electrocuted by the invisible fence. Heh heh — he sure did try, though!

Want to know what I named him? I didn’t. Why? Because I was too busy naming the two hawks and pack of several coyotes who also live behind my parents’ house. If you’re not picking up on the logic behind which animals I do and do not name, here’s why:

Hey, remember this?

Hey, remember this?

Unfortunately, Ethan Hawk flew away as I tried to get in for an action shot of him eating what’s-his-name up there. So, I was forced to settle for an action shot of him being dead.

Here’s where you’re probably asking, “why?” Why did I share this? I dunno. Cause it’s gross?

Stay tuned for next week’s photo shoot: Nameless Wild Turkeys, Thy Suffering Is Over!

~BLAG

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5 Great Moving Tips

When searching for a new apartment and planning a move, it’s important to stay positive and keep a few things in mind, especially when you’re looking to live with craigslist strangers. Ahem …

  1. Owner-occupied buildings can lead to future hassle. Love the experience of living with your parents, minus the love and free food? Well then go ahead, dummy. Rent a room in an owner-occupied building. Live in the unit right above the landlord and his family, too. I dare ya.
  2. Do the people you’ll be sharing a living space with have substance abuse problems? Do you? It’s important to make sure that everyone’s on the same page!
  3. Wait, there’s laundry in the unit? Check for hidden cameras. If something seems too good to be true, then you just may be on a prank show, or in this sicko’s secret “kill house.” Be alert when entering a stranger’s home, and always keep a weapon handy (and visible).
  4. Don’t get too stressed! You have plenty of time. And what’s the worst-case scenario, really? Homelessness? Moving back in with your parents? Who cares! It’s all a part of life’s grand adventure.
  5. Don’t sweat the small stuff! Eventually you, and everyone you know, will die. In death, there is no pain. I like to think of it as a “space womb” in which things like fear, anxiety and moving into a new apartment are no longer the masters of your now-ceased existence!
Sleep now, sweet prince, for you need never check craigslist again.

Sleep now, sweet prince, for you need never check craigslist again.

Well, I hope that helped! I know I sure feel better.

~BLAG

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Top 10 Hot Jobs for Sons (According to Dads)

Dads, right? They love us no matter what we do! But what if we took the time to round up a Gallup-size poll of dads across the nation to figure out just what exactly they really want their (first born! No secondsies or daughters!) sons to become when they grow up? Well, guess what? Here’s a top 10 with just that very information!

Top 10 Hot Jobs for Sons (According to Dads)

David-Luis-1871751

“It’s all about smiles and cries.”
-Ethan Hawke

1. Pro Sports Player
Dads love sports! What better way to make dad proud than to spend hours and hours, showering and running tightly choreograhed “plays” with other men — all in skin tight pants?! Dads agree unanimously: this is #1!

Cool shades? Uh, yeah ... sign me up!

Cool shades? Uh, yeah … sign me up!

2. Sports Coach
Those who can’t do, teach. And those who can’t play, coach! Sure, the wives aren’t as hot, but if you’re coaching NCAA, the pay is much better than the athletes’. Also, you get to make your own hours!

You, too could look this satisfied, once you've learned that people are not people, but rather toys. Toys to be broken and replaced.

You, too, could look this satisfied, once you’ve learned that people are not people, but rather toys! Toys to be broken and replaced.

3. CEO
You might know him as “the boss,” but this is his technical title. Big-shot here runs the show, and when the company inevitably tanks it and everybody gets fired/goes to jail, guess who doesn’t? Mr. CEO.

Ditto.

Ditto.

4. CFO
Kinda like the CEO.

Ha ha, well, maybe not this one! But another one.

Ha ha, well, maybe not this one! But another one. (Reince Priebus!)

5. RNC Chairman

At ease, pop; you're still the commander-in-chief at this house!

At ease, pop; you’re still the ranking officer in this house!

6. Army Guy
Well, if you’re not gonna be rich, dads want you to at least not disappoint them by instead being a professional badass. Plus, dad gets to vicariously wear military paraphernalia, kind of like how he does if you go to (a good) college, but here he also gets the added bonus of earning misplaced respect from strangers at the hardware store!

Navy!

7. Navy Guy
Hey, not bad!

I Googled "nurse." Full disclosure: I don't always look at these images before posting.

I Googled “nurse.” Full disclosure: I don’t always look at these images before posting.

8. Nurse Practitioner
Dads these days are pretty progressive, and polling data suggests that they also don’t want to pay for all-the-way medical school.

I'm certainly not saying that all gay men look like this. But this one sure does!

I’m certainly not saying that all gay professionals look like this. But this one sure does!

9. Gay professional
Like I said, dads are progressive as hell now. Can you imagine getting to be the dad that brags about how cool he is with his son being gay? Oh man, I’m droolin’ just thinking about it! Let’s say that there’s another dad and you catch him talking trash about your kid. You could, like, just go to town on that guy bare-knuckle and nobody would judge you for it. Do you understand how rare it is for a full-grown man to find an opportunity to get into a completely righteous fistfight? Having a gay son is a dream come true for dads.

Whoa, pretty cool! But here's  a two-stepper that'll really impress dad: 1. shave, 2. tie.

Whoa, pretty cool! But here’s a two-stepper that’ll really impress dad: 1. shave, 2. tie.

10. Yoga Instructor
“Oh, god. No. [Quiet sobbing.] A hundred grand for a liberal arts degree, and this is how you repay me? You get out. You get OUT of this HOUSE. Your mother did this to you, didn’t she? DIDN’T SHE?! YOU AREN’T MY SON. You were a mistake,” said 89% of dads polled!

Stay tuned for Top 10 Mother’s Day Gifts for Mom (spoiler alert: You just being there is enough!).

~BLAG

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Who wore it better?

dzhokharbackpack

or …

KStew_Japan_wenn4138228

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