Pat Splatt’s Viral Video

“Fifth time today. Who is this moron?” Kankakee student and barista Ant D. Yu asks his partner.

“Hang up.” Dorian James says to Ant.

“Brandon’s Imbecile Machines. That’s is. I am blocking these fools.”

A knock is heard and Ant checks the peephole. The uninvited guest pounds the doorknocker.

Ant opens the door.

“Oh, hi Sybil.”

“Hey Ant. Do you have any dog food? I am hungry.”

“No Sybil. I told you before. Our family does not have a dog. But thanks for stopping by.”

“Okay. I did not know if you guys got one now.”

“Have a good day Sybil.”

Ant closes the door and a disappointed Sybil Kibble heads back to her McMansion down the street.

Sybil’s phone rings as she strides home. After she walks into one of her three garages, she checks her caller ID:

“BRANDON’S IMBECILE MACHINES

KANKAKEE, IL”

Sybil sees that this entity has called twelve times in the past three days and because of this, she blocks their number from calling again. She then heads inside and munches down on some dry doggie chow.

Gothic Diana Ross, a Kankakee singer and impersonator, is busy pulling up her black fishnet stockings when her phone lights up.

“Who is this?” Di thinks to herself and checks her screen.

“Brandon’s Imbecile Machines? Block.”

Di stares in the mirror for ten minutes, puts on her eyeliner, then starts listening to her own singing.

Brandon Dixon, owner of Brandon’s Imbecile Machines, is getting frustrated by the lack of response to the new phone campaign for his lifted truck lot. He remembers a tactic he had learned during his tenure at Credit Recovery Associates (CRASS) in Kankakee, and changes his mode of operation.

Ant Yu gets a call from an unknown number. He is in the habit of screening his calls and lets it go to voicemail. The next day, he checks his messages, and deletes the voicemail from “Brandon” asking him to call back, who has not explained why he had called.

Sybil gets a voicemail from Brandon and deletes it. Gothic Diana Ross does as well.

Brandon is again frustrated by the nonexistent return on his low-budget marketing investment for his overcompensated vehicle lot.

Knowing that Kankakee slimeball Pat Splatt might be able to hustle on his behalf, he calls. Pat teams up with Robbie Hurlbutt to try and spam people all over Kankakee by stealing Fakebook Martplace accounts.

Pat Oswald Splatt, or POS for short, develops a Fakebook virus to steal accounts for Brandon. It is disguised as a video featuring a picture of Sybil Kibble eating a can of cheap, wet dog food. Pat’s buddy and partner-in-crime Robbie Hurlbutt snuck it using his mobile phone, in the company break room, when he worked at CRASS for two weeks.

“Check this out, Robbie and Brandon!”

Pat shows off his newly minted virus, disguised as a video, designed to slide into Fakebook Martplace instant message boxes all over Kankakee.

“Kankakee bill collector eats dog food for lunch” reads the caption below the fake video that is really a virus.

“Once people click on this pretend video, the virus will send US the users’ login credentials. We will start by replying to Fakebook Martplace ads. That way we will find suckers really easily.”

The room fills with laughter.

“I based the virus off code I used to program a broken 1989 Atari emulator, accidentally broken on purpose. Those were my script kiddie days, back when I used to try and own noobs.”

“You are a noob, Pat.” Robbie snickers.

Pat launches the virus and Robbie gets ready to collect the login credentials so he can pool them into a spreadsheet.

Days go by…nothing.

Pat tests the virus and it is operational.

“Are you sending the virus out, Pat? I am paying you to do this.” Brandon asks.

“I am sending but nobody is a-clickin.”

“How about we step it up and generate a whole bunch a windows?” Brandon asks Pat.

“Good idea.”

Pat modifies the virus code to replicate multiple windows featuring Sybil Kibble enjoying her doggie dinner. The recursive windows end up crashing some computers, while most others fail to get infected at all, as the ancient technology powering the virus gets caught by even the most basic pop-up killer.

Brandon storms in on a sleeping Pat Oswald Splatt, curled up in his chair listening to a Robbie Hurlbutt Elvis impersonation video on a loop to try and increase his watch count.

“That’s it, I want my money back! I made nothing off your crappy viral marketing campaign!”

“Who-what-um-who is this? Hello?”

“Quit the drama! I want my money back!”

“Oh, hi Brandon.”

“Don’t hi Brandon me. I need my money back and I need it right now!”

“You will get your money back alright. Your bank charge failed because you had no money. You cheap fool!” Pat exclaims at Brandon and falls out his squeaky metal chair.

Brandon begins to laugh.

“Oopsie.” Pat giggles as Brandon leaves his former partner-in-crime and dials up another goofy plan in his head.

Damien is Willing to Be Desperate

Bourbonnais neckbeard and movie theater clerk Damien Hurlbutt prints up a bunch of business cards and leaves them around Kankakee County businesses, hoping to spring a date:

DAMIEN ULYSSES HURLBUTT

SINGLE NICE GUY

SEEKS M’LADY FOR

FREE MOVIE TICKETS

815-555-FART

Scammers call. Damien answers, thinking they are legit:

“Hi M’Lady M’dame” Damien answers.

“Is this Damien….Ummm….Hurlbutt?”

“You got ‘em.”

Hi. I am calling to report your Social Security Number has been disabled.”

“Oh hi. I see you got my card. I am a really nice guy.”

“I beg your pardon?

“No don’t hang up. I can will myself out of heart attacks, I am so cool.”

A click and a dial tone are heard.

Prankers call:

“Hello. Is this Damien?”

“Speaking.”

“You just won a lifetime subsciption to Feetsniffers’ Monthly!”

“I did! Oh, wow!”

“You moron, it’s a prank…”

The caller hangs up and a disappointed Damien’s smile turns upside down.

Pyramid scheme peddlers call.

“Hey, Babe.”

“Oh heyyyy honey puddin’” Damien replies to the lady caller.

“Umm, hi.”

“Heyyyy. What is a little and dainty lady want with an oaf like me?” Damien drools all over his flip phone.

“I have a great weight loss product that can take you from chump to champ in no time.”

“Come now!”

“Go now!” The lady hangs up on Damien.

Then Doris Krabalsky, the notorious street pyramid schemer calls. Damien hangs up. Doris calls again but Damien blocks her call because he does not want anything she might be selling.

Doris hides her number from caller ID and tries to call Mr. Hurlbutt again.

“Hello?”

“Hi, is this Damien?”

“Who is this?” Damien asks.

“I really think you are cute. Let’s go out sometime.”

“Wait, who is this?” a nervous Damien queries.

“Doris.”

Damien faints, falling to the floor, not waking up until hours later.

He did not “will his way out” of it, did he? In fact, he does not “will” his way out of much of anything.

Tears of a Clown

Madeline walks behind the strip mall, past the dumpsters, to hide from a client who turned her in for illegal activity at her low-income housing complex.

“Madwoman!” a male voice calls out.

“Who called me?” a terrified Madeline asks.

A slender, young, dirty-blonde male wearing shades, a hoodie, and ripped blue jeans walks up to Madeline.

“I am Brandon Dixon. I own Brandon’s Imbecile Machines in Kankakee. I hear you are a clown.”

“Ummm, yeah…”

Madeline shakes even more.

“I am one too. I would like to try out for your touring Vaudeville act.”

“Maybe I can use an understudy.”

“You bet. Call me.”

The two shake hands and part ways. Madeline heads back to work, Brandon home.

“Hi, is this Wally Green?”

“Speaking.”

“This is Madeline Topolla-Teirant. I need to order a case of some half-ply toilet paper. That’s the kind that breaks off one square at a time right? I need some really cheap supplies for our community centers here at our low income complexes and I am not going to pay a lot. Ohh, hold on I have a beep.”

Madeline switches calls.

“Robbie?”

“Hey babe. Moronic Half-Assets has a gig coming up tomorrow in Gary, Indiana. I was totally thinkin’ I would rock the joint as Roy Orbinson.”

“You’re just an Elvis impersonator and not a very good one,” Madeline insults Robbie.

“Well honey, I can also pull off a crazy cool Mike Mesmith.”

“Get outta here with that.”

“Peter Tork? “Johnny Cash?”

“NO!”

Madeline slams down the phone.

“Riiiiiing!”

“Yes.”

“This is Wally. You wanted to order toilet paper?”

Madeline sighs…

The next afternoon, a Wally Green’s truck shows up to the low income housing complex where Madeline works.

“Beep beep beep beep.” The truck backs in.

“A whole case of half-ply toilet paper, just like you ordered. Just sign here on the sticker.”

Madeline scrawls her name.

“Here you go!”

“Ouch!”

“Whoopsie!” says the driver.

“You dropped the box on my foot. I think you broke it!”

Madeline drives over to the nearest 30 Second Clinic.

“It’s a bit bruised but you will be fine. Just ice it for two days while you are at home. You can go back to work now.”

“But doctor?”

“Your thirty seconds are up. We have other patients out there in the waiting room. Our medical office assistant will walk you out and take your copay.”

An angry Madeline begrudgingly pays her bill and heads home. There is no way she can make the gig tonight.

Madeline gets on her mobile phone.

“Hey Brandon, this is Madeline. I know this is short notice. I have a clown gig tonight I cannot make. You see I broke—“

“I’ll do it!” Brandon says with a smirk only he can see on his face, as he is looking at himself in the mirror.

“Gary, Indiana. Lapolla Theater.”

“Oh, I will be there, makeup and all.”

“I knew I could count on you.”

“Thanks.”

Madeline hangs up her phone and takes a nap.

Hours pass and Madeline thinks about how happy she is that she has another clown. Deep down inside she really does not want to do that gig in Gary. She falls asleep while thinking up a scheme to get out of paying Brandon.

A series of dings wakes a sound asleep Madeline.

From: Konrad

“I did not know you were sending us a juggalo. The crowds booed us! What were you thinking, Mad?”

From: Robbie

“Man this clown is weird and he looks funny. He reminds me of people my father hung out with. He keeps asking me to buy him Faygo. Our gig sucked because of him, not because of me. Just saying.”

A series of photos came in of Brandon, Konrad and Robbie on stage.

Needless to say, Madeline was up all night, and it was not because of her foot hurting.

CRASS Cubicle Contest

“You are number one!” Team Leader Sybil Kibble tells new part-time Collections Representative, Robbie Hurlbutt.

“I know,” Robbie smirks.

“No, I mean you made the top of our production metrics. Good job, keep doubling down on debtors and you will do well here at CRASS.”

Robbie flashes a thumbs up to Sybil and swings back around to his cubicle.

“Ding.” Everybody gets the same email.

From: “Mack. E. Avelli” [bigmack@crass-llc.con]

To: “CRASS Corporate Listserv” [all-crass-l@crass-llc.con]

Friday, October 25, 2019

Subject: Cubicle Decoration Contest

We here at CRASS care about employee stress. Therefore I, as your polite and tenderhearted Chief Executive Officer, am extending an entire thirty minutes (:30) to participate in the company cubicle contest (CCC). Be creative in decorating your cubicles and have fun! You are not required to use your lunch for this event, but we encourage you because time is money!

The winner will be selected by our very own art director, the lovely and talented Dorian James on Halloween Day.

The prize will be a trophy to display in your office. Have a spooky good time!

Regards,

Mr. Mack E. Avelli

CRASS Chief Executive Officer

The collectors get to work making calls and decorating their cubicles. Robbie Hurlbutt, a local Elvis impersonator best known for an Internet meme featuring a scowling lady unhappy with his nursing home performance, covers his cube with Elvis record covers. Dale Davis covers his walls with ghouls and goblins. Sybil Kibble covers her supervisor cubicle with devil dogs.

It is a cold, windy Halloween day in Kankakee and it is starting to rain. “If you don’t like the weather here in the Midwest, wait five minutes,” Dale jokes to Sybil.

“Eeep!” The email all of CRASS has been waiting for comes in.

“Who changed our notification sound to a wild eep?” Robbie asks.

“That was probably Dorian,” Sybil sighs.

From: “Dorian James” [dorian@crass-llc.con]

To: “CRASS Corporate Listserv” [all-crass-l@crass-llc.con]

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Subject: Cubicle Decoration Contest Winners and Losers

Sybil: Your design lacks thought and maturity. It is not what we are looking for.

Dale: There is no art development and it basically reads like a rather puerile joke.

Tara: You are obviously a 13 year old drama queen…Grow up little girl.

Mack: Several of us discussed your design and did not like it. Not everyone likes what I make. It is not personal.

Mike: You need to get used to the fact that not everyone is going to like your work and move on.

Robbie: That is the best design I have ever seen. I love Elvis. You are my winner.

R,

Mister Dorian James

Art Director Extraordinaire

Credit Recovery Associates

The staff is upset with valid reason…except for Robbie. He is smiling away, taking calls and collecting his Form 4s from all the bonuses he gets from not accepting less than double what the debtors can afford to pay. Robbie is grinning ear to ear and cannot wait to rub his trophy in to the entire staff after he receives it.

Robbie continues to successfully make one call after another, when he gets a wide-eyed visitor.

“Hey there, fella!” an upright, confident Dorian James chants to Robbie as he is very happy to see him.

“Oh hey man! Thanks for picking me! Better than picking my nose ya know.”

Awkward silence ensues.

“That was a joke, ya know,” Robbie says nervously.

“Oh sweetheart, I am here to present you with your award.”

“Thanks, man!” Robbie says as he accepts his tiny, gold-tinted trophy.

“Oh, thank you honey. Not a problem at ALL! Hey Robbie, what ya doin’ after work? I think ya kinda cute and wanna take my number one man to dinner!”

“Wait, what?” a confused Robbie asks.

“Yeah cutie! I love your Elvis hair and your clothes! Let’s go out and do karaoke or something!”

“No way man. I quit!” An infuriated Robbie storms off the job and out the building.

Dorian feels crushed by the rejection.

“How does it feel to get rejected, huh Dorian?”

“Yeah you little reject! Now start walking in our shoes.” Sybil says to a beleaguered Dorian.

The staff all begin to laugh at Dorian and make their ways home. It is the end of a long, scary, stressful workday.

Happy Halloween!