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Aug 30th - Sept 5th, 2004

September 03, 2004
The Long Weekend Goodnight

Some good news, and I thought I'd share it, cause it's a long weekend and it's going to rain and my new mandate is to spread joy like women's thighs whenever possible.

A few weeks ago, I almost greased my pants cause it momentarily appeared as though I had sold out ten copies of Nunt at Greenwoods in three days, with no promotion whatsoever. But they weren't sold out. They were sitting in the backroom. However, I walked in today to check on the status, and shit, there was only two left on the shelves.

It was a joyous moment. Eight down. Fifteen-hundred ninety-two to go. If we sell them all, my poor publisher and I may just break even. Or not.

But the news was even better than I thought. My publisher phoned me up later on to say that Greenwoods had placed an order for another pile of books. And Laurie Greenwood's Volume II had ordered a batch. And the University took a batch. And Audrey's took a batch. And so, on Wednesday night, Zygote somehow placed forty-five copies of Nunt to local booksellers, bless their supportive hearts. I thought he might cry when he said it. But I was still curious about the magical eight at Greenwoods.

I asked, "Who the fuck is buying the books? I mean, when there was three sold, I knew who each one went to, but who bought the other five?"

And it felt a bit strange, to know there are weirdos out there wandering around with my picture in their purse.

"Who knows," he said. "Let's hope they're just regular customers. The greatest thing that could ever happen would be that some sort of buzz starts to spread through word of mouth, and regular people start to pick it up. So start praying, you unbelieving, godless cunt, and maybe it'll happen."

And I like to think it will happen (though I'm not going to pray - I have my principles), but I'm still a bit cynical and I'm guessing it's just friends and probably my mother buying up copies. Nice to imagine, though, that the marketing and the publicity and the hot design might work. Sort of like building a gun by reading a gunsmith textbook, and wondering what will happen when it is finally all screwed together and a bullet loaded in the chamber and the trigger pulled. Is it going to actually fire, or simply explode, taking the front half of the skull with it?

And that wasn't the end of the good news, either. There was more.

Though not entirely official, it looks like Nunt should be available on Amazon within a couple of weeks. For those who missed the write-up (July 21, 2004), there was a major struggle and failure to get the book on Amazon, and both my publisher and I were crushed when he reported that it wouldn't be there. But now it should be. Might not seem like a big deal, but it was a pretty big fucking deal to me. And so we both giggled on the phone and sniffed a little bit and said we should meet for a drink.

So I believe it is time to celebrate just a bit and maybe I'll take old Uncle Pat out for his birthday and we can bash our teeth together in old-school style and see how many rolls of loonies we can burn through, flicking our way to glory down at the ballet.

So have a lovely weekend, all. If you've got nothing better to do, write yourself a 3-day novel. The entry deadline is today. Writing starts tonight.

September 02, 2004
Target Market: Afrika

After negotiations with Rickaustein's, a sixth generation Manhattan law firm, the decision has been made to focus our future branding efforts on an expanding target market: North and West Afrika. In co-operation with BMW, Rolex and Grey Goose Vodka, 'Nunt will begin an aggressive 'brand infiltration' launch campaign in Sierra Leone.

Rickaustein's spokesman, Terrence Rickaustein said of the move, "We are pleased with the inclusion of N'ngus 'Xourette's book in our campaign. We have been looking for a young, Sierra Leone author to pair with to extend our microbrand initiatives, and as far as we can tell, N'ngus is the best known in the region, and well respected."

Rumours have long plagued the initiative about a lack of African presence in what the left-leaning press has called a 'mindless, ill-researched cultural invasion'. Only six weeks ago, efforts to find a suitable co-brand candidate failed to turn up any conclusive authors. Company officials blamed Charles Taylor, cholera and militia unrest for the results.

"A country long plagued with war and violence," said Rickaustein, "obviously has a branding issue. The fact is, several low-price point brands, such as Coca-cola and Pepsi have done quite well, but higher-end brands have not been properly established. We feel a niche exists for these products, and we feel that with proper staging, good entry market niching can be established."

When asked about the new spokesman's credentials, Xourette's spokesman, Nash Xanadu elaborated on 'Xourette's Yoruba tribe connections. When asked about whether or not Sierra Leone inhabitants, among the poorest in the world, would be able to afford a BMW, let alone Grey Goose or Nunt, Xanadu replied,"If they can afford a high-quality semi-automatic assault rifle like the AK-47, or mortar rounds, I'm certain they are ready for some of the finer things in life. I mean, I like guns, but even I couldn't spend my money on an AK."

N'ngus Xourette was unavailable for comment or photos.

September 01, 2004
And The Winner Is...

After a long and bitter month of competition, Tourette's Summer Tournament of MegaEvil is now complete.

The contestants battled long and hard in an effort to depict Nunto 35 in all its glory, and there were many brilliant entries. However, in the end, there was only one who was the winner.

So. In third place, we had "Children" by K-Dawg. In second place we had "Cow Boom Clown" by Nimmot and in first place was "Tic Tac Toe Kid", by Jeff Schwartz, aka. Dithered. You are champions.

And now, I'd like to say a big thanks to all who entered. It always supremely fucking cool to see artists ' interpretations of one's work - and there were a couple of times I was right blown away by the work - from the winners and many of the others. For those who have been watching the contest unfold, please check out the entries one last time, and give a bit of applause on the comments board at the end for those you voted for, or those you admired.

For those who forgot what sort of thing these folk were battling for, REMEMBER IL DUCE. If only we can get it across the border.

And soon - look for our first written contest, branded with a subtle little name I like to call: "TOURETTE'S HUNDRED BILLION DOLLAR CONTEST"!!!

And now - the medal winners!!!

Tic Tac Toe Kid - Winner
Cow Book Clown - Numbah Two

Children #3!!!

August 31, 2004
A Mild Political Giggle

After the Manchurian incident, I swore off politics for as long as it took Dick's jaw to heal. Since he's up and chatty again, there's no reason to suppress a public chuckle at Mr. Bush's expense.

Seems like The Commander in Chief, long-extolled by fellow Republicans as a real war-president, tough on terror, good on invading foreign nations, etc., stumbled a little bit in his speech and admitted something he really shouldn't have. I know that Mr. Kerry is the real flip-flopper, but this one sort of capped them all. Man alive, George can pop out some real ball-cutters.

As reported in the Guardian:

George Bush admitted yesterday the war on terror could not be won, as the Republican party convention, designed to showcase the president as a resolute leader at a time of national peril, was launched in New York.

...the timing of the remarks could not have been worse for the president, coming on a day that the party had lined up two of its biggest names - Rudy Giuliani, the ex-mayor who led New York through the September 11 trauma, and John McCain, a Vietnam war hero - to pay tribute to his qualities as a wartime leader.

Asked on NBC television whether America could win its "war on terror", the president replied: "I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the - those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world." - Guardian

The Democrats, after staring at the television, awestruck, spent an hour giggling like small children, before sternly replying.

“First George W. Bush said he miscalculated the war in Iraq, then he called it a catastrophic success and blamed the military,” said Allison Dobson, a spokeswoman for Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee. “Now he says we can’t win the war on terror. Is that what (White House political adviser) Karl Rove means when he calls for steady leadership?”

“After months of listening to the Republicans base their campaign on their singular ability to win the war on terror, the president now says we can’t win the war on terrorism,” said Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards. “This is no time to declare defeat.”

All this came after a weekend of demonstrations during the Republican convention in which close to half a million people exercised their right to make some noise. At some point, I would imagine, the Americans will have to realize that they shouldn't re-elect someone this stupid. I mean, he's funny, but that's what Vice-Presidents are for.

August 30, 2004
The Good Times Roll

Last week was an interesting experiment. Gathering that most people had heard enough of the fear of failure, management suggested that I write something 'humourous' to lighten up the situation. As such, we cranked it up and saturated the Daily Mingus with enough blistering, ego-driven bravado to embarrass Rush Limbaugh. Needless to say, it was our highest rated week, ever.

As such, The Daily Mingus will now be shifting formats. Apparently, humour sells and pathos does not. As my manager said on Friday night, after snapping back his third triple Jack martini, "Who wants to be depressed? Depression is for homeless people. Think of your target market. These people have computers, which means they have disposable income, which means they will buy the book - IF they think it's going to be funny. So one word, Mingus - more funny, more money."

The waitress asked him if he wanted another martini and he said,"Only if you take a drink from it first. And leave your lipstick on the glass." She was unimpressed. I thanked him for his advice. And decided that I would follow it through, like in February when i decided that this blog would be written solely in the haiku format. That is, to say, I would give it a try.

I must have had six or seven triple gins that night, and the walk home was what a walk home at this time of year is: cold, leaning into the early winds of winter. Felt lonely, and I found myself walking down Chloe's street and knocking on her door, unannounced. And stood there, listening for footsteps, remembering that the last time I'd seen her, the night ended when she tried to take my head off with a forty ounce bottle of vodka.

And I knocked again, and finally heard footsteps, but when the door opened, it wasn't Chloe who answered. It was the Accountant, wearing a bath robe. Of course, the last time he and I met on the steps of Chloe's house, i was naked and he was snooping for some love and I hit him as hard as I could and knocked the fucker down, but now that the situation was completely and utterly reversed i didn't know if i should hit him again, because i had no ground to stand on, cause he was the one she picked up for the night, and i was the nogood sack of shit sniffing around in lust, hoping for the late night knock off. And maybe he should have hit me, and who knows what would have happened after that, cause I don't like getting punched in the face, but thing was, he didn't have to try to throw one to knock me down. Just seeing him in that fucking bathrobe with his shit-eating grin was enough to kick me in the balls and knock me back to the curb.

No, he didn't say a thing. Just looked at me and smirked, and I felt this homicidal rage well up, but before I could move, I could hear Chloe asking who it was, and that took the feet out from under me for good, and I staggered to the street and nearly fell over. And pulled myself around the corner so the fucker wouldn't see me. And i found a curb and sat down for a minute and tried to think it was ok.

But all I could think to do was recount where all the women I knew were that night. Rae-Anne was gone to the east, and Colette was in high preparations for getting married and Nat was nowhere in site, hopefully, and Chloe was fucking the accountant. And everyone else was at home with their piece of ass, even Ronnie and Regina. Gander and Celina. And me and the back of my fist. And so I stood up and limped home and thought it would be good to write, cause it is always good to write it out when things fuck with your head, but this was too much to fuck with my head so I tried to drunkenly fold some laundry and when i couldn't find that last wool sock, the good blue one I stole from Nat years ago, and it wasn't in the apartment anywhere, I just couldn't hold it off anymore and knelt and wept bitterly.

And I lay there, incapacitated, for a few minutes. And eventually got back up. Wiped myself off. Walked outside to clear my head and didn't give a fuck about the people that looked at me funny. Lit a smoke, and eventually, felt a bit better.

Decided to take a quick stroll around the block to shake it off, and hit the street and tried to think of the zen way of ignoring suffering. I rounded the corner, and saw a raven settling on the top of a garbage can. And he looked at me, and I looked at him, and for some reason, feeling that maybe we were in it together, I put my hand out, so he could land on it, if he wished. But the gesture frightened him and he leapt into the air, wings pounding, the garbage can lid crashing to the ground and he flew over my head. And I tried to look at his body as a thing of beauty, because I like big wild birds, but he was scared and as he flew over me, he shit, and he shit in my eye.

Anybody who has ever looked up into the asshole of a raven knows that raven shit burns like a motherfucker. And for the third time that night, I went down to my knees like a sack of shit, and wept, cause all I could see was bird shit and in all likelihood, I would be blind.

And I thought. Good. Fucking. Times.

PS. More big laughs tomorrow. Bet on it.

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