Curious Commodities

Mr. Blick pt. 3

The Finale

The Finale

Hello Readers. I’m back.

I apologize for my absence. To make up for it, I will give to you the account of my hiatus from writing, and how it ties to the story of Mr. Blick.

When we left off, Blick and I were flying towards West Mangoustan to meet a man called Jeeves, who would help us infiltrate East Mangoustan, and destroy the lab that the East Mangoustanis had been using to perform sick experiments on various organisms. That lab was responsible for Mr. Blick’s petroleum based state.

Anyhow, we eventually landed in West Mangoustan, where we met Jeeves at the airport. He took us back to the hotel, where we established our plan.

First, we had to get into East Mangoustan, which meant getting clearance with both East and West Mangoustani authorities. We decided that we should disguise ourselves as Canadian filmmakers making a movie in East Mangoustan, and calling the film Goarbut that somehow seemed like it had been done before, so we decided against it. Instead, Jeeves chimed in and said that he could just get travel permits made.

We agreed, eager to avoid any overcomplicated theatrics. Once we arrived in East Mangoustan, we would travel to the site of the lab, which was hidden underneath an abandoned soda manufacturing plant in the north of the country, count on finding some conveniently placed lab coats and badges, walk in, plant some cleverly disguised bombs, sneak in to the room where Blick was transformed, transform him back, run like hell, and then blow up the place. After that point, Jeeves would come with a helicopter he got from his East Mangoustani contact (who still needed to be asked about using his helicopter), and we would fly a safe distance away before waltzing out of the country the same way we came in using the same fake IDs.

So, we began with our plan. We successfully had fake IDs made, and, disguised as journalists, managed to make our way into East Mangoustan, with some minor bribery and non-lethal combat. Jeeves was able to drive us within a few miles of the lab, before driving back so he could talk to his friend about the helicopter.

Our first hiccup was the lack of conveniently placed lab coats within a few miles of our destination. So, with Mr. Blick in my pocket, covered myself with dust, and crawled, mile by mile, towards the plant. I was hoping that the guards stationed inside the abandoned factory wouldn’t see me, and the sensors placed in the ground would assume I was some sort of animal, and not worth sounding an alarm over. Eventually, I made it inside the abandoned plant. Using the pink whale bubble gun I had filled with a sedative, I was able to incapacitate a guard and put on his uniform and ID.

I walked around the facility until I found an out of place button with a barcode scanner on it. I looked at the ID I took and put it in front of the button. The button turned green, and I pressed it. A space opened up in front of me, with a ladder leading down inside of it. I tucked the guard’s hat far over my face, and climbed down.

Throughout the lab, I balanced putting explosive charges in trash cans and avoiding contact with security cameras or other people. After reading some signs in my broken Mangoustani, I made it to the plastics room.

It was empty, fortunately. I had Blick roll towards the machine used to turn him into a plastic man. He indicated to me what I should do to turn him back. It was at this point an imposing Mangoustani man in a suit and several armed guards arrived, said something along the lines of “we’re taking you to prison, FBFCR pig” and shot me with a tranquilizer dart.

I woke up the next day strapped to a cold bed in a dark, musty room. It was my prison cell. Guards would come in every once in a while to feed me and allow me the opportunity to walk around and use the restroom.

I spent the next couple months in that room. From what I gathered from hearing the guards talk, they hadn’t noticed Mr. Blick in the machine.  I quietly hoped that he had figured out a way to transform himself and rescue me. I had to get back to writing after all. I also hoped that the explosives I put in the trashcan didn’t destroy some landfill somewhere.

One of my hopes was answered. I later found out that an entire landfill had been leveled for an unknown reason.

After two months, Blick, who had manage to turn himself into a human and disguise as a worker for two months, living at the lab while hatching a plan to get me out and destroy the lab.

I sat, tied into my chair, when I heard gunfire. After some forced negotiation, a guard opened up my door and untied me. Jeeves and Mr. Blick, now in the shape of a middle aged German man (he hadn’t aged while in plastic form), walked through the door and helped me up. They handed me a gun. I told them that we had to escape, and that their loud entrance didn’t leave any time to sabotage the lab.

Jeeves agreed. We both tried to convince Blick that we had to leave before the rest of the guards showed up. He told us that the generator for the whole facility was powered by some sort of highly explosive fluid, and he knew where the generator was.

There was no convincing him. He directed us towards the room with little resistance from the guards.

Eventually, we saw it. It pulsated a strange blue color. Or at least, what we could see of it did, as the rest of it was behind at least twenty guards. Blick shot first.

I fired a few shots, and then realized what shooting the generator would do. I turned to Jeeves and Blick to tell them that we really had to go. Blick was too enraged to hear me. Jeeves had a bullet in his head.

So, despite being weak and smelling like urine, I ran. Blick didn’t follow me. I managed to make it out in time to find a jeep (I guess some things are conveniently placed for action sequences after all), which I drove as far away as possible. I heard a boom, and then the entire facility blew up behind me. I broke the cardinal rule of action sequences and looked at it go up in flames. Blick, who must have been riddled with bullets, but even fuller of pride, anger, and adrenaline, managed to pierce the generator and ignite the whole facility.

I laid low around the country for a while. Eventually, when news of the generator collapse, which essentially caused the entirety of the small country to blackout and essentially destroyed the economy, hit the rest of the world, various special forces groups swept into the country and overthrew the dictatorship, uniting it with West Mangoustan. I went back with the American soldiers.

I came back to America, saddened at the lost of Jeeves and Blick, but happy to be home. Now, after months in captivity, a few bullet wounds, and some other issues, I write this to you. I guess we’ll need a new enemy to write about now.

So, if you’re a plastic game piece, remember that somewhere, there’s technology for you to become a human and commit massive amounts of manslaughter.

Regards,

Arren

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Boxum Notebook Fan

Boxum Notebook Fan

Boxum Notebook Fan

When it’s just too hot to work, but you have to get something done on your computer, where can you turn for help? To the Boxum Notebook Fan, of course! As the 9-step user guide explains, this fan creates a “gentle refreshing breeze” that is “perfect for stuffy office or in airplane”. Personally, I’m not sure I’d want to be seen using this on airplane. It seems like it could cause some unfortunate misunderstandings, especially if I were wearing my Armenian Fungus Cake t-shirt (only $16.60 in the t-shirt shop!).

Other than in an airplane, the Boxum Notebook Fan is likely to provoke no more than extreme ridicule. If you’re prepared to exchange your basic human dignity for a gentle refreshing breeze, this is certainly the right product for you. Aside from making you look ridiculous, the Boxum Notebook Fan does make one other interesting claim. Item #8 in the user guide states “durable soft fan blades make you free of injury”. We were unable to test the alleged healing powers of the Boxum Notebook Fan, but it seems that this would be the only circumstance in which one would actually be seen using this product.

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Mr. Blick pt. 2

NEEEEEIIGH!

NEEEEEIIGH!

Morning, Readers

I write this to you in an American airport which I will not identify, about to embark on a trip to Germany to free Mr. Blick, the plastic man, where he will help me fight the East Mangoustanis and, in doing so, become human again.

I have now landed in Berlin, where Mr. Blick, in his plasticine form, currently resides.

I’m now travelling on a taxi to his residence, an old, uninhabited house where he sits in the attic, undisturbed by anything, save for his memories. I knock on the door. I’m trepidatious, as it has been a while since I was active in the world of culinary espionage and secret agentry. I then quickly realize that no one lives in the house, Blick is unable to move, and everyone is staring at me quite oddly. I flash a badge I made out of a grocery store friend’s card  and some markers, which reads, in falsely authoritative text, “Agent of the Federal Bureau of Foreign Culinary Relations,” hoping that the bystanders won’t notice that it isn’t real. I run around to the back of the house and climb through an open window.

The house smells musty and old. There is an eviction notice on the counter. At least, I think it is. I’m pretty sure it reads, “empty house now goose cheese.” But then again, my German isn’t too good.

I open a hatch and climb up into the attic. After looking around a bit, I see the box. It resembles the one sent to me by Mr. Blick, but old, and faded. Once I open the crumbling container, I see an equally old and faded yellow capsule, with a face painted on the front.

“Mr. Blick?” I ask.

The capsule doesn’t respond.

“Mr. Blick–if this is you, wake up, and…I don’t know, roll around.”

I wait for a moment for the words to register. Still no response.

“Mr Blick! Er…Ich Bin Ein Berliner! Frau Blucher! Alveterzane!”

I continue to rattle out whatever German phrases I know. Eventually, the bean moves. It rolls around in its box, drawing something in the dust.

“Hello, Arren,” it reads.

“Excellent,” I exclaim. I pick up Mr. Blick and put him in my pocket. I can tell that he protests by his violent shaking, but he doesn’t have much of a choice. Just as I climb down the ladder into the house, I hear sirens coming up the street. Apparently, it’s illegal to trespass into an uninhabited house with a fake badge and start belting out broken German. Who would have thought?

I hop out the same window I used to enter and make for the fence in the back garden. I run through several yards before I find my way onto a street.

I find a patch of dirt in front of a bench and tell Blick what the plan is. We are to go to the airport and fly to West Mangoustan. Once there, I will contact an old soldier who is named, for the purpose of this account, Jeeves–not his real name. Jeeves will help get us across the border into East Mangoustan. I put Blick down in the dirt and tell him to write something out.

He rolls around for a bit until he spells out, “Flag down a taxi. I want revenge.”

We head to the airport, where I board a flight to West Mangoustan. I have my eye out for any East Mangoustanis, German property crimes policemen, or FBFCR agents. I suppose I didn’t mention before that the FBFCR has negotiated a tenuous peace with East Mangoustan, and they probably do not want this peace to end by me sneaking into the capital and invading a top secret lab. I know it is the right thing to do, though. The tyranny of East Mangoustan must end.

Expect more soon,

Arren.

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Schylling Blick Jumping Bean Game

Help me Arren Kimbel-Sannit. You're my only hope.

Help me Arren Kimbel-Sannit. You’re my only hope.

Morning, readers.

This is a letter I received from someone who I had previously not met, an individual that goes by the name of Mr. Tiberius Medusa Blick.

Hello. You do not know me, nor do I know you. However, I have heard of you and your culinary and literary exploits.

My name is Mr. Tiberius Medusa Blick, and I am in dire need of assistance. You see, my name used to just be Tiberius Blick, but that was quite a long time ago now. I’ll explain that shortly. 

Now, as you see from the package I enclosed with this letter, I am a hard plastic bean. I haven’t always been, but that is my current form. Back when my name was simply Mr. Tiberius Blick, I lived in Germany. Not recently, though. I lived in a Germany your grandparents saw as an enemy. However, I did not support this enemy. 

If you can’t tell, I lived in World War II Germany. I was born in 1926 in Berlin, and I escaped the draft during the war due to my flat feet. This allowed me to take a passively antagonistic role to the Third Reich. 

Before long, war, which I had survived, was over and Germany was split into two halves divided by the Berlin wall. I, much to my dismay, ended up in East Germany. I took on the same role as I did in Nazi Germany; never overtly doing anything but privately decrying the land where I lived and government that ruled over me. I knew I had to do something though, and eventually, I got an idea. I was a gymnast as a child, and retained some of my skill. I knew that one way to get closer to the government was to take advantage of this in the forthcoming Olympic games. 

I was smart, and I knew that the East Germans weren’t being honest about the makeup of their teams. So, under a rather poor disguise as a woman, since I knew the East Germans didn’t care that there were men on their female teams, I tried out for the woman’s East German Olympic gymnastics team, and I was made a part of the team. At various functions and training sessions and publicity meetings I got close to various key figures and attempted to learn how the government could be overthrown. None of them were privy to my true intentions, so I continued my plot. I attended the next several games on the East German Women’s Gymnastics Team under the name Tiberia Blick. I made sure to not do well in as many events as possible so as to keep my name unpublicized. 

By the time I was too old to compete, I had acquired a list of officials, actions, inner dealings, and general information that could be used to get rid of the government. Although I was not responsible for the actual destruction of the Berlin Wall, I had made numerous attempts to overthrow the government through manipulating government and through the symbolic destruction of the wall, though none were successful. I was never caught nor associated with the acts due to my former position on the team and my association with key political figures. That is, until my final attempt. I was caught attempting to kidnap a minor government official and sent to prison without trial. However, instead of executing me, the East Germans had a better idea. 

They had recently struck an allegiance with a fledgling country called East Mangoustan (which I’m sure you’ve heard of). The East Mangoustanis were specialists in torture and interrogation, and they wanted custody of me for some experiments. The East German’s accepted and I was sent to East Mangoustan. Their scientists were experimenting on chemical makeups of two things: humans and plastic. They kept me in prison for a good while, and actually kept me quite healthy. One day, it changed when two soldiers dragged me into a laboratory. They chloroformed me and I woke up feeling stiff. 

Over the next several days, my skin began to look shiny and hard, and I gradually couldn’t move my limbs. I started getting shorter. Eventually, I turned into what was essentially a plastic bean. They cut off my legs and put in a capsule with a magnet in place of them. They planned to clone my plastic body and make a children’s game out of my image.

Thus was born the Blick Jumping Bean from Schylling, a front for the East Mangoustani government. The goal for the game is to roll me or one of my clones so that my weighted side fits in the ditch in the center of the playing board and I stand upright. Ironically enough, I, the original Mr. Blick, ended up in a house in West Germany. I’m still there, in an attic. I sent you one of my clone games. I was able to make it to a computer and rolled onto each key in order to type this message. Surprisingly easy with a magnet. 

Now, I need your help. You’ve fought the East Mangoustanis before, and now I need you to fly to Germany and come to the house where I am (address is enclosed in this letter). Take me, and, with some allies, force them to change me back. I can then help you to overthrow the East Mangoustanis and restore peace to the region. 

Help me Arren Kimbel-Sannit. You’re my only hope. 

Expect more from this story soon.

Regards,

Arren

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Maped Tatoo Erasers

Maped Tatoo Erasers

Dear Maped Corporation,

I recently purchased your Maped Latex-free Tatoo Erasers (2 pack) and I am extremely disappointed for several reasons:

First of all, I thought the package said “Moped” and not “Maped”. I assumed this meant that I could use these erasers to remove unwanted marks from my motorized bicycle. However after several unsuccessful attempts, I looked at the package more closely and determined that these were not, in fact, moped erasers.

Next, I also intended to use these erasers to remove unsightly and embarrassing tattoos from certain parts of my body. The nature of these tattoos and circumstances under which I came to have them are not for public discussion, but suffice it to say, I was quite pleased with the prospect of being able to erase them with Maped Latex-free Tatoo erasers. Unfortunately, the tattoos have failed to show any sign of disappearing even after using these Tatoo erasers. I must assume this is why the name of the product is spelled with only one T.

Finally, the erasers and the front of the package depict an American flag design, but the back of the package clearly indicates that these are French erasers. Several radio and television commentators have told me that I should be very upset about this juxtaposition, and therefore I am very upset.

I expected more for one dollar, which works out to 50 cents per eraser. For that price, tattoo removal and moped maintenance should be included. A dollar is a lot of money these days, and I demand a very high level of value for my eraser dollar.

Thank you,

David Rice

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GamaGo Swiss Measuring Spoons

Certified Knockoffs of Knockoffs

Morning, Readers

I am delighted to tell you that I have recovered from my candy possession due to the Shocking Popping Candy.

In order to do this, I required a significant amount of support from friends and family, a few exorcisms, and most importantly, some surplus Swiss Army measuring spoons. Er…Swiss measuring spoons.

See, when I worked full time for the FBFCR, I was issued, among other things, a set of Swiss Army measuring spoons, authentically manufactured by a Victorinox knockoff brand based in Hong Kong. However, due to their important historical value (they were also covered in blood and speculoos butter, which increased their selling price), I gave the set of spoons to the Official Federal Bureau of Foreign Culinary Relations Museum, which is operated out of an abandoned lemonade stand by a homeless conspiracy theorist somewhere in a D.C. subway tunnel. So, when I, in a haze of poisoned Popping Candy, saw something that looked like my non-patented Swiss Army measuring spoons in a local thrift shop, I picked them up without hesitation.

I brought them home, hoping that seeing a remnant of the good ol’ days would bring me out of my unhealthy state. Unfortunately, once I was able to focus, I realized that the measuring spoons that I acquired were not what I was hoping they were. These were not Victorinox knockoffs. They were simply knockoffs, courtesy of GamaGo, a company that I had never even heard of.

At this point, it dawned on me that I may actually have to use these spoons to bring me back to health, not just look at them.

I used the spoons, which claimed to be “Precision Crafted Measuring Multi-Spoons” to whip up a batch of Kulfa/Kulfi. At this point, I still wasn’t entirely sound, so I may have messed up the recipe slightly (it wouldn’t make sense for there to be a hamster in the recipe, but I thought it did at the time), but  it didn’t matter.

I hoped that the Kulfa/i would bring me back to health…an Indian penicillin, if you will.  I was more or less right, even with the hamster.

However, once I was cured, I couldn’t help but to feel conflicted. These were most certainly not the measuring spoons I knew and loved. But I used them to nurse myself back to health. Should I feel thankful for GamaGo? Mistrustful? Violent? I honestly did not know. Even worse, I now have a set of flimsy plastic measuring spoons in a flimsy plastic red casing. I had actual measuring spoons, which were more useful. The only reason I used the knockoff knockoffs was because I knew that I could write an article about it.

I suppose that this is one of the drawbacks of writing for a moderately successful comedy blog based on weird stuff. Oh well. I suppose the homeless conspiracy theorist will appreciate having them. That is, if he hasn’t been killed by a subway train yet, which tends to happen when you set up a former lemonade stand in a subway tunnel.

Regards,

Arren

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