Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's My Birthday! My Buh-Buh-Buh-Buh Birthday!

I'm now officially in my late twenties. My friends will claim that 26 is still mid-twenties, but they're just humouring me, like when an old man starts rambling about music today and you just politely nod.

The celebration included going to see Michael Clayton last night. It was very good, though it seemed like a really great TV pilot than a feature film. The cast, writing and direction was top-notch. I enjoyed the small cameo from Rounders co-writer Brian Koppelman as a loudmouth in Clooney's poker game. I also enjoyed the coming attraction preview for Dan In Real Life, if only for the fact that Juliette Binoche and Dane Cook play a couple. Juliette Binoche. And Dane Cook. A couple. This is up there with Sophie Marceau and David Spade in that dog movie as the most bizarre-but-we're-expected-to-buy-it pairing of all time.

As what I can only interpret as a birthday gift, CBC aired one of all-time favourite Simpsons episodes this afternoon --- the one where Bart falls in his love with his babysitter (which leads to Moe's immortal "I wasn't really going to kill you...I was just going to cut you" line and Homer's comparison of women to beer) and Homer going to the all-you-can-eat seafood place. Presuming CBC keeps up its cycle through the Simpsons catalogue, the next few months should be nothing but classic episodes. Self high-five!

The night will be spend at a local pub watching the World Series and 'letting' people buy shots for me. I'm obviously picking the Rockies with my heart, but the Red Sox are looking nigh-unstoppable right now. It sounds weird to think of the team that's won 21 of 22 as an underdog, but after over a week off, one wonders if Colorado can keep up the momentum. There's no truth to the rumour the Rockies are getting a choir comprised of Josh Beckett's ex-girlfriends to sing the anthem (and maybe a chorus of I Will Survive) before game one. Unless the Boston pitchers have a lot of trouble adjusting to Coors, I'm picking the Red Sox in six.

Also, Oct. 24 is the 15th anniversary of the Blue Jays winning their first World Series title. They technically got the last out on Oct. 25, which annoyed me to no end since I wanted them to win it on my birthday. The next season, Joe Carter hit his homer at approximately 11:40 on October 23, giving me another near-miss. Self charley-horse!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Oh crap, the Springsteen concert! It went down last Monday and I completely forgot to blog about it. Me am smart.

Long story short, it was pretty spectacular. I'm saying this from the perspective of a long-time and pseudo-semi hardcore Bruce fan. I can see how it could be differently interpreted from a more casual observer. I went with my friend Lori, whose knowledge of the Boss is largely limited to his big hits, and while she enjoyed the show, she wished Bruce could've played a few more of his classics. This is the rub of attending a Springsteen concert. Bruce is known for playing a wide variety of songs in his setlist over a tour, including not just his hits but any number of random tunes. Monday's show, for example, featured such old album tracks as Darlington County, For You, Candy's Room and even Thundercrack, a 35-year-old b-side. For hardcore fans, this is terrific -- I was sitting there saying "holy crap" over and over again since I never thought I'd be hearing some of these songs. Since part of fun of attending a concert is hearing your favourites, however, I could see how a Bruce experience may not be suited to the more casual fan. It's not like none of the hits were played, I should point out. The encore featured a back-to-back shot of Born To Run and Dancing In The Dark, which ended the show on a rousing note. But perhaps it might've been better had some of the hits been spread out a bit more throughout the show to keep the energy level up.

Ok, I'm now done telling Bruce Springsteen how to do his job. The highlights for me were the aforementioned Darlington County, which featured a great sax/violin duet, and Reason To Believe, which you may recall as an acoustic number from Nebraska. It's been revived as a bluesy rocker with the 'Spirit in the Sky' guitar riff and a harmonica solo included. Livin' In The Future was the best of the new, dammit, I didn't even do a review of the new Magic album. It was good. Man, where is my memory going? All of these easy blog topics that I'm passing up. Next thing you know I'll forget to post about that time I met Scarlett Johansson. That was a great day...(McBain voice) in bed. I wonder if Bruce ever regrets his first name, since it has single-handedly prevented him from ever hearing full-fledged applause from an audience. No matter how good he is, there will always be an affectionate 'Brrruuuuce' chant. These are the kinds of problems that would've been avoided had he adopted Laszlo Springsteen as a stage name. Or Hawksley Springsteen. Did you know 'Hawksley Workman' is a stage name? That's so disappointing.

In terms of ambiance, sitting at five o'clock in the upper level of the ACC is a bit different than my last Bruce concert experience, which was on the floor about 15 feet away from the Boss. Had we been that close again, Lori would've been called up onto the stage during Dancing in the Dark, and then gone on to star in a hit sitcom in 10 years. The role of me in this sitcom would be played by Evan Handler. On the bright side about our seats, we were right up by the Leafs' Stanley Cup banners. I noticed the long stretch between 1951 and 1962 without a Cup (a.k.a. the Bill Barilko curse gap) and I'm sure that those old-time fans probably thought 11 years was an eternity without a Toronto Cup. Sigh. Lucky bastards.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Name That Song

I was out at a bar the other night watching the ALCS, and I heard a song played over the pub's sound system that stuck in my head. This was a song that I was vaguely familiar with, though had no idea of the title, artist, lyrical content or even the basic melody --- all I knew was the hook. It was a combination of keyboard and slide guitar and once I name the actual song, you'll probably nod your head and know exactly what hook I'm talking about. Anyway, the hook struck a chord (no pun intended...wait, I'm a sarcastic git, of course the pun was intended) with me, and I asked my companions if they knew the song. No clues.

Fast forward to a night later, when I'm sitting in front of my computer at 2 AM reading Chuck Klosterman columns and listening to Thom Yorke's solo album. The hook suddenly enters my head, and I'm overtaken by a sudden urge to track down this song. It sounded vaguely like Depeche Mode, and, to quote Jarvis Cocker, so I started there. Checked Wikipedia's Depeche Mode entry for a list of singles, eliminated the ones I was already familiar with ("People Are People," "Personal Jesus," etc.), opened another tab on YouTube and went searching. Eleven songs later I finally found it --- Policy of Truth, off of DM's acclaimed Violator album.

So after celebrating my successful bit of detective work, the next hour was spent listening to this song. I'm not exaggerating. A full hour of the same song, just reloading the YouTube video clip over and over again. I'm not one to use the phrase 'hypnotic' while describing a song, but Policy of Truth is one of the most perfectly quality background music songs ever written. I am suddenly crazy about this track. This is the musical equivalent of having a really great first date.

Yet the odd thing about it is, as I mentioned before, I already had heard Policy of Truth before. It didn't just fall out of the sky. The song was released in 1990, for pete's sake. It just didn't have any effect on me whatsoever until hearing that memorable hook while watching Paul Byrd hold off the Red Sox and listening to my pal Aron tell a funny story about one of his friends having a memorable breakup. Just over 24 hours later, I was suddenly a huge fan of the song and am now interested in pursuing a backwards-fandom expedition on the Depeche Mode catalogue, not unlike my recent foray into the world of the Talking Heads. I think we all enjoy these experiences in life when we can take immense pleasure in the obvious and unheralded. It makes things so much simpler. It appeals both to one's sense of romance and sense of laziness at the same time -- everything I want is right in front of me, it's just a matter of time before I see it. To re-use and slightly tweak the first date analogy, it's like the opposite of love at first sight. It's the kind of love that slowly dawns on you, somewhat in the vein of Homer sitting up in a cold sweat and realizing he hates (but then loves) Ted Koppel.

In summation, Depeche Mode is a pretty sweet band.


Another music-related note for the evening. When I was listening to my iTunes catalogue earlier in the evening, the following phenomenon occurred -- with the setting on random shuffle, the system spit out the original version of I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For followed immediately by the live version of the same song from Rattle & Hum. The next two songs played were the live version of Pride, also from Rattle & Hum, and then the album version of Pride from Unforgettable Fire! What the deuce? I currently have 631 songs on my laptop, so could someone with a knowledge of statistics please calculate the odds of such a combination happening?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mark Loses A Slap Bet

Some of you may have noticed the PokerStars ad that was on this blog last week. Last Sunday, PokerStars had its annual poker tournament open only to bloggers, and since it's free entry to anyone with a blog, I signed up. My pal Kyle also decided on get in on the action, and thus we entered into a friendly side wager.
Now, Kyle has been trying to get me to watch How I Met Your Mother for at least the last year, and I finally relented after hearing his rapturous praise of an episode called 'Slap Bet.' That episode introduced the concept of the slap bet, which is essentially a wager between two friends where the winner gets to slap the loser a) 10 times in succession or b) 5 times, but the slaps are doled out at any point over the loser's life, without warning. Obviously, option B is way more fun, so Kyle and I chose that route.

So, tournament time. We're at separate tables, which was expected given that nearly 1400 people were playing. Ten minutes in, I was slightly up, Kyle was slightly down, and I was settled in for an afternoon of poker that was admittedly cutting into seeing my beloved Packers in action. Then came...the hand. I was dealt pocket queens, and thus raised, only to be re-raised by the button. Since my raise wasn't very big, I put the other guy on perhaps a somewhat big hand, maybe AK or AQ, and perhaps in a really evil twist AA or KK. So I just called, hoping for a kingless or aceless flop so my pair wouldn't be beaten.

Instead, I got a dream flop. K-Q-4 with two spades, so now I had trips. I checked, as anyone with a brain would in that scenario, and the guy makes a really big raise, close to half the pot. Now I'm thinking he has either nothing and is just doing a continuation bet, or he has a flush draw. I decided to re-raise all-in for two reasons -- to eliminate any potential flush, or to incite a call if he did indeed have pocket aces or even AK. Really, the only thing that would've screwed me at that point would've been if he had pocket kings...

...which, of course, he did. He called and I literally screamed in horror. The turn and river brought no relief, and I was out of the tournament almost as soon as I had started. On the bright side, I was able to catch the last quarter of the Packers' victory.

On the down side, I will now fear a slap every time I meet Kyle for the rest of my natural life. I suppose this is what it's like being in the witness protection program, except I don't have a guy tapping my foot and calling me Mr. Thompson. Kyle, rather insultingly, was knocked out of the tournament just a few minutes later, thus robbing me of rationalizing my defeat by saying I lost to the PokerStars Blogger Champion or something.

* I had an item here about how I think I'm developing a spider-sense after spending so much of a childhood reading Spider-Man comics, but it really seems redundant after that poker item. Spidey surely would've seen those pocket kings coming. Actually, there's a topic --- Peter Parker was forever strapped for cash, so why didn't he just get into gambling? With an early-warning sense telling him to avoid big poker hands, bad numbers at the roulette wheel, bad cards from the blackjack dealer, etc., Peter could've been filthy rich.

* My favourite part of the blitheringly stupid Hills/Laguna Beach phenomenon is the after-show. Two of MTV's talking heads (some chick and Eugene Levy's son, proving once again that talent isn't genetic) lead a discussion of the previous episode that seems to have been gleaned from the Chris Farley Show. "Remember when Lauren and Spencer watched that movie?" "That was awesome!"

* In my mind, Tony Danza begins and possibly ends every sentence with his signature 'Ey-oh.' "Ey-oh, Mona, have you seen Angela?" "Ey-yo, I ordered a pork chop with apple sauce." And so forth. My question is, does Danza refer to the song 'Ayo Technology' as 'Ey-yo, Ayo Technology' or just as 'Technology,' in some sort of two-negatives-make-a-positive scenario?

* There's pain, there's severe pain and then there's losing a fantasy football match by 0.28 points. Even worse, it was against a team who was already down a man with Reggie Wayne on a bye week, and the manager didn't replace him in the lineup. Many could be blamed for this failure, but the finger is pointed squarely at two -- Todd Heap and the Chicago Bears defense. Heap left the game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury, to which I can only reply 'Suck it up, princess!' It's only a hamstring! I tore my left hammy this morning and I'm fine! I'm jumping around! As for the Bears, they were single-handedly taken apart by Adrian Peterson, who ran for (let me check the stats) 84602 yards and 158 touchdowns.

Man, between fantasy football and the slap bet, I had a pretty rough weekend. Rough in a silly way, but rough nonetheless.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Music Reeve U's

* Listened to In's good, very good. I think it may be Radiohead's third-best record. They actually (get this) released some songs that sound like songs with a melody and everything! Revolutionary! I don't want to sound like one of these asses who's all "Aw man, Radiohead got weird, man, why can't everything be as good as Just?" I didn't like Amnesiac, and I thought Hail To The Thief was a poor effort. It was just a case of Radiohead making music that didn't particularly appeal to me. No big deal. I still thought they were a good band, if edging into the Beck/Ryan Adams/Prince territory where idea of the musician as an ideal was better than the actual music produced by said musician. Happily for me, In Rainbows was a more fun listen and hopefully a sign that Radiohead can regain their spot as one of my favourite bands. Just about every track stood out on first listen, with Reckoner getting special mention as my favourite song of the moment.

* Hey, did you know that Radiohead got its name from a Talking Heads song? Yes, that's right, it's once again time for Mark to indulge in his latest bit of obsession with the Talking Heads. I've been finding more and more TH stuff on YouTube, and my searches led me to this cover of Burning Down The House by Tom Jones and the Cardigans. Now, just hearing 'Tom Jones and the Cardigans cover Burning Down The House' is awesome, and the first half of the track kicks as much ass as you'd expect. But am I crazy, or does it just seem to run out of steam with about a minute to go? A song made of pure kinetic energy like BDTH should never go flat, but it seems like nothing after the main lyrical portion of the track is done with. Check out the video yourself and see what you think. Whatever happened to the Cardigans, anyway? They seemed like the kind of band that should've made a bigger impact than they did. If nothing else, they should've gotten some mileage out of the fact that Nina Persson was one of the few universally-agreed upon hot women in music.

* By the way, did I never review Icky Thump? A quick search of my blog archive tells me I didn't. Well, to limit it to a sentence, it's my favourite album in years. My list of favourite albums from the 2000's has a new #1 -- yes, it's that good. Big memorable riffs, catchy melodies and probably most of all, great lyrics. I'm one of those who concentrates more on music than lyrics in a song, in some cases not really even taking note of the words until I read them in the liner notes. On Icky Thump, however, the lyrics stood out as being particularly memorable and witty. Jack White isn't reinventing the wheel with epic song topics or anything; he's just very skilled at pouring old wine into new bottles, which is essentially the theme of the White Stripes' rock-blues-country music anyway. My silly reason for enjoying the disc is that it has some of my favourite song titles in recent memory. When a song is called "I'm Slowly Turning Into You," it pretty much has to be good, eh? Also, I have Effect & Cause written down somewhere on my list of potential short story titles, so I'm biased in that regard. Wait, did I say biased? I meant litigious. See you in court, White.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Questions taken from the NBC website for the upcoming relaunched version of the classic sports/entertainment show....

1. Who is your current employer and occupation? What job pays your bills now?
Freelance writer! I have no employer! No man controls me! I stand on mountain tops with the wind blowing through my hair/loose skin follicles! As for the bills, losing J.P. Losman may be the best thing that ever happened to them.

2. What levels of education have you completed (please specify school and major)?
The University of Western Ontario, home of the world's worst football team and tuition fees higher than the inhabitants of the marijuana lab in the biology building. Oh wait....the SECRET marijuana lab in the biology building.

3. What is the next milestone in your life if you do not make the show?
Not make the show? That's loser talk! If you don't select me because YOU suck (not me), it's on to Kid Nation. My special ladyfriends tell me I have the maturity of a 10-year-old anyway.

4. Do you work out? If so, what types of activities and how often?
I type a lot. My fingers are thus thrice as strong as those of a normal man. I am heretofore unbeaten in thumb wars. I often walk (to the kitchen to get more Pepsi), lift weights (sometimes the Pepsi can is heavy) and practice martial arts (trying to attack a Pepsi machine that stole my dollar).

5. What sports organizations have you been a member of?
I had an unassisted triple play in eighth grade softball. I won a 'closest to the pin' competition in minor golf lessons. I played power forward for the New Jersey Nets from 1999-2001. I practiced for three weeks of high school junior football.

6. Who are your current roommates? How well do you get along?
My roommate is also my landlord. It makes for awkward conversations when I complain to my roommate about my landlord.

7. What would your friends say are your best qualities?
I bothered my pal Claire on MSN until she provided an answer, and she says I'm "laid back and good at making other people feel comfortable, but also a good motivator and leader, and that's a good combo. And obviously a good, very very witty writer." Unfortunately, Claire is already dating someone, so this praise doesn't help me at all. Damn you, platonic friendships! My buddy Eric, who I'm more pleased to be in a platonic friendship since we're both heterosexual men, went with "all around hilarious guy to hang out with; could base a reality show around his life." See?! Kid Nation! Come on!

8. What would your friends say are your worst qualities?
Apparently I have an 'unrealistic body image' and am an 'arrogant douchebag.' I think my worst quality is that I attract bad friends.

9. What magazines/newspapers do you read?
I read Juxta Magazine, the fictional weekly published by my friend Lori and I. You see, it's a combination men's AND women's magazine! It's such an original idea! I don't read newspapers since I'm allergic to newsprint. I'm told newspapers have material online, but those are lies.

10. How are you competitive in your every day life?
Just today I punched an old Korean woman out of the way at Dairy Queen. I couldn't take the chance that she would order a banana milkshake and take the last banana. As it happened, the Dairy Queen's banana supply was plentiful, plus they had that banana-flavouring stuff to boot. So in theory, my punchin' was unnecessary. I'm rationalizing it by assuming that she was going in for major jaw surgery anyway.

11. What do you think was the hardest stunt on a previous American Gladiators?
The female contestants trying to avoid staring at the spandexed packages of the male Gladiators.

12. What pets do you own now, or have owned at any time in the past?
I once owned a snake named Ferguson, and a hamster named Tippy. Keeping them in the same cage was, in hindsight, a mistake. Oh well, I never fed Tippy anyway, so his death was imminent.

13. Have you had any experiences that have traumatized you? If yes, please explain.
I had a horrible accident competing on the original American Gladiators that took years of physical rehab to fix. I still have nightmares. Hopefully I won't be doing any American Gladiators-related activities on American Gladiators. I don't know if I could take it!

14. What is your unique and personal motivation for wanting to compete on the show?
When I was very young, I used to be picked on a lot. One kid I went to grade school with once told me that I would always remain a fat slob and never amount to anything. So I want to go on American Gladiators in order to prove that kid wrong.

15. How would you use the American Gladiators prize money?
To hire a hitman and kill that kid from grade school. Then get liposuction so I can stop being a fat slob.

16. Who do you live with and for how long?
I've lived with Tony Montana for the last six months. It has had its ups and downs. On the bright side, there are giant piles of sugar around the house, so my coffee is never unsweetened. But Tony can be a bit of a jerk. He told me my womb was so polluted. I mean, that's just uncalled for. I hired a team of assassins to shoot him 98 times, but he just kept taunting.

17. Please list your last three jobs.

a) Blowing up balloons at a county fair.

2) Handing out candy at a country fair.

d) Rim-rolling at Tim Horton's.

So in summation, I'm very experienced at blowjobs, handjobs and rimjobs.

18. Do you have any military experience? Are you (active/reserve) military now?
I'm the member of a top-secret branch of the Canadian government devoted to the overthrow of Trinidad. Among our allies, Tobago. We figure once they go down, the Canadian soccer team will have a better chance of getting through CONCACAF qualifying and make it into the World Cup. Total cost of this program to taxpayers? Still less than the gun registry.

19. What conversations are 'off limits' for you at a dinner party?
How much food I'm putting into my mouth. Whenever I try to tell the conversationalist to screw off, I start choking due to the massive amount of food in my mouth. By the way, I eat like a hog.

20. What is the most daring and dangerous thing you have ever done?
I forgot about the lead singer of Simple Minds. He was PISSED at first, but got over it. Dodged a bullet there. Well, not literally -- the lead singer of Simple Minds is pro-gun control.

21. If you were going to be in People magazine, what inside info about you would be put up next to your picture?
"With little fanfare, Mark helps out at a soup kitchen every Thursday night. He works security and keeps out undesirables, a.k.a. the homeless. He also helps by eating the soup."

22. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
I once shat myself while watching Saw. Hmm, maybe this isn't that embarrassing since I was in my washroom on a toilet at the time. I use copies of the Saw films as toilet paper.

23. What is the weirdest thing about you?
See literally every other answer.

24. If you had Aladdin's lamp and three wishes, what would you wish for? Rule: you can't wish for money or more wishes?
I'd wish I was a little bit taller. I'd wish I was a baller. I'd wish I had a girl who looked good I would call her. I wish I had a rabbit... oh wait, only three wishes? Okay.

25. What is your strategy to win the game?
Cheating. Wait, no, that's not it... it's....cheating a lot.

26. What are you afraid of or dislike? Circle a number 1-5. How much do you fear? 1 = No Fear 3 = Dislike 5 = Can't Stand

Falling -- 5
Closed in Spaces -- 5
The Ocean -- 3, I preferred most of the other songs on Boy
The Dark -- 5
Heights -- 5
Drowning -- 5
Fire -- 3, I preferred most of the other songs on October
Flying -- 1, fuck you, birds!
Lakes -- 14

27. How much skill do you have at...? (Be honest) 1 = Never done it. 3/4/5= Recreational. 7 = World Class.

Base jumping -- 7
Being bratty -- 7
Bungee jumping -- 6.999
Cliff diving -- Pi
Contact sports -- 14
Gymnastics -- VII
Hang gliding -- 7
High diving -- 1. Seems made-up to me.
Manipulating people -- Two zillion
Motorcycle riding -- 7
Risky behaviour -- 6.66
Rock climbing -- 1. I have never climbed and/or mounted Dwayne Johnson.
Roller blading -- Care Bears countdown
Rope climbing -- 4
Scuba diving -- 3
Skiing -- 2
Skydiving -- 1
Snowboarding -- Who's that coming, from somewhere up in the sky? Moving fast and bright as a firefly...
Strategizing -- 95.9 CHRW
Street fighting -- What's the highest number possible? A googleplex? Put me down as four googleplexes.
Surfing -- 10, as in hanging
Tempting opposite sex -- 6.9
Whitewater rafting -- 7
Working out -- 7

List other talents in the space below
I can revive the dead merely by singing "I've Just Seen A Face" by the Beatles. It only works if the person hasn't died from having their face ripped off.

28. Have you ever been treated for any serious physical illness or injury that could affect your ability to participate in the show?
I recently had my elbow removed due to botched cosmetic surgery. Frankly, it hasn't hampered my life at all. Elbows are way overrated, dude.

29. You must list all television shows you have appeared on (reality, game show, scripted, etc.) Even if you did not win anything, you must disclose all television appearances.
60 Minutes, Supermarket Sweep, To Catch A Predator, Growing Pains, The Hogan Family, Animaniacs, this one commercial with the guy from the Goodyear ads but it wasn't a Goodyear ad, Survivor: Etobicoke, Frasier, Emily of New Moon, test patterns

30. How do you feel about opening up yourself and your life as an 'open book' on national television?
Just as long as you don't hurt my 'spine.' HA HA HA HA I LOVE BOOK JOKES

31. Do you know anyone who has or is applying for the show American Gladiators?
My evil twin Clark. I can't stop him from applying since I am he and he is me. We have the same skillset except he has a goatee and thus do worse in the 'who shaves quicker' event.

32. Do you now or have you ever owned or appeared on any web sites?
Well, this blog. Also, I'm a contributor to, mostly in the 'tornado' section.

33. What other reality TV shows have you applied for?
KID NAAAAAAAAAAAAAYSHUN. No offense, but if I ever got the go-ahead from them, I'd ditch Gladiators so fast your head would spin. Like, I'd walk off the set in mid-Eliminator.

34. Are you currently being considered for any other reality shows?
Julie Chen came to my house the other night to discuss my being on Big Brother, but I think she was really just trying to seduce me. She wore nothing but lingerie and clothes over top of them. Hard to misinterpret those signals.

35. When will you NOT be available between now and October 2007 to come to LA for one week?
Uh, it's already October 2007. I may need to find a wormhole.

36. Do you smoke?
Nine packs a day.

37. Can you swim?
Nine packs a day. Wait, I guess that didn't make much sense. I meant to say I swim while smoking.

38. What is your height and weight?
Three metres tall, 40 stone

39. In the lines below, write a short poem or rap

I'll do both. This is "Ode to a Farmer, feat. Chamillionaire"

There once was man named Glen,
Who tried to get eggs from a hen,
He did his best
To reach into the nest
And then grabbed the ho's fine booty, muthafucka

40. Draw a picture of yourself

This is me carrying a chainsaw. Please excuse the lack of genitalia, I was being family-friendly.

41. Below please list the people you would like to appear with you on the show to help support you.

Supporter #1
Name: Kate Winslet
E-mail address:
Home #: 555-WINSLET
Cell #: No idea
Supporter's relationship to you: Object of fantasy
Why do you want this Supporter with you on stage?: Geez, who wouldn't?

Supporter #2
Name: Derek Bell
E-mail address:
Home #: Not sure if he had a landline on the yacht
Cell #: Ditto
Supporter's relationship to you: Trench guy
Why do you want this Supporter with you on stage?: Expert towel-waving and rally cap-wearing skills.

Supporter #3
Name: Osama Bin Laden
E-mail address:
Home #: 555-DIALYSIS
Cell #: He's not in a cell, but rather still at large. Thanks for nothing, George Bush!
Supporter's relationship to you: Nemesis
Why do you want this Supporter with you on stage?: We can invite him to the show and then we can nab him! Hello reward!

42. Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor offense, either as a juvenile or as an adult?
I was once arrested in a scenario remarkably similar to that of Ruben "Hurricane" Carter. The difference is that instead of being accused of murder, I was accused of jaywalking while carrying a giant papier-mache sculpture of a man picking his nose. Also unlike Carter, I was not a middleweight.

43. Have you ever had a temporary or permanent restraining order entered against you, or has anyone tried to obtain a temporary or permanent restraining order against you?
Apparently I've had several filed against me, but then I got a restraining order filed against all process servers in the tri-country area, so they couldn't approach me to serve the other restraining orders. Aha!

44. Is there any pending litigation against you?
Metallica is suing me over those Napster songs I downloaded seven years ago.

45. Have you ever been evicted? If yes, please give details, places and names.
Public nudity, SkyDome hotel, 6/31/2004 and 2/30/2008. Yeah, it's going to happen again.

46. Have you ever been the subject of disciplinary proceedings or actions in school, in the military, at work or in any other context?

Mark: What did you want to see me about, Mr. Leland?
Leland: Mark, I've.. been reviewing your work.. Quite frankly, it stinks.
Mark: Well, I ah.. been havin' trouble at home and uh.. I mean, ah, you know, I'll work harder, nights, weekends, whatever it takes..
Leland: No, no, I don't think that's going to do it. These reports you handed in. It's almost as if you have no business training at all. I don't know what this is supposed to be!
Mark: Well, I'm uh, just--tryin' to get ahead..
Leland: Well, I'm sorry. There's just no way that we could keep you on.
Mark: I don't even really work here!
Leland: That's what makes this so difficult.

47. Have you ever done or been involved in anything that would reflect negatively on you or on the Program, the Program producers and/or the television network and stations that broadcast the Program if you are chosen to participate in the Program?
I thought I was applying for American Gladiators, not for a remake of The Program. Oh well, could I have the Omar Epps role?

48. Have you ever created a website or posted any materials on any website?
Pfft, yeah. I was the first guy to ever post anything on any website. It was an argument that Spider-Man could take Aquaman in a fight. It was an enthralling discussion.

49. Have you appeared in any magazines, publicly disseminated photograph, advertisements or the Internet?
I appeared in a publicly disseminated photograph used in an advertisement in an online magazine. It was me starring in a version of the Coppertone ad. My white naked ass is a sight to behold.

50. Do you know anyone else who is applying to be on the Program?
Oh lord, this was already question #31! Should I get Clark to answer this one?

51. Is there anyone among your family, friends, or work colleagues that would object to your appearing on television?
My friend Elvis often shoots his TV if he dislikes what he sees, so it's possible he might react badly to watching me compete poorly. A co-worker of mine used to date Turbo but ended up left at the altar, so that might be an issue.

52. Please list below anyone you know or have known who is now or has been in the past two years an officer, director, employee, agent or representative of NBC Universal Inc. or its parents (GE Company Inc.) or affiliated or subsidiary companies.
Sure, plenty! Conan O'Brien, Max Weinberg, Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson, Howie Mandel, Jay Leno, Jason Lee, Eddie Steeples, Jaime Pressley, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Lorne Michaels, Tracy Morgan, Kristen Wiig, Will Forte, Bill Hader...oh wait, do you mean people I know PERSONALLY? Oh. In that case, just the first twelve.


54. List all TV game or contest shows that you have appeared on whether or not you won a prize.
Man, this was already a question too! If you must know, I won $50 playing Plinko on Price Is Right. Bob Barker laughed at me, so I jacked his car after the taping. In a way, we both won.

55. Is there anyone among your family, friends or work colleagues that would object to your appearing on television?
Ok, seriously, this was just asked four questions ago. Come on, application! I feel like I'm chewing Doublemint gum. I swear, one more silly question and I won't bother signing up for...

Part IV Eligibility Requirements and Releases

1. You must be at leas 18 years of age

2. You must be a legal US resident of the 50 United States and/or Washington, D.C.

3. You must not be a candidate for public office and must agree not to become one until after one year after the initial broadcast of the episodes of the Program in which you appear.

...ah crap. Well, it's all a moot point anyway. I'm a 15-year-old Canadian who is currently Prime Minister. Darn it. I wanted to battle the Eliminator!