Friday, March 20, 2009

The Plan

We been plannin this raid on the 99 cent store for about a week now, but we keep runnin into problems. First, we don't want to cause a big scene and risk gettin the sheriff involved because then we'd have to go down to his office and sit there uncomfortable and answer all sorts of questions about what we were doin there and then the whole thing with us fightin ninjas sellin meth would likely come up and then I'd have to explain the whole history of the thing and we would be there for hours and hours and, in the end, he prolly wouldn't believe me anyway and then I'd have to make somethin up that actually sounds plausible like gettin my extra pennies back that they stole from me by chargin me a dollar when they're the 99 cent store, but I couldn't use that one because then it'd look like I was stealin and I'd have to be in jail for a bit and prolly have to do community service and, in the meantime, McClawenstein would know that we'd discovered his distribution point and we'd have to find another one and stake that out and then I'd read more in the newspaper and get angrier and angrier until my blood pressure shot way up and made my body all big and strong and I'd rip right out of the car and go on a giant smashing spree through the town which I would later regret and try to repair, but then, when I was rebuilding the storefront of the Yummy Cafe down on Main, the nails would keep bending when I tried to pound them in and then I'd hit my thumb and that would be the last straw and I'd grow into Angry Pat again and destroy even more and the guilt would lead me to flee the town I grew up in, change my name and wander the world trying to find a cure for my anger, studying yoga or some such thing, and I would keep getting angry and destroyin things until I was sent to Japan where they would put me on some sorta psycho game show where they covered me in pudding and threw feathers at me or something until I got angry enough to grow to 300 feet and then they'd make me wrestle the monsters and giant robots and other things that are always attacking Tokyo and, sure, I'd be a sensation in Japan for awhile and they'd put me in all sortsa commercials with flashing lights and things, but then, the Japanese citizenry would tire of me and they'd eventually demote me to washed up Japanese star has-been and I'd end up getting shipped off to some backwater little nation that is getting attacked by lesser monsters like a really tall hairy guy or an abnormally large Kimodo Dragon which is not really of monstrous proportions, just, say, 25% larger than a regular Kimodo Dragon, but it wears pants, so it must be some sorta monster, they tell me, and by them, I'll be all outta anger and my joints will hurt from all them time wrestling robot aliens in Japan that I gotta cover myself with Icy-Hot before every battle and, just before wrestling the Kimodo Dragon, I won't wash my hands as well as I should have and I'll scratch my eye and get a little icy hot in there and I'll be all teary when I'm wrestlin that dragon and so I won't see its trained army of banana slugs coming up behind me and, in the end, I'll be devoured by banana slugs and my own guilt. Now, I gotta tell ya, that doesn't sound like a good ending for me, and I said so to the squimonk. Of course, I left out most of the middle part so the conversation went something like this:

Alistair: OK, how's this thing going to go down?

Me: We gotta keep it secret because I don't wanna be eaten alive by an army of banana slugs.

Alistair: Yeah, secret...wha...I...WHAT?!

Me: Banana slugs.

Alistair: Ooooooo-kaaaaaay.

And, with that, we decided on a sneak attack. Now, we knew that we'd have to go in while they were open. It's real hard to get into a store when they're closed, unless, of course, you've got a brick. There's a thousand and one uses for a good brick, but usin it to break into a store at night isn't exactly low key, so that'd put me right back at bein eaten by banana slugs. So, somehow, we're gonna have to get in there, act like customers and then get into the back room so we can knock out and capture the meth dealers back there, without knowin how many there are or if they're ninjas or not.

Fortunately, the squimonk have been working on a couple of things in the back of the shop to help us out. First, they've done some wonders on my original donut gun design. They've added springs and a sight and smoothed down the wood. This means I can fold it up and hide it in my overalls, so I won't look suspicious carrying a big ol' donut gun around the 99 cent store because we all know how that would end; that's right, banana slugs. They've also taken some of the old jelly filled donuts, taken the jelly out, which was sorta like one of them hard candies grandma always kept on her coffee table in a glass dish, and replaced that jelly with knockout gas. Of course, they didn't tell me about this beforehand and, for some reason, they was storin the new donuts in my personal day-old donut stash, which I like to take a snack from every once in awhile to keep my energy up for all this plannin of ninja fights I been doin. So I reach my hand into my stash, take out what I think is going to be a delicious raspberry filled donut, take a big old bite and get a mouthful of knockout gas. To top it off, that donut had to be at least a couple of weeks old and I broke my tooth on the thing just before I fell to the ground for a 3 hour nap. When I woke up, I was groggy as all get out and covered in post-it notes, but at least they'd fixed my tooth. I mean, sure, they put in a gold cap with my name carved in it, and they say they put in a tiny canister of knock out gas so the next time I bite too hard with that tooth, I'll fall asleep wherever I am, but at least they didn't leave the root exposed. I wouldn't want to be walking around with a tooth root just hangin outta my mouth like some sorta shriveled up worm, tryin not to breathe too fast so the wind didn't go over it too much and make me feel like I was tryin to drill into my own brain with ice, which, by the way, is not something I recommend to anyone. I heard old man Peterson went all nutty after ice fishin for three straight days and think that he had been infested in the head with ice worms so he tried makin a drill out of an icicle and drillin into his own head. He didn't get too deep, though, just enough to give himself a headache and make himself sleepy, so he fell asleep right there on the ice. He darn near froze to death before his wife came out lookin for him because she needed him to fix a drippin sink and move some furniture around. He got frostbite somethin fierce and lost three fingers. He had the doctors preserve one in a bag so he could, I'm quotin him here, "Give his wife the finger one last time."

Them squimonk also made themselves a costume so they can look like a person. They got Lindbergh's help with it so it looks kinda realistic. They didn't want to make the body too tough, though, so they could burst out at the right time and flood the room with furry little balls of fightin. They say they're gonna cover the body up with a trench coat when it comes time for the raid, but I just been seein their trial runs without the trench coat and, I'll tell ya, it looks like a full grown man has eaten a whole mess of giant jumpin beans and they're not sittin right. One time, I saw a whole litter of puppies fightin under a sheet, and this looks a lot like that, except the sheet looks like skin and the puppies are actually squirrel monkey thingies.

The only problem left to us is how I'm gonna act like a customer in the 99 cent store. Every time I think about their lies, my bile gets all up and I start rantin and ravin about how they're penny stealers. We're runnin some simulations in this room the squimonk have built in the back, but it always turns out with me yellin somethin about their theivin ways. Thank goodness for that trainin because I'm gettin better at not yellin at 'em. Last time, I made it a whole minute and thirty seconds, which is 9 times my first attempt. Alistair says, with patience, we should be ready to do this run by Saturday. I'll let y'all know.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The (mostly) true story of Saint Patrick

I'm gonna take a break from the McClawenstein thing we got goin on here for just today. Now, y'all know I can't let you get past St. Patrick's Day with a name like Patrick O'Neil without tellin ya my family story. We got an old tradition in the O'Neil family that the real story of St. Patrick gets passed down, father to son, generation after generation. But, bein the group of storytellers we are, each new generation adds a little somethin new to it, but we'll all swear that it's the complete truth learned at our pappy's knee when we was waist high to a centipede. So now, sit back, relax, maybe open a dark beer or a bottle of somethin brown, and read the real story of St. Patrick.

Back in the early 400s, civilization was much different than we imagine it to be. They was all flyin cars and nuclear power to run everything. You may be askin why we don't have any evidence of this. Well, that's because you're just a picky story listener and can't enjoy a story for what it is. I'm sorry, I get carried away sometimes. I don't mean to accuse you for doin somethin I think you're thinkin, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt this time, but in the future, you better watch yerself, buster. It turns out that science in the 300s was so advanced that everything was made out of biodegradable materials, so they didn't leave any flying car waste behind. At the time, there were also machines that people put on their heads that would tell you everything you need to know, which is why there's no written record of the time, either.

One Wednesday afternoon, at about 2:30, the O'Donaghy clan was meeting together in their flying sky castle, attempting to convert the earth's magnetic field into energy. They were very involved in magnetism in those days, and they had made a lot of progress turning magnetic fields into other stuff; teddy bears, mercury, little pink cupcakes with names written on them; but they had yet to make the energy breakthrough. They were distracted in their work and had the flying castle on autopilot, so no one was at the helm when they crashed into the mountain they now call K2. They hit that mountain with such force that it was shoved all the way out of Ireland and into China, which was just off the coast of Ireland at the time because it hadn't yet been moved by the Cabal of Black Magic in punishment for revealing their secrets, so it wasn't really that far away, but it was pretty far. I tell ya, you'd expect people to be upset with mountains gliding all over the landscape and knockin stuff over, but you'd be wrong because everyone at the time owned flying castles, flying villas and various other kinds of airborne dwellings. No, what they noticed most was that, when the O'Donaghy clan crashed, they discovered the missing ingredient in their quest to turn magnetic fields into energy was screams of sheer terror. They must have hit just the right resonance because that castle released so much energy that it shorted out the engines of all the other flying castles, which came crashing to the ground and there they've stayed ever since. If you go to Ireland, you can sometimes go under the castles and, if you dig in just the right spot and the tour guide doesn't come by to ask you what you're doing with a shovel in the basement of this old castle and you explain this story to him so he makes you go upstairs and lie down, then you can peel away some of the brick and see where the engines are. I tried it myself once, but I had this run in with a tour guide, so I haven't confirmed it with my own eyes, but my pappy says he learned it from my grandpappy when he was just a wee lad, so it must be true.

While having a few dozen flying castles crash to the ground made for a bad day, the people realized the situatuion was dire when they found out the massive release of energy changed the genetic structure of the most populous animal in Ireland, the snake, turning them into giant, mutated, poisonous, irritated, flying space snakes! Each of these space snakes was capable of flying to distant planets, which a few of them did. The ones who were left behind stayed because they were lazy. They saw the fun the other snakes were having on those other planets, but they didn't feel like making the six minute trip, so they just stayed in Ireland and drank. The more they drank, the smaller their wings became until they were no longer able to leave the planet. They still saw their former friends and family rollicking on other planets and this made them surly. They tried to drink the surly away and it became a cycle. After a hundred years of this, their surliness reached new heights and they decided, being big, strong space snakes, they would rule Ireland with an iron fist.

They cowed the population, forcing them to move their attention away from science and to making peat bogs, which is where space snakes go to relax. The entire population of Ireland was set to work digging holes and filling them with moss so that the snakes could have their jacuzzi. If anyone resisted, complained or stopped talking about how great the snakes were, the new kings of the land would curl around that person and crush them to death. It was a bleak time for Ireland. They began to behave as their masters and become drunk and surly themselves. When they were not working, they drank. The drink made them angrier at the snakes, but they were powerless to do anything against their masters, so they released their anger on each other. Things became ever more strained among the population of Ireland until it looked like the country was set to break into a clan war. Then, a nine year old girl named Brandi O'Neil got on her knees and prayed at the church for salvation.

God heard little Erin's prayer and turned to His chosen savior of Ireland; Patrick. As a youth, Patrick had taken his religious orders, but was unsatisfied with the monastic life, which he saw as too easy and soft. He became a wandering monk for a period of years, trying new and more severe forms of religious dedication. He walked everywhere with broken glass in his shoe for 3 months and, when that wasn't enough, he carved lemons into shoes and filled those with broken glass. As he travelled, he began to hear stories of the most severe group of monks, but he could never find them. He searched far and wide. He asked about the Nameless Order at every monastery he went to, but no one would tell him a thing. Finally, he wrote to the Roman Emperor Constantine, who was the first Christian Emperor and had cemented his place as a holy man by calling together the Council of Nicea, to ask for help. Constantine wrote back to tell Patrick that he, as emperor, could not reveal the location of the Nameless Order, but, if Patrick wished to have his plea heard, he must go to the shore and pray long and hard, perhaps God would hear him.

Patrick set out at once to the sea shore. He prayed nine days and nights in front of the waves, moving not for food, water or any other reason. At sunset of the ninth day, Patrick finally ended his plea to God and crossed himself. As he finished, he saw a figure, a man clad in seaweed and carrying a cross made out of coral, rise from the sea to speak with him.

"Patrick," said the man, "God has heard your prayer and seen your dedication and has told me to admit you."

Then and there, the man revealed the secrets of the Nameless Order. The Order only ever consisted of two people; one the master and one the apprentice. They lived under the water, coming up for breath only once a year. The rest of the time they spent in silent prayer while riding the under-ocean currents around the world. It was their job to wait for a signal from God, when they would be called in under the worst circumstances to set things right.

Following young Brandi's plea for help, God called Patrick from his undersea prayer to defend Ireland from the snakes. He awoke instantly from his prayer, hearing the voice of God tell him what he must do. So he swam to Ireland and climbed up on the shore. He yelled out in a voice that echoed through all of Europe, "I am Patrick, chosen by God to drive the snakes out of Ireland!"

The snakes, hearing this challenge, just laughed at him. They gathered near the sea shore to watch this pitiful human. They were confident that their weakest member, Schlogtoff, could devour Patrick whole, so they sent him to the future Saint first. As the snake crawled it way onto the beach, Patrick addressed it. "I am Patrick," he said again, like they didn't hear him the first time, "and I have come to challenge you in open combat. State your name and tell me if you will accept my challenge."

The snake growled, "I am Schlogtoff, devour of mortals, destroyer of hope, enjoyer of peat bogs, and I will gladly accept your challenge, tiny human."

"Then we will fight," Patrick stated quietly.

Schlogtoff laughed and reared up, his front half towering 300 feet in the sky. Patrick made no move as if he were fighting. He only looked the snake in the eye. Then Schlogtoff whipped his upper body to the ground, trying to crush the holy man. Patrick stood until Schlogtoff was within arm's reach, then he struck. His punch flew faster than a bowling ball of a slip and slide covered with bacon grease. Before the snake knew it, he had been punched so hard that his body turned inwards on itself, his face touching the inside of his tail. As he lay there struggling, Patrick picked him up and threw him into the sun.

The snakes were in shock. They stood, watching their friend devoured by the sun, until one of them snapped out of it and yelled, "Get him, guys!"

After that, it was all arms and scales and feet and teeth. The snakes tried every trick they could think of, but Patrick was always ahead of them. He used them as whips to drive other snakes back. He would tie them in knots and throw them at distant stars. One group of eight, he actually weaved into a hot pad that is still being used by a giant space emu in the alpha centauri region. In the end, Patrick stood alone on the beach, not harmed in any way or even breathing hard.

The people of Ireland cheered for him and offered him kingship over their country. They even offered Brandi as his wife, since she was seen as holier than others. Patrick looked into the little girl's eyes and told her, "Brandi, you're a fine girl, what a good wife you would be. But my life, my love, and my lady, is the sea."

Then, he turned and strode into the waves to pray in the ocean. He, or another member of the Nameless Order, still waits out there to defend our world should he be called by God.

That's the story of St. Patrick just as I heard it from my father and his father before him. Just ask, they'll swear it's all true. Happy St. Patrick's day.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stakeout Letter

We been tracking this meth zombie for round about a week now and I gotta say that it's been informative. I feel like I'm watchin some sorta weird nature show. I keep hearing Marty Staufer givin a little voice over about how useful and well suited to its environment the meth zombie really is. Some people would then say that it just became that way over millions of years of tiny changes, but some other people would say that the meth zombie was made whole that way, Skynard shirt and all, because if a Skynard shirt is designed to fit the body, then a meth zombie, which is way more complex, but worth quite a bit less than a good Skynard shirt, also has to be designed. Then those people would get in a big yelling match with each other in the parking lot of a used bookstore last month on some old scientists birthday because one of them was standing in the parking lot with a sign that said The End is Neer, Repent!!!!!!!!!!!! I ain't sure I got the exact right amount of exclamation points on there, but I think you get the idea. The one guy who walked out of the used book store in a cardigan with leather patches on the sleeves would point and gesticulate wildly, trying to explain all sortsa sciency type stuff and all these things about empirical evidence and how logic and reason only point the one way and the other guy would be gesticulatin just as wildly, yellin about how the bible says nothin about monkeys and how the word 'monkey' doesn't even appear one time in the bible and the other guy would point out that the words 'intelligent design' didn't appear in there either and then they'd start yellin about who read which book and it would end in fisticuffs and the one guy's sweater would get all torn and they'd really just dig themselves in deeper to their positions but now cause they thought the other side was just full of idiots or heretics or whatnot and, in the meantime, I gotta stand there and listen to these guys yellin at each other at somethin I know they ain't never gonna agree on nohow and all I want is a crossword puzzle book or a sudoku book or somethin that I can use in the bathroom to pass the time while I'm passin somethin else but now I gotta bust into that fight and split them up and have them yell at me and I gotta explain to them that I don't hold no truck with either side and I just like goin to the aquarium and look at the lungfish sometimes, but I can't explain to them that genes can make weird things happen and I got first hand knowledge of that, but I'd still like to believe that the universe has more in it than a bunch of blind processes, but it would also be beautiful to think that everything walking around is related in some way. I mean, we may treat each other better if we're all just family. Of course, I ain't talkin family as in the havin-a-chimpanzee-with-which-you're-havin-some-sorta-weird-maybe-sexual-relationship-with-that-you-share-your-wine-with-until-that-chimp-freaks-out-one-day-and-eats-your-friend's-face-and-the-chimp-has-to-be-put-down-and-your-friend-may-never-recover kinda way. More like they part-of-them-is-part-of-you kinda way. You can go ahead and call that evolution or God or whatever you want, just as long as you act like that, maybe we'd be gettin somewhere better than a bunch of ninjas or whatever tryin to take over the world every time we turn our backs. But maybe that's just me.

Questions about how it came to be aside, the daily life of a meth zombie is sometimes pretty interesting. Now, I'm gettin a bit older and, as such, I generally get up earlier each year. The plus side is that I get to see the sun rise most days and there ain't nothin like sittin at your livin room window with a cup of coffee watchin the sun come up over a fresh pile of snow. The downside is that there ain't notin on tv until 5:30 or so. But as early as I get up on a normal day, that meth zombie is always up and doin stuff before me. I think he's prolly got the same problem about there bein nothin on the tv because he's up and drivin around at 2:30 or 3:00 most mornins. He doesn't really drive nowhere, either. At first, I thought he had lotsa important places to go and important things to do because he was drivin everywhere real fast, but a lot of times, he's just drivin around the block at 50 miles an hour, fishtailin at all the corners. I wanna get out there and tell him he won't slide around so bad in he puts some sandbags over the back wheels of his van, but then he'd know we were trackin him and I'd give away the whole plan and then I'd have to be fightin a lobster man in my own place and I don't really have the room for a good lobster fight.

One thing we noticed was that most days, about 9:30 or so, he'd show up at the 99 cent store. I ain't never trusted them people since their grand opening. First, they opened up right across the street from the dollar store. Given the choice, who in their right mind would go to the dollar store when there's a 99 cent store right there across the street? No one, that's who, and that's what they're banking on. I went in there and shopped around for a bit. I needed some cheap, plastic stuff made in China, as everyone does from time to time. It wasn't until after I'd been rung up and left the store that I found out them people ain't nothin but a bunch of lyin liars. I got outside and looked at my receipt and saw that everything on there rung up as a dollar. Then I looked at their sign and saw that everything was 99.99 cents. Now, if I'd wanted to pay a dollar for my cheap stuff, I'd have gone ahead and gone to the dollar store. But no, I wanted to save myself the penny, which was a penny I'da been earnin. But them lying jerks there stole that penny from me. Well, I decided right then and there that was the last penny they'd ever get from me and from then on, I've done all my cheap shoppin at the dollar store. But for some reason, the lyin ways of the 99 cent store didn't deter the meth zombie. Like I said, he'd go there about once a day, right around 9:30 and then he'd drive around some more. Mostly, he went to different run down housing areas, apartment buildings that smell like cabbage and abandoned factories and stuff, stayin for a hour or more sometimes.

The squimonk figured that the 99 cent store was a distribution point for the meth comin into our area and that meth zombie was pickin up his suppplies there and then runnin his rounds during the day. When I asked why he was just drivin around the block at three in the mornin, they said that was really just because he was a meth zombie and they usually do that or scrub their tile at three in the morning. We had to confirm their theory about the liars at the 99 cent store distributin drugs to our area, so Douggy and I was chosen to go on a stakeout. Now, I know you seen a lot about stakeouts in the movies and how they sit there and drink coffee and eat chinese food and stuff like that and I gotta tell you, a real stakeout is a lot like that, except without the excitement at the end. We sat across the parking lot from the 99 cent store every day of the last week for about four or five hours, to see if we saw anything suspicious. We saw some people goin in and out pretty quickly without buyin anything, even after bein shown the back room. I thought they caught onto the lie pretty easily, but Douggy said that was probably where they were gettin the drugs. It took us awhile to confirm this, so we had to keep doin this stakeout in the meantime.

It sure was boring out there, but it gave me a chance to catch up on the news that's goin on. I keep readin about the government givin money to banks because they messed up on something or another. Now, I may not be the smartest man in the world or nothin, but I know enough not to pay people for screwin up. Then, I started doin some math. That big insurance company there messed up somethin awful, but the government gave them 180 billion dollars so far. I pulled out my calculator and did some lookin on the internet and figured out that's about $592 from every American to that one company. And they ain't the only ones who're gettin stuff. So, I started doin some thinkin and I wrote myself a letter. I didn't know where to send it, so I just thought I'd put it up here and if anyone knows someone in the government, pass it on along.

Dear Government,
I know we're havin a tough time right now. There this whole housing mess and the thing with the banks not loanin money and everything. Now, I'm not gonna be the one to point out that the only way banks really make money is by loanin money out and that, if we really want them to start loanin again, we should just leave them be because they'll go out of business if they don't do the job they're supposed to do, so, rest easy, I'm not that guy. I'm just writin because I'd like my piece. I know you guys are all up there givin away trillions of dollars and I'd like some of that money. You don't even have to give it to me, you can give it to my business, Pat O'Neil's Body Shop, Refurbished Car Emporium and Donut Eatery. Here are the facts. Last year, my total income from all my businesses, including the income I get from my writing career, was just shy of $70. If you don't believe me, I can produce receipts. The thing is, though, it's not my fault. It's tough times out there. A lot of people are driving around with dented cars they could get fixed, but they're choosin to go to the doctor instead. I know, why would they have a problem doin that, right? But, I think what you're not lookin at from up there on the hill is that gettin some medicine for your kid sick with the flu and gettin a new transmission in your car cost about the same thing these days. The donut industry is also havin a tough time because our normal clients, people having morning meetings, have really started tightenin their spending nowadays. They're havin meetings without donuts or coffee, which I imagine makes for some tough meetings. I figure we'll get out of this slump some time, I mean people is still gonna be having meetings, and I see a bright day in the future where people show up to work in non-dented cars with healthy kids at home, donuts on the table, a little extra beer money in their pockets for goin to the local bar with some friends after work, and a spring in their step.

I'm just askin for a little help to get through. I ain't askin for much, either, you know, comparatively speakin. I figure, if you'll just give me about a million and a half to two million, that will lighten the load a little bit. I know it's more than I made last year, but, you see, I committed to givin the CEO of my company a bonus of a million dollars regardless of his performance. I put that down on paper when he became my CEO and if I don't pay him, that there's a breach of contract. I tried to explain this all to the local bank, but they're all dried up on credit right now and those people down there based the money they'd be willing to give me on what I made last year. I know, silly, right? So, they said they could loan me about $50, but I'd have to pay them back $75 by the end of the month. I don't think I'd be able to do that without some help from you. So, all I'm really askin for is the money to meet my commitments. I know, bein a new business I was a little ignorant to think I could pay my CEO a million dollar bonus in the first year, but I did and I can't be expected to be held accountable for it. Imagine the consequences if I fail. Bein a body shop, I am intimately connected to the manufacturing business. I buy parts from distributors, keepin them in business, plus I buy oil and other various engine liquids from big companies that turn that money into oil supplies and platforms and stuff. Plus, bein a refurbished car emporium, I am helping provide jobs and financial support to the state. I ain't sold a car yet, but I think that's because the banks aren't willing to finance loans for people to buy their cars. I'm also a big part of the service industry in this area. People come in every day and buy coffee and donuts from me, expecting that these will increase their productivity at work. If they don't have their coffee, they won't be able to work as well, and the productivity of the entire area will drop. We supply important stuff from this area and if our productivuty dropped, it could have serious repercussions for the economy of the entire nation. You have a chance to stop this. Just cut a check for Pat O'Neil's Body Shop, Refurbished Car Emporium and Donut Eatery and all will be well.

You know, while I'm thinkin about it, how's about you give me three million. I'll use a million of it to pay my CEO his bonus, which we've discussed and is really inevitable, then I'll use another million to capitalize my company and put us in a strategic position vis-a-vi first tier capital in order for our mergers and acquisitions arm to fully monetize it's potential and begin searching the market for attractive properties. (See how I threw in that finance mumbo-jumbo to dazzle you? We can all do that, you know). And then, I'll use that last million to start my own bank, the bank of Pat O'Neil. I'll loan a couple people money to buy cars and houses and things. But I promise that I'll talk to their bosses and people they know to see if I can trust them with the money. I'll make sure to get more money back from them than I loan to them, but I'll try not to make it so much that I hurt them.

So, government, in conclusion, I would like to receive about 3 million dollars from you to keep the manufacturing industry afloat and to renew the banking industry. If you don't give the money, the entire economic system of the entire world could collapse and we'd have to go back to bein cave men and huntin our own food with clubs and stuff like that. Instead, how about bailin' out ol' Pat. I'd say I'm a pretty good investment because, with my $70, I estimate I made at least 2 billion more dollars last year than any other company you're givin money to. So, thanks for your time, and I look forward to recievin my check.

Pat O'Neil
CEO Pat O'Neil's Body Shop, Refurbished Car Emporium and Donut Eatery

P.S. On second thought, better make it 4 million, just in case somethin unforeseen happens.

So, that's the letter I wrote. Like I said, if y'all could pass it on, that'd be great. If I don't get my check, it looks like I'm gonna have to raid this 99 cent store sometime soon, and I am not lookin forward to that.