Reflecting Day: The Unwritable

Hi, Hotdoggers, I already regret calling you that. Now that we’ve agreed you’ll be referred to as Foot-Long One-Ninehundriacs, let’s talk about our site and all its great successes. Thanks to your excellent taste, 1-900-HOTDOG is growing faster than any expert expected and we’re one very nearby stretch goal away from hiring guest writers. When it happens, we’ll be featuring an article by “Internet favorite” Jason Pargin’s David Wong writing as Jason Pargin. He has, in fact, already sent it to us. It’s a work of true inspiration that had been trapped in his soul for years waiting for this, 🌭 the greatest joke delivery service 🌭, to exist.

A couple short months ago I came to Brockway with nothing but a simple idea and an eleven tab spreadsheet laying out six years of content and several hundred article pitches. It sounds like I’m exaggerating, but my pre-release spreadsheet looked like this and if you held your breath when you started scrolling down, you’d be dead twice before you reached the bottom. If this business model holds, I will be writing about the deranged things found in my library long after my mind has been preserved in the neural matrix of Smart Dildo 2055.

My point is, if Morgan Freeman found this google doc he would tell his partner, “My God listen to this… Week 789: Learning Day: How to Breastfeed Your Cat or Raccoon VHS / Punching Day: Wheelchair Knife Fighting For Two / Nerding Day: Barbie Gardener Racing for Gameboy Color / Fucking Day: Hello, Morgan Freeman— oh, fuck no. Everyone listen! No matter what you hear, do not move in! The hot dog has the upper hand!”

Brockway loved what most people would call a manifesto, and it was perfect timing. We’d both left Cracked, which had just been purchased by a 17th private equity firm in a month and they aren’t pursuing articles as you and I know them anymore. They decided there was a higher profit margin in brief descriptions of viral events you hopefully missed, but due to the nature of them, probably didn’t. It seems like content perfect for grandmothers who text “what is a tiger king our squirrels are back!❤,” and it’s frustrating because it’s the same idea every other website has tried and it never works. It’s like hollowing out a movie theater and using it to show clips of unpaid prison labor describing their Facebook feed from four days ago.

This seems mean, but it’s not like it matters– anyone who took that shit personally gets paid in exposure for essays on how it’s dumb how Mr. Peanut came back to life on a website with comments enabled. They are numb to disapproval. I actually loved my time at Cracked and I hope it survives whatever all this is, if for no other reason, because I left with a “Cracked Ideas” text file that had grown to 24,078 words. Most of them are hilariously unusable like “X Assholes Only Famous for Being Lonely” or “X Special Education Books I’ll Never Be Able to Make Jokes About.” And this is going to sound fucked up, but I want to talk about that second one so you can understand my struggle.

First off, let’s deal with the obvious. If you’re reading a book on disabled people and it’s not one you’re writing at this very moment, every word in it has evolved to become offensive. Like truly offensive, not “Lena Dunham deadnamed her trans rabbit” offensive. For instance, that book is called The trainable retarded which is fucked, but it’s a course book for something called “behavior modification” which is super fucked. It’s what they called it in the ’70s and ’80s when they tricked a “multiply handicapped” person into overcoming a limitation. Everyone involved in it wanted nothing more than to help people who needed it and if I read it out loud, you would say, “Jesus Christ, I guess not all classic Denis Leary bits hold up.”

I own a goddamn book simply called Retarded Australians. When it was published that sounded medical. Now it sounds like something a livid bouncer would scream at a Thailand night club. The title alone is an adventure in confusion, but I defy anyone to explain why they included medical drawings when they had no idea how to draw and then decided to make those drawings nude. What clinical purpose could this fantastically bad sketch of a naked disabled Australian serve? And why is it in the section about COUSIN MARRIAGES? Do Australians diagnose incest by having the suspect take off all their clothes so a seven-year-old can draw them? Because if they don’t, what the shit is going on here?

Another thing that bothers me about Retarded Australians, though it’s very far down the list, is how there’s no reason for it to have such a punchy title. They’re writing an academic medical document. Who are they being cute for? There is no consumer market for this other than me passing it in a thrift store and gasping. They could have called it Studies in Abnormal Genetics in Oceania, an “Illustrated” Journey or maybe Batman Fart-Train: We Thought It’d Be Fun to Let Them Name the Book. I don’t know. Maybe they didn’t think there’d be enough room to squeeze all that onto this crowded title page:

Another genre of books I have trouble understanding but keep finding is crafting guides for special needs children.

After reading literally hundreds of pages on crafting tips in PLAY ACTIVITIES FOR THE retarded child, CRAFTS FOR RETARDED, and I CAN DO IT! I CAN DO IT! Arts & Crafts for the Mentally Retarded, I can tell you with maybe more expertise than anyone alive, there is no difference in how any of us craft. I’m not trying to inspire you– I mean there’s only the one way to draw a face on a sock. There’s no specialized way to stick your hand up a puppet if your parents are Australian cousins. There was no need to write any of these books or brand them in this way at all. No one could possibly learn anything from PLAY ACTIVITIES for the retarded child. It is what anyone would write down if you held a gun to their head and said, “List ordinary games and nursery rhymes; take your time this isn’t loaded. It’s for a book I’m selling to children with mental disabilities. Hi, sorry, let’s start over.” This book explains the rules of fucking tag for God’s sake. Which means it’s either pointless or I have been playing the retarded version of tag my whole life. And yeah, I hear how that sounds. I mean it in the outdated clinical way.

So 99% of these activities and art projects are indistinguishable from what you’d find in any grade school classroom or summer camp, but CRAFTS FOR RETARDED offers one clue why they were written. Let’s look at project C-4-C:

That’s right, this book wants your special needs child to construct a swastika drum out of soaked goat skin. What is this nightmare ritual we are completing? I guarantee you if someone built and played this drum, every beat would pull the life from a faraway baby to be consumed by Ta’xet Tom-Tom. I don’t think you understand– I have, right this very moment, proven ancient death magic exists and it is being smuggled into our realm by disability-themed crafting books. I think a medal or at least some panicked screams would be appropriate.

The other thing about these books is they seem to be written specifically for people who are caring for a large number of special needs children but who are also completely unfamiliar with them. They explain broad, basic things it seems impossible to not know. Is there no training course or educational program before you’re put in charge of vulnerable kids? In 2005 I entered the approval process of becoming a Special Olympics coach and was pleasantly surprised they had some questions before they handed me a little league team and told me a couple of them were allergic to blueberries. It was the exact situation these books could have theoretically prepared me for, but can you imagine if I had said, “I have no college credits in Special Education, but I have read I CAN DO IT! I CAN DO IT! and I’m qualified to show them how to make a pretty sweet Nazi drum from the wet flesh of the goat.”

These books are such remarkable failures along with being so weird, and I, wait, hold on. I think I might have accidentally written the unwritable article I was complaining about 8 paragraphs ago. And I’m not even sure if I tricked you or myself. But speaking of weird books, we will soon be honoring the top tier 1-900-HOTDOG patrons by mailing them each one of these infamous cursed artifacts from the site:

If you’d like to receive your own one-of-a-kind treasure personalized by me and possibly KIM CANAVAN, you have until June 1st, 2020 to upgrade your pledge. Why not? Money is imaginary anyway. But ramming lit candles into your ear and expanding your tits with your mind powers– those are real. And sincerely, whatever your level of support, thank you for helping to create this perfect website I’ve been training my whole life to make.

This article was brought to you by our fine patron and Hot Dog Supreme,Neil Bailey: The undisputed shogun of Kansas City (Missouri, not Kansas; that is GapeWulf territory).

One reply on “Reflecting Day: The Unwritable”

On the fourth paragraphh, you perfectly described why I suddenly stopped reading from a website I went to at least once a day.
I’m very happy to be here, missed your work very much.

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