Sunday, April 27, 2008

Calling all Flatlanders!

Just two days ago, one of our Decoy Flatlanders turned up at Fakie Central in a rather delirious and decrepit state. He was barefoot, dressed only in an ill-fitting hospital gown, and so pumped full of psycholeptic medication as to be scarcely able to recognize the very Commander in Chief whose life he had taken to a solemn vow to protect. Happily, some deeply embedded directives of his secret agent training seemed to have survived (even in the face of the heavy psychiatric medication to which he had been exposed) and the Agent clutched in his clammy palm a single page, seemingly torn from the jaournal of one of the modern witchdoctor cum chemists who had reduced him to such a state, which shed some light on the poor fellow's plight. The page contains some alarming indications of a new psychiatric disorder called "Flatlander Syndrome", and has caused us to review the policies and procedures of our entire Decoy Program. Here is a small excerpt (which is all the Fakie legal team will allow to be published at this point):

"Another Caucasian male patient admitted today calling himself "Flatlander" and exhibiting persecution dementia centred around a time travelling demonic figure named "The Xister". This one picked up in the business district at lunch hour, raving on about a werewolf army and the end of civilization...typical schizoid behaviour. What's odd is the uniformity of the cases appearing in recent months, this last bringing the count to fifteen patients, all claiming to be this "Flatlander" character. Same odd cranial scar pattern evident at base of skull on all patients, as if they had been subjected to some sort of lower brain stem altering surgery. Sadly, nothing much to be done but administer anti-psychotics and monitor patient's behaviour for further indications....."

Evidently, some new and more foolproof method of "deep embedding" the Flatlander persona and belief system on the volunteer hosts may have to be devised. It has also been suggested by some members of the Fakie think tank that recruiting candidates from homeless shelters and soup kitchens, merely on the basis of perfunctory resemblances to Flatlander himself, may be insufficient, and that deeper psychological screening mechanisms might be put in place to better assess a potential decoy's mental suitability.

We should note that some former Fakiegrind employees have suggested that it is not inadequacies in the hosts themselves, but rather certain paranoiac tendencies in the seed personality being imprinted, that have lead to the current impasse. This theory is, of course, absurd, and the conspiratorial undertones implied in it have lead to the dismissal of the parties involved, who obviously would do better working in some less taxing field, such as urban custodial services.

More reasonable voices have put forth the idea that it is only natural for another sentient, reflective soul to want to be the Flatlander. The very success of our Decoy Program, which now boasts upwards of 100 simulacra, is evidence in support of this very human and understandable tendency. It can only be seen as a tragic frailty of the human psyche (and not an unwanted corollary of our rigorous de-re-programming technique, the legal team has assured me of this) that some of our decoys should want to take things a step beyond their loyalty training and make a break with reality in actually believing themselves to be the commander-in-chief of the Fakiegrind empire.

Until we can figure out how to buttress certain sensitive neural pathways in the human brain to circumvent this unfortunate tendency, the Decoy Program has had to be put under indefinite suspension. Sadly, this may mean a number of out of work, wannabe Flatlanders set loose upon the world, perhaps even penning their own blogs in the vain delusion of being the original, archetypal Flatlander-Prime of Fakiegrind fame. So, until our legal team issues the proper stop-and-desist orders, we are advising readers to beware of imitations. Fakiegrind will remain at this address, broadcasting on this channel, as always, and will not change it's name to "Fakygrind", "Fakeegrind" or any other phonetical perversion of our original nomenclature.

There is, and only ever shall be, one Flatlander and one united Fakiegrind, diligently fighting the abuse of time travel technology to the end of time itself, long may we blog!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Strange Visitor...

For any readers not quite up to speed on the goings on here at Fakiegrind, Special Agent Donovan had been deployed on a mission to find a real live hobo and bring him back to headquarters for an interview as the culmination of hobo week. Our sensors, however, have been indicating an impending werewolf invasion brought about by our messing with the Template several weeks ago. Despite this threat, the intrepid Agent Donovan returned to headquarters without incident, and he brought with him a strange visitor. This was not your garden variety wandering hobo looking for a free meal and warm place to sleep before heading back on his weary way...

The man was of an indefinable age...he looked to be well advanced in years, but moved with the dexterity and speed of a much younger fellow. His long yellowish beard was matted and dirty, and his face covered in a grime that bespoke of weeks - or maybe months - gone without washing. But it was his eyes that set him apart from the common tribe of vagrants. It was impossible to look into them for any length of time without becoming extremely disturbed. Their grey-green pools seemed to speak of long journeys through vast interior regions of madness, despair and isolation, and yet there was a placid evenness to them that effected a shudder deep in the onlooker's soul. Clearly, this man hearkened from regions unknown.

Hey, stop gnawing on the mircrophone!

We showed him to the Fakie cafeteria, but he refused to eat (not that this was unusual - many an Agent has made a similar decision, especially on mac-and-cheese Saturdays). He asked only for some warm tea with whiskey which we produced in good stead and which the man downed with two or three voracious gulps. He then asked if either of us smoked, and Agent Donovan produced a cigarette from an interior pocket of his great coat. The man promptly removed the filter, then took some care in ripping open the paper skin of the cigarette until he had a small mound of loose tobacco in the palm of his hand. This he sumerarily tossed into his mouth and began to chew, much like a cow chewing its cud. After a minute or so of his chewing and Agent Donnovan and I staring off into random directions to avoid making any prolonged eye contact with our guest, the man suddenly broke the uncomfortable silence.

"Won't be long now," he mumbled in a gravelly voice that was mingled with equal parts derision and indifference.

"Won't be long until what?" I queried, trying to maintain my most pleasant, professional Secret Agent voice.

"No use hiding. He'll find us."

"Er...don't quite follow. Of whom do you speak, my good man?" The Secret Agent Manual counsels maintaining an air of jovial camaraderie when interrogating half-crazed hobo folk. (See Section 54-112-B "Storytelling Patterns of the Indigent")

"Same every year. Full moon brings it on. You can't escape."

"If you are referring to the immanent werewolf invasion, I can assure you we are quite safe in the bosom of Fakiegrind's state-of-the-art anti-lycanthrop facility. Those wolfies will have a hard time getting through our Lupine Repulsion Batteries, and even if they somehow were to penetrate past our parimeter defenses, a flip of the Panic Room Activation Switch will ensure that we are cozy and secure here in the heart of the cafeteria."

"You are fools."

"And you, sir, are a cryptic fellow quick to dole out reprimand but slow to justify your outlandish accusations. Do explain yourelf!"

The strange fellow parsed his cracked lips and spit a soggy wad of tobacco into the empty coffee mug before him. He stared intently into my eyes and I fought the urge to turn away in wild panic. He then let out a loud, long and girlish laugh that somehow managed to curdle the blood in my veins despite the nightly regime of anti-blood curdling meditational techniques that I dutifully pursue.

"You have prepared well...for werewolves. But there haven't been any werewolves in the world since before the Great Plague! You have no idea of the evil fate that is about to befall you. There will be chocolate...YES...lots of chocolate goodies. And colourful candy eggs strewn about which you will hunt for with great trepidation, continuing to find them weeks from now in the most unlikely of places, so crafty is the foe soon to be in your midst. You will be beside yourself with terror, and yet you will be none the wiser next year WHEN THE EXACT SAME CURSE VISITS YOU AGAIN!"

"What are you saying? You seem to refer to our harmless Easter traditions. Surely you don't mean...."

"Yes! Now you see! The chilling truth behind the ravaged heads of lettuce and descicated bags of carrots found each year in the larder. Not to mention the mysterious huge, hard brown pellets left strewn on the lawn. There is a powerful evil in your midst....a hideous, lawn munching, long eared...

"WERERABBIT! By Jove Donovan...we've been blind. BLIND! Get Q on the horn. Not a moment to spare...Me must notify Department H!"

The man broke into another peal of horrible shrill laughter and I motioned for Agent Donovan to hasten him back to the fetid alley from when he was snatched. I had been a fool not to see. What other entity would have the ability to sneak past our extensive Fakie sensor system to leave behind his colourful Easter confections? Only a wererabbit, with its ability to altar states between solid and gaseous form, with its uncannily nimble paws and hyper sensitive hearing (so as to better avoid the Fakie night watchman)...only such a beast could possibly infiltrate Headquarters year after year to leave behind its deadly legacy of tasty foodstuffs.

No time for self-reproach! There might yet be a chance to catch our foe unawares, but where would I find a sliver carrot at this late hour? I heard a strange sound from the corridor, a kind of heavy thumping getting louder by the second. Could the beast be upon us? In my mind's eye I saw the long, horrible incisors of the wererabbit flashing in the night. I shuddered and tried to steel my nerve. Then a deep, lisping voice echoed through the cafeteria, chilling me to the very marrow of my bones despite the microscopic marrow-warming nanodes I had had Dr. Flavour install in my skeleton against just such occasions....

"Whaaat'ssss Uuuuuuup Daaaaawk?"

It must have been then that I passed out, for when I awoke it was morning. There was a gamy unsettling stench in the air, a litter of half-eaten carrots spilling out of the larder, and a boxes and baggies of chocolate eggs and bunnies in a large mound on the table.

That wascaly wererabbit had evaded us this time, but next year he wouldn't be so lucky...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Werewolfs a-Coming!

We interrupt Hobo week to update readers on the Slavic werewolf menace. Fakiegrind's Stereographic-Lycanthoposcope is showing a concentrated mutant lupian energy field heading straight towards the abandoned mineshaft currently housing Fakie Central. In layman's terms, we've got a whole mess 'o werewolves heading straight for our colective ass!

The good news is, we've been aware of this threat and have been preparing for the past week. Special Kevlar armor has been issued to all Agents and support staff, and we have a fleet of mobile werewolf containment units all gassed up and ready to ship those bloodthirsty beasts off to the suburbs.

The bad new is, Special Agent Donovan was deployed this morning on an assaignment to track down a real live hobo and bring him back to Fakie Headquarters for a bowl of warm soup and an interview. We hope he succeeds in his mission and makes it back before the werewolves arrive, which, by Dr. Flavour's calculations, should happen sometime tonight around midnight.

We shall keep readers posted on any new developments as the information becomes available. Until then, please enjoy this hobolink:

Secret Hobo Code

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Speaking of Rats

Here is a satellite image the Fakie Hobowatch Surveillance team discovered last night of what appears to be some kind of lychanthropic were-rat hobo. Happily, he didn't seem to be heading this way (unlike the Slavic werewolf pack that should be arriving here any day).

Fakie Agents have been working around the clock to prepare for the werewolf invasion (brought about by our ill-fated messing with The Template, see below -ed). We've been busy distilling the juice of about a thousand cloves of garlic, creating a pungent tincture that, with the help of our bevy of Super-Soaker 3000s, is sure to turn those were-beasts on their heels, driving them into the suburbs were they belong.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hobo Twins

Short and green (perhaps from eating too much "street food"), these two hobos keep snakes as personal pets...not so good for keeping warm on a cold winter night, but they sure scare away the rats!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hobo Salut

This week, Fakiegrind will be taking an in-depth look at all things Hobo. By randomly grabbing images from the internet and posting them here, we hope to generate a kind of photo archive of hobodom. By the end of the week, we may even bring a live hobo into Fakie headquarters and offer him or her some luke-warm tea and a shot of screech in exchange for the inside scoop on the free-and-easy wandering that is the pastoral life of a vagrant.

Four dollar karate lessons! Who ever heard of that?

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Egads! I should have never messed with The Template. The Template was fine just the way it was. Now, all the radical Fakiegrind upgrades, the extended Fakie links list, the mind warping customized banner and the ever witty Fakie header archive has been lost to the digital wastes.

I remember why I did it. I did it because the dumb "Rubbish Heap Two" video clip that I found on Tom Green's site didn't fit properly in the old Fakiegrind star-in-the-left-hand-corner template -- that tried and true template that has served Fakie Corp. so well these past three years or so. Did I take the time to read the fine print that says "All modifications to your old template will be lost", before I clicked "OK"? Did I stop to think what reprecussions my actions might have, due to the so-called "butterfly effect" and other chaotic models of creation, on the migratory patterns of Siberian werewolves? It pains me to admit that I did not.

No, I just couldn't leave well enough alone. I had to go a-messin with what weren't broke. Perhaps this is the beginning of the Great Unraveling, as retroactively foretold in an upcoming re-edit of the Book of Oldness Deluxe Edition, complete with Bonus CD featuring never before seen outtakes from deleted and unpublished posts of yesteryear (learn, for instance, where Happy T. Fluke bought his entire necktie wardrobe for 2004 --and much more in this competitively priced collector's item. No comprehensive Fakiegrind ephemera compendium is complete without it!).

So here is the site restored to about 63% of its original splendor. Perhaps we can rebuild it. Perhaps we can cover ourselves in molten chocolate and streak down the street like living fondue morsels. Anything at all is possible with a little time and money. So please send all cheques and monetary donations to:

Fakiegrind Corp. c/o The Internet

I expect the Siberian werewolves to arrive in this sector sometime towards the end of next week (they move fast, those Slavic lycanthropes). We've set out a protective parimeter of fine china and steeped our running shoes in mouthwash, so we should be in good shape. But if you don't hear back from us for another month or so, you can be certain that The Template has extracted its hideous revenge for our ill-conceived meddling.