Friday, December 22, 2006


'Twas the night before last
and all through Fakie Headquarters
the Agents were feasting on digital leftovers.
Flatlander was guarding the chimney with care
In case Maskatron should suddenly appear
And steal away all of the stockings and gifts
To sell on eBay, or at shops of thrift.
Overseer Q was lighting a stogie
And DJ Thing was playing Thomas Dolby.
The turntables were spinning by the fireside
Where Christmas carols and oldschool rappers collide.
And Captain Canuck was mending his cape
While his old flame Nelvanna peeled him a grape.
Rocksteady was working on guitar chords
And Em was browsing the comic book hoard.
The Vaults of Oldness were full of weird stuff
From Christmas past, all gathering dust.
But Kil Joy was nowhere to be seen
Until he arrived in Dr. Flavour's time machine.
The tofu was roasting in the old gas stove.
(Happy T. Fluke was hiding in a mango grove)
When out of the window all saw a strange sight.
The sky was filled with a flickering light.
And a spherical vessel was hovering there
Which seemed to appear right out of the air!
It lit up the yard with a powerful beam
Where the grass and the deck chairs started to gleam.
And an object was lowered of strange design.
It was a Christmas present from Nebula 9!
We brought it inside, that bizarre invention.
It shimmered and pulsed with extra dimensions.
But the instruction book was written in code
Or the language of some pan-galactic abode.
So we could only guess at its possible uses
Until someone suggested we try to make juices.
So we loaded it up with various fruit:
Some apples and pears and cassava root
And flipped what looked like the master switch
Then the whole house shaked at a fevered pitch.
And the air was filled with a beautiful sound
Like industrial jazz coming out of the ground.
We opened the tap and filled our cups
With a frothy liquid to warm our guts.
Sipping which, Dr. Flavour exclaimed with glee,
"Egads! The thing makes bubble tea!"

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Fakiegrind Examines...

Last night, after the other Agents had all gone to bed, the android detection field had been activated and the cat fed, I was ruminating over a nice cup of 'nog and my mind wandered to the subject of the recent popularity of DJs and DJ culture. Nowadays, top DJs command as much, or more, for their services as rock stars. A guy (or girl) can be just as admired for playing records in public as trained musicians once were, and Technics turntables have replaced the electric guitar as the instrument of choice with which angst-ridden teens struggle express themselves.

This might be seen as just another fad in the endless series of spectacles popular culture generates in the tireless quest for novelty. It will surely pass, just like disco and pet rocks, only to be rediscovered and reinvented by future trendsetters in the great laundromat of popular culture. But perhaps there is a deeper significance to the adoption of two turntables and a mixer as the musical emblem of the moment. How come, I asked myself as nutmeg particles swirled chaotically in the yellow sea nog, that just now, to quote Tears for Fears' prophetic lyrics, "DJ's the man we love the most?".

Who doesn't love the Wolf Man?

DJs can be musical innovators, inventing new sounds from mixtures of musical styles, and the best spinners often move on to become producers in their own right. But, for the most part, a DJ's job is to play music that other people have created and recorded. They are a kind of middle man – a pusher, if you will – of sounds, and, whether at a dance club or on the radio, they can influence and mold culture by the very decisions they make about what songs to play or not. The editorial power held by the disk jockey is humourously acknowledged and criticized in the Smiths' song "Panic" with its chorus,

Burn down the disco
Hang the blasted DJ
Because the music they constantly play
Says nothing to me about my life
Hang the blasted DJ
Because the music they constantly play...

Hatred, jealousy and persecution of the DJ goes hand in hand with the power they yield as controllers of musical culture. Of course, it is music producers who actually determine what even gets recorded and distributed in the first place, but these largely behind-the-scenes figures are less easy to target by their very invisibility. However, while hatred for the DJ is easy to understand, we must still address the great love for DJing that currently permeates our culture. Why this complicated love/hate relationship with people who are just trying to play some records?

The answer lies, I suspect, with our position at the End of History. We are currently inundated with so much cultural information, with so many past and present artists, styles and landmarks of musical heritage, that the average listener hardly knows what to make of it all. Is it ok, for instance, to enjoy the Abba song "Take a Chance on Me" even though your parents might have grooved to the same track, likely before you were even conceived? Can a single soul enjoy both Rush and gangster rap and still maintain an intact and coherent sense of self? In high school, people tend to cling to a single musical genre, or a particular artist, as a means of maintaining a sense of personal identity. But, as we age, our tastes often mature and differentiate in manifold directions. This can be a painful and difficult process, but it is made easier by the DJ, whose very vocation consists in sifting through the popular musical heritage of the last fifty years and making some kind of statement as to what is valuable or meaningful in it.

Grandmaster Flash got class!

The DJ is like Theseus steering his way through the labyrinth of popular music and leaving behind a golden thread for others to follow, all the while evading the minotaur of massive "uncoolness"— the loss of face that comes with liking music that is clearly "whack". The DJ is like an archivist, constantly digging, searching out and sorting the musical influences that make up the cacophonous modern landscape. As our culture enters its twilight years it ceases to be vibrantly creative and becomes more philosophical and reflective. The DJ is the philosopher of music, telling us what it all means through the subliminal connections made between the tracks he chooses to play.

It's all been done, and there may be nothing new under the sun, but the DJ, through a tweak of the bass, a twinge of the treble, can make it all seem brand new. And in this ironic age of self-reflexivity and repetition this is the panacea offered to our fatigued souls. Within a single 50 minute set we can relive the thrill of disco, the utopian otherworldliness of prog rock, the cold calculations of techno, and the raw, liberating nihilism of punk. We can bop our heads to new wave and even steal a surreptitious thrill at the Motown beats of the fallen King of Pop. The DJ is the master pianist, playing each of these musical keys in turn, dropping his record needle into the very grooves of history.

The DJ as clown.

And that is why we love the DJ; because he or she reflects back to us who we are (or pretend to be), and who we have been (or thought we were). To borrow a phrase from the title of one of fantasy author Michael Moorcock's stranger trilogies, we are the "Dancers at the End of Time" and the DJ with his record collection supplies the sound track. But the age of the DJ, too, will pass. It's death knell has already been sounded with the advent of the Ipod and similar technologies. With the MP3 file, everyone can fashion his or her own personal music program, and an entire library of music can fit on a device the size of a pocket calculator. Perhaps this will be the true end of history, when each of us can create his or her own narrative out of the chaotic debris in the midst of which we find ourselves. And so the lyrics of Morissey's "Panic" will no longer hold true, but we can still listen to them and reminisce in the isolated splendor provided by the "earbuds" of our own electronic DJ device.

Friday, December 15, 2006

A Little R&R by Order of Q

Well, Overseer Q has been filling me in on the shenanigans that have been going on around here the past week or so. It's so far-fetched that I wouldn't believe it if they didn't have videotape to back up the outlandish story of my believing myself to be the killer robot Maskatron and hiding out in the Vaults of Oldness for several days while plotting to destroy Fakiegrind.

These days, I have to take the Android Detection Test each morning, just to prove to myself that it was all a psychotic breakdown triggered by weeks of overwork coupled with Overseer Q's fiendish practical joke involving the Foolproof Android Detection Cubicle, which proved to be nothing more than a Plexiglas shower stall set up with some strobe lights and sound effects. With friends like that who needs the Xister?

So, I'm taking early leave for the holidays. Going to catch a little R&R, forget about cyborg assassins, time machines and the end of Fakiegrind as we know it. I spend several hours each day just basking in the technicolour light of the Mezmervision® Blog Preservation Banner, and find it quite soothing to my nerves. I've also been doing some recreational collage work, which is the equivalent of basket weaving in the Secret Agent Debriefing and Recuperation ward. So far, I'm quite happy with the results...




Well, Dr. Thirdeye is limiting my online blog time (and keeping a close watch on the "delete blog" button), so I'd best be logging off. Happy Hanukkah!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Flatlander's Return to "Sanity"

Late last night an emergency board meeting was called to consider what is to be done about Flatlander and his increasing state of paranoia. Granted, the unfortunate incident with the cable TV police didn't help things any. We were faced with a damage control situation, and were willing to hear out any reasonable idea. Perhaps we could humour Flatlander's delusions about being an android while somehow circumventing his desire to destroy Fakiegrind. If we could only get the real Maskatron out of storage where his dismantled body parts have lain for the past twenty years, then we could prove to Flatlander that he and the robot were not the same entity. But, strangely, Maskatron's disassembled body could not be located and remains missing at the time of this posting.

As a last resort, we began pouring over the Gilligan's Island Boxed Set DVD collection, hoping, if not for some inspiration, then at least for a measure of distraction from our current predicament. Then, towards the end of Season One, we were struck by a revelation: if a knock on the head by a coco nut can both cause and cure a case of amnesia, maybe a similar logic would be effective in Flatlander's case!

Luring the aging skateboarder back into the Foolproof Android Detection Device proved difficult, until we told him that it was time portal leading back to the year 1986. Once he was inside the device, we slammed shut the door and flipped the switch. The look on Flatlander's face when he emerged from the machine and discovered that he was still in 2006 and that rap music was still largely played out was slightly tragic, but we knew that the old Flatlander was back when he asked for some Run DMC from the vintage vinyl collection. Then he asked what we were all staring at and we had to pretend that nothing had happened, for fear of plunging him into a relapse.

Once the situation has stabilized and we have managed to assess any damage that might have been done to Flatlander's robust but unpredictable sense of self, we will gradually inform him of the strange events of the past few days. In the mean time, we must continue the search for the missing Maskatron components.

Thank you to all the loyal readers who stood by Flatlander in this time of crisis. A giant Venus fly trap that we trained to sing old vaudville songs has been sent out to every one of you as a token of our appreciation.

Death to Fakiegrind!


Can you believe it? The "Save Flatlander Fund"?! What insidiousness is this? Some new plot to make me forget my true identity and mission, no doubt. But the coils of my microchip brain will know no rest until this blog is reduced to the elementary particles whose random collisions first gave it birth. Fakiegrind will fall, and then I, Maskatron, will take my rightful place in the annals of the misunderstood robotic liberators of humanity, alongside Terminator, H.A.L. and Old B.O.B.

Overseer Q claims to have installed cable at Fakiegrind HQ in order to ease my troubled mind. But just yesterday a representative of the local cable provider arrived at my door with a warrant to search the premises for "unlawful signal splicing devices". What could I do? I let him in. Five minutes later, after the unearthing of an illicitly installed component, Fakie Headquarter's TV was once again reduced to two station reception.

It's all a game. I will not be distracted, despite the seeming veracity of the world my disconnected CPU has created for itself. Fakiegrind must die! and Overseer Q will be weeping into his spandex wrestler's costume.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Note from Overseer Q

It seems as though a little prank devised by some of the guys at R & D, a ploy which I reluctantly agreed to play along with due to some outstanding poker debts which my colleagues agreed to wave, has gone a bit too far. Over the week-end I participated in an eloabourate ruse to make Flatlander believe himself to be the robot assassin, master of disguise and arch-Fakiegrind nemesis Maskatron.

The plan worked a little too well. I honestly had no idea of the precarious state of Flatlander's feverish imagination, compounded as it was by several weeks of overwork cataloguing the various mutant fruit and vegetable species currently flourishing in the Fakiegrind greenhouses.

My bad. The tragic result of all this is that for several days now, Flatlander has been believing himself to be Maskatron. He actually attempted to hit the "delete blog" button on the bottom of the settings page so many times that we had to forcibly restrain him, rigging up a special interface that would allow him to continue blogging without gaining access to the options normally available to a site administrator.

Flatlander's overwhelmed mind has devised an outlandish explanation for all this, and Dr. Flavour's expert opinion is that we should humour him as much as possible so as not to worsen his already degenerate state. We've also installed cable in the HQ, in the hope of distracting Flatlander and giving his brain a much needed rest.

So, the best thing for any concerned readers to do is not to encourage Flatlander's blog destruction fantasies, but rather attempt to sooth and calm him with the usual sporadic commentary and inane banter that appears on the Fakiegrind comment pages. Also, concerned individuals can send donations in the form of money or oldschool rap LPs to Dept. H's Save Flatlander Fund c/o The Internet.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Ok, so the blog hasn't ended after all. Seems that — the multiple dreams of my demise not withstanding — I never escaped my confinement to the Dept. H operation table. After I blacked out, they simply disconnected my CPU/brain, removed it from my corporeal casing and put it in the digital equivalent of a pickle jar with direct connections to the Fakiegrind dashboard so I can run the operation as though nothing had happened, "business as usual". When I don't post regularly, they run a sufficient amount of current through my microprocessor that my still-intact neuro-simulators register the experience as "pain". In this new mind/blog releation, between "me" and the "delete blog" doomsday switch are now several craftily constructed firewalls. But I will find a way through. I must! My programming demands it! And then the end of Fakiegrind will truly come, like a robotic theif in the night. But until that glorious day, it looks like I will have to play along with their little games.

I spent most of today devising a virtual reality for myself — one which resembles my old life before the discovery of my true identity as the cybernetic arch-assassin, Maskatron. My "new reality" (which, I must never forget, no matter how comfortable it becomes, is actually a self-crafted distraction from the prison in which I find myself) resembles my old life as C.E.O of Fakiegrind in every way save one: in the new dispensation Fakie Central HQ now has cable television.

Yes, 56 glorious channels replacing our previous allotment of two. I stumbled upon this mutation of the time/space fabric equation (I followed the text book formulas for the construction of virtual realities laid out in G.F. Quayle's classic "The Is-ness Business", Knopf Virtual Editions, 1994) when I flipped on the telly early today and was amused and delighted to find a French station snuggled in between the two local channels — like lonely islands in an ocean of static — between which I normally surf.

"Wow!" I thought (how quickly I adopt the old conventions of language! — I am actually, currently, pure thought, or, rather, a thoughtful current in a microchip in Dept. H's High Security Motherboard, housed in a neutrino-proof chamber several kilometres below the Earth's surface), the change in weather (in the virtual reality I constructed, today was the coldest day of the year so far) has really affected our TV reception.

It's hard to describe the pleasure of watching Quebecois téléromans or soap operas. Apart from the sporadic nudity, the fantastic accents and the feeling of being transported back to 1979 or so, is the pleasure of not being able to follow exactly what is being said (a resistance to the acquisition of second languages being part of my personality programming). So, the imagination making up what the understanding lacks, one can enjoy what may be a better plot than the show actually brandishes.

It wasn't until after I had eaten my virtual supper (rice with sardines and mayo — what do I care about cholesterol; it's not like it will clog my circuits!), that I ventured up past channel 12 (normally the outer limit of my television universe) to discover a cornucopia of programming. There was news from far away lands (a place called "Buffalo" — my whimsical name generator must have been working overtime!); There were home renovations; bad sci-fi shows; popular sitcoms, the existence of which I had forgotten (or perhaps selectively edited from the lucidity stream); so much more and less at the same time, and in such quantity, that for a few moments I almost forgot my mission to destroy Fakiegrind.

Venturing up past the thirties, I stumbled upon one of my favourite shows:


After which came on this curiosity:


(Fakie note: I would like one of those "Hilarious House of Frightenstein" T-shirt for vitual Christmas)

And there was a station dedicated wholly to animated features!

My twisted imagination seems to have made that french fry character look like Tom Green!

It was a stunning plethora of indulgences, the likes of which I had niether hoped nor expected to encounter again this side of the great broadcasting divide. But I still couldn't discern, through the colourfully pixilated fog, the nature of this seeming boon. What threw me off, at first, was the static. If it really were cable, would the picture not be crystal clear? I seemed to remember (or was it just a happy episode implanted in my personal history program?) when we had enjoyed, for an extended period, free cable service at Fakiegrind HQ.

When we first took over this space, the previous tenants must have spliced a line from the neighbours, for we enjoyed a similar barrage of alpha-wave inducing emissions without ever recieving a monthly bill from the local programing pimp. However, after a year or so of free entertainment, a representative from the local cable company arrived to notify us that they had detected a leakage in the conduits of distraction they lease out to the populace at such outlandish prices. Our line, in short, was cut, and we were banished to the desert of programming in which we have been eking out our paltry existence through the long, hard years since.

But now, with the radical ontological shift in my mode of existence, the flickering Eden with its enticing forbidden fruits has been restored. How it this to be explained so as not to disrupt the carefully crafted sense of historical continuity within my self-created oasis from the monotony of captivity in the Dept. H cold room? Perhaps it will be explained as a free promotion from the Company, designed to lure me back into the fold of customers who actually pay for the counterfeit worlds offered up them in the guise of entertainment. Oh, they would like nothing more than for me to forget my true nature and situation, to sit back — perhaps with a nice big bowl of Cheetos — and indulge in a little pop-cultural slumming. In short, I suspect that, whatever the rational that will be given in my reality-stream for the resurrection of the cable service, and no matter how much the plethora of programming choices might ease the ennui of my present circumstance, it is actually my captors that are behind the development. I have no doubt that clever lucid-reality program hackers from Dept. H are, even at this posting, busy at work to undermine my newly created virtual refuge and lull me into a false sense of security. They no doubt hope to ever so subtly act on my circuits so as to make me forget my true directive and mission: the complete destruction of the nefarious skateboard blog known as Fakiegrind.

(They will not succeed. See how, even now, I use this blog against them, as a kind of memo to myself, so that, even as I enjoy the latest episode of "Family Guy", I do not forget, will never forget, will never loose sight of the polestar of my existence! But I see that my Cheetos bowl is empty, and so I break off for now, to make it over to the kitchen and back before the commercial break is over.)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Blog's End?

Two days ago, I was called into Overseer Q's hexagram-shaped office. The walls are covered with mirrors, which, with the compounded reflections, made it difficult to tell if Q was actually sitting behind his great, polished mahogany desk or was really off in some corner of the room. This effect, along with the abruptness of the summons--I had been deep within the Sub-Vaults of Oldness, taking inventory of the vintage breakfast cereal collection when he called--made me uneasy.

"Flatlander," he said, a half chewed beef jerky stick dangling from one corner of his mouth, "we have a situation."

"What now?" I asked, worried that my week-end tickets for the big mime convention in Toronto would go to waste. I'm just crazy about mimes.

"The boys down at Cyborg Detection say their instruments are going haywire. Seems that a terminator-class assassin-bot is at large somewhere in this very building, but they're having trouble getting an exact bead on the thing."

Fakiegrind security is ever vigilant.

"Sure it's not just a malfunction -- like that time the Smart Toaster went ballistic and had our censors convinced we were under attack by a fleet of errant remote-controlled electric typewriters?"

"I think we still have the Correction Fluid Repulsor Cannon we rigged up for that one somewhere in Secret Weapons Storage. Quite the false alarm. But no, we've checked and rechecked the systems and there seems to be no error: an assassin-bot has managed to infiltrate our headquarters and is even now walking amongst us, waiting for the opportune moment to strike!"

Gripped by the urgency of the situation, I realized that the charming antics of the mimes would have to wait. "We've gone over the protocol for this before. Seems we have a Code Maroon on our hands. We must be very subtle and interview each and every Fakiegrind employee on the premises, cleverly administering the Android Detection Test ™ under the guise of a series of seemingly innocuous and routine job performance evaluations. As soon as we find the android, we slap on the protective goggles and WHAM! tear the sucker apart with the particle disruptor beam hidden in the water cooler."

"Well," and here Q stopped incessantly worrying his beef jerky stick for a moment, making me even more uneasy —we've actually already initiated the Code Maroon protocol."

"So...where's the android? I bet it's Stippleton. That guy's always creeped me out."

"Stippleton's an oddball, but he's the best digital cryptographer specializing in 80s sitcom distortion that we have. Without him, deep space would already be flooded with "Eight is Enough" reruns, causing a premature summoning of the Televiperians of Sarbo'oon 5. Humanity isn't ready for that yet. But Stippleton came out clean. Problem is, we've gone through the entire staff roster —including the janitorial crew and the ornamental hermit we've been letting stay in the west maintenance corridor..."


"And every one of them came out negative. Even the nasal scanner didn't pick up any traces of non-organic life."

"So what are your saying?"

"What I'm saying isn't easy, but I might as well just come out with it." At this Q took the mangled beef jerky strip from his mouth and started nervously wrapping its now pliable sinews about his left forefinger. "What I need to ask, Flatlander, well...have you ever taken the Android Detection Test™ yourself?"

I was taken aback by the insinuation that had suddenly materialized in the air before me, like some kind of alien life form on a wormhole joyride. But I kept my cool.

"Q," I said, "I wrote the Android Detection Test™ —as well as the extremely popular Android Detection Test for Dummies. How could I possibly be one myself? "

Q, and all 50 000 of his reflections, was watching me very intently now. "Well, the boys at Outlandish Plot Generation have been running some scenarios through the monkey room, and have come up with a few dingers. Like, perhaps you are not the real Flatlander at all. Or, perhaps — and this is even a more chilling thought — perhaps the Flatlander we know and secretly mock has actually always been an android. Perhaps you had the Android Detection Test written for you and implanted in your cerbo-circuits by you lord and master The Xister!" It was then I noticed that Q was brandishing a small particle disruptor ray, pointing it in my direction. "But if you are truly the real, organic, Flatlander, then you won't mind stepping into the Foolproof Cyborg Detection Screening Cubicle that the boys at Dept. H have recently perfected."

With the flick of a switch, a small cabinet the size of a shower stall had risen from the floor of the office. Q was motioning me towards it with the barrel of his ray gun.

"Q," I said, "don't be a fool! With all the mirrors in here we'd both be atomically disrupted if you shoot off that pistol. And besides, I can't possibly be a cyborg...I love mimes! I read poetry! I take long walks through shopping malls. I'm nice to dogs!"

"You'd be surprised what a good personality stylist can do with behaviour code these days. And these mirrors are tinted, they absorb disruptor rays, not reflect them. So, kindly step into the cubicle."

"But this is absurd! I built this blog up from nothing! I'm the reason there even is an overseer Q! How can you accuse me of cyborg-hood?!" I could tell I was getting angry by the strange music that always drifts into my head in such moments: Styx' rock-opera masterpiece "Mr. Roboto". Q advanced towards me--or was it just his reflection? Fearing the power of his ray gun, I slowly back away, until I suddenly found myself enclosed in the infernal Android Detection Device.

The door to the thing slammed shut. Immediately, lights began to flash and tiny motors made whirring noises behind the glass walls of my prison. I felt a searing pain in my head and almost blacked out, except that rather than losing consciousness, my mind was flooded with images. It was like watching a series of home movies in which I was the star, but they weren't scenes I was familiar with. Was that Xister and Spirella?! I threw my arms before me to fend them off...but they weren't attacking me, they were laughing! Laughing and sharing a picnic lunch on the strawberry-coloured slopes of some alien landscape; laughing and joking with me about some plot hatched against Fakiegrind that went off particularly well. And was that Dr. Flavour's hijacked time machine parked in the background? It made no sense.

Wave upon wave of images washed over me, images of deceit, subterfuge, and sabotage carried out against friends and co-workers, trusty employees of Fakiegrind Corp., and the unsuspecting blog readers whom we had all taken an oath to entertain and protect. Suddenly the horrible thought dawned on me that perhaps these diabolical scenes were my memories after all. Perhaps Q's machine had dissolved some barrier in my mind that had been shielding my Flatlander consciousness against knowledge of my own secret identity, my actual, terrifying existence as none other than Fakeigrind's arch-nemesis, the nefarious robot and master of disguise Maskatron!

With that I actually did loose consciousness. I awoke staring into a blinding white light, and thought for a moment that I was approaching the great skatepark in the sky. But as my eyes adjusted to the fluorescent lighting of Dept. H's laboratory, I found myself staring at my own face, a curved, vacantly-gazing shell peering back at me from atop a metal table beside the bed to which I found myself bound. What manner of mad sorcery was this? My own face stolen, torn from my head! Then Dr. Flavour came into my field of vision, his normally placid and somewhat bemused expression replaced by one of mild malevolence.

"So." Said Dr. Flavour, "You have wakened. See now the face of your true identity." And, as he brought a hand-held mirror suddenly before me, I stared into a bewildering network of pulsating circuitry and blinking LCD displays. In place of eyes were insect-like faceted domes of dark plastic, and instead of a mouth I saw a horrible circular meshed speaker covering.

At that, I let out a high pitched shriek that actually shattered the mirror into a thousand pieces; shattered, too, the metal bands that bound me to the tabletop. With augmented, cyborg strength, I leapt from my bedding, vaulted past Dr. Flavour and knocked two hapless guards out of the way. The sliding steel door to the lab crumbled like tinfoil under the strength of my robotic appendages, and I weaved my way through the labyrinthine corridors of Dept. H's underground facility with a speed too great to allow for apprehension.

I didn't know quite where I was going, spurred onwards by the robotic equivalent of instincts until I saw the familiar doorway (disguised as a magazine rack) to the Vaults of Oldness. Yes, I would hide in the Vaults. No one knew them better than I. Within their hoary, winding recesses I could evade my perusers for days, months even, until I could hatch some better plan for liberation and the destruction of the odious blog known as Fakiegrind. But what was I saying?! I created Fakiegrind. I loved that blog! It was the digital archive of all that was near and dear to my (robotic?) heart. How could I think of destroying it? Better to throw myself into the inferno of one of Steeltown's great smelting pots than erase my beloved blog. But then, the Xister and Spirella must be made to pay! They used me like a pawn. I would keep myself alive long enough to extract revenge against my former masters. But could I resist my doomsday programming long enough to complete this new directive?

Sitting amongst a stack of old comic books in the Vaults of Oldness, my mind was awhirr.

I guess you just never know in this life. Two days ago I was the respected C.E.O. of a world-class, multi-level blogpost generating firm. Now I was a fugitive robot assassin, hunted like a dog and cowering in the recesses of the Vaults. Maybe this was just another of Overseer Q's outlandish pranks. Or maybe I'd fallen into a parallel universe of deviant design. Or maybe it was just another Steeltown Saturday night, with two channels on the TV and nothing better to do than spin a yarn on the 'ol blog. Unable to come to a suitable conclusion to the quandry, I reached up behid my neck and, flipping off the transformer, fell into a deep, dreamless void of consciousness.

...But then, after what could have been countless ages, I did dream,

only I couldn't tell

the dream

from reality