Poor Mojo's Almanac(k) Classics (2000-2011)
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Squid #253
(published November 17, 2005)
Notes from the Giant Squid: The Squidcast Experience
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
MOLLY: Hi folks, the squid is still out walkabout-ing in America, trying to renew his ties to the American people or whatever. He was unable to review your mail this week as there were some, uh, technical difficulties with his mobile hook-up sat-phone fax-terminal. I didn't ask, and I don't want to know how he broke it. But, he did, it's broken. And the American taxpayers are going to buy him another one.

[pause]

. . . though he did manage to call from a motel phone in Topeka, Kansas. Well, the credit card was billed for a hotel room in Topeka, at least. There was a woman's voice, too, and I think she was squealing, but I'm really, really trying to block that out. Anyways, he called and said that he had heard that the new Big Thing on the interweb is podcasting. And so he demanded that we develop a podcast here at Poor Mojo's Almanac(k). Which brings me to our new employee.

IVAN: Hi there, this is Ivan.

MOLLY: Ivan is our new temp.

IVAN: Part-time temp.

MOLLY: Right. The Squid is cheap—surprisingly—and so we have a part-time temp now whose job it is to do a podcast for us. Though I'm not really sure why or even what the hell a podcast will do for us. But thankfully that is ONE thing around here that is not my freaking job.

IVAN: Right [laughs] that's my job.

MOLLY: And so I'll leave it to you.

IVAN: So I just, wait. Where are you . . .

[pause]

[door closes, firmly]

IVAN: She totally just left me here.

Okay, confession time: I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing here. I mean, I applied for this job this morning, got the call, showered and shaved and came in here. And now I'm hired on the spot and told to work immediately. I mean, who the hell does that? It happened to me once before, like nine years ago, when I had this crappy coffee house job at Macomb Mall in Roseville. I showed up, the interview took maybe ten minutes and this shifty, short guy showed me how to work the register and how to make a few of the drinks, and then he left. That job sucked. The customers were savages at that place. True story: there was this heavily tattooed, fat, blonde woman with a ton of kids that would stomp around the mall and act all frustrated and drink like four mochas every day. Well, one day, she comes in and slams her crying toddler down next to the register and orders a drink, I make it and hand it to her. She takes one delicate, heavily tattooed sip and pulls this face like she just drank lye and fucking throws the mocha in my face and shouts, "THIS MOCHA IS TOO COLD! I WANT MY MONEY BACK!"

That sucked. And yeah, I gave her the money back. I was kind of a pussy back then. Ivan the pussy, that was me.

Too cold? I had a fucking second degree burn on my neck from that mocha.

Anyway, funny thing is she got busted the next week shoplifting at this trendy clothing store that my then-girlfriend Angie managed. When the dye-pack that was hidden in the security tag exploded under her shirt she went completely apeshit and started punching everyone around her; customers, employees, everyone. Heh.

So yeah, podcasting. I'm podcasting. Look at me go. Podapalooza.

Molly said that I could read some of the Giant Squid's old columns or whatever, but he talks like a meth-head Yoda and it's fucking impossible to read. So here I am.

My name is Ivan Denisovich Chudak. That's Ivan pronounced like EYE-ven, not like eve-AHN. I'm from the eastside of Detroit. Eastside! Or, really, from the suburbs just north of Detroit. Like Twelve Mile road, so I'm about four miles north of Eminem.

[pause]

[IVAN sips coffee]

[recording clicks off]

[recording clicks on]

IVAN: Okay, it's been a few hours and I've walked around and checked out this office. There are decent snacks in the vending machine, the sounds of dogs barking from behind a locked door, and lots of scary looking equipment that I've been reassured by this Japanese dude are just life support thingees for the Giant Squid.

I don't know from labs, to tell ya the truth. I'm not a science guy. I was a Comp Lit major, so one oscilloscope looks like pretty much every oscilloscope to me. But there are some parts of this lab that look totally run-down. Like, Detroit's-Metro-Airport bad. Built-in-1971-and-forgotten-about-for-all-time bad. Forced-to-live-in-The-Jefferson's-apartment bad. You . . . you get the picture. But other parts of this place are gleaming steel, holographics displays, vats labeled "Nanotech. Don't drink! This means you, Rob. —Sang"

It's half incredibly depressing, and half utterly wondrous. Sort of Jeffersons-vs.-Jetsons

But I'm liking it here. Which is a surprise to me. I never thought I'd be an office kind of guy. But the people here are chill enough, and I can barely hear the dogs barking from this cubicle I've chosen. There is absolutely no dress code. There is parking in the building and an on-site mechanic named—I shit you not—Devo, who is sort of a wigger and says for a case of Red Stripe he'll "take of me." And then he winked. I honestly wasn't sure if he was offering to fix my Ford or he was offering sex. That's the kind of workplace this is.

So I've decided—since no one is checking on my work and nobody else in the Metro Area seems to be hiring out-of-work Russian kleptomaniac Literature experts—that I may as well try and keep this job for as long as possible. I'm Ivan, the new podcast guy, signing off.


Note: Fuck. So they gave me a mic to record the podcast—which by the way they are insisting on calling the SquidCast—ugh—but it's the cheapest Cracker-Jack mike I've ever used. I recorded the whole damn podcast on it and played it back but it sounded like I was a robot trapped at the bottom of an aluminum well talking through a tin can during a hailstorm while a truck full of pennies crashed into several houses made of windchimes.

I asked Rob about it and he said, "Dude, I got major weird shit going down right now and a Space Alien President who's gone all AWOL with, like, a truckstop hooker or some shit and I just cannot be forced to care about you or your fucktarded microphone. Take that shit to Radio Shack; you've got questions, they've got fucking cheap shit from China. Go Away!"

So in order to meet the terms of my contract and to keep my job here I've typed up this goddamn podcast and will record it after I find a decent not-so-fucktarded mic. This is Ivan, wishing you all caviar wishes and champagne dreams.

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see other pieces by this author | e-mail this piece to a friend | Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid? Read his blog posts and enjoy his anthem (and the post-ironic mid-1990s Japanese cover of same)

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