NaNoBlogMo, Day 30 – Arby’s: We have the tweets

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be writing 100-word fanfiction stories. Expect to see Preacher, Sandman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Poldark, Star Trek, Firefly, and so many more.

But today, it’s the final day of #NaNoBlogMo. It was late when I finished last night’s post, and I hadn’t eaten yet. Neither @snarke nor I felt like cooking at that hour, so we decided to visit Arby’s. As I reached for my keys, I’d wondered aloud what my final blog topic would be. “Arby’s!”, @jillwebb called out from the living room. “They offer roast beef in a world of burgers,” @snarke added. “Representation!”

And so, friends, let us speak of the place where the Curly Fry lives–and sizzles in oil.

Arby’s gets a bad rap, perhaps most famously from Jon Stewart, who good-naturedly mocked the brand mercilessly for years. I always had the sense that they were frenemies of some fashion, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Stewart sometimes feels a strange burst of affection when he drives by this local franchise. In the final days of his Daily Show tenure, the company offered him a job, bought a tribute ad, and even created a 30-second ad featuring a Stewart-inspired sandwich.

About a year ago, writer and radio personality John Moe instituted the “Arby’s rule,” which has now extended beyond cookie fortunes into…well, just about any statement of advisement.


Admittedly, I’m hard-pressed to think of a circumstance where being apprised of Congressional hearings will help you when you’re surrounded by bags of yesterday’s unsold mozzarella sticks, but that’s because there things left in this world that I don’t yet understand, and I’m comfortable with that.

Yes, it’s suffered its share of detractors, but there’s a lot to love about the chain, Internets. Consider this:

Representation. As @snarke pointed out, Arby’s doesn’t make the same burgers and chicken sandwiches that 395 other fast food restaurants in your town offer.** You can order roast beef, brisket, a Reuben, beef and cheddar, a steak sandwich, a turkey club, a gyro, a French dip with swiss…it’s refreshing to see diversity on the menu. Sometimes you want something different in your grease-splotched sack-o-foodstuffs, and Arby’s ensures you have that choice. They also don’t limit their side selections to mere fries and onion rings. No, Arby’s is aware that when the hankering for mozz sticks, curly fries, Jalapeno poppers, and potato cakes arises, it is not easily quelled.

**except maybe Subway, but then you’d have to eat at Subway.

The sauces. Under the Drive-Thru Accords of 1592, Arby’s is required to dispense sauce packets upon request, but it is not satisfied with just handing out ketchup. One can stock up on Honey Mustard, “Horsey Sauce” (mayo-based horseradish), Marinara, Spicy Three Pepper, and others depending on location. Marinara is, as everyone knows, the modern-day nectar and pairs well*** with everything.

***I said to @snarke and @jillwebb last night that writers usually drop “pairs well” when discussing wine, but I’m using it here to talk about fast food because that’s the kind of classy guy I am.

Since we ordered our food To Go last night and our local branch didn’t have sealable containers, @snarke asked for a few packets at the counter. This is what we received:

arbys sauces.jpg
I could fill a moat. Next step: buy a castle.

I used three packets. My dresser is currently stacked with Arby’s sauce, and I’m planning my meals for the next few days around using up my supply. I suppose I could simply throw out the remaining packets, but this would surely constitute a serious lack of decorum, a slight in the face of such generosity!  It’s like when Jesus took those loaves and fishes and then fed 4,000 people.****

****It’s not really like that. The Parable of the Tribbles seems more probable.

James Earl Jones.

It’s a small joy to listen to James Earl Jones talk about anything, but I am being entirely sincere when I say that I would patronize an Arby’s establishment solely based on this commercial.

The fandom tweets. And this, dear Reader, is where my love of Arby’s blossoms into…well, some form of lifelong commitment. Whoever runs the company’s Twitter account is a bloody *genius*.

This is the first fandom tweet I saw, coinciding with the 20th Anniversary / limited re-release of Princess Mononoke in theatres. For some reason, I suspect Kohroku is an Arby’s fan. And Yakul wouldn’t turn down a Chopped Side Salad.
Simon Belmont was not only the most famous vampire hunter of his time; he also enjoyed curly fries.
Goku and Frieza appear to be fighting over a vanilla shake and….whatever that orange-colored beverage is. Odds are if that Goku dives in and imbibes, he may not even need to wait around for Trunks to show up.
Dinosaur Comics, y’all. I wouldn’t have expected a webcomic shout-out, and I am here for it.  
The others are running towards the food, but Shyguy is secretly afraid of the Jalopeno Roast Beef Slider and is thus running away from its juicy, meaty grasp. It knows what it did.
The sandwich box thought it was in charge, but E. Honda quickly disavowed it of that foolish notion.
Putting P-Chan next to bacon seems unspeakably rude, to be honest.
And for once, please don’t whine about it.
This tweet has it all: origami, Discworld, a cookie….you earned your paycheck that day, Arby’s Social Media Manager. 

And so, dear Reader, we close #NaNoBlogMo with a cookie atop a paper turtle, the manner in which all things in life must inevitably end. I hope this post has brought you peace, a little introspection, and maybe–just maybe–a yearning to follow the Arby’s Twitter account. You’ll thank me.



NaNoBlogMo, Day 25 – They’re not dolls! They’re action figures! WE’VE BEEN OVER THIS, MOM.

I took the plunge this morning, gentle Reader. I did that which I’ve thought about nearly every day this year, but have been actively avoiding for months.

I cleaned my room.

Now, I understand that revelation may seem unremarkable in the grand scheme of the Universe, but consider: where once I tripped over papery debris, the path is now clear. While I previously was forced to stack books on the floor, now they have a place of rest. My shelves have room. It is a new day, and that day smells like store-brand disinfectant wipes.

Part of the process meant unboxing and arranging the Funko Pops I’ve collected this year, a decision that essentially created two super-teams.

The Happy Accidents Contingency (L to R:  1966 Batmobile, Purple Tentacle, Bob Ross, Dr. Jillian Holtzmann with ECTO-1.

On an initial glance, you might conclude that this team has some disadvantages: the Batmobile is a car, Purple Tentacle is obsessed with world domination, and Bob Ross paints bushes and sticks. However, you would be wrong.

With a persuasive-enough argument, Purple Tentacle’s preoccupation with conquering the Earth can be channeled into productive team-building tasks. Need a computer system cracked, a rent in time repaired, or a villain distracted?  Simply convince Purple that helping you will further his own means!   As for the Batmobile, even the 1966 version comes equipped with “wonderful toys,” as Jack Nicholson’s Joker put it. It’s both a transportation system and a weapons arsenal, and with a touching of reprogramming, it probably wouldn’t even require a sentient driver**

**which is fortunate, because Batfleck isn’t joining this outfit.

Further down, there’s Bob Ross, whose voice is so soothing that he can lure evil to sleep. Prior to his career as an artist, though, Ross was a drill sergeant in the US Air Force who spent most of his time hollering at soldiers for infractions like being late and not making their beds. When the mission requires it, the man can be forceful. Pair that with Holtzmann’s wit and technical genius, and The Happy Accidents Contingency will cut a fool.

BUT WAIT. What of the OTHER team?

Justice For Barb (L to R:  Octopus wearing a fez, Tulip O’Hare, Alana, Marko, Heimdall, Barb.

As readers of Saga know, Alana and Marko are battle-tested soldiers, although they’d much rather just curl up with their daughter and eat some toast. Heimdall is an Asgardian warrior who can see through time and space, and Tulip is such a badass that she once built a bazooka out of coffee cans. Barb brings common sense, practicality, and fierce glasses to the team. Also, there’s an octopus wearing a fez, for the love for Pete.

Either of these teams would be formidable enough on its own–but imagine a crossover. We could call it Justice for Happy Accidents.****   There’s no skirmish from which it couldn’t prevail–or IS THERE?

****We’re definitely not calling it that.

Part of me is still 7, and I’m glad for it.

NaNoBlogMo, Day 1 – The post script’s post script

I’m doing that which I ne’er imagined I would; I’ve become one of those people who engages in NaNoWhoseewhatsis shenanigans.

“Well,” I said to myself, “Obviously, I need to begin with Stranger Things. There’s so much to process.”  Then I immediately realized two things:

1. When people type “I said to myself,” there’s a rather high probability that they didn’t say anything at all.

2. Season 2 of Stranger Things was released less than a week ago; many people haven’t watched it yet. Do I want it said, when the books are closed and our history is writ, that one time in 2017, I was a spoiler? That I gazed upon the field of television experiences, sought out the Stranger crop, and said “Lo! Behold this fine crop which I shall now INFECT WITH LOCUSTS.”

Nay, Reader. I do not.

That’s the problem with spoilers: they lead to locusts.

As is the fashion these days, Stranger Things apparently has an aftershow, which I realized only finishing the series. Were it not for the fact that it’s on a competing network, I’m sure the King of the Post-Game Show would be bouncing all over the studio**

giphy (2).gif

**and he’d probably hand out Eggos to everyone in the audience.

So naturally, I had to wonder: are we already headed for Aftershowception?  Is 2018 going to be the year when Chris Hardwick hosts a show about the show he just hosted about the show?  How meta is too meta for geeks?

And while I’m pondering, how long did it take the stylists every morning to touch up Axel’s hair?


I am on a curiosity voyage and I need my paddles to travel. 

Paintober, Day 16 – Upside Down

It’s the fin-al post-card. Da da da daaa. Dum de da da daaaaa.

A few hours ago, I finished Season 1 of Stranger Things, which I began yesterday afternoon. Although it’s only 8 episodes, I’d assumed it would take me several days, but it turns out that the show is simply too good, and I am but mortal.

It seemed fitting, then, that the last postcard in the deck should be a view of The Upside Down. Tomorrow, I’ll move on to artist’s tiles.

The base of the card is lamp black, sponged onto an incredibly wet  surface. I added crimson and forest green, washed away a sizable percentage of the evidence, then added much brighter colors for hope. It’s what the residents of Hawkins would want.

Postal version:

Upside down.jpg

With a multiply effect:

Upside down after

Really craving some Eggos for some reason.