By Professor J. Schnell Carlsbad, Ph.D, Ed.D, Sa.T, Pb.J, M.P.H.
Plug Magazine (www.pluginc.com) was an early entrant into the Internet content space back when you had to call a website a magazine so that people knew what it was. It was… I’m not even sure I remember what it was. It wasn’t around very long, the domain is currently unused, and I can’t even find any cached copies on archive.org to remember what it looked like. So let’s just say that it was another predictably disappointing highway service plaza on the road to writing stardom for Paul Caputo and me.
Hello there! And welcome to Richmond’s Comedy Web Central! And, as the old sailors used to say, Comedy Ahoy!
This collection of assorted “comic essays” and “crap” is the result of many hours of decidicated effort, a few of which was actually “work.” And it should be appreciated as such.
To wit: What is comedy? Is it innate? Is it a Rabelaisian doctorine of satirical whimsy? Is it a Voltaireian wave of Frenchness? Is it a “Toucan-Sam”-esque cavalcade of breakfast cereal? Is it, as most would figure, just a load of “pseudojournalistic horseshit?”
These are difficult questions. As such, I don’t feel like answering them. In fact, all I really feel like doing is taking another shot of “103 Proof Fighting Cock.” But since they are paying me to answer this, the least I can do is give a scholarly answer: one that is thoughtful, insightful and blatant horseshit.
It all began as the brainchild (“brain” in little finger-quotes) of Jeffrey Carl and Paul Caputo. Oddly enough, both men are albino Swedes.
Jeff had worked for a small newspaper in Westmoreland County, Virginia, where he “received more hate mail before 9 a.m. than most people do all day.” Paul had been a columnist for a Pennsylvania paper, which was only firebombed twice. They brought their respective “talents” in “writing” “journalism” to their college of choice. It happened to be the same college, because both got half-off on tuition: Jeff as a result of an ill-decide scholarship, and Paul because he had pictures of the Dean of Admissions in a Holiday Inn with three cheerleaders and a rubber model of an automatic transmission.
Soon, each rose to a position of prominence on campus: Paul as an outspoken liberal colunist in the school’s library bathroom walls, and Jeff as a drunken fratboy who, in a drunken stupor, fervently retched on classmates. Incidentally, both wrote for the college newspaper.
During their years as school-chums, they grew so bored with their literary efforts being “the talk of the town” that they decided to combine their efforts and become “the talk and Morse Code telegrams of the town.” In some circles, they were also the Bizarre Mime and Braille of the town.
In his Junior year, Paul was named as the Editorials Editor of the college newspaper. In Jeff’s Senior year, he replaced Paul, because the new Editor-in-Chief thought the intellectual quality of Jeff’s columns was better. Also, Jeff was having sex with her (the Editor, not the columns) frequently. Of these days, Jeff later remarked, “Huh?”
But the fact remains that both were campus celebrities and superstars to the paper’s readers — yes, both of them. At any rate, they persisted for months as the “literary” “life” of the “college” they attended (which we won’t embarrass it by using its name but will call the “Univ6sity 6f 6ichmond.”) Their exploits were sometimes legendary, and almost always fictitous. People frequently showed how envious they were by saying of their work, “Jeff and Paul what? Who the Hell are you talking about?” Their burning jealousy was obvious.
But the fact remains that at their graduation, Jeff received a standing ovation, and Paul received several direct hits from vegetables and small rocks. Paul later laughed these off as just being the result of unusual indoors atmospheric conditions.
During this time, an awkward friendship was formed: Paul admired Jeff’s brilliant comic wit, and Jeff admired Paul’s girlfriend. It was like a match made in heaven, if heaven were full of Fiery Pits and Screaming Dead People. Actually, that’s Hell I’m thinking of.
But the match was made nonetheless: Paul and Jeff had found common comic grounds: Dave Barry, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” and “David Hasselhoff.” Both particularly admired the episode of “Knight Rider” wherein KITT’s evil twin, KARR, tried to kill David Hasselhoff. Incidentally, both had attempted the same thing previously and Jeff was arrested for prowling around Hasselhoff’s estate with an axe, muttering “It’s time to make the donuts, David.”
Jeff and Paul became fast friends, and they labored for months thereafter, working for hours and hours, diligently laboring, to convince people that even though they were “fast friends” that they weren’t gay. Jeff got engaged, just so people would realize.
Jeff and Paul also became a top-notch writing team, and began to pour out articles. Their first work, “Modes of Semantic Epistemogoly in Post-Jungian Realism,” was rejected by “Science” magazine. Then their second article, “Mating Behaviors of the Tuft-Titted Grutmouse” was rejected by the “Audobon Society Quarterly.” Incidentally, it was accepted by “The Richmond Times-Dispatch.” They had hit rock-bottom.
But then they turned back to comedy, and the result from critics has been non-stop apathy ever since. Paul and Jeff began writing for “The Richmond State,” and they began receiving figuratively hundreds of letters a day.
Jeff and Paul also began writing a movie script, which they abandoned when they realized that it resembled too closely “National Lampoon’s Senior Trip,” and also “Citizen Kane.”
Soon thereafter, they had an idea. “Hey,” they said. “Let’s order CHINESE FOOD!!!!” Soon after that, they had another idea. “Hey,” they said. “We’re hungry again. Let’s get A PIZZA!!!!!!!” I’m not sure how the idea of writing for “Pluginc” came about.
At any rate, their first columns on “The Web” were greeted with a tremendous wave of people ignoring them. This was actually an improvement on their college careers, which had involved tremendous waves of people, including (TRUE FACT!) Male Cheerleaders, trying to “beat the shit out of them.” Encouraged by this — as well as the fact that Kevin and Chuck fell asleep one day with their HTML Editor open — they set up their own Web Pages, making them “Caught in the Web” or “Linked in the Net” or “Passed Out on the Floor.”
And so you see the Web Archive before you. Peruse it. Browse it. Shriek violently and throw fruit at it. They don’t care. They get to count the “hit” anyway.
The kindest recommendation I can give to these young hooligans is that they have never vomited on me personally. Their stuff may or may not be funny. I can’t tell Then again, they have never let me out of these straps to check.
In short, “Enjoy!” Or, “Belive me, you’ll puke on your keyboard if you try to read this!” Or, “Or whatever!”
As long as these cheese-dicks pay me for this. Otherwise, I really couldn’t give three shekels and a dead rat’s ass.