"You can't keep doing this, Dan." I couldn't tell if that was an order or just Jack's way of saying he didn't believe in me. Either way, I'd show him.
"Listen to me, hang up that phone, Jack, we need to talk." Jack paused and looked at me, his head cocked to one side.
"Just 'Jack,'" he said. "What, no nickname?"
"I don't have time, for nicknames, Jaxico Burress." Huh. Turns out I did. "Have you seen the nominations for the 2008 Weblog Awards? It's horsehit." The Weblog Awards, for the uninitiated, is the world's largest blog competition. Blogs and Bloggers are nominated, finalists are determined and separated by category. Anyone who wants to can vote, and the winners get…I don't know, something. A badge? A hat? Whatever, the point is, they win something, and I know that I want whatever the trophy is, even if they don't technically give out trophies. (Chocolates?)
"No, Dan, I haven't seen the nominations…though, I'll be honest, I don't see what it has to do with Cracked."
"Who's talking about Cracked? This is about me, Jackramé, not Cracked."
"Ah," Jack said, "I see, okay. I'm just gonna go ahead and stop listening to you now, then." While Jack swept up some stray pieces of glass that got into his office somehow, I continued on about the biggest internet-related upset since the last time I wasn't nominated for some stupid internet award.
"It's total garbage. They're supposed to be the biggest blog competition in the world. They even have a category for the 'Best Bloggers,' and I wasn't friggin' nominated. That's my friggin' category. And do you want to know what the worst part is?"
"The worst part isn't that you broke another one of my windows?"
"Don't be ridiculous, of course not. The worst part is that for a while I thought I was nominated." That's the truth. When the nominations were announced, I genuinely thought I made the cut, despite the fact that I didn't receive an email, a phone call, or any other sign that might indicate that the Weblog committee was even aware of my existence. "Why would you think that," Jack asked. I put my arm around his shoulder.
"They say that, the night before he received his party's nomination for presidency, George Washington sat up in his bed and exclaimed 'I'm going to be the first president of the United States.' They say that Mozart, as young as six, would go around saying "I'm the greatest," like a younger, whiter, less impressive Muhammad Ali. And they say that, before he painted the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo sat up in his Italian bed and shouted 'I'm-a gonna be-a one of the greatest-a painters of all-a time-a, buon giorno, mi chiamo, va bene, mamma mia!"
"Who says that?"
"And that's what I felt, Jacura TSX. I felt it in my bones that this nomination was mine." So confident was I, in fact that I didn't even bother to check the list of nominations. I just bought a tux and started drafting an acceptance speech.
So confident, in fact, that I told all of my friends and family members to check out the nominations before I did. So confident, in fact, that I emailed all of my enemies and told them to suck it, (which was actually okay, because I sort of do that on a daily basis anyway). It was one of these enemies, (who, for the purposes of this column, I'll call "Gladstone"), that pointed out that I wasn't nominated. I assumed that "Gladstone" was confused, (for the purposes of this column, let's say he's chronically forgetful due to his remarkably old age), so I decided to check out the nominees for myself.
And you know what? Even that didn't convince me. I honestly believed, for no discernible reason, that I was nominated, and that they must've made a tremendous mistake. I was so positive, that I signed up for the messageboard so I could address this issue in their "Finalists" section:
When no one responded to my thread and, what's worse, no one corrected what I perceived to be an unfathomable spelling error, I called up Weblog founder Kevin Aylward. Our conversation went something like this:
DOB: Hey, Mr. Aylward, this is Dan O'Brien from Cracked.com.
Kevin:...I'm sorry, "Crack?"
DOB: Cracked. As in, 'Hey, it's the hit comedy website, Cracked.' You've heard of us.
Kevin: "Cracks?" Are you saying "Cracks?"
DOB: No no, Cracked. E-D. Past tense.
Kevin: "Cracked" like "broken?"
DOB: (sighing) Yes. "Cracked" like broken.
[Note: Whenever I try to explain to someone in real life what my job is, that is exactly how the conversation starts. Without fail.]
Kevin: I see, okay, yeah, I can see your website right here. It's very... How can I help you?
DOB: Well, I saw the nominations for 'Best Blogger' and I think you made a mistake.
DOB: It seems like you accidentally put my name down as 'field negro,' when actually it's 'Dan O'Brien.' It's fine, lots of people make that mistake, so if you could just-
Kevin: I'm sorry, there's no mistake. Field Negro is a blogger- a good one, at that.
DOB: Oh, I see. Okay, well, then it seems like you accidentally put my name down as 'Rachel Lucas' when actually it's 'Dan O'Brien.' People rarely make that mistake, but it has happened before, so if you wouldn't mind-
Kevin: Rachel is also an established blogger.
DOB: Gotcha... It seems like you accidentally put my name down as-
Kevin: I'm going to cut you off, there and get right down to this: All of the nominations are correct. You just weren't nominated.
DOB: Okay, so you do see the problem, great. If we could just get my name up there, then, we'll all-
Kevin: No, you misunderstand. You weren't nominated, and you won't be nominated. If I had to guess, I'd say it's because Cracked isn't technically a blog. It's a series of articles, videos, comics and columns, a disturbing amount of which, I might add, seem to be about Hannah Montana, for some reason.
DOB: What the hell do you mean we're not a blog?
Kevin: Blogs update several times a day. And often, a lot of the blogs that we deal with are newsworthy, and important. And, you know...relevant. Cracked's just not very relevant, in the blog world.
DOB: Wait, are you trying to imply that Cracked's not relevant?
Kevin: I think I've gone pretty far beyond implying it, but sure.
DOB: How dare you! I'm the definition of relevant. I'm Mr. Fucking Relevant. I got relevance spewing out my god damn ass.
Kevin: Wow, that's enough of that.
DOB: Let's get something straight, DOB is all about relevance. He lives it, okay? I put the 'dick' in 'relevance,' you understand? (There was a slight pause.) Kevin:...There is no 'dick' in relevance.
DOB: No? Must've left it in your sister, then. Huh.
Kevin: Excuse me?
DOB: Ooh, sorry, Guy, you're breaking up, I can't...quite...hear- And then I threw my phone out the window. Which, in retrospect, was a poor decision. But, I like to think that we live and learn, even though I've ended every single phone call the exact same way and so far haven't learned a thing.
"Is that not the saddest thing you ever heard, Boss," I asked Jack.
"I guess so, but, again, I wasn't even close to paying attention, so really..."
"I'm just sick of being snubbed, you know? I don't ask for a lot. I'm a simple man. All I want in life is to win all of the awards in the world and have rough, slimy sex with super models. Is that so wrong?"
"Well, yeah, for a couple of reasons."
Jack could tell that I was feeling pretty low. I was going through his desk and stealing his office supplies, as usual, but my heart just wasn't in it, and Jack noticed it. As I listlessly broke his three-hole-punch over my knee, Jack stopped sweeping up his stupid glass for a minute to actually talk to me. "Listen, Dan, you can't beat yourself up over this award. Cracked isn't a blog. You're not a blogger. We weren't nominated because this just isn't our contest, in the same way that a sandwich can't be nominated for best supporting actress. Unless it was Meryl Streep's sandwich, I guess. Look, we've lost competitions in the past a lot, but, in this case, it wasn't our fault. We just don't fit this competition. You see?" I perked up. "I think I get it. Yeah, you're saying, like, There's always next year for the Weblogs, right?"
"What? No. I'm specifically saying that you won't be nominated for the Weblogs next or any year, that's the whole point." I climbed atop Jack's desk, erect with confidence. Also, I was standing. "Next year. Yeah. We'll show those Weblog jerks what blogging's all about."
"I promise you that we won't, but, whatever. You seem happier now, so please leave."
"This has been really inspiring, Boss. Thank you. You know, if I had a dad, I'd...I'd want him to be someone just like you." I thought about this briefly. "Though, come to think of it, I do have a dad... And he's a great dad. Much better than you'd be. Yeesh." My energy restored, I stole the mouse to Jack's computer and dove out the only window in his office that wasn't already broken. Never to be seen again...
Until I needed cash...
EDIT: HOLY SHIT! For reasons that make absolutely no sense to me, there is now a POLL on the Weblog Messageboard that asks "Does Dan O'Brien deserve a Weblog Award?" (Thanks to BrianCX7 for the tip.) I don't know what brilliant and attractive soul decided to create this poll, but I thank he/she with all of my heart/penis. Vote yes on that son of a bitch! FUCK YES!
On a slightly serious note, the lovely and talented Whitney Matheson and her Pop Candy Blog did receive a nomination in the category of Best Culture Blog. Whitney's always been a friend to Cracked, and I'm a giant fan of hers. It is impossible for me to win an award in this competition, but if you guys vote for her, and Pop Candy wins, then, technically speaking, I win, because I'm the one who told you to vote. (You won't believe how many Presidential Elections I've won on this logic.) Vote for Pop Candy!