Cracked just posted our second call for interns in the forum, and that means one important thing: All previous models must go! In the interest of fairness, I’ve decided to stage a contest that will hopefully give the new interns an idea of exactly what a Cracked internship is all about, as well as give the old ones a fighting chance to survive.
“You’re probably wondering why I called you here today, interns,” I greeted them as I always do - naked from the waist up with my current emotion finger-painted onto my bare chest. Today I was “coy.”
“No, sir,” replied Wheeler, our only female intern and coincidentally, our most stalked, “it said on the memo that there was to be a fight to the death. That was really funny!” She giggled coquettishly, which is a kind of pastry I believe. She really was quite pastry-like, now that I think about it.
“That wasn’t a joke, Wheeler. I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is you’ll all have a fair shot at keeping your jobs and, by extension, your lives. The bad news is this hammer,” I said taking my Bad News Hammer down from its mounting place on the wall above my desk, “which I will kill one of you with today in the grand Viking tradition.”
“That’s…really not legal,” Meyers interjected, his boyish good looks and shining white teeth glinting like stars in the evening sky “and I don’t think it’s historically accurate.”
"Meyers, God love you son," I replied, locking the doors behind them, "but if I wanted your opinion I would beat it out of you."
“Plus, I think the internship just ends in a week and we go home. Nobody gets fired in the first place,” added Stowalski, his stupid face trembling from trying to contain all that stupidity.
“Listen, whining won’t appease the hammer, fellas. It’s like my grandpa always said: If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing to the death. So let’s get down to the rules. This contest will consist of three competitions, each reflecting a task that a typical Cracked intern would be asked to do in an average workday. You will be judged on accuracy, style and skill. BEGIN!” I screamed, mounting my desk and holding Bad News aloft.
#1. First Challenge: Image Location
There was a long moment of silence as the interns looked about awkwardly.
“Begin what?” Wheeler ventured.
“The first contest! Cracked interns are frequently asked to find images for our understated yet brilliant columns. So your first challenge is: Find me the craziest photo of Gary Busey in existence. You have five minutes.”
There was a flurry of abs, and the soft bouncing of breasts as Meyers and Wheeler burst into motion. Stowalski just sat down at a computer like the retarded bastard that he was.
Five minutes later, I examined the first results.
“This is rather disappointing, Stowalski. Sure, it’s crazy, but it’s a little obvious, don’t you think? If there’s one value that Cracked embodies, it is the subtle, understated grace of a billion swans making sweet love to heavily sedated ballerinas.”
Stowalski took it pretty hard, just like his mom does every night.
“FROM MY DICK,” I added triumphantly.
It mattered little that I didn’t speak the setup to that joke aloud; I could see he was impressed by my wit from the fleeting terror in his eyes as I swung my hammer around in celebration.
“Excellent work, Wheeler!” I said, attempting to rub her buttocks, which I had just decided was a perfectly acceptable congratulatory gesture, “the dull gleam in the eyes, the unnaturally large smile and the mere hint of fury. This is beautiful work. You truly are a triumph of both breasts and brains!”
I could tell she was interested by the way she slapped me and told me in no uncertain terms that she was not now, nor would she ever be interested from now until the end of time.
“Good job, Meyers! Making out with a monkey accurately illustrates the frightening instability of the notorious Busey. But…perhaps it’s a little overwrought? It speaks of a kind of desperation on your part which could only be eased by 46 minutes of sensual rubbing from your superiors,” I suggested, seductively pantomiming some extremely lewd groping at him.
I could tell he was flattered by the way he started to cry a little.
First Round Goes To: Wheeler
#2. Second Challenge: Research Skills
“The second contest! Cracked interns will frequently have to research some disturbing, horrifying material as fodder for the shining brilliance of our articles. Find me…the best examples of Quantum Leap Slash Fiction on the Internet!”
As they hurried at their tasks, I passed the five minutes by drumming "Another One Bites The Dust" on Stowalski’s head. I hope the subtle foreshadowing was not lost on him.WheelerSam rose from the couch and approached me with a positively predatory look on his face. "Now that's the Admiral I know and love. I figured it out after the leap into that bar. I just had to get back to the beginning. If I could fix the retrieval program from the beginning, then I could trigger it myself when I was ready to come home. And, Al, I'm really ready to be home." Sam leaned down and took my face in his hands. "Hey, kid. I love you too." We joined together in a deep kiss, the kind that rocks you to the base of your soul. I felt myself growing hard as Sam moved to kiss my neck. My voice was rough as spoke. "Did you lock the door?" Sam practically purred. "Oh yeah. I also got Ziggy to lock out the security systems while you weren't looking."
“Wonderful, Wheeler! The sensuality, the emotion, the inclusion of Ziggy – this is everything bizarre gay fan-porn regarding a seminal 80s science fiction series should be!”
I showed my appreciation by kicking over her desk; women love a forceful man, I am told.
MeyersAl liked to love Sam most in the quiet hours of the morning, just before dawn crept over the skies. In those moments of peace, every touch of Al's hand and movement of his body loosed a symphony from Sam's skin. Sam's body held a richness of history, of experience, of unrivaled intelligence and profound love and loss. It was more than words, more than music, more than any image or thought. It was the very element of Sam, basic and abstract at the same time.And in those moments, Al could thank him for the gift of his love.
“Good, Meyers,” I said, trying to hide the tears spilling down my face, “but perhaps a little too good. We don’t want the reader to start thinking there are better writers than us out there - writers capable of treating the love that blossoms between a hologram and a man displaced in time with such simple beauty as this.”
StowalskiA breeze whispered through the apartment, filling it with the scent of salt water and romance. Sam didn't know who he was, but recognized the man who pulled him onto his lap: Stephen Baldwin. Like all the brothers, he was handsome with an infectious grin. He rubbed Sam's stomach, licked his face."I could just eat you up…"Suddenly, his fingernails dug into Sam's belly, breaking the skin, as his teeth shredded the flesh of Sam's cheek.
“Stowalski, you…you weary me, Stowalski. You make me so very, very tired,” I said, “this is just too horrible. My nightmares will be rivaled only by the disturbing, unceasing erections that will plague me from this day on. You are truly the King of sons of bitches.”
The Second Round Goes To: Wheeler
#3. Third Challenge: Photoshop Prowess
“Now the final contest! Though our Photoshop skills are legendary, we writers are frequently overcome by the awesome sex-cocaine parties that we all totally have all the time,” I said, gesturing to the cocoa powder I had ingeniously left all over my desk as evidence, “we don’t always have time to Photoshop, so sometimes you’ll have to do it for us. For your last challenge: Bring me a Photoshop of famous inventor Nikola Tesla spliced with a bear!”
As they sprang into motion, I took the opportunity to practice the killing blow by swinging my hammer repeatedly just inches from Stowalski’s face. I wondered if he got the hint.
“Masterful, Wheeler! The cuteness offsets the deadly danger inherent to the Tesla Bear. It sets our hearts aflutter, as it cramps our balls with terror. Truly great,” I went to give her a congratulatory buttock rub, but reconsidered after she punched me half a dozen times in the crotch. Something told me this was just not the right time.
“Not bad, Meyers. But nothing special. While I do appreciate the massive creepiness of the face you chose, it’s just a little bland,” I informed him gently, flipping him off with one hand while pointing to the finger with the other. I wanted to make sure he didn’t miss the intricacies of my constructive criticism.
“God. Damn. It. Stowalski. You useless motherfucker! You screw up every task I give you, and just when I think you can’t get any more useless…you go and do something completely awesome like this! You thought outside the box, Stowalski! You’re a rebel which no oppressive box may contain! I cannot, in good conscience, murder you like a feed cattle right here in this office after this,” Stowalski let out a sigh of relief, his stupid bovine nostrils breathing out his stupid breath everywhere. “I may not like you, but I recognize greatness when I see it.”
Final Round: Stowalski
“Meyers, I’m sorry” I said, wiping the word ‘coy’ off my chest and quickly painting in ‘bloodrage.’
“I’m really distraught about this decision, and afterward I’m going to go out and get hammered to kill the pain. I just wanted to say I’m sorry once more; I hate to repeat myself, but I really wanted to hammer that point home. It’s just that Wheeler really nailed this contest, and Stowalski murdered you with a hammer in that final round,” I could tell he appreciated my dilemma by the way he cursed my name and fled for the door.
Sometimes I miss those pearly white teeth, shining like a lighthouse in the fog, guiding me through the dense miasma of agony that is this mundane world. And it’s times like that when I take out the necklace I made from those teeth and rub them, and I think of Meyers.
Read more from Robert at his own website, I Fight Robots, because you're obviously a serious fan of the written word if you still want 'more reading' after slogging through that epic mess.