An Advertised Life



“Do you want to be the hero your son deserves? Does your son look at you like a nerd? A loser? What would you give for your son to think the world of you? What it would mean to be respected for being the leader of the house? Call Papa Bear serv...

“Do you want to be the hero your son deserves? Does your son look at you like a nerd? A loser? What would you give for your son to think the world of you? What it would mean to be respected for being the leader of the house? Call Papa Bear services now and we'll make sure that you can be the unsung hero of your child's life. Call while you can still be that guy!”

-Hi, I’m calling about the…Fighting service.

-Hey there! It’s so great that you took the time to call, we know that it must’ve been hard for you to come to this decision and we’re proud of you for taking an active interest in your son’s life! We have a couple different packages that you can select, are you still interested in hearing them?

-..Yeah, yes I, uh, am.

-Wonderful. With package one we offer the Hero service. In this scenario you will be confronted by one single man, our actors are the typical size of an NFL linebacker to make you seem like David defeating Goliath.

-oh wow, I’ll take…

-now package two is a bit more complicated.


-This one requires you to take your son to a park where there will be a boy bullying your son and you’ll step in between them, when you do this another actor will approach you and you will proceed to fight him looking tough.

-oh nice.

-obviously the prices will vary but we offer a lot for the value. Since it puts our actors at risk for injury, you are asked to come to a studio and practice combat techniques to minimize damage to either partner.

-that’s understandable.

-so when should we schedule the training?

-Can we do it next Friday-Sunday?

-what works for you works for us!

-and when do we stage the actual fight?

-whenever you want after your training is through.

-oh perfect, perfect.

-Hi this is quality assurance and we just wanted to make sure the training went exactly how you wanted it to.

-yeah, I’m actually more confident than I’ve ever been. My wife says-

-that’s terrific sir! Now when would you like to schedule the fight?

-we’ll be in the park on Saturday, so that would be ideal.

-perfect. And you selected the actor you wanted right? Remember to make it at least slightly realistic.

-Yeah, I picked Kevin.


-Quality assurance again, how did the fight go!

-amazing. My kid loves hanging around me now. He asked if I could teach him some—

-Awesome. Well this will be the last conversation we have unless there are further questions?

-Nope. Thanks—

-Have a good day sir.

“For one week only, experience the most intense legal high for free. Give one week of your time to a life-altering trip that will have you reeling into your own mind and coming out more creative, productive, and confident then you’ve been. Find comfort in being alone. Be the best version of yourself. Email us now and we can set up a meeting to find out if this is the right fit for you! Highonlife@notascam.con

To: Highonlife@notascam.con


Subject: Drugs or something better?

Hi, I am curious about the trips and stuff.

Thanks, Bryan Fotroupudous


From: Highonlife@notascam.con

Hi, Bryan!

We would love to set up an appointment, a few questions.

  • Are you sick of your life as it currently is?
  • Do you think it could be improved but don’t know how to go about it?
  • Do you need a change but don’t know where to turn?
  • Could you describe your current situation as desperate?
  • What would you be willing to turn your life around?

Can’t wait to hear from you.

To: Highonlife@notascam.con



  • Absolutely
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Anything.

I hope this suffices.



From: Highonlife@notascam.con

Come down to our offices and we’ll get you set up.

555 Sycamore Street, Youshouldworry, MA

Bryan walks into the office at the above mentioned address and finds three empty chairs to his right and directly in front of the sit fans, plane old household fans. Confused, he walks past the arrangement to the reception desk that was hiding just behind a corner past the third chair. The desk is one you would find at a summer picnic with family and friends, annoyances and acquaintances. A reception sat behind the desk with short brown hair, small pearl earrings that lost their place in the 60s, large square frame glasses hiding her petite face. She smiled and said, “Can I help you?”

“I emailed you guys about the service, my name is Bryan Fotroupudous.”

“Ah, yes. Let me tell my boss you’re here. One moment.”

She pulled out her cell phone and texted her boss. With each passing moment Bry felt more awkward and regretful, anxious. He starts to wonder if the High he is after is worth it, or if it’s even to be found here. The stains on the wall seem to either be coffee or Coke, he can’t decide. The girl is looking more like a lost denizen of the 60s finding herself in a time warp to the present. Her name is probably Annette or Ethyl, maybe Rose. His hearts starting to race as indecision is taking over, does he leave? Does he stay and find out more? Will he be murdered? Drugged and left in a bathtub with a kidney missing? Where did he find this place? Why did he think this was a good idea? What led me here? Where did my life go wrong that I thought an advertisement would be able to get me back on track? I didn’t click on that erection boosting friend finding infidelity website, what the hell am I doing? I’m an idiot. I should leave.

“Bryan? Bryan Fotroupudous? Is that you?”

A shifty looking manager of the lowest rank comes out of a seemingly hidden door behind the reception area. He wipes the side of his mouth clean of mustard or ketchup or some other condiment, probably from eating a hotdog, wipes his hand on his pants and goes in for a handshake that Bry reluctantly partakes in to find the manager of the lowest rank engaging in the classic “limp-noodle” handshake with a slight touch of sweaty with reminds Bry of literally a limp-noodle, its unsettling in shameful kind of way, as in ‘why did I hold on for so long and how did I get myself in the situation to have to do this. They look each other in the eye for long enough to get to know each other. All of this happened in moment’s right over Annette, Ethyl, maybe Rose’s desk.

“How are you Mr.?”

“Tralfagen, Mr. Tralfagen. And I am just fine, why don’t you come on in and I can tell you about our services.”



He’s mirroring him, he even tilts his head to mirror him. He leads him into his office where a more deep-seeded pain of hyper-aware shame comes onto Bryan. His mind would start racing if Mr. Tralfagen didn’t start talking immediately about the service. The benefits. The process. Which turns out to be a strange process in its simplicity.

“So what you’re saying is, I just sit in front of a fan for 25 minutes for 3 days a week for a month?”

“Well, yes. On the outside that’s what’s happening. But imagine the fan as a physical manifestation of what’s happening inside of your head. It’s recycling the air, particles, negative and positive, through the room and accepting both while going through the motion of doing its job, its duty, it’s…its purpose. Now when you sit in front of that fan you will be doing the same, recycling and accepting both while living your purpose. The fan just keeps you focused.”

“Okay so, how will I get high?”

“Why don’t you try this week free and let me know what you think. If not and it’s not for you then that’s fine but if you do like it maybe we can continue to build the best experience for you.”

“Alright, I mean it’s free…”

“That’s the spirit. Let’s get you set up.”

When they left his office fans could be heard at varying intervals. As they rounded the corner two people were sitting in front of the fans in what looked like a deep sleep. The fan closest to the door was open and Mr. Tralfagen led him to it.

“Now this is where the easy becomes hard. Sit down.”

He did.

“Now I’m gonna turn this fan on and in intervals of five minutes the fan will be increased from the lowest setting to the highest and then slowly back down till it’s off. You have to sit here, concentrate on the fan and let whatever come and let whatever go. I’ll see you when it’s over.”

He looked unsure about it but he couldn’t argue with free.

Nothing came in the first five minutes but speculation. The man came back and turned up the fan and the slightly faster breeze on his face sparked something bigger. Annoyance. Then the next five minutes went by quicker, again the man came back and now the fan was a t the highest setting. Now he found himself starting to enjoy the level the fan was at. He was a slightly happier, nothing to brag about but it was something. Thoughts raced through his mind but he was so focused on nothing that nothing hung around and therefore he was happier. Then the man came back and he turned the fan down and he was slightly annoyed now, he wanted to remain at the same interval as the last time and then he came back and now it was at the lowest and he found a happy medium of annoyance and carefreeness. Then he came back once again and turned it off completely.

“Well times up, how’d it go for you?”

“I mean it was alright. It’s hard to compare it to anything since I haven’t really done that before.”

“Well good thing you have a couple more days to compare it to. Can we expect to see you tomorrow?”

“I mean, yeah sure.”

The only thing he looks forward to is the 10th minute into the 25 minutes. It’s the moment when things become completely carefree, no worries, no fears, no ambition, nothing. It’s fucking bliss. The strange thing is the ambition, the urge and desire to do something better in your life, to achieve something great(er). Why is it that ambition acts as a double-edged sword where the more you want and the less you can achieve becomes psychologically devastating and the more you sink into that hole the harder it becomes to crawl, scrape, and chisel your way out of. That ambition is fraught with so many roadblocks and no matter how many times you hear that you have to fail X amount of times it doesn’t make the fact any better when there is nothing in the foreseeable ever that can help make up for it. That maybe failure is the only thing you will ever know, no matter how well you do or how many original ideas come up there will always be something that can easily stand in your way and take everything from you, sweep you off the carpet and into the closet with the rest of the people who were used for ideas, hard workers, never-quitters. Desperately ambitious people who would be successful with a handout but were in the wrong damn place and the wrong damn time.

Carefree. No anxiety. No worries. Nothing to fear.

Nothing to fear.

No anxiety.

A strange loop that circled his mind that was essentially free of those pervasive thoughts and yet they found a way to be present. Still there had to be something more that this could give.

Click, the second lowest interval.

“It’s the end of the week and we have to ask, how’d you like it?”

“How much is a month?”

“45 dollars.”

“Okay let’s do it.”

No worries, even just for 25 minutes is a nice thought.

Click, click, click.

“There is just one question, sex?”

Hi I’m calling about your advertisement.

Which one?



Well what?

What is your sex?

Uhm, male?

Thank you.



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