Fuzzy Logic – Namaste
It is with decidedly mixed feelings that I return to writing Fuzzy Logic, because my first column of 2013 is, regrettably, an obituary. As many of you will no doubt have heard by now, on December 31st 2012 the state of Ohio, USA was subject to an exceptionally rare and highly localised phenomenon: the landing of a meteor exactly the same size and width as a standard house. Unfortunately for the internet at large, that meteor crashed down on top of the flophouse hovel home shared by comedians, entertainers and spokeswhores-for-hire Mike & Ike, hosts of GeekPlanetOnline’s award-dodging podcast Mike & Ike’s All-Star Summer Jamboree. It was thought that both podcasters were inside at the time, having acquired, only a few evenings earlier, a substantial stash of a type of potent marijuana known only as Bolivian Bonecruncher. Nobody has seen them or heard from them since.
I first met Mike – real name Fievel Mousekewitz – in 1996, at a studio taping of the American sitcom Friends. Mike introduced himself as one of the writers of that episode* - the episode featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme as I recall – and we struck up a conversation about the series’ underlying themes and forms. A studio executive, wandering past, mistook us for corporate sponsors and asks us if there were any changes they could make to the show, then only beginning its ultimately meteoric** rise, to persuade us to purchase more advertising time. With Mike following my lead we told him that we felt Ross and Rachel’s blossoming relationship was the emotional core of the series and that perhaps the show should shift its focus from the ensemble cast to focusing mainly on that thread. He thanked us for our input and wandered off to the studio offices, and it was as much as Mike and I could do to hold in our laughter until he had stepped out of earshot. I mentioned this first shared joke to Mike during a Xbox Live gaming session only a few months ago. He chuckled and said “Well, that backfired, didn’t it?”. He wasn’t wrong.
My first meeting with Isaac – real name Stephenie Meyer – would occur a few years later under entirely different circumstances. I found him pan-handling for small change outside the London première of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire not, as it turned out, because he was homeless and hungry, but because he wanted to tip his valet and didn’t want to break into a twenty. We got talking as we were both walked off of the premises by security – in my case for drunkenly punching Rupert Grint over his lacklustre performance in Lovecraftian horror adaptation Thunderpants*** - and bonded over our shared love of rare steak and 1980s direct-to-video films. As we nursed our wounds in that back alley and sorted through the fallen teeth to decide which belonged to who, I mentioned that I was setting up a podcasting network and could use a few like-minded individuals to make it happen. Once I had further explained most of the words in that sentence, Ike said that he was interested, and that he even had a broadcasting partner ready to go, but that he’d need a short while to clean up another project. As it turned out the short while was another five years, the other project was smoking a lot of weed and that broadcasting partner was my old friend Mike. I marvelled at how small the world was when all was said and done and welcomed them on board GeekPlanetOnline, where they remained as loyal contributors until their apparent death just a week ago.
I won’t pretend that working with Mike and Ike was a completely smooth ride. Alongside all of the comedy triumphs were a lot of excuses, a lot of missed chores – in particular the maintenance of the staff toilet facilities, which they reputedly sub-contracted to Chesney Hawkes (and this would explain a lot) – and a lot of terrible ideas (I’ll carry the memories of aborted gameshows 3D All-Male Nude Volleyball, Dale Winton’s Testicular Torsion! and Celebrity Cow-Tipping for Teens with me until my dying breath). I won’t say that it was educational or informative. I won’t even pretend that it was pleasant. But at a time when GeekPlanetOnline was starving for support and content, when it was all Dave and I could do to keep things ticking over, it was Mike and Ike who stepped in to generate seven Class A action lawsuits and deliver some of the worst excuses for entertainment that the internet has ever seen.
Actually, you know what? Fuck those guys. I should have hired Charlie Sheen when I had the chance.
*This was later discovered to be a lie; Mike was actually a stooge hired by the cast of Seinfeld to sabotage the taping – an act that I, unwittingly, foiled.
** No offence intended.
*** I stand by this decision.