Saturday, August 01, 2009 1:34 AM

actually occuring bags of money

If you're wandering around a movie and stumble across a bag of money, you should probably alert the authorities and flee. But you won't. You'll cook up a crazy scheme to keep the money and end up having your fictitious life turned upside-down by the very people to whose level you swore you would never stoop but now must in order to prove your innocence or save your failing business/farm/life/health-of-friend-slash-loved-one.

Take, for example, the true life story of Franco-Scottish baker Baguette MacGuffin, whose disappearance remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of all time.

Baguette was raised by her mother, the beautiful gypsy Rosebud. Childhood spent in the gypsy camp was wondrous and strange. Days spent grifting in various villages and townships, nights of feasting, dancing and laughter. On Baguette's sixteenth birthday, her mother bestowed upon her a magical beaded necklace that had the power to reveal even the cleverest hiding places. Rosebud had stolen the necklace from an undercover Interpol informant in Prague and taken it to a nightclub in Morocco where she hid it inside a piano. She was ultimately captured & imprisoned, only to escape by sawing through the bars of her cell with a file young Baguette had placed inside a cake. It is a common misconception that files are "baked" into cakes, when usually they are sandwiched between cake layers or pressed into the cake after it is baked and then covered with icing. Baguette had mastered both techniques by the age of nine.

Much has been written about Baguette's father, the notorious gambler Kaplan MacGuffin:

'Lo the saggiest bags o' most golden gold
That th' notorious gambl'r MacGuffin stole
Th' treasured heirlooms o' Widow & Count
Pillag'd n' ransom'd in exorb'tant a'mount
Pensions o' Lords n' 401k's
Ferrie'd by pirates from shadowy cay
Stagecoach n' steamtrain
N' Swiss amrmour'd car
Be-handcuff'd suitcase
'Lectronic funds transf'r
Curren'cy launder'd n' curren'cy smudgy
All fair o' game to the gambl'r MacGuffy!

Baguette left the gypsy camp shortly after freeing her mother, and immigrated to America. Life was hard at first, but Baguette found work in a combination beeper store & Taco Bell run by a kindly Egyptian family and moved into the attic apartment. As fortune would have it, the apartment's pervious occupant, Woody Guthrie, had hidden a notebook of songs in the wall. Baguette immediately skyped her friend Billy Bragg and told him the news:

"Billy! Remember that clunky-ass necklace my mom gave me?"
"I think so, the glowy-blueish one?"
"Yeah yeah yeah, anyway, I found a bunch of Woody Guthrie songs with it and I think you and Wilco should record them!"
"Bloody brilliant, Baguette! I love you!" (this creeped Baguette straight out)
"mmmKay...I love you too, buddy. I'll email you the songs."
"I better go, my darling, the RIAA is tapping my skype again."
"Yeah, me too."

Of course, Baguette had no way of knowing that Billy was telling the truth, she assumed he was just trying to make himself seem important. It wasn't so much the RIAA itself that you needed to worry about, but the secret enforcement squad operating covertly within known as "the Cut-Outs."

the Cut Outs had a minor hit in the early nineties called "Fire Attack," but had since evolved into a highly effective para-military unit that ruthlessly hunted copyright pirates and the like. Countless underground, renegade types found their ends at the point of a Cut Outs pitchfork. Smuggler dudes, dudes with the same name as smuggler dudes, habitual boycotters, people having fun, good guy double agents, people unwittingly in possession of secret documents, bystandery witnesses of foul play, the Cut Outs showed no mercy to their victims and frequently lapsed into condescending soliloquy. All their rigorous training and limitless resources, however, proved no match for our heroine. Had it not been for her ill-fated romance with a guy I totally forgot to mention earlier, Mason, Baguette would have evaded the Cut Outs to the ends of the Earth.

Baguette inherited her father's keen eye for surveillance. She made the stakeout within an hour of the portable on-demand storage (PODS) container's delivery across the street from the beeper store.

"Ugarte, are we getting a new shipment of black-market cell phones today?"
"No. We still need the moving the uPhones of January last! This economy...most crummy."
"Thought not. Gotta motor!"

Baguette snuck through the sliding panel behind the charger display and into the escape tunnel. Deftly mounting her Vespa while switching out the SIM card in her phone, she sped off through the tunnel, literally under the noses of the tracker bloodhounds scouring the beeper store.

The chase was on, and the bad guys were pulling out all the stops. APB's, roadblocks, photoshopped tabloid photos, all kinds of internet hoaxes and spam, infomercials, dye packs, wiretaps, Google Maps, iPhone apps, confidential informants, tracking devices, ninjas, you name it. Agents were dispatched to the gypsy camp and threatened to waterboard everybody. Agents raided the beeper store and impounded all the knock-off phones. Baguette ditched her Vespa and hopped a train, only to jump off a split second before the doors closed, flummoxing the two bad guys stationed on the platform. She went through disguises like they were going out of style, which they kind of were, considering that not being recognized as Baguette MacGuffin was a very 'in' look. It was a pretty exciting couple days leading up to Baguette & Mason's rendezvous.

Okay, so this guy Mason is kind of a shady character. While there is no wikipedia page on him, rumor is he was the heir to the Monsanto soy fortune. Baguette met Mason at a very fancy brunch in a pretty fancy part of town. Baguette was working part time as a caterer/cat burglar, Mason working full time as a sleazy ne’er-do-well. They made a pact much later that night, as the sun rose over the Native American burial grounds, that if Baguette ever had to evade a dangerous and tech-savvy squad of bad guys, they would meet at the brunch house and escape on Mason's yacht, which was disguised as a shrimp boat. Mason's dumb ass went and twittered all about it.

The yacht was gassed up and ready for the trip back to the old country. Baguette's heart jumped at the thought of being reunited with her mother as she climbed the stone steps down the cliff to the dock. "Sweet! Gypsy camp rules," she thought, "I am so ready to not be dealing with these stupid cops." Her excitement was short-lived; when she saw the police boat sirens round the sea wall she bolted back up the steps, never to be seen again.

As with any high-profile mystery, there are many theories as to what became of Baguette MacGuffin. Many people believe she was captured and interred in some secret RIAA prison. Others speculate that she is still on the run, trying to make her way back to Europe. When you're trying to think of a good place to stash the bag of money you found, remember Baguette's story, and if you figure out a moral let me know so I can update it.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008 10:06 AM

i don't have much time b/c i'm really really hungry.

a crazy guy drove a semi into the bank downstairs. the girls & i got woken up by deputies beating on our door. no damage to our apartment or any of our stuff. so that happened.

i went to new york to visit those guys. we had a really great time, i took a few pictures on touch push, but i have to keep him away from my laptop or i'll lose everybody's phone numbers again.

i went to london to visit emily. we went to parliment, we saw the new james bond movie (i fell asleep, but have since seen it again w/ dad and stayed awake and it was really good), we ate amazing curry and made dinner at the marder's apartment and it was awesome. we saw a concert at the dublin castle in camden, and all the bands pretty much sucked except for "the soviets" from scotland.
emily took the pictures b/c she's got the skills in that department. she's sending them to me. you'll see them soon.

i'm sorry to have to cut this extremely important post short, but i have to drive to st george isalnd to get chicken wings.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008 9:26 AM

sitckerguy's bush gallery

i've got good news, crazy news, bad news, funny news and regular news. what do you want first?

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Friday, November 07, 2008 11:40 PM

no sleep til brooklyn

i really am going to sleep, though. i promise. as soon as this is over.

so, how's everybody? let's see...been kind of a slow news week. not much really going on. i've had a fairly uneventful few days. yesterday i worked, hung out. wednesday i worked. tuesday i scrambled all over apalachicola leaving door hangers on doors and dropping off waters and obama signs and stickers and trying to see if franklin county is really as red as everybody says. it is. good news, though, is that Barack Obama is our new president. Carol Browner is on his transition team. i babysat for her son one time.

i started my webpage seven some odd years ago (if you can find the archives from the old pitas.com page, that would be a trip). I renamed it ponder for america about 5 years ago when i endorsed Howard Dean for president. the only time i have ever censored myself was when it was suggested i not publish my "Charlie Crist: Openly governor" post. Ponder for America looks forward to maintaining a rambling, slack and nonsensical eye on politics during the Barack Obama presidency. just because i think the guy is completely awesome does not mean i will not post funny pictures of him should any ever be taken.

at home, the election news was not celebrated in the manner that many of you would probably imagine. as it turns out, Allison isn't much of an Obama fan. so i pretty much have left the whole subject alone. until now...

James Ponder's Celebratory World Tour!

we're getting out of the "real" America and heading to the elite apple, New York City! one day is plenty of time to eat all the stuff i want to eat, meet all the peeps i want to meet and rep karaoke so you know i'm street! no time to waste; the mothership is calling...


I like to listen to music from all over the world, especially the UK b/c it's really good and it's in english. therefore i'm making my pilgrimage to London, and the best part is i have a slightly-native guide. my sister, Emily! she's going to show me where they punish the ax-murderers and how to eat food in GMT. we also get to ride a serpent through the chunnel and visit Paris, France! i think that should finally drive all the right-wingers away from my webpage. as if any of my 3 readers could be described as right-wing. right-honourable, maybe. or maybe hot-wing. i wonder if they eat chicken wings in london. they don't eat them in italy. i eat them here, though.

well, long story short, Barack Obama is the new president. p4usa has never ended a blog post that way. i'll have to do it more often. it will be accurate for another four years. by then i will have figured out web 2.0

Barack Obama is the new president.

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Friday, October 31, 2008 9:23 AM

governor sarah palin was a much hotter date than doctor jill biden. maybe she just liked my fancy coveralls. i like them a lot. plenty of pockets for pocketry, good warmth for wintertime. don't be surprised if you see me wearing them around.
and now begins the seafood festival. i have low expectations for food/carnival ride quality, but i'm ready to be pleasantly surprised.
anyhoo, i'll probably need a nap before chasing jazilla & nate around.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008 11:00 AM

ponder for america chooses a running mate

as some of you faithful readers may already know, we at ponder for america have reached across the aisle and offered to walk down the aisle with the lovely & talented Allison Elliott. Bipartisanship. At least now i will always know who cancels my vote.

the decision was made purely because i wanted an excuse to research diamond rings without seeming gay. turns out they are just as shiny and expensive as i thought! you go girl!

in a related story, Allison agreed to join the ticket. this is probably the biggest news i have ever posted on this webpage except for maybe when my spacebar was gunked up back in '02.

I think that actual physical paper invitations will be sent out to the old and the computerless and to the people whose email i don't know. whom's email? who's email? help me on that last sentence it seems wack. if you are reading this webpage you are probably coming to the best wedding all time. sorry to people whom's weddings i've been to and were awesome. i'm not hating on you i'm just excited. also, people with email addresses that i don't know should contact me, which is easy.

i would like to thank all the people who's misery, apprehension, puzzlement, anger, scornfulness, sorrow & apathy are filling up the emotion box and leaving me a jelly-filled sprinkly doughnut of happiness for the car ride. you guys are the best!

speaking of, the olivers are visiting cape san blas! oh snap!

look for exciting new developments in the days weeks and months to come.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008 12:53 PM

the day the music melted

lightning struck my house this morning. i was dogsitting @ QS96's house, so me and the laptop and the saturn were no where near the ensuing blaze. grayson is out of town at press time i have yet to speak to him, but his boat was on st george so it's safe, and his car is okay, too. clifford was next door asleep, the cops woke him up and he's fine. his side of the house didn't look too bad. he seemed pretty depressed. i can't imagine grayson being very excited about the situation, either. sadly, we lost odin the cat, and clifford's other dog (not the fluffy one, PJ. PJ is OK).

my neighbor erin and i peeked inside briefly and it looks like there might be more salvageable stuff than you'd think from looking at the outside. firedudeman says most of my cds probably melted, and that any clothes that made it will smell like smoke forever. my obama poster is fine.

grayson's sister shelley handles the business end of stuff, and she says insurance is paid up, so thank goodness for that. my bumblingly optimistic ass can't shake the sensation that this could work out for everybody. can't shake it like a soda. i just realized i didn't even look in the fridge. i think there's like a case of beer in there and the rest of the pancetta i made and a fresh pack of those little charcoal steaks i like for ropa vieja. damn. i should run over and get those. oh snap and i just loaded up on pizza and ice cream sandwiches!

i'm going to go see if the ice cream sandwiches melted or not. then i guess i have to do all my laundry again.

thanks to all the twitter people that hollered at me, and to the entire town of apalachicola for helping out and offering me clothes and standing around while i talked to the firedudemenandwomen in my pyjamas.

and congrats to the franklin county all stars on their big win today!

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Saturday, May 17, 2008 1:23 AM

there will be Jasmine

guest post from AEII:

"capitol l o l! it was a lot easier taking the pictures than making the slide show ;)"

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Saturday, October 20, 2007 10:21 AM

what to be for halloween

a slight moral dilemma, people. should i recycle a halloween costume from last year? is it okay? before you jump down my throat with a bunch of "of course not, slacker" garbage, remember i'll be celebrating halloween in a different town this time. does that change anything? please respond.

meanwhile, much has happened since my last post, more than you would expect, even. for example, would you have ever thought i would get to visit jimmy carter's hometown? do you even know where it is? of course not, slackers, it's Americus, GA.

oh, and guess what? you know my cool bosses i'm always telling you about? well they totally took me to atlanta with them and we all went to a latin food show. and someone spilled some liquid courage down my throat and i did open mic stand-up comedy. was it funny? of course not, slacker. it was funny looking. danny says he could have laughed at me for hours. i made up for it later that night with a heart-wrenching rendition of Patches by Clarence Carter. photographic evidence is still under review, but it is possible someone took a picture i can post here.

check this out, un-suspecting, i ate a pig eyeball! it tasted like the marrow-part of osso buco.

ooo! ooo! ooo! guess what else? this post is over!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007 5:23 PM

Random Jeeps

sorry so sloppy.
long time not much. time for your briefing.

i am writing to you from the arlington national laundry room in beautiful, historic downtown tallahassee (formerly "sunny tallahassee" ain't nothing changed but the name). internet access has been limited these past few months, but enough excuses. you may notice my myspace page has "gone bye bye." i don't "know why," but i'm guessing it's because i'm friends with you sick bastards. maybe it was the roman bathing suit pictures. whatever. i'm still your friend.

i will commute back to bustling apalach(icola) tomorrow. it's my new routine and it's peaches and cream. i sleep in a hammock under a window unit AC and cook and wear Croc Shoes brand croc shoes. loneliness is an issue, but recent advances in cellular phone technology are helping end the suffering. keep those lines ringing. as sifl once said "just yell into your phone and you should get through." in-the-knowers will be glad to hear that Flip Push is back. no phone but a nokia is good enough.

people keep asking me: "how come steven seagal is so popular again?" link
another question i get asked never is "how come you don't cater more norwegian weddings?" i would answer that question with a question. "who let the dogs out?"

attn: movie binge
comments by TravisHunter he's so hot right now.

also, if i ever have a kid, i'm not naming him hunter, miller, fletcher, tanner or trapper because those are last names. like anderson. stay tuned!

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Thursday, May 24, 2007 4:08 PM

ploop commissioned everyone to chart out how to win an argument. i hope my flow chart is able to shed some light, for sure click through to the other submissions. insightful and delightful.

as you can see, i have set my diagram to music. that is why i'm hot. you may also notice that pleading/crying has a 50% chance of winning an argument.

in a related story, jessica and matt are getting married this weekend. after my last wedding performance, it seems only fitting that i be invited to repeat. mothers, lock up your bridesmaids bottles of wine and golf carts.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007 2:08 AM

i can has poker chips

so much to tell you all. i mean y'all.
no longer executive chef of the bistro @ wildwood. went out with a spectacular bang; won the wednesday night poker tournament, took wedding party guests out on a golf cart joy ride, introduced staff members to negroni, burned the hotel to the ground. you should have seen it.

anyway, look for new and amazing "ponder for" content in the hours and days to come. which you pretty much do already, since you are reading this.

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