A Decade Of Phone Guys

For some reason, I have put a Phone Guys comic on this website every week for ten years. It is one of the weirdest projects I have one the go. I don’t even quite understand why I do it if I’m being honest. I have purposefully gone about it in all the worst ways. Most of them can barely be classified as jokes. I have occasionally caught myself and edited something to make it less of a joke. I created a cast page full of characters that never get mentioned in the actual comic and I created a cast of characters who do get mentioned that aren’t on the cast page. I did that on purpose. One year I created an ongoing plot that ran for a year, but I made sure the strip went back to being as dumb as possible. Every year I add a new set of clothes to the Guys’ wardrobes and as time goes on I try to make no pattern of clothes repeat, except when I want one to repeat to amuse me.

Hell, even behind the scenes I’ve done a lot of work for this dumbest of strips. I’ve made notes on the history of the town that the Phone Guys live in, but I’ve never mentioned the name of that town in the actual comic. I’ve written a character study about Pete for a university class. I did a comic strip in the “Other” section once starring Jeremy’s neighbours. I’ve used online mad-libs-style story generators to write out the kind of things Pete dreams about.

To be clear, I created Phone Guys back in the Contains2 days, so they are older than a decade now by some amount of time I can’t be bothered to work out. And most of the reason I brought them back at all was because I had a punchline I wanted to use (the “veteran Aryan” one) and I didn’t have anywhere else to do it.

Why am I like this? I don’t know. But I am, so maybe we’ll have another ten years of this or maybe I’ll stop halfway through a strip and never explain why. You can never tell what’s coming with Phone Guys because the only thing I know is that it’ll be dumb.

Twenty New Stereotypes

NOTE FROM 2019 PDR: I recently had cause to be playing around on the Wayback Machine site and noticed there was some Contains2 stuff on there. Here is a piece I put on that site Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 11:08 PM:

I realized something recently that sickened me. I’m prejudiced against people who are bigoted, which is ironic or something. In the efforts of making amends with all those bigoted persons who feel I may have wronged them, I am offering them twenty new stereotypes they can use as fuel in their constant battle against whoever else.

  1. The Irish love Mountain Dew so much they routinely kill tourists and steal their money to get it.
  2. The entire population of South America believe in the Loch Ness Monster.
  3. All Americans wear poorly stiched hats that clash with their shirts.
  4. All black people spend at least an hour a day practicing Multiplication with Flash Cards.
  5. The Italian people have larger nipples than most.
  6. All Jewish people dislike A Midsummer’s Night Dream, but they all love MacBeth.
  7. Canadians brutally kill anyone who talks about Dan Akroyd in public.
  8. All white people drink urine.
  9. The Chinese are casually indifferent to kittens.
  10. The Australians killed Jesus.
  11. French people all ride DeLorians.
  12. Gay people are secretly trying to make straight people eat more canned foods.
  13. All English people are bad at Tetris.
  14. Russians are addicted to pills made from sheep innards called Haggidol.
  15. All lesbians are afraid of asteroids destroying the Earth.
  16. Catholics all smell like bowels.
  17. Japanese people are all poor and spend what money they do get on helicopters.
  18. Arab people are terrible at breakdancing.
  19. Mexicans are all impotent due to years of working with radiation.
  20. Ethiopians won’t admit when they vomit, even if it happened in front of others.

Patrick D Ryall, the D is for Psyche

ANOTHER NOTE FROM 2019 PDR: I bet this thing gets me some site traffic I don’t actually want.

Patrick’s Poetry Parade: Namor Edition.

People sometimes forget that I am one of the world’s five greatest living poets (and one of the seven greatest dead ones). So here I present to you a Poetry Parade of haiku written about Namor the Sub-Mariner that date from the Contains2 days. All but the first ten of these were on secret pages, so I can even pretend like I’m presenting them for the first time. Here you go:

Top Ten Haikus About Namor
Sunday 03 August 2003:

10)
Wing-fins on his feet
Good swimming abilities
And a green speedo.

9)
Namor cries a lot
How come? He has a sad life.
He likes comfort foods.

8)
King of Atlantis
But never King of the World
Also, not a bride

7)
Eating out one night
Namor ordered some sushi.
Thus he ate his arm.

6)
He’s like Aqua-Shaft.
Or perhaps more like a kind
of Scuba-Rambo.

5)
Namor knows the Hulk
Hulk likes to Call him ‘Fish-Man’
This makes Namor cry.

4)
What do pointy ears
Have to do with living in
the deep blue ocean?

3)
He is bulletproof
But not immune to slander
So watch your fool mouth

2)
He may look like Spock
But Namor is no Vulcan
Vulcans don’t swim good.

1)
The Sub-Mariner.
That’s what they call him up here.
Below sea, they don’t.

Ten More Haikus about Namor!
Sunday 28 September 2003:

10)
Amnesiac Bum
He had a beard and no home
But he got better.

9)
Namor should get SARS.
Then people would talk ’bout him.
Which they should do more.

8)
Atlantis is wet.
The people there are wet too.
They can’t wear suede there.

7)
Namor has villains.
Tiger Shark… Krang… Attuma…
They are all zeroes.

6)
See that fish? The trout.
That trout thinks Namor is dumb.
That makes Namor cry.

5)
Namor don’t like fire.
It makes him dry out. That hurts.
He should moisturize.

4)
Namor’s email is
Underwater_superguy
@fishguy.com

3)
Aquaman just sucks.
When compared to ol’ Namor.
Or anyone else.

2)
Namor’s hair is black.
His head is flat and stupid.
He should wear a hat.

1)
Do not beat him up.
He lives a hard life as king.
You’d just make it worse.

Another Ten Haikus About Namor
Saturday 08 November 2003:

10)
His name is Namor.
Backwards his name is Roman.
That’s kinda fishy

9)
He can punch so hard
That it shatters walls of stone.
He thinks that is great.

8)
Namor went to Mars.
He met an alien fish.
Didn’t even care.

7)
One time, Namor said:
“I’m gonna conquer the world.”
But he hasn’t yet.

6)
Namor watches golf.
Though he won’t admit to it.
It is his secret.

5)
Atlantis had ghosts.
Namor probably fought them
Or paid them to leave.

4)
He has no fish tail.
Unlike the mermaids of myth.
That makes Namor cry.

3)
Daddy, who is that?
That’s Namor! He is the King.
He ain’t got no class!

2)
During Would War Two
Namor helped fight the Axis.
He knows Nazis suck.

1)
Turtles don’t like him.
They only like shelled heroes.
That makes Namor cry.

Yet Another Ten Haikus about Namor
Saturday 08 November 2003:

10)
In days long ago,
When Namor was but a lad,
He would get beat up.

9)
Say “Suffering Shad!”
A far better catch phrase than
“Imperious Rex!”

8)
He won’t admit it,
But Namor still dries his bed.
How embarrasing.

7)
I’m Biff. I’m real big.
I stole Namor’s lunch money.
Namor then cried hard.

6)
Call her She-Namor!
She also has winged feet.
She’s Namorita!

5)
Would you punch the Hulk?
The King of Atlantis would.
Is he brave or dumb?

4)
“Eat fish for supper.”
Says Namor on the TV.
“Buy from Atlantis.”

3)
Heh. Namor got punched.
Punched right in his stupid face.
That’ll show the jerk.

2)
Who’s Namorita?
Why, a female clone, of course.
Of Namor, that is.

1)
Namor’s bicycle?
He says it is a good one.
But he just plain lies.

More Namor Haikus. Ten of them.
Monday 08 December 2003:

10)
Namor is the King!
His subjects think he is cool.
They are right, of course.

9)
Namor’s feet have wings.
These wings are like fins. Then some.
He can swim and fly.

8)
The Fantastic Four.
Namor has a crush on one.
And it ain’t Ben Grimm.

7)
Sometimes he gets sad.
He misses being a bum.
Namor liked those days.

6)
At a Stones concert.
Namor started a big fight.
He said they were old.

5)
Namor was at home.
In the city, Atlantis.
Pretty boring night.

4)
Dude! Did you hear this?
What? Is it about Namor?
Yeah! He’s got no car!

3)
Rocket Robin-Hood.
He is not Namor at all.
He gets no haiku.

2)
Hulk said “Hey, Fish-Man!”
Namor said “What, you moron?”
Hulk: “I miss my bike.”

1)
Namor in the house
(The house is filled with water)
Now the party starts!

Namor Haikus! Will It Never End?
Tuesday 20 January 2004:

10)
A Mech-Crab cometh!
It’s part of Namor’s army.
It can pinch and hurt.

9)
Namor McKenzie.
Half-human and half fishman.
He don’t wear a shirt.

8)
“Atlantis is home”
Says Namor to his allies.
“But New York has beer.”

7)
Namor got yelled at.
Some guy called him a fascist.
This made Namor cry.

6)
It’s different now.
He yells “Imperious Rex!”
Not “Sufferin’ Shad!”

5)
“Sue Storm is so hot!”
Thought Namor when he saw her.
“Too bad I’m kelp-brained.”

4)
Some fat kid was there.
Namor didn’t know why though.
The kid was just bored.

3)
Namor cut his hand,
One day as he combed his hair.
Cut it on his ear.

2)
Namor likes Haikus.
He writes them about himself.
And puts them online.

1)
It’s an adventure!
Namor is fighting a bear!
Oh, what zany fun!

Did Someone Say Haikus About Namor?
Sunday 11 April 2004:

10)
Flat head, foot wings, butt.
They’re Namor’s ingredients.
Now just add water.

9)
Namor likes a song.
It’s the one called Rock Lobster.
He rocks out to it.

8)
Namor, the Movie.
Starring someone as Namor.
And someone as fish.

7)
I like comic books.
I wonder what Namor likes?
Fish fish fish fish fish.

6)
A homemade “jeep” car.
Namor had one. Was yellow.
Drove it for a while.

5)
Atlantean folk.
That’s the people Namor rules.
They’re subservient.

4)
They’re the Defenders!
Hulk! Namor! Doc Strange! Others…
They’re mostly heroes.

3)
Namor’s a monarch.
But he still can’t afford pants.
That makes Namor cry.

2)
Hey, can you see that?
Looks like Namor McKenzie!
I hear he smells bad.

1)
Nineteen-Thirty-Nine
Namor shows up on the scene.
He does not wear much.

Two Times Five Haikus On The Topic Of Namor
Friday 03 December 2004

10)
Hulk isn’t in town?
The Sub-Mariner will do.
Thus, Namor finds work.

9)
It is Halloween.
Namor wears a Spidey mask.
Spidey goes topless.

8)
“I love your green shorts.
They look hot on your body.
Your fan, Melissa.”

7)
“Water is so great,”
Said young Namor to his mom.
“But it needs more chairs.”

6)
“Invade the surface!
Crush and destroy their buildings!
But don’t punch babies!”

5)
Namor owes Ben cash.
He lost it playing poker
Doesn’t plan to pay.

4)
An amphibian!
Namor uses gills to breathe.
But he breathes air too.

3)
Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang.
Bulletproof. No suicide.
That makes Namor cry.

2)
Go to Riverdale!
Meet Archie, Betty, Jughead!
But not King Namor!

1)
Holy Mackerel!
Namor doesn’t worship fish.
They don’t worship him.

A Lost Episode of Star Trek

THE FROG OF FORTOSIA!

Kirk: Captain’s Log Stardate: Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We were continuing our five year mission to seek out new life and discover new civilizations today and we came across a planet. It could easily have life or civilization on it, so we’re going to check it out.

Kirk: Spock’s readings state that the planet is composed almost entirely of cardboard and styrofoam, meaning it is the same as every other planet we have discovered to date. I have decided to beam down an away team made up only of main characters, to avoid the death of random crew members.

And so, on the planet’s surface…

Kirk: Well, here we are, men. Let’s seek out that stuff we seek out.

Spock: It would seem we have all neglected to bring our tricorders. We will have to search the planet manually.

Bones: Your stupid Vulcan logic again, eh Spock?

Chekov: I am scared of the sky here.

Kirk: We’ll split up. If anyone finds new life, or maybe a civilization, let the others know.

And so the team split up and investigate.

Bones: Sure, split up. I’m stuck looking at this boring cavern while that dirty Vulcan gets to look at interesting stuff. I hate Vulcans. I wish I could just enslave them all. Yeah, that’d be nice. I could have a Vulcan mopping my floors and making my supper. That’d be…

Meanwhile, Captain Kirk finds something…

Kirk: Now what’s this? It looks like a frog. (into communicator) Hey guys, I found something.

Frogodes: I’m no mere frog! I am Frogodes! I am the omnipotent ruler of this world!

Frogodes: Now that you’re here, I think I’ll torture you with my vast powers for my own entertainment. Yeah. Maybe I’ll make you and one of your friends fight to the death. Or I could make one of you stand on another one’s face.

Chekov: Captain! What did you–?

Chekov: Ahhh! What’s that? I’ll shoot it!

Frogodes: I think you’ll find that your weapons are useless against me, fool.

Chekov: You’re right… But it still makes me feel like a real man to have it.

Kirk: Frogodes, you mustn’t do this. We are… explorers. We seek only to make peace with you.

Frogodes: Too bad! I’m omnipotent!

Frogodes: Watch as I pick a random low-ranking crewman from your ship and bring him here, dead!

Kirk: What?

Bones: It’s true, Jim. Dead.

Kirk: Dammit!

Bones: Consarn these omnipotent aliens! Just once I wish one of them would join the Federation! That’d make things easier for us. But no! They all have worse attitudes than a Gargiruian Catfish!

Meanwhile, back on the Starship Enterprise NCC-1701 of the United Federation of Planets and Starfleet.

Uhura: I just received a report from Deck Seven. One of the low-ranking crewmen just vanished.

Uhura: It’s almost like he was teleported away.

Sulu: Hey, wanna see me take off my shirt and do some sword-fighting?

Uhura: Not now.

Scotty: We’ll have time for that later, Sulu. Uhra call the Captain and tell him what happened.

Uhura: My name is “Uhura”, Mr. Scott.

Scotty: What? For real? What kind of name is that?

Uhura: What kind of name is Uhra?

Scotty: Geez, all these years I’ve known you and I didn’t even know your name. I feel like a bastard. I’ll be getting drunk because of that, I tell ya. Now, just call the captain.

Uhura: There’s some strange interference now, but I’ll work on it.

Scott: Well, work quick. We need the away team back here so Chekov can take out the garbage.

Back on the planet…

Frogodes: And so you see, you are helpless before me! I am your ruler!

Kirk: No… Not our ruler. Because of Free Will we will never be helpless against… tyrants like you. It is our job… our mission… to oppose the likes of you.

Frogodes: You said your mission was to seek out life and civilization.

Kirk: While opposing you on the side, yes.

Scotty (over communicator): Captain, we’ve got a situation up here.

Scotty: The garbage is piling up and I’m embarrassing myself in front of the bridge crew. Also, some guy disappeared. You should hurry up so I can get back down to engineering.

Kirk: Hang in there, Scotty. We’ve got problems too. You’ll have to give us twenty minutes or so.

Scotty: I’m not sure we can hold together that long, Sir.

Kirk: You’ll have to! Kirk out.

Chekov: But Captain, what can we do against such a supremely powerful being?

Q: Did someone say “Supremely Powerful Being?”

Chekov: What the Hell?

Frogodes: Q? What are you doing here?

Q: I’m all the omnipotent alien that this universe needs, Froggy. That’s why…

Q: You’re dead!

Kirk: Thank you for the help, stranger. If–

Q: Right, whatever. I just wanted the Frog’s treasure. Goodbye.

And so the away team returns to the ship.

Scotty: It sure took you guys a long time to get back. I feel like I’ve aged by decades from the stress of running this ship.

Chekov: What the hell is that? I’ll shoot it!

Patrick D Ryall, the D is for Research
Originally posted on Contains2 on Sunday January 30, 2005