What is Unloosen Awareness Month? by Chris Leavens, Editor of Unloosen
If you're reading this, you're obviously a good and righteous individual, because only someone as incredible, caring, and magnanimous as yourself would want to become Aware. No, I'm not exaggerating -- you're really that great. You're the kind of person who shows up in silhouette on those inspirational posters that read "Achieve" or "Challenge." That's you. I can tell, even when you're back-lit.
Believe it or not, some people are too busy, too serious, and too ignorant to enjoy Unloosen. I know, it made me faint, too. Luckily, I always wear a helmet, so I didn't get hurt. Those of us who are among the aforementioned group of sad, sad humans need a little TLC, and Unloosen is there to give them a big, sweaty, creepy hug.
If you're already Aware, help the world around you become Aware by sharing Unloosen during the month of October. Those of you who are becoming Aware for the first time, welcome to the first day of the rest of your life. Take a seat, call into work sick, and read and absorb all that we have to offer. It's like the sweet nectar of the gods.
So go ahead; click on a color-coded swath of time to become more Aware.
Hopefully you instinctually delved into the Unloosen archives and read aloud from them to a friend or group of friends, because that's what you were supposed to do on October 1 and 2. If not, administer some sort of self punishment and spend the entirety of October 2 reciting your favorite Unloosen tale in a bad Eastern-European accent.
Also, e-mail your friends and let them know that Unloosen Awareness Month has rolled in like a mighty thunder. Help them be Aware.
Did you know that Unloosen Awareness Month has yet to be recognized by any governmental entity outside of Turkmenistan? Help your favorite Awareness Month become everyone's favorite Awareness Month by writing to your Republican senator or representative of choice. Ask them to represent you by representing Unloosen.
Rick Santorum cares! Quick, write to him before he's voted out of office.
Just who is this Millard Fillmore character and what exactly does he have to do with October, the most awesome month and Unloosen Awareness Month?
Millard Fillmore held the political office called President of the United States of America. He was the only President to be known as "The Thirteenth President of the United States of America." He did a really good job.
Brought to Earth aboard a space-proof hovercraft in 54 B.C., Fillmore was born on the steamy planet called Venus. Although his parents attempted to steer him toward a career in investment banking, little Millard fancied himself an inventor. In the year 437 A.D., his rebellious nature took him to the state of Michigan where he invented something he called the "car." After numerous patent applications and the subsequent inventions of the license plate, auto insurance, and the pine tree air freshener, Fillmore's incredible "car" finally debuted in 492 A.D., but no one knew how to invent gasoline so it sat on blocks outside a mobile home in northern Alabama for nearly fourteen centuries before being used.*
In 1850, Millard Fillmore decided that he wanted to become the "Thirteenth President of the United States of America," so he invented a complicated disease called gastroenteritis and gave it to Zachary Taylor, the twelfth President of the United States of America. Zachary Taylor thought getting a gift was nice, but then Zachary Taylor died. Luckily for Millard Fillmore, Taylor had granted Mr. Fillmore "Vice President" or "Second in Command" status so Millard Fillmore turned into a President. Suspicion overwhelmed the citizens of our great nation and they guessed correctly that their thirteenth President, master inventor Millard Fillmore caused Taylor's death.*
As a response to the nation's well-founded anger, Fillmore created his final invention, a political party called the "Know Nothing Party." When he ran for President in 1853, each of Fillmore's campaign speeches began and ended with his party slogan, "I don't know nothing." This did not play well on television and Fillmore was handily defeated by the silky-voiced, well-coifed Democrat Frankiln Pierce.*
For the disillusioned former inventor and president, the next 39 years slipped away like so many banana peels underneath the feet of slapstick comics. In 1891 gasoline was finally invented and the true debut of Millard Fillmore's now famous "car" made him a gazillionaire. He moved to the top of the highest mountain in Vermont and built a tower he named the Palazzo. He continues to live there today, along with his dog, Jim.*
What does any of this have to do with Unloosen? Both Unloosen and Millard Fillmore are Capricorns.
Celebrate the seventh through tenth of Unloosen Awareness Month by dressing like Unloosen's soul brother, inventor of the car and thirteenth President, Millard Fillmore.
*None of these facts have been proven, but one can speculate that they are definitely true.
Remember your most cherished moments...
...and realize just how trite they seem in comparison to even the most inconsequential Unloosen experiences.
Back in the days before the phoenix-like rise of Unloosen, a warp in the World Wide Web existed, a digital abnormality called Pork Pony. Basically a chaotic, shambolic Unloosen, Pork Pony offered much of what we now offer here. In fact, after Pork Pony was erased from the turbulent cosmos called the Internet, the best content and writers joined team Unloosen and these bold individuals and their creations continue to mold nascent minds to this day.
One of my personal favorite Pork Pony writers was a man called Joe Blevins. Mr. Blevins delivered three classic comedic gems: Karl and Me, Frank's Demise, and Your Cheating Pants. His high-caliber work left us wanting more, but it's been over four years and there's no new Joe.
For you, this Friday the 13th is a very lucky day -- Joe Blevins day; a day of discovery, laughter, and satisfaction so great that not even Mick Jagger's giant lips could articulate it's awesome nature. But unluck persists for us at Unloosen, during this and every other day we are without the creative super powers of Joe Blevins.
Unloosen Awareness Month needs help. It needs you. Spreading Awareness is more than just a good deed -- it's a calling.
How is one to know when they're giving enough of their time to Unloosen Awareness Month? Simple. These confused souls should ask themselves, "Am I as good, as pure, as indelibly bizarre as Henry?"
A question like this might quite possibly lead to another question, one sort of like this:
"Who the crap is Henry?"
Henry is the Unloosen Mascot. Part food, part man-face thing with baby arms and legs, he walks the lands spreading the gospel of Unloosen while shouting the word "pants" at every given opportunity. For Henry, every month is Unloosen awareness month.
So just how does someone emulate a Henry? Celebrate Unloosen Awareness Month harder than you ever have before. Empty an entire bottle of ketchup onto a plate and serve it to someone as dinner. Wear a pith helmet to work. Email all of your friends and tell them that the ghost of MacGyver told you to do it. When they say, "MacGyver isn't dead," respond sternly: "Don't get regular MacGyver confused with Space MacGyver."
You should basically just care about Unloosen for the entire weekend and ignore everything else, even things like "football" and "eating."
In the high-powered, fast-paced world of Unloosen.com, every word -- no, every letter -- matters. The demands of perfection and the shareholders' high expectations provide for one of the most stressful environments imaginable. Few can deflect the pressure of the Unloosen world. Those powerful few are the Unloosen Magnates, and they deftly maneuver around all literary and social obstacles to create the impressive volume of work contained within this very website.
In celebration of these captains of industry, a week is being chopped out of Awareness Month. During this week, we focus on this veritable Mount Rushmore of mighty young minds. We suggest you spend a majority of your waking hours paying homage to these amazing individuals. Here, presented in an easy-to-read, simple format, is a menu of events for this special week:
October 16, Chris Woodward Day: The youngest member of the Unloosen team, Woodward has been cooking up tales since he was sixteen years old. Initially, we were a bit hesitant to take him on, but he threatened to slap us with an age discrimination lawsuit, so we ushered him in and baked him a cake to quell his litigious hand. This proved to be a boon for both parties, as we got great material from Woodward and Woodward got great cake from us.
October 17, Tom Weaver Day: Weaver's been with us since day one, dropping a story into the first issue of our first Internet venture, Pork Pony. Since then, Weaver's delivered with more tales of absurd characters and events. He's currently busy working on a giant book of short stories and ideas. He plans to print it on the original Gutenberg press, gold leaf, engravings and all.
October 19, "Texas" Allen Matruski Day: Behind the scenes at every great organization exists a shadowy individual who stealthily permeates the consciences of those around him, affecting every thought and decision. Our invisible man is "Texas" Allen Matruski. No one knows why he's called "Texas," but he always wears camouflage.
October 20, Craig J. Clark Day: Upon reading Craig's original stories in Pork Pony, we thought he had the makings of a comic genius. Then we discovered that all of his stories were intended to be drop-dead serious. In true Unloosen fashion, we continue to present Clark's work as humor. Ironic? In the truest sense of the word. At first, this made Craig very sad, but the new-found glory he received as a comedic writer helped him to embrace his natural predisposition for satire, parody, sarcasm, and yes, even irony.
October 21, Chris Leavens Day: The man primarily responsible for creating that which is Unloosen and that which was Pork Pony, Leavens is currently writing in the third person to give the illusion that he's not the scribe behind these words. He's not just the editor of Unloosen, he's also the company fall guy, taking the heat for every mistake in order to protect the hides of his beloved compatriots. His skin is made of real American steel.
Some people who visit Unloosen insist on asking lengthy, probing questions about the "other" guys who've written stuff for this incredible website. What happened to Ed Darrin, Mike Wargo, David Kendall, Frog, Jason Kornblatt, Rick DeMott, and A.S. Albright?
Honestly, not everyone is cut out for the fame and glamour Unloosen drenches its contributors in. But this won't stop us from celebrating the greatness they've brought to Unloosen, so in honor of all of those "other," silent members of our team, we say, "Thank you for giving us stuff. Here, have a day."
Let these hibernating men know you care about what they've given us by delving into their work, patting them on the back, and buying them a job-well-done beverage of their choice. Who knows? It may rouse them from their deep, creation-free slumber.
In December 2001, the world received one of the sweetest gifts ever given and its name was Pork Pony. For these three days in the twilight of Unloosen Awareness Month, we take time to remember the precursor to Unloosen.
A gloriously rough-hewn, cacophonous mess of a website, Pork Pony focused on material similar to that found here on Unloosen, only Pork Pony was rich and we had an office. We sold T-shirts and made millions, but then some guy sued us because he said the collars were "too itchy" and that the resulting red marks made him look like "one of those masochistic Cure fans who cuts himself to heal the pain," so we were forced to stop.
Each week for nearly a year, Pork Pony delivered two new feature stories, a photo, an illustration, or some other variety of visual wizardry, an article from acclaimed writer Stuart Gimble, and advice from a friend called the Intelli-head. Sometimes we even posted reader mail.
In 2004, Pork Pony disappeared and Unloosen slowly surfaced. Unloosen finally delivered upon its initial promise to resurrect the spirit of the Pony in April of 2005.
Spend these three days of Unloosen Awareness Month scouring the site in an attempt to distinguish the Unloosen content from that which was brought about during the golden age of Pork Pony. Email us your list and if you've successfully categorized every word and image here, we'll send you a cookie.
One of our greatest success stories as a web entity was our ability to convince acclaimed author Stuart Gimble to join our team. We were willing to overlook the scandalous youthful indiscretions that caused his fall from grace and offer him full editorial control of his contributions, so how could he say no?
Gimble retired from the world of writing three years ago, but after a little prodding, we think we may have convinced him to return. Check Unloosen for the triumphant return of Stuart Gimble in the forthcoming weeks.
October's final days are marching in, signaling the end of the parade of Unloosen Awareness Month events. Where would Unloosen be without the seven people who read it semi-weekly? We're not really sure either, but we dedicate two special days to these kind folks, the Unloosen connoisseurs. Today, Friday the 27th and tomorrow, Saturday the 28th are for you, friends of Unloosen.
Because of their importance to Unloosen and, quite frankly, their endless complaining about being "under appreciated," we're setting aside a second day to recognize those contributors to Unloosen who either appear on these pages infrequently or have vanished from our world entirely
When people think of Millard Fillmore and dressing like Millard Fillmore, they only envision themselves as presidential Millard Fillmores. What about his centuries spent as a youth roaming the young, bucolic USA?
We're giving you a second chance to celebrate Unloosen Awareness Month by taking a day to wear the clothes in which a young Master Fillmore would have frolicked about. Make haste to ye local costume shoppe and ask the good seamstresses to build you a Millard Fillmore "laddy" outfit. Wear it with pride.
Put on your best black suit or dress because today, the end of the greatest October in history, is a sad day indeed. Set aside time to buy tissue, time to cry, and time to scrapbook away the sadness that is the last day of Unloosen Awareness Month. Remember how you spent your lunch breaks and weekends reading Unloosen and enriching your soul. Cherish the feeling of stepping into the brisk morning in the 18th century garb of Millard Fillmore. Think of the great excitement that swelled your heart upon hearing that both Joe Blevins and Stuart Gimble had emerged from retirement to write once again.
And then you should start to cry really hard because magical feelings like these only come about during 31 days of the year. See you again in eleven months, Unloosen Awareness Month. Please promise you'll come back with more great surprises next year.