Christmas Bonus! Audio!

December 24, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Posted in Da Ritzenator, J. Frederick | Leave a comment
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Hey everyone!  Our very own J. Frederick was invited to read on Live At the Writer’s House on WXPN back on 12/7. He chose to read two of his entries from our faithful guide. So, as a special Christmas bonus for anyone who is illiterate or wants to hear one of our authors speak, I have posted and linked them below. Click on the name to revisit the entry, or click the audio link to hear him read away (uploaded via

Pyramid Scheme / Audio


Moon / Audio

Pyramid Scheme

October 2, 2009 at 2:05 pm | Posted in J. Frederick | Leave a comment

The pyramid scheme – and its weird Italian cousin, the Ponzi scheme – get a bad rap, but I’m here to tell you that I would not currently have my vast fortune, my many yachts, my many wives, my many perfectly legal and not at all morally ambiguous investments in diamond mines, were it not for my fortuitous involvement in a pyramid scheme many years ago.  Before I came into my wealth, I earned minimum wage working the night shift at a cheese factory; my second-hand pants were held together with rubber bands and tape, and I could only afford to take my girlfriend to imaginary movies, which was good because she herself was also imaginary.  Every bank in town rejected my applications for loans, and by that I mean that I stood outside them on the sidewalk for hours, waiting for an employee to come out, unsolicited, and just hand me a briefcase filled with cash, which they never did.  I was offended by their refusal to acknowledge my intense desire to not be a flat-broke cheese factory employee who wore soiled, ill-fitting pants and spent his mornings practicing kissing on a pair of wax lips affixed to a pillow, so I did what any sensible person would do: I called the phone number on a “Work From Home” sign attached to a telephone pole near the bus station.  The phone was answered by a man with an indiscernible accent, his voice ravaged by decades of cigarettes – and if you can’t trust such a person to make you wealthy, who can you trust?  He identified himself as “Mark Price”, explaining that his company required all employees to adopt code names referencing members of the 1990-91 Cleveland Cavaliers.  “That’s very weird,” I told him.  “Yes,” he replied, almost wistfully, “yes, it is.”  In the end, I agreed to have him call me “Craig Ehlo” and he proceeded to outline his plan: he would send me a list of names, and I would send one dollar to each of them, delete the name at the top, add my name to the bottom, send the list to all of my friends, and encourage them all to do the same.  “That sounds oddly familiar, wildly illegal, and mathematically unlikely,” I told him, “and also, I have no friends.”  “I appreciate your reservations and you are perfectly within your rights to not participate,” he replied, “but at the very least you need to understand that your cowardice sickens me.”  Well, never let it be said that I back down from a challenge, especially a challenge issued by an unseen, mentally unstable stranger with a fake name trying to get me involved in a suspicious-sounding get-rich-quick scheme.  That fateful phone call occurred ten years ago; I won’t bore you with the details, but to this day thousands upon thousands of tax-free dollars continue to arrive daily at my massive estate in Liechtenstein, and it’s all thanks to your friend and mine, the unfairly maligned pyramid scheme!  Also, I started selling heroin.  Either way, money is great; you should get some. – J. Frederick

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