Welcome to the first installment of Shameless Plug Sunday. What’s it all about, you ask. Well I’ll tell you. Shameless Plug Sunday is going to be where we give out endorsements and plugs for companies and/or people we really love.
Let’s get this out of the way, we’re not going to be getting a cent for our plugs (okay we don’t get a cent for any of the work we do here…we do it for the love). These are people and companies that we think that you should all be paying attention to. With that in mind, lemme get rambling about our first endorsement.
I first heard about the Mysterious Package Company through, of all things, a Facebook advertisement. Now I’m the first to say that I normally I just block random ads. I’ve got no use for them. I’m on Facebook to look at cute animals and listen to my fellow nerd herd argue about who would win in a fight: The Beyonder or Cthullu. I don’t want to buy your useless crap but, ho, what is this?
“We tell you stories you can touch: unannounced deliveries of a strange and otherworldly nature.”
It’s safe to say that the MPC had my attention right away.
I visited the website and immediately struck by the next layer to their wonderful marketing campaign.
- Membership is 100% free.
- The nature of business is such that we must restrict much of our material to members only.
- Application does not guarantee acceptance. We reserve the right to deny membership without cause or notice.
Well now they really had me hooked in. It’s free but they can choose not to accept me. It’s like showing a child the most amazing toy ever and then saying, “You might get this but only if you can prove yourself to me”. I was hell bent on getting in.
The application was fairly standard…at first. Name. Location. Short essay answers about favorite movies and what about the MPC got your attention. Standard stuff. Then came the last two questions.
“How well can you keep a secret?”
Okay, that’s rather odd. I grinned and gave the standard response I normally give to such a question. The only way two people can keep a secret is if the other dead. Now, do you want to know a secret?
I’m so funny and edgy, I chuckled to myself. Then came the last question.
“What is your blood type?”
I paused. My fingers hung over the keys and I just…I paused. I seldom pause when answering questions or typing or really thinking for that matter. I’m just one running monolog that most people just find themselves unlucky enough to wander in on. AND. THEY. MADE. ME. PAUSE.
I suddenly flashed on the image of Sean Penn in “The Game”, handing his brother, Michael Douglas, a birthday gift. “It will make your life…fun,” he said. Then shit got crazy. It was the most epic adventure of not fun that was totally worth it. I shook off these thoughts and put in my blood type.
Then I waited.
I started to get nervous. I remembered stories of a friend who had been rejected by eHarmony and feared that I would find no love from this rather odd club/company/storytelling center. And then, when I had just about given up on being accepted by this curious company, I received an email from someone only listed as being “The Curator”.
It opened with “My dearest <Real Name Here>” and was filled with flowery language from another time. It gave directions on how to access the site and what to look for. It closed with, “So, welcome, and please feel free to visit us at any time. I look forward to getting to know you better. Your Servant, The Curator.”
They had me hooked. I ran to the site looked through what they had to offer. There were three levels of package with three levels of price.
- The Bespoke Experience. It started at $799.00 and involved conversations with The Curator to ensure that your experience was completely unique. The line that threw me in the description was, “As much or as little control as you wish…” Suddenly I felt as though I was staring down Sean Penn handing me a pamphlet for “The Game”. I flinched and moved along.
- The next level was three different stories involving various mailings over several months. All of the stories were about $179.00. I was chomping at the bit to jump in. Then Mrs. Darwin Law looked over my shoulder and said, “NOPE…maybe for Christmas if you’re good”. Suddenly I was that little kid and the most amazing toy wass being dangled in front of my eyes. I’ve done my best to be good ever since.
- The last level was their quarterly mailer, “Curios & Conundrums”. They had the catch up for the previous installments plus a sign up for the next chapter. Both together, before shipping and handling, $50.00. Mrs. Darwin Law gave me the thumbs up and I sent them my monies.
The catch up package arrived and inside I found four little newspapers. I turned the pages, read the articles and muttered, “What the fuck is this?” in a good way. The articles were from all over the world and time. All were tinged with the occult and otherworldly. I dug deeper and found them all to be fascinating. Far off locations were explored. Ancient flying machines discovered. There was even an article on Bigfoot.
“Ho ho,” I chuckled. “These chaps have avid imaginations. They seem to be adept at writing in proper old world voices. What fun these fake articles are.”
I’m not sure what spurred me to start researching the articles but I did. That’s when things got seriously weird. 90% of the “fake articles” were, in fact, 100% real. This is up to and including an article from “Russia: Behind The Headlines” where the former President of said country admits that when you become president you are given the nuclear football…and a dossier on aliens living in Russia.
The next day I was in CVS. I bought a composition book, you know the kind with the black and white cover that John Doe fills with insanity in “Seven”. I filled it with notes, page after page of crazed scribbling, crackpot ideas and conspiracy theories on what the hell was happening.
Then I flipped to the last page of each installment for my notations. “Oh look,” I said, “they have crossword puzzles and horoscopes.” I’m rubbish at crossword puzzles so I had steered clear up to that point. I solved the first one and found…found…I fear I’ve said too much already but, safe to say, this is where the real game begins.
The journey that followed took me all over the globe and history. Hidden messages, ciphers, encrypted radio stations, mysterious phone numbers and buried clues tucked into webpage source codes. I felt my sanity slipping away with each particle of flavor my brain tongue lapped at. I was gripped with a sudden understanding of what crazed street preachers feel as they howl their truths and shake their poorly printed manifestos at frightened passersby.
“THERE IS A WAR BREWING,” I wanted to scream in the town square. “LISTEN TO ANDREW! HE KNOWS!”
And this, dear readers, was just the catch up package. This is only $25.00 worth of $50.00 purchase price I paid. I haven’t even received the new quarterly mailer yet!
It should also be taken into consideration that this is the Mysterious Package Company’s bargain experience. I haven’t had the chance to partake of their larger packages yet but I have to wonder, if they are willing to put this much work into their smallest package, what wonder, amazement and, yes, horror lurks in their larger works.
My name is Darwin Law. I write for the Nerdery Public and I wholeheartedly endorse The Mysterious Package Company.