Vote for Your Favorite Review
(A horrible, blatant cut-and-paste effort from the original not unlike many
lousy overrated reviews on Epinions.com)
Months ago there lived--
"A venture capitalist who knew that investing in a business with no
sustainable stream of revenue was as good as tossing his money down a
bottomless pit!" my little readers will say immediately.
No, you stupid rubberstamping morons, you are mistaken. Once upon a time
there was a DuraFlame firelog. It was not an impressive piece of wood. Far
from it. Just a common fake log in a wrapper, one of those fake,
environmentally-friendly logs that are put on the fire in winter to make
venture capitalists' homes look swanky to impress their mistresses.
This one wound up in the hands of such a venture capitalist. "This has come
in the nick of time," he said. "I will burn it in my fireplace while I try
to impress my girlfriend and have sex with her. Thank goodness my wife is
out of town!"
He peeled off the wrapper that clearly said "DO NOT REMOVE WRAPPER" On it to
see the shape the wood. Perhaps, with a little sanding and A bleaching out
of the chemicals, he might shape something that might pleasure his
girlfriend out of it. But as he was about to chisel a bit of the exterior of
the log off, little voice say in a beseeching tone: "Please be careful! Do
not hit me so hard!"
He turned frightened eyes about the room to find out where that wee, little
voice had come from and he saw no one! Perhaps it was all the cocaine he had
snorted the day before in a party with several other dot-com venture
capitalists. He looked under the bench--no one! He peeped inside the
closet--no one! He searched among the shavings-- no one! He opened the door
to look up and down the street--and still no one!
He grabbed the naked firelog with both hands and started to smack it about
unmercifully. He threw it to the floor, against the walls of the room, and
even up to the ceiling.
"Stop it! Oh, stop it! That really hurts!"
The venture capitalist was stunned... a talking firelog!
What would he burn to impress his girlfriend now? He dug around his desk for
Dr. Koop and eToys stock certificates... they were cheaper per pound than
wood now, anyway.
In that very instant, a loud knock sounded on the door. "Come in," said the
At the words, the door opened and a dapper little old man came in. His name
was Niravettolia. Niravettolia had a very bad temper.
"Good day, Mr. Venture Capitalist," said Niravettolia. "I want more of your
money to spend on fast cars, loose women, and a whole company full of people
to spend the rest of it."
"Do you think me a fool?" said the venture capitalist. "Come up with a
business plan full of harebrained concepts and technological jargon first
that I have no hope of understanding, and then I will give it you and expect
a ludicrous return on my investment."
"Okay," said Niravettolia. "By the way, nice wood."
"Thanks," said the venture capitalist, thinking that his crotch had been
paid a compliment. "It's for my girlfriend."
"Well, perhaps I could come up with something with that wood," said
Niravettolia. "Something that would be able to do tricks, learn about new
products, and give advice on how to get the best deal for your money from
the general public."
"Odd," said the venture capitalist. "Usually all I can do else with it is
"No, you fool," said the firelog. "He's talking about me."
The two men stared at the firelog, stunned.
"Will you two hurry up," said the firelog. "Make something out of me quickly
before people just hit the NH buton and move on to some other entry in this
The venture capitalist handed the haunted piece of chemical-soaked wood to
Niravettolia, wrote him a huge check, and shooed the web-charlatan out of
Niravettolia's office was in the ludicrously expensive part of the Valley of
Silicon. Many of the dot-com ventures in this region also had prime office
space in the same building and block, and many a time did they hobnob and
party and discuss the latest plans to bilk foolish investors and venture
capitalists out of their money for empty promises and flawed business plans.
"Get a load of my idea," said Niravettolia to his pals. "I got a block of
firelog without the wrapper and a huge check. I think I will carve a puppet
out of the log and call it... Epinionocchio!"
He was pelted with wineglasses, cheese, and crackers until he left the
Sullen and bored, Niravettolia sat at his glass-topped desk and looked at
the log. "So, are you ready?" he asked it.
"What kid of drugs are you on, pal?" it asked. "You're talking to a
He carved out a head, some arms, some legs, a body, and all the parts of a
puppet that a puppet might need. He hinged the limbs in such a way so that
they could hang and move freely. Since Niravettolia was inebriated from the
party, his workmanship wasn't up to par, and occasionally a limb would end
up longer or shorter than its mate, or the hinges would fall off completely
and the head would loll to one side.
"We'll clean that up in 2.0," he mused to himself.
When he carved the eyes, they glared and stared at him. The nose, when he
carved it, was rather plain and ugly. And the mouth, well, it spewed
constant filth and insults at him as he worked on it.
"What kind of horrible craftsman are you?" said the puppet. "I'm a freak!"
"Stop bitching!" said Niravettolia angrily; but he might as well have spoken
to the wall.
"Stop bitching, I say!" he roared in a voice of thunder.
The mouth stopped bitching, but it stuck out a long tongue.
Not wishing to start an argument, Niravettolia made believe he saw nothing
and went on with his work. After the mouth, he made the chin, then the neck,
the shoulders, the stomach, the arms, and the hands.
The puppet, now complete with fingers, raised his middle finger at the
web-charlatan and laughed.
"Epinionocchio, you wicked boy!" he cried out. "You are not yet finished,
and you start out by being impudent to your poor old father. Very bad, my
son, very bad!"
And he wiped away a tear.
"Now I will cash this check, buy myself some hookers, and hire a staff of
people to get this puppet to bring in some helpful and practical purchasing
advice!" He looked down at the wooded boy. "I won't bother policing your
actions, my little friend, so you can go off and play and dance and impress
people with the skill I put into your design. When I get back, I will hire a
staff to help you learn to dance and play in all new ways."
Epinionocchio gave his creator the finger once more, and wandered around in
circles, stumbling and bumping into things.
Nivarettolia shook his head, looked down at the check, grinned, and
As Niravettolia danced his way to the bank, laughing and cheering,
Epinionochio threw himself on the floor, happy at his escape.
"I will fill my head with wicked thoughts and give away my master's money to
anyone who can trick me," said Epinionocchio. "I don't care what they tell
me, as long as they tell me something and others say it is good."
But his happiness lasted only a short time, for just then he heard someone
"Who is calling me?" asked Epinionocchio, greatly frightened.
Epinionocchio turned and saw a large cricket crawling slowly up the wall.
"Yuck!" shouted the puppet. "You're a filthy bug!"
"No," said the cricket. "I am a talking cricket, and I give little puppets
bad advice. I will fill your head with bad ideas, steal money from your
master's pockets, and then wander off to a bar to spend it all."
"What kind of bad advice?" asked the puppet.
"Well, there's all sorts of cool things you can do," said the cricket. "You
could run around causing trouble, give out bad advice, or even smoke a
"It's dangerous for me to smoke a cigarette," said Epinionnochio. "I'm a
DuraFlame log at heart and not a real boy."
"Perhaps the Blue Chip Fairy can make you a real boy," said the cricket.
"She's been known to do that for those born of venture capitalists."
"The Blue Chip Fairy?" asked Epinionocchio. "Where is she?"
The cricket looked the raggedy, off-kilter puppet up and down, smirked, and
said, "Aw, you'll never meet up with her. You're a mistake and a half. Aw,
heck. Go get some cigarettes and light up, boy. It's for the best."
"That sounds like a great idea," said Epinionocchio. "Come down here and
tell me more!"
The cricket did so, and as he was about to tell Epinionocchio all sorts of
bad ideas, the puppet squashed it with his wooden foot.
"I could sure use a cigarette," said the puppet, and he started rifling
through Niravettolia's desk drawers.
Niravettolia took a moment to roll around in the pile of money he'd just
cashed his check from the venture capitalist for. The bank let him go into a
private room, take off his clothes, and roll around in it like many of their
dot-com customers did. They even charged a handling fee for those customers
who didn't feel like swimming around in millions of dollars worth of bad
money thrown in after good money.
"Wheee!" said Niravettolia, thrashing and splashing hundred-dollar bills
about. He had his fun for an hour, put his clothes back on, bundled up the
money in bags, and hauled it off down the street back to his office.
"Wait until Epinionnochio sees all this money," said Niravettolia. "Why,
he'll just brim with ideas for our little business, and he'll start bringing
in the paying customers to get him to give all sorts of slanted and
worthless advice for money to whatever businesses that want him to hawk
their products!" He danced a bit in the street, spilling a few hundred
dollars in his glee, and continued down the road to his office.
"All this carrying huge amounts of money has made me tired," said
Niravettolia. "I should hire my staff soon to carry all the money from
advertising banners and rich content partners for me, and then I can
concentrate on getting even more money from that dumb venture capitalist
when that source runs dry.
He dragged his bags of money up the stairs, walked down the hallway,
unlocked the door to his offices, and there he saw a horrible sight.
Epinionnochio was on fire!
"No! No!" screamed Niravettolia. "No, what have you done, you foolish
Epinionocchio spat the cigarette and growled. "Menthols taste like garbage,"
he said, barely hearable above the crackling and popping of his Crackling
DuraFlame Log body. "Have you got any blunts?"
Niravettolia ran to his office kitchen, grabbed a pitcher, filled it with
water, and ran to save his flaming puppet. Epinionnochio, seeing the pitcher
of water, laughed and ran from his master in circles leaving a trail of
smoke and flame and ash as he ran.
"Hee hee, tee hee," he laughed, coughing great gouts of smoke. "You can't
Niravettolia, panicked, stopped and started to weep. Epinionnochio,
laughing, ran straight into the back of his master and fell to the floor.
"Ooof!" he said.
Niravettolia, singed badly in the brush against his wooden boy, quickly
tossed the pitcher of water on the log. The water quickly hissed and steamed
and a cloud of gray surrounded the wooden boy. Niravettolia coughed and
coughed and sputtered and waved his hands in the fog to clear the smoke.
When the smoke cleared, the wooden boy was a loss, charred and brittle from
the burning. Even though he had been an extra-long DuraFlame Crackling log,
the removal of the wrapper and the running about in the air consumed his
whittled-down body even faster than normal. Niravettolia, tried to cradle
his lost boy, but burned his fingers in the process of reaching for him. He
got a pair of oven mitts from the kitchen and tried again.
"Oh, my poor Epinionnochio!" he cried. "Whatever shall I do!"
The next day, the venture capitalist came to call on Niravettolia to check
up on the craftsman's progress with his money and his DuraFlame log.
"So what have you for me?" said the haughty venture capitalist. "My
girlfriend's in the car outside, so don't take too long in explaining."
Niravettolia sat on the ground, exhausted and all weeped-out from crying
over the loss of his little wooden boy who was supposed to give good
shopping advice to all that would come to him and bring in revenue from ad
banners and content partnerships, only to be turned to ash and woodchips by
his own foolishness.
"I will build a web site in honor of my fallen boy," said Niravettolia. "It
will collect all sorts of purchasing and shopping advice from people across
the land. People will read that advice, and I will give away your money to
those people. And then they will read their own advice again and again, fool
me constantly by pretending to be other people, and I will give even more
money away. And I will call it..."
"Who cares what you call it," said the venture capitalist. "I'm going to
write you an even bigger check right now if you'll build that site and run
into all sorts of errors and delays making it!"
The venture capitalist and Niravettolia hugged, they danced with glee for a
bit around the charred corpse of the puppet, and then they let go of each
other to go about their separate ways.
You know the rest, folks. The web site got built, the venture capitalists
got screwed, abusers ruled the day time and time again, and all the decent
hardworking users eventually got made to look like jackasses.
And, sure enough, the Blue Chip Fairy never came.