Gun For Hire

Consider this a classified ad:

Wanted: Reliable mercenary interested in joining a semi-winning team. Must have flexible schedule and be willing to work late nights and weekends. Applicants should demonstrate a tireless and insatiable appetite for killing. Ability to taunt opponents with juvenile insults a plus. Sniper skills a definite plus. Please post resume and/or personal qualifications in the comments section below:

Sadly, this is what it has come to. The Zillionaire platoon of Krusty, Solo, DA and I have been busy spilling the blood of our pre-teen opponents across the outer reaches of the Xbox Live cyberspace. Please understand, these hordes of pre-teens are bloodthirsty and relentless, as most of their life is spent being shoved in lockers and rejected by girls. In other words, picture us 15 years ago… (Alright, fine… five years ago.) Anyway, all of these juveniles are looking to make their mark by knocking off a few Zillionaires. Naturally, we match the ferocity of our opponents, as we take pride not only in annihilating the other team, but also in displaying less maturity in the process.

So why the classified ad? As you might guess, it is becoming extremely difficult for all four of us to get online at the same time. Whenever we fail to field a full squad, Microsoft selects a random player from a select group of social misfits to fill out our team. Guess how this turns out. First off, it is guaranteed our new player will have zero charisma. And most of the time they don’t even talk at all. Believe me, we’ve been matched with a staggeringly disproportionate number of mimes, mutes and silent film stars in these games.

Second, provided our newly assigned teammate doesn’t abruptly quit mid-game, he usually sabotages our team by demonstrating the killing capacity of Spongebob Squarepants while combining it with the dying capacity of Kenny McCormick. The only good thing that comes out of teaming with a random player is that it gives the rest of us someone to blame unequivocally for our defeat. Immediately after the loss, the three of us in the platoon grab our cell phones and make another frantic attempt at reaching our rightful fourth teammate.

And so here we are. We need some reliable gunners that can consistently show up, notch a few kills, and help represent the clan of Zillionaires in our ongoing quest for Halo 2 supremacy. To help applicants get acquainted with some of the people they’d potentially be working with, I’m providing some declassified profiles on our team members…

The Chizzler:
Occupation: Web Designer
Weapon of Choice: Laser Sword
Strengths: Team leader in kills. Handles a laser sword like a Jedi Knight (thankfully without the mind tricks or befriending of Jar Jar Binks).

Jon Solo:
Occupation: Musician
Weapon of Choice: Sniper rifle
Strengths: It’s surprising to those that have seen him shoot a basketball, but Solo is our best marksman.

Velvety Krusty:
Occupation: Campground Manager
Weapon of Choice: Shotgun
Strengths: Never avoids a firefight. He will fight a tank with a Super Soaker if that’s what it takes. Also, his quality of play increases dramatically when intoxicated.

However, to be fair to potential recruits, I should probably disclose some of the weaknesses our team possesses…

I’ll begin with The Chizzler. For starters, The Chizzler has a pathological predisposition to rebel against any form of organization or team strategy during game play. Usually it is benign, like casually wandering away from the team while we take position in a bunker. Apparently, The Chizzler will suddenly realize he left his car keys by the warp zone or forgot to put the dust cover on the machine gun turret, or some other random errand that is more pressing than covering his teammates.

Unfortunately, it’s almost become pointless to even attempt to develop any sort of team strategy, as The Chizzler will ignore it completely on the grounds of not being labeled a conformist. Sadly, the only way to make The Chizzler follow a game plan is to implement reverse psychology by instructing him to not follow the game plan. For instance, if I want The Chizzler to help guard our position, I might instruct him thusly:

McSex: “Alright guys, let’s hold position behind the small fortress. Krusty and I can guard the perimeter, and Solo will cover us with the sniper rifle. Chizzler, you should wander off like an Alzheimer’s patient and sever communication with the rest of the team… and be sure to take several phone calls during game play.”

And then there’s Solo. As I alluded to above, he is lethal with a sniper rifle. When he gets into a killing groove, few can survive his onslaught. Unfortunately, this also includes his teammates. Essentially, Solo turns into the Manchurian Candidate and begins killing everyone, especially those he’s supposed to protect.

Finally, there’s Krusty. He has the most unreliable Internet connection on the planet. Seriously, the Amish mock his lack of technology. Because he lives on a campground, he is apparently forced to dial into Xbox Live via a telegraph in a nearby ranger station. While the rest of us hold conversations, Krusty is beeping at us in Morse code. And while the rest of us worry about hackers interfering with our Internet connection, Krusty’s primary concern is of raccoons and horseflies. Unfortunately, Krusty’s poor connection can cause the rest of our screens to skip and lag, creating an effect similar to trying to make out a picture on a scrambled cable station. For most of us, this is something we were more skilled at in our adolescent days… (Alright, fine… I’m still good at it.)

So as you can see, it takes a special kind of individual to join our team. We’re looking for a few good men willing to sacrifice their marriage and possibly career in the noble pursuit of hardcore video gaming. You’ve got to pretend to believe your wife when she says “nothing’s wrong” and things are “fine” while she angrily turns the pages of a magazine on the adjacent couch while you play video games all night. You’ve got to be willing to show up late and do a really half-assed job at work because you played past midnight the night before. And you’ve got to be willing to drop everything at a moment’s notice when called upon to join your platoon online. It’s not an easy life. Do you have what it takes?

17 thoughts on “Gun For Hire”

  1. i used to like the sniper, now it’s lookin more like plasma and machine gun, dual weilded. and your metaphor to me not being able to shoot a basketball, i’ve got a similar one for you. always playing the perimeter trying to shoot from outside when you’re supposed to be the team captain taking charge in the middle of the key. peace, i think it’s funny.

  2. I need to know more about the terms of any contract I would be presented with. I’ve been in negotiations with several other teams and my agent will contact you shortly. I’m looking for a signing bonus in the neighborhood of $199 + $49.99 + tax… you know, for the necessary equipment.

  3. McSex:
    Occupation: Number Muncher
    Weapon of Choice: Anything that can deliver a coldcock
    Strengths: Plays “balls out” no matter the circumstances. Deadly with any weapon combination. Always knows the stakes of the game at hand and rallies the troops to victory.

    McSex is the drill seargent. He makes sure we wake up everyday on military time. If your boots aren’t shined or your fatigues aren’t pressed, McSex will chew your ear off like a rabid pitbull. He has us all doing cruches and push-ups, free-diving to oceanic depths in glacial waters, walking on broken glass, and sleeping on beds of nails. Honestly, I don’t know if we are training for war or to be magicians at this point. There is no torture the enemy could subject me to that would come close to what McSex inflicts on a daily basis. I’m sure he’d say it’s all part of the plan.

    Jason, your excuses are running out man. There has been a price drop on the Xbox console and it’s only $149 now. Maybe we should start a little collection jar at the supermarket for you and ask people to help one of “Julie’s kids.” On second thought, I hear panhandlers make $100 bucks a day. :)

  4. Matt, I would like to apply to the team along with Don Allen Don and myself could make up one player. Our reflexes would be more thenabundant and our survivor instints are a proven commodity. We have permission from our wives : in fact they even offered to name our team if we joined. Don and I will be called the ” widow makers”. On review, please cancel this application until we get clarification from Cheryl and Donna.

  5. Jason my friend, you have no idea what you have wrought upon yourself…

    In case you didn’t know, Dave’s top three hobbies are:

    1. Xboxin’
    2. Pinballin’
    3. Googlin’

    Now, you’ve got a fairly common name. When you combine that with the vastness of the Internet and the amount of time Dave has on his hands, well, I shudder to think of the possibilities…

  6. I’d love to join the killing machine, too bad PS2 won’t cut it. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise; I don’t want to feel the wrath of McSex.

  7. Right, so I am surprised that none of your wives read this web site. I shall elaborate without dissing anyone betrothed to you sorry sacks. I can see an obvious solution to this pressing problem, but I am wondering why the wife has not tried to point this out to you slovenly video-gamers. Ahem, the solution is this: children. Now, now, don’t immidiately count this out (you will need to have a good defense for this argument in case the woman lays it on you). I shall briefly lay out an outline of pros and cons, then we shall weigh in on the decision. Those of you who are not in a position to have to worry about bringing little X-Boxers into the world can ignore this nonsense, or encourage it, as you wish….

    Pros:

    –Never-ending supply of pre-teens to kick around on-line.
    –In the event of a team loss, you can always order the other team to bed.
    –IF (and I do mean IF) you can keep the wife’s opinion out of it, there will be no more complaining from the other side about, “mom sending us to bed.” Just think how great it would be ORDER the other side back into the game (“I say when you’re tired junior! Now back to the game, Booth’s kid has twice as many kills as you!”)
    –You could make the opposition bring you beer after wiping the cyber-floor with them…AND, as they would be too young to drink it, you would not have to bring them beer on the off chance you lose.
    –You will be in charge of training a force of gammers to carry on the tradition long after your gamming days have turned to cyber-dust.

    Cons:

    –Diapers.
    –You will have to wait at least five or six years before the next generation can kick some serious arse without getting nightmares.
    –Snot nosed punks all around you, and you can’t even drink and reminisce about high school with them.
    –The enemy lives at your house.
    –We all know that the younger generation will eventually learn to kick the crap out of you at prettymuch any online game…and after all the crap-talking you all are likely to shove down an enemy’s throat, they are not going to be gentle.
    –Cost benefit analysis: average price of raising child through graduation is over $300,000.

    Well, personally, I think the last figure is the important one. It probably is easier to pay some random geek you meet online to lose to you than it is to actually raise a child. But on the off chance anyone is already having a kid, think of an in-house XBox partner as another potential upside to the deal.

    babs rambler

  8. I had a meeting with my manager and she has given the greenlight to contract negotiations. Where do I sign? I just need to go shopping.

  9. I’m in the same boat as Bailes, the PS2 just won’t cut it. Halo 2 is a pretty damn fun game, but the only thing I hear when I bring up the subject of the Xbox is “you know how many diapers we can buy with that much money?” This brings me to my next point.

    The topic of children was brought up as a “solution” to the problem of not having enough team members. I am prone to believe that children only add to the problem. For instance, without a kid to buy diapers and food and clothes for, and having to make time to play with her and read to her, I’d have plenty of time and money to join the team. Not to mention that gaming is impossible when she’s awake due to her love of yanking on cords. Things being as they are, joining the team any time in the near future is probably out of the question.

    I would like to elaborate on a couple of points mentioned above. Cons-diapers. Couldn’t agree more. The changing isn’t really the problem, you get over that. But you’d think the freaking things were made out of titanium as much as they charge for them (on a side not, the money you save on diapers is well worth the trip to COSTCO, sorry DA).

    However, the raising the next generation of gamers and the beer-fetching parts can be quite rewarding. Avery won’t be two until the end of May, but she’s already in training. A couple of weeks ago I found a Shark Tale handheld video game in a box of Honey Nut Cheerios. Since I was able to beat in on the first try and it no longer presented a challenge, I put Avery to work on it. My only further comment is that she’s a quick study. She’s quite adept at dodging the fish just as she’s supposed to. It won’t be long until she beats that game and we can move on to Madden or Ghost Recon.

    Also, just last week she finally realized her dream of opening the fridge. Due to a lack of height, before she wasn’t quite able to get enough leverage to break the suction hold on the door. But once she got the door open, as well as the fact that she’s known “beer” for months now, we were able to put two and two together. I can now sit back comfortably in my favorite chair and say “go get Daddy a beer please” and I don’t get any whining, or a comment about how lazy I am, or told to get off my ass and get it myself. I just get a cold, fresh brew right in my hand in under 30 seconds. Now in my book, that is definitely a pro to having kids.

  10. This is excellent… I’m glad to see my recruiting effort is paying off. Although, I’m a little concerned with some of the “men” out there that readily admit they need to get permission from their wife/girlfriend before coming home with an Xbox.

    As a prospective teammate, this worries me… Will you have to ask your wife if it’s ok to provide cover fire? Before grabbing a rocket launcher, does your wife need to give you her blessing? I can’t stress this enough, we’ve got enough distractions on this team (The Chizzler) without wives/girlfriends going Yoko Ono on this outfit…

    The best advice I can give you is to not even ask for permission. If you weren’t smart enough to include Xbox ownership in a prenuptual agreement, there’s no way you’re getting one now. Your wife can detect when something might bring some happiness into your life, and her intuition is in place to stop it. Your best bet is to simply apologize, and buy her a new “DVD player” that coincidentally has “Xbox” written on it…

  11. Sorry for my lack of comments. I have been playing a huge amount of college basketball 2005 on the side of our halo wars. I hope that all of my teamates can throw me props as the team mascot. If it was not for my loud screams and constant badgering of opponents and teammates alike we would not conquer any foe. Lately we have been on a groove that is viscious and ruthless. Bailes if you ever get your crap together and get a christbox I would love to work you over. To all applying I suggest a combo of beer and cheese puffs as war rations. Good luck.

  12. If you need someone to run around and draw enemy fire, I am your man. I work reasonably well as a human shield also. Sometimes it may take me a few kills to figure out who is on my team. I have a strange fondness for the needler. If this qualifies me for the Zillionaires sign me up.

  13. It warrants mentioning, Pete has answered the call and filled in quite ably a few times for us in the last couple weeks. Here’s his profile:

    Peteosaurus
    Occupation: Pharmacist
    Weapon of Choice: The Needler
    Strengths: Always is in position to cover teammates. A model cadet, follows orders from commanding officers with an emphatic “Sir Yes Sir!” and a crisp salute.

    Weaknesses: As alluded to above, if there’s ever a situation where Solo merely wounds me with friendly fire, Peteosaurus is always there to finish the job.

  14. contrary to what you believe, “accidently” killing MR in the heat of battle is planned by everyone else on the team. we all make it so MR can’t hear us and we try and find him and take’em out so we don’t hear any commands. even napolean was banished from his army.

  15. Occupation: Student
    Strenght:Susidale Gunner/Proficent Driver
    Availability: Mainly Weekends, Friday-Sunday, from 7 to whenever

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