Justin Achilli

Month: September, 2002

Beyond the Shroud of Death



My Interview at COBRA

Cobra Commander: Thanks for coming in on such short notice. Please, have a seat. Can I offer you some coffee?

Justin: No, thanks. I don’t drink coffee. I don’t do caffeine.

Cobra Commander: Interesting. [scribbles notes -- I'm assuming he was considering the savings he'd enjoy through my health premiums] Decaf, then? Or a bottle of water?

Justin: No, that’s alright.

Destro: Commander, if you don’t mind, let’s get down to business.

Cobra Commander: Of course. Let’s see here, Mr. Archill. It says here on your application that you’re proficient in all sorts of dumb, goofy-looking and highly inefficient small arms?

Justin: That’s correct. I’m also familiar with the deployment of poison-gas-filled balloons.

Destro: So you’d be looking for infantry-level work?

Justin: Mm, not entirely. I’ve done some research on your organization and I think I’d be better used in either a Crimson Guard or sabotage capacity. That Firefly guy you have? He’s the shit. He and I could totally work a program together.

Destro: Well, to be frank, Mr. Archuleta, both of those are typically promoted fields. At present, COBRA’s looking to round out its Viper ranks and BATS-maintenance divisions.

Justin: I understand, of course, but I just think you’d be wasting much of my potential there. And if I can speak frankly as well, I feel that your organization devotes too many of its precious resources toward maintaining mercenaries. No offense, Destro, but money can’t guarantee loyalty. You have huge liabilities in, say, Major Bludd and Doctor Mindbender. I’m looking for a position where my skill is appreciated but I can also grow into tenure.

Cobra Commander: Perhaps in the Copperhead class? Or as a FANG operator?

Justin: I’m not qualified to fly a FANG, and they’re not the most reliable of your pooled cavalry anyway, commander. I’m certain you know that.

Destro [laughing]: Yeah, they’re built by GM.

Justin: I figured as much.

Destro: Perhaps in the SNAKE corps?

Justin: Wow, I wasn’t aware that you still used those. No thanks.

Cobra Commander: Destro was kidding.

Justin: Oh. Sorry.

Cobra Commander: Well, rather than just run down the list of our openings — they’re all entry-level, to be honest — what do you think you can offer COBRA? Let’s build from there.

Justin: Well, if you’ll review my resume again, you’ll see that I used to be in New Order. Perhaps you could revive the “Cold Slither” project.

Destro: Oh, I highly doubt that’ll happen.

Justin: Fair enough. Well, I was also an amateur skateboarder, so I’m familiar with the “extreme” sports. Maybe that sets some groundwork for CLAW operation? That thing’s pretty rad.

Cobra Commander: That’s certainly a possibility.

Justin: Er, does a snake actually have claws?

Cobra Commander: Pardon?

Justin: It’s just that, if your motif with COBRA is snakes, shouldn’t you stick to stuff that actually relates to them? I mean, a snake doesn’t even have feet or paws, let alone CLAWs. And the Stinger jeep? Snakes don’t have stingers. They have fangs. And the Crimson Attack Tank… come on. CAT? What does a cat have to do with a snake? You’re not even trying.

Destro: He has a point.

Cobra Commander: Fuck you guys.

Dingo-Sting Malingo

I accidentally ordered some nachos when we were at Origins this year and this is what they gave me. While waiting on a trip to LA, I ordered some nachos — intentionally — and this is what they gave me. Go to the ballpark (if you’re crappy and like baseball) and order nachos and this is what they’ll give you.

People, these are not nachos. These are grocery-store corn chips with some petrochemical goo served either on the side or drizzled apocalyptically over the top. Most of the time they are made of poison, but sometimes poison is merely an ingredient.

The number-one condiment in the United States is salsa. That’s right. You’d think that a nation that so readily embraces the topping culture of another country would at least apply some degree of stringency to its culinary art. No deal. Right here, you have the Platonic ideal of nachos, the essence of nachos. As a people, we have wholeheartedly accepted debasement of the nacho despite an obvious affection for the higher things as evidenced by our love of salsa.

To my Mexican peoples, I am deeply sorry.

To the barons of the American nacho industry, it’s on. Hell hath no fury like the country’s newest superhero, Doc Nacho. I will not rest until I at least get some diced tomatoes or some onions on top of the iconic nationwide nacho.

No, those desiccated little jalapenos don’t count.

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