The Wheel February 16, 2007 7:28 AM   Subscribe

In the middle of this thread, robocop is bleeding has written a truly awesome short story. Shades of... I dunno, Chuck Palahniuk, maybe? It's seriously that good. rib, have you published an anthology? 'Cause I'd buy it.
posted by Faint of Butt to MetaFilter-Related at 7:28 AM (59 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

George Saunders was what came to my mind. So great. And, he's a librarian!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:45 AM on February 16, 2007


Wow, that was fantastic. Thank you for pointing it out.
posted by wells at 7:46 AM on February 16, 2007


Thanks for the tip, that story slipped under my radar. Great stuff.
posted by dead_ at 7:48 AM on February 16, 2007


Great call out.
posted by allkindsoftime at 7:51 AM on February 16, 2007


Say, that is rather good. Cheers, robocop; and thanks for the callout FoB.
posted by Mister_A at 7:53 AM on February 16, 2007


That's a nice story. Remember that one time that one guy posted that one thing and then got all up into the "virtiol" thing? This one's a lot better.
posted by Milkman Dan at 7:57 AM on February 16, 2007


More robocop short stories: 1, 2.
posted by danb at 7:59 AM on February 16, 2007


I traded them to my friend Jerry for pot which, when found, got me free gas for a week thanks to a good spin.

Heh.
posted by cortex at 8:01 AM on February 16, 2007


These are called Comment Fables and r.i.b. is probably the best of a number of really very creative MeFites.
posted by Plutor at 8:01 AM on February 16, 2007 [4 favorites]


In the movie, he will be played by David Sedaris.
posted by boo_radley at 8:02 AM on February 16, 2007


What Plutor said. Effigy2000 and freebird leap most readily to mind.

And "virtiol" was William Gibson's worst novel ever, in my opinion.
posted by cortex at 8:03 AM on February 16, 2007


nevermind the short story, what I want to know is why robocop is bleeding
posted by matteo at 8:05 AM on February 16, 2007


The Fantasy baseball fable is HILARIOUS.
posted by matty at 8:12 AM on February 16, 2007


Because of the fucking wheel you ignorant heel!
posted by Mister_A at 8:14 AM on February 16, 2007


I'm convinced a good portion of MeFi users have something similar they use to comment in threads.

"Awesome thread, too bad the wheel sez I gotta post 'Meh.'"

Until about half way through that story I was planning on sending it to my wife, telling her I had found the perfect solution for dealing with our five year old.
posted by bondcliff at 8:15 AM on February 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


That was a great story, and haunting. I avoided that thread like the plague, because I think my parents did a great job with two kids as dissimilar as my brother and I. I think RCIB's story really hilights the fact that every kid is different, and should be treated differently. For example, I respond well to punishment, but I am often my worst critic. My brother just shuts down when he's punished (I didn't want that Nintendo anyway!), but given the opportunity to think well of himself, he really blossoms.
posted by muddgirl at 8:23 AM on February 16, 2007


if we praise him he wont bother writing anymore.
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:15 AM on February 16, 2007


Ban him!!!
posted by Floydd at 9:26 AM on February 16, 2007


Wow, thanks for all the kind words, all.

Outside of one of the "Dupe your parents into buying a 50$ book to see their Jimmy's poem" volumes and a re-printing of "The Protocols of the Elders of Keith" in The Mule News, I've never been published, so the CommentFables page on the wiki is the best way to track my "body" of "work."

After the reaction to The Wheel (and the prodding of my wife), I've been pondering putting together my totally spurious and mostly fabricated memoirs. I'm not sure what they'd be about, likely some Tristram Shandyish tale covering my own imagined adventures. If the Freys of the world can get on Oprah for making up stories about drug use, I can only imagine the wealth and fame made up stories about horrible childhood reward devices would net me.

Of course, that means I'd have to get more serious about my writing. The twenty to forty minute coffee-induced, editing free writing jags that birth most of the CommentFables would have to give way to, urk, professionalism.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:28 AM on February 16, 2007


A fantastic bit of writing!
posted by blaneyphoto at 9:37 AM on February 16, 2007


Your bursts of inspiration wouldn't have to give way, they'd just have to share space with the "professionalism". This story is well written and fairly polished as it is. I'm sure it can be improved on incrementally, but you've already done the indispensible thing, which is getting your whole idea down on paper, so to speak.

PS what is up with MetaNice? I think I'm starting to like it.
posted by Mister_A at 9:39 AM on February 16, 2007


That was good. Very good.
posted by Cyrano at 9:46 AM on February 16, 2007


I suppose I'm the only one disappointed to find out it's fiction.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:13 AM on February 16, 2007


Robocop's story about encryption gone horribly wrong is amazingly brilliant and complemented the thread's exploratory vibe perfectly. I would certainly buy a collection if it was in print.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:23 AM on February 16, 2007


Robo is my hero. And I second the compilation. I would buy it. Heck. I would sell it.

And I would give him 5 times the price if there are pictures of him in his underwear. On a bear skin rug. In the glow of a raging fireplace. Hugging a golden lab puppy.

Mmmmm. Dreamy.
posted by tkchrist at 10:30 AM on February 16, 2007


IT SURE IS A SHAME THAT IMG TAG IS GONE
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:34 AM on February 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


Those are great, rib, thank you!

PS - Stfu Mister_A, lest ye jinx it!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:38 AM on February 16, 2007


Upon non-preview, I take it back.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:39 AM on February 16, 2007


As long as it's Fight Club Palahniuk and not Haunted: a Novel Palahniuk (perhaps only the third or four novel I've ever put down and not picked back up again). The latter would just be fightin' words.
posted by The God Complex at 12:34 PM on February 16, 2007


Awesome story, I've seen and appreciated earlier RIB efforts, but would have missed this one if not for the callout, which I never thought to do myself *chagrin*.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:41 PM on February 16, 2007


After the reaction to The Wheel (and the prodding of my wife)

I liked The Wheel myself, but I don't think you need to be talking about prodding your wife here in MetaTalk.

O Paddy dear, and did you hear the news that going round?
The robocop is bleeding now on MetaTalk's gray ground;
He writes delightful stories but he'll have domestic strife,
For he's gone and started talking 'bout the prodding of his wife.
I met with Matthew Haughey and he took me by the hand,
And he said, "How's poor old robocop, and how does he stand?"
He's the most distressful crature ye've seen in all your life;
He's in trouble now for talking 'bout the prodding of his wife.

posted by languagehat at 1:13 PM on February 16, 2007 [4 favorites]


And "virtiol" was William Gibson's worst novel ever, in my opinion.

That's probably why he never wrote it.
posted by delmoi at 1:18 PM on February 16, 2007


Wow. Man, you should definitely write more stuff.
posted by equalpants at 1:23 PM on February 16, 2007


delmoi, I think it's a Virtual Light + Idoru sort of joke.
posted by cgc373 at 1:26 PM on February 16, 2007


RIB...

I'd buy it. I'd sell it too.

More importantly, the editor in me would *love* the challenge to edit it, so email (in profile) me if you'd like some help with that.

I'll gladly send you my edits to some of your stuff mentioned above, if you'd care to get a flavor for my editorial style.
posted by allkindsoftime at 1:33 PM on February 16, 2007


with a little bit of Noonan's Vurt thrown in for good measure
posted by cortex at 1:35 PM on February 16, 2007


Go robo!

Man, I'm glad I don't have a Robocop-related handle, because it would be a one-way ticket to gimmickposter-dom. I thought for like five minutes how to work a mention of baby food into this.
posted by zusty at 2:21 PM on February 16, 2007


I was relieved to realize it was fiction, and yet, it works so well because people are just crazy enough that it almost could have been true. Everybody has something in their life that they can compare to the Wheel.
posted by bingo at 3:53 PM on February 16, 2007


Robo, that was awesome. Pick a number.
posted by shmegegge at 4:09 PM on February 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


It was very well written. Congratulations, you deserve all the accolades you are getting.

I too was relieved when you followed up later in that thread and revealed that it was largely fiction. I know there are Mefites who have undergone some hellish stuff, and that story was just plausible enough to be chilling.
posted by quin at 5:04 PM on February 16, 2007


As much as I love the robocop, I worry what will happen should the bleeding ever stop.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:10 PM on February 16, 2007


IRFH, we worry about the same thing with you. What happens when the clouds go away?
posted by quin at 5:13 PM on February 16, 2007


"What happens when the clouds go away?"

The sun shines out Robert Reed's ass.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:45 PM on February 16, 2007


The Dice Man cometh.
posted by seanyboy at 5:45 PM on February 16, 2007


I agree, it was really well done. When I read it I wasn't sure what to think. I didn't want to doubt your story (that whole truth can be stranger than fiction thing), yet I wasn't sure about believing it either. It definitely got to me though.

Takes talent to write something that affects someone enough to make them want to say something, yet leaves them feeling completely speechless at the same time. Good job. Keep writing, robocop.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:46 PM on February 16, 2007


The clouds never go away, quin. Never.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:24 PM on February 16, 2007


thanks for calling out that story, and calling attention to the thread... how on earth did I miss it?! And yes, robocot, please please please work on getting a collection of short stories together - heck, even a blog. Well done on so many levels...
posted by rmm at 12:26 AM on February 17, 2007


I was astonished, amazed and then when I realized it was fiction thrilled that I had been taken for a ride. Get yourself published, RIB. I'll buy a few copies. Heck, if no publishing house is smart enough to pick you up, self-publish and let us know where we can find it.

Er, you can leave the photo out of my copy.
posted by maxwelton at 3:45 AM on February 17, 2007


Totally not overrated. I'm personally heartened that your corpus resides solely embedded in archived MeFi threads. Like finding money in your sock drawer or something. Great.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:31 AM on February 17, 2007


RIB, you do indeed remind me a bit of George Saunders [that's a strong compliment].

He has similar descriptions of difficulty getting started with writing until he found his voice. Your comment fable reminded me a lot of this, which nearly brings me to tears when I read it.
posted by docpops at 1:56 PM on February 17, 2007


she asked him for forgiveness and to pick a number. He said yes, he forgave her and four, which I guess was the B response on Shelly’s chart so she tried to slit her wrists with a pen.
Perfect.
Congrats, robo.
Thnaks, Faint of Butt.
posted by bru at 7:50 PM on February 17, 2007


While it is a fantastic piece of writing ....

God, I almost hate to say this with everyone else being so positive, but -- am I the only one who felt vaguely manipulated and lied to?
posted by webmutant at 8:58 PM on February 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Nah, I bet robocop is bleeding and his sister felt that way, too, webmutant. The Wheel was cruel.
posted by cgc373 at 9:08 PM on February 18, 2007


am I the only one who felt vaguely manipulated and lied to?

Such is the nature of the shaggy dog story.
posted by cortex at 12:08 AM on February 19, 2007


not to nitpick, but i don't think this counts as a shaggy dog story. the shaggy dog story is supposed to be exceptionally long and have either no point to it or such a lame point that it couldn't possibly be worth a really long, really boring and probably repetitive story to get to it.

this is just a short story where rib neglected, at first, to explicitly state it's not autobiographical.
posted by shmegegge at 12:47 AM on February 19, 2007


this is just a short story where rib neglected, at first, to explicitly state it's not autobiographical.

Well, if we want to get really pedantic: it's a short story where rib neglected, mischievously and with full understanding of the (gently, benignly) deceptive context in which he was posting, to explicitly state it's not autobiographical.

So you're right: it's not be a pure shaggy-dog story. But there's definitely a taking-the-piss element of riding the story from plausibility into the eventual undeniable reveal.
posted by cortex at 9:12 AM on February 19, 2007


there's definitely a taking-the-piss element of riding the story from plausibility into the eventual undeniable reveal.

this is true.
posted by shmegegge at 1:35 PM on February 19, 2007


The ending is purposely over-the-top to let those folks that believed that my patents would ground someone for getting straight-As a way out.

However, as a story it has thus far been a bitch to work into my otherwise invented memoirs.

How can a story have the same pathos if you know from the start that it's an invention?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:05 PM on February 19, 2007


How can a story have the same pathos if you know from the start that it's an invention?

Use it as the basis for starting a war.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:39 PM on February 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


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