This is my favorite writing assignment I ever got from Andrew Mason, a weird, funny guy who allowed me to make a living being a weird, funny guy:
The following are never-before-printed responses from Andrew Mason to Fortune Magazine on the subject of Miniature Dollhouses:
You’re a 29 year-old Internet entrepreneur who majored in music. Not the stereotypical miniatures collector. How did you first get passionate about miniatures in general, and dollhouse miniatures in particular?
First we should clarify for the uninitiated. When I say “miniature dollhouses,” I’m not being redundant about the size of regular dollhouses, which are already relatively small. I’m kind of a stickler in that I feel that “true” miniature dollhouses must be small enough to represent a dollhouse *inside* a dollhouse. I first became an MDH-head on a 6th grade field trip to the fabled Wisconsin oddities museum, The House on The Rock. Their Dollhouse Room is a vital pilgrimage for anyone even remotely interested in handcrafted Victorians. When I saw that the little plates had real little silverware on them, I realized that there was a whole tiny, secret world out there, just waiting to be explored.
How many miniature dollhouses do you own? Where do you store them? Are they kept on display? Are visitors allowed to touch?
A lot of the collection is still at my parents place since they’re so precarious to move. Like most serious miniaturists, most of it stays in private climate-controlled storage, but I rotate my in-house exhibition seasonally, with the occasional holiday flourish. I just commissioned these amazing chroma-shifting fiber optic Christmas lights that are like the size of pin pricks. I recruited one of our development interns to try to synch them to “Carol of the Bells,” so finger’s crossed it’ll be ready before New Years.
What is the most money you’ve ever spent on a miniature? What was it, and how did you acquire it? (got a photo?)
That would definitely be my hand-lacquered Huanghuali ornamental mediation bench I picked up at auction last year as an early B-day present to myself. Supposedly, they had to scale it with a microscope. I’m also, a huge fan of any moving component. Janusz Knopff carves these titanium-weighted windmill blades that will spin for days on their own gravity if you prime them a little nudge. They’re like six grand each, but I’m looking into it.
Will Groupon be offering a deal for the Chicago International miniatures convention this April? Are you going?
I’m not trying to slam anyone in the scene, but can we all agree it’s gotten really commercial? Plus, if I have to watch that glorified whittler Marlene Wertz smugly accept another Minnie Award for Most Historically Accurate Colonial, I swear I’m going to whip a chifforobe at her temple.
The Groupon Guide to: Local Commercials
No matter the business, these premises for local commercials are sure to get customers lining up to your door—assuming they watch a lot of daytime and late-night television. Try any of the following ideas:
• A man in a gorilla costume jumps up and down on a used car for being too expensive.
• A frighteningly incomplete computer-animated leprechaun says your store’s mattresses “are no SHAM—they ROCK!”
• A black-and-white close-up of an old woman looking frightened. When the old woman uses your product or service, the picture returns to color as normal.
• All text! Can’t go wrong with text!
• Retired minor-league baseball pitcher Carey Mazzuchellio throws a baseball … right at the camera? No, not really, but it sure looks like it once the graphics come together.
This is a real, real, real promotional cartoon from @Groupon by the Groupon Humor Team that is real.
New insanely funny / creepy video from The @Groupon Humor Team.
Read the entire Pet Mumbler episode guide here.
I think this was my idea. I know I came up with “Clembough,” and the superweapon bit at the end. #work
The Groupon Guide to: Forgotten Video Games
As more and more video games are rebooted, sequeled, and adapted into hit procedural dramas and breakfast pastries, some 8-bit classics have fallen by the wayside. What are some classic video games you forgot to remember?
• Battle Brothers (ActivoVision, 1989): In this high-octane punch ‘em up, two rad brothers (Clint and Vortex) must survive a concrete gauntlet in order to rescue the president’s stolen bike. Forgotten Fact: In Battle Brothers, both players could accidentally cause damage to each other, resulting in exciting real-life fistfights between real-life brothers.
• Swords & Squares (Dønderhuff ElectroPublishing, 1981): This brain-enhancing game of medieval strategy pits dueling royal courts against each other, and bestows players with a dot-matrix certificate at the end that assigns performance-based ranks, ranging from Knight of the Round to Horsepox Survivor. Forgotten Fact: Game is essentially chess.
• Olympics® ‘87! (Pixellius, 1986): You play as Torcho®, the Olympic Torch®, as he is passed hand-to-hand between different athletes on his globetrotting journey. Don’t tip over and set their sweat-slicked hair ablaze! Forgotten Fact: Not affiliated with the Olympics in any way, Olympics® ‘87 holds the record for video game most frequently mentioned in court transcripts.
Originally ran on Groupon.com, 1.25.12
Here is a joke I wrote, smelted into an actual bronze plaque, hanging in the headquarters of Groupon. This is not my entire job, just the only part that involves molten metals.
As I often do, I have a humor piece running on the bottom of the Featured Deal on Groupon.com today. Click above to see it in it’s beautiful context:
With the rising popularity of mobile computing devices, home phones, and electricskywriting, there are more reasons than ever not to go to work. Maintain your productivity with these sure-fire tips to telecommuting:
Set Up a Home Office: The easiest way to ensure that you have everything you need to work from home is to systematically steal those things from your workplace one at a time. Don’t forget to smuggle home a water cooler—you’ll need water to live—as well as a few coworkers to station near it for casual banter and dancing-show recaps.
Get an Internet Connection: Also known as Radio Mail, these invisible signals will allow the boss to see you through your computer and make sure you’re working.
Turn Off the TV: If you’re really serious about getting anything done today, you’re going to have to turn the television off. Now turn it back on again—did that get your retro video-game system working? No? Maybe try blowing in it—don’t give up!
Stay Accessible: The only certain way to be productive at home is to check in at the office once every hour, just to make sure everything is going smoothly without you.
I apologize for drawing pictures on your television. It was an emergency.