You probably thought I was asleep. That was your first mistake. Just remember that between when you first started reading up to now, your life was in my hands, and if I wanted you dead I could have taken your life anytime I wanted.
Anyway, please take advantage of what little welcome I can offer for returning to another hard-hitting The Pood and You. I bet you’re wondering what’s been happening with your friend Max-amillion, and even though I never asked you and it’s none of your business anyway I suppose I’ll let you know. You might remember a little less than a year ago how I trounced my roommate Connor in a best out of fifty-one to a hundred match, I think it was. Well, since he’s such a sore loser and can’t bear to admit that I beat him in a completely fair fight, relations have been strained around the apartment and it led to me to take an indefinite hiatus from the environs to the basement of our building, until further notice. I’m still working on getting my rent adjusted in light of the fact that I’m no longer occupying the space I pay for, but that’s neither here nor there.
The decision was a hard one to make, but necessary. I am as of now completely cut off from the world, with no contact from any family, or the few true friends or the many flatterers I have in spite of my best efforts. Let the rest of the world burn for all I care, let war or famine or death or pestilence take what it will and let God sort out the rest. Until I deem otherwise, it will be only these four dingy brick walls, and weird wires and pipes and stuff, and also the washer and dryer for the apartment building, and I suppose the residents of the building who will use them every now and then, to keep me company. And in the mad dash to vacate my private premises and lock the door behind me, I only had time to collect a handful of essential sundries: my kettlebell of course, my smartphone, as it is still logged in to several video streaming services that Connor is still paying for and doesn’t know I have access to, and this one fitted bed sheet to lay my head.
That’s right, my dear brothers and sisters in peak physical condition. 2020 is going to be my year, the year I live literally like a Spartan hoplite of old, nothing but the clothes on my back, my weapon of choice, and my smartphone. There is absolutely nothing about the experience of those men, bred-for-war from the womb for no other purpose than spilling the blood of their enemies, that you could not literally apply to my current situation******. And just like those brave hearty men, I have a strict regiment that I follow daily as if my life and the life of my brothers of the phalanx depend on it. While your run-of-the-mill schlub on unemployment may sit around in slippers and pajamas and whittle away their days watching internet pornography or the latest insipid five-hour-long true crime documentary on Netflix, a true warrior like me always keeps his personal space tidy. After all, I never do know when I have to wake at a moment’s notice and strategically depart this basement for another place to stay in my isolation, and what am I going to do, just bunch it into a wrinkled bundle like this?
******(VERY URGENT AND IMPORTANT UPDATE: I am writing this message a week after this post’s original publication, and it has just now come to my attention that the old Spartan soldiers practiced sodomy and pederastry while in the field. I was unaware of this disgusting fact when I initally wrote this post. I am, as I made very clear many times before, NOT GAY. Let this be your one warning to refrain from any snarky comments and emails regarding the above. I will not be reading any such comments and I will block and report anyone who attempts to do so.)
Well, let’s get started. You might be aware of the fitted sheet’s notorious reputation for being nigh-impossible to fold. Well, the much-vaunted Persian armies of a thousand nations were said to be nigh-unstoppable, and you all know how that panned out. Although I have mastered the fitted sheet fold quite easily, quite like the way I master every goal I set before me, the truth is that the sheet’s notoriety is ill-deserved, and anyone can conquer it. All it takes is a little tenacity, and a quick visit to a youtube video from Martha Stewart’s channel called “How to Fold a Fitted Sheet,” which was the first link among a list that populated on my smartphone after a perfunctory search. Those who would scoff at my source for this information, by the way, are of course revealed as even bigger fools. One should never consider the source of your military intelligence, only its usefulness.
Now, pay attention as I do this. I will most likely only sporadically mutter instructions to myself on how to fold my sheet, so you’re going to have to do the best you can to hear what little bits of information I cast among you like pearls to swine, all while making sure you look closely while I flawlessly make the fold myself. The right corner, goes over this other corner…
I have to admit, there is something about the daily ritual of folding the fitted sheet, some sort of quality that invigorates me. Thinking about my old Spartan comrades, how they marched across the ancient Greek countryside, annihilating any obstacle that stood in their way and laying waste to that obstacle’s village and slaughtering their friends and family and everyone they ever knew to keep anyone from exacting vengeance against them… thinking about them with only their weapons, literally nothing on their backs, just those red codpieces to cover their modesty, and showing off an immaculately-sculpted physique that displayed to the armies standing against them how they lived their lives in no other service except for slaughter, a set of toned abs, pecs, and biceps in perfect condition, dare I say made so even without the help of the kettlebell (but that’s not their fault I suppose, the ancients made do without the use of many modern conveniences, and the pood and a half should surely be counted among them)… Well, there’s just something about it that, despite my strained living conditions that I imposed on myself, makes me feel even more alive. More virile, even, perhaps there’s even a sexual energy to it******.
******(EXTREMELY IMPORTANT UPDATE, PLEASE BE SURE TO READ: this message unfortunately had to be written a week after the last update, as the malicious comments and posts are still coming through. Again, please be informed that I WAS NOT AWARE THAT THE SPARTANS ENGAGED IN RAMPANT HOMOSEXUALITY when I originally wrote this post. Please do not look into the above paragraph for anything other than what it says at face value. You have been warned twice now, and I cannot be held responsible for any consequences that are to follow.)
But first things first. Before I can ever even think of letting the sun shine on my face, I have to fold up my single possession. If I can’t tend to the meager space where I lay my head, who will…
I have an announcement to make. I have made a complete professional break with Martha Stewart, effective immediately. I have no time whatsoever for charlatans and fakirs like Stewart who peddle false information with airs of “home decor expertise.” As far as I am concerned, she deserves to be imprisoned for the far worse crime of disseminating fraudulent and harmful information on how, ahem, not to fit a folded sheet. I will be writing several letters to my congressman in due time alerting him to exactly this public menace.
I, of course, already knew this going in, and I was testing you. Obviously, you failed this first test. You should never take the advice of a superior warrior at face value. Why would a superior warrior ever reveal his secrets to his own very survival to a weakling, who could then possibly exploit them with treachery and cowardice? I know how to fold a fitted sheet on my own, and should you glean even a little bit of knowledge on the matter by merely observing me than all the better for you. This time, I am throwing in with the advice of one Jill Cooper, from livingonadimetogetrich.com. I really can’t argue with a URL like that, though I suppose the Spartans of old never got rich so much as took however many riches they needed.
Now then. Flatten out the sheet and grab the points on each end, flipping the right over the left…
As I was saying before, there’s nothing quite like firing up the pure virilty of a man sculpted by the pood and a half than the Spartan act of folding a fitted sheet. Perhaps when this is all over I will take my first step outside with the ferocious libido of a single lion ruling his pride, and maybe with that energy I can finally find the right woman to make my wife, maybe three, five, no, seven kids to go with it. It depends on how many of them survive the rite of passage to bear the honor of being created with half of my DNA. It of course invovles discarding them should there be any physical defects upon them at birth, and while the customs of old were admittedly far harsher than they are now and discardment meant an immediate early death, I suppose I can find some room in my heart to give one away for adoption. If a homosexual couple really wants to take care of a lame, slow, or misshapen baby of mine in the hypothetical, if extremely unlikely, instance I were to father one, than who am I to refuse them?
Should one of my hardy progeny, male or female I should make clear, survive this first trial-by-fire, it is from then on a life of pain and hardship for them, of living in a basement with only a fitted sheet, a parental-controlled smart device of their own, and of course a pood and a half of solid iron. For them it is a life of learning in-and-out all the blog posts of their father, Max-amillion, to prepare them for the harsh and unloving world that awaits them, a world far more harsh and unloving than I would be to them.
At twelve years old, should I deem them ready, it is time for their final test, in which they would sneak into a zoo late at night and slay a ferocious wild cat, with only their bare hands to do what needs to be done. If they return to me the next morning, covered in the blood of the fallen beast and presenting me with its severed head bearing its fangs frozen in the last moment of its life, only then they have the honor of truly being my child, and everything they do from that moment on they will do knowing that they are their own person and are fully responsible. It would almost be as though I wouldn’t have to actually be their parent anymore, as I already made sure they did what they had to do to not even need a parent. In that case, the highest honor I could bestow upon them is to never give them another thought for as long as the gods deign to let either they or I live. And should they not return from this final test? Well, I mean, yeah, I still wouldn’t have to give them much thought.
But enough of that for now. How can a woman worthy of me ever herself think me worthy if I don’t even care enough about my sole possession in this world, to simply bundle it into a wrinkled ball? Now watch as I slide my fingers along the elastic, then bring the fold to…
The question you should be asking yourself now is, what did you really expect from an amateur like Jill Cooper, who peddled nearly the same advice as Martha Stewart? If a consummate professional and cheat like Stewart couldn’t hack it for a Spartan in isolation, then what made you think the even more egregious phony like Ms. Cooper could rise above her? Well, she will have several strongly-worded comments on her youtube channel to look forward to. Ms. Cooper has made a dangerous enemy in me, and I will not let her forget that unfortunate fact for as long as either she is brave enough to stay online, or as I still have battery life to power my smartphone up until I go marauding at night and seize a replacement charging cable for myself.
Let’s move on now to Marie Kondo, a supposed expert on minimalist home furnishing made popular by her homeland in Japan. While of course I am hesitant to brook any advice from the orient, the perpetual enemy of the West and Western man for millennia on end, it yet remains to be seen if this is the method that will win out among the rest.
At the risk of spoiling the ending prematurely, I have to admit that I don’t hold out much hope for this maneuver. Kondo espouses the strategy of laying the sheet flat on the ground, and honestly I am not surprised that one from a country like Japan, the only one in the world that still refuses to build itself a standing army, that willingly mandates butter over guns into its very constitution, would encourage a method in which the sheet lies helplessly on its back. A Spartan would never lie on its back, except in repose side by side with his fellow brothers in arms, spending the night in each other’s arms in mutual admiration as much as in preparation for the upcoming onslaught in the morning******.
******(IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR THE THIRD TIME: I’m not going to reiterate once again that I AM EXTREMELY HETEROSEXUAL AND NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT GAY. Nor will I signify with a response those idiots who think I should just remove any supposedly “homoerotic” content in my post so as to avoid these online confrontations in the first place. Why should I revise my own words just to suit the needs of weak-minded readers who see this ridiculous perversion everywhere they look? Instead, I will put it to you to think about why you are so concerned with the sexuality of a complete stranger online. Is it projection? Are you obsessed with the private sex life of a man online devoted to personal excellence and top physical condition because YOU are in fact a member of that deviant lifestyle, and can’t bear to live with yourself as such a deviant unless you insist that somehow everyone else who is otherwise your superior every way shares this deviancy with you? Think about it…)
I can already tell it’s going to fail. It’s just as doomed of a venture as the very idea that the tiny island empire could have possibly overthrown all of Asia as well as the United States, with what, a few airplanes? It may not be fair to hoist squarely upon Ms. Kondo’s shoulders the entire shame of a doomed wannabe world power like her home country, but since when is the whole world a fair place?
You fools, you drooling utter imbeciles! The city is in flames, the barbarians are at the gates, and you come to me for advice on how to fit a folded sheet?! I, who devoted my life to forging my body in the purifying fire of the pood and a half? Do you really think that if I were in a burning house, and with nothing but the clothes on my back I had time to only retrieve my kettlebell, my smartphone, and one other thing, that I would waste time and effort to get my fitted sheet?!
Idiots! This was a test, and you failed it three times in a row! As hardily sculpted by the pood and a half as I am, I have no need for fripperies like a fitted sheet! What do I need for a space to lay my head, other than the hard concrete of the basement floor? Whether a bed of feathers and silk, the chard concrete, or the dirty bare earth, what do I possibly need from any surface on the ground except for gravity to keep my massive physique from floating into outer space?
It’s not the plumed helmets and swords and shields and hulking physique in a red codpiece that makes a Spartan. It’s not even their Greekness that makes a Spartan. It’s their devotion to excellence, their single-minded mindset to train, to be prepared for anything. And that’s exactly what I intend to do! I will not just train with the goal of perfecting myself, but also that of exacting the righteous vengeance I deserve against all my enemies! Just like when King Leonidas himself avenged Sparta against the perfidious Persians at the Hot Gates!
I see their very faces burnt ineffable in my eyes, and the fury it causes me while I train gives me strength. One day, Connor, I will take my leave of my self-imposed exile, and I will return to my rightful place in the apartment. I will finally be strong enough to beat you in a fair UFC-rules match of best one-hundred-and-one out of two hundred. For a second time, of course. But that goes without saying.
Jill Cooper? Let’s see you get rich on a dime in your sham blog articles and youtube videos when I break every one of your fingers one by one. Let’s see you fold a fitted sheet then! And Martha Stewart? I promise you the four dark brick walls I have isolated myself in will be nothing compared to the four walls you will once again find yourself in, for life!
Marie Kondo? I’m on my back not because I am weak, like your fitted sheets, but because I am feigning weakness to exploit your misguided compassion and overcome you once and for all! When I am done with you, nothing will ever spark joy for you ever again.
And that goes for every fraudulent blog and website and channel that set out to deceive me! Better Homes and Gardens, Mattressclarity.com, Just Another Bloggin’ Mom From Iowa, all will fall like the vaunted thousand nations of the Persian army before my might and unshakeable resolve!
And that goes for all you, too. All of you reading this, and even those rare few who are not, you are all guilty before me, and you will all receive the hard reckoning that is coming to you, a reckoning you all deserve, whether you are innocent or not.
You will all see one day, when it is far too late. I’ll show you all! Do you hear me, world? 2020 will be MY YEAR!