I consolidated the stories about Fred.


...long live, Hill Blocks View. I miss writing. But the thought of one more round of "welcome backs", or obsessing over stats, or thinking of the clever response to a comment, or the obligation to read everyone else's blog... not so much. So I'll try and write. No pressure. If you feel the need to respond, you can email me. I like email. flipaul@yahoo.com

Monday, April 30, 2012

Zimbabwean Prince Scam.

 I think the key to making money, is to... oh hell, I don't know. If I knew what the key was, I wouldn't be on my zillionth job. I almost think I should just get a regular nine to five job. Nah, that's for suckers. Not for an enterprising young guy like me. I just need to rework a classic, the Nigerian Prince Scam. The problem with the Nigerian Prince Scam is that: one, people are aware of it, and two, there is no reason to trust the scammer.

   What you really need in order for a scam to work, is a reason to trust. So instead of asking for their social security and routing number, I give them mine, that way they can just deposit money right into my account. Also, I send the person a small amount of money first. I may be paying out $50 of my own money, but when I get thousands (or hopefully trillions) of dollars back, it will all be worth it.

Dear Sir or Madam or Other, 

     I am an actual prince from Zimbabwe. Not from Nigeria, those guys are totally fake, and are giving all of us African princes a bad name. To prove I am a real live prince I have enclosed a $50 bill. From your America. I am in need of your assistance. I am being held captive, and your name came up. I thought it would be super fantastic if you held onto my money while I try to escape from the evil money hating zombies who are holding me captive. And then when I escape you can give it back and I will give you another $50. 
     My social security number is 987-65-4320, and my routing number is 0114584906. You can electronically access my account with Bank of America. My password is, Not_a_scam_REALLY! Just make sure that when you are there, you click the deposit button and not the withdrawal one, because they're really close and it's easy to get confused. 

Zimbabwean Prince John Smith

Saturday, April 28, 2012


 I think the key to making money, is to be a sycophant. Professional athletes, movie stars, and musicians are infamous for having posses that follow them around tell them how great they are. I don't know what kind of degree you have to find this kind of employment, but I want some of that. Mike Tyson is the epitome of this type of excess. He gave millions of dollars to his yes-men. But Mike Tyson is now considerably less wealthy, and he lives somewhere that isn't here, so I guess I need to find another person to affirm.

   I found a guy with a face tattoo and gold teeth, just like Mike Tyson, on the street corner by house, I bet he's rich. I'll be his posse. I followed him around for several days, giving him the full flunky treatment. We picked up cans off of the gutter, postulated that Elvis was abducted by space aliens, discussed how unreliable public transportation is, railed incoherently at cellular towers, and found the best places to dumpster dive for dinner. I wholeheartedly agreed with every thing he said.

   Things are working out better than I would have hoped. My main man, keeps me in tin cans and cardboard boxes. He even let me have his old blanket, now that he got a new one from the salvation Army. I get second pick of all dumpster food, and occasionally I get to decide which underpass to sleep under. Me and Cockroach Joe are tight, he totally looks out for me, his only peep.

Friday, April 27, 2012


I think the key to making money, is to jump on a bandwagon, and ride that sucker. I have always been interested in extreme sports, sorry X-TREME sports. Why when I was in High School I participated in X-TREME free running, we called it hurdles. I also was into X-TREME bike vert, we called it making sweet jumps with a 2x4's and a cinder block. But now I am old, and all the good X-TREME stuff is dominated by 20 year olds with neck tattoos. I needed to come up with something X-TREME, that I could dominate and thus get sponsored for and thus make money at.

   I was walking back from the unemployment office when inspiration struck. A band of young ruffians were beating the crap out of one of those mimes in the metallic suits. They took his donation bucket and threw him in a dumpster, and as he sailed past, locked in his imaginary box, I realized I had found it. X-TREME Miming.

   I would do the regular mime bit of being locked in a box or going down stairs or walking into the wind, which quite honestly is boring as hell, but I would do it while jumping off of a cliff or at the bottom of the ocean or in space, which would make it much more exciting. I just needed to get some attention for my new "sport." I dressed up in my best mime garb, went up to the top of the tallest building in town, attached a bungee cord to my ankle and stepped up onto the ledge.
   And then I stood there forever. Nobody noticed me, and you can't exactly draw attention to yourself when you're in mime mode. I did the living statue thing for like 8 hours and not one person even glanced my way. I was about to give up, when a window cleaner on a nearby building saw me and started yelling to the crowd below, "Hey there's a suicidal mime up there. He's gone jump." The crowd cheered. Eager for the show. It was time to X-TREME mime.

   I used my best pulling on a rope mime to step off into nothingness. There was a roar of applause. I walked into the wind, down the stairs while trying to get out of a box. It was very X-TREME. The assembled onlookers continued to cheer. I launched into the living statue part of my routine, I chose Rodin's The Thinker. I hurtled towards the ground with alarming speed, the crowd leaned forward anxious for the conclusion of my performance.
   And then the bungee cord caught. The crowd gasped, shocked that I had stopped falling. Many seemed openly angry that I wasn't going to splat on the sidewalk. I began to pantomime putting on a pair of pants when I discovered why people don't generally bungee off buildings. The recoil from the bungee cord slammed me into the building with enough force that I performed the famous hanging limply upside down pantomime, which was convenient because I was knocked unconscious.

    I awoke a week later in traction. My days as an X-TREME athlete are sadly over.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Writer of Headlines.

I think the key to making money, is to use exploit the fears of your fellow man in order to sell advertising space. It used to be that when a tragedy struck, the newspaper or TV station would simply report on the story. Even the headline would be bland: "President Kennedy Assassinated", or "Titanic Sinks. 1500 Dead." No snap, no pizazz. Who wants to read that story, or hear that report? Nobody. That's who. Especially not precious advertisers who are the life's blood of the news biz.

   I needed to make the news more titillating. The FCC frowns on actually changing the news to fit your needs, but there is no rule about making the headline as dramatic and fanciful as you want. I started slow. It was post-Nixon and there seemed to be evidence that Reagan had sold weapons to anti-communist guerrillas in Central America. I should call my story Reagan Sells Weapons To The Contras. Iran Is Involved. Or I could drop a suffix on it and call the story Iran-ContraGATE. See? Now every body wants to read about it because I tied Nixon's past transgressions to the current situation.

   And it works for everything. If a politician had hired and illegal au pair, it became "NannyGATE." An exposed breast at the Superbowl is NippleGATE. A pay for injury scandal in the NFL became BountyGATE. About the only thing it doesn't work for is a water related story. If there was a drought and the mayor of the town was wasting water, you could never call that story WaterGATE. Because people wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the new Scandal and the original Nixon one. Which brings us to another tool I used.

   Labeling everything a Disaster or a Massacre or a Catastrophe or a Tragedy or any other synonym for Crisis. The above story about the mayor could read "Tragedy At The Mayors House. Water Use Catastrophic. And this is where the TV News has the advantage. You can create a logo for the event that will really stick with the viewers. Any kind of shooting is called a Massacre and is attached to bold, scary lettering and sniper sights.

   But then, I was just too good at my job. Pretty soon, every Tom, Dick, and Harry thought he could drop GATE on a word, or include Disaster with a geographical location and write their own headlines. Newspapers stopped... well, everything. TV producers created events for the breezes, Cataclysmic Spring Winds. Story at nine. And soon nobody would pay my exorbitant fee anymore. And by exorbitant I mean a Starbucks Frappuccino and a pair of clean socks. And that is the absolute true story of how I don't make a living writing Headlines. I titled it Headline-ocalypse. Oh great! They're stealing that one now too.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Velvet Painter.

I think the key to making money, is to be creative. And, I have always been creative. When I was a baby, I had a pair of Jimi Hendrix silk screened diapers. My finger paintings were more creative and avant garde than the other kindergartners. During High School, my graffiti had an aspect of Keith Haring that none of the other kids could pull off. And then one day I glimpsed an art form, that was sent from art heaven, itself. I glimpsed a magnificent picture of a virile Elvis, brought to rapturous glory against the backdrop of velvet midnight.

   I was dumfounded in it's simple brilliance. I was inspired as an artist, like I had never been inspired. Not even during the great leather jacket period of '97. I immediately went to the local art supply store to buy up their stock of velvet, so I could commence with my art making. They haughtily informed me that they didn't sell velvet, and that if I wished to purchase velvet I should try a craft store, right next to the crocheting. They said it with such obvious disdain that I wanted to stab them in the face with their precious inking nibs. Instead I told them that Thomas Kinkade is a more successful artist than they will ever be, and left. Their heart rending howls let me know the truth of my statement had crushed their tiny pretentious spirits.
Not a real Kinkade.
   I went to a fabric store and discovered roll upon roll of the dark feathery fabric of the gods. I was euphoric. I couldn't believe how amazing it felt against my skin. I would have rubbed against it forever but the security guard and his can of mace convinced me to curtail my indulgence until I was alone. I bought as much velvet as my 1988 Dodge Omni would hold, and rushed home. I unrolled my canvas and pulled out my paints. What should I start with? Elvis seemed liked a perfect starting point.

   My first painting complete, I was was drunk with the creative spirit. And grain alcohol. And I couldn't wait to create more. I made a whole series with clowns. And then I created several of truckers. And then some more Elvis's. And then I got into tasteful nudes for awhile. I created a unicorn whose mane blended into a girl. I created some religious icons. I had so many, that I ran out of walls to hang them on. It was time to sell some of them.

   I gathered up several of my paintings and went to the local art gallery to see if I could show and sell some of masterpieces. They stuck their noses in the air, and said they didn't show kitsch art. They rudely suggested I try the side of the road. I repeated the Kinkade comment as I left and got similar results. I went to the flea market and set up shop. I was swarmed with customers, but they were only willing to buy my paintings for a fraction of their real worth. I couldn't even sell my paintings for what they cost to make. Another dead end for my career search. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Underwear Salesman. Door To Door.

I think the key to making money, is to use tried and true methods to sell new products. Why is it that people don't sell door to door anymore? We prefer the cold anonymity of the Internet to dealing with somebody face to face. I think it is a sad state of affairs that people prefer to deal with strangers online in some antiseptic room in India, China or even New Jersey instead of allowing a stranger into your own cozy living room and allowing them to shill some crap at you. I decided it was time to change that.
   I needed a product. It was time to brainstorm, so I did what I always do when I brainstorm. I bought a six pack of beer, took off my pants and sat on the front porch to meditate. Hours or even minutes later, I became aware of two important facts; I was out of beer, and somebody was screaming hysterically "Underwear! He's only wearing underwear!" That's it! I need more beer. And I know what I'm going to sell.
   Underwear is so popular that it has it's own show on prime time with models bouncing around in wings and all. And kids like underwear so much that they don't want their pants to cover them. People love underwear. It's like a multi-zillion dollar business or something. But what's the best format for selling underwear? I could lug around a big black suitcase with my wares in them, but that sounds like hard work. Or I could wear them!

First problem. Men aren't home during the day to buy underwear.
I'll try the ladies. They buy underwear. If only somebody would open the door.
I guess it's not acceptable to wander around in underwear. I'll cover up until I get to the door. This was fairly effective at first. But they didn't seem to appreciate the hard sell once I got my foot in the door. They hardly ever let me, or even get the words Underwear Salesman out. They just screamed and slammed the door. I guess I'll have to try some other business... As soon as I get out of jail.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tin Foil Haute Couture Designer.

I think the key to making money, is to throw off the shackles of the evil alien overlords and get paid for it. For too long, we of the resistance have been mired in a fashion desert. You can so be mired in a desert! We have been stuck with the standard bowl style tinfoil hat. But no more! I have struck out into bold new areas that tin foil has heretofore not even imagined. 

That's just lazy ABBA. You're not even trying. That will never sell.

Tin foil, it's not just for your head anymore. Well sorta.

If they can't even see you, you don't even need to wear it. Nothing is hot.

For those of you who dislike alien mind control, but love the Kentucky Derby.

Greeks are the original trend setters. Togas are so in right now.

If club girls wear tinfoil, you know it's totally fashionable. 

Fashionable tin foil suit for the alien fighting astronauts.

And I would have made fortune too. But apparently some guy has filed a patent for every conceivable form of tin foil clothing, and he sued me for infringement. He's probably a tool of the vast alien overlord conspiracy. The man is keeping me down. Well, the man and his nefarious alien masters.

This guy filed the patents, and the other guy changes his litter box.

Ten Pairs Of Tinfoil Underwear.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Snake Whisperer.

I think the key to making money, is to think outside of the box and shift the paradigms. One night after watching Harry Potter and The Horse Whisperer back to back, I came up with my new business plan. Did I mention that there might have been a slight amount of drinking involved. And by slight, I mean moderate. And by moderate, I mean liver punishing. That aside, it was a brilliant plan.

   Why is that people whisper horses and whisper dogs and even whisper babies, but when they have a snake problem they get all freaked out and call exterminators and such. It's not right. Not that I'm advocating calling the exterminator when you have problems with your baby, I just think somebody should give the snakes a chance.

   So I watched Snakes On A Plane, Anaconda, and Indiana Jones to get boned up on my snake lore. I found an online parseltongue site and learned the translation for "I am your friend", and "come with me and you won't be harmed". I watched all the video I could find of Kenny Stabler, Jake Roberts, and Bob Pliskin to improve my snake-ish moves. Then I printed up Snake Whisperer cards and waited for my first call.

   A lady named Lurleen called and reported hearing slithering sounds under her porch. I sprang into action like a coiled up rattler. I was excited to save my first snake. I arrived at Oak Bluffs Mobile Estates and found Lurleen's place. I got out, gave my speech a practice hiss and slowly, as to not startle our guest, crawled under the trailer. It took a few minutes for my eyes to adjust to the darkness, but gradually I began to make out what appeared to be a snake, rather on the largish side, staring at me.

   I lovingly whispered good thoughts at the snake but he seemed to doubt my intentions because he just looked at me with his hateful dead eyes. I hissed affirmations about his worth and how he deserved to live out in the wild. Again he seemed to mistrust my meaning because he now began to slither towards me in what I can only describe as an angry manner. I made a last ditch effort to reassure him that I meant him no harm.

   And then that evil son-of-a-bitch bit me in the face. There is reason nobody whispers snakes. They are foul baleful loathsome creatures without a soul. We should kill every one of those wicked pernicious bastards. Damn, I can not tell you how much I hate snakes. They are dangerous sinister demons from the very pit of hell, and should be destroyed. The only thing I'm going to whisper from now on, is my shotgun on every snake I see.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Reviewer of Parking Lots.

I think the key to making money, is to become an expert about some random subject and then sell your knowledge to the highest bidder. My particular knowledge is about parking lots. They are my passion, my every waking thought is about either beer or parking lots. They inhabit my dreams, sometimes as lovely feel good dreams of wide, smooth, rich black asphalt, and generous well marked spaces but more often than not as nightmare of the faded, bumpy, illogically one-way, too small space.

   I have created a newsletter detailing the best and worst of parking lots. Available for three easy payments of  $29.95... per month. In this months issue, I review the Home Depot parking lot by my house. And the Whole Foods parking lot by my house. And the bowling alley parking lot. By my house.

   In it I will share with you the highlights of extra wide spaces, and the lowlights of insane shopping cart guy, also amusing anecdotes of the parking lot world. My favorite one ever is, a car lot having only three parking spaces in front of the parts department, but the sign over the spaces says Ample Parking. I know! Ample parking. Those jokers.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Quik-E-Root Canal.

I think the key to making money, is to find a quicker way to do things. With all the convenience that this modern world has to offer, sometimes I am amazed that some things are still done in such an antiquated and outdated manner. For instance, the fact that you still have to go into the dentist to get a root canal is downright archaic.

   Now with the Quik-E-Root Canal app for your smart phone you can easily identify which tooth hurts. Then a few short minutes later you drive by our conveniently located office. It's as easy as hanging your head out the drivers window as you drive through the parking lot, where one of our lovely dental assistants will swing a precision crafted 16oz. framing hammer and gently caress the tooth from your face. Then simply open your mouth as wide as possible and I will fire a molar or bicuspid into your jaw with my 12 gauge dental shotgun. It's as easy as that. You're conveniently on your way without even bringing your car to a complete stop.

*Quik-E-Root Canal is not responsible if you flinch and lose teeth that were probably OK.
**Quik-E-Root Canal is not responsible if you wind up with a row of teeth in your forehead.
***Quik-E-Root Canal will be paid before services are rendered (Lord knows we never get paid afterwards).
****Patrons of  Quik-E-Root Canal customers waive all rights to sue Quik-E-Root Canal when they discover that their "dentist" didn't actually go to school; ANY school.
*****Quik-E-Root Canal uses only authentic mammal teeth. Quik-E-Root Canal is not responsible if chipmunk or rhinoceros teeth don't fit properly.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Phrenologist To The Stars.

I think the key to making money, is to sell a proverbial load of crap to some weird rich people. And who is richer than those weirdos out in Hollywood? I saw the word phrenologist in the dictionary while looking for scrabble words to use against a six year old (yeah I know it's cheating, but he was killing me). I bet I could read bumps on peoples heads, and I bet I could get somebody to pay me to do it.

   I moved out to LA and set up shop in an abandoned Korean/Bangladeshi/Venezuelan/Pizza fusion roach coach. I put an ad in Variety, that I would give one free reading to any certifiable movie star. The next morning I had quite the little que. I chased away all the adult movie stars, (I wasn't going to touch them), but still had a couple of people in line when I opened up.

   Tom Cruise was the first one in. He was anxious to get started. I ran my fingers over the bumps in his head.
I can tell you're under 5'8".
You can tell that from my skull?
No. I can tell that because I'm looking down at you. Jeez you're tiny.
He stormed out.

   Next was David Hasselhoff.
C'mon! A movie star?! The last movie you were in was the Spongebob Squarepants movie.
He cried a little so I gave in. I inspected his skull.
I can tell you are a klutz.
How can you tell?
Because you have a lot of scars up here.
That's amazing!
Yeah kinda. Send in the next one on your way out, OK.

   And then Bruce Campbell walked in. Yes, that Bruce Campbell, star of such movie classics as Bubba Ho-Tep and Army of Darkness.
Do you know who I am?
Yes. You are Bruce Campbell. Stars of such movie classics as Bubba Ho-Tep and Army of Darkness. 
Are you the dirtbag taking advantage of these fine thespian types?
Excuse me?
Are you pretending to be an accredited phrenologist, and bilking these poor Hollywood bumpkins out of their hard earned money? Because, I am the self appointed Hollywood scam prevention officer and and I don't take kindly to you shysters coming around here.
No sir. I am reading their bumps. No scam.
You are reading the bumps on their skulls and giving them insights into their personalities?
Can you do that?
Supposedly. What have you been doing?
Looking at the bumps on their heads and telling them that they must've run into something.
You're an idiot. Go away. Or I'll put some bumps on your skull.
Yes, Bruce Campbell.
   Another dream died.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Orthopedic Surgeon.

I think the key to making money, is to find something people charge a considerable amount for and then do that thing for a lot less. I had a friend who was an medical intern studying to be a surgeon, and I asked if he was interested in doing orthopedics. He said no, orthopedics wasn't surgery, it was carpentry. I'm a pretty good carpenter, I even have all the tools. So I opened up my own orthopedics practice.

Apparently there's a little more to it than that.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Nomenclature Assigner.

I think the key to making money, is working in the world's oldest profession. No, not that. Early in the story of creation, God gave Adam a job. The job description of said job, was to name things. The dress code was very casual. Every since I first heard about this, I have been jealous. I want to sit around in paradise with no pants on and name things.

And you're Bob, and you're a spatula, and you're a purple

   As often happens when a random thought occurs to me, I couldn't stop thinking about this. So I sold everything I had and moved to San Diego (the only paradise I could hitchhike to) and opened up a Naming Store (clothing optional). My premise was this. If you had something that you weren't sure what it was called or if it had a name, just bring it in to me and I would name it... for a small fee.

... and I call this a beach. And it shall be good. Very good.

   The business failed. It turns out, pretty much everything already has a name. The creators of things attach names to the things they create, when they create them. It's just weird. For instance, the little hard piece of shoelace is called an aglet. That thing inside of your car that makes it go, is called an engine. That magical substance that warms you and cooks your food is called fire. And practically nothing is called a thingy. Or a whatchamcallit. Or a thingumajig.

These canvas shoes, I shall dub Overpriced. And the hipsters will buy them.

   In retrospect, perhaps San Diego was not the best place for a naming store in the first place. San Diego is not overly concerned with names, as pretty much everybody is called "dude", including the women. The only place that you can truly name things these days is if you go to the jungle and discover new species of flora and fauna or if you are an inventor. I'm going to invent a new kind of cat and call it a d-o-g.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Magazine Cover Model.

I think the key to making money, is to show off your personal assets to their full potential. For years now I have been a cover model for magazines of different ilk. But flip, you say, it isn't fair that you should be blessed with all this natural talent in writing, graphic arts and general awesomeness and be a model as well! It's true; it isn't fair. I will now list for you some of the magazines my likeness has graced.

I have raked it in over the years, making literally tens of dollars, with theses magazines and their combined readership of nearly a handful of people.