A Prank of Two Cities
The incredible true story of how we propositioned the mayor’s wife and rigged the NHL playoffs.
Paul Jones

Top 10 Signs of the Impending Police State
Hey America, freedom's just around the corner... behind you
Allan Uthman

A Preview of this Issue
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I Know More Words Than You
An editorial of verbose contrivance.
Paul Jones

Kino Korner
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Your cosmic fortune...
in insult form.

The BEAST Page 3 Postponed Mushroom Cloud

[sic] - Letters
Judge Punch, toilet reading, and Moses in denial.

I'm with Stupid
Why Tony Snow is the perfect choice for press secretary.
Allan Uthman
The BEAST's Greatest Misses
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Ian Murphy
Thanks, Artvoice!
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VP Cheney Takes Time off to Fuck Himself
Clayton Byrd
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A Prank of Two Cities
The incredible true story of how we propositioned the mayor’s wife and rigged the NHL playoffs
By Paul Jones

[Note: Don't miss Part 2, about the Ottawa mayor's Stanley Cup Scandal!]

It was the best of pranks, it was the worst of pranks, it was the season of  the NHL playoffs, it was the season of Mayoral gambling, the Ottawa Senators had nothing before them, the Buffalo Sabres were two up with three home games before them, one city was betting chicken wings, one city was betting beavertails, and we called them to up the ante. How far could we take it?

It was Monday, two days before deadline and we were emptyhanded. This is the wretched, unglamorous decrescendo of a BEAST publishing cycle: Work feverishly, on pure chemical stimulation, for two or three sleepless nights before the paper goes to print to get the issue out; then, blow almost the entire proceeding fortnight before the next edition without committing so much as a keystroke. It’s not a pleasant feeling by any means, but humans are easily inured to hardship—especially the kind mitigated by days of self-deluding idleness.

Oh, you get ideas. And you’re fairly determined to see them through. Eventually. It’s like cruising a bar—the muse is always better looking when she’s dark and distant. Wait too long to make your approach, and before you know it, it’s closing time. She’s it. And she’s hideous. For the odd BEASTer who doesn’t smoke or—for medical reasons—ingest caffeine, this precipitates some pretty gruesome physical unpleasantness. Rather than expel the frenzy in a mad, alchemic creative dash, it all turns inward.

Such was the plight of once promising and now rapidly aging BEAST intern Paul Jones. May 8th found me in the midst of a creative slump only Cubs fans and students of Tony Danza’s film career could appreciate. Seated at Paul Fallon’s dining room table, under the Publisher’s watchful eye, I did my best to project confidence and industry, tapping my keyboard rapidly. But I was getting nowhere and the pressure was mounting. Swaths of pimples were in a rolling boil, in various stages of purulent hideousness, across my forehead.

“How’s it going?” Fallon asked.

“Okay. I’m working on some things,” I lied, my voice nearly cracking.

Just then, an instant message from intrepid BEAST Art Director Ian Murphy flashed at the bottom of my screen. He was sending me a sound file…


Chapter 1: We Called to Lust

After his recollections of three failed prank attempts were published in our last issue, Beast Art Director Ian Murphy was determined to ease the sting by pulling off something reasonably successful. As usual, he decided to perpetrate the first thought that entered his nasty head. That thought: Call Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown posing as his Ottawan counterpart, Bob Chiarelli; the shtick: raising the so-far friendly playoff wager between the cities to include a good old fashioned wife swap.

It was, per his usual, a work of cavalier brilliance. Murphy, in an improbably ethnic depiction of his character Chiarelli (one we were later to discover was wildly inaccurate), had essentially blustered his way to Byron Brown’s direct line. Subtlety is not Murphy’s forte—he’s a bruiser; pure comic kinesis.

Listen to the call. (4:04, 478 kb mp3)

Receptionist 1: Thank you for calling the mayor’s office. How may I help you?

BEAST (Poorly hamming an improbable New York Italian accent): Yeah, this is Bob Chiarelli!

Receptionist 1: Pardon me?

BEAST: (Enthusiastically) Bob Chiarelli!

Receptionist 1: Hold on. Let me switch you to the mayor’s switchboard.

Receptionist 2: City Hall…

BEAST: Yeah, this is Bob Chiarelli, mayor of Ottawa…I was supposed to be transferred to Mr. Brown’s office.

Receptionist 2: Oh, sure, hold on.

Receptionist 1: Thank you for calling the mayor’s office. How may I help you?

BEAST: This is Bob Chiarelli again—mayor of Ottawa. Is the mayor in?

Receptionist 1: Nnnnoooo, he’s not available at the moment.

BEAST: All right. You tell him I got a sweet deal for him.

Receptionist 1: Oookayyyy…

BEAST: (Sensing disbelief) I know we’re already bettin’ chicken wings and everything, but this one’s a doozey. (Pushily) You sure he’s not in? Get him on the line, come on! This is gonna be a big series. Big for both cities!

Receptionist 1: Okay, hold on.
[Editors note: Murphy is put on hold for nearly 2 long minutes, growing certain the faux Chiarelli character was going nowhere fast ]
Mayor Brown: This is Byron Brown speaking…

BEAST: Byron!

MB: Mayor! How are you?

BEAST: I’m well. How are you?

MB: I’m doin’ pretty good.

BEAST: Did you get the package we sent?

MB: Um, (To staffer) Lorraine, did I get the package that Mayor Chiarelli sent? (Staffer speaking in background.) I haven’t seen it yet, mayor.

BEAST: Oh, that is a shame. (Barking at imaginary staffer) You, you get on my package to Buffalo, immediately!

MB: (Laughing)

BEAST: We’re sending you some beavertails—don’t fuhgeddaboutit, fuhgeddaboutit, you know?

MB: You sent some—

BEAST: We are gonna have an exciting series, but we got an exciting idea…

MB: Okay.

BEAST: Are you ready?

MB: I’m ready.

BEAST: We’re gonna sweeten the pot a little bit here.

MB: Okay…

BEAST: You wanna guess?

MB: Umm…

BEAST: What we talked about a little bit before…

MB: I…I…I can’t—I can’t guess. Tell me…

BEAST: Uhh, you know, just uh…I don’t know…I, I talked to my wife about it. Maybe you could talk to yours. And, uh, I was thinkin’, uh, you know—if we win, I—I get to bang your wife, you get to bang mine.

MB: (Silence.)

BEAST: (Realizing the word “bang” was a step too far) A ha ha ha! I’m kidding with you! Byron, come on! Ha ha ha!

MB: Who’s this?

BEAST: This is Bob Chiarelli, mayor of Ottawa!

MB: (Facetiously) Oh, is this the mayor?

BEAST: This is the mayor!

MB: O—kay (laughing), (unintelligible, laughing)…

BEAST: No, so, uh…You know, seriously—you into that, or what?

MB: Seriously, who is this?

BEAST: This is Mr. Chiarelli. (Playfully) The Senators are gonna crush those Sabres!

MB: Okay…

BEAST: And uh, you know…How ‘bout this—this wife thing?

MB: Here—well—

BEAST: I’m kiddin’ with you, Byron! Come on now! (Laughing) You American mayors; you have no sense of humor, I swear.

MB: Well, in fact, my wife is right here. Let me let you talk to her about that.

BEAST (Concealing astonishment): All right!

That’s right: we suggested a wager which involved “banging” the mayor’s wife, and he decided to let us ask her about it. He didn’t hang up, or laugh, or shout “What the fuck did you just say to me?” He handed the phone to his wife.

To be fair, the mayor probably just wanted to get off the phone—unless we’re underestimating his sense of adventure. But even if that were true, pawning an unpleasant call onto his wife was a surprisingly wussy move for young political up-and-comer. This tendency to conflict avoidance would seem to support the theory that Brown is more a made man than a self-made man.

Predictably, the woman behind the man proved less deferential.

Mrs. Mayor: Hello?

BEAST: Miss Brown!

MM: Yes?

BEAST: Hi, this is Bob Chiarelli, mayor of Ottawa! How you doin’?

MM: I’m doing fine. How can I—

BEAST: This is, uh—a sensitive subject, but, uh…We’re already tradin’ the chicken wings and the beavertails, dependin’ on who wins the series. But, you know, me here in the office—we were thinkin’—you know, maybe we could do a little, like…Somethin’—a little more exciting, you know?

MM: Yes?

BEAST: And I was thinking, like, maybe—I know, you know, you know—not sex right away. Nothin’ like that, but, uh…if Ottawa wins I get to take you out on a date…

MM: (Hangs up.)
We can only imagine the conversations that took place in the wake of this call—what Mrs. Brown said, at what volume she said it, whether they still believed the caller to have been Ottawa’s mayor and, if not, whether their receptionist took a drubbing of her own. Unfortunately, those surely hilarious moments remain a mystery. At the very least, we have learned that the mayor’s wife is a good deal smarter than he is.

But the biggest revelations were still to come...

Click here for Chapter 2: The Dive




Idiot Box by Matt Bors
Big Fat Whale by Brian McFadden
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Bob the Angry Flower by Stephen Notely
Deep Fried by Jason Yungbluth

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