Monday, December 31, 2012

Home is where the headquarters is

People who have looked at our web site all seem to have one question:
What's with the washing machines? Is that just some random image you selected for a background or what?
Okay, well, that's more like two and a half questions but the answer to all of them is that what you're looking at is actually a sneaky-peek inside our super-secret crime fighting headquarters, the Unbelieva-base!

Located in Stiletto Flats, Nevada, which is a small town in the desert outside of Las Vegas (which is the definition of every town in Nevada that isn't Las Vegas), we acquired this property on a tip from Marissa Rapier, proprietor of Miss Riss's Home for Wayward Showgirls. At this time, I can't tell you how we met Marissa other than to say we each knew her seperately before we formed The Unbelievables. Anyway, one day she called up and said, "Hey, I have a location where you boys can have your little clubhouse or whatever." I replied, "Uh, we're looking for a super-secret crime fighting headquarters. Hel-looo?" "Right. At this time, I'd like to re-state for the record the 'whatever' I issued previously and move on to a description of the property", she said. "What are you doing?", I asked. "This is not a court proceeding." She said, "That's for your benefit when you listen to this later, since I'm sure you're recording this, because you always record your phone calls, which is creepy." I told her, "phone calls are not the creepiest thing I record." She sighed and said "I'm trying to tell you about this property. It's a laundromat with a huge basement and for some unknown reason, a helipad. I heard Dean Martin used to own it. At any rate, long story short, there was debt incurred for services rendered on behalf of the previous owner so it's mine now and I thought it would be perfect for you guys. Even at a discounted rental rate, I'll be making more money than I am from the laundry service."

We checked it out and she was right, it was, and remains, perfect. It has enough machines that we were able to convert one into a passageway from the laundromat into the headquarters below. It kind of stinks to have to pay $1.75 every time we want to go downstairs but that's not a big deal as long as you have quarters on you.

Other than that, there's nothing to complain about. It's right across the street from Miss Riss's. It has the Pumpkin Orange and Lima Bean Green Formica color scheme that Jeff finds aesthetically pleasing. It's only about a block from the secluded compound that hosts Michael's clothing-optional-but-highly-discouraged Wednesday night raquetball league. And for me, it has a vintage "Elevator Action" video game (by the way, this post is brought to you by Elevator Action, the official 8-bit video game of The Unbelievables). But the real action can be found in the sub-basement, or "Leisure Level", of this magnificient facility:

My dad is always happy to keep tabs on what's going on at headquarters when we're out of town.
Yes, that's an in-floor hot tub. Yes, that is a fireplace. And yes to the next six questions you have after getting the answers to those last two.
If you ever find yourselves in Stiletto Flats, feel free to stop by for a visit! I mean, we won't be able to acknowledge you by saying hello or anything like that because that would compromise the security of the facility, but we can get a full load of your unmentionables sparkly clean in about an hour and a half.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Hangin' With Mr. Hefner

One of the fun side-effects of being interviewed for Playboy was getting to meet the ultimate playboy himself, Mr. Hugh Hefner. Long have we three admired the man's sense of style, his charm, his pipe, his millions (let's not beat around the bush), and mostly his enormous mansion filled with hot babes. I mean, what's not to like about a guy whose girlfriend gives him a chocolate mould of her butt as a present? Turns out on meeting him, though, he was actually an admirer of ours. So, when this fact was discovered, a piece appeared in the magazine in which we were interviewed alongside the great man.

PLAYBOY MAGAZINE: So Mr. Hefner, what is it about the Unbelievables that floats your boat?

HH: Well, these guys just ooze charm, don't they? Look at the way they're dressed. I said look at them! Style, elan, panache - there are many words to describe that indefinable quality they possess, but no word quite covers it. Plus, they are butt-kicking masters. Michael has given me an introductory course in their martial arts discipline, Unbelieva-Fu.

CLARK: (To Michael) I thought you said I could give him the intro course.

MICHAEL: Well, it - I mean, it didn't work out. The days were all messed up and stuff. I had to do it Wednesday.

C: Wednesday? I didn't have anything going on Wednesday.

JEFF: Neither did I actually, Michael. What gives?

M: Hey, listen, you guys always jump in and get to do stuff before I get a chance, so I just wanted a piece of the action, OK?

PLAYBOY: And what sort of student is Mr. Hefner, Michael?

M: He's really good. I mean he's a natural. He'll be kicking butt in no time.

J: Whatever.

C: Hey Mr. Hefner - can I call you Mr. Hefner?

HH: Sure thing, Clark.

C: So Hugh, you want me to - shut up, Michael - you want me to teach you some Unbelieva-Zen?

M: Oh, you brown-noser!

HH: That's very kind of you Clark - 

M: (mocking tone) Dat berry kind o you Clarrrk.

HH: - but Jeff has already talked to me at length about it. It's fascinating.


JEFF: What? I didn't think it would be a big deal, I mean, Michael had given him the Unbelieva-Fu lesson, so I-

CLARK: Wait wait wait wait... you knew about Michael?

JEFF: You didn't?

PLAYBOY: So Mr. Hefner, do you think that, given time, The Unbelievables would have you as an honorary member?

HH: Well, I don't know, what do you think, boys?

M: In a heartbeat.

J: Sure.

C: No comment.

PLAYBOY: I see. Well, boys, Mr. Hefner, it only remains for me to thank you for your time, and wish you Happy Holidays.

HH: Feliz Navidad, baby.

C: ---
J: Yeah.
M: Um.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Playboy and The Unbelievables: Part 2

Ah yes, the Playboy years. As much time as we spent with Hugh in the Grotto (the poor man was the target of a nearly constant stream of shakedown schemes and kidnapping plots), it was inevitable that we'd find ourselves in his little magazine.

Playboy Magazine: "The holidays must be a trying time for The Unbelievables. Between the partying, the lounging on bearskin rugs in front of fireplaces, the massaging of stewardesses and the never-ending fight against crime, you guys must get exhausted! How do you do it?"
Clark: "Well, sure. The holidays are about all that but you're really only scratching the surface. I mean, there are nurses, actresses, certain librarians, coffee shop waitresses and pro football cheerleaders who require massaging too. But what we've found to be helpful is forcing ourselves to take time to observe the spiritual aspects."
Playboy Magazine: "I have trouble visualizing you, Jeff and Michael sitting around on prayer mats."
Clark: "No, nothing like that. We have created our own spiritual doctrine, which is inclusive and tolerant of all religious faiths yet is independent of all of them. It's called Unbelieva-Zen."
Playboy Magazine: "Sounds fascinating! Tell us more!"
Clark: "It's really an inner thing. You know, the way you build a great looking self is the same way you build a great looking wardrobe; from the inside out. That's the fundamental philosophy of Unbelieva-zen. The only ritual, if you want to call it that, takes place the day after Christmas. That's when we don what we call our Zen-wear and then go outside and walk amongst the nature."

"I like mesh; it makes me feel like a bag of grapefruit! Jeff's tank top is actually an authentic San Diego Clippers jersey with the letters and numbers removed, a gift from Clippers center Swen Nater. As for Michael, he would probably say, 'You're lucky I'm wearing this'."
Playboy Magazine: "And where do you walk exactly?"
Clark: "I don't know. Around, mostly. We do tai chai exercises on top of a mountain. We eat stuff we find on the ground. Sometimes that makes us sleep in a meadow for a really long time. Sometimes that makes us fall down a mountain. Or we might wander out into a pond or get bitten by some kind of animal or something. The important thing is that we would learn something and use it to grow."
Playboy Magazine: "What kinds of things do you learn?"
Clark: "Mostly that it's best to stay inside unless you're wearing appropriate clothes."
Playboy Magazine: "Sounds like a solid lesson to grow from."
Clark: "That's why it's so important to learn it every year."  

Monday, December 24, 2012

Playboy And The Unbelievables: Part 1

Yes ... The Unbelievables have been in Playboy Magazine. Several times as a matter of fact. 

Quite a few years ago we did a short little series of Q&As with one of the contributors and, as a little holiday treat, we're reproducing those sessions here this week. Jeff and Clark will be along later during this last full week of the year to share their discussions. 

    Playboy Magazine: "So ... do you believe in Santa Claus, Michael? And the other Unbelievables? Clark? Jeff?"

    Michael: "Of course I do ... all three of us do. We've never had any doubt ... not a one of us. We may be called 'The Unbelievables,' but that only holds true of our accomplishments, which are quite unbelievable. 

    "But not in our beliefs. Santa is out there - he visits just like clockwork to all the good little boys and girls. That is without question and we love the old fat man because of it.

    "But he isn't without his mischievous side ... something we approve of heartily. You can see evidence of this by some of the stocking stuffers he's suggested to us over the years ..."

    "This little gem was one he advised we pass along to some of our fortunate lady fans: A 'head light' bra with vintage Volkswagen head lamps. (Hello, ladies!) This item has been a hit on every level each time we've given them. They really 'light up the night' if you catch my meaning."

    "And these spiffy drawers have got it going on, let me tell you. They might look a little randy, but these underwear are outfitted with a special hermetically-sealed flask capable of distributing anything from keg-fresh beer to that perfectly shaken (not stirred) martini right on through to the best Cosmopolitan you've ever sipped. Shake, shake, shake ... shake, shake, shake ... shake your booty, boys.

    "See? With nifty stocking stuffers such as these, is there any doubt Santa exists? 

    "In return, we've passed along fashion advice to the jolly old elf, stuff he's used to impress Mrs. Claus over the years, very much to her delight.

    "But we'll never tell where Father Christmas gets his 'ideas' ... Mrs. Claus can just keep thinking Kris Kringle is 'the man.'

    "So yes, here and now, without a hint of hesitation: The Unbelievables do indeed believe in old St. Nick. We've always treasured our special relationship with him ... we always will."
    Playboy Magazine: "Thanks for taking a few minutes with us, Michael."
    Michael: "My pleasure. And Merry Christmas to you."

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas with The Unbelievables: Eat up and party down

I hope you've enjoyed this especially festive trip down memory lane this week. Jeff and Michael have done a great job of sharing some of our holiday celebrations with in-depth looks at some of our themed parties. However, they've left out the key thing everyone looks forward to when attending one of our Yule-themed shindigs: making out on a pile of coats! But I'm here today to talk about the second key thing people look forward to at one of these merry mixers: the food!

Our parties started out as humble "pot luck"-style buffets. However, since all three of us are extremely competent in the kitchen, the menus have always been world class. As our parties became more, shall we say, sophisticated, we started hiring chefs from around the world to prepare our food. Then we'd fire them when they couldn't replicate the recipes precisely enough for our tastes and make them ourselves. That's a tradition that we've adapted and it continues to this day. Nothing says "Joyeux Noel" like watching Wolfgang Puck trudge to his car with tears streaming down his face.

First up is my specialty, the Deviled Ham Sandwich tree. Christmas is a time of wishes and this offering answers one of the most universally popular wishes, "Why can't trees be made of deviled ham sandwiches?". Keep praying really hard, Tiny Tim, and if Tinkerbell doesn't die this year, maybe she'll finally grant us that wish!
Normally, dessert is last but with Jeff's Christmas Pudding Cake, who can wait? I know, I know, pudding dishes can go either way and when you factor in that Jeff is British, well... but no! It's really, really good! Every year, he either makes the igloo or the tree and if we're expecting a large crowd, he makes both. First, he gets the Albino Wafers flown in from a specialty bakery in Heidelberg that's only open for one day a year. Then he goes to work putting together his special combination of various puddings and pudding-like substances. Is there a secret ingredient you'd like to share with us, Jeff? "Not pudding", he says with a creepy knowing grin.
Last but not least, the main dish, Michael's Frosted Ham! Is that cream cheese? Is that butter cream frosting? Is that whatever was left in that one bowl when Jeff got done making the pudding cake? Michael isn't telling! All we know for sure is this is what caused one of our guests, former New York Knicks star forward Walt 'Cool Clyde' Frazier to remark, "Man, you guys really take the concept of 'White Christmas' to heart, don't you?" "Because of all the white food, Clyde?", I asked. "Huh? Oh yeah. That too. Damn."
The three of us then work as a team to complete the pièce de résistance, the coup de grâce, the l'arbre de crevette (tree of shrimp)! We painstakingly dress each shrimp, insert the pimento into each olive (fun fact: pimentos are an aphrodesiac!), brew each glass of gelatinous goo nog one at a time (that last one actually seems kind of silly but tradition is tradition) and set it all up in front of the ugliest backdrop we can find. I think this picture came from the time we held the party in the dentist's office at a nearby insane asylum. Once that's all done, then we brush our mustaches, put on our Christmas sweaters, brush our mustaches again (static cling from the sweaters makes that necessary) and wait for our guests to arrive.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Continues With The Unbelievables

Yes ... the holidays - and especially Christmastime - harbor some pretty treasured memories for The Unbelievables. It's not all about vanquishing the deeds of evil-doers and righting wrongs. Even the bad guys take a break every once in a while which gives Clark, Jeff and I time to indulge in a little Yuletide cheer.

Take the above picture for example. It was after we foiled James St. James (yes ... that James St. James) and his "3rd Worst World Domination Idea Ever" that we were able to toss an under-privileged kids affair in the mid-West back in the day. Here we're seen with Jeff and I on guitar, Clark hefting an accordion (who knew!) and the lovely Chula Vista on upright base. I remember Clark was hot to debut a few Christmas polkas. Being the fair gents Jeff and I are, we accommodated him to a fault. Of course we were skeptical at first (never having previously heard the songs), but Clark's short list proved a minor hit with the youngsters. (Little Jimmy at the bottom right of the photo was the only hold out and kept interrupting in the middle of each ditty shouting "Whatta rip off! I don't see any polka dots!" I think he was just jealous of the lot of us.)

And yes ... you better believe The Unbelievables have thrown some much-appreciated shindigs at retirement homes for the senior contingent. Here, Marcy Jeremiah is about to introduce us as we come out to put on a little skit about Misfit Toys (complete with props and in full regalia) but someone yelled "Fire!" and scattered half the crowd out of the cafeteria ... including the photographer. (The other half began clapping and asking for coffee refills.)

One of the weirdest things about the place was the salt and pepper shakers. You can see one on the table in the foreground - they were hollowed out deer antlers. Tip either the salt or the pepper a little too far and you could poke an eye out with the things.

You know ... the "black and white" years were some of the best for putting together an Unbelievables soirée. In the photo above somewhere in the Northwest at the "Mostly Boys Home Marching And Chowder Society," Jeff had the privilege of playing Santa. The highlight of the affair was when I asked if anyone would like to make him "fly like Santa does with this reindeer" and everyone enthusiastically propelled Jeff into the air and got him to crowd-surf from one end of the auditorium to the other. Good times, indeed.

A couple Unbelievables parties weren't without their controversies, however, and didn't completely go off as planned. (They can't all be legendary, you understand.) This one - for "Uncle Bill's Fiddle And Geetar Club" in Rapid City, South Dakota - was remembered for its dour tone. All the folks wanted to do was practice local folk tunes, never once warming to any Yuletide merriment. "We don't cater to outsiders much 'round these parts," Uncle Bill's cousin Jeb told us when we first got there "... so don't get all 'Let's-show-these-folks-how-it's-done-in-the-big-city' on us." Try as we might, we couldn't get a single "fa-la-la-la-la" or "Jingle Bells" out of the lot. It was all business: First, lunch with Spam and toast and sarsaparilla (the sarsaparilla was the epitome of these folks' excitement) followed by folk tunes, folk tunes and more folk tunes. One guy deviously tried injecting a fiddle ending that almost sounded Christmasy, but he was poked in the ribs with a bow by Great Aunt Flo in the daring white and green striped shirt. Clark and I felt so out of place as Santa and one of his elves (bottom left corner). It's a small wonder they even allowed us in the shot.

The above gathering was another we like to remind ourselves of from time to time. At one point in the history of our frolickous holiday traditions, it was necessary to curb the shenanigans and host a buttoned-down affair. We have Marissa Rapier to thank for that. It seems her "potty mouth" was becoming something of a deterrent to the traditional get-togethers and implementation of manners and mannerisms were the order of the day. The result is the staid, starched shindig "thrown" a few years back and seen here with Jeff presiding over "the festivities." He thought it best to sit directly across from Riss to keep tabs on any possible outbursts. Really, it was the fact she was required to dress smartly that did the trick in keeping her on the up and up. (Well ... that ... and the "Profanity Positively Forbidden" sign seen in the background.) 

Oh, sure ... we can all laugh about it now, but at the time, she was a handful. Sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do. And the result? Everyone is the better for it.

Now ... everyone raise a glass of nog: Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Unbelievables Photo Archive: Christmas Parties

Well folks, it's the holiday season, and here at Unbelievables HQ (a.k.a. Unbelieva-base) we're planning the annual office party. So with that in mind, it's time to look back at some parties of Christmas past and reminisce. So pull up your favourite high-backed leather armchair, don your cravat and smoking jacket, pour yourself a merry little cocktail and cue the warm fuzzy memories.

Here we are at a party with our friends from The Indescribables (pictured wearing the plaid slacks), a team from our local friendly canasta league. We're wearing the amazing canary yellow trews, and we've brought along our friend Charles Nelson Reilly (second from right) who was a good friend and Hollywood informant.

Here's Clark with another friend and mole from the entertainment world, Des O'Connor (who knew?), getting the drinks sorted for our 1972 piss-up work bash.

Quality comestibles always get the ladies to come running. 7Up is an obvious choice, as is a bunch of Lil' Smokies on sticks. Here I am seen going for my thirteenth 7Up, while Clark feeds a saucy damsel his wiener.

Sometimes the parties had such a huge guest list we had to hire a different venue as well as immaculately dressed wait-staff to help serve the champagne cocktails, leaving us free to chat up the ladies. In this picture we see Michael asking the wait-staff to kindly refrain from hitting on the girls, while Clark tries out his favourite line on Lady Felicity Farnes-Barnes: "Let's commit the perfect crime - I'll steal your heart, and you steal mine."

Meanwhile, I'm out in the back garden with Laura, Marissa and the stylishly dressed Aunt Mabel (left). Laura did not care much for my pickup line: "If a fat man puts you in a sack tonight, don't worry - I told Santa I wanted you for Christmas!"

Sometimes our parties were themed. Here we are at the "Brass Band Apres Ski Mixer." For some reason, Michael went the extra mile (as usual) and came dressed as the love child of Freddie Mercury and Mark Spitz. Where the congas came from, I'm not sure. Clark was making dreadful jokes about "getting the horn" and "blowing" things, not to mention "putting your lips together" etc. And I'm operating a life sized trumpet-playing ventriloquist dummy over there on the right. Good times, good times.

This was a fairly low-key gathering. Here you see The Unbelievables with Marissa and Laura at our 'punchbowl party'. I think this was the party where we all secretly spiked the punch with various exotic liqueurs, unbeknownst to each other. We didn't wake up till New Year's Day.

Here we are at our "It'll Be All White On The Night" Christmas do. Don't worry, the reindeer is actually a trained operative (whose identity cannot yet be revealed) in extreme deep-cover pun disguise as "The Goat Of Christmas Past" (groan!). Unfortunately, after a few hours in an all-white room wearing all-white clothes pounding down Smirnoff-based cocktails, we were all suffering from snow blindness. Rest assured we didn't make that mistake again. 

The trouble with holiday get-togethers is that there's always a ton of leftovers. Fortunately, Clark's Aunt Madge is a Tupperware lady, and the above picture shows the time she brought her entire stock. Not only did she save the day, but she did an impromptu Tupperware party for all the assembled guests, as well as some exotic magic tricks that I'd only seen once before, in a bar in Singapore. Good times, good times.

Happy Holidays everybody!

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Unbelievables Are Micro-Fiber Reinforced

Let it be said right here and right now:
Bill "Superfoot" Wallace doesn't have anything on The Unbelievables

Clark's right. The clothes we wear are all-encompassing. Careful thought has been put into everything, whether it's that chapeau atop our heads, the color of our cardigans or the (sometimes) steel-fortified tips of our shoes. When we're on the job, it's not just about looking good. The anticipation of danger and the safety of our persons are paramount as well.

I have to say: The kevlar micro-fiber reinforced DiamondCrotch® technology woven into our Kickin' Jeans has come in handy on more than a occasions. And not just because of dealings with dastardly villains we've come across in our travails. ("Hello, ladies!") Possible "trouble" could lurk around any corner ... and not necessarily from an intended threat. Enthusiastic aficionados of The Unbelievables have given us a run for our money as well, a burden we bear gladly.

But ... about the jeans. We need them for a myriad of situations, haute couture being one of the most important, you understand. Blue jeans are one of the most versatile pieces of clothing in the crime fighting arena. Pockets capable of alteration to house a bevy of weapons and more ... leg protection from sliding down a roof or shimmying over the hood of a hot car ... and seriously: Where would he keep our utility belts (if, in fact and indeed, we use utility belts) if not for the waist of our jeans? They do all of this and more.

But it was the innovation of kevlar micro-fiber reinforced DiamondCrotch® technology that really had us sold on Kickin' Jeans. 

One day, while Jeff was frequenting a local ice cream truck that made its daily rounds in the neighborhood, he ticked off a little boy. Apparently, Jeff beat him to the punch and purchased the very last Bomb Pop from the vendor. << WHOOMP! >> Jeff got kneed in the 'nads by the little tyke. (Side Note: That kid was serious about his Bomb Pops. He would later grow up to become a minor nemesis in the annals of The Unbelievables, hell bent on revenge because of Jeff. Known as "Pistachio Nut," we'll tell you about him later in "The Case Of The Ice Cream Sunday Snub" ...) It was then Jeff realized we really needed to come up with something to protect the family jewels ... from angry kids and ne'er-do-wells alike. Discussing his unfortunate ice cream incident, I informed the guys I just so happened to know a spiffy haberdasher by the name of Jax Loominary who did wonders with all sorts of clothing - he might just be the right person for the job. Voila! DiamondCrotch® ... !!! 

Jax tested the technology for weeks on end until he was ready for us to give it a whirl. Much to his chagrin, it was Jeff who drew the short straw and got the unenviable task of being on the receiving end of the experiment. But really ... who better to evaluate the product than Jeff himself? Clark couldn't stomach the test. Besides, as noted previously, he had a women's self defense class to teach. So ... with a pair of altered Kickin' Jeans firmly cinched, I surprised Jeff by walking away from him, twirling and giving him a round-house kick to Mr. Happy. The result? As mentioned and as evidence from the picture at right, Jeff's jewels were safe and sound. Jax had done another outstanding service for us in our ever-vigilant efforts to fight injustice world-wide.

As for our distinctive martial arts methods known as Unbelieva-Fu (or more commonly referred to as "U-Fu"), we'll touch on that more as our adventures unfold.  I'm sure Jeff will elaborate on those further. 

P.S. Clark? Brilliant innovator that he is, I'll let you in on a little secret: Unbelieva-BackOffMister (or "U-Bom(b)") was never officially a part of the official "U-Fu" discipline. At the start, it was Clark's attempt at devising a clever way to capitalize on endearing himself to the fair sex. ("Hello, ladies!") Thus "U-Bom(b)" was born. (He's such a rascal, that Clark!) And it's still going strong today thanks to your local Y. Pow!

But, because of that little aside, we're proud of the 18,000+ variations of U-Fu, including Unbelieva-Two ("U-2"), Unbelieva-Time ("U-Can'tTouchThis"), the head-turning Unbelieva-180 ("U-Turn") and several of our special holiday methods and practices, Unbelieva-Yules (encompassing "U-BetterWatchOut," "U-GotOneMoreComin'," "U-WantSomeEggnog?" and the ever-popular "Hey, You! Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town!").

All things we'll note at a later date ...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Sweet Smell of Kickin' Butt

Yes, what Clark said was all completely accurate, especially all that business with our intern Chuck, or as we called him "Charlie No-Mates". I mean gee whiz, the guy was such a wimp! And then as soon as he leaves our employ, he's all like, "Yeah, I'm a stuntman, I'm a martial arts expert, I'm an action hero, I'm starring in an infomercial for an exercise machine with a half-naked Christie Brinkley", like that's anything to brag about. She's damaged goods, Norris! Been spoiled by Billy Joel, and that traumatic helicopter crash did her mental state no favours either. You ripped off our Kickin' Jeans idea and went ahead and made some lousy movies, whatever. Oh, and you think you're some kind of singer too. The eyes of Texas are upon you, huh? Well, watch your back, buddy, because the eyes of The Unbelievables see everything.

He kinda smelled funny too. Not enough Hai Karate and too much Lily of The Valley, if you ask me.

Which leads me on to another aspect of our style cocktail, fragrance. It's all very well having the paisley shirt and the ascot and the belted cardigan, but if you choose the wrong aftershave you might as well hang up your slacks and stay home watching reruns of Green Acres and let that other guy with the funky kaftan and the handlebar moustache kick some bad guy butt and get all the chicks. 

When it comes to fragrances, all you need to know are these:

Hai Karate, of course. Girls dig it.
Brut 33, 
Old Spice, and

for the slightly more mature butt-kickin' super-agent, Skin Bracer by Mennen works a treat.
Once you have the fashions and the scents down pat and the Unbelieva-Fu sorted, the rest will take care of itself. But never, repeat never, try to learn U-Fu without first taking care of the other stuff. Heck, your manly scent may even improve your UF skills.

Well, that's all I have to say, really. I'm sure Michael can go into more detail about this topic. In the meantime, stay alert, folks. You never know when some evil-smelling super-criminal will cross your path. But rest assured that when they do, The Unbelievables will soon be on the trail.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A glimpse into the substance of our style

 A lot is made of the clothing we wear, and with good reason; we consider ourselves stylish gents. What most people don't realize is that our clothing serves very specific purposes. Often, that purpose is disguise, in an effort to blend in with the surrounding elements. Sometimes, we choose to stand out in a crowd instead (hello, ladies). But no matter what, our outfits have to be able to handle intense physical action, be it in hand-to-hand combat with villians or otherwise (again, hello ladies). For example, our jeans...
These jeans have been designed to handle martial arts combat, specifically Unbelieva-Fu, a discipline we ourselves developed. The three key components of Unbelieva-Fu are 1) Fiendishly clever deception 2) Intense power kicking and 3) Aiming for the groin. There are well over 18,000 individual manuevers within the discipline of Unbelieva-Fu, but almost all of them are rooted in the basic "Hey, your shoe is untied" attack. The picture above shows Michael and Jeff demonstrating the technique. As you can see, from the photo of Jeff pensively relaxing in the foreground, he was perfectly fine afterward. That's because the special cut of these jeans not only allows us maximum range of movement, but also utilizes kevlar micro-fiber reinforced DiamondCrotch® technology for maximum protection as well. Coincidentally, I am not seen here because it was my turn that day to teach our women's self defense class, Unbelieva-BackOffMister, to the employees at a nearby Hooter's, as seen here ...

Unbelieva-BackOffMister brings the principles of
Unbelieva-Fu to eye level by adding a degree of fabulousness.
Ask about classes at your local Y!
  You might be wondering why we'd resort to selling these incredible jeans, being something that tacky is generally beneath us and we certainly don't need the money. The truth is it wasn't by choice; our hand was forced when a former intern (who had previously been let go for being, shall we say, testicularly-challenged when it came to the more rugged and dangerous aspects of what we do) stole the idea and tried to make a profit from it.

Any time we've entered the marketplace, it was reluctantly and solely for the purpose
 of protectintg the integrity of our brand from shoddy knock-offs from little girls like this.

Friday, December 7, 2012

This Ain't No Snow Job

As Clark and Michael have outlined earlier this week, we were in pursuit of the twisted Sam Snow, aka "Frosty the Snowman". His one aim - to rid the world of toys. He had done his darndest, I'll give him that. Even to the extent of kidnapping the great Roy Wood, lead singer of the glam rock outfit Wizzard, and forcing him to record the song "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday". 

Surely not, you say. That's a happy jolly Christmassy song. Yes, it is. But pay attention to the lyrics. 

When the snowman brings the snow
Well he just might like to know
He's put a great big smile upon somebody's face
If you jump into your bed
Quickly cover up your head
Don't you lock the doors
You know that sweet Santa Claus is on the way

The Snowman reference is clear. He sincerely thought that by taking away all the toys, he'd put a 'great big smile' on everyone's faces. As to Santa Claus? Well he may be on his way, but there is nothing in the lyrics that references toys, is there? Look it up. And who was there to rescue the great Mr. Wood? The Unbelievables, of course. we discovered him strapped to a chair with a pair of headphones taped over his mouth so he couldn't cry for help. Once we'd removed the tape (and most of his beard), he told us of the location of Sam Snow's hideout.

So anyway, there we were, the three of us, dressed in our Ken doll outfits. We had our code names - Clark was Ken, I was Sean and Michael was Carson. Of course, Michael being the witty jokester he always is, was busy saying stuff like "I did not know that", and "Weird, wild stuff" a la Johnny, but Clark and I were trying to ignore the dead-on impersonations* as best we could and concentrate on what we were up to. And what were we up to?

"Acid wash? Seriously?"

We had had to somehow fit ourselves in packages and pass ourselves off as genuine Christmas gifts and deposit ourselves under a Christmas tree. Whose Christmas tree? Why, Sam Snow's, of course. He may not have been a fan of toys, but he sure loved getting presents. He was a Grinchy fellow for sure, he wanted to turn the world into his own personal "Snow Globe", he hated his kids and their want-want-bloody-want all the freakin' time, couldn't bear to see anyone else happy. In fact, he reminded us a lot of the sour old Burgermeister Meisterburger from "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town". His heart was softened by the gift of a toy, so we thought we'd try the same tack. Plant ourselves under the man's tree, and when he opens the packages and is momentarily beguiled by our charms, nab the foul fiend. 

"A TOY?!"

The only problem was how to get in there. This required some strategy. Sam Snow barely ever left his compound, so getting in without being noticed was gonna be tough. This was when we hit upon the idea of using an ex-SAS person. The SAS are trained to get in and out without being detected, and are therefore ideal in this type of situation. Clark had connections. A friend of a friend's cousin's sister's uncle's brother's neighbour's grandpa's best friend's daughter was dating Bear Grylls at the time, so he made a call. Several calls, actually.

Bear was at a loose end and so was easily convinced. We promised him as much roadkill as he could eat and told him that the future of Christmas depended on him. How he got us in, I'll never know. It was very dark and quite a bumpy ride, and I swear I could smell roasting hyena, but he did it, bless him.

"Om nom nom nom!!"

Come Christmas morn we were woken abruptly by Snow shaking the packages and wondering aloud who the hell had sent him a present. As he tore off the wrapping, we jumped out in our Ken disguises, which stunned him momentarily, allowing us the valuable seconds we needed to subdue him. Michael pinned him to the floor with a knee to the throat, Clark cuffed him and I poked my weapon in the small of his back and helped frogmarch him out to the *ahem* new car we had bought to replace the Corvette. Sadly, it was a Chevy Citation, but we'd made a few modifications. 

And the free world breathed a collective sigh of relief. You're welcome, world. Just another day at the office for The Unbelievables.

*Michael has always tried out his impressions from the early days. Even when we were together at Camp Action! he would do the voices of all the camp counselors and some of the other campers. Oh, his take on Larry Scheeble, the camp nerd, was priceless! We did laugh.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Let it Snow? No, no, no!

I appreciate Michael giving me credit for being the "fashion maven" of The Unbelievables. Considering how much we've always relied on style over substance, that is high praise indeed. Although this artist's rendition of Jeff and I certainly benefits from a considerable amount of creative license; I've never been that much older than Jeff. Taller, yes. But not older.

"Yes, that's it; go ahead and stand up as straight
 as you can. I'm still a foot taller than you, Jeff."
 Regarding this particular case, Sam "Frosty the Snowman" Snow's attempt to make children miserable by ridding the world of toys was merely a prelude to his grand plan for total world domination. Inspired by the godawful puns cracked by Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze in "Batman and Robin" (and also in every other role in every movie he's been in), he wanted to turn the Earth into his own personal Snow Globe. You could say that the toy ploy was merely the tip of a much larger iceberg. Well, you might not but you can bet Sam would. And that isn't even a pun; it's just a reference to something that is cold. See why we had to stop him?

Anyway, it was my idea to catch Snow by becoming that which he sought to destroy. "If he wants to eliminate all the toys in the world, then gentlemen...we shall become toys. And by that, I mean dress like dolls", I said. My partners were silent for a moment. "For some reason I can't put my finger on, I believe that is an absolutely terrible idea", Michael said. "What do you think, Jeff?" Jeff said, "you're probably fixating on the fact that it doesn't make any sense. And I mean, no sense whatsoever. Not even a little bit, at all. But on the other hand, I can't think of anything better right now, so let's do it."
This resulted in us dressed like this:

Michael still wears that hoodie when he's playing hacky sack
 and listening to Widespread Panic out on the quad. 
 And then some other stuff happened ... maybe Jeff remembers and can fill you in ... and we came out on top again, as always.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Just One Of The Reasons The Unbelievables Are (Fashion) Experts Of Disguise (A Skewed Holiday Tale)

The above? It pretty much says it all. It's an old graphic artist's rendition of Clark and Jeff from years gone by, the former educating a very young latter in the art of necktie etiquette. 

Those were the days.

You see, Clark was (and always has been) The Unbelievables' fashion maven. He has been instrumental in leading our clandestine group via disguise case after case after case. Throughout, those disguises have been dapper and deranged, depeche modified and downplayed, "dressed to the nines" and (as was sometimes necessary) dappled in dullery. It's all about what our work calls for. And sometimes? It's not all glamor and glitz.

Take the case of Sam Snow - one of the stranger files from The Unbelievables' history - who would later come to be known as "Frosty The Snowman." This was a caper that was not only one of our most successful, but one of our most far-reaching as well. You see, Sam Snow wanted to knock the holidays for a loop. He wasn't a jolly old soul when it came to the shorter days of the season, the colder climate, the holiday cheer and camaraderie. He was concerned only with his welfare and his comfort which were stingy and self-centered. The overiding fact of the matter was Snow had children, little monsters who didn't help his selfishness and, in fact, were the catalyst of his machinations.

Yes, Sam Snow suffered from a sort of Grinch syndrome. He wanted simply to be left alone. He wanted quiet. He wanted peace and goodwill, but only in the form of solitude all by his lonesome. And he believed the focal point of his delusion
began with his children. What to do? Destroy all children's toys from the face of the earth, one toy store at a time.

Well ... this crime chapter and photo to the right are testament to The Unbelievables' resolve (and resistance to cold) as well as Clark's penchant for costume design. Yes: It was he who came up with the brilliant idea to pose as Ken dolls, the boyfriend to the Mattel company's ultra popular Barbie. What could be more appropriate? Who else had a fashionable myriad of clothes and accessories?  Not only popular back in the 1960's when our adversary began his shenanigans, we felt Ken the perfect model for the role in quashing Snow's plans. Clark had done it again, this time with an icon of world-wide reknown.

Of course, no case was complete unless we had monikers. It was my idea to assume the code denominations for "The Kens" after the "real" name of the Ken doll: Ken Sean Carson. Clark (it being his plan from the get go) got the  titular name, Jeff became "Sean" and I morphed into "Carson."

Now ... about those red shorts ...

(... to be continued ...)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Sockin' it to the Muffin Man

I do remember this case very well. If for no other reason than it was the last time I ever had the pleasure of sitting behind the wheel of my beloved Corvette (I don't know why my colleagues insist on referring to it as Ralph's; Ralph certainly didn't need it anymore, what with being all crushed and burnt-up, and had anyway bequeathed it to me with his last, crushed and burnt-up breath, so I don't know why anybody has to keep referring to it as "Ralph's car" ... It was my car! MINE!!), even though I was packed in there with a bunch of dudes. I still don't know how one puts an automobile in gear while changing a radio station although I suspect it has something to do with why "agent" Mitchell wasn't in a position of higher authority (at the time, of course; my understanding is he is the Personal Security Specialist for Hollywood starlet Halle Berry now). At any rate the Corvette was totalled that day, same as the Muffin Man's drug/baked goods/hosiery operation.

And of course I remember our sock aliases. As mentioned previously, Michael was indeed "Azure Jewels", but Mitchell was "Crimson Glory", Schlomo was "Royal Confetti", Jeff was "Mauve Splendor" and I was "Pumpkin Buggerer".

My recollection of the origins of this photograph differs, however. I would have sworn this was our initiation into the gang; I remember a cold room (very cold, hence my perceived, um, shyness) and leaving a foggy imprint of our buttocks, which very few people realize are actually more distinct than fingerprints or dental records, on the plexiglass cubes was their way of making sure we were legit and not undercover operatives. Fortunately for us, Scottish-Jewish-American FBI agent Schlomo McCaskill had somehow anticipated this circumstance and arranged for us all to be outfitted with prosthetic buttocks beforehand. I still have no idea how he could have known something like that but he basically saved the whole operation and our lives. But it was a long time ago. I could be completely wrong.

Still, right or wrong, I'd have to say my fondest memories of this case come from getting to meet and work with the amazing Scottish-Jewish-American FBI agent Schlomo McCaskill. What a remarkable man. Truly an inspiration to crimefighters and those with prosthetic buttocks alike. I'll never forget the last time I saw him. He said, "Ay, The Muffin Man may have gotten away this time, but I dinna plan to give up on finding this fercockt gonif! Mind ye this, boychick; he could be closer than ye think! A bi gezunt, laddies. Man oh man, do I love baseball!" With that, he finished eating the last bite of his hot dog haggis muffin with cream cheese and capers and rode away on his motorcycle. We haven't seen him or the Muffin Man since.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Little Perk Being An Unbelievable

Is this the fiend known as "The Muffin Man" ... ???
We may never know for sure ...

One of the things about the "Socks And Drugs And Sausage Rolls" case Jeff didn't elaborate on in the previous post was why, at all, we were required to wear the colorful footwear evident in our group shot. Quite a simple explanation, really.

The Muffin Man's operation was such that no one knew the names of any of "the gang." The tell tale sign you were part of his contingent was by the socks you wore. "Blue Houndstooth" and "Chocolate Down Below" and "Orange Creamsicle" were common terms of referal for guys who were bag men or drug runners or drivers in Muff's operation. I've forgotten what our aliases were - perhaps Clark will recall later. (Wait! I remember mine! "Azure Jewels" ... !!! How could I forget ... ?!?)

Anywho, no other con man of the time was thus stylishly dressed. A flick of the trouser cuff revealing your footwear and anyone in-the-know automatically pinned you as a member of the fiendish organization. Brilliant "silent communication." Rather clever, that.

While Jeff has pretty well described the events of the case, the really interesting thing that came of the entire affair was as a result of the group shot. And it's right there beneath us in a simple, concise line: "Announcing the best-dressed men in America." Yes ... we were duped as models for modern footwear after Mitchell clandestinely began making copies of the piece and distributing to all his friends. In practically no time at all the photo landed in the hands of some advertising agency and << boom >> we were splashed in the pages of all sorts of grocery store rags and haute couture pifflely pieces as "those daring young men in their colorful footies." (Side Note: Our refusal to recreate the shot or appear live in anything but socks made us all the more popular in the day proving something The Unbelievables have known for some time: Not giving the people what they want can create excitement.)

So there you go. Just a little value added bump of being in The Unbelievables.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

P.S. I would like to point out a few  things about our photo.  You can readily see Mitchell (far left, top) was a little too comfortable in the disguise at hand (or, "at foot" as the case may be) which should have been one of our first indications he wouldn't fit in as An Unbelievable on future ventures. Scottish-Jewish-American FBI agent Schlomo McCaskill (top, in blue socks) appears a bit sheepish ... but it was his suggestion to be tagged sans clothes. (There was something just a bit "off" about that guy. But we always got some sort of photograph to put in our file for reference, so why not this one? Our proclivity toward detail can't help but make us think that way. Else ... we wouldn't have anything to show you good people, you know?) Jeff, Clark and I (from the 9 o'clock position, clockwise) are our usual gregarious and fabulous selves, if I do say so myself. 

Though ... I'm not quite certain why Clark appears a bit shy ...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Socks And Drugs And Sausage Rolls

It was a wet September evening somewhere in the early 1970's. Michael, Clark and myself were staking out a store known as "Sock It 2 Me", a shop which we knew was a front for an illicit baked goods and drug ring. Yes, baked goods. Danish pastries, Chelsea buns, Eccles cakes, crullers, steak and onion pasties and sausage rolls, mainly. The leader of the whole operation was known only as "The Muffin Man" and had thus far proved difficult to capture. He'd been smuggling drugs into the country via a Guatemalan bakery, and then filtering the baked items out to his network via the sock shop. The reason for this was because an actual bakery would have been too obvious, and the authorities would have noticed straight away. Fiendishly clever.

As we sat in our old pal Ralph's (rest his soul) Corvette we were slightly cramped. Actually, we were very cramped. Alright, we were contorted into extremely uncomfortable positions and each of us had at least one limb that had gone numb. The reason for this is because this was our first joint operation with the FBI, and office junior Mitchell wanted to come along for the ride, as he'd never seen an actual takedown before. Also with us was the guy in charge of the FBI operation, Schlomo McCaskill, the world's only Scottish-Jewish-American FBI agent. However, as we sat in a cramped automobile with steamed up windows (made worse by Mitchell's insistence on bringing two Thermos flasks - one filled with hot coffee and the other with scalding tomato soup) we began to wonder if perhaps two vehicles might have been a better option. That, and walkie-talkies. And matching jumpsuits.

Schlomo knew his stuff. He'd been researching the Muffin Man's operation for a long time and several times had come close to nabbing the fiend, but never quite made it. This is why he'd called us, to pool our resources, so to speak. 

We'd been on The Muffin Man's tail a good while too. We were beginning to wonder if we'd ever get a break in the case, when Schlomo called us. We were glad of the help, frankly. Especially when you consider the following chain of events.

It was eight o'clock, and despite the cold and the rain outside, Michael finally cracked and wound down the window of the 'Vette. Fortuitous that he did, for it was at that moment that we noticed some shadows flickering in the half-light from inside the store.

Just then a truck pulled up and went around the rear of the store. The truck bore the legend "Muffin Man Bakery" on the side. We somehow knew this was our guy.

We split up and made our way around to the back entrance. Schlomo went with Clark, Michael and I went the other side, and Mitchell was left to mind the car and keep feeding the parking meter. He seemed quite content with his soup anyway - and he liked to play that game where you try to spot license plates from every state, so we didn't feel bad about leaving him on his own. "Keep the engine running," we said. "We might need to leave in a hurry."

Well, it seemed like it was all over in a matter of moments. Clark and Schlomo busted into the store while Michael and I subdued and restrained the truck driver. Clark sat on one guy (he kept wriggling - a lot), Schlomo cuffed another while he was in the act of stuffing a pair of blue Esquire Socks with a drug-laced sausage roll and a New York Water Bagel, but where was the Muffin Man himself?

Just then we heard the crunching of gears and turned in time to see the maniac take off in the truck, grinning widely and leaving the parking lot. However, the truck came to a sudden halt when the Corvette - our car - Ralph's precious 'Vette - lurched from its parking space, up onto the curb, knocked over the parking meter and fishtailed into the front of the truck. The Muffin Man was too stunned to do anything but just sit in the cab, looking glazed, like a cake donut.

We were pretty amazed too. Mitchell - our office junior, the guy who usually made the coffee - had saved the day. We raced over, shouting words of congratulation to Mitchell, except for Clark, who was muttering stuff about the car and repair bills and how hard it is to find a decent mechanic these days. However, it seemed that what had transpired was that Mitchell had become bored, was tinkering with the radio, and had accidentally put the car in gear. But no matter. The day was saved. After we had repaired to the nearest bar for two or nine beers with Schlomo, he suggested we pose for the above photo as a way of celebrating a successful capture. Quite why we agreed to do it nude, I can't recall. It seemed a good idea at the time.
The picture still resides on our office wall, and brings back some great yet fuzzy memories. 

The Muffin Man made a daring escape from prison a few years later using a laundry cart, a gross of paper-clips and a hockey puck, and is currently at large, whereabouts unknown...

And Mitchell? Well, he left us soon after that, claiming the event had "traumatized" him, but we noticed a few weeks afterwards that he was advertising his services in the local want ads as a private detective. I wonder where he is now...