Friday, March 24, 2017

Indispensable Ulf

Let's just get one thing straight - I was never in any doubt that Ulf was the perfect pooch pal for us unbelieva-chaps - I merely underestimated his abilities, which, let's face it, is easy to do when the only hounds you're used to are your average, everyday, run-of-the-mill, common-or-garden variety dogs. Ulf is one in a million. But to all appearances, he's just a regular dog, although you never can tell what breed. His mastery of disguise is legendary.

So as I was saying, I had yet to see his other abilities put to the test in the field, so to speak. I mean, sure, we set him up one of those dog-show style assault courses, and he aced it. More than that, he set a world record time without even having to be shown what to do. Unlike this feller here...

But I was to find out that there are many strings to Ulf's bow. For example...

He's rescued people in all sorts of dire emergencies. Here he is pulling some poor unfortunates from an icy grave...

Fearlessly diving in first to pull Michael Phelps out of a mucky lake while we three look on in admiration. Old Phelpsy had been on the wacky baccy again.

Searching through the rubble in some foreign land fully equipped to deal with unexploded bombs and landmines etc.

Helpfully guiding a lost dolphin back to her family group.

Demonstrating the art of digging for avalanche victims in the Pyrenees...

and teaching new Search & Rescue recruits how to jump out of helicopters into the icy Alaskan waters beneath in order to save people. 

He's a bomb disposal expert, too. Here he is showing one of those Army robots how it should be done.

On the weekends he trots off down to the airport to help sniff out contraband. He can tell the difference between Colombian marching powder and Lamb Jalfrezi at 100 paces.
Plus, he's extremely useful around here too.

Covering shifts for Kip the Mail Boy when he's on his hols...

Always takes his turns answering the phone...

and he's becoming a pretty decent cook.

The ladies love him. Good boy, Ulf!
Yes, I think it's fair to say that Ulf truly is The Unbelievables' best friend!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Ulf joins the team

Ulf's ability to disguise himself like some kind of chameleon who is also a dog was something that impressed us immediately.
Sometimes, like us, Ulf is black. Don't let it throw you.
But you can never be too cautious when bringing in a potential new team member, be they human, canine or other, so we subjected him to some thorough tests in the lab that yielded some very surprising results. Turns out, there is actually a good reason for Ulf's ability to change his appearance; he's a mathematically impossible combination of a variety of dog breeds:
50% Collie
50% Setter (Irish)
50% Boxer
50% Doberman Pinscher
50% Pointer
99.7% Labrador Retriever
We tasked Kip the Mail Boy with challenging these results in a field study with Ulf, the conclusion of which which we caught on video:

Ha ha ha!
Kip is so stupid.

As far as I was concerned, at that exact moment, Ulf was one of us. Jeff needed just a little more convincing, however...

Monday, March 20, 2017

Origin Stories: Ulf The Unbelievadog

Ulf The Unbelievadog

Early on in The Unbelievables career - shortly after the world was made aware of our daring adventures, benefits to the international community at and obvious do-goodery - we discovered a small glitch with our popularity ...

"Damn," Clark huffed one afternoon. "I'm exhausted."

"Me, too," Jeff agreed. "We need to do something to take some of the load off our shoulders."

I chimed in. "Agreed. Shuttling here and there and everywhere to help out with stuff while vanquishing ne'er-do-wells is taking its toll. Let's put our heads together and come up with something."

"Hmmmmmmmmmmmm" Clark thought out loud. "How about some outside help? You know ... lackeys or sidekicks or something to ease the burden?"

"That would take lots of time and training. And we're spread thin as it is," I countered.

Jeff jumped up out of his seat. "I've got it! An animal compatriot! Sure, there's training involved but there wouldn't be any back talk! An animal sidekick would work on the cheap with little drama or need for vacations and stuff like that!"

"Brilliant!" Clark agreed. 

"Like what?" I asked.

"A squirrel!" Jeff exclaimed.

"No." I said.

"How about a cat?" Clark suggested.

"Cats are worthless, interested in only themselves. And they don't listen. Plus they don't give a rat's ass about anything but ... well, rats. And mice."

"A dolphin!" Jeff offered.

I gave him a look. "Good only for sea-faring stuff."

"A fox?" Clark asked.

"I don't think so ..."

Jeff pointed a finger in the air: "Hello! Cockroach!"

Both Clark and I looked at him with frowns.

"Bunny rabbit?" Jeff asked sheepishly.*

"I got it. A dog," I concluded. "Trainable, loyal, adaptable, always willing to perform. A dog would be perfect!"

Clark and Jeff agreed.

So it was off to the local shelter to see what there was to see.

There were gads of dogs and cats up for adoption. All three of us went in different directions on the hunt. It was Jeff who found what we were looking for, however.

"He's perfect. An Irish Wolfhound!" But that's not what I saw. I saw a German Shepherd. Clark? Saw a Boxer. We were confused. We called over a shelter attendant to tell us about the dog we found. 

"Oh ... that's an Alaskan Malamute," the helpful employee told us. All three of us looked at each other confused.

Jeff pulled us in close. "You know what? This dog is perfect for us. We're masters of disguise and, obviously, so is this dog. Imagine the confusion on our enemies' faces when they think one kind of dog is coming for them when it will be something entirely different! It's as if this pooch was made just for The Unbelievables!"

There was no denying it. We filled out the paperwork the shelter foisted on us and got all the particulars on him. Healthy, all his shots, likable and easily trainable. And he wasn't even a year old yet. Perfect age.

When we got him home (after a run to a pet store to lavish our new friend with bedding, treats, toys and more) we got down to business.

"What should we call him?" Clark asked. 

"Scruffy!" Jeff blurted.

"Jasper!" Clark countered.

"Caper!" I suggested.

Our new dog just looked at us. "Ulf" he barked.

Clark stated the obvious: "This is going to be tough ..."

"Rulf" the dog replied. 

"How are we going to come up with anything any of us are going to agree with?"

"Schlulf" the dog gruffed.

"I know: Each one of us gets a say in some aspect of his name ... within reason, of course. Maybe that will narrow it down for us. Me? His name has to be monosyllabic. Easier to call that way."

"Ulf!" the dog shot out.

"Okay ... my stipulation is it has to be simple to spell," Jeff told us.

"Wulf!" our furry newcomer barked.

"It's got to sound German," Clark mandated.

"....rrrrrrUlf ... !!!" the canine called.

We looked at each other enlightened. You could practically see the light bulbs glowing over our heads: "ULF!" we exclaimed in unison.

From that day forward there wasn't any question. It was Ulf The Unbelievadog, without a doubt.

From the Unbelieva-Files: Ulf The Unbelievadog
leading unwitting international fashion criminal Mac Ramey
to the hoosegow.

Clark and Jeff will clue you in to more of Ulf's origin story later in the week.

*Coincidentally, each and every one of these animals eventually became a valued agent in The Unbelievables' extensive network.

Friday, March 17, 2017

St. Pat's - Like Christmas (with more booze and slightly less crying)

"Hello yerselves, ye Unbelievalads!"
The guys are right; St. Paddy's Day is often the inspiration for our most raging ragers. This year is no exception. We can't share ALL the raucous details with you but we did catch some highlights on video and after some heavy editing (for the sake of those with delicate sensibilities), we can share them with you

(NOTE: You are reading this entry in real time because this all happened last night; as is the case with almost everything we do, we start early and go late. Hello ladies!).

Please click below to enjoy some of the Unbelievably unhinged debauchery from this year's celebration of everything green, Irish and green, starring me, Jeff and Michael and featuring Kip the Mail Boy and Ulf the Unbelievadog!

(NOTE to criminals, mastermind class or otherwise: Please don't do anything illegal until Monday. Thanks.)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

St. Pat's - Like Christmas (Including Annoying Family Members, By All Means)

"Yes, in terms of partying, St. Pat's at the UnbelievaBase is second only to Christmas ..."

And Jeff is spot on in so saying!

Faith and begorrah! You haven't the slightest idea! The festive mood is thick in the air around the Unbelieva-Base this week! So thick we (meaning: I) have started early by testing and fine tuning my traditional Gaelic costume.

You know how a picture's worth a thousand words? Well ... feast your eyes with a little preview of me "getting my Irish on" and be amazed:

Come Friday, there will be absolutely NO trousers on this guy! (But fear not! The festive St. Patrick's socks will probably be present.)

Take it away, Clark!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

St. Pat's - Like Christmas Without The Annoying Family Members

I apologise profusely for the lateness of this post. In my defence (and I think it's a good one), I was limbering up with the guys in preparation for that oh-so-special day on the Unbelieva-Calendar. Yes folks, this year St. Patrick's Day falls on a Friday. So what, you say? Well, if it falls on a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, it's just one night of debauchery and drinking heavily. But on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, it means an entire weekend of debauchery and drinking heavily! So in order for us to get into shape for the upcoming pseudo-Irish shenanigans, we spent Saturday night and all of Sunday getting debauched and (regretfully) whammoed.

Yes, in terms of partying, St. Pat's in the UnbelievaBase is second only to Christmas in terms of consuming mass quantities of alcohol.

I'll let the guys tell you some of our secrets to making sure your St. Paddy's Day weekend is as wild and outrageous as you want it to be, and still allow you to arrive at work bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on Monday morning.

Not quite what I meant.
That's better.

St. Pat's is of course well known in the good ole U. S. of A. as the one day of the year when consumption of all things green goes through the roof. By which I don't mean cabbage and green beans, etc., but green alcoholic beverages. Beer gets colored green, sales of Midori skyrocket and Apple Martinis flow like the wide, wide Missouri. So here's my contribution to our mini-guide to St. Patrick's, a fabulous Melon Whiskey Sour.

1 part Jim Beam Jacob's Ghost White Whiskey
2 parts Melon Midori
2 parts sweet and sour mix
(optional) 1 part ginger ale- this will make it a little less strong
about 6 frozen honeydew melon balls (made with a melon baller)

Put the melon balls in the freezer for about an hour. 

Shake with ice.

Before pouring, I put one big square ice cube at the bottom of each glass, followed by 3 frozen melon balls, then pour cocktail and enjoy. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Something Pizza And Beer This Way Comes

When last we left, Jeff had been warned by Kip from the other room: "Uh, red alert, guys! We have a visitor ..."

Clark came bounding down the hall from the direction of the Villains Room, a tad flushed and sweaty. "Pizza's here!"

I traded glances with Jeff. I was on my way for my telephone shift but it looked like I wasn't going to get to it. No big deal as it turned out because the more we hurried up and waited for that Zigfried guy to show up the more pointless his rambling, barely threatening telephone calls seemed to be.

"Screw it. Let's eat," I relented. "Zigmond (or whoever) will show when he shows ... if ever he does."

Following Clark's lead into the formal dining area, Kip had already taken in the delivery and laid out the spread. Clark really outdid himself this time around, too. There wasn't just pizza: There was pizza and all the side fixings as well - several pie varieties, chicken wings and onion rings with their accompanying dipping sauces and more. Now, as a general rule, I'm not really partial to pizza. But it's an underlying craving every once in a while, sort of like when you're hankering for a McDonald's Big Mac deep down inside, despite the fact you know there are much better burgers out there in the world. This is exactly how I feel about pizza. I get cravings for it here and there. Today? While I wasn't at all thinking about pizza the thought of it - accompanied by the nice selection before us - was thoroughly working its magic on me.

Of course there was a nice collection of iced cold malt beverages with which to wash down the pies. Jeff grabbed a trio, popped their tops and hand us one each. (A few Unbelieva-Babes even joined us.)

"A toast! To Zigfield ... or Zagfled ... or whatever his name is. May he come out of that tunnel (wherever it may be) and finally meet up with us (whenever that occasion might arise) so we can put a face with a name (whatever name he's going by at the time.) Until then ... SKOAL! Bon appetit!"

The meal was fine, the conversation and camaraderie equal to the meal and we never heard from Zapftig (or whoever he is) the remainder of the day.

For all we know he may still be trying to negotiate that tunnel ...

The question remained: How could someone so deft at infiltrating and causing such a ruckus* at The Academy Awards be so giving with threats to us while not seeing those threats through?

We might never know who true identity of The Zigster ... or whatever his name is. 

*As it turned out there was a logical, though sorry, explanation to the Oscar's final award flub as detailed by the news which resulted in the firing of a couple PricewaterhouseCoopers employees for their untimely screw-up with the winning envelope for Best Picture, which pretty much negated anything we'd learned of Zugmott (we think) and any of his claims.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Something Ziggy this Way Comes

I took the second shift. When I took over from Clark, he had that same look upon his face that he usually has just prior to defenestrating Henri Petit. I drew him to one side and recommended that he go and take out his aggression in the Villains room, which is like a gym full of dummies with the faces of some of our greatest adversaries on them. Except in Clark's case, he changes them all to Henri Petit. 

Artie the UnbelievaCat conducts an UnbelievaFu™ Unbelievinar™ at the local Radisson, and gives several members of Sum41 an ass-whuppin'.

Clark growled at me under his breath "...that guy.. is so...annoying!!! He keeps telling us he's coming to kick our butts and just never shows up! I mean,  what is WRONG with that dude!!!?" and with that, he stalked off to kick some dummy butt.

Recently declassified photo of Clark warming up for the Villains Room.

I had never seen Clark like this. Zigfiried (or Zigfried or Zigried) had really gotten to him. True, the guy was beginning to irk me somewhat also. But, resigned to my post, I manned the phone.

I didn't have long to wait. In a matter of seconds it began to ring again.

I snatched up the phone. "Hello!?!"

The familiar snarky voice snapped back, "Ah, good morning, Unbelieva-fools! I am on my way, you idiots! I am coming to give you the butt-kicking of your --"

"HOLD ON just one second, Ziggy! All you do is keep threatening and nothing to show for it! You just keep saying you're on your way, well where are you then? Huh? You don't know, because you're not coming at all, are you? You're a one-man  flop, aren't you? you've got no goons, no henchmen, no-one to help. You keep saying you've got to go through a tunnel, well I know for DAMN sure there aren't any tunnels for literally MILES around! So tell us then, Zigster! Where the hell are you, eh?"

" Ah, well, you see, I'm, uh, very close by, quite near, just a little ways away, down the road apiece, not too far..."

"Horse pucky!" I cried. "C'mon, talk to me.... if you can worm your way in to anywhere and disrupt a big ceremony like you did the Oscars, how come you can't come over here and fight?"

Just then, Kip shouted at me from the next room. "Uh, red alert, guys! We have a visitor..."

Monday, March 6, 2017

Something small and sneaky this way comes

"Svxvxvssslisten up, Unbelievabssslllsxzz, forget about the whole svxvsz 72 zxsxz I had visitorszxzzss outa town zzzssx uncle zzsxszxAunt Clara and ffzxzsff Victoria Sandwich afararaaaa-a-a-a-zzzss. I'll be callingzzzfrfrfr Mondayccchhhh fffrfzzzss. So there!" - Yesterday

With that warning, we agreed that we should pay particular attention to the phone ringing and that we should take turns monitoring incoming calls. I drew the first shift and it didn't take long...

ME: Hello, this is The Unbelievables.
CALLER: Hello! You've just won a...
ME: Oh, we don't have time for this!

ME: Hello, this is The Unbelievables.
CALLER: You dare to hang up on Zigfried?!? Your insolence will cost you dearly!
ME: That was you? You sound much clearer than you did yesterday.
CALLER ZIGFRIED: Ah, sorry about that. I was driving through a tunnel.
ME: Whatever. So, for all this drama, you're nothing more than a two-bit timeshare salesman?
ME: Then why did you say we've won some stupid prize?
ZIGFRIED: Ah, but if you hadn't hung up, you'd have heard me say 'You've just won a major butt-kicking from me, the great Zigfried!'
ME: You do realize that people threatening us with major butt-kickings is pretty standard around here, right? Not exactly the most creative way to get our attention.
ZIGFRIED: Ah, but you have never faced an adversary like me! You have no idea what you're up against!
ME: We do, actually. We've seen video of you in action. You're very small. Not that small people are incapable of accomplishing things because of course they are. But your fighting style of throwing yourself at people is rendered ineffective against anyone who anticipates it and simply catches you as they might an overly enthusiastic Golden Retriever puppy, followed by punting you off a bridge, not as anyone would do to a Golden Retriever puppy.
ZIGFRIED: Ah, but you have forgotten my uncanny ability to infiltrate any secure facility, such as your vaunted Unbelieva-base!
ME: Stop saying 'ah' at the start of every sentence. It's unnecessary and pretentious.
ZIGFRIED: Listen to me you buffoon! Svxvxvsss I will sxzz be theresvxvsz zxsxzbefore you realizezxzzss zzzssx zzsxszx at which point it will ffzxzsff  too late-a-a-a-zzzss. Zzzfrfrfr fffrfzzzss.

So we know:
  • He's sneaky.
  • He didn't deny being small.
  • It's hard to remember if it's spelled 'Zigfried' or 'Zigfreid' or Zigried' even. All of them look wrong.
  • He feels it necessary to point things out by beginning sentences with 'ah', which I find patronizing. 
  • He's coming to attack us and he has to pass through a tunnel to get here. 
Hmm, I'd say we're at least partially prepared to deal with whatever comes next.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Failure To Communicate

Believe you me, we have spent many an hour studying this CCTV footage (which is why this post is late).

Something about this footage of Zigfried (or someone we assume to be him) just doesn't seem right. Staged, almost. Is it footage of a teeny tiny guy butt-kickin' on two burly geezers? Or is it footage of a normal-sized guy butt-kickin' on two giant dudes? 

Or is it (and this is the most likely theory, to my mind) footage that has been filmed from a certain special angle with a special camera, much like the ones used by Peter Jackson in the Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit movies in order to make Bilbo and Frodo look tiny alongside Gandalf and Thorin Oakenshield?

They did the same thing in Harry Potter.
Secondly, looking at the clothing in the CCTV footage, one has to wonder where a tiny guy like that can get such exquisitely tailored threads? We are on the lookout for a little person's seamstress as we speak.

Thirdly, after interviewing all the members of staff who were on duty that night at the Dolby Theatre, we found none that matched the description of the two gentlemen in the footage.

But, fourthly, and most perplexing of all, despite Zigfried ranting on Monday, "So, here's my demand: Get The Unbelievables to meet with me in 72 hours. Or all hell is going to break loose. You'll see real damage done, not just a simple switcheroo at an awards ceremony ..." and despite the best efforts of the venerable Crepe and Charlemaine to put us in contact with Zigfried, we haven't yet crossed paths, and nothing untoward has occurred. So what the heck is going on...?  

:::UPDATE::: As I write this, Kip, our trusty mail lad, has rushed in to tell me of a barely comprehensible voicemail he just received, claiming to be Zigfried himself. I myself have just taken a listen and here is a transcript. (Sorry about all the static.)

"Svxvxvssslisten up, Unbelievabssslllsxzz, forget about the whole svxvsz 72 zxsxz I had visitorszxzzss outa town zzzssx uncle zzsxszxAunt Clara and ffzxzsff Victoria Sandwich afararaaaa-a-a-a-zzzss. I'll be callingzzzfrfrfr Mondayccchhhh fffrfzzzss. So there!"

Curiouser and curiouser. Let's see what transpires tomorrow, eh?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A small deal is a big deal

"It IS a big deal. I've shown I can worm my way into the most secure of events..."
We, like you, wanted to know more about this 'Zigfried' before we agreed to meet with him. Specifically, how exactly he's able to "worm" his way into things.
The obvious explanation is that he actually is a worm, or more accurately a worm-person. This was rejected almost immediately by Jeff and Michael who have never supported my theories regarding the existence of worm-people to the degree that I think they should.
If they don't exist, why am I able to find a picture of one of them on The Internet?

My admittedly self-defensive follow-up was "well, I'll bet he's at least very small, like most worms are." This was not dismissed outright because both Jeff and Michael agreed that someone of a more diminutive stature might find it easier to hide among a busload of tourists and then sneak around undetected backstage at a crowded awards ceremony. It was right around that time that the Dolby Theater sent over security footage from an exit stairwell...

Ladies and gentlemen, our first glimpse of our newest formidable foe, Ziegfried.