So I'm sitting alone in a dark coffee shop, see. I had just got off the phone with the boss, and that miserable so and so gives me a case to work on that's pure bush league, baby. Something about Astroturf and some leggy little golf minx named Michelle Wie.
May as well have given me a case of the clap. At least I'd have enjoyed it for a seven or eight seconds.
"Get me another cup a joe," I tell the waitress. She's a looker, this one.
"Huh," she says.
Dames. Go figure.
"Listen, if you don't leave right now, I'm going to have to call the police," she says.
Dames. Always with the police. One minute you're playing a game of "toss the pancakes" the next minute they're on the horn screaming for Johnny Law. Go figure.
So I leave, see. But before I get to my Schwinn, whammo, and it's lights out Billy-Boy.
I come to and I'm tied to a chair in the middle of this abandoned warehouse, see. There's something or someone standing over me. Calls himself Get Rheel. I'm going to play it cool, see, and tell him to go fly a kite off a short pier, but the jumper cables he's got hooked up to my tater tots tell me he's serious. So I let him have his say.
"A possible explanation for a half dozen or so adults spending untold hours discussing someone they say they have very little regard for ... Astroturf. Astroturf is the industry term for phony Public Relations campaigns that try to appear to be "grassroots" movements. Alex (and his imaginary friends) show all the earmarks of astroturf blog writers," he says.
He's looking like he wants to send some serious voltage through my bean bags, so I decide to keep playing it cool.
"Hey, what do I know? I'm just a lowlife blog-boy," I say, but he just keeps preaching.
"So, Alex is either being paid minimum wage or so to attack a fine young golfer, or is being led by the nose in his views by a more sophisticated Astroturf writer. True to form, Alex denies the existence of such Astroturf PR campaigns - says it is delusional to think such thoughts," Get Rheel says.
"Delusional sounds about right, tough guy," I say, because I'm dumb as a bag of bricks. Blast off, baby. He turns the switch and my cobblestones are in a blender filled with lightning. I come to a few minutes later, up an octave and ready to listen.
"Astroturf, huh? Sounds like the bees knees to me. How do you know this?" I ask, polite as a chickadee in a room full of drunken sailors.
"Anyone can go to Google and type in "Astroturf" and "blog." The Wall Street Journal wrote a piece on Public Relations Astroturf last week. I just typed in "astroturf" and "blog" on Google - got over 500,000 hits," he says.
Then he's gone. Leaving me nothing but questions, the main one being how to untie myself and get out of Dodge. But then I start thinking about Wie. Who's doing this to her? Why? What point does it make? Who profits?
I was prepared to sit there playing the hypothetical hula for a while, and let my berries take a breeze, but then the door opened again. It was Judge Smails, cackling like Cheney with a six-shooter loaded with H-bombs. This just wasn't going to be my day ...
Will Blog-Boy Billy escape? And who is plotting the downfall of Michelle Wie? And what the hell is the point to all of this? Find out, next week in the next exciting episode of "Michelle Wie and the Astroturf Assassins!"
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