It was a party. A party like the other hundreds I had attended. Halle Berry was pestering me to co-star in her next movie; Danica Patrick was begging me to go for a ride in her car; and Rosie Perez had this idea that if she sat in my lap; I could make her talk without moving my lips.
I was about to take Danica up on her offer when I heard this annoying high-pitched voice say, “Hey Robison!” “Hey Robison!” “Down here, you yutz!”
I looked around, but I couldn’t see anybody.
That’s when I woke up. I was in my office. It was morning. I had once again slept at my desk. The monicker is Robison; I’m a PR guy.
I rubbed my eyes and reached for my “smokes”. That’s when I heard the voice again.
“Hey Robison! Down here, you putz!”
Startled, I surveyed my office to no avail. Suddenly I felt a sharp pain at my ankle, and looked down. There at my feet stood a creature… no wait…a man…a tiny little man, no more than a foot high. I must admit, he may have been shorter, but his large cone hat made him appear taller. He was dressed in a red robe and had a beard that almost touched his toes.
“DID YOU JUST BITE ME?!” I screamed.
“You’ll get over it. I had to finally get your attention.” He explained.
“Who…what the hell are you?” I asked.
“I’m a gnome; “Will The Intolerable”, to be exact.” He answered.
“Will the intolerable, what?” I asked.
“No, you moron, ‘Will The Intolerable’ is my name.”
“What are you doing here?” I asked.
“Look here, Robison, you work for Quixtar, right?”
“Whatever…well, I’ve got a bone to pick with those guys.” the little guy said.
“Really? Join the crowd.” I said, “That’s all Quixtar needs is one more critic.”
“Will the Intolerable” continued, “I want YOU to relay my message to them!”
“What’s your message?” I inquired.
“Okay, first,” I said, “Please quit screaming. It makes your little high pitched voice even MORE annoying…and second, Are you talking about the “Land Of Will” Quixtar commercials?”
“Yeah Bozo, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Quixtar has these commercials talking about the ‘Land of Will’ being filled with Opportunity, and Hope, and they’re saying a half million people live in the land of Will.”
“Yeah, so?” I was a little confused by Will’s complaint.
“Well that’s all lies. There are about 40 of us living in Will, and it’s filled with radish patches, trees, a couple of foxes, some deer, and one really tall Hobbit, that we keep around for security. We don’t want you tall-assed bastards moving there. There is absolutely NO OPPORTUNITY for you there.”
“Will, Will, Will, you don’t understand…the Land of Will is a metaphor for those wanting to register as Quixtar independent business owners. It symbolizes those determined people wanting to change their lives by owning a business, an opportunity to succeed, to better their lives. With the determined “will” to succeed, the opportunity is available with Quixtar.”
I thought I explained the concept pretty well.
“Oh really?” he asked, “Well, they should have checked with me first! I don’t like it. I won’t put up with any tourists searching for better lives on MY land.”
But Will, you won’t see any tourists. No one is actually going to believe there really is a land called Will. Hell, I’m having trouble believing that I’m talking to a real live gnome named Will. Are you any kin to that Travelocity gnome?”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, he lives in the Land of Cheap Sell-out for Big Bucks. I write a blog about how sorry his company is.”
I couldn’t believe it. “You have a blog?”
“Sure,” he said, “doesn’t everybody?”
He had a point.
The little gnome paced back and forth at my feet. He would walk underneath my desk and then walk back to my feet; all the while, mumbling to himself. He would looked up at me in disgust and then would begin to pace (and mumble) again.
I watched him.
He watched me.
Finally, I decided to light a cigarette and give the issue some thought.
As I inhaled the nicotine and comforting smoke, I decided to see if I could help Will the Intolerable Gnome with his problem.
“Okay Spud,” I said, “let’s see if we can help you out.”
The gnome stopped pacing and intently gazed up at me. A slight scowl on his bearded face.
“You think that these Quixtar commercials are going to cause you and the residents of The Land of Will some problems with tourists, “lookie-lou’s” and general curiosity seekers looking to settle down, right?”
“Damn straight!” he said.
“Okay,” I said, “I can almost guarantee you that nobody is gonna come looking for the Quixtar Land of Will in your little world, BUT, if you are worried about it, I have the solution for you.”
The little gnome continued to look at me expectantly and I wouldn’t make him wait for the answer.
“Gather all your residents of Will; bring along the Hobbit, you’re gonna need him for some heavy lifting.” I said.
I continued, “I want you to build two big signs and erect them on either side of the road leading into your Land Of Will. The first sign should be placed on the left side of the road, it should read, ‘Welcome to the Land of Will’ and underneath that caption should be the lines, “NO Phones” “NO Bookstores” “NO Internet Access”
Will The Gnome looked at me and started taking notes.
He said, “Okay, this is good, what do we write on the other side of the road?”
I said, “Okay, the next sign should be taller than the first, painted completely white, and at the very top, write, “Quixtar? Leave your comments here”
Will The Gnome questioned me, “What will that do?”
I said, “Trust me, Will; if the first sign doesn’t scare them off, the second sign will completely distract them and they’ll never make it past the sign or ever enter your territory.”
He smiled. I think it was a smile.
“Now,” I said, “Do you feel better?”
“Yes, I think I do” he said, “What do I owe you?”
I thought for minute.
“I’d really like to ride in a car with Danica Patrick”
“So?” he asked, “What can I do about that?”
“Don’t you grant wishes?”
He laughed in a little squeal, “Naah, you’re thinking about leprechauns.”
“Damn,” I lamented, “Then, my fee is $200 bucks.”
“I don’t have $200 bucks!” he screamed.
“Hmmmm…okay Will, then I’m afraid we’ll have to come up with another form of payment.”
I gave my partner, Skyler, a week off. Will decided to stand-in for him. He tells some pretty funny jokes, and I don’t have to worry about my lips moving. Personally, I think I could have had better success using Rosie Perez, but you can understand Will just a little bit better.
UPDATE: Originally published at Quixtar Blog in October of 2006. Inserted into the “OTRWD” timeline in November of 2015