I’ve previously written about the existence of another “Nick Butler” in the United Kingdom who happens to have a similar email address as me, and more specifically, how that led to a member of Parliament emailing me by mistake … and then (jokingly?) offering me a bribe. Well, a few months ago, I received yet another email intended for the other Nick Butler. This email wasn’t from a member of Parliament, just from some guy named Clive. It turns out Clive had some business to discuss. The topic? The dress code for a British secret society.
This is amazing. Let’s dive right in and dissect this entire email, shall we?
I am responding to your letter concerning dress codes. My comments on the 5 points raised are these:
It was at this moment I knew I was about to read one of the greatest emails I’ve ever received.
1. It would be useful to list non-acceptable clothing
Simple suggestion. Right to the point. Well done, Clive.
2. Male members may be excused ties but not jackets before 6.00pm. After 6.00pm both ties and jackets should be worn
Members? So this is legit. We’re ramping things up quickly. Also, I love the thought process here: “Before 6pm, men may be excused ties … BUT NOT JACKETS! And after 6pm both should be worn, we’re not animals!”
3. Hot weather guidance should be at the discretion of the Secretary as now but ties should be worn in the evening even in hot weather.
The Secretary?!?! Now it’s clear to me that there’s an organization involved. There are bylaws. Someone nearby has a copy of Robert’s Rules.
4. The guidance for ladies seems appropriate.
Clive doesn’t seem eager to weigh in how the women members should dress. I can only imagine the hoops they’re jumping through after 6pm.
5. Members who flout the rules should be refused entrance. If they persist the staff should identify them and an appropriate letter sent from the Secretary, with the ultimate threat of withdrawing of membership for persistent non compliance.
Clive took this from 0 to 60 REAL quick. We’re going to kick people out for not putting their ties on after 6pm? Jesus Clive, it’s just some cloth. Also, it sounds like Clive’s a bit of a tattletale. Ratting them out to the Secretary for loosening their ties after an evening cocktail? Settle down.
Alright, so this is fantastic. Based on the subject of the email and knowing this was definitely meant for the British Nick Butler, I Googled "Athenaeum" (pronunciation unknown) and it turns out the Athenaeum Club is a British private members’ club in London that was founded in 1824. They have a really nice building in London where members can meet to discuss, I assume, very British things? You know, things like DON'T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF BRITISH STEREOTYPES IN THE FINAL DRAFT, IT WILL BE VERY HUMOUROUS! HUMOUROUS INDEED!
Wikipedia even has a list of 135 past Athenaeum Club members, all of whom have their own individual Wikipedia page, so you know these were important people! Well, except James Robert Forbes, whose name is listed incorrectly so his link is broken -- I think it’s actually meant to be Robert James Forbes. I’m too lazy to edit the page, so if you’re reading this and feel like fixing it, the Athenaeum Club will forever be in your debt.
Anyway, back to the email. Last time this happened, it was a Lord of Parliament and I didn’t want to impersonate the other Nick Butler, because that seems like maybe it could be illegal? But this is just a guy who seems overly strict about what people wear after an arbitrary time … so I decided to have a little fun.
After having a few drinks and in consultation with some of my friends, I responded to Clive with the following email:
I was hoping I could exert some influence over the dress code, and it seemed like Clive really wanted to be strict, so I leaned into his heavy handed mentality by suggesting an even more strict punishment for those who dare challenge my rules! Also, I tried my best to seem British. Spare the rod? Who says that!
Unfortunately, I never heard back. That either means Clive silently agreed with me that even stricter rules were necessary and has kicked out countless men for disobeying my rules, or he realized I’m not the Nick Butler he was looking for, and he deleted my email and reported me as spam.
Either way, it’s after 6pm, so I need to go put my tie on. Cheers!
Back in 2007, I was into ghosts. Like, really into ghosts. I spent time watching videos of supposed ghost activities, looked into the equipment needed to find evidence of ghosts, and even went so far as to write fake stories about my fake encounters with ghosts.
I shared one of those fake ghost stories on a website called “The Midnight News” in order to scare some people on the internet and to add my own invented anecdote to haunting lore (unfortunately, the story I wrote is no longer available — trust me, I looked).
While I don’t remember the entire story, I know it had something to do with a previous owner’s child dying in my house in the early 1900s (you know, like every ghost story) and mysterious, unaccounted for sounds emanating from the basement. Yeah, 14-year old me wasn’t exactly exploring new literary frontiers with my ghost stories.
To my horror, somehow my made-up story made its way to the producer of an A&E television show called “Paranormal State,” a series about a group of Penn State college students who investigated claims of paranormal activity.
One night in August 2007, this email arrived in my inbox:
Hello Nick -
I was terrified.
This was, arguably, worse than a real ghost would be. Somehow my fake ghost story had manifested itself into a real-life thing — having a crew of amateur ghost hunters come to my house and film it for national TV. I wasn’t prepared for that pressure as a 14-year old child. And, at that age, I absolutely did not have the authority to allow a group of paranormal investigators and an A&E television crew access to my house for a night of filming, at least not without talking to my parents first. How exactly was I supposed to explain to them that I had spent time making up ghost stories on the internet?
In my panicked state, I did what anyone would’ve done: I didn’t respond to Chris’s email for eight years.
Eight long years.
He sent his original email in August 2007 — finally, in September 2015, I responded to the producer with this email:
Chris responded almost immediately saying “Mind. Blown.” and asked me how I had saved his email all these years, and why I made up the ghost story in the first place?
It’s been two years since he asked me those questions… and I still haven’t returned his email.
Stay tuned for an update in six more years.
Back in September 2010, when I was just starting my senior year of high school, I wrote an email to myself through FutureMe.org titled “Questions for the Future.” In it, I asked several questions for myself to answer in 2017. Below you'll find the answers to those questions. Enjoy!
This email was sent by you (me) in September 2010.
Is the Simpsons off TV yet?
No. And honestly, I don’t remember being a fan of the Simpsons, so I don’t know why I would ask this. I guess for posterity?
Did they make an Arrested Development movie?
No, but they did make a new season which was alright. And there’s another new season coming out in 2018. So, kind of?
Is Will Ferrell still making awesome movies?
Not, uh... not really.
Is Conan O'Brien still on? Jon Stewart? Colbert?
Yes, but on TBS. No. Yes, but on CBS. Overall, late night TV is probably worse now than it was in 2010. Sorry, me.
Do you still watch Psych, House, The Event, NCIS, Fringe, The Office, 30 Rock, Communtiy, SNL?
I don’t even know what the hell The Event is, so no to that. I still watch The Office on Netflix (Netflix is a prominent video streaming platform in 2017).
Did they ever make a sequel to Cloverfield?
Kind of, they made it into an anthology series. So not really.
Is the iPad still "revolutionary"?
I’m not sure what I meant when I put "revolutionary” in quotes, but tablets are very popular so it seems like the iPad had an impact. Personally, my phone does everything I’d use a tablet for — and for that reason, I’m out.
Has anything truly amazing happened with technology?
Yes, this happened.
How much money do you have?
Not enough. If you get this answer in 2010, invest everything in Bitcoin. Pls.
How much does gas cost - today it's $2.87?
About $2.50, so cheaper actually. Thanks Obama.
Has the Tea Party destroyed America yet?
I wouldn’t say destroyed, but they certainly haven’t helped.
How’s the whole Israel / Palestine thing?
Was Barack Obama reelected?
Yes. Now please, for the love of God, don’t ask any more questions about the presidency.
Who is the president?
Oh, my sweet summer child.
A few months ago I set up a parody Donald Trump-themed dating website aptly named Trump.Singles. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, didn’t I almost get sued by Donald Trump for owning a website with ‘trump’ in the name? Yes, yes I did. But in the end The Donald cut me a two figure check, which I think means I won the legal battle and I’m allowed to do it again. Plus, that was before he was running for president, and now I think it’s my patriotic duty and God-given right to make fun of Donald Trump.
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The concept behind my Trump dating website was simple: in an effort to breed the most luxurious and intelligent wall-building babies the world has ever seen, Trump.Singles would serve as a place where wealthy people with the last name Trump could meet other wealthy people with the last name Trump. The only downside to Trumpbreeding is that the children would have cartoonishly small hands.
Now, here’s the thing. I often start funny projects like Trump.Singles and never really tell anyone about them. It goes a little like this:
Last week, Fox News’ Fox and Friends aired a segment featuring the website TrumpSingles.com (you may see where this is going) which is an actual, real thing that exists for Trump supporters to meet other Trump supporters without having to worry about the awkward moment they reveal that they’re a Trump supporter.
After the Fox News segment aired, thousands of single Trump supporters looking for love flocked to the internet and searched for “Trump singles.” Well, it turns out that my website, Trump.Singles, was the first result when you Googled that phrase. What’s more, the actual TrumpSingles.com crashed due to the heavy load of horny Fox News viewers, causing even more people to end up on my site in an attempt to connect with other Trump singles as quickly as possible.
I thought it was pretty obvious my website was a parody, but of the 4,000 people who visited Trump.Singles, at least 89 people who filled out the “Sign Up” form apparently had no idea. This led to some great “applications” to join Trump.Singles.
Here are some of my favorite comments that were submitted (and again, these are 100% real):
"Just heard about your website on Fox News. What a great idea. I wish you success." - Joe J.
Thanks Joe! It’s already a success, trust me.
"I have been a Donald Trump supporter since the beginning would love to meet a gentleman that has the same political views for our wonderful country! Trump2016" - Jackie C.
I wish you all the best Jackie.
"i wanna find me a sugar daddy so i can get that trump stump" - Brittany B.
"Go TRUMP or go home!" - Eric T.
I think America is getting ready to go home in November.
"I hope this is legit!!!!" - Suzanne A.
"I am a trump supporter" - Michele V.
I am not a trump supporter. - Nick B
"This is a great idea! I support Trump for POUS. I also predicted he’d win when he first appeared he was running!!!" - Emma B.
If you predicted Trump would be the GOP nominee when he first announced, then you’re far smarter than I am. Also, it’s POTUS.
"its great" - Steve W.
If it’s already great, then what is Trump trying to do again?
"No comment." - Sharon P.
"your domain names. .com and .org are jammed solid
watched on f and f this morning
couldn’t get on" - Craig S
So my website was the third Trump Singles site you tried using? Craig…I’m so sorry.
"Want to join and have you become President." - Lester B.
Nick Butler 2016 - Lester B.
"I’m black.." - Michael M.
Look, my African American!
"I am a patriotic American that wantsthis country to be great again. I want to meet somebody that will snuggle on the couch with me as we watch the election results roll in and celebrate when Mr. Trump crushes crooked Hillary." - Betty S.
Betty is looking for the man of her dreams. Literally, because what she just described will never happen.
On one hand, I feel bad for these people. On the other hand, it’s pretty damn obvious my website is a joke. Right next to the form they filled out, it says:
Unfortunately, none of the people who submitted an application to Trump.Singles was actually a member of the Trump family, which means I had to deny their application. I didn’t want to break their hearts too bigly, so I delivered the news in a way that would seem familiar to them: I wrote the rejection email as Donald J. Trump.
This is that email. Read it in Donald Trump’s voice.
That’s it. If (and when) I receive some responses to that email, I’ll be sure to update you all. In the meantime, if your last name is Trump and you’re looking for love, feel free to check out Trump.Singles.
Last week, I filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to start an independent expenditure-only political action committee (or superPAC) named Don’t Approve This SuperPAC. Despite pleading with the FEC to not approve my superPAC by literally naming it “Don’t Approve This SuperPAC,” they went ahead and approved it anyway.
You read that right, I have a superPAC. Like, actually. Don’t believe me? You can check out the superPAC’s website at DontApproveThis.com.
Thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, I have the actual power to actually collect and spend unlimited amounts of actual money to influence the American political landscape.
I know what you’re thinking: “Wow! This is impressive! This must have been really difficult to do!”
Nope! Turns out it’s superEASY to start a superPAC. It took me 15 minutes to fill out the Statement of Organization form, which officially lists me as the “Unpaid Intern” and “Chief Con Man” of Don’t Approve This SuperPAC. Once I finished the application, I thought it might be difficult to find a bank who would open a public funds checking account for an organization with “Don’t Approve This” in its name. But, thanks to the great people at Trustco Bank, I was able to open a new account in less than 30 minutes!
“But Nick,” I hear you wondering. “How much did all of this cost?”
It’s true. There is a cost associated with starting a superPAC, and I’m not proud to admit that I paid it. In order to start a superPAC, you have to buy a stamp for the envelope you send your application in -- and that stamp will set you back about 49 cents. It’s a small price to pay for the power to collect and spend unlimited amounts of money to influence the American political landscape.
As we move forward, I’m going to give some thought to what candidates and issues Don’t Approve This may advocate for (or against). In the meantime, I urge you all: don’t donate to Don’t Approve This SuperPAC.
Don’t Approve This SuperPAC
Unpaid Intern & Chief Con Man