My Friends Aren't Funny; the Joke is Dead

Here's an issue I'd hoped never to have to deal with. Some friend(s) of mine - and I don't know who - have engaged in behavior I'm ashamed of and effectively ruined a funny gag. Allow me to explain.

CliffNotes: Brent talks about   Strike all that; basically, someone isn't as clever as he thinks he is and killed a good joke.

Not Brent started as a gag from a poll Dethtron put up... basically, what's the opposite of Brent?  Not Brent, of course!  A fair few people are in on the fun, so it became something to tease me with.  Inevitably, when someone put a Not Brent reference on their site, I'd show up and write, "Not Brent Hurts Brent's Feelings."

When I helped Dethtron and Lauby write a FNIF I had to choose a color to represent me, so I chose green.  After that article, I started editorializing Strictly Average in a neon green - which works well against the blue background - to represent Not Brent's take.  He became a figment of my imagination and a way to have fun with the articles. 

Then some clever soul had a pretty funny idea!  They downloaded my Avatar, inverted the colors, flipped the image, and Not Brent was born into the Blogosphere!

The picture to the right isn't great, but you get the idea.  He started dropping comments and having a bit of fun.  He also knew me well enough to do a few things which drove me up the wall.

He followed the Master Manipulator (every store needs one)'s site but not mine.  That was a clever and subtle way of ribbing me.

Not Brent was funny because Not Brent was appropriate.  He didn't go too far but rather played inside the boundaries of good taste.  I can take a joke, so when Not Brent showed up in the comments sections I inevitably pretend an outrage I didn't feel and get mad when others couldn't see him.  Others seemed to enjoy the gag too; a week ago or so ago, me and the guys from the FLGS had fun talking up Not Brent's exploits and it's fair to say it was a laugh riot.  I embellished stories of trying to track down Not Brent so I could report him to the Cyber Police - stuff like that. 

I think somebody listened to all that and thought they could get in on the fun.

Not Brentus and Not Brandt showed up this last week.

Not Brentus isn't the photo editor Not Brent is so tried to make up for that by creating a blog.  He took catchphrases of mine and played around with them.

It is what it isn't.  What it isn't is funny.  At least he wasn't trolling other people's sites, right?

Except he did.

That's Not Brentus trolling my Bell of Lost Souls article, A Schoolboy's Daemonic Primer.

Comic genius, right? 

Can you see my face?  How entertained am I?

I'm not going to show you every instance of Not Brentus' ham-handed attempts at internet humor; suffice it to say I've started deleting his comments on Strictly Average.  I've never done that before to anything other than  spam-bots.

Lastly, we've got Not Brandt.

This dude trolled Blood of Kittens, but he added a twist to the whole thing.

Mike Brandt is the author of Whiskey and 40K and the organizer of the Nova.  One of my friends decided to move beyond doing clever things with my name so stuck a 'not' in front of another name beginning with the letter B.

Not Brandt's comment was a waste of time, but since he took the joke outside my sandbox and used it to troll someone who probably doesn't have an idea what the hell all this is about...

...well, that makes Not Brandt the most egregious offender.  I clicked a link and lo and behold, he's from my city.  Like I didn't know that, but I had held out hope the geniuses behind all this were anonymous idiots and not people I know.

The Master Manipulator (every store needs one) emailed me earlier this week to tell me he thought the whole thing had become annoying.  I couldn't agree more.

I'm fairly sure I know who Not Brent is.  I can also narrow Not Brentus down to one of two individuals - and hell, the other might be Not Brandt.  I'd like to know who Not Brent is, but as I examined my feelings this morning I realized I'd rather not find out who these others are.

Let's wrap this up; if you are Not Brentus and/or Not Brandt, please read the following lines carefully so there is no misunderstanding.

I recognize there is no malice here; you guys evidently wanted to get in on the joke and have a bit of fun.  The problem is it wasn't funny, it was trollish and disrespectful.  If you're wondering why this is different than my gag about stalking Jawaballs... well, not understanding the difference is what got us here in the first place.  I never actually stalked Jawaballs or trolled his site.  I didn't beat the joke into the ground or comment behind an assumed name.  It was a subtle nod to a hobbyist I admire, that's it.

The bottom line is what happened this week wasn't the act of a friend.  I've worked very hard to make Strictly Average a respected blog, then used that as a springboard to write for other sites.  None of that has been easy and stupid shit like this can ruin a person's credibility fast.  As a personality driven hobby blog, jokes are a definite part of the mix... you guy(s) just miscalculated on this one.

You don't have to care about it as much as I do, but if you're a friend you'll care that I care and put this thing to bed.

To Not Brent... it's over.  I would have been happy to play with this gag as long as it was funny but thanks to some help that time is now.  I enjoyed your wit and sense of the absurd, but in a real way the actions of a few have ruined it for many.  That happens from time to time; the point is we need to recognize it.  Email me if you want to talk about this further, but I'd appreciate it if you'd stop commenting under that moniker.

I am Brent and Not Brent and Strictly Average and all that, for better or worse.  If anybody wants to talk about it, don't do it here, rather email me directly. 

EDIT:  You guys can comment, of course!  Say what you want!  I meant if you were one of the 'Nots' email me directly... :)


Dethtron said...


NotBrent said...


Thor said...

That's too bad. Unfortunately some people never learn boundaries and ruin a good thing.

Carlos said...


CounterFett said...

Some of those posts are pretty creepy. Seen a few of em around. Probably for the best it ends.

Master Manipulator (every store needs one) said...

I am too funny damnit!

Big Whit said...

I admit that I did enjoy the whole NotBrent thing, but the others are just annoying. Sorry that NotBrent and Brent can't be friends anymore.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean I have to stop voting for Not Brent in Dethtron's fights, because I say REBEL!

Brent said...

Not Brent can be an idea, he just can't be a person...

It seems like all the cool kids voted Not Brent on that damn poll!

Farseer Tim said...

So much for channeling Brent's subconscious. I guess I will just have to go back to lurking instead of stalking.

Brent said...

Don't go back to lurking Tim, just use the account you've got. I've been waiting for Farseer Tim to stop watching and start talking.

I'll just need my tinfoil hat.

Keep the Avatar - you've earned it. Well played!

Gauthic said...


There goes my idea of painting my "secret" army and telling you thatcits NotBrent's at the tournament ;)

Granesh said...

Well this is all a little creepy....at least you approached the whole thing with a mature scolding as opposed to an outburst of rage. Lets hope these guy's ability to roll 1's goes up!

Brent said...

Well said, Granesh.

I was pretty upset by the whole thing, but as you eluded to rage wouldn't have been as appropriate a response.

At the end of the day, these are my friends, so I can't believe they set out to be this creepy!

Atrocity said...

It's like the end of an era =(

(A new favorite!) Anon: I haven’t even bothered playing a game of 6th yet, cause I have read the rules, and actually understand how they interact with units. I know my armies no longer function how they should, and so I need to change them.

Strictly Average: 'cause 6-inches is all you get.

Stalking Jawaballs since 2009.

Jawaballs: "My butt just tightened up."

Brent, preferred 2-to-1 over Not Brent in a recent, scientific poll.

Brent: emptied the Kool Aid and DRINKING YOUR MILKSHAKE with an extra-long straw.

Unicorns don't exist.

Home of the Stormbuster, the Dyson Pattern Storm Raven.

I'm a comment whore and this whore is getting no play.

Not Brent hurts Brent's feelings.

I think, therefore I blog.

"You should stop writing for everyone else and worry about your crappy blog." - Anon.

Not Brent has been spotted lurking around with a green marker.

He's not like a bad guy from a cartoon, all devious but never quite evil, Not Brent is bad beans, man, bad beans.

Dethtron: "Again I feel obliged to remind you that trying to sound smart only works if you are."

MVB: "I am not one to join the unwashed masses of self-titled 40k experts out there distributing advice from their blogs about exactly how your list should be built..."

Shiner Bock on tap: that's how I choose hotels.

Strictly Average: The Home of Hugs and Gropings.

Don't feed the trolls!

MoD: "Welcome to Brent's head."

Competitive is Consistent.

Dethtron: "...you could use that extra time to figure out a way to get your panties unbunched and perform a sandectomy on your vagina."

Dethtron: “When calling someone an idiot, it's generally best to avoid making grammatical mistakes.”

Warboss Stalin: "You know, if it actually WAS funny, maybe I wouldn't mind."

Mike Brandt: "It's not a successful bachelor party if you don't misplace someone".

"The Master Manipulator (every store needs one): "...now, enough stroking."

Kirby: "I don't know about gropings. Seriously, Brent, keep it in the pants, please."

Loquacious: "No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get Hugs & Gropings or Stalks Jawaballs into Brent's little tribute."

Captain Kellen: "I rate this article a Brent on the Faith Hill to Nancy Pelosi scale!"

Drathmere: "Come for the balls, stay for the Brent? Kind of disturbing, man."

Go no further, lest thee see something thine eyes would fain look past!

Isabelle: "So, thank you for supporting your local and not so local unicorns. A noble gesture like that can show some scared kids out there that they don't have to hide from everyone and it's ok to be who they really are."

There is nothing more interesting than We The People... in all our beautiful, ugly glory!

On Internet Advice: You see, I have an almost religious belief that's it's a huge, colossal waste of time.

...I think I'll call it the Gun Shy Pattern Stormbuster, because after the Internet destroyed my first humble effort, I find I'm a bit worried about the reaction to this one.

Lauby: "Is it left over from that time you thought that you could just complete step one 12 times to meet the mandates of that court order?"

Not Brent: "I guess we'll have to read on and find out. Signed, Not Brent. Especially today."

Cynthia Davis: "I think the scrolling text is from Glen Beck's new book."

Grimaldi: "Spamming certain units creates interesting possibilities but also fatal weaknesses."

Purgatus: "Math can inform decisions. It cannot make decisions."

Thoughts? Comments? Hugs and gropings?

You'd be that much quicker to figure out what I mean when I refer to a Unicorn if I covered it in a rainbow flag.

SinSynn: (To Brent) "Curse you and your insidious influence on the internets..."

Dave G (N++): "You know you're an internet celebrity when your following is more akin to tabloids."

I prefer the term Internet Personality (or IP) myself, seeing as how I coined it.

Lauby: "Your attempt to humanize him as failed. I feel nothing but scorn for his beard - it's like a warcrime or something."

BBF: "I've always thought you are a good player but I finally figured out that you are a great player. It's hard to see sometimes because your personality is engaging, sincere and quite charming - to me that is kind of a rare combination."

'Clearly cheating?' I didn't misspeak: you jumped to conclusions. If you'd like to apologize I'll be happy to send you an autographed picture of my ass.


I thought I was doing alright before I realized I was losing.

Age and treachery beats youth and vigor every time.

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