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AFU Mirror Site Two-Fifty Seven

Man of the Year for 1998: Rick Depew

For one reason or another, AFU awards a prestigious MOTY, or Man (well, really being) of the Year prize every May or so it seems. The MOTY for 1997 was Bo Bradham, who handed over the reins to Ray Depew this year. Let's have a look at some of the stuff that went on, shall we?

First, the hand-over message:

Subject: AFU's Man of the Year
From: (Bo Bradham)
Date: 27 May 1998 15:26:44 -0400

I suppose you're wondering why I have gathered you all here. 
It was only a year ago that AFU's resident Man of Science, Dr. I
Any Ork, conferred upon me the awesome responsibility of AFU Man
of the Year. As my year draws to a close I have a few remarks.

First, in keeping with an old afu tradition, I present the predictions I
made at the beginning of my year as MotY. Ok, it's not that old,
but by gum if the MotY can't start a tradition around here... uh,
sorry. Almost went on a rant.
For the last year they have been sealed in an envelope taped underneath
the sink in the 13th floor men's room of AFU towers. I present them
without comment. I think they speak for themselves, and that the events
of the past year will offer a testament to their accuracy.

- The governments of many states will file enormous
multi-billion dollar  lawsuits against Tobago, seeking compensation for
medical expenses. I didn't know the tiny island nation had done anything
lawsuit-worthy and I doubt it has that kind of loot, but there it is.

- The President of the United States will become embroiled in
controversy when someone alleges that an inept former White House
employee performed a "slow job" for the President in his office. Why
this is newsworthy is beyond me, I'd have thought a "slow job" was
business as usual in the federal bureaucracy.

- The US Women's Hickey Team will defeat archrival Canada to win an
Olympic gold medal. I never knew that was considered a team sport for
women, to tell you the truth. Well, maybe in the movies it is. Or so
I've heard.

Most of all I'd like to point out that during my tenure as MotY, not
one single nation fell to Communism. 

But enough about me, it's time to get to the real matter at hand, the
introduction of the new AFU Man of the Year.  It is my obligation as
Man of the Year to name my successor.  I've gotten about all the
free drinks I'm gonna get out of this deal so I guess it's time. 

There was no shortage of worthy candidates, I can assure you. It was
only after the seventieth ballot, when the delegation from the Great
State of Missouri changed its vote (Show me!  they kept saying. I
showed 'em, all right.) that a decisive margin was amassed. Oh
wait, that was no delegation from Missouri, that was my research

Your new AFU Man of the Year is

Ray Depew.

He's a fellow you can learn something from, and he doesn't mind
learning something from you. He'll plonk you into his killfile if you
don't watch out, and he'll hoist you right back out as soon as you
prove your worth (how he knows is still one of the great mysteries of
our time). He speaks when he knows what he's talking about, and he
doesn't when he doesn't.  And he looks good in black spandex.

Ray was one of the first people  I got to know when I staggered into
AFU these many years ago. His conviviality, wit, and keen undersanding
of Bugs Bunny references were readily apparent and endearing. I
immediately knew that Ray is a guy you can hang out with.

But who is this man we must now look to for guidance in the
antepenultimate year of the twentieth century? I thought you'd never

Ray "Axeman Emeritus" Depew was born at a very early age.
Abandonded by his family in the woods of Quebec, he was soon
befriended by lumberjacks. His fondness for all things sharp
endeared him to the woodsmen, who took him under their wings  and
made him a mascot of sorts. 

Young Ray's prodigious talents with the blade gave rise to a peculiar
sort of wanderlust, a perennial need to find things in need of a good
chopping. Having stripped the Canadian countryside bare in a matter of
weeks, he fled the lumberjacks' camp under cover of darkness packing
only his trusty axe, a box of Oreos, and a tin of Band-Aids (tm). He
eventually wound up in the Sahara Forest (as it was known in those
days) where he perfected the axe-slinging techniques that would make
him world famous.

Chased out of the Sahara by sunburnt Berbers angered over the loss of
their shade, he hopped aboard a boat bound for America where he'd heard
there were unlimited opportunities for a skilled bladesman.  After all,
hadn't the President implored Americans to axe what they could do for
their country?

As fate would have it, he was met at the docks by the AFU Welcome
Committee of Letz, Rookum and Howe. Always on the lookout for new
recruits, the trio saw in Depew an appealing combination of ruthless
savagery and gullible naivete. Here was a guy who could make mincemeat
out of anything and would, if you asked him nicely! Thus began the
Golden Age of  Dismemberment at AFU. They say that sometimes you
couldn't walk the halls of AFU Towers without tripping over a head
here, an arm there. Those were the days all right. Everywhere you
looked, body parts. Headless chickens running around like ...

Excuse me, I get nostalgic. Anyway the rise to power of the
"nicey-nicey" faction rendered the Axeman obsolete, and the Axeman
Institute is now little more than a janitor's closet. But those of us
who witnessed the carnage will always remember... Oh, there I go again.
Sometimes late at night, as I wander the halls of AFU Towers I  think
can still hear the whirring of a grindstone against cold steel,
but it usually turns out to be that creaky old refigerator in the
coffee break room.

This anonymous poem was found on the person, I guess "torso" would
be the more accurate term, of one of the Axeman's admirers:

The Axeman Cometh

The axeman cometh, to kill you dead.
He'll whip out his blade, and lop off your head.

His backswing is awesome, his technique to die for.
When he's at it folks celebrate like July 4.

Best close your eyes, and try not to worry,
because <thunk>

I am not sure I can add anything to that, except to welcome Ray to the
ranks of AFU Men of the Year (And I think rank is the precise word I'm
looking for) and to ask you to join me in congratulating him. Ray's
name will be added to the more-or-less hallowed roster which includes:

   - B1FF (1990)
   - STella (1991)
   - Trelford Pinkerton (1992)
   - Phil Gustafson (1993)
   - Terry Chan (1994)
   - Lee Rudolph (1994)
   - Kim Scheinberg (1994)
   - Harry Tepper and Michele Teasley (1996 A.L.)
   - snopes (1996)
   - Ian York (1996)
   - Bo Bradham (1997)

Bo Bradham, has-been
           "You mean you don't use machine guns in _your_ pictures?"  
                    -- Charles Bronson to Ingmar Bergman

Of course there is also Ray's acceptance speech:

Subject: Re: AFU's Man of the Year
From: (Ray Depew)
Date: 28 May 1998 18:51:15 GMT

Bo Bradham ( wrote:

: Your new AFU Man of the Year is
[a skunk.]

Well, I'm speechless.

(Hah -- you wish.)

Thanks to Bo for the hono(u)r.  Actually, I have to thank Kim,
my very, very good friend (blush), for the nod also.  She wanted to
nominate me a few years ago but I wasn't in a position to accept at
the time.  This year, Bo did an end run around me and tagged me
before I had a chance to say "no".  Nice move, Francis.

The bio was a nice touch.  I'm gonna have to speak to Ma about
answering email from strangers, though.  I just hope Bo can keep
my credit card numbers and my underwear size to himself.

I got the robe, orb and scepter via parcel post this morning.  
I'm gonna have to send the robe out for cleaning, though:  it has 
dried peanut butter or something in funny places on the inside.
Looks like a dog tried to lick it off.

The instruction booklet was in pretty poor shape, too.  Looked
like the dogs in the Bradham household had been playing tug-of-war
with it.  All I could read from the Title Page was


		 MAN OF ......EAR




		 ISO 9000 ..............
		 .....250.... in U.S.A.

The introductory letter was completely torn out, except for the
top left corner:


     You have been chosen as
     Of The Year.  This position car
     including cash, and aw
     select group of Intern
     crazier than you, and all
     or for ill, to the world.  This 
     ter if you are a man or a woman,
     tensive travel, paid by AF
     subject to certain res
     Zealand or Ital
     quent flier

The rest of the booklet was completely illegible, except for the 
colophon, which mentioned something about a herd of monkeys and
a roomful of IBM Selectrics.

Obviously, I'll need to get a new copy of the booklet, so I know
what the AFU MOTY is supposed to do.

Thanks again.  I'm truly hono(u)red.  This isn't something you
go aspiring after; it just happens to fall upon you.  Like a 
barrel of bricks.

Regards                                 |         "It does not do to
Ray Depew        | leave a live dragon out of
Integrated Circuits Business Division   |        your calculations."
Hewlett Packard Co, Fort Collins,  CO   |                 -- Tolkien       

p.s. Can a dad brag a little bit?  My eldest son won the triple crown 
this year.  Eagle Scout, private pilot's license, and an appointment 
to the U S Air Force Academy.  Now he wants me to buy him an airplane.
So I got him a 1:72 scale model of a YF-22A.

Two-fifty: Reference to the Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe.
Seven: Didn't you hear the Governor is going to raise the Gas Tax by 7 cents?

This page by: Duncan Richer,
Last updated: Wednesday, June 03, 1998