Canadian Rental Service

The Funny Page: I’m an Idiot!

By Steve Milcik*   

Features Business Intelligence

I know, I know…this isn’t an earth-shattering column. But for once, this isn’t about me…

steve-milcikI know, I know…this isn’t an earth-shattering column. But for once, this isn’t about me…

Let me take you back to a simpler time, one filled with images of impending summer vacations, pretty girls wearing the bare minimum, reduced workloads and weekends filled with Sangria-swilling good times. That would be July 2008, a glorious era that was bright, hopeful and beckoning towards a better tomorrow. All was well in my world, and happiness, for once, reigned supreme.

Until the day that the devil came to collect.

It was mid-week, and as I sat dozing contentedly at my desk, I heard the sounds of crystal bells in the distance, tinkling merrily. I smiled and sank deeper into my reverie. The tinkling quickly ascended into a loud, crashing clanging and with great effort, I pried open a single eye in hopes of determining what the commotion was that was interrupting my afternoon snooze. On the screen of my laptop, a flashing icon caught my eye, and with great trepidation, I reached over and performed the double-click that would turn my sunny daydream into a thunderously stormy nightmare.


“You’ve got mail.”

I noticed my hand begin to tremble as I navigated through the maze of commands that would bring me to the communication I had just received from the underworld. As the missive appeared on my screen, my heart sank and a cold chill wafted across my soul. The words in front of me were written in blood-red, and seemed to literally drip off the screen. A stench of brimstone assailed me as I read, with sinking heart, the debt-collection notice from Hell.

“My Dearest Steve,

I am an idiot. Actually, I am the ultimate evil in the world of publishing, and as such, I have decided to let you know that the deadline for your next column is closer than you thought. Much, much closer. In fact, you have 27 minutes to complete it and deliver it to me. Failure to do so will result in me filling your spot in the magazine with an article about you, written by the Queen of All Things Rental, Mandy Maeren. She has some (evil chuckle) wonderful things to say about you, and an interesting photo involving you, a goat and a hot-tub filled with pudding. I await your article with baited breath.”

Chris “The Great Satan” Skalkos”

Steve’s Recipe for Rental Magazine Filler

1.5 tons of compaction equipment
3 chainsaws          
4 posthole diggers
2 diamond blades
4 ground fault circuit interrupters

Rinse with pressure washer, mix in a clear span tent, bake using a
400,000-BTU indirect multi-oil fired portable heater, sacrifice a
virgin, and serve.

As I read his final words, I realized that the idyllic summer peace I had been living was all a lie, a fabrication of safety designed to keep me blissfully unaware of the machinations of the Dread Underlord. My shoulders drooped in defeat, and I racked my brain desperately for inspiration. I had no ideas for a story, nothing that would be relevant to the Rental Community. Sure, I could continue the saga of my barbecue, but I felt that might be pushing it, even for me. No rental industry trade shows were looming to write about, and none of the 173 rental stores I had tried to contact for an interview had returned my calls. The clock was ticking, and I was at a standstill.

Then, in a glorious rush, it came to me.

I would use this space wisely, though with some risk to myself. I would create a hard-hitting, deep-probing journalistic exposé on the foul creature that had brought so much pain and misery upon all our heads, and held our souls for ransom. Yes, I would boldly step forward to strip away the artifice and lies, and bring forth the truth for all to see. My words would shake the foundations of his empire, forcing him to step from the shadows and face the enraged masses that he had used, abused and bored to tears with his meandering and pedantic writing for so long.

This was the day of Skalkos’ comeuppance.

It all begins here. He is a…EDITOR’S NOTE: We deeply regret that we cannot publish the rest of Mr. Milcik’s article, for it was written using very coarse language strong enough to strip a hardwood floor. Instead, we are pleased to fill the balance of this page with editorial content suitable for the rental industry. Mr. Milcik may, or may not, return to this column next month.

*Steve Milcik writes from Montreal, Que., and when he isn’t begging for change to pay the Ferryman, he sells rental software for Orion. Feel free to fill his inbox with spam at .

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