The Craziest Story of My Life (So Far)
Or, how I met the Stanley Parable creator’s brother and his brother’s friend and got them to sign a broken blender, a mold of teeth, and some ball pit balls.
This past spring, I get to watching a streamer and YouTuber, this hilarious guy called DougDoug.
He does stuff like write code to let Twitch chat fly a plane in GTA V, or play against them in Mario Party. He’s made a yearly tradition of raising money for Rosa the sea otter’s birthday each year. There is an ongoing inside joke about his chat being divorced. One of my favourite videos of his involves filling his spare room with ball pit balls when a friend stays over for a month in said room.
Time passes. I keep watching his stuff, and really appreciate that him and his community are really queer + trans friendly and just all around awesome folks. Both Doug and chat are hilarious. Great stuff.
Then, one day, he uploads a video on his second channel: I played The Stanley Parable with the game’s creator.
I watch the video. I quickly become confused. It’s not a half-awkward, semi-interview type of situation like I expect it to be. The vibe is very relaxed, and then eventually one of them mentions “mom”. As in both their mom. Yep.
WHOA! Doug AND The Stanley Parable? I LOVE The Stanley Parable! (The broom closet ending is my favourite.)
These two are BROTHERS.
Holy shit! That’s rad as hell! Their household must have been a riot to grow up in, and frankly I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous
More time passes.
Completely by chance, I decide to watch a vod of DougDoug playing TABS with twitch chat. I’m not usually one to watch long, unedited vods, and TABS is not something I’ve ever gotten into. I watch it anyway.
Then, Doug mentions pretty casually that he’ll be going to PAX West next month. Wait. I live a few hours away. My partner is already going down that weekend to help take care of her sister who recently broke her foot. I’ve never been to a convention. I have no reason not to go.
Now, Doug isn’t at a panel himself or anything, but he said he’ll be attending Failboat and Jaymoji’s panel, and he’ll be bringing along his friend Parkzer. Failboat and Jaymoji are youtube + twitch folks with a following, but Parkzer isn’t – he’s just Doug’s friend. He used to stream and be a competitive gamer, but he is (as lovingly as possible) Just Some Guy. However, there is an ongoing joke on the channel about involving Parkzer in things and asking for his Very Informed Opinion on matters, and calling Parkzer Doug’s lawyer when Parkzer is definitely not his lawyer.
Then Doug says the magic words, amounting to this:
“Yeah, I’ll be there after the panel along with Parkzer. Please come and bring the weirdest thing for Parkzer to sign. Just the weirdest, craziest thing to sign. He doesn’t know I’m asking you – I want to surprise him. Whoever brings the weirdest thing to sign will get a signed ball pit ball from me too. And of course, you get to meet Parkzer.”
“Ball pit ball?” you say. Well, yes – as in the ones from the video I mentioned where he filled a room with ball pit balls for a joke. He still has them at his house. He needs to get rid of them. Please come and get a ball pit ball.
My partner has by now seen many of Doug’s videos too, and we now begin to scour our apartment for the Weirdest Shit to bring.
We decide on two things:
- a broken blender (her idea)
- and a mold of my partner’s teeth (my idea)
One item for each of us.
The broken blender is a heavy piece of machinery that we could get fixed but realistically won’t. It takes up almost half of my backpack that I take when I go. The teeth are from a casting my partner had done from the dentist. They offered them to her and instead of having them thrown out, she said “yeah, why not, I’ll take them.”
I can’t stress this enough: getting Parkzer to sign the Weirdest Shit TM is the main reason I’m attending the con. It turns out I end up having the time of my life there, but each hour is an hour closer to Parkzer (and Doug) signing our broken blender and a mold of my partner’s teeth. I NEED these items to be the weirdest. I want it with my entire being.
All day, I’m carrying around this heavy, broken blender in my backpack. It is sweaty and crowded in the convention buildings (buildings, plural!!), and twice when I pass through metal detectors I am pulled aside and asked to empty my bag. In these moments, I am deathly afraid that my travel all this way will have been for nothing, and that the security will, for some reason, take my beloved blender away from me. Thankfully, they do not.
Finally, the main con area closes for the evening, and we make our way to the room where they’ll be holding the panel. Waiting in line, we meet a few other folks who are also here to bring Parkzer The Weirdest Shit To Sign TM. They have things like a tiny rubber chicken and a cat toy. Respectfully, chump change. One guy in particular looks simultaneously impressed and worried when I mention that I have brought a blender. I’m starting to feel good about our chances.
We enter the panel room, and there they are – Doug and Parkzer, already sitting in the front row. The other seats fill, and as the panel workers set up the tech, I can see folks preemptively sneaking up to Doug and Parkzer and having them sign fake divorce papers. Classic.
Then the panel starts. It’s hilarious, it’s excellent, but I’m still waiting for my items to be Signed. After the allotted hour, the panel ends. My partner and I, along with a line of folks waiting to meet Failboat and Jaymoji (and Doug and Parkzer), are escorted around a maze of hallways to a back room for the meet and greet. Most folks are there for Failboat and Jay. But some of us are there for Parkzer and Doug – I’d say about a dozen of us in all.
As it happens, my partner and I end up at the end of the line. As folks ask Parkzer to sign their items, his confusion grows. Doug insists that it’s important – especially because Parkzer is his lawyer, which Parkzer refutes every time. (He is not Doug’s lawyer.) Doug takes ball pit balls out of his backpack and signs them for everyone who comes up to say hi.
Finally, it’s our turn. I’ve kept the blender in my backpack for as long as possible so as not to ruin my half of the surprise.
“Hey,” I say to Parkzer, bringing out a terribly awkward lump of useless metal. “I was wondering if you could sign this broken blender for me.”
In turn, my partner brings out her half of the surprise. “Could you sign my teeth?” Both items are met with much laughter, and are signed with much joy.
Parkzer, in fact, enjoys the teeth so much that he asks if he can get a picture of just him and the signed teeth. “This,” he says, “is absolutely the weirdest thing anyone has asked me to sign. I love it.” I will never forget the bewildered, quiet, adoring twinkle in his eye as he said it.
I must, here, take a moment to mention that for the duration of the panel and up until now, Parkzer has been using a regular-ass camera for his own pictures. Not his phone camera (if he has a phone??), not a DSLR, not a vintage camera. No. Just a regular-ass camera. This is completely in character for the type of person I’ve come to understand him to be.
After the blender and teeth are successfully signed, we get pictures with them, and then part, coming away from the convention thrilled with our success.
I don’t use Twitter regularly, but I needed to share the story, especially knowing Doug was on there, along with any folks who would have loved to go themselves but couldn’t. And to our absolute delight, Parkzer replies.
Some better pictures of the blender, teeth, and balls in question:
And that is the story of how my partner and I got the brother and brother’s friend of the creator of The Stanley Parable’s to sign a broken blender, a mold of teeth, and some ball pit balls.