Good day. My name is "Dr."* Blanco Thônng. While it may seem like a damned lie to read it now, I was once an uninformed, out of shape, smelly, crumb-covered, dumb, lame, ugly cog in The Machine, just like you.
My skin was sallow, greasy and suffocated beneath layers of clothing--a far cry from the luminous soul-wrapping you'll see on the following pages. My hair was thin and dangerously underconditioned. My moustache was short, stiff and pervy-looking, instead of the authoritative lip-crown I now wear. My feet, wrapped up in those unventilated deathtraps that lesser men call "shoes," would irradiate me nightly with stink rays of contempt. I sat at home playing cell phone games for days on end, afraid to leave my banana chair and fight the good fights, see the good shows or do my laundry. And when I did, on occasion, leave my apartment, nasty little children and senior citizens would spot me from a hectare away and rob me of my belongings, leaving me with bruises on my shoulders and my ego, and without enough quarters for a single game of Whack-a-Mole. Yes, I was just like you.
But I got better. One night, after accidentally drinking an entire box of spoilt Chablis, I had a vision. An angel in a beautiful, tiny, swimsuit told me of a different way--a better way ... the Thônng way. The next day, I sold my clothes, found the Speedo of my dreams and traded my argyles and Timbalands for aquasox and knee-high tube socks. Today, according to informal poll numbers, I am the most knowledgeable, involved, motivated, elegant, well-grounded and huggable-smelling man in all of Ada County. And I want to share my success with you.
I approached Boise Weekly several moons ago about the possibility of a regular column outlining my approach to life. After stealing my change purse (no small feat, given where I had hidden it) they told me, "This town isn't ready for you yet." It's an answer I couldn't accept, so I gave each member of the editorial staff a punchcard for free life-lessons. With the exception of Mr. Collias, who accidentally sent his card through the laundry (but was eager to pay my standard mentor fee), I breathed new life into these pillars of the community.
Take heed of their messages across this proud summer guide, and together we will all ride the Thônng express through the tunnel of ineptitude, toward the sunny shores of Thônnghalla.
--"Dr." Blanco Thônng
* "Dr." Thônng is required by law to put quotes around "Dr." each time he uses it, both in print and in conversation, in order to clarify that it is a nickname and not an actual license to practice medicine. Do not let Dr. Thônng touch you.