Monday, May 18, 2009

Bozo Block Party for a Great Cause

We'll explain how this came about soon enough. But for now...behold. The Bozo Project's 21st Street participants are coming together for a great cause.

Can it be so? Yes. It can be so. It is so. And so, it will be so.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen - The Vermont Country Store

Shortly after H&S launched their Shock & Awe Campaign back at the end of March, we received a bunch of emails from people urging us not to give up. This stupid Bozo Project had really resonated with folks. I think it was clear that we were the little guys in this battle so no one wanted to see us quit or be squashed. Matt and I weren’t sure what our next move was going to be – or if there was going to be one – but I started to do some field research. How could we retaliate if we chose to? Would we need a cache of Bozos? If so, where the hell were they going to come from and more importantly, who was going to pay for it? Thus far, all Bozo Project-related expenses were paid out of pocket (by me). Although the Bozo Project was based inside my office and our company (VideoHelper) was more than tolerating Matt’s and my clear display of mental illness, I couldn’t very well expect them to foot the bill.

Enter: the Vermont Country Store. I had purchased Bozos 4 & 5 through them ( and figured they were worth a shot in asking for any kind of discount and/or free Bozos to support our project. Two other companies had flatly refused. One offered me an exceptionally generous “5% discount” which by my calculations equaled a pile of diarrhea. I emailed The Vermont Country Store’s customer service department, explained the situation, sent some of the media coverage links and asked for their support.

I promptly received a nice rejection email. Oh well. I took it as a sign to forget it. I think they thought it was some kind of scam. But then…two days later I received a voicemail from a bigwig at the Vermont Country Store telling me that they’d received my email and would like to help. I was kind of skeptical at that point and didn’t return the call. So they called again. This time it was their PR firm. I thought it was a joke. But the Vermont Country Store was dead serious about supporting a counter-attack. And they had ideas. Crazy ideas. Ideas involving a live clown army and a fleet of yellow cabs. Yikes.

They were willing to back anything we wanted.

They had promised the Bozo Project any Bozos they had in stock. And they delivered. Unprompted, they FedEx'd us over 40 Bozos the next day. WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED! Before we even had a plan in place! They basically told us they loved the project and wanted to help in any way they could. And that was it. They asked for nothing in return except to be kept abreast of the situation. How insane is that?

So now I had a giant pile of Bozos on my office floor with no plan as to what do to next. So they sat there for a few weeks while we mulled over our next move. People offered us suggestions for counter-attacks but most of them were either mean-spirited or too “pranky” for our tastes. And too many people suggested we use live Bozos. Eeek. For us, the Bozo Project was simply a visual display of communication between two companies high above 21st Street, based on inflatable Bozo the Clowns and didn’t involve humiliating anyone (except ourselves).

And then, unprompted, the Vermont Country Store sent MORE BOZOS. I think we now had around 48? 50?.

Friends, let me ask you this before we take one more breath together: Are you even familiar with the genius that is The Vermont Country Store? Because if not, welcome to your new obsession! A family-owned business since 1946, they are “The Purveyors of the Practical and Hard-to-Find.” And they really mean it. In other words, if you’re looking to buy anything you’ve ever thought of or needed in your whole life, you can probably find it there.

Need a cotton seersucker patio dress or staggering selection of Muumuus? Check.

No? Oh Okay. Well how about some overnight corn salve?

Oh that's not your thing? Okay. You wanna be a star, baby? Well start singing in the shower with your very own sponge shower mic.

Jeez. You are hard to please. Tell ya what I'm gonna do. Howzabout some nice bubblegum? I remember this stuff from childhood and at least according to me, the only way to eat it properly was to stuff as many pieces in your mouth at once as possible until you nearly cracked your jaw.
Lambchop? Mrs. Beasley? CHECK. CHECK.

Channel your innermost Mrs. Garrett with this German Hair Rat

I think one of, if not the best, parts of The Vermont Country Store is that within this seemingly wholesome, All-American/Americana store, they make no bones about the fact that, well, people bone. Each other. Or just themselves. At all ages. Yes, even seniors live healthy sexual lives and VCS is not afraid to shout it out loud. Welcome to The Vermont Country Store's "Intimate Solutions." I love it. I love how matter-of-fact they are. They sell personal "massagers" and other helpers as well as homeopathic remedies to promote sexual/personal health. Oh Vermont Country Store, could your inventory be any more eclectic or insane? Could I be anymore obsessed with you?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Have You Seen This Man? Foul Play in the Bozo Project!

We must report some extremely disturbing news involving a Bozo cut down in the prime of his life before being documented and accepted into the Bozo Project.

On Tuesday, April 21st, we received this email at Bozo Project Headquarters: “We have a bozo, facing South on 22nd St., across the parking lot from the last building on the blog. We also got ours this past holiday party and he has been around the office since then. When we found this blog we had to put him in a window and submit it!”

We were out of town on a biz trip and advised the party that we’d look into it when we returned on Monday, April 25th.

For reasons unknown, I was early/on time for work that Monday and decided to check out this new Bozo for myself and get some pics for cataloguing. But I didn’t see any evidence of a new Bozo on 22nd. So I gave up and cockily showed up for work on time.

I emailed the 22nd Street Bozo person to say I was unable to substantiate their claim. I received this response: “Sadly our Bozo has gone missing after being with us for over 4 months. My theory is that upper management had enough of him and “took care of it.” I posted the attached flyer around the office to see if we could get some info. Overall, it’s a sad, sad day here…”

Who would do such a thing? What kind of a maniac would perpetrate such a callous act? Exterminating a Bozo? Kidnapping a Bozo? Unacceptable! Who is this person? I want them off the streets and tested for all sorts of things! Immediately!

Another gut-wrenching element to the story is that 22nd Street Bozo’s view was of none other than, the heartbreak trio of 21st Street – The Endeavor Bozos. Did they even know they were the objects of 22nd Street Bozo’s affections? Did they care? Or were the Endeavor Bozos still too caught up in the glitz, glamour and allure of H&S’s Bozos?

Although we never saw him with our own eyes, we accept 22nd Street Bozo into the Bozo Project posthumously? In absentia? A first for us and hopefully something never to be repeated…

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April Showers

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Passion is Palbable

You can practically taste the passion Bozos 21-23 have for their neighboring Bozos at H&S. And what do they get? NOTHING. Nothing in return. Spurned. Snubbed. Ignored. But do they stop trying? No. They have love on their minds and in their hearts.
And who couldn’t love these guys? Look at how they express their individuality: Bozo #21 - He’s a low key kinda guy not fazed by labels or couture. He prefers to keep it real and simple. He’s no one’s billboard. A loner, yet wiling to take a chance on love and life. Bozo #22 - His cowboy hat says to the world “Hey world. I’m a cowboy. Look at my hat if you don’t believe me. But I’m no rodeo clown.” Bozo #23 This mod Bozo sports a natty scarf to attract the objects of his affections. A well-dressed Bozo is never out of fashion.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Bozo Project Goes International

Behold. He had hopes of being The Bozo Project’s first international outpost and he achieved that dream. Please welcome our first international Bozo Project participant, Vancouver Opera Bozo! He stands guard at 835 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC. 

Look at him. Love him. Respect him. So proud. So cultural. So inaugural.

The intended target for this Bozo is an international school across the street. How daring! How provocative! I smell espionage and intrigue! Trust no one!

You can follow the results of Vancouver Opera Bozo’s mission in these two blogs (Note: These are not entirely Bozo P blogs. These are personal, smartie, good reads. Unlike the Bozo P.)

  Photos by Ling Chan

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hello from…21st Street? Huh? What??

“Hello from 21st Street, NYC” say these three (3!) new, pioneering, regulation, 46”, full-size Bozos. We just received word that these happy guys were born at Endeavor Studios. You may ask: “Really, come on…pioneers? How can they be described as such?” “Outrageous!” “That’s pretty hefty praise. I need proof!” “Is it deserved, this honorable and powerful title of ‘pioneers’ that you’ve bestowed upon them?” Yes. We think so, because these are the first Bozos on 21st (aside from us and H&S) to join the Bozo Project. And in such a bold fashion! To come out blazing with three (3!) Bozos! Endeavor Studios does not fuck around! They are staking their claim and boldly announcing their arrival as the newest Bozos on the block. Impressive. We especially love that they are faced so that they can see their Bozo friends at Harrison & Star.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bozo Calling

This beautiful technological wonder was again, submitted by Palmyra Delran, who tells us “Oh...and yes...the nose lights up when it rings.”

This is one caller I would not dodge. I'd pick up on the first ring. Hello, Bozo. I’ve been waiting for your call. Do you love me?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hello from Boston

Look at this friendly little guy dropping in to say "hello." Not sure of his number as of yet. But we recognize and accept him as an official Bozo Project participant. He lives on Federal Street in Boston. And looks very important.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Joy & The Goddamned Palm Tree

After the blissful assault launched by Harrison and (Rock)Star, all we could do was smile. Watching the  Bozos unfold made me feel like I was watching fireworks. Mouth agape, smiling, anticipating. It looked incredible but it felt even better. What a stupid and amazing site! I loved every second of it. It was pure happiness. It may have meant nothing to anyone else, but to me, and I know to Matt, it was a huge sense of joy.

The moments leading up to the reveal were frantic and spastic. I felt a bit uncomfortable because all the antics were being filmed (more on that at a later date). So there I was, yelling, hiding behind the column in the office, pacing back and forth, more yelling, screaming about the visible Bozo (on their side), wanting to hide more, hoping I didn't end up looking like Bea Arthur on film, was all exciting and ludicrous. 

After the big reveal, one thing really bothered me. The odd choice by H&S to include a huge (6'?) palm tree threw me at first. I didn't get it. Or like it. I thought it was a cheap and desperate move. At that point, they might as well have just put "Happy Birthday" or "Forty & Fabulous" balloons in the windows. This was the Bozo Project! Not the Any-Bullshit-Inflatable-Toy-or-Decoration-You-Can-Find-Project. But then something was pointed out to me that stopped me in my tracks. Deb Noonan (writer of the NY Magazine article and who was with us the morning of the attack) said that it was directly facing our own (real) palm tree. It was true. VideoHelper does have this giant palm tree looming in the corner and facing out the window. And they'd just upped the level of attack. Now it was truly personal! Now they were attacking our flora! I was outraged!

But I was too busy spazzing out and smiling that I didn't have time to make the connection. I couldn't draw any conclusions, because all I could do was laugh. And that's a pretty nice experience - happy bliss. Unfortunately, life isn't like that 24/7  (or even 2/7 most days), which is why I think The Bozo Project has struck a chord with people. It's just happy and ridiculous. It's sole purpose is to communicate joy. What's wrong with that? We've noticed some comments on blogs, etc...that are simply miserable and hate the whole thing. For those of you with no soul or remote shred of a sense of humor, to you, our Bozos say "Blow me."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Shock and Awe from Harrison & Star

this morning was witness to a staggering surge of bozos (13 in all!) on the side of Harrison & Star. needless to say, we're still recovering from the assault. words fail to capture the sheer spectacle of three floors of windows, each ocupied by a single bozo. amazing.

we arrived early to see no new activity across the street. indeed, we were still skeptical that our bozo rivals were either over-ambitious in their retaliation plans, or simply carrying on with an ever-dissolving bluff. even bozo #1 looked as though he was ready to give in, with his "it's coming.." sign barely hanging on to his brightly colored chest.

photo: Deborah Snoonian

photo: Deborah Snoonian

but then (but then!) we noticed something: the blinds were drawn in each of the windows of the floor above bozo #1, whereas they had previously always stayed open. they were clearly planning something, but what? but here was where H&S made their only mistake in this maneuver: the feet of a bozo were clearly visible from under one set of miniblinds!

photo: Deborah Snoonian

was it a mistake? or was it intentional? was that brave bozo sent out before the rest of the troops to create a diversion and draw our attention away from the force amassing in the shadows? perhaps we'll never know. regardless, we were not prepared for what was about to be unveiled.

photo: Deborah Snoonian

photo: Deborah Snoonian

incredible. the sight is even more impressive than what we pictured when we first conceived the project. all we could do in response was wave a white flag. not out of surrender, but rather out of recognition of a remarkable execution. we can now see Harrison & Star not as wartime rivals, but rather as allies for a common cause.

photo: Deborah Snoonian

the adrenaline is still too high right now to accurately assess today's events, let alone discuss the next stage of the bozo project. please stay tuned for reactions/thoughts/etc. after the emotions recede.

all we can say is, well done, Harrison & Star, or as betsy referred to them, Harrison & Rockstar.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Time for Action

lots of activity today in the project. first of all, I have to say, we’ve been rather disappointed by our partners across the street. for several days now the original bozo has been talking some pretty substantial talk, while continuing to walk very little walk. after we launched bozo #3 (our second), #1 displayed a “stay tuned…” sign (very original), and tuned we stayed – for nothing. then the sign was replaced with “it’s coming,” again, with no additional activity after two days of promises. we’re beginning to think that they terribly underestimated what exactly they got themselves into.

also, they have been foolish (brash? arrogant? daring?) enough to let themselves be seen maneuvering their bozo, changing his sign, or taking pictures of our assaults. there was even a brief period today when their window stood vacant! i repeat: bozo #1 left his post in broad daylight!

meanwhile, we’ve spend days on end hiding in office plants, diving behind frosted glass barriers, camouflaging ourselves in copier toner and shredded company letterhead, waiting only until the right moments to move undetected at each step. i don’t know what kind of bush league, mickey mouse, amateur operation they’re running over there, but they had better get their act together if they want to hang with us.

so today, we decided that we have no choice. if they refuse to act, then we must. we had to force their hand, to call their bluff, to show them that they fucked with the wrong people.

after a week or so of waiting in the wings, anxiously anticipating the original bozo’s oft-promised, though as of yet never-delivered, responses, bozos #4 and #5 were finally deployed (with stealth! with style!). i can only imaging what their reaction was to the sight of 4 (4!) bozos proudly staring at them from across the street, defying them to step up their game and take action or to step down and leave the bozo project to the professionals. let it be known, north side: we WILL cover this block in bozos, whether or not you have anything to do with it.

here are betsy’s thoughts on today:
this morning was a blur for me. a mix of adrenaline and stealth. i found myself crawling on the office floor, yelling at matt to "cover me! i'm gong in", installing the new bozos with both bozo project matts (matt r & matt f) hiding in the office palm tree, and performing taxidermy on a bozo.

the north side bozos had the gaul to actually take pictures of our bozos IN BROAD DAYLIGHT. what crust! what nerve! we witnessed the entire thing. amateur move. the bozo project requires stealth! we tossed around the thought that maybe they were taking pics to start their own blog? could it be? interesting move, north side...

either way, any moves within the bozo project need to be made subtly. and i think we're excelling in that capacity.

all in all, it’s been an eventful/emotional day. between the startling reality check of bozo #2’s death and the frantic covert-opts of today’s mission, we’ve been on quite the emotional rollercoaster. we’re having a hard time predicting what their next move will be, but agree that it will be difficult for them to continue to sit idly after today’s attack.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Funeral & Resurrection of a Friend

After days of full-tilt denial regarding Bozo #2's declining health, Matt and I finally came to the harrowing decision to literally pull the plus on Bozo #2. This decision didn't come lightly as we had grown so attached to our new pal. He was, after all, responsible for the entire Bozo Project. But his time was up. He served his project well and like eery great revolutionary, he made his mark on this world and left change and heavy hearts behind. We had spent several days agonizing over the impending death, asking each other rhetorical questions like "His leaks aren't that bad, right?" and "He still looks good. Nope. No change from yesterday...right?" But each time we looked at our newly-acquired Bozo #3 in his proud, erect state, and then back at Bozo #2, we had to accept the cruel fate that life dealt us. Bozo #3 was now set to assume the role of dominant silverback of our Bozo group and Bozo #2, soon to be remembered only in our hearts. Although we can't take responsibility for Bozo #2's death (it's not healthy to blame ourselves), perhaps we should have been more careful in choosing his initial place in the window? We had put him directly in the office graveyard. That mess of a shelf where co-worker Maura's gorgeous bonsai tree died within seconds and no one ever bothered to throw out its rotting corpse.
As for Matt and I, clearly we weren't quite ready to give up on Bozo #2. While preparing to bury him, we decided to taxidermy him instead. HE WILL NOW LIVE FOREVER. He may no longer be boppable, or able to stand on his own accord, but stuffed with shredded paper, a crumpled NY Post and some bubble wrap, our warrior (and YOURS) will live on and on. And on. And on...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Welcome, Bozo #6

Submitted by Brad in Las Vegas. Please welcome Bozo #6. Working under harsh, oppressive cruelty, Brad (not his real name) is unable to display a full Bozo Bop Bag in his office window. However, this brave warrior is defying his superiors and is risking life and limb to participate in The Bozo Project. After careful consideration, although not an official Bozo Bop Bag, we accept his submission and recognize his Bozo photo as The Bozo Project's Bozo #6.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hello from the East Village, NYC

This little fellow and his friends arrived by way of rocker Palmyra Delran of The Friggs & the Palmyra Delran Band. They look like a nice crew, right? This Bozo looks very happy to have such supportive friends. He's an excellent addition to the Bozo Project.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

We Are Staying Tuned...

It’s on. Shit. Is. On. Bozo #1 is sporting a “Stay Tuned” sign today. A sign? Or a GAUNTLET? What do our north side neighbors have planned? Are they ready to debut another Bozo? Because we’re twice as ready. We’re ready for whatever they’ve got. I have Bozo #s 4 & 5 sitting on my floor and they are anxious. ANXIOUS to be born. I can’t let them out of the box yet though. Even though I hear them stirring and weeping, they need to incubate another day.

I must say, so far, well done original Bozo. Well done…

Also, someone by the initials of LG emailed me today to say: “ I went on the Bozo site and got one look at the deflated wrinkly scoliosis-back Bozo peering sadly out the window and shut it down immediately! I am livid! I will need to take it all in when I calm down.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bozo #3's Arrival

after watching our first bozo (#2 in the project) slowly die over the weekend, we received a much-needed package today:

welcome bozo #3!

it's been such a sad sight. the bozo that, as far as we're concerned, started the project itself, reduced to a lump of vinyl and sand.

we quickly got bozo #3 ready for action (including a very stealthy bozo-swap maneuver), and restored #2 to his original glory. i must say, the sight of the two bozos standing proudly in the windows was quite inspiring. i can only imagine how it looked from across the street.

it is interesting, however, that bozo #3's arrival caused no reaction from #1's side. at one point, we noticed some activity in the window, but there has been no change in their bozo (still sporting his "beefcake" sign). we'll see if things change tomorrow - they have no idea what is in store for them. let the bozo assault begin.

inflating #3 #3 ready for his debut switching #2 & #3
#3 in action #2 & #3 dual-bozo assault