Barely a week ago we got the news that Billy Mitchell, arcade cabinet wunderkind who held records on games like Donkey Kong and Pac-Man, had had all his scores
striked stricked strook strucken struck from both the scoreboard at Twin Galaxies and the Guinness of World Records. It seems that there was enough evidence that Mitchell cheated, or at least used the emulator MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) contrary to Twin Galaxies’ rules, that all his scores were disqualified. Mitchell, it should be noted, has disputed the dispute, and says he can prove everything was above board.
Mitchell is most well known for his line of hot sauces, and for appearing in the documentary King of Kong: A Fist Full of Quarters, which followed mild mannered good dude Steve Wiebe trying (and succeeding) to beat Mitchell’s high score on Donkey Kong. For some reason Mitchell was cast as the villain to Wiebe’s hero; this may be because Mitchell compared himself on screen to the Red Baron and didn’t show up to the Funspot arcade but instead had people reporting Wiebe’s every score to him over the phone, like what a paranoid bad guy would do.
While Mitchell is contesting his ban from Twin Galaxies, I’ve come up with a list of suggestions in case it doesn’t all pan out for him. But what lines of work are suitable for someone who came off as such a cartoonish supervillain in a film from a decade ago?
Go into politics
Become a regional manager at Foxtons Estate Agents
The BBC went undercover at Foxtons years ago and exposed deliberate overvaluing and customer bamboozling – i.e. cheating at real estate – as well as weird cult-like sales meetings on Friday nights. Underperformers were heckled, and overperformers received money and champagne. But I’m sure that their practises have changed since then and they’re not all snorting coke like industrial hoovers while thinking up fake reasons for more fees like ‘wear and tear on agents’ shoes’ or whatever.
There is, however, a reason that estate agents are generally disliked in the same way that nobody likes lawyers, parking wardens, or people who think that frozen yoghurt is in any way an acceptable replacement for actual ice cream (it isn’t and you are terrible). Estate agents are an army of knock off Patrick Batemans (Batemen?), walking with a strange synthetic confidence that real people don’t have any more, and then they arrange to meet you and either don’t show up or show up late, which as we know from King of Kong would seem to be very much in Billy Mitchell’s wheelhouse. It would also be a natural fit for his haircut.
Apply for CEO at Turing Pharmaceuticals and start feuding with RZA
Martin ‘Pharma Bro’ Shkreli had to give up his position as CEO in 2015 when he was arrested for securities fraud – i.e. cheating at business – and just got sentenced to seven years in prison. Shkreli became the ‘most hated man in America’ when his company raised the price of a drug used by people with HIV and AIDS by over 5000%, and also because he was really smug and did weird live streams where he wore sunglasses and looked like he didn’t get out of the house enough as a child.
But far worse than all of that is that when Wu-Tang Clan announced they were only selling one single copy of their new album (Once Upon a Time in Shaolin) at auction, that the buyer couldn’t share for 88 years, Martin Shkreli was the one who bought it. RZA aka Prince Rakeem aka Prince Delight aka Prince Dynamite aka Bobby Steels aka Bobby Digital aka the Abbot aka the Scientist aka the RZArector said the sale was agreed before the Clan was aware of Shkreli’s pharmaceutical chicanery. Meanwhile Shkreli publicly announced how much he bought it for (a cool two mil), that he hadn’t even bothered to listen to it, and that Taylor Swift could hear it if she gave him a blow job. After his arrest Shkreli tried to sell it on eBay for $1.25 million (RZA said he could have got more if he’d tried), but was seized as part of Shkreli’s assets last month after his conviction, so he probably regrets revealing how expensive it was. Someone excused themselves from Shkreli’s jury as unable to give him a fair trial with the reason ‘He disrespected the Wu-Tang.’
So basically what I’m saying is that there’s a vacancy for someone to both take over a notionally hilariously evil corporation, and to be hated by the public over a piece of pop-culture.
Challenge Floyd Mayweather to a boxing match and paint a mural on the wall of himself punching Mayweather
Conor McGregor, MMA bad boy prick and absolute lad who turned up to Ascott in an open shirt and flip up sunglasses, got himself in a spot of bother when he went on a bender after getting stripped of his title and attacked a bus, injuring some other fighters. It may be time for the public’s weird fascination with and acceptance of McGregor’s antics to finally wane, leaving a vacuum for a weirdly dressed bearded man with way too much confidence who you love to hate.
When McGregor arranged his fight with Mayweather – which he was always going to lose and which he always knew he was going to lose, but he got loads of money and publicity so what did he care? – one entire wall of his gym was painted with the mural described above (a further detail being that the mural McGregor is holding a diploma under one arm, which is amazing). If you replaced McGregor and Mayweather’s heads with Mitchell and Steve Wiebe I would not be surprised if that image existed in Mitchell’s home.
Move into Snake Mountain, raise a horde of evil minions, and redouble efforts to defeat He-Man and his cohorts, thus conquering both Castle Grayskull and all of Eternia
Join the WWE
So apparently this weekend Billy was selling these t-shirts, featuring his signature stars ‘n’ bars tie and pocket square and a badge saying ‘I got MAME’d’. But, though the investigation has been going for months, his scores were only struck off on April 12, meaning Mitchell had already prepared these t-shirts. My new assessment of Billy Mitchell is that he is in fact an actual genius prepared to lean into the cartoon villain persona harder than any real life person has ever done. This, as well as his highly publicised patriotism, makes Mitchell the hand to WWE’s sweaty glove. Though he obviously isn’t amazingly placed to be an actual rassler, WWE has a long history of their stars also having managers, i.e. a strange looking man in a suit who’ll hype their rassler, yell at Vince McMahon and sometimes do something like headbutt a referee so that their guy wins – i.e. cheating at rasslin’. And this, frankly, is the part that hot sauce magnate and lapsed arcade oligarch Billy Mitchell was born to play all along.
This isn’t even a joke this time.
It would be amazing.
Please, Billy, if you’re reading this (and you may well be because I bet you name search) consider getting on the phone to Vince. I want to see viral clips of you coming out of WrestleMania 35.