Chapter 17: This Means War, Ignore The War

This Means War

It was now mid December and I suspected that Sean & Co. were anxious to get into bed with Ashfield, have sexual intercourse (I would call it fornication actually; weren’t they married to me after all) and give birth to their illegitimate baby (launch their business) in January 2014. The knowledge of the Ashfield relationship, and the child they were trying to have out of wedlock, was something I was going to keep as a secret between me and I.

I didn’t send the ‘tell not ask’ email immediately. I decided that there was a lot more time for mischievous hand rubbing and a lot more sweat left in the guys. So, I held my ground, continued to ignore emails and began to mentally formulate the wording of this legendary email I was going to send.

At this point I realised that there were a number of questions I forgot to ask Vito. I think I spent so much time trying not to poo in my pants in his regal office, that I lost sight of these vital questions. In hindsight, there was one question I should have asked after he had given me the nuclear weapon that was his 6 wise words. If I could borrow Marty McFly’s car for a few days and go back in time, I would have followed his 6 words with the reply: “at what price?”.

Was I going to place a value on it or was I going to let them come up with a figure? This was a difficult decision for me. If I aimed too high, I might damage any possibility of a buyout, if I aimed too low, I would be limiting myself if they paid out immediately. So, I decided to leave it wide open.

In reply to an email from Sean saying he needed to make a decision on his next move ASAP, I wrote the ‘tell not ask’ email. I left it open in that I didn’t place a figure on it. Here is the email:

buymeout
My tell not ask email

The reply I got marked the first time in two and a half years that I had ever seen any weakness or vulnerability in Sean. You could read in his words that my email had shaken him badly. At least force 7 on the Richter scale. His reply was short, aggressive and full of fire. Here it is:

warbegins
Sean declares war

The thought of going to court excited me. It meant I was going to have to buy a new suit. But I had never really been to court before, so I didn’t know what kind of suit would suit a court appearance. As it wasn’t an everyday occurrence, I wasn’t going to buy a boring black, grey or charcoal suit. This was a special, once off, occasion and it therefore deserved a special, once off suit.

After a bit of research online, I decided I would buy a suit like this for the big day:

gadaffi_style_051

Yes, this suit was perfect. Hat and all. Gadaffi was my idle when it came to suit fashion. I was weak at the knees at some of his ensembles. I even considered wearing earphones upside down on the day of my court appearance, just to finish off the look.

But alas, I knew this was just another idle threat on Sean’s part and researching suits online was simply wishful thinking. You can’t blame me though, we all like to fantasise at times, no? When I woke up from my day dream, and the reality of never actually getting the opportunity to sport a getup like this in the High Court hit home, I realised that there was in fact a silver lining to the dark cloud that was reality; I still had another solicitor’s letter to look forward to!

I love a bit of drama. And apart from anything else, the letter would also provide the means to make another paper airplane for my dog to chase. Endless hours of fun…FOR FREE. I was in my element (as was the pooch).

So, a day or two later, the parts for my new paper airplane arrived in the letter box. Here it is:

ES2

Here again you can see that the letter was signed ‘Everyone Shites’ rather that the individual solicitor who had written it. Too right though. Could you imagine the strange looks you would get from your pharmacist if you presented a prescription that had been signed by a vet?

Ignore The War

I never had so much fun making a paper airplane in my life. Usually when I play with the dog, I like him to bring me back whatever I have thrown down the garden. In this case, I didn’t want it back. He could eat it, excrete it, dance on it, make a doggy hat out of it, break it up into thousands of pieces and use the pieces as doggy toothpicks over the years, use the letter to taunt the dog next door, and so on and so forth. As long as he was happy, I was happy.

As Sean & Co. were expecting their baby in January, they really needed me gone ASAP. Remember it was mid December, the height of silly season. The last thing they needed was me to fuck around. If I didn’t sign the option agreement, Ashfield would have no comfort in knowing that I “was legally committed to leaving OnlineGrinds.ie” and the deal may fall through. This is why Sean had Daniel O’Donnell send me the second letter. He thought that I would freeze in the head lights and sign the document without hesitation. How wrong was he. But then again, he didn’t know that I was aware of the impending baba.

Despite my serious urge to reply to Everyone Shites saying that the firm of solicitors I was nominating was Saul Goodman and Co., I resisted the urge and ignored the letter completely. I let the 3 days pass to see what would happen. The days soon became weeks and low and behold nothing ever happened. Surprise surprise.

But how long were they willing to wait for me to sign the option agreement before it was too late to launch in January? Would they give in and pay me just before it reached this point? I didn’t have an answer to this question, as no more oops emails were sent. But I was willing to wait and find out.

In any case, it looked like Sean & Co. had no intention whatsoever of taking me to court as (a) it would cost too much and (b) they were much more at fault than I, and being in court would expose their wrongdoings much more than mine (especially because I didn’t have any).

In many ways this is why I have no qualms about writing this blog. The lads are much more guilty than I (you will see why as we get towards the end). This is why I can pretty much push the boat out in terms of what I say, with no fear of legal retribution from their end. Bearing this in mind, allow me to say one thing:

BS, you are, have always been, and will always be, an absolute and utter Bollox.

Writing this blog is far more rewarding than any form of conventional therapy. I recommend it most highly. I only wish I would receive an SL though. I have wagers with my mates that I will receive at least 2, and most probably 63. Whatever I do, I cannot lose this bet.

So guys, can you please get your act together, take out the thumbs that are firmly lodged up your bottoms and send me an SL without delay? Yes I am talking to YOU Arthur’s Cock and YOU Everyone Shites. Please don’t delay now. Good boys. Love you lots.


Next Chapter – Chapter 18: Bye Bye Learnology and The Jack & Jill Lollipop Story

Chapter 14: Let’s Get Dirty

Just when I thought BS had finished giving birth to a miniature BS, and his labour pains had subsided, he decided to let out another scream of pain. My initial reaction was that he was possibly having twins, and the second mini BS was about to pop. God, could you imagine a world with 3 BS’s. It really doesn’t bear thinking about, so I will shut up about that for now.

His second attack was far more powerful than his first. This time he had a full round of ammo in his weapon AKA his email account. Email was without a shadow of a doubt the weapon of choice for BS. He was very gifted and skilled in this form of weaponry. His email was like a semi-automatic firearm more so than a pistol, in that he wouldn’t simply fire one shot at a time; it would usually be a succession of shots, in very close proximity and at great speed. But when I say semi-automatic, I don’t mean an M16 or anything modern like that (contemporariness didn’t usually feature anywhere in his being), it was more like a vintage rifle such as the M1 Garand.

Garand
The M1 Garand

I am pretty sure that if BS had been in the hunger games and managed to get his hands on a laptop in the arena (with a pre-installed version of MS Outlook on it), not even Katniss would have been safe.

So, on 31st August 2013, after a momentary lapse in correspondence from BS (which simply turned out to be an ammunition reloading period), round two of shots were fired. Below are some of the bullets.

Have a guess what he talks about in the first shot? You guessed right! Learnology!

Still very concerned 1

In this shot, he gives me an ultimatum:

Still very concerned 2

If you have read the previous chapter, you will know that a business plan was circulated to Sean. If you have read chapter 9, you will be aware that BS had no right to see the plan, as he had already resigned as a dickhead, I mean, director (sorry I keep making this Freudian slip). It looks as if the brownies had obviously poisoned BS again which resulted in a relapse of amnesia.

In this final shot he gives me a warning. A warning shot if you like:

Still very concerned 3

Needless to say I stood my ground here and continued to advise BS that Learnology was not a competitive threat to OnlineGrinds.ie and that he had every opportunity to be part of it originally, but chose to turn down the opportunity. I also advised that his shooting down my ideas on how to further OnlineGrinds.ie on the basis of my starting Learnology was in effect preventing the course of progression of OnlineGrinds.ie.

Another Love Letter, this time from Everyone Shites

That weekend I decided to fuck off to Spain for a few days to lie on the beach, swim in the sea and spot some local talent. You might think that going away to Spain would free me of the BS of BS for a few days. But no, in Spain I still got bombarded with his eloquent emails, all relating to Learnology. In one of his emails, he decided to call an EGM (more amnesia, says you). I replied by saying that I would be delighted to attend the EGM, but if the subject of Learnology was brought up at the meeting, I would stand up from the table and walk straight out the door, allowing the team to pay for their own tea or coffee, as well as mine. In an effort to enjoy my few days away, rather than be tormented by BS, I chose to ignore the onslaught of emails that followed.

As the Ryanair flight was taxi-ing its way back to the terminal building on my arrival back to Dublin, I switched my phone on to check emails. One of the emails was from a large legal firm called Everyone Shites. Below is the gem of a letter that was attached to said email (click to enlarge):

ES1PART1
Part 1 of letter from Everyone Shites
ES1PART2
Part 2 of letter from Everyone Shites

When I received the Everyone Shites letter, I felt confused, frustrated and conflicted. I hadn’t a notion what to do. The feeling of indecision made me extremely vulnerable. I was weak. I needed help deciding my next move. But who was going to advise me on the options that lay ahead? There were just so many of them. If I chose the wrong one, I could regret it forevermore.

Each of the 10 or so options available to me had their fair share of both pros and cons. This didn’t make the decision any easier. I needed to evaluate all alternatives and create a shortlist of the 5 most suitable ones. The resulting frontrunners were as follows:

Would I?

(a)   Place the letter beside the toilet and leave it there for a rainy day when I ran out of toilet paper

(b)   Fold the letter and use it to prop up a leg of my kitchen table – I HATE wonky tables!

(c)    Try to disprove the theory that you can only fold something a maximum of 7 times

(d)   Crunch up the letter and use it as a ball which would provide endless hours of fun and entertainment for my dog

(e)   Create a paper airplane with the letter which I could throw down the garden for my dog to chase. Would it come back to me? Could I create the first boomerang paper airplane in the history of time and mankind?

After an extended period of painstaking vacillation, I came to the conclusion that the potential of option (e) was so vast that I could not but choose it. In hindsight I made the right decision. Both my dog and I had immeasurable fun that day.

Am I Bovered?

In all seriousness though, did I need to care about this letter? Not at all. You may have noticed that the letter was signed ‘Everyone Shites’ as opposed to an individual lawyer’s name. I later found out (I am very resourceful) that the letter was written by a lawyer in Everyone Shites who specialised in company law, not litigation. Company lawyers and litigators are two different breeds entirely. This letter should have come from a litigator. Something just didn’t tally. It was a bit like a medical doctor treating a dog. He would know a bit about general animal anatomy from having worked with humans (as our guy would know a bit about general law), but it certainly wouldn’t have been standard practice for him.

The gentleman who wrote this letter was probably the kind of man who would have been educated in Clongowes Wood College and wouldn’t have finally moved out of the family home until the age of 36, at the very least. He was most likely the type of guy who would wear tartan trousers on the golf course at the weekend, and would only have a glass of Guinness in the bar after the game, as he was driving. His first car was most probably a VW Golf. Going for after-work pints on a Thursday would have constituted living dangerously for this man. He probably lived in a comfortable, but by no means pretentious, negative-equity-submerged apartment in either Smithfield or the IFSC, with his girlfriend Jenny (who was training to be a GP), and their bichon frise Lola (who was groomed every other day). In other words, this was a nice, understated chap who worked as an ordinary, decent, company lawyer. Not by any manner or means was he a blood-thirsty, man-eating, Saul Goodman-esque kind of litigator.

There is a big difference between nice company lawyers and evil, fire-breathing litigators. Different kettle of fish altogether. Daniel O’Donnell or Francis Brennan would make perfect company lawyers. Mike Tyson or Jason Statham would make amazing litigators.

PURPLECROPPEDDOD
Daniel O’Donnell – The Company Lawyer type
1410_Wakinghours_i
Francis Brennan – Another Typical Company Lawyer kind of guy
Mike-Tyson-Headbutted-by-Pet-Tiger
Mike Tyson – The Litigator Type
Jason-Statham-1
Jason Statham – Another Typical Litigator

So, realising that the gentleman who had written the letter was from the Daniel O’Donnell School of Law, as opposed to the Law School of Saul Goodman, I didn’t have much to worry about. He was probably a friend of Sean’s and this was the only reason why he was momentarily dipping his (little) toe into the dark world of litigation. In fact, if you read his letter closely, you can get the feeling that he is completely outside of his comfort zone. For example, he keeps repeating the words “to the extent”. Surely he wasn’t repeating himself so much on purpose, and it obviously represented a nervous twitch in his writing? The man was clearly shaking at the time. But would you blame him?

The long and the short of it was that this letter amounted to nothing more than an idle threat. A threat which they thought would result in my ‘allowing them in’ to Learnology. I felt like the bouncer of a night club, and this letter was like a very poorly manufactured fake ID.

I guess you would think that I would be shocked to receive a letter like this. You might ask yourself how these fuckers could do such a thing, considering I had given them every opportunity to be involved in Learnology, and they had turned down my offer. And especially when BS had clearly indicated that his time was up, making it physically impossible to set up the traditional grind school under the umbrella of Stenson Institute Ltd. t/a OnlineGrinds.ie. If this is how you are feeling, I won’t stop you from feeling this way. However, please be aware that I am not imposing this feeling upon you, you are feeling it yourself.

Subtext of Letter

If you have a pair of eyes in your head that function normally, you will easily see that the subtext of this letter was “Okay, I know we said before that we didn’t want to be involved, but we now think that this could be a success, so please let us be involved and we promise we won’t sue you!”

As Sean wasn’t getting involved in the same dirty tactics as BS, I wrote him an email to see what his take on the whole situation was. Sean was always very neutral and indeed didn’t dismiss the possibility of even investing in Learnology. In actual fact, Sean agreed to carry out a Skype call with PWD of Learnology and I at one point to see how the venture was going, (with a view to potentially investing down the road).

Sean replied to my email asking me to meet him for a coffee. What he said to me at the meeting was consistent with what I believed to be the subtext of the letter. It was along the lines of, “you can proceed with Learnology in an unencumbered fashion, with no threat of legal action, as long as you let us be part of it”.

To be brutally honest, I got on very well with Sean and I was never against the idea of having him on board the team in Learnology. So, I arranged a meeting with Sean and the partners of Learnology to see if some sort of arrangement could be arrived at.

At the meeting, Sean reiterated that Learnology could proceed, with no threat of legal action, if he and the OnlineGrinds.ie team could be involved. He mentioned that he was aware of the communication issues I was having with BS, and advised that BS would be a silent partner in this new arrangement.

As you can imagine, I wasn’t entirely happy with the idea of having BS involved in Learnology, silent, loud or otherwise. I would have preferred to chew ultra-thin glass, walk across white hot-coals barefoot and have rusted barbed-wire shoved into my eyeballs than have him in the company. However, if I rarely saw him in OnlineGrinds.ie (where he was supposed to be hands-on, as opposed to silent) there was no way I would even get a glimpse of him in Learnology. If he spent all his time in San Francisco and Mexico up until now, you could be sure he would be in Jupiter or Mars from now on. All the same, I still wasn’t mad about the idea that he would receive dividends from the success of Learnology, for doing sweet fuck all. Regardless of how I felt however, there were three partners in the Learnology team. If PWD and MBB agreed to let Sean & Co. in, who was I to stop them.

Towards the end of the meeting, the partners in Learnology posed one question to Sean. It was along the lines of “So, what do you think of Learnology?” All Sean could reply with was “The website looks good”. He had no notion of the business other than the fact that the website looked ‘pretty’. Needless to say, the partners of Learnology felt that Sean’s motivation was misplaced, and that all he wanted was a return on the money he had put into OnlineGrinds.ie (which ended up in the Ballymun bonfire). As a result, bringing Sean & Co. on board was regrettably not a runner.


Next Chapter – Chapter 15: I Accept, We Don’t and The Stool Pigeon