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Welcome to the one-year anniversary of the Cru Jones Society. We officially launched the site on March 30, 2008. Lee S. Hart, Senor Limon and myself began this site with one goal in mind: To make ourselves laugh. Before we started this site, we spent (and still spend) an ordinate amount of time trying to amuse each other and distract ourselves from the arduous day-to-day grind of the workaday world. And we’ve always been this way.

Hart and I became friends during a truly atrocious high school rendition of “The Diary of Anne Frank.” Hart was student director and I played Mr. Kraler, the one who lets the Franks and the Van Daans hide out above his business. Since I only had about four scenes and part of Hart’s duties as student director meant he was running crew, we spent roughly 90% of the play offstage cracking jokes at the expense of the other actors, the direction of our truly mad theater coach, and each other.

Over the course of the play, my character became known not only as Mr. Kraler, but as Humphrey Bogart The Amazing Jew-Hiding Magician due to the ridiculous amount of crap (flowers, a cake box, an overcoat) I had to carry onstage each scene. I could barely keep a straight face during my scenes due to Hart pretending to fellate whatever was handy during my scenes in my line of sight. Needless to say, we’ve been best friends ever since.

Limon and I have known each other since junior high. When we would drive to lunch together, and me and the two other guys we hung with used to give him crap for always being late by claiming he was busy getting reach arounds from the football coach in the locker room. We went off to college together and essentially roomed together all four years he was there. Whenever I’d had too much to drink I used to do this gagging thing sort of like what Steve-O from Jackass does and Limon would stand next to me, point and laugh, and then make gagging sounds until I eventually ralphed. The crowning moment of this exchange happened in the middle of a semi-major street at 2:30 in the morning. Needless to say, we’ve also been best friends ever since.

Why am I telling you this? Because after college when you start working 50 hours a week and no longer live together, it’s hard to maintain that level of camaraderie. Sure, I’d randomly receive a text message from Limon just about everyday with a non-sequitir like “1.21 Jiggowatts, Marty!” but it wasn’t the same as living together and taking turns hiding some really offensive porno picture in each other’s things like we did in college.

So we started the Cru Jones Society. We all loved to write – Hart had a weekly column on a friend’s blog for two years, Limon wrote for video game sites off and on all throughout college, and I have written for more than a dozen pro wrestling and pop culture websites since I was 19. But more importantly, we were all doing something together again. While we can’t get together and plan impromptu Beirut tournaments like we used to, getting together and working on a common project allows us a way to stay connected in a way that phone calls, emails, and ridiculous text messages don’t encompass.

And we figured we’re weird enough and smart enough that (hopefully) others would like to be a part of it too. I don’t think any of us ever dreamed that we’d be as big as we are, but we’re certainly grateful. Because as we’ve progressed, this site has become more than just the three of us amusing ourselves.

Authors of the Cru Jones Society

The Cru Jones Society is about everyone here. It’s about our regular commenters. It’s about the people that read us at work. It’s about you who have stopped by for the first time at this very moment. We write because we love it, and we love it because we hope you’re having as much fun as we are.

We were blown away by the participation in last year’s Food, Sex, or Cars? competition and this year, it’s going to be even better. We work hard for you, and we’ll continue to do so. Because this site means something to us, and we hope it does to you too.

So thank you for your participation. If you’re already a regular commenter, please keep ‘em coming. We love hearing your input and you only make our site better. The Confessional works because our readers have their own fascinating experiences, interesting and unusual voices, and tons of insight we could never offer you. We want your participation. If you’re hesitant to comment or participate in the Confessional – Don’t be. We welcome everyone, and can’t wait to hear from you.

And speaking of the Confessional, we began that in order to give you more of a voice in our site. This site was started as a way for three friends to get together and amuse each other, but since we’ve grown, we want to include all of you as much as possible. That’s why we’ve got some new features we’re excited to share with you.

1. Facebook

If you haven’t joined our Facebook group, please do so. We’ve got links to each new article, some of our favorites from the past, and a prompt for each new Monday Confessional. It’s an easy way to keep up with all things Cru Jones Society, since we know many of you spend the better part of your day on Facebook anyway.

2. Twitter

We’ve been hesitant to join the Twitter revolution, but we’ve seen its growth and its impact is not to be denied. We tend to be quite verbose around here (especially yours truly, as if you haven’t noticed), and in that sense, Twitter can be extremely limiting. But we had an epiphany: Since Twitter is limited to only 140 characters, and a standard text message is only 160 characters, think of Twitter as a way of getting in on the goofy non-sequitirs the CJS Staff sends to each other on a daily basis. Just think how much brighter your day will be when you receive a Tweet from Hart like the text message I received from him the other day: “The mayor of Lakewood looks like the other guy from Bosom Buddies.” It’s bite-sized CJS goodness to get you between articles. Click on the link above to start following us there. Chances are excellent we’ll start following you too.

3. Zazzle (Merch)

A number of you have asked for it, you got it. We’re opening our own Zazzle store and now you too can own some Cru Jones Society merchandise. We’ve got t-shirts, hoodies, stickers, and a bunch of other crap so you can show your love outside the ‘net for your favorite online time waster.  We’re adding more stuff as we go along, so if there’s something not there that you’d like to see, let us know and we’ll be sure to add it. At press time, the site is experiencing some problems, so our gallery isn’t quite ready, but we’ll post a link as soon as it is.

The Cru Jones Society is absolutely thrilled to celebrate its one year anniversary! Thank you to everyone who has helped us get here. We’re looking forward to another great and even bigger year in 2009.

Make sure to check in tomorrow with our big one-year anniversary surprise. We’ll have ourselves a little bicycle boogie so good it’ll make Hulk Hogan eat his heart out!

Cru Jones - The Legend

See you then!