Special thanks to Gibson Frazier!
Last week, a couple of people forwarded me this link from Cracked magazine, which basically outlines some steps to becoming a published author in a “funny if it wasn’t so sad it was true” kind of a way. If you haven’t read the article I highly recommend it—I am definitely going to forward it to people who email/ call/ Tweet me, saying that they’re thinking of writing a book. I think the only thing I have to add is the sad fact that his story STARTS with him getting a publisher, which actually extends the actual steps in the process of getting publised to ten, because to get a publisher you have to put in a ton of hours and get tossed around and abused by the publishing industry, and this can take months if not years, so you’re actually LUCKY if you start where he started and end up just putting in enough hours so that you got paid $4.50/ hour. Most writers put in twice that time, meaning they make half the money. So, that’s fun.
Anyhoo, I thought the style that article was written in was so funny, over the weekend I made some lists of my own. Here is the one that I developed the most so far, and that Stephan said if I didn’t write up and put on here, he would cry.
Five Celebrities You Won’t Care About in Ten Years, and Why
Twenty years ago you thought Corey Haim was the bomb, and so did he. Ten years ago, everyone was convinced that Mischa Barton was going to be a huge star (and when I said she was a bad, bad actress with no future, I got a bunch of mean emails from a Mischa Barton fan forum. Who's crying now, Mischa Barton fan forum??). Since I seem to have an uncanny knack for picking out people who high on their own supply yet don’t have the talent to back it up and will therefore soon be irrelevant, I have composed this list of current celebrities to amuse you.
I think we can all agree that fame is a cruel mistress—more often than not, celebrities plaintively wail about how they can’t go anywhere or do anything without the paparazzi following them and invading their precious privacy.
You know what’s even sadder, though?
Celebrities who no one cares about anymore—one or two hit wonders who were swept up on a wave of popular opinion and then left, naked and shivering on the shores of real life. Here’s a list of people I think are going to wash up next!
1. The Kardashian Family. One thing is for sure—under Kris Kardashian’s expert business tutelage, this family will continue to roll in passive income for many years to come, long after no one gives a crap which pro athlete Kim Kardashian is banging or how many pounds Amazonian Khloe lost that week. The question is, will they be able to exist without the constant presence of the cameras in their lives? Like a tree falling in the forest or a bear shitting in the woods, it is possible that the Kardashian family is actually a representational celluloid construct that will disappear when there is no one there to witness it. Good thing they have all those fragrances, diet pills, and sex tapes to remember them by!
2. Pink. No, I’m not going to write her name P¡nk, because that requires me to do a special thing with my Microsoft Word, and that is just what she wants. Pink is one of those celebrities who is semi-famous and totally smug and entitled, but no one really knows why. She recently gave People Magazine the first crack at pictures of her new baby so the paparazzi wouldn’t follow her when she went out—further indication that Pink thinks she is Angelina Jolie. Pink is one of those celebrities who is famous because of a fluke, but who conducts herself like she is Aretha Franklin. Let’s face it—she’s not attractive, can’t sing much better than anyone on American Idol or The Voice, and she makes up for her lack of dance moves by performing death-defying acrobatics, which I'm guessing she's not going to want to do now that she is a mother.
I guess what I’m saying is, Pink is to the 2000s what Alison Moyet was to the 1980s—someone you will see at a state fair in 20 years while you’re eating a fried Twinkie, and your friend’s husband will lean over and whisper “Which one is Yaz?”
3. The Jersey Shore Cast. Remember that article about how hard it is to become a published author? You know who doesn’t know about even ONE of those steps?
Unfortunately for the cast of this show, they think that the life they’re leading right now is real life, and that this is how the world works. They think they can make money by simply drinking too much and hooking up in a bacteria-infested hot tub, then pointing and saying “Me want book deal!” or “Me take diet pills!” Five years from now, my money’s on Ron-Ron being an overweight used car salesman who cries in his cubicle between customers, J-Woww getting lupus from those giant, second-rate breast implants, and Snooki being stared at for being “That sad woman who works at my Duane Reade who is 4’11 and orange, at the checkout beside the woman with the crazy long fingernails.”
Sadly, there will be another, replacement group of no-talent turds in the spotlight by then, but at least these kids got to see Italy while people still gave a shit about them!
4. Heidi Montag. In case you haven’t already forgotten about her, Heidi Montag was the ok-looking girl with the big chin from the Hills who cut herself to look like Lana Turner (whoops) cut herself to look like a Playboy Playmate and still wasn’t good-looking enough to be one of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends, who fake-divorced her equally fame-hungry husband Spencer Pratt who is mostly famous for his flesh-colored facial hair and overusing the word “bro.” These two are quickly aging out of the system like expired milk, and, without actual skills or the common sense God gave a chicken, they will soon be cooking up and overdosing on meth just for the chance to be on Celebrity Rehab, because ex-celebrities with no perspective are the only people who have not yet figured out that Dr. Drew is never going to let anyone on that show be more famous than him, even if he has to re-drug you himself. Dr. Drew WILL still be famous in 10 years, because, like that sucker fish that cleans the algae off the back of the whale or the bacteria in your gut that makes you poop, he is now inside the system and smart enough to A-always, B-be, C-commenting on the latest celebrity meltdown so he can dovetail on that celebrity’s brand equity (Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears), whether or not that meltdown has anything to do with his actual medical specialty.
Where was I? Oh, right—Heidi and Spencer. I actually don’t think it’s going to take ten years to forget about them. Moving on….
5. Janice Dickinson. Oh, wait, she can’t be on this list because no one cares about her now.
5. January Jones. Here is an example of a model who has no range, who got one big break and used it to give shitty interviews about Ashton Kutcher and other people she felt stood in the way of her success. How long can a model-turned-actress with very little talent last in a world that loves to see pretty people fall? Well, now she is pregnant and no one seems to care who the father is, so let’s see if she wises up, takes an acting class and goes to the gym, or if the next and last season of Mad Men is the last thing you ever see her in, after which she will be a single mom working at a diner, starring in a sad little play called “Did anyone ever tell you you look just like Betty Draper from Mad Men?”
Yes, it’s all very mean, and yes, I might be wrong about some of them. But I don’t think so. If you’d like to tell me how very wrong you think I am and how Heidi Montag is just misunderstood, go ahead and leave that in the comments, which I’m sure will be very entertaining. Otherwise let’s meet back here in ten years to see if anyone still cares about Snooki, shall we?
I keep meaning to relay this weird experience I had a couple of months ago, and how it relates to a thing I observe almost every day on the east coast, and in my notebook this topic is listed as “EAST COAST DRIVERS ARE INSANE” if that gives you any inkling of where I’m going with this.
Back in April or so, I was on the way to Connecticut, and was pulled over because I passed a cop pulling someone over in the right lane and I didn’t “Move Over” in accordance with the just-passed “Move Over” law (by the way, there should be a “New Laws” app so you can be notified, because how are you supposed to find out?) , and when the officer pulled me over he informed me that you are now required to “Move Over” at least one lane and that this was for the safety of the police officers, and I was like “Go ahead and give me a ticket, because I learned to drive in another state—a state where no one gets pulled over to THE SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY, so I did not know this rule,” and he believed that I actually had no knowledge of this law, so he let me go, and now I always “Move Over” because I can be taught, but I just wanted to mention again that no one in California has to “Move Over” because NO ONE GETS PULLED OVER TO THE SIDE OF THE 405 FREEWAY, AND THAT IS INSANE, AND DON’T DO THAT, AND YOU NEED A BETTER LAW.
Seriously, California people—can you please let me know if you’ve seen someone getting pulled over on the side of the 405, or even 101 in Northern Cal, or the 10 in the desert? I have searched my memory several times since this incident, and I believe that every time I’ve seen someone get pulled over on the freeway, the cop pulls the person OFF the freeway and gives them a ticket because no California cop would be insane enough to get out of his/ her car or off his/her motorcycle on the side of a freeway that big. Am I wrong about this? I actually would like to know. I am also going to consult my father, who in case you didn’t know, used to be a California motorcycle cop back in the 1970’s, in the style of CHiPS. I keep meaning to ask him if he had a cop mustache and those reflective glasses back in the day, and whether he has any photos of this because it sounds funny.
So, whatever, I didn’t Move Over, and now I Move Over, but this leads me to the second part of my thought, which is, ok, I learned to drive in California, and I believe that California has the most and largest freeways in the United States of America and (if you’ll recall) I just spent five years living and driving in Los Angeles, home of what I thought were the most insane drivers anywhere.
I thought I was mentally prepared for driving on the east coast, but OH MY GOD YOU GUYS I WAS NOT PREPARED. Another reason I don’t think they should have the “Move Over” law on the east coast is because I have never seen such insane driving in my entire life, and by “insane driving” I mean the speeding, and the tailgating, and the high-speed weaving in and out of traffic, and a whole host of other things that really should make it so moving violations are their own stream of passive income for the east coast states.
I’m not just talking about the actual driving in New York City, which you’d think would be really stressful, and you would be right, and now I have sympathy for cab drivers. My writer friend Jenn and I were actually stopped at a stop light a few weeks ago on the way to Brooklyn, and we came seconds away from running over a woman who walked right in front of my car when there was a police car with its light on right behind us and we were trying to get out of the way, and we both screamed, and then we both said repeatedly how we wanted to go back and lecture that woman because OH MY GOD WHY ARE YOU IN THE STREET but really, this is just another day of driving in New York City, and you could not pay me enough money to be a cab driver, so there’s that.
I’m talking about some high-speed daredevil antics that you can observe any day of the week on the highways and byways north of the city, in Westchester County and Connecticut, which is the very location where I got pulled over for not “Moving Over,” and where last year I was pulled over for having one of my taillights burned out, and I guess what I’m saying is, every time I get pulled over, I’m kind of in disbelief because seriously, why are they not chasing any one of the Evel Knievel-like daredevils who have just flown past me going 120 mph so that I screamed out loud like a little girl, or tailgated me until I was compelled to “Move Over” myself just so they wouldn’t kill me? This is the part that makes no sense to me. Do they pull me over because I am driving more slowly and they just need a break from the Dukes of Hazzard style car chase that probably ensues every single time they want to give someone a ticket for being insane? It seems like there would be a lot more money in that than telling me to “Move Over,” but anyway, highway patrol in New York and Connecticut must know that people drive this way, which is even more reason for them to require their officers to make people pull all the way off the highway when they are giving tickets, because honestly, it does not seem to me like you could “Move Over” enough to get out of the way of a semi going over 100 on the open road.
Anyhow, now I know to move over, but I think this is one situation where California just does a better job. If I wasn’t white-knuckling out there, I would take video of some of the seriously insane things I have seen out there, like two guys drag racing down the FDR.
In conclusion, MOVE OVER.
Today I would like to invite you to watch this spectacular Dr. Hook video from the 1980’s, which Stephan found and sent to me with the subject heading “You’re going to need to watch this.” He happened upon this video after I made reference to another Dr. Hook song, and he got caught in a Dr. Hook tornado and ended up here.
Indeed—now YOU’RE going to need to watch this. We’ll hold.
OK, now that we’re all on the same page, let’s just ask some of the pertinent questions that are assuredly on everyone’s mind.
1. What’s going on with the eye patch? I’ll probably be sorry for bringing this up, but the singer who also plays bongos (I know this from other videos) has an eye patch. Maybe he has a glass eye because his sister poked him in the eye with a pencil when they were kids (in which case I would in fact feed bad), or maybe he’s working on the Dr. Hook theme by having an eye patch. But---- is it really necessary for him to wear eye makeup on the OTHER eye? I feel like he’s just drawing attention to the whole “eye” situation. Also, that hat makes him look like Jose Eber—with an eye patch. OK, I think I said “eye patch” enough times to get that out of the way. EYE PATCH!
Side note: What’s with the gold tooth? Stephan says that this makes the guy look like the white man’s Slick Rick.
2. Where is this girl going? The girl whose blue jeans are talking is walking somewhere that looks like Los Angeles, but (and this is also true of a number of other 80’s videos), she’s walking for an abnormally long time, especially for L.A, but it doesn’t look cool enough to be Sunset, so let’s just say she’s walking on Fountain or La Cienega or some other equally unsexy Los Angeles street where they could afford to get a filming permit. Does she not know about valet? Also—I know she doesn’t think she’s getting in to one of those clubs, because she’s got no ID and no money.
How do I know this? Come on—those jeans are so tight we can see her ovaries. We’d know if there was anything in those pockets. Come to think of it, where are her car keys? Does she maybe just live somewhere in L.A., and she’s walking to meet someone? Let’s give this some thought.
3. What are these blue jeans saying? I know the point of this video is that “SHE HAS A NICE ASS,” but let’s just be honest here-- if those blue jeans are saying anything, it’s “yeast infection.” There, I said it. Those jeans are too damned tight, and too high waisted, and just…..too, ok?
The whole video is just …so very.
Oh, also-- we made a preliminary list of products that might have been used in this commercial: Arrid X-tra Dry, Close Up toothpaste, Prell, and Aussie Sprunch spray. Oh, and some Wet N' Wild eyeliner on Eye Patch guy, and some Aqua Net hairspray in a can for blue jeans there.
I know what you’re thinking—I keep going away for long periods of time, then I come back and make a little funny, and then you come back and I’m gone again, and you’re like “Huh, but she’s on Twitter!” Sadly, I have so many projects going at the same time, Twitter is the only place where I have time to make funny. I'm not even trying to be like "Oooh, I'm so busy," but I'm too busy, to the point where I actually had a minor meltdown last week and decided I needed some time management help, so I bought a book and started listening to it while I'm on the treadmill (because do I have time to sit and read a book? Um....that'd be no). That seems to be going well, although the other day I did laugh because the organizational guy who wrote the book said something like "There is a system for staying organized....it's called prioritization," and from then on I started imagining him ending every sentence with the word "stupid," like "It's called prioritization....stupid." Is this the big reveal? I need to prioritize? Well, shut my mouth!
Also, I'm not trying to make excuses for my lack of prioritization (stupid) —but is that not some of the funny in Funny Strange—just how friggin random some of stuff is that I feel compelled to talk about, and how there is no way to predict just when it will happen or what I will think is funny? I’ll tell you, I have been observing funny things and photographing them with my phone, but at the same time I have mostly just been doing tech things, which aren’t that funny, unless you’re my friend Vincent Flanders, and Web Pages That Suck is already so spectacular, like, how could I top that?
I do like to send him spectacular websites that are funny from time to time, and he agrees that I have a knack for picking out websites that are so bad, they border on the realm of absurdity and almost make you go “Wow…..well done.” Actually, I sent him one this week-- do go over there and try to figure out which one it was, won't you?
Actually, the thing I thought was the funniest in the past two weeks has to do with a B-level celebrity, and I don’t know if I’m totally at liberty to tell you about it because I think I might be bound by some kind of professional ethics, but let’s just say that SOMEONE on a cable show thinks they are more famous than they actually are, and this resulted in them getting some custom-made paparazzi shields for some gates around their house, and when I found out about this I thought it was super funny and have laughed about it every single day since. You guys. Custom-made paparazzi shields. To shield him from paparazzi that, as far as I can tell, AREN'T FOLLOWING HIM.
WHO KNEW THAT WAS EVEN A THING? This person is not Lindsay Lohan, and for the crime of being “high on one’s own supply,” I’m now pretty sure they’re going to get killed off on their show. I almost wish I was still writing Hollywood Car Wash, because this is definitely the kind of story that would go in there, and later, people would be like “COME ON, THAT IS NOT A TRUE STORY,” and I would have to cover my hand with my mouth to keep from blurting out the person’s name.
Anyhoo, I thought for today’s bit of randomness I would just show you this giant piece of corn I saw hanging randomly in Target.
Um….who approved this huge ear of corn? Does Target even sell corn? I mean, maybe they sell canned corn, but is Target getting into the fresh food and grocery business now? Further, why is this corn hanging right before the office supplies aisle? Are we supposed to equate this large corn with some kind of summer festival, and therefore determine that we need to shred some stuff?
I know, it sounds like I’m reaching. I get that the corn is sort of pointing to a "Kitchen" sign, and in the kitchen, you can use your pots and pans to cook some corn (is that how you cook corn? I honestly don't know). But, this corn stopped me in my tracks, and I actually am reaching to figure out what would compel executives to approve the “Giant Hanging Corn” concept, and that each step of this plan was approved and executed, and no one ever went “Hey, you know what? We don’t actually SELL corn,” and everyone chuckled and went “Oh yeah, that’s so dumb!” and went back to what they were doing, like making sure there’s enough Target-brand Benadryl and shampoo there for me when I need it.
It’s the intention BEHIND the customization of these things (the paparazzi shield, oh look, I mentioned it again) and the giant corn that make me laugh, you see. Every step along the way—the concept, the design mockups, the actual fabrication, the CARE that goes into these things is so funny to me because it just indicates a complete loss of perspective and lack of any one person going “WHY AM I MAKING HUGE CORN?”
Stuff like this makes me stop and stare, and think “Seriously—who approved this?”
This sign also belongs in this category. By the way, I’m really glad I have you all trained now and that I get emails and texts and tagged in Facebook photo galleries, because I am the EXACT person you should think of when you see something like this:
Fantastico, and special thanks to Malificent for taking it. Not really sure what "Berms" are, but...okey dokey, I guess. Nice sign! I will be sure to steer clear.
Oh, also? This goes out to the person who left the comment on the "Punch Your Mouth In Its Face" post. Actually, I AM the target audience for that product....I love spicy chips (RIP Crunch Taters, the best chip of all time), and I was hungry at that moment, so if not for the super odd placement and phrasing, I might have actually tried those chips. I still think "Punch Your Mouth In Its Face" and gasoline fingers make a funny combination, and I am standing by that claim.
Go forth and take absurd photographs, everyone!
In case you haven't guessed this about me, I totally enjoy a good shenanigan. By this, I mean "anything that goes outside of normal expectations for that situation.". This has served me better in my adult life than it did in, say, high school, where rule-following is not only the norm, it is required, but also where I once was kicked out of an English class for giving what the teacher, MRS. BEVERLY KNOWLES, thought were answers that didn't conform enough to the set lesson plan, and since this made her job harder, she made it a point to make my life harder. I just thought you should know that if you're in high school and you have big ideas and a teacher like that to hold you back, it does get better, even though you will remember the name of that teacher and she will become something of a symbol of what it's like to be repressed by "The Man" when you're being original. Oh, and in case Mrs. Knowles was your favorite teacher and she changed your life, I'm totally glad for you-- all I'm saying is that she didn't like me, and told everyone about it, which I think is the wrong way to handle a teenager with big ideas.
I don't know if "rule breaker" is the right word for what I am since I usually try to adhere to the laws, although if a rule is arbitrary and stupid enough that it comes to my attention or I think there is a better way to do something, that is certainly one that I will try to disregard. I think my friends in high school found this to be somewhat mortifying, and that teacher surely did, and yes, it is more than 20 years later and I still know her name and her face, and when people (like publishers and whatnot) say no to me, I just picture her face and how wrong wrong WRONG she was about me, and I laugh and keep trying to achieve the goal I was trying to achieve. I guess what I'm saying is "Takes no for an answer" is not something that anyone would ever say about me, and I like that about myself.
For instance, if I am standing beside you after a flight, and we are waiting to pick up our luggage from the baggage carousel, and one of the bags gets stuck and makes it so no one else's bag can come out, and everyone is kind of staring at the bag, hoping things will just work themselves out....
I am the one that jumps on the baggage carousel and dislodges the bag. Every single time.
This is not a fictional example, people. I am actually that person-- I have done this more than a few times, and each time people are a little mortified and there's an awkward silence, and then they fully start cheering me on.
Do I sometimes get yelled at by the baggage handlers?
Yes I do. I figure the yelling is a small price to pay for getting everyone's bags out of bag purgatory. Oh, and just to clarify-- this is the only shenanigan I will consider at an airport. The rest of the time at the airport I consider "super serious" and conduct myself as such, because it is 100% not worth it to make a scene over the fact that you REALLY wanted to wear your bullet belt, and how come you have to take your shoes off, and your flight is delayed, and you really are just a douche who can't keep it under control, and if you let that get out of hand in the airport, you are going to jail. Generally speaking, yelling in the airport should never be done, though I would like to go on record as saying that those whole body scan machines totally violate people's right to privacy and I do not think those will last.
You might be wondering-- do I have a blog called Funny Strange because I like a shenanigan and enjoy recording them when I see them?
Yes, and yes. Life is just too short to stand there and watch that bag being stuck in there, man. I am a firm believer that there is always a way (or a better way), and speaking of ways, you better get out of my way if a shenanigan is in effect, because frankly, your resistance is now part of the shenanigan for me and you will end up on this blog. Like, if you're a waiter, and you work at a restaurant, and I ask you if I can please buy one of the coffee mugs because my father in law likes them so much, and you immediately say "No, we used to sell those, but we are out of them," which makes no sense because I AM HOLDING ONE IN MY HAND, then I will feel free to go ahead and leave with that coffee mug in my bag and leave some extra money on the table, which technically is not stealing because I PAID FOR THE MUG YOU SAID WASN'T AVAILABLE LIKE YOU SAID I COULDN'T DO, and years later that's still my father in law's favorite mug and he laughs every time he sees it. Totally worth it, no one got hurt-- classic shenanigan.
Come to think of it, these shenanigans usually involve people who work at minimum wage type jobs and don't really "think outside the box," so to speak, so I am the one who is left to come up with creative solutions in order to do what I want to do. This is often confusing or disturbing to the person working at the job, and if they ever comment on it, I usually say "no one ever got ahead in life by following all the rules," and this at least confuses them enough to shut them up and stop fixating on how it is 8:15 pm, and their store closed at 8:00pm, and how totally WRONG it is that I waited until someone left, then ran in the exit door to buy something because that's just the way it's going to be with me and you should come to peace with it.
Also not a fictional example. That situation actually went on for ten minutes or so while I patiently waited outside the grocery store for someone to come out while the kid who worked there kept staring at me and shaking his head, like "We are closed," and I'm like "Look at my face, I do not accept that" and before he knows it I dart in there and I'm already in line with my money out before he even knows what hit him. Shenanigan!
Not only do I like breaking the rules, but I also very much enjoy it when other people break them and tell me about it. I inherited this trait directly from my father, who (did I mention lately) REPEALED PROHIBITON in his county in Kentucky? He got LAWS CHANGED, people. That is one step up from a shenanigan.
Revolucion! I will throw it out to you now-- do you also enjoy a shenanigan ? Please tell me your last one.