I have this silly habit as a writer/artist/creator. I love those “demotivational posters”—you know, the parodies of the ones that put a different twist on the beautiful sunset picture with a word definition (e.g. “Perseverance: the ability to overcome the doubt and reach the finish line”). I have no idea how a sunset represents a finish line, but you know what I’m talking about. When we were kids, we were HUGE fans of “Snigglets” (popularized by comedian Rich Hall on HBO’s 1980s series Not Necessarily the News.
(Elacceleration: The mistaken belief that the more times one presses an elevator call button, the faster the elevator will arrive.)
Around this time there was a series of books that had become popular. They were titled “Life’s Little Instruction Books”. Not long after came the parody series of books “Life’s Little Destruction Books”. Some of my favorite examples:
- Be first on the bus and grope around for change.
- Assign blame.
- Blow your horn as soon as the light turns green.
- Break hearts, wind, and rules.
- Ask them to name all 54 flavors and then order vanilla.
Clearly you get the point. I have a slight warped (but mostly fun and rarely dangerous) sense of humor. Back to my habit. I create such demotivational posters from time to time. Usually they just come to me. I think some are funny. My wife says I crack myself up. (She’s not wrong.) One came to me the other day after watching the news report about the woman who is being charged with child abuse (or endangerment, who can keep them straight these days?) for allegedly putting her five year-old in a tanning bed. I made the poster this morning. I couldn’t resist. When I saw her it was like a crackhead seeing a pile of really good crack lying in the middle of the table with no one around (or at least I imagine that’s what it felt like).
Then I figured “why not share it, and a few I’ve made in the past, with my readers?”
(Shall I apologize now, or later?)
Look, just be happy I’m not ranting.
A few I’ve made over the years:
Oh, and one for the guys (ladies, mea culpa):
The point is, we really all do need to laugh more. Whatever it is that tickles you, makes you guffaw (a word that’s making a comeback in my opinion, BTW), or achieve the pure nirvana of a good old belly laugh—do it. At least once a day. You will be amazed at the benefits, I promise you. If the above didn’t do it for you, below is a passage from “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” I emailed to my 21 year-old son the other day. Hunter S. Thompson is one of my favorite writers of all time, was literally a genius, and this scene gives me those glorious tears of laughter every time I read it (by the way, if you doubt my devotion to Thompson, see my truck’s license plate here).
“Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop. Your normal speeder will panic and immediately pull over to the side when he sees the big red light behind him…. and then will start apologizing, begging for mercy.
This is wrong. It arouses contempt in the cop-heart. The thing to do – when you’re running along about a hundred or so and you suddenly find a red flashing CHP – tracker on your trail – what you want to do is accelerate. Never pull over with the first siren howl. Mash it down and make the bastard chase you at speeds up to 120 all the way to the next exit. He will follow. But he won’t know what to make of your blinker-signal that says you’re about to turn right.
This is to let him know you’re looking for a proper place to pull off and talk…. to keep signaling and hope for an off-ramp, one of those uphill side-loops with the sign saying “Max Speed 25″.. and the trick, at this point, is to suddenly leave the freeway and take him into the chute at no less than a hundred miles an hour.
He will lock his brakes about the same time you lock yours, but it will take him a moment to realize that he’s about to make a 180 degree turn at this speed… but you will be ready for it, braced for the G’s and the fast heel-toe work, and with any luck at all you will have come to a complete stop off the road at the top of the turn and be standing beside your automobile by the time he catches up.
He will not be reasonable at first.. but no matter. Let him calm down. He will want the first word. Let him have it. His brain will be in turmoil: he may begin jabbering, or even pull his gun. Let him unwind; keep smiling. The idea is to show him that you were always in total control of yourself and your vehicle – while he lost control of everything.
It also helps to have your police/press badge in your wallet when he calms down enough to ask for your license. I had of these – but I also had a can of Budweiser in my hand. Until that moment, I was unaware that I was holding it. I had felt totally on top of the situation…but when I looked down and saw that little red/silver evidence-bomb in my hand I knew I was fucked.”
Lastly, here is a list of television programs I suggest that regularly give my wife and I a much-needed laugh:
Mike & Molly (for those of you not ready for #1 and #3 above)
The Big C
And the show every English-speaking person on the planet should be watching because it is guaranteed to deliver every time it hits the airwaves and the ONLY thing wrong is that it should be ONE HOUR long instead of 30 minutes: The Soup. Joel McHale and his staff have got it. I mean IT. Damn. Like all shows it has its occasional less-than-memorable moments, but let promise you—nay, I DARE you—watch it and not laugh. Are you sick of “Reality” TV? Then you can’t afford to be missing this show. It is almost like being a sane person living in a mental ward and this is the only contact you have with others who get it—that the world has turned upside down and is busy trying to lick its own anus and no one seems to care.
Joel cares. He understands the insanity. And his mission is to prove it to you every Wednesday night (and in repeats throughout the week for those who are DVRless).
The other thing watching the Soup will give you is an awesome appreciation for how far we’ve sunk as a collective consciousness that the shows Joel and team ridicule (some of which are not even reality shows but “legitimate” news and “entertainment” programs) actually exist.
(Shameful admission: I had already called the above lady’s face a catcher’s mitt at work before watching The Soup that evening, but Joel (and/or writers) added the “Johnny Bench” line, which was just too good to pass up.)
Whatever kind of day I’ve had, The Soup gives me an injection of “fuck it, it can’t be that bad.”
And couldn’t we all use a little dose of that every once in a while?
The blank page is dead…long live the blank page.
Author known to use spontaneous satire, sarcasm, and unannounced injections of pith or witticisms which may not be suitable for humorless or otherwise jest-challenged individuals. (Witticisms not guaranteed to be witty, funny, comical, hilarious, clever, scintillating, whimsical, wise, endearing, keen, savvy, sagacious, penetrating, fanciful, or otherwise enjoyable. The Surgeon General has determined through laboratory testing that sarcasm can be dangerous, even in small amounts, and should not be ingested by those who are serious, somber, pensive, weighty, funereal, unsmiling, poker-faced, sober, or pregnant.)