Archive for December, 2011
Thursday, December 29th, 2011
I spent much of my Christmas vacation lying on my favourite chair and not moving around much. I wrecked my back, you see, carrying a giant box of fire logs on a tiny patch of ice. So having lost much of my ability to move, I was fairly stationary. But antsy, because I hate not doing stuff. So I perfected Word Mole on my wife’s blackeberry. Then I watched the entire PBS documentary series on American Presidents…again. Then I ruined Christmas.
Now, I must say I didn’t ruin eveyone’s Christmas. Just my own. See, I had just received the fourth season of Jersey Shore, sent to me by Paramount Home Entertainment for Cynical Cinema. And I put it in my DVD player. And I watched it. The first episode was about the Jersey Shore gang travelling to Italy. Snooki and Deena seemed a little confused about which country was the one shaped like a boot – it was either Italy or Europe, they figured.
So they douchebagged their way to Italy (by way of Europe, no doubt), and got unpacked. I had worked out a little beer cooler beside my chair, which helped me get through the plane ride. In much the same way, it appeared that alcohol had helped Snooki and Deena through the same plane ride, as they kept falling down in the airport with stacks of luggage around them.
Things started to get interesting/perplexing during Beer #2. Mike “The Situation” confided to Ron that he and Snooki had been intimately involved a few weeks earlier, and then drunkenly professed his love to Snooki herself. This confused me. What rational person, drunk or otherwise, would ever admit to having had sex with Snooki? And even more so, who would ever make an attempt at a relationship with this sloppy drunken troll? None of this made any sense.
Then I got to thinking. Maybe there was another explanation. Maybe the producers of the show decided there hadn’t yet been enough drama, and asked the Situation to do something stupid to create some. But that didn’t make sense, because in the next episode Ronnie and Sam started getting back together. So that must have been what the producers asked the cast to do in order to create drama and fights.
Then I thought, cynically, that the Situation was just trying to increase his own fame – see, he and Snooki are the two biggest names from the Jersey Shore cast, and if they became a celebrity power-couple, like they combined forces to become the Snookuation or something, they could make more money in the offseason. But that seemed unlikely. Deena’s drunken move to have sex with some blond girl in episode three was more obvious as an attention-grabbing move.
On episode #4, beer #4, I started to think that maybe I was approaching this all wrong. Maybe the Situation IS as dumb as he appears. And maybe he believes that Jersey Shore is actually reality television. And maybe he thinks all reality TV is like Survivor. And perhaps he thinks that, like on Survivor, you have to be the biggest douchebag in the gang to win the $1 million?
I noticed that a lot of the cast members say “right now” or “at this moment” a whole lot. Like, they will say “I’m just not equipped to deal with this right now”. Or “I’m just an idiot at this moment”. It seems to me if they could just remove those two expressions from their vocabulary, they would unwittingly be speaking a whole lot more truth. I began to sink into a deep depression.
It then occurred to me that every girl the guys were picking up was American, living in Italy. The dirty booty call chick, the two slutty blonde twins, all of them! I once told my buddy Kent that he would never have sex with a girl who spoke English, because she would be able to understand what he was saying, and he would never get laid. He married a Japanese woman. It’s the opposite for the Jersey Shore idiots – they can only pick up American girls, because they are the only ones who know these morons are celebrities, and this might get them on TV!
When the two hot blonde twins came back to their house to have sex with several of them, I asked my wife to bring me some cyanide. It turns out we didn’t have any.
Finally, mercifully, the first disc was almost over. The pain was about to end, since I was definitely NOT going to get up and put in the second disc. Episode #4 was almost done, and beer #6 as well. By now, every person in the house hated the Situation. This created a dilemma for me. So…do I now like him? Is the enemy of my enemy my friend…or my enemy? I felt like Wesley Snipes in Blade II. The beer and painkillers helped me think this way.
Then just as I was about to stop the first disc, the Situation and Ronnie started a fight! A fight that was going to take place…in the next episode. On the next disc. And…I got up. And I put in the next disc. And my back screamed at me. My brain screamed at me. My wife screamed at me. My self-esteem screamed at me. Even my beer started to think I was less of a man. And it was right.
Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
I came across an article today that said Santas are now being trained to lower the expectations of children when it comes to what gifts they are going to get. An example – if a kid asks for an iPad, what Santa is supposed to say is “oh, I wish you hadn’t asked for THAT. See, the elves who are supposed to be building the iPads can’t stop playing with them, and they’re getting no work done!”
There was also supposed to be a long, convoluted explanation of the elves working in Building A and Building B and Building x-12 or something. Whatever. I think this is the wrong way to go about it – and having now played Santa at one kids’ Christmas party here at work, I think I am qualified to give some advice to all those taking to the malls and street corners this year.
1. Concession creates credibility
See, some kids are going to be inherently skeptical about Santa – they have likely heard from some jerk in their class or some other kid somwhere that Santa is not real. There is an easy way to fix that, and have them believe again – you concede that not all of the Santa legend is true, which creates believability in all other parts of the Santa legend. Memorize the following:
“Mrs. Claus? Oh, I’m afraid Mrs. Claus is just a myth. She was invented by a consultant, funded by Coca-Cola and Hallmark, and approved by a focus group who felt that I would be more marketable if I were seen to be married. In reality, Santa’s a swinging bachelor. Can you introduce me to your mom?”
2. Collectivism is the key to consistency
Kids should probably feel as though they, too, are a part of Santa’s world. And to them, Santa’s world is the same one inhabited by elves, flying reindeer, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Try to take a holistic approach, and emphasize the inter-connectedness of all these things. Memorize this:
“Elves? There are more and more kids in the world, so we need more and more elves every year. You know those rabbits that lay eggs at Easter? They are employed by the Easter Bunny, who takes the eggs kids don’t eat and delivers them to me at the North Pole. The eggs are then incubated through the summer by the reindeer, and in September they hatch into elves who are then up and building toys within a week.”
3. Corroborate the collective
Kids have surely seen other Santas at other locations. Some are fatter than you. Most are thinner. Some have long white beards, others more closely cropped. The worst thing you can do (other than using the word “elf” and the word “sweatshop” in the same sentence) is to fail to acknowledge the existence of those other Santas. Memorize this:
“Yes, there are many individual Santas, all over Ottawa and, indeed, all over the world! But while we are individual beings with our own hands and feet and boots and hats, we are still one entity. All Santas in the world belong to what we call a “collective”, and we share a single purpose and a single consciousness. Just like the Borg on Star Trek.”
4. Cancel the calculations
Some of the smarter children will realize that the logistics of a single Santa delivering toys to every kid in the world on a single night are astronomical. They might even tell you some of the math – “you would have to travel four million times the speed of light”, or something to that effect. Don’t try to figure that out. Don’t even attempt to explain time zones and stuff like that, it’ll just screw you up and make you look dumb. And Santa is not dumb. So, if the Borg explanation doesn’t convince them, have this memorized as a backup:
“Well kid, you see, Santa doesn’t actually deliver to every kid in the world. I deliver only to the kids (like you) in countries I like. In other countries, someone else brings the gifts. Like Father Christmas in the UK. Or Pere Noel in France and Quebec. There’s St. Nicholas in Holland, and the Three Kings in most of South America and parts of Europe. In Italy, a nice old witch named La Befana does the deliveries, in Germany it’s an angel. In Syria, we use a really, really smart camel. Russia is a country SO big it needs TWO delivery people – Babouschka, who’s an old grandmother, and Grandfather Frost, her husband. And in Guatemala, gifts are brought to children by some dude named Jesus.”
5. Conclude convincingly.
You are sure, at some point, to get the question “Santa, do you really eat all those cookies and drink all that milk?” It is now time to end the session. Memorize this:
“Yes. But I really would rather have something else waiting for me. Can you introduce me to your mother?”