Mz. Mannerz: Hi Seems To Be The Hardest Word

Time for another exciting edition of Mz. Mannerz!

Hi.

Who would have thought such a little word could inspire so much rage?  I mean, I would have thought that, but I fly into rage over someone misquoting lines from Caddyshack, so I’m a bad gauge of what’s rage-worthy.  You should probably talk to someone who doesn’t have a vein semi-permanently bulging out of their forehead if you want calm and well-thought out commentary on the matter.

I mean, goddamn it.  If you’re not gonna get the quote from the movie right, then don’t quote it.  You can’t just replace Bill Murray’s line “Big hitter, the Lama” with “The Lama is a big hitter” because you will have ruined the line.  RUINED IT.

As I will pontificate to anyone who will listen while I eat pizza:  Comedy is as much science as it is art.  Maybe more, even.  The order of the words counts.  Every word, change of tone, inflection, eyelid movement – it all counts.  It is 100,000 times more complex than drama, and I will stand by that until the day I die eating pizza.

Drama is so freaking easy, it annoys me to no end how much credit people get for it.  Oh no, they killed that character everybody liked and it was sad!  A lone tear falls from a sad British person’s face.  Cue violin music as people make stern facial expressions under overcast skies.  Black umbrellas.  HERE’S YOUR OSCAR.

Sad shit happens in real life all day, every day.  Making a movie about sad shit where the main take is, “That was sad!” is not the work of genius.  That’s just long-winded reality with a soundtrack.

You try killing off a character everybody likes and making it funny.  Craft a touching death scene to kazoo music.  Shoot Old Yeller with one of those guns that just unfurls a banner that says “Bang!” yet still preserve the integrity of the scene.  That shit is hard.  That shit takes finesse.  Watch “The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of The Desert” for further reference.

Where was I?

The person who texts you with the word “Hi” followed by nothing is the most obnoxious person in the universe (besides guitar players, which I try to cover in every other blog post.  Try to keep up).

What this person has done with their lone “Hi” is start a conversation with you by immediately forcing you into an awkward silence, thereby drafting you to be the person who remedies it.  They’re not being folksy with their “Hi”, they have given you a J-O-B.

My whole life, I’ve had this desperate need to fill the awkward silences in conversations to make sure everyone is having a good time.  You might better recognize it as, “Good lord, you never shut up, do you?” but your better class of swap-shop psychologists would call it “codependency”.  I always try to have at least three universally interesting topics on-hand just in case an awkward silence happens.  I literally cannot take it when people seem uncomfortable.  It makes my palms sweat and my heart race.

The person who just sends “Hi” is the same person who when you respond with:

“Hey, what’s up?”

Will respond with “Nothing!” and then continue to sit there in silence.

GIVE ME SOMETHING TO WORK WITH.  Why did you text me if you have jack jimmy squat to say???

Did you just want me to entertain you?  Because if that’s the case, feel free to say that right up front.  “I’m bored and I can’t find any way to amuse myself, can you tell me a knock knock joke?”

Hey, schedule-permitting, I would be fine to tell you a knock knock joke.

Schedule-permitting.

Also, my schedule does not permit that ever, so if you want to be a wisenheimer and text me and say, “I’m bored and I can’t find any way to amuse myself, can you tell me a knock knock joke?” your text will be deleted and you will be immediately put on “The List”.

Is “The List” a good list or a bad list?

You tell me.  Do you think something that I refer to as “The List” is a good thing?  Take a moment.  Really think that over while you look at my prom picture:

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It was a magical  night.

I’m not filling awkward silences anymore.  If you text me a “Hi” followed by jack jimmy squat, guess what you’re getting back?  Jack.  Jimmy.  Squat.

I will wait you out, joke-a-cola.  I will let that “Hi” lie there like a corpse if I have to.  I refuse to participate in your senseless games.  I won’t do it.  The ball-rolling is now your job.

Unless a full ten seconds go by, and then my palms will start sweating and I’ll tell you about that time my best friend Anne and I went on a date with five Moroccan contortionists and fire-eaters at Epcot when we were 19 and when I called my mother beforehand to brag about it, she yelled, “DON’T YOU MARRY ANY OF THEM! THOSE MOROCCANS TREAT THEIR WIVES LIKE PROPERTY!” because that shit is universally entertaining.

So!  To summarize:

  1.  Don’t quote the movie if you don’t actually know the quote.
  2.  Comedy is harder than drama.
  3.  There should ideally be a give-and-take in successful human communications.
  4.  Don’t tell my mother that you’re going on a date with Moroccan fire-eaters and contortionists.
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That Mighty Mighty Bosstones t-shirt I’m wearing never failed to attract inordinately flexible Northwest Africans.

The Smiting of Wyatt Stupid Face

I wrote a piece about growing up poor and how I exacted revenge on a young man who made fun of me for it.  It’s one of my favorite funny pieces and it’s very near and dear to my cold, steely heart.  I’d been looking for a good home for it for a long time and I didn’t want to trust it with just anyone.

It finally found the perfect home right here on good ol’ page 44: The Smiting of Wyatt Stupid Face

Hand to Mouth is a special edition zine dedicated to writers responding to living in poverty, and is hosted by Kissing Dynamite.  This issue is full of poetry, creative nonfiction (that’s what I do, suckas), and artwork – and you should read it cover to cover and support the heck out of it because they’re good people doing good in the world…

…unlike me, a person who basically works for pizza money and unfettered mirror-time.

This means that you’re a good person if you print it out 10,000 times, wallpaper the entire inside of your house with it, invite me over, I’ll walk in and get freaked out that you’re a stalker, then pepper spray you and kick you in the jimmies with a sensible shoe.

And won’t that be a story to tell at your next court-ordered group therapy session.

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If you’re not already following this blog, go ahead and click the “Follow” button on the home page and you’ll get a nifty email anytime I post new stuff on here, usually about once a week.  I won’t go blowing up your email unlike certain people named Old Navy those denim-clad sons of bitches.  Who needs five emails a day from Old Navy??? We’re breaking up!  I don’t even care how well your Rock Star stretch jeans fit.  WE’RE DONE.

That’s a huge lie.  I will never quit Old Navy.

You can also follow me on Twitter at @romcomdojo.

I ALMOST FORGOT!

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This Joker Who Wants to Kiss Your Mother

Hey sassafrases!  The folks over at jmww journal were kind enough to give a home to a little nonfiction humor piece I wrote about the first guy who showed up to take my mom on a date when I was a kid.

You can read it on the jmww site here: This Joker Who Wants to Kiss Your Mother

About The Journal:  “jmww is a weekly journal of writing publishing the best in fiction, poetry, flash, essays, interviews, and reviews (or a close approximation).”

Fancy!!!

A Reminder About Me:  I have no idea how a dirtbag like me got accepted there, I’m just honored as hell that they shook me out of the pile, dusted me off, and gave me a shot.

Special thanks to the illustrious Alle C. Hall, Senior Nonfiction Editor at jmww and a stunningly good writer, for her excellent guidance, ideas, and expert honing in editing this piece.  You can check out her blog here: About Childhood

As always, thanks to all of you for being so awesome.  You’re all so supportive and kind and funny and I can’t thank you enough for hanging out with me here every week!  More published work coming next week!

And here’s the obligatory Nicolas Cage photo.  Because.

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