My Genius Idea For Solving Two World Problems At Once
This was a get out of bed in the middle of the nighter! Are you ready? Here it is:
Proposition: All Christmas songs should be removed from the public domain and given to charity (thinking OXFAM or Toys For Tots). If a company wants to use a Christmas song, they have to purchase the right to do so from the charity. DONE AND DONE.
A couple of years ago my friend Kate wrote this production rider for her trip home to stay with her parents during the holidays for McSweeneys. It remains one of the funniest things about the holidays I think I’ve ever read…
Please note the following points that shall be adhered to on Kate Kershner’s Holiday Visit Home Tour. It is in the best interest of the VENUE (i.e.: JIM and CAROL KERSHNER’S rancher on 34th St. and the inhabitants therein) that these demands be strictly followed, if the VENUE ever wishes to see the TALENT (i.e.: KATE KERSHNER) come back after the 2006 Tour. This written agreement must be agreed upon and given no amendment unless specifically addressed with the TALENT.
Please also note that this rider would be unnecessary were it not for the now-canceled OPENING ACT (i.e.: Mike Kershner, brother and ultimate betrayer of TALENT), who got a little too popular (i.e.: a little too married) to come on Tour this year. TALENT, who no longer trusts anyone after OPENING ACT left for his own fancy TOUR and new VENUE, feels it best to have everything on paper. Although this document is not legally binding, it does work in accordance with the strict legality of the OFFICIAL CONTRACT (i.e.: Kate Kershner’s birth certificate, verifying JIM and CAROL KERSHNER as Parents, and thus responsible for all future happiness).
TALENT arrives alone. Upon arrival, do not ask where CREW is. Do not get clever by saying boyfriend/your friend/special friend instead of CREW. Consider VENUE forewarned that when TALENT feels VENUE can act appropriately around CREW, TALENT will bring CREW. So TALENT will be arriving alone.
TALENT will be bringing one (1) duffel bag full of laundry, and TALENT doesn’t want to hear she’s too old for this. TALENT will do laundry herself. Unless VENUE, you know, was already planning on doing some anyway, in which case it would probably be easier if VENUE just threw it in with whatever VENUE is doing. No big deal.
Upon LOAD IN, the following should be placed in DRESSING ROOM (i.e.: TALENT’S former bedroom, now renamed CAROL’S NEW “PURPLE ROOM,” painted to accompany VENUE’S new “BLUE ROOM,” which makes TALENT ache for a time when a room in VENUE could be beige):
(1) Bottle of Vodka (1) Bottle of Tonic, and not the diet tonic that VENUE usually buys. TALENT doesn’t appreciate what VENUE is trying to say when VENUE only buys TALENT diet tonic water. (1) Bath towel, long enough to be crammed under bottom of door (1) Fan, which should be facing out the window
Smoke detector in room MUST BE DISABLED before LOAD IN. No drinking glasses necessary.
TALENT will take thirty (30) minutes to “put stuff away” in DRESSING ROOM after load in. VENUE should leave TALENT alone for those thirty (30) minutes, even if choking coughs can be heard. TALENT is fine. Upon TALENT exiting DRESSING ROOM, VENUE should be sensitive to the fact that TALENT might have trouble with simple appliances, proper conjugation in conversation, etc. Please recall Holiday Tour 2004, when TALENT made VENUE late for Christmas Eve Mass because it took TALENT approx. one half-hour to tie her shoe. Due to the fact that TALENT was wearing boots without laces. It’ll be a lot like that. Be patient.
DURING DINNER SHOW:
It is our understanding that various other acts (i.e.: SPECIAL GUESTS) will be sharing the bill with TALENT during the Kate Kershner Holiday Visit Home Tour during the DINNER segment of our show. The following is required of VENUE during DINNER, but also extends to SPECIAL GUESTS.
TOPICS THAT ARE OFF LIMITS WHEN TALKING TO TALENT:
1. TALENT’S lack of reliable employment 2. TALENT’S lack of reliable relationships 3. The story of that time TALENT pretended to be suicidal when she was 7 years old so she could find out what therapy was like, unless TALENT chooses to tell anecdote herself. No one but TALENT can tell that story with the proper context and complex nuances, and TALENT is sick sick sick of people fucking it up. 4. TALENT’S physical appearance, especially her hair color. TALENT understands she has roots, and fails to see why VENUE must mention this at every occasion. TALENT would be happy to amend the situation if VENUE would like to fork over $150 for a salon touchup. No? That’s what TALENT thought. 5. TALENT’S complicated financial situation 6. Probably best to avoid politics, books of a high-minded literary nature, foreign films, and music that doesn’t have words. TALENT feels stupid when these are discussed and accidentally lies about her knowledge of them, which makes TALENT feel bad and drink more. Keep in mind: Keeping TALENT happy is legally binding to VENUE in accordance with OFFICIAL CONTRACT.
RECOMMENDED TOPICS WHEN TALKING TO TALENT:
1. Brokeback Mountain. TALENT knows it came out last year, but TALENT just saw it for the second time and thinks she has some pretty interesting things to say about it. 2. Celebrities. Especially any anecdotes about meeting them/seeing them somewhere. Jake Gyllenhaal/Heath Ledger sightings will be rewarded with robust conversation.
The following should be placed on or near the table at DINNER:
(2) Bottles of wine per person at table, preferably something cheap so VENUE doesn’t bitch about how expensive it was during the course of the entire evening (1) Bowl of mashed potatoes, skin ON. SKIN IS WHERE THE VITAMINS ARE. (2) Bowls of stuffing, one cornbread and one plain. If there is so much as half a raisin in the stuffing, TALENT will immediately leave the table and possibly the city.
More food, at the VENUE’S discretion. Please check ahead with TALENT, however. And make sure not to have anything with honey. TALENT doesn’t mind the taste, but it leaves her fingers sticky, which annoys her.
TALENT will require the following items on leaving the premises:
(1) Leftover container of every dish served at dinner (1) Flask of alcohol, filled from VENUE’S liquor cabinet (1) Pack of double-A batteries, provided by VENUE (1) Copy of Sports Illustrated, provided by VENUE (1) Old hair dryer, provided by VENUE (1) Box of envelopes, provided by VENUE (3) Books that VENUE recommends, and provides (1) Duffel bag of clean clothes (50) Dollars, for travel expenses
With all the TALENT’S demands met, we anticipate 2006 to be the best Holiday Visit Home Tour so far!
Hilarious! Somehow I missed this. This is reminds me SO MUCH of my own visits home, though I’d add that TALENT must be met at the door with a stack of all of the past year’s Reader’s Digests.
It doesn’t matter how much he needed this for his career - NO guy with a sense of humor would take this assignment seriously. (I can just see Meloni telling his publicist “Uh, really? Do I have to? Okay, uh, “a day at the beach.”)
Pre-Obama’s win, the only thing I could listen to late at night on the subway was The Gash. Now, the only thing I can listen to is Suddenly, Everything Has Changed.
(This is assuming that the only album everyone else has time to listen to anymore is The Soft Bulletin. Right? Guys?)
One thing is certain: the fight for sanity WILL be the fight of our lives, but drivin’ home the sky sure accelerates these days, huh? The world still seems full of a possibility it never had before. I feel 23 again, except less dumb. And the hugs - oh, the hugs. Soon we’ll stop hugging and start working, and Things will get Ugly again, but every morning, we still wake up, and it’s still true, and that possibility is there, and nobody can take it away from us but us. On an almost molecular level, suddenly, everything has changed.
(No, YOU had too much wine to be tumblring. Where’s the “save draft” on this thing?)
The year was 1997, I’m pretty sure. I was in college in Tallahassee. My boyfriend drove me around everywhere because I didn’t have my license yet because of what I would later learn was something called “learned helplessness” (crossed with 99% “learned laziness.”) I was barely “on the internet” at all yet, but he had already started his own profitable web design business.
Anyway, this one day he had to run an errand and I went with him. We went to this luxury (or “luxury”) apartment complex and I waited in the car while he mysteriously did something. When he came back, he seemed to be carrying as heavy an emotional load on his shoulders as is possible for an 18 year old spoiled only child with the best girlfriend who he didn’t appreciate, in the world.
So I was like “What was that?” and he sighed and pulled from his pocket a huge wad of twenties. Like, HUGE. Not even college-huge. Like Sopranos-huge.
"There’s this guy, you know, the guy who always calls, with the accent? He pays me in cash to help him with his business."
"What is it?"
"He…well, he sends out emails. A lot of emails to a lot of random addresses, to sell his business, and I help him do that." (LIGHTBULB)
(Nervous giggle) “You mean, like…(tentitively testing the new word to make sure I got it right): “…Spam?”
After a moment of shocked surprise and possible uncharacteristic brief admiration, he said “You know what spam is? Yeah. Kinda. But I told him tonight I’m not going to do it anymore.”
And then he peeled his turquoise Honda Accord out of the luxury apartment complex, blasted the Verve Pipe’s “Freshmen”, and drove us home in silence.
Please please please, Lord, let there be a guy out there, and let him have a beard, and let him make a vlog (yes, the commissioning of the vlogs has begun), and let that beard be all kinds of colors all of a sudden, Lord, let that beard be every color of the rainbow, and let that guy say in his vlog “Hey, um, does anyone know how to get this out? Like, seriously…I’m going to have to shave it. Stop laughing. Seriously, guys. I grew this beard for Williamsburg beard week ‘05. I need this beard. Help me out.”
An isolated incident that will no doubt be clung to, though, on some level, the ramping up of heated emotion on this subject seems so long overdue that it’s hard not to think a few “finally” thoughts among the “eww, no, don’t do that, dude, why?” thoughts. I just wish it was a huge guy with hate-face instead of a little old lady. (The cross-trampling was a nice touch, though. Remember Jesus’s Temple Tantrum? He would totally have trampled that cross into smithereens. I kind of miss that dude sometimes.)
When you watch a game show and someone wins an amount, do you automatically halve it in your head because winnings and bonuses are taxed at 50%? And is that some sort of optimist/pessimist indicator, because I’ve always thought I was an optimist. I can’t be the only one. When Deal Or No Deal first started I would be like “It’s not 100k, it’s 50k, and NO YOU CAN’T RETIRE ON THAT.”
I recently wrote a small piece of about “Diddy Blogs” for the NYTimes and was told they wouldn’t print the word “bitchassness” in reference to Diddy Blog #10: Bitchassness Alert Level Orange. I thought they should keep it in, so I sent this email to them.
When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to watch TV. So all of our television came in the form of VHS Christian propaganda tapes my parents subscribed to through church for outrageous fees. "Gospel Bill" was a western in which an absurdly middle-aged and overweight “cowboy” staged showdowns with a wily devil in the town square (no guns — but there was a lot of smiting.) And for some reason, there were also puppets. "Fire By Nite" was an SNL ripoff for teens about sex and satanism that, until I discovered the real SNL, I thought was kind of cool. And all of it was created in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Anyway, for this reason, Tulsa has always had a special meaning in my life, as every time I’ve thought of Tulsa, I’ve thought of it as a magical town where only mentally challenged people live. No offense to Tulsans, because I’m sure this is wrong, it’s just permanently in my head because of all the Christian crap that came out of there in the ’80s. But if Tulsa is anything like my personal image of Tulsa, it’s a miracle anyone there can even feed themselves. It’s amazing to me that anyone in Tulsa is potty-trained. I just imagine the people of Tulsa running around attempting to stuff mcnuggets in their mouths while pee runs down their legs. So when this review of Role Models popped up in my Paul Rudd Google alert, I was just like “…yep.”
Same Thing Happened Every Year With The Wizard Of Oz
Just had this conversation with my roommate, Brian:
lindsay: I didn’t get to say this last night, but: lindsay: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! brian: ha brian: i had to turn your lights and tv off last night brian: i got home at 4 brian: you were in bed brian: with everything on brian: and the door open brian: it was adorable brian: like you wanted to stay up for the election brian: but just couldn’t make it lindsay: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA lindsay: you should have taken a picture and blackmailed me!