Archive | May, 2010

Dear Season Finales

25 May

Dear Season Finales,

Well. We’ve come to the end of another rocky year.  There have been ups, and downs, and highs and lows and all arounds…and no, I don’t watch Lost, so there won’t be any spoilers, and there also won’t be any analysis, and I’m very sorry for your loss (snicker. pun!)

I apologize for that. Anyway. I’m talking sitcoms. The Office. 30 Rock. Community.  Probably Parks and Recreation but I don’t watch that show.  Maybe Modern Family, but I also don’t watch that one (I know I know, I’m getting to it!)

The thing about finales is that there is so much darn pressure on them to do something fascinating and spectacular– but unless it’s a murder mystery or a soap opera, there aren’t a lot of dead bodies to bury (usually), not a lot of murderers to confront (usually), not a lot of brother-sister romantic pairings to reveal DNA to, etc.  Sometimes, there’s not even a seal-the-deal-already romance to give viewers a last, dizzying kiss of the season.

Relationships, especially in the newer sitcoms– like 30 Rock— are about as expendable as Jonathan is to Jack.  They disappear, they reappear, they crop up, they’re gone.  Same in Community.  Did anybody actually know that Annie was dating surfer-hair-hackey-sack-hippie (SHHSH) boy?  I mean, there was that one episode, where she liked him…but he hasn’t been in the last six or so.  Nor has she talked about him.  Or maybe she has.  But it wasn’t important!  And now, come finale time….

and we have fabricated “emotionally-charged” situations.  Annie is leaving with SHHSH, Jenna is breaking up with her me-boyfriend, yada yada yada.

The point is, sitcom season finales have all of the pressure to deliver high stakes drama and cliffhangers, and none of the build-up to wear like support hose when they get there.  They lose track of what has made them funny all season long and chase after implausible storylines (ahem Jeff and Brita and Slater and Annie– have you ever seen pairings with less chemistry???) like nail polish after a run in said hose.

Ahem. So the metaphor maybe doesn’t work, but neither do the season finales.

….but yes, I’ll be back next year.  I’m hoping Matt Damon makes (ir)regular appearances on 30 Rock for a long time to come (how awesome will that be?).  And Community, instead of fighting it, should embrace the fact that it’s one of the first (is it the 2nd, after 30 Rock?) sitcoms without a major romantic storyline between two of its main characters (proven once and for all: just because people are attractive does not mean they have any chemistry whatsoever. Thanks, Community. The scientists can now rest).  Just think, it won’t face the problem The Office now has: giving up the goods too early and losing a major source of interest for the show.

How DID Friends do it for so. many. years?




Dear Ants

18 May

Dear Ants,

Seriously. Stay out of the kitchen.  I don’t care how little and small you are, I don’t care how much you love sugar, I am not interested in finding you crawling on the box of my cereal or across the counter or getting high (and drowning) in a bowl of sugar.

I am not interested in hearing my father explain, “They can’t breathe if they’re buried underneath, so they’ve got to make their way to the top, where we can dig them out.”

Even if I somewhat seriously suggested he leave his current profession and become an anthunter and continued to refer to him as one for the rest of the morning. What can I say– he seemed to know what he was doing.

Au revoir mes amis,


PS– Yes, I do still prefer you to cockroaches.  Happy now?

Today: Dear Drugs (on the Rumpus),

11 May

Today: Dear Drugs (on the Rumpus),

Today, dear internet friends, we depart from our usual format and I direct your attention here:

The Rumpus: Funny Women #24: TORTURE, PLEASE!

which is an essay I wrote, over there, not here, and it’s not like you have to walk anywhere, you just have to click on that link (click) (sorry, that was a mean trick, but I just reeeeeeeally want you to go read it).

And I’m filing this under “fan mail.”  Because really.

Love, hugs (and theories on drugs),


Dear Milk Vending Machines

6 May

Dear Milk Vending Machines,

Milk! Ah! Does the body good!

So I was in high school when they finally had enough with these sugary soda pops corrupting our young adolescents’ dietary habits and teeth or some such nonsense and they put vending machines in, well…in the vending machine room.  Yep.  There was a room.  Devoted to vending machines.  Not large enough to actually sit in, not small enough to be a closet…sometimes student council made posters in there.  That was about it.

And yes, I say “they” as in the mysterious amalgam of adults (administrators, parents, PTA dictators) that rule teenagers’ lives and environments, because I to this day do not know who actually drove this or most other movements for change in my high school.

Ok. So now we could choose to drink: milk. 2%, 1%, fat-free.  Chocolate, strawberry, or GAH orange.  Mocha.  And oh man, did we choose to drink milk (not my school in the article, but true nonetheless).  We loved it.  Nothing like chocolate milk to get you through the post-lunch sleep blues.  Plus, it was healthier.

Or, as the Vencoa vending machines website pitches it:

“Sales of milk in milk vending machines allow vending machine operators to gain a share of this lucrative market. Milk has gained much praise for its health benefits along the lines of these new health trends [aka parents looking unfavorably upon childhood obesity and diabetes]. Scientific research has even found a correlate between low fat milk consumption and weight loss. The conventional benefits of milk still exist: including maintenance of strong bones and healthy teeth.”

Hahaha. So basically, everyone was happy.  Except for coke, but whatevs. They have enough money to be happy forever.

And then some revolutionary wise-ass in my class looked at the nutritional information (radical, right?) and turns out flavored milk has as much sugar in it as coke.  SHOCKING. DESPAIR. DISMAY. OH NO. WHAT WILL WE DO.

More concerning was the fact that the milk vending machine broke down about twice a day, which resulted in waaaaaaay more complaints to teachers and the main office than they were interested in hearing.  “Seriously?” their faces said. “Again?! Now what am I going to drink with my peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

Because they, too, were happy milk-drinkers.  I think once a teacher responded to a student’s complain (also a blatant admission the student had not, in fact, been going to the bathroom) with “This is history. Sit down and learn history.” And then he called the main office to report the problem.

Bless public education.



Dear Community

5 May

Dear Community,

You might be the funniest thing on television right now.

Thank you.

Now, could you make best episodes available on Hulu, and maybe air more than once a week?  That would be great.  It’s finals week, you know.  I deserve a special treat.



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