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Saturday, October 8, 2011

In defense of Snooki

While enjoying an evening of books and coffee at the Barnes and Noble, we noticed a banner over the door of upcoming author appearances. At the end of October, just in time for Halloween, the store would be graced with the presence of Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi of Jersey Shore fame to promote her autobiography.

Someone tried to tell me a ghost wrote this book! That's crazy! No such thing as ghosts!

If you are at all like me, the your reaction was a combination of eye rolling and groaning "Why?????"

You probably thought of a few jokes, too:

"Defining "author" down, aren't they?"
"I didnt know oompa-loompas could write!"
"Autobiography? How do you stretch out 'I drank, I passed out, I woke up naked, I ate a pickle' to 200 pages?"

Feel free to add your own!

All true, though. Hundreds of great novels get print runs of 3000, get no publicity, and fall into obscurity. And for Snooki, who most likely dictated her memoirs to some poor ghost writer who had to decipher her ramblings, the place will probably be packed. Legions of fans in Snooki wigs will be there, along with the haters. (One time I saw Isabel "House of the Spirits"  Allende at a Manhattan B&N. She is the perhaps the most widely read Spanish language author in the world and could very well win a Nobel prize one day. She had 20 people.)

Snooki really seems to bring out the hater in everyone. While there are certainly more distasteful cast members of Jersey Shore (like roid rager Ronnie), the short, busty, orange muppet with the poofy hair has been the target of the most scorn.

The CW debuted a show called H8R this fall. The show tried to get internet haters together with the object of their hatred and show them, hey, D-list reality show stars have feelings too, ya big bully! If you prick us, do we not bleed? The very first celeb guest was Snooki. The show was cancelled after three episodes and massive ridicule. If you can't make fun of celebrities on the web, all you have left is LOLcats and porn. (Hey, LOLcat porn! There's an idea! I wonder if we can trademark it. Let's check!) (Update: Yeah, don't Google that. Things once seen...)

As well, local blowhard govenor and Great White Hope of the Republican Party, Chris Christie, won huzzahs when he pulled the Jersey Shore's production tax credit. The show, sniffed Christie, "does nothing more than perpetuate misconceptions about the state and its citizens."  

Like that we're all a bunch of loudmouths who like to fix problems by yelling at them. 

So lots of people hate Snooki. And lots of people tune in to watch her and either laugh with her or at her. And she laughs all the way to the bank.

It may surprise you, given the nature of this blog and my generally sunny disposition on life, but I come to praise Snooki, not to bury her.

Even to a curmudgeon like me, the Snooki hatred seems outsized. Snooki did not invade Iraq, give Michael Jackson Propofol, crash the world economy, give Steve Jobs cancer, or lay off thousands of workers. She's an orange clown on a TV show. Granted, an awful, terrible one that makes you dumber for watching, but still.

While I am aware that Jersey Shore represents the nadir of civilization, ask yourself this. Say you were young, fresh out of college, had nice abs or boobs, and liked to party. Some one said they'd pay you lots of cash to hang out at a beach house for a summer, and not only would you not have to work, they insisted you drink and party and hook up. In fact, they'll be disappointed if you don't. Would you take that offer? Given today's awful job market, could you blame anyone if they did? Hey, I was recently a "free agent" for a few weeks and the idea of getting paid to lie on a beach has great appeal. (Now, if I could wrangle a paycheck for watching Law & Order reruns...)

Look, Snooki and The Situation may not be smart, but they ain't dumb. They both made about 50-100 times what I did last year, and they made it by drinking margaritas and tanning. They got hangovers, not broken elbows (Holla!) or black lung from digging in a coal mine. Good for them! I'm sure they'll kill the Golden Goose eventually, but for now they can enjoy the fruits of their "labors."

Me, I'll be working on my abs. Or getting breast implants. And a Bump-It.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


It appears from the web traffic that you really like it when I get angry or hurt myself.

I have no desire to hurt myself again (especially when Google Ads is auto generating "Spinal Surgery" and "Disk Replacement" notices). Still, you are free to leave suggestions of things I could get mad at in the comments.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I am a calm person. I am always the Good Cop, the gentle yin to the raging yang.

But not last week.

"My god," said my wife. "I've never seen you so angry."

And I was quite angry. Angrier than I have been since I made myself stop caring about the stupid Eagles so my blood pressure would not blow off the top of my skull when they mismanaged the clock or blew another lead with stupid interceptions. (See, it's working!)

(UPDATE: I wrote that on Thursday. Well before the Eagles blew another fourth quarter lead with bad clock management and stupid turnovers. No, Andy Reid, it was not a bad idea at all to have an offensive line coach run your defense.)

And what made me so angry? Did someone besmirch my wife's honor? Did someone spit on the flag? Did someone tell a young child that Santa Claus was a spiteful drunk and that Christmas was to be cancelled? Did Andy Reid waddle into my line of sight?

Sadly, no.

No. It was ice cream. More to the point, it was Target not letting me buy ice cream. 

As you may have heard, Ben & Jerry's released a brand new flavor based on the SNL "Delicious Dish" sketch. In case you've forgotten, Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon play the milquetoast hosts of an NPR food show. Alec Baldwin is their guest, Pete Schweddy. He makes a popular dessert for the holidays, his chocolate rum balls, which he calls Schweddy Balls.  Five minutes of ball-related humor ensues, and 13 year olds of all ages giggle uncontrollably.

I like SNL. I like ice cream. Game on!

I was delighted to see the flavor in Target last week. There were a dozen in the freezer case! (Hey, broken bones need calcium.)

But, when I went to buy one, it did not ring up. No big deal, right?

But, apparently, it was a big deal. The ice cream was not in the system! It did not exist! 

"But I am holding it. In my hand."

"I'm sorry, but we cannot sell you that ice cream. It's not in the system."

"All your Ben & Jerry's costs $3.99. Just scan a different flavor in."

"I can't do that. This isn't supposed to be here."

"You have a dozen in the freezer case! I didn't sneak into the store room to get them."

"I'm not allowed to sell them to you. The system has designated them as salvage."


"We have to throw it out. It's not supposed to be in the store."

"Fine. Give it to me and I'll throw it out for you!"

And on it went for five minutes. After yelling at two different cashiers and their supervisors a manager was finally brought over. After being told repeatedly that there was absolutely, positively, no way they could sell me the ice cream, the manager keyed in $3.99 and sold me the ice cream.

As we left the store with my trophy, my wife told me that security guards had been gathering nearby, since I had become a problem.

Do not fuck with my ice cream.

So after all of that rage and screaming and yelling, was it worth it? I mean, it has to be the best ice cream in recorded history after all of that, right?


It's Ben & Jerry's, so it's not going to be bad. But compared to the other comedy inspired flavors, like Jimmy Fallon's Late Night Snack (with chocolate covered potato chips) and Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream (with chocolate covered waffle cone bits), it lacks a certain pizazz. The rum balls are good, but my wife complained that some of the balls were too hard. I told her that I thought she liked hard balls, and then I started giggling again and then she threw the ice cream carton at me.

So, time to get more ice cream! Though probably not at Target.