Posts Tagged ‘Kristen Wiig’

A Brief Explanation of Toilet Humor

The popularity of “toilet humor” is a commonly accepted, and often lamented, fact of comedy. Some—particularly fans of “smart” comedy—complain that a meticulously well-crafted punchline will sometimes get less of a laugh than a hackneyed fart joke.

People also tend to read a lot into the popularity of crass humor, citing it as an example of society’s declining intelligence, or its immaturity. They accuse a certain type of comedian of pandering, or doing cheap jokes.

A scene from Bridesmaids provides a perfect recent example: Nearly every review I have read of this film has specifically mentioned a scene in which the bridal party gets food poisoning—of a particularly graphic kind—while trying on dresses at a fancy bridal shop. Continue reading

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Monday Medley

What we read while returning from our covert mission overseas…

Jonathan Ames Is Bored to Death

The following is an entirely true and somewhat amazing cascade of events:

Sometime early this decade, probably right around when I finished reading Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, I decided I wanted to write my own detective novel. It was to be nothing short of a blatant rip-off of Christie’s concept—people dying one by one on an island cut off from the rest of civilization—with the small twist that a tried-and-true detective would be there, doubling as the role of the murderer. And because detectives always had such austere names and I had always liked the sound of “Jonathan,” I decided to name my main character Jonathan Ames.

Fast forward two years or so to a shot of me walking through my favorite bookstore. There, on the discount rack with a bright yellow spine, was a book called Wake Up, Sir! by a man named Jonathan Ames. Two days later, I finished reading the funniest book I’d ever picked up.

Now in the fall of 2009, we’ve come full circle. HBO has a new television series based off Ames’ short story, “Bored to Death.” And the main character is none other than a detective named Jonathan Ames.

Crazy, right?

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Waiting On Line

Very often, norms and customs arise for good reason.  They tend to provide an efficient solution to a problem. Waiting on line (as we New Yorkers say…an interesting topic in its own right) provides order in an otherwise chaotic situation. But there are some instances where customs are downright inefficient and we get stuck in a less than optimal equilibrium.

While queuing up may be efficient, waiting on separate lines for separate registers (or separate anything, for that matter) is definitely not.  A slow cashier (THINK: Target Lady) or another customer with a larger number of items may hold up customers.  It is clearly better for customers—overall—to have one line that feeds into every register so all customers are treated as equally as possible and not slowed down by a particularly sluggish line.  This is definitely the exception rather than the rule in the US.
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