Barry Smith: Irrelativity
August 11, 2008
Today’s column marks the 10-year anniversary of “Irrelativity,” and I’ve decided to celebrate with a monster purge of the Big Idea File.
I started the BIF shortly after “Irrelativity” was born. It’s a file on my computer where I keep the things, ideas, mostly, that I find clever, insightful and/or funny AND that I think can eventually be expanded into, or at least nestled within, an Irrelativity column.
For instance, if I’m walking down the street and suddenly think, “’80s hair band at a salad bar ” Motley Croutons,” I’ll scribble it down and transfer it to the BIF, where it will wait patiently to be eased into the fold.
Some of the ideas never make it to maturity, so I occasionally skim a little cream from the BIF, publishing a column of random thoughts/ideas/bad puns, because I know you love it when I do this.
Today I am cleaning out the BIF for good, sharing the scribblings that I think are worthy, and deleting forever the ones that consistently don’t make the cut ” like this one: “Turn that Kerouac off!” What the hell? Is that even an idea? It’s been in the file for about eight years now, and I have no idea what it means, or even what it once meant. Out with it, out with all of it.
The empty vessel of the Big Idea File will make way for even Bigger Ideas, like this one, which I just though of: “All paper is recycled paper ” some of it is just recycled from old trees.”
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THE IRRELATIVITY 10TH ANNIVERSARY BIG IDEA FILE PURGE
– There’s only two kinds of people in these here parts, pard’ner ” the quick and the dead … oh, and their respective attorneys, of course.
– Jamaican Satanist ” Lucifarian.
– There are instructional tapes that will teach you how to speak a foreign language, why not one that will teach you the proper use of sarcasm? “Tape One ” Hey, Nice Haircut!”
– Postcard recently received from my credit card company: “We are sending you this notice to let you know that we will be charging your account one dollar to cover the costs of designing, printing and mailing you this notice.”
– Atkins, The New Kosher: All the Dogma, None of the Tradition.
– Sign above prosthetic leg outlet: “Walk-ins Welcome.”
– Christian shampooing instructions ” “Lather, Rinse, Repent.”
– Have you ever bought groceries and then left the store without them? Do you think this happens in other situations? Like after buying a car? Or a house? Or in a maternity ward?
– Vengeful Rastafarian ” Eye and eye for an eye.
– Motivational poster for a bluesman: “The Hellhound on my Trail is Named ‘Success.'”
– My criterion for a fashion success is leaving the house with my shirt buttoned straight.
– In the future, everyone will have their 15 million Web hits of fame.
– Project idea: Create a periodic table of white folks’ expressions.
– From the Hindu Dairy ” Karmesan Cheese.
– I know it sounds egotistical to claim that this column is thought-provoking, but I mean it in the strictest sense: If you read it and say, “I don’t think that’s funny,” then it is, by definition, thought-provoking.
– I was raised by wolves. Sid and Emily Wolf, the neighbors next door. They watched me most days after school.
– Story idea: A man, allergic to his own spit, sets out to find a saliva gland donor. Should be a love story.
– Night of the Living Deadline.
– The baby safety product made with brutal child labor.
– Actual overheard quote from an experience that I never did write about due to the number of people it would incriminate: “OK, no more lap dances, we gotta eat …”
– Column idea: The history of unnecessary throat-clearing as a means of communication.
– New-Age Cowboy Tales: The Adventures of Cody Pendance and his trusty horse, Emotional Trigger.
Barry Smith’s column appears Monday.