Barry Smith: Irrelativity
December 21, 2009
Each year at this time I like to write a “funny” predictions column. For example – as if you need an example – in the last few days of 2008 I predicted that in 2009 “… something will happen to a celebrity that you don’t know, don’t know anybody who knows, and don’t even know anybody who knows anybody who knows, yet you will discuss it and ponder it as if it was your own parents you were talking about.”
Immediately after finishing that column, I opened a new file and named it “Predictions for 2010.” I put that file in my “Columns to Write” folder. By the time this column was due – a full year later! – I knew that it would just be a matter of whittling down the many, many occasional “funny” entries that I’d made over the past 364 days.
Well, it’s due now. Today, in fact. I just opened that file, ready to do some whittlin’. Here’s what it says. Specifically, here’s ALL it says.
“Creators of ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ will finally make a sequel, ‘The Day the Earth Stood Awkwardly Next to a Very Famous Person While Its Friend Fumbled with the Camera in an Attempt to Take a Quick Snapshot.'”
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There are other files in that “Columns to Write” folder that have let me down in a similar way. Little tadpole ideas that I thought would, practically on their own, mature into plump bullfrogs of “funny.”
So, since it’s almost a new year, and a new decade, it’s time for some serious deep cleaning. But rather than just throwing those stubborn non-columns out, like a responsible person would do, I’m going to boldly repackage them into little Mini Columns – kind of like the column versions of those DVD extras that are clearly afterthoughts.
Please enjoy. Or at least forgive.
About 10 years ago six of us guys went into the Utah desert to make a movie. It was called “Outdoor X,” a silly little 10-minute piece that was summarily rejected by the Aspen Shorts Festival. And with good reason. It wasn’t a great movie, and maybe not even a good one, but it was fun. It was a “lost in the desert” story, but since we didn’t have a budget to buy fake beards, we all grew beards in advance and shot the scenes in reverse, shaving as we went. That was pretty much the highlight.
Oh, and a few years later I realized that “Outdoor X” could also be pronounced “Out Dorks,” which is actually a much more accurate description of the project. Yes, it’s on YouTube.
“RUNAWAY TRUCK RAMP”
I’m fascinated and terrified by runaway truck ramps. The idea that you could be in a big-ass truck and it doesn’t stop when you hit the brakes is the stuff that my nightmares are made of. I get uneasy pushing a grocery cart too fast. Control issues? Sure, whatever.
Hey, I wonder what else could run away in such a manner? You know, one that would be deserving of its very own emergency ramp? Sarcasm? Enthusiasm?
A runaway enthusiasm ramp! Ha!
“BLOG SEARCHES FOR ME”
My blog, the one I haven’t updated in a year, used to give me all sorts of traffic statistics, like what someone Googled in order to find their way to me. I saved all of these. I thought some of them were funny. Like “I used to be a doctor, but I had to quit” and “is jesus’s real the pictures” and “portapotty” and “why are there seagulls in Colorado?”
Let’s get one thing straight – scrapbooking is a very manly art. Some of the he-est of he-men were scrapbookers: John Wayne, Paul Newman, Humphrey Bogart. Genghis Kahn saved (plundered) hotel keys; scotch-taped them into a book with little hand-written comments below each one. Winston Churchill had three volumes of bar napkins. A scrapbook believed to have belonged to Moses was recently discovered in the storage room of a museum in Cincinnati.
I have a scrapbook, too. And I’m OK with that. That’s my point.
“THINGS PEOPLE SAY THAT THEY DON’T MEAN, BUT YOU MAY NOT THINK TO ACCUSE THEM OF LYING”
“No pun intended.”
“I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but …”
“I hate to say I told you so.”
“Not to be mean or anything …”
“You’ll understand my sense of humor as you get to know me better.”