The Best of ‘Snide Remarks’: 2000

Excerpts from some of the less unmemorable “Snide Remarks” columns in 2000.

Jan. 7: I rang in the new millennium in Evanston, Wyo. I figured if all technology was going to fail at the stroke of midnight, I should be in a place where there WAS no technology. (Many of the people there already think the year is 1900 anyway.)

Jan. 21: A suggested storyline for “Family Circus”: Social Services is called when a bleary-eyed Mommy is caught trying to trade baby PJ for crack.

Jan 28: Narrowly beating out Payson’s Onion Days celebration, the Sundance Film Festival is Utah’s greatest cultural event. This is especially true if by “cultural” we mean “featuring a lot of movies about gay people.”

Feb. 18: There is now a Web site dedicated to helping people arrange sessions of NCMO — Non-Committal Make-Out. Whom do we have to thank for this bold step forward in the area of lust? Why, BYU students, of course! Seems like those plucky go-getters are always curing a disease, creating new technology, or finding a way for strangers to grope one another.

April 21: In deep-tissue massage therapy, the therapist slices open your back, physically removes the muscles from your body, pounds them with a tack hammer, then shoves most of them back inside, leaving some as scraps for the dog to chew on (all chiropractic clinics are equipped with a dog). It’s a guerrilla-style attack on your muscles, roughly equivalent to a dentist removing your tooth by shoving a live grenade up your nose.

April 28: Graduation is a two-day process at BYU, the logic being typical of Mormon culture: Why have one meeting when you can have two?

May 19: Stores that take up half their parking lots with huge summer-oriented displays: Honestly, Sam’s Club. Are you selling enough of those $2,300 children’s playsets to make up for lost business from people who can’t find a parking space and therefore don’t shop in your store? How many of those splinter-infested deathtraps do you have to sell before it all balances out in the quarterly report? And why put them in the parking lot anyway? Are children’s playsets a big “impulse item”?

May 26: The current sensation in New York is Tim Rice and Elton John’s new collaboration, “Aida.” According to the program, it was “suggested by the opera” of the same name. (“Hello, Mr. Rice? This is ‘Aida.’ Listen, I don’t want to tell you how to do your job or anything, but I would strongly advise that you and Mr. John write a Disney-fied pop version of the classic tragic opera, me.”)

June 30: Perhaps you’re thinking, “This topic is nothing new. Comedians are always talking about the differences between men and women. Come on, Snider” — or perhaps you’re thinking it “Snyder,” like many of you spell it when you write me angry letters — “come up with a new topic.” I will address this concern later (that is, if by “later” we mean “shut up”).

July 21: I have the utmost respect for the Mormon Pioneers who trudged across the plains and established something that very closely resembles a civilization, here in the uninhabitable wasteland full of sagebrush and Idahoans. I certainly could not have done it. I can barely go two days without my cell phone, let alone without food. I dislike walking to the point that I scoot around the office on my rolling chair, and even then I’ll get someone to push me if I can. And if I were the guy who had to count the wagon wheel revolutions to determine how far we’d traveled, I would go insane. (“Well, we’re not there yet,” I would say, “so we must have traveled approximately NOT FAR ENOUGH!”)

July 28: “Pokemon: The Movie 2000” grossed $20 million in its first weekend. In a related story, I’m going to kill myself. “Pokemon” is the story of some Japanese people, and how they’re not very good at animation. In fact, the Japanese word for animation, “anime,” literally means “lousy animation.” They have no word for “good animation,” or “animation in which the objects actually move,” because those concepts are unknown in Japanese culture.

Aug. 4: BYU’s Honor Code specifically prohibits cohabitation, even when students are away from school. Julie Stoffer knew that the Honor Code prohibited cohabitation; she said as much before she went on “The Real World.” Then, after she cohabitated, she was tossed out of school for cohabitating. Apparently, this came as quite a shock to her.

Aug. 4: I’m hoping for more Daily Herald stories telling me that it was really hot yesterday, because when it hits the upper 90s in a desert climate in August, well, THAT’S news.

Aug. 11: At my Mormon-themed restaurant, The Steak Center, the main menu items will be the Porterhouse Rockwell Steak, the Primary Rib and the Poor Wayfaring Pan of Beef (all garnished with Parsley P. Pratt), but we’ll also have, when it’s in season, Eliza R. Snowcrab, and a whole line of “And It Came to Pasta” (including Kraft Moroni & Cheese). Additionally, we’ll have breakfast items (including Pearl of Puffed Rice and Frosted Minivans, as well as Adam-ondi-Omelettes) and “In Our Lovely Desserts” (including Fast Sundaes, Gadianton Cobbler and the sinful Laman Meringue Pie). (If someone sent you an e-mail with all of this in it, they stole it from me, by the way.)

Aug. 25: LaVell Edwards announced he will retire after this season. This makes him the first person ever to leave the BYU football team for anything other than Honor Code violations.

Sept. 1: I can understand why we have to register our cars. Cars are dangerous, and we want to know who owns them. In fact, there should be a five-day waiting period on cars to prevent people from rushing out and buying one in a mad rage of having to get somewhere, and then tragically getting to that place before anyone can stop them.

Sept. 8: My friend Josh dresses almost exclusively in Banana Republic clothes, and he was recently told that he “dresses like a model.” Note that this compliment is not directed toward him, but toward his clothes. The full statement could have been, “Josh smells like a homeless man, and I’ve filed a restraining order against him, but he dresses like a model.” So Josh’s clothes are doing very well for themselves. One of his polo shirts is seeing someone, and he has a pair of trousers that are engaged to a nice girl from Idaho.

Sept. 15: I’m surprised I’ve lived as long as I have, considering I eat nothing but garbage. Del Taco has something called the “Big Fat Crispy Chicken Taco,” apparently aware that “big,” “fat” and “crispy” are my three weaknesses when it comes to food. It could be “Big Fat Crispy Raccoon Faces” and I would still buy several of them a day.

Sept. 22: We made out in a tree, and this old guy sat and watched us.

Sept. 29: I was going to start a store in the mall called PriestCrafters, with the motto, “We’ll sell you the gospel in about an hour.” But then I realized Missionary Emporium was already doing that.

Oct. 13: I recently bought a new iMac, and I encountered only one problem with it: In an act of atheistic stubbornness, it refused to acknowledge the existence of my printer. My old iMac not only believed the printer existed, but in fact worked quite cooperatively with it. The new iMac, however, was more obstinate. I called it atheistic a minute ago; more accurately, it was agnostic, or perhaps dogmatic. It didn’t deny that there COULD be a printer; it just wouldn’t accept that the printer I was using was the correct one. As a result, it refused to even speak to the printer, possibly due to some age-old grudge the details to which I am not privy. (“How could a true printer allow dot-matrix to exist in the world?”)

Oct. 20: Next thing I knew, I was being woken up by an airbag that had deployed the instant I hit the guard rail, and that was occupying every square inch of space between me and the dashboard. Since airbags are nuclear-powered, there was also a cloud of noxious smoke filling my lungs and burning my eyes. I’ll tell you, ricocheting off a wall, being smacked in the face by an airbag, and choking on radioactive smoke: These are things that will wake you right up. I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as I careened across three lanes of freeway, hit a construction barrel, and bounced back to the right shoulder again.

Nov. 12: The skeleton track looks like an ice-covered waterslide and is the same one used for the luge and bobsled events. Apparently, they just build a track and then think of weird stuff to throw down it. Next it’ll be kids on garbage-can lids, or fat guys doing somersaults.

Nov. 24: FLORIDA OFFICIAL, WHO IS WEARING A PAIR OF OVERALLS AND HOLDING A LIVE PIG: We’s still countin’ th’ votes. They’s a big pile of ’em, out back to the shed. We was doin’ the hand count, only ‘cept our hands only goes up to nine or 10, so we had to start usin’ our toes, too.

Fifty-two columns of equal quality are scheduled for 2001. You’re welcome.

2000 was the first year in "Snide Remarks" history that I'd consistently written the column every week of the year. When I was at BYU, the column went on hiatus when the school paper did, which was at the end of each semester. So I'd never felt justified in doing a "year in review" thing, because I'd never written for an entire year.

My first priority was to select things that were funniest. There were some columns that I thought were pretty funny but that didn't have any short, quotable portions, and therefore didn't make it here.

But I also wanted to present a sort of history, summarizing what happened in the column (and, by extension, my real life) during 2000. There's foreshadowing of the Evanston and anime brouhahas, as well as references to major news events like Julie on "The Real World," the NCMO Web site, and the presidential election. Personal things like my new computer, my iMac and my chiropractic visits are also mentioned. (One major event that didn't make it was when I passed out during a Garrens show while impersonating Ricky Martin. That's an example of a pretty good column that unfortunately didn't have anything pithy that I could use here. Ditto the Village Inn column, which was written in play format and also didn't lend itself to quoting.)

2000 was a significant year for "Snide Remarks," and for me personally. It has been observed that you can tell what I'm doing in real life by what I write about, and glancing at my subject matter in this wrap-up column, I'd say that's pretty accurate. It brings back a lot of fun memories, not just of "Snide Remarks," but of the real-life things I did in 2000.