Random highlights from the 800,000 “Snide Remarks” columns published in 2001:
Feb. 2: I thought I saw Mick Jagger at the Sundance Film Festival, but it turned out to be just a telephone pole with some trash stuck to it.
May 2: My recent trip to Disneyland revealed a park vastly different from the one I knew as a child. The Mickey’s Hernia Operation ride is new, for example, as is Tigger’s Crack House.
May 23: Hindering my sleep on the plane was a baby who shrieked like he was passing a kidney stone made out of Satan. This baby was very young; I believe his mother had given birth while boarding the plane.
June 1: BRIGHAM YOUNG: I see you’ve invited the entire world to visit our fair state in 2002 for an athletic contest of some kind. This is certainly a reversal of the policy I established, under which foreigners were shot on sight. Or perhaps that is still your intention, in which case I wink slyly at your cunning and say, bag a Frenchman for Brother Brigham!
June 13: New York is the city of dreams, the city of excitement, the city of people who stand on the street and want money. Some of these people are selling something, but some of them want money merely for standing there. I saw a guy who was standing motionless on a box, and he was painted gold from head to toe. People were throwing money in a cup in front of him, in exchange for his continuing to stand there, gold. I saw no reason to give him anything. I wasn’t the one who told him to paint himself gold.
June 15: I tend to lose weight quickly, I think because I send my body into shock. I go from eating 100 grams of fat a day to eating about 20 grams of fat a day, plus I’m jogging. So my body sees the sudden drop in fat consumption and says, “Crap! He’s dying!” Then, with the running, my body says, “Crap! He’s dying AND someone’s chasing him!” And we start getting rid of stuff that’s weighing us down, like we’re an airplane that’s lost an engine. All the excess items get tossed out. My appendix actually removed itself last week.
July 11: The Victoria’s Secret war heated up when a local mother walked past the Victoria’s Secret in Ye Olde Provo Towne Centre Malle and was shocked and appalled to see a shocking and appalling poster in the window. Her 6-year-old son saw the poster, too, and immediately burst into puberty. The mother’s head exploded. The mall caught fire. The world ended. (Remember?)
July 18: I love that you’re allowed to talk during a baseball game. Not like church, for example, where you can’t yell “chatter” at the players (“Hey, preacher, preacher, preacher, he’s no preacher!”), and where only a few of your more liberal sects permit the eating of nachos.
July 27: I was halfway through the four-hour “Family Feud” marathon on the Game Show Network when a thought struck me: Sweet Allah in heaven above me, is this what my life has become? I’m a big loser! Then Richard Dawson said, “Name a yellow fruit,” and the contestant said, “Orange,” and I felt better.
Sept. 7: PETA’s latest victory in the war against common sense is that Disneyland employees will no longer shoot fake bullets at the fake hippos on the Jungle Cruise ride. This was long overdue, as the fake animals had been tormented by fake bullets shot from fake guns by fake river guides for decades. It took a fake hippo nearly fake dying from a fake bullet wound before Disney finally did the sensible thing and began shooting PETA members instead.
Oct. 3: A telemarketer called last week. He said, “I am calling to tell you about a ‘funtastic’ new offer from–” and I hung up. Any product that can be described as “funtastic” is not a product I want in my home.
Oct. 24: The Wal-Mart Supercenter: Where you can have your oil changed, buy groceries, visit the eye doctor, get a mammogram and adopt an underprivileged African child, all in one overcrowded, city-sized store where the employees may not be exactly at the top of their field. I mean, do you really think guys are graduating from optometry school saying, “I hope to open a practice at Wal-Mart, looking for astigmatisms in housewives who are pushing seven barefoot children in a shopping cart”?
Nov. 2: Newspapers are not exempt from these cutbacks. The Orange County Register recently laid off 105 employees, and the Dallas Morning News sent 73 folks packing. The New York Times even had to sell its theater critics’ thesauruses. (“A tragic tragedy of tragic proportions!” is how one critic described it.)
Nov. 7: The ballet was not boring. It was beautiful and exciting. The stage was filled with so many lithe young men and flat-chested young women, I thought an Obsession commercial was going to break out. The music and dancing complemented each other, telling a story. (“Once upon a time, there were some people who were dancing.”)
Nov. 28: I flew on a tiny plane with only 50 seats. It was designed by elves, for elves; unfortunately, the passengers were all non-elfin. I used the bathroom on this plane, and I believe it was not only the smallest bathroom I’ve ever been in, but the smallest space I’ve ever been in, period, including the womb.
Ah, a trip down memory lane. This column could have been much, much longer, but this was pushing it as it was. Several excerpts were more historical than funny (a reference to buying a condo, etc.), and I cut those, because I just wanted funny stuff. There are also several columns that I was very proud of (the Miss Cleo one, for example) that are not represented here because there were no brief excerpts that worked out of context.