The Best of ‘Snide Remarks’: 2004

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Ah, memories. As we draw to the close of another year (2004, specifically), let us saunter through the stacks of “Snide Remarks” columns that have graced the Internet since the column began its new life on March 8. Enjoy these highlights, won’t you?

On getting fired:
When I lost my job, I knew my savings would run out soon. Probably within the hour, in fact, because my savings consisted of 50 cents, and I needed a candy bar. (March 8)

On my previous roommates:
One moved out in the dark of night without telling me; he left the key on the upper shelf of a cupboard to ensure I wouldn’t find it and realize his departure for at least a few days; I never heard from him again. One disappeared altogether for two months, leaving behind his pet tarantula, a creature which can apparently survive without food for at least two months, since I sure as H. wasn’t going near it. One otherwise well-bred fellow occasionally sat shirtless on the couch drinking beer from a bottle, as if our couch were located in a trailer park. (April 5)

On Portland, Ore.:
I’ve been to Portland several times to visit friends, and each time I go, I am reminded of what a great city it is. And when I say I am reminded, I mean verbally, hundreds of times, by the locals, who ramble on constantly about what a great city it is. All the time an outsider spends in Portland is occupied with listening to natives extol its virtues, as if they are all trained Portland representatives who get a commission if they convince you to move there. I assume that if I did finally cave in and relocate to the Northwest, the hard-sell would cease and Portlanders would finally talk about something else. (Like how they hate all these outsiders moving in, probably.) (April 12)

On having babies:
It is my understanding that childbirth is an extraordinarily painful process, which is no surprise, given that it consists of reaching inside a person and pulling another person out of her. I can’t think of any 8-pound section of me that I would let you remove unless you first gave me enough drugs to kill me. (April 19)

On building my own shelves for my condo:
Needless to say, these were the most dubious, improbable shelves ever built. They creaked and wobbled every time I touched them, or didn’t touch them. There were spots in the wall where you could see several holes next to each other, false starts where I’d misjudged the location of the stud and had to try again; these series of holes made it look like I’d been shot at with a machine gun. I was wildly suspicious of the shelves, bordering on paranoia, confident they would collapse at any moment, until finally one day they did. One of the shelves overpowered its supporting brackets, fell onto the shelf beneath it, and took it and all of its contents down. This was known as the Great Shelf Disaster of 2003, and my ego and a bag of cookies were crushed in the fracas. (April 26)

On the trend toward obesity:
Fat, fat, fat. That’s all anyone talks about anymore. Americans are all fat, and they need to be less fat, and being fat will kill you, and blah blah blah fat fat fat. I get so tired of hearing about fat that it makes me want to get as fat as I possibly can, just out of spite, and also laziness. (May 10)

On “Troy”:
It was reported that Brad Pitt tore his Achilles tendon while playing Achilles in the film “Troy.” You don’t even want to KNOW what happened to the guy who plays Buttocks. (May 17)

On my filthy South American roommate:
Has news of the existence of bacteria not reached Argentina? Or has it simply not reached Raoul? The most alarming thing is that Raoul loves to cook and hopes to become a chef one day. Obviously, I will not be dining at Raoul’s House of Botulism, or whatever he calls his restaurant. It will probably only be able to open at all because the health officials who inspect it will have died before they could file their reports. (May 24)

On futons:
I don’t know who invented the futon, but it was obviously someone who has never slept and who hates people. An insomniac Nazi, maybe. The futon that sits in the guest bedroom at my parents’ house has a gridwork of steel bars for a foundation, with a paper-thin mattress on top of it. It is a poor idea to begin with, and it is poorly executed. Bed : futon :: La-Z-Boy recliner : electric chair. (June 14)

On sharing a bathroom with my two sisters:
I have two sisters living at home, and they both have very long hair, almost down to their respective butts. I regard their hair as beautiful; however, I have discovered that its beauty is limited to the time that it is affixed to their heads. Once it has been jettisoned, the individual hair strands become ghastly and terrifying, and a den of them occupies the upstairs shower. They are willful, eel-like creatures that lurk quietly on the wall of the shower, waiting to attach themselves to any passing object. I find myself showering gingerly, trying not to disturb the hairs’ slumber, similar to how one would tiptoe through a cave full of bats. But inevitably I arouse their fury and become entangled, lost in the grip of two-foot strands of discarded hair. (June 14)

On moving from Orem to Salt Lake City:
Out-of-state readers may not recognize the significance in this move, so I will explain it in clear, lucid terms: Orem is in a place called “Utah Valley,” and Utah Valley does a thing called “suck.” (June 28)

On my DSL service:
Thanks to further advancements in Qwest’s ongoing commitment to incompetence, I was recently without DSL service for three days. Qwest’s explanation for the disruption was, “we r dum we dont no how 2 do stuf cuz we are 2 stupd lololololol w00t!,” followed by a fart noise. And that was after I asked to speak to a supervisor. (July 19)

On the ubiquitousness of the Internet:
Reuters reports that 75 percent of Americans above the age of 2 who live in homes with phone lines have Internet access. (Infants and hillbillies remain the two toughest demographics to reach.) (July 19)

On a county fair entertainer called Toot Toot the Karaoke Clown:
I am not certain what drives a man to become a karaoke clown, given that everyone hates karaoke and everyone also hates clowns. Did Toot Toot sit in his mobile home thinking, “I don’t just want to be something people hate; I want to be TWO things people hate”? What other combinations did he consider before arriving at karaoke clown? Tax-collector mime? Redheaded Nazi? Telemarketer John Mayer? (Aug. 23)

On being asked to come up with a bedtime story for my friend’s children:
Claire told me they like their bedtime stories to center around pirates and, if possible, bubble gum. These seemed like reasonable demands; Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote “The Scarlet Letter” under precisely the same strictures. And if I’m not as able a storyteller as Nathaniel Hawthorne, then I don’t know what I am. (Aug. 30)

On Madonna’s children’s book:
While at the library, I noticed a book called “Mr. Peabody’s Apples,” written by Madonna. At first I assumed it was a dirty book, since it was written by Madonna and since it was called “Mr. Peabody’s Apples.” (Aug. 30)

On the summer’s comic-book movies:
The two highest-profile ones were “Spider-Man 2” and “Catwoman.” One featured a campy hero in tight-fitting clothing who appealed to gay men, while the other featured a campy hero in tight-fitting clothing who appealed to gay men AND lesbians. “Spider-Man 2” was hailed for its humanity and universal themes, serving as a cautionary tale against the dangers of fusing mechanical arms to your spine as a means of creating fusion. “Catwoman,” meanwhile, sucked. (Sept. 6)

On my new roommate:
Greg does not have the word “stuff” in his vocabulary. Instead, he has the word “s***.” He tosses “s***” around very casually, in sentences such as, “I’ve been here two weeks, and I’m still unpacking my s***,” and “No, this seat’s not taken, let me just move my s***.” Normally, I dislike that word a lot, but I’ve discovered it doesn’t bother me so much when it’s used non-swearingly. The best usage came when I told him about Josh Hartnett’s unsettling unibrow in “Wicker Park,” and Greg said, “Geez, someone should have told him to pluck that s***.” (Note: I assume Greg does have “stuff” in his vocabulary when used as a verb. That is, I’m pretty sure he would say, “We need to stuff the turkey for Thanksgiving” rather than “We need to s*** the turkey for Thanksgiving.” But I’ll let you know for sure in November.) (Sept. 13)

The Least Funny Things in the World:
1. Bazooka Joe comics
2. birth defects
3. Jay Leno
4. your mom dying
5. Al Franken
6. one-legged puppies
7. award-show jokes
8. Bob Hope (pre-death)
9. Bob Hope (post-death)
10. your dad dying
(Sept. 20)

On UVSC’s speaking invitation to Michael Moore:
Now that the student government has made the commitment, UVSC authorities are scrambling to put a good spin on it, all the while cursing themselves for letting students — UVSC students, at that! — be in charge of booking speakers. Apparently, last year’s visit from SpongeBob SquarePants taught them nothing. (Sept. 27)

On Michael Moore’s appearance:
Do you suppose Moore will dress nicely, or shave his big sweaty face when he shows up to address UVSC for $50,000? No, he’ll probably look like he always does, like one of those sweepstakes winners you see on TV who were caught off-guard by the Prize Patrol van. He always looks like he didn’t know he was going to be out in public that day, like he only wore his grubbies because he thought he would just be out working in the yard, and then somehow he accidentally wound up at the Academy Awards. I swear, he makes Peter Jackson look like Cary Grant. (Sept. 27)

On Las Vegas:
When you think of Las Vegas, you think of garish lights, smoky casinos, and mid-priced whores. But Las Vegas is so much more than that. It is also unreasonable heat, big-haired trailer trash and over-hyped shows featuring fey, tiger-loving magicians, creepy French acrobats or men who are painted blue. (Oct. 4)

On British slang:
“Ten Little Indians” was originally called “Ten Little N******,” “n*****” being what the British called people from India in those days. How a nation of snaggle-toothed inbreds gets off slurring other races is beyond me. (Oct. 4)

On parking:
I hate paying for parking. You give money to someone, and what do you get in return? Nothing. You hand the money over, park your car, and leave the scene, usually to go spend more money somewhere else. All you’re paying for is the right to not drive your car for a while. Well, it’s your car! You should be able to not drive it whenever you want. (Oct. 11)

On greeting people:
I think it would be fun to greet everyone the way you greet a dog, rubbing the person’s head and saying (if his name is Bob), “Who’s a good boy?! Is Bob a good boy?! Yes he is! Yes he is! Who’s a good boy?!” Let’s start this trend. You first. (Oct. 18)

On “Saving Private Ryan”:
At first I thought all the uproar last week wasn’t because ABC aired “Saving Private Ryan,” but because it aired “Shaving Ryan’s Privates.” Then I realized I didn’t really think that, and I just wanted to make that joke. Then I was deeply ashamed. (Nov. 22)

The "Best of 'Snide Remarks'" is an annual tradition. I enjoy browsing through the year's columns to find brief, quotable sections, and I hope folks enjoy reading them. If not, TOUGH. You can wait in the car while I stroll down memory lane.

Some updates: Greg did, in fact, use the word "stuff" in regards to the turkey. And Michael Moore did, in fact, dress like a hobo when he addressed UVSC.

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