Whenever I need inspiration with writing, I don’t open a thesaurus or pick up the latest NYtimes article. Nay, when I need examples of true outside-the-box approaches to English grammar, syntax and word choice, I turn to the fascinating world of junk email. It is a striking reminder of how impoverished our imaginations have become and how rigid our ingrained expressive boundaries are with respect to language when we are confronted with examples of messages that have been created by those with zero understanding of those boundaries. So for your enjoyment, below is a snapshot of subject lines I have actually received. They are in no actual order. What are your favorites?
This toy really exists. I saw it at a Target. someone actually thought, “since little girls like to play mommy with infant dolls, surely they’ll love to play caretaker for the elderly!” Change your aged father’s diapers! Don’t forget to tuck in his grey, wrinkled ball sack! Argue with nursing staff on his behalf and remind him your name as you take over power of attorney and sort out his assets! Fun for all ages!
1. “Please excuse the drool” is definitely an acceptable greeting/disclaimer for the appearance of your clothes.
2. Related to #1: your instincts were spot on with t-shirt colors. You should always go dark to cover up milk spit-up. The darker the better. Try black.
3. Being forced to carry armfuls of accessories and bags full of baby stuff, you in no way appear as though wherever you go, you are moving in.
4. Contrary to your previously held beliefs, you don’t need 8 hours of sleep. It is possible for the human body to function at peak efficiency on 3 to 4 hours. The light trails you see on everything are normal.
5. You are not in denial when you insist that your decade-old band t-shirt with the ink that is chipping off the front is not like sandpaper on a baby’s skin. He likes to be exfoliated this way.
6. When it comes to eating a prepared meal, you can afford to slow down. It isn’t a race. You have plenty of time to ingest those calories before he wakes up. You should not need to resort to a beer helmet fitted with protein shakes.
7. Unless you’re over 70, you don’t need a spotter to get in and out of a bathtub when you decide it’s a good idea to take a bath WITH your infant.
8. Your upper body strength is amazing. After hours of bouncing a crying child in your arms, and wielding an ever heavier carseat, you’re now almost obscenely ripped. There is no longer any need to work out. It also does wonders for your back.
Year after year in the U.S., this once-clear green light for gay men, originally reclaimed from Gilded-Age gentlemen and greasy 1920’s Venice Beach muscle men, has been unfairly and inexplicably re-reclaimed by today’s gangly urban hipsters who are neither Mexican rancheros nor Italian immigrant stereotypes. Sadly, in today’s world, once every minute a gay man sees another man with a big, bushy handlebar mustache in a neon tank-top riding a bicycle and for the first time in history, just isn’t sure.
Some of these mustache usurpers have traveled to small towns and sarcastically entered mustache competitions and even won third, maybe fourth place.
Unfortunately, the assault of big, bushy handlebar mustaches doesn’t end here. What began as a dare in a San Francisco Mission District dive bar has grown into a bristly epidemic. Like all hipster fashion trends, the unfathomable obsession with big, bushy mustaches has entered the mainstream via the usual channels: Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, as some sort of abstruse irony passing as humor.
The influx of t-shirts, trucker hats, and beer coozies featuring images of the big, bushy mustache has effectively obliterated and commodified this once-proud signifier of the gay community.
Stop the abuse.
*disclaimer: I am not actually gay, and have no actual authority with which to make statements on behalf of the gay community. This is just supposed to be funny.
As the demands of a little thing called Life threaten to discourage the daily post, and unglue my eyes from the ever-blinking cursor, please know that I am in fact still alive, breathing, and gathering inspiration for the next round of cartoons, beer reviews, wordy assessments on things I encounter, and general silliness, so please standby.
So this is what it has come to. The symbols of my youth rebellion, spontaneously, degradingly, almost mockingly etched into such a symbol of adult domesticity as this quarter cup measuring spoon. My kitchen utensils are taunting me with reminders of my punkhood as they are removed from the dishwasher. An almost perfect “circle A”. Dried detergent stain on aluminum.