We’re not going to assume anything here, but we’re pretty sure that if you’ve been keeping up with the Joneses, you have a computer and a bunch of free time on your hands. And, it’s not like we’re tracking your hits to our website or Facebook page or anything (Hi Jim), but we totally know that you like to sit and look at pictures of us sometimes. Maybe you even let your mind wander and try to imagine what was going on in some of the shots? A few of you may have even signed up for a class at the Learning Annex and are working on some short stories based on them. Well, step away from that there imagination, friends, because we are about to give you the true, behind-the scenes story…
Sabrina: All I can say is that this kid is everything I want to be. If I do a decent job with this life, perhaps I will be reincarnated as this kid. Check him out. He has some kind of onesie superhero costume going on, complete with a padded six-pack, a Freddie mask, a Zorro sword, and reasonable shoes. If he is not my hero, his mother sure is. The best thing? The thing you don’t know? This kid was growling when we took this picture. He had this low, consistent, wolf-growl going for about three minutes. We told him that this picture was of him “protecting” us, and he just knew what to do. You can’t make me stop loving this kid. Just try. Just you try. That kid will show up and karate chop you in the balls.
Katharine: Yah, I didn’t want to work with the kid at first. I mean, his mother was standing just out of frame. Such a Stage Mother too! Here she is enjoying a lovely sunny day when three freezing (it was early March) obviously crazy ladies come traipsing by and demand that they take her child. And she said yes! What a demanding diva! The boy? We’ve been dating for six months now.
Alex: All true. But this kind of stuff happens to us all the time: we were just minding our own Weewax, being fabulous in Brooklyn (as we do), when this pocket-sized Jason/ penguin/ Inigo Montoya approaches us, growling. We immediately recognized his high-Q potential and asked if we could pose seductively behind him. I was surprised that his Mom said yes so quickly! I was even more surprised when he said yes to a date with Katharine. When she gets out of jail we’re holding a little reunion at the Outback Steakhouse.
WHERE IS THE FOOD?
THAT’S NOT OUR FOOD, SILLY!
Sabrina: All I can say is that this pizza guy is everything I want to be. If I do a decent job with this life, perhaps I will be reincarnated as this pizza guy. I mean, are you kidding me?? Check him out. This sweet man was trying to deliver a pizza, and three crazy ladies in formal wear show up and assault him verbally. “What’s in that box?” they demand. “It smells like pizza!” they accuse. This Zen warrior is unfazed. His smile is like a butterfly on a raindrop, even when it appears that he has been screwed over by the nerdy guy who didn’t tip him and that strange women are trying to do prop improvisation with his bicycle . His heartbeat murmurs “all will be well,” and, as soon as his detachment kisses the face of the universe, the door immediately pops open and Professor Nerdington remembers to hand him a tip. The butterfly’s wings flutter gently in the wind as the pizza guy reaches over our mugging faces and takes his three dollars. The universe makes sense, especially when it doesn’t make sense, see?
Katharine: Typical New York City. No one blinks an eye at yet another photo shoot being done on top of their bicycle. Another day, another dollar that isn’t worth crazy people running up to you and posing with your transportation. The least we could have done is bridge the gap and hand the dude his tip. Did we? No! Because it would have ruined the shot. Dammit people, you have to understand that when opportunity knocks, only the strong and demented survive.
Alex: The guy in the hoodie is my biological father. I THOUGHT WE AGREED NOT TO USE THIS PICTURE!!
THE AUDITION: A Totally High-Tech Video Shoot
Sabrina: All I can say is that this director is everything I want to be. If I do a decent job with this life, perhaps I will be reincarnated as Lila. Check her out. She has turned a Broom into a BOOM with an exclamation point. And she is able to hold it steady as that hot guy unbuttons his shirt. That’s the way–uh huh, uh huh, I like it!!! Also, who was that hot guy? Did anyone get his number? Ring-a-ding! Soup’s on!!!
Katharine: This is an example of why I love being involved in video production. At no point did anyone sit and cry out “Why couldn’t we find a sound person?!” Ok, well maybe that one person asked. But she was a jerk. The rest of us decided to work as a team! When we realized we could not mic a stripping man, we got to problem solving. We put our heads together and looked at Lila for an answer. Lila, the ukulele playing super director, didn’t sit in her non-existent director’s chair and let everything fall apart. NO! At 4AM, her arm and the friggin broom were going to be the best sound capturer in the history of sound capturing! Hizzah!
Alex: Ah yes, this old chestnut. The old “tape a mic to a broom” sound-recording technique. It’s how I do all my audio surveillance, except that I cleverly disguise the broom handle in the sleeve of a veeeeeeery large trench coat (what? I used to be a Little Rascal we were always getting into hilarious scrapes!) I’m just glad those wacky adventures finally came in handy at the business end of a night shoot, when we were all out of bourbon and good ideas. Let’s hear it for American ingenuity!!
There it is. You’re welcome.
So, now, true believers, it’s YOUR TURN. Come up with a story for this shot and win a prize. You can’t win if you don’t enter! We’ll reveal the true story in next month’s BH blog, so, until then, keep stalking!
*Please pick up your petticoats and skip away if you are scandalized by human biology.*
First things first, humans fart. Men, women and children all pass wind. Some of us are just more blessed than others. I happen to come from a long lineage of gas hording humanoids. Just ask my couch. The sounds of the toot, the squeak, the foghorn, the ah-OOOO-gah often wafts through my home. It’s nature, get over it.
Because I am used to farts, I realize that there are several layers to them. There are the wondrous sounds, the surprising smells and sometimes the unfortunate tastes. I only really mind the taste aspect. If I taste a fart, it means that someone has to shit and I just ate their poo. Not appreciated. Besides that (and being hot-boxed in a crowded subway car), I care not if you fart. This does not give people license to lift a leg and announce their presence willy-nilly near me. It is possible to hold gas in. Uncomfortable yes, but possible. We all must have manners. But, I prefer you release air rather than blow up. Just make sure you say excuse me and go to the bathroom if you actually have to poo.
It has gotten to the point where I seldom react to the sounds of compressed air leaving the body. When silence is broken by a strange fwep or a sneeze is punctuated with a pa-toot, I smile, but do not belly laugh like I once did as a grade school child. I believe that my auditory function has become somewhat numb to humans and their bodily functions.
I do have a fascination with dogs farting however.
Growing up, I was not aware that dogs could fart. When I was a child, I had a dog named Tidbit. “Tidbit from Tibet,” as my father would say. He was actually from New Jersey, but who’s taking notes. Tidbit was the sweetest Shih Tzu and I loved him to bits. Yes, he would eat used sanitary napkins, but he had the best of intentions. And I never heard him fart.
I heard stories of dogs passing gas. But, I still had not heard it in person. I’m not talking smell here, I’m talking sound. Because I have certainly smelled the room clearing scents that are released by the bowels of a hound. Yeah, I’m calling you out Lily! I have two tiny, 4lb. yorkie-poo (ha ha poo) sisters (Lily and Lola) and I think their assholes are too small to release any sounds. Or at least, sound audible to the human ear. However, Lily could go by the name “Silent but Deadly” especially since she is all ninja black.
One very early Sunday morning, everything changed. My ears were opened and my mind was blown. I was sleepily staring at the computer screen wondering what other video I could find that would slightly amuse me until I got enough energy to start making the coffee. I found myself mindlessly typing into the YouTube search box “dog fart”. I found the mother-lode.
There were dogs farting, dogs reacting to human farts and dogs reacting to their own farts. Dogs reacting to other dog’s farts and cats being farted on by dogs. Tail moving farts, feet twitching farts and grimacing faces from smelly farts. I was in dog fart heaven.
Humans spend so much time pretending they weren’t the ones who farted in public. I think if we could, people would throw post-poot smoke pellets and run away in shame. But dogs? Man-oh-man… They don’t know embarrassment. How could they? They greet each other by smelling asses. And they are cute and fuzzy and when silly noises come from them unexpectedly, their reactions make me want to squeeze them and hug them and throw confetti all over the floor like a prancing Rip Taylor!
I still haven’t heard a dog fart in person, but good old YouTube has certainly satiated my curiosity for now. So, from my heart to you, please enjoy these few favorite Dog vs. Fart videos. And one flatulent rabbit…
My husband can imitate this dog perfectly. In fact, I often ask him to “do the dog face”.
This is not a dog, but a bunny. My love for farting bunnies almost matches my love for gassy pups.
“You’re going to love my nuts” was the phrase that almost got me to buy a Slap Chop off the TV. I didn’t need a Slap Chop, as I had knives and never cooked; but the spokesman Vince said “you’re going to be in a great mood all day, because you’re going to be slapping your troubles away with the Slap Chop” and I wanted to believe him. But as I reached for my phone, I paused. Something started brewing in my mind and it felt like a warning.
This wasn’t my first adventure with telephone shopping. By this point I was an old pro at calling within the next three minutes in order to get my free gift with purchase. I kept a pad of paper and pencil next to my couch for easy access when a toll free, ten digit number flashed on my TV screen. I had developed a theory that if I saw a commercial more than once and I still really wanted the thing they were pitching, it was meant to be and I should call. I was destined to own this or that bric-a-brac made in Taiwan.
When I was six, my mother opened my eyes to the world of television shopping. I don’t remember the name of the object she bought, but I do recall that it was made of four red, plastic bungees that attached to a door handle and you were suppose to be able to do a full body workout with it. You may recall a similar product written into the Larry Sanders Show called “The Hankerciser 200”. “Too good to be true” should have been the lesson I learned from my mother’s purchase. Especially after I watched her give an assertive tug to one of the bungees, only to have it slip off the door handle and smack her in the face. Unfortunately, the lesson I mistakenly learned was that with a little piece of plastic, you could order anything over the phone and have it delivered to you like a present from God in only seven days.
When it was my turn to start making the calls, I was the perfect demographic for television shopping. I was just out of college, lived alone in a studio apartment and had my first credit card. I was going from one “romantic” three month relationship to the next and rarely saw my friends due to an odd-hours job in retail. Good times. I also might have been slightly depressed.
So there I would sit, futon facing the TV and take out on the table. Zoning out and barely watching the show I had flipped to, I would be jarred awake with a flashing light and booming voice. “You NEED to BUY this!” yelled the commercials. You are a cigarette smoking, morbidly obese, stressed out, old and ugly, overly busy person who needs a quick fix! You will be so happy with the results you see with this plastic metal machine miracle video and/or dvd!
I knew these commercials were lying. I knew that what they were selling would most likely not work. But I wanted to buy into the hype. I was unfulfilled and needed something to fill that void. And it worked, for a while. I got presents that occasionally did what they advertised they’d do. I would say 1 out of 5 items worked, as long as I used them as directed. The other 4 were pieces of shit and only good as a pre-paid “surprise” in the mail.
Luckily for me (and my wallet), my life started to change and the hold that ‘As Seen On TV’ had on me started to fade. One evening, two of my closest friends who had been actively working on getting me out of my self-inflicted seclusion came over to my studio for a visit. After getting really, very high and watching embarrassing childhood videos, I decided to up the ante by showing them one of the items I had purchased off the TV. Not only were they surprised that I had outed myself as an infomercial junkie, but they could not believe what I had paid actual money for: “Facial Magic”
“Want to reverse sagging facial muscles, and maintain your youthful appearance-without surgery? Then you must try Facial Magic! It tightens and firms double chins, jowls, sagging lids, droopy necks and more.” I was 23. I didn’t know what a jowl was. But I haaad to buy ‘Facial Magic’! I mean, it has the word magic in its name and it comes with white freakin’ cotton gloves! Basically, you stick your fingers in your mouth and make faces as you tighten your face muscles. Please enjoy a demo of the Facial Magic technique by clicking “MAGIC”.
It didn’t matter if I was high as balls or not, the faces the women were making in the instruction video were mesmerizing. My friends asked me if I bought stuff off TV often. I shrugged nonchalantly and said, “Nah.” But then they asked me to list what I had purchased. The list kept growing and growing and I got more embarrassed and ashamed. That’s when I started to realize I needed to get a grip on my purchasing habit, put the phone down and lock up my credit card. Four years later, memories of our laughter kept me from buying that Slap Chop.
Let me just say, I feel for the people who are still trapped in infomercial hell. Those packages that appear on your doorstep (even though you paid for them) sure do make you feel special. But it is a false happiness. What’s really special is experiencing life outside of the television. The good news for me is that I can laugh at myself now! God damn, I bought some stupid shit. So, for my personal development and for your entertainment, here is a list of some of the crap I bought through infomercials in no particular order. Enjoy!
- A ‘stop smoking’ device that punctured holes into a cigarette’s filter. -The theory was that less smoke would reach your lungs because it would go out the hole in the filter. However, if you cover the hole with your lips, you get the full drag and the plastic piece of crap you bought is a waste of money.
- Facial Magic -I pulled a cheek muscle and stopped using it.
- ProActiv acne treatment -I got it so long ago, Judith Light from “Who’s the Boss” was the spokeswoman.
- A “magnetic reflexology” shoe insert made of plastic. -A piece of plastic with sharp magnets glued to it. It was bumpy and hurt to walk on.
- Tony Little’s Gazelle “You can do it!” -I didn’t actually get this off of the television, but I wanted to. I got it for $150 cheaper on Craig’s List.
- 8 Min. Abs and Buns VHS video -Turns out 8 minutes were too long for my lazy ass.
- Winsor “Gotta keep both cheeks even” Pilates -The plastic band that came with the dvd snapped in half and hit my face. (like mother, like daughter…)
- Billy Blanks Tae-Bo VHS -Lots of fun, but one must continue to use it for results to happen. I chose pizza.
- Q-Ray -I have pain, I thought it could help. It didn’t. It also made my wrist green.
- Smooth Away: removes hair instantly and pain free -Who really thought sandpaper was a good way to remove hair?
- Abtronic Electronic Fitness System: Tones and tighten your muscles with gentle electronic stimulation! -Yes, I tried to shock the fat off my stomach. However, this was the last thing I bought off the television. My future husband’s finger pointing and laughter was shame enough for me to never do it again.