2009: Warner Bros. begins advertising on the side of cats. Calls it “catvertising”. Is lauded for their innovation.
Someone. Is getting. Sued.
Just got back from Utah. More on that later, but right now I just want to say that my blog and email have been ill for the last 24 hours, but I’m moving to a bigger server so it should be fixed. Also, I am severely jet-lagged so I have nothing funny to say. Except that I just looked up “jet lag” on Wikipedia and it said that scientists have helped hamsters recover from jet-lag by giving them viagra. Which means that at one point there were a bunch of people flying hamsters with tiny erections to exotic locations in the name of science. Which I think is just proof that scientists are high all the time.
Also, I’m pretty sure cancer still exists, right? Meanwhile, people are bringing drugged, involuntarily-aroused hamsters on planes, and I’m not even allowed to bring my diet coke through security. This is exactly the kind of thing I’d take a stand against if it wasn’t for the fact that I don’t even know what the hell I’d write on that picket sign.
PS. The study also notes that the hamster study “is considered an off-label use by the drug’s manufacturer“. Which seems like a lost opportunity, because who doesn’t want to use erection meds to cure your hamsters of jet-lag? Apparently the people who make viagra don’t. Because they hate your hamster.
PPS. I can afford the upgrade so no worries, but if you want to help me pay for the bigger server you can buy something at my horrifically inappropriate store. Or you could send me a briefcase of unmarked bills. Or get me a grant for hamster-erection studies. Apparently there’s a lot of money in that.
Conversation with my husband:
Victor: Look at this video. It’s about a company that invented a tool that lets you drive using only your mind.
me: Awesome. I’m so glad we’re making such huge advances in the field of driving-a-car-without-hands. It’s good that the scientists have a new priority now that they’ve found a cure for cancer.
Victor: The concept is pretty cool. You can drive all the way to work just sitting there.
me: They already invented a tool for that. It’s called a bus.
Victor: I think I want one. You could drive yourself to the grocery store and learn to play the flute at the same time.
me: I would kill myself in about 8 seconds in that car. What about all the times you think about driving off the edge of a cliff? Does it compensate for that?
Victor: Who the hell thinks about driving off a cliff?
me: Um…me. And everyone.
me: You don’t imagine –for just a second– about driving off a bridge every time you drive over one?
Victor: Why would I do that?
me: Because it’s human nature. Everyone does that. You never actually do it but everyone thinks about it.
Victor: Well I don’t think about it.
me: Well then, maybe there’s something wrong with you.
Victor: Maybe there’s something wrong with me because I don’t think about driving off cliffs on a regular basis?
me: Or because you want a car so you can play the flute. Neither of those are particularly normal.
Victor: Okay, first of all, the flute was for you. Secondly, I think there’s something really wrong with you.
me: Probably. I like how in the video they’re all “Don’t try this at home” because that disclaimer is totally the only thing keeping me from driving my car with my mind right now. I mean, that and the fact that we’re out of brain sensors.
Victor: Just stop talking.
me: If I was driving a brain-car I’d make it go to Taco Cabana all the time and you’d be all “Where are we going? We don’t have time for this” and I’d be like “I’m not doing it! It’s the car. It must want enchiladas” and then I could get enchiladas all the time and you couldn’t yell at me about it because you couldn’t prove I was doing it on purpose.
Victor: When have I ever yelled at you about enchiladas? WHY IS THIS EVEN AN ISSUE?
me: You’d totally yell at me if I suddenly veered off to get unexpected enchiladas. That’s why I’ve never even tried it. Because I know you. But just wait until we get our mind-control car. There are going to be unexpected enchiladas everywhere.
PS. Then Victor said that I just proved that I can’t be trusted with a mind controlled car, which was kind of my point to begin with. I win. Except now I totally want enchiladas and I have no brain-controlled car to get them for me. Touché, scientists. Way to create a demand.
Slightly paraphrased email thread between myself and a marketing company that is trying to destroy me:
Dear Blogger: We have an exciting new breakthrough to tell you about in the field of something we’d realize that you are completely against if we bothered to even read your blog. If you are interested in writing for free about our incredibly pointless product please submit this form telling us about your blog even though we’re the ones contacting you. If you are approved we will send you high quality photos of something no one gives a shit about. For every 3,000 people you convince to “like” us on facebook we will donate a nickel to the Stop Stabbing Orphans Charity, which we actually started ourselves as a tax write-off. Help us help us by helping us. If you’d like to unsubscribe to this email list which you probably never subscribed to in the first place then reply to us with the subject line of “unsubscribe” and with the reason why you hate orphans so much. Sincerely, the same assholes that email you every damn day.
Dear automated-pitch: This is the 18th time I’ve asked you to unsubscribe me. If you don’t stop sending me emails I will begin stabbing orphans myself. For the love of God, leave me alone. Hugs, Jenny
Dear blogger: This is an automated response confirming your request to unsubscribe from our mailing list. To verify that you would no longer like to receive emails from us please reply to this email with “CONFIRMED UNSUBSCRIBE” in the subject line. Sincerely, those exact same assholes.
Dear assholes: I think maybe you don’t understand what “unsubscribe” means. Sending me an email confirming that I don’t want you to send me any more emails is (at best) kind of a dick move. I hate you and your products. Hugs, Jenny
Dear Blogger: We have received your request and we are beginning the process of removing you from our mailing list. In order to better serve our customers, please let us know why you no long wish to receive emails by using the attached survey which requires you to log into our system and verify that you requested removal. You will be sent an email to verify that you are you before being allowed to fill out the survey. If you did not request removal and believe this was done in error then do nothing and we will continue to offer our valuable service of mailing you distracting and pointless bullshit. Your friends, the assholes
Dear assholes: I’m ordering an orphan-stabbing knife in the shape of your logo. Send me another email and I will mail you a satchel of angry typhoid-infested cobras. ~Jenny
Dear blogger: You have not responded to the survey we sent you one week ago. If this email was sent to you in error, please ignore.
JESUS CHRIST, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? FUCKING LEAVE ME ALONE OR I WILL DISEMBOWEL YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY WHILE YOU SLEEP. STOP. FUCKING. EMAILING ME.
Out-of-office message: I will be out of the office from Feb 3 – 14th. If you need assistance please log on to our automated website. You will be required to set up an account if you do not already have one. Our entire goal in business is to make you never want to open your email box again. Please fill out the attached survey letting us know how we’re doing. Thanks. We’re totally doing this on purpose now.
Okay, so last week I got an email asking if I was interested in interviewing Katherine Heigl and I ignored it because I’m irresponsible. I also ignored the email I got on the same day asking if I wanted to interview the guy who plays Sportacus on Lazy Town (true story). The Lazy Town person gave up after the first email but the PR chick from the Katherine Heigl interview sent me another email telling me that Katherine Heigl specifically asked for me to be on the call. Then I realized it was one of those “interviews” where a lot of bloggers get on at once to ask questions and I never do those but I thought it would be rude to not send Katherine a question if she specifically asked me for one. So I emailed the PR chick back:
I did get your email but I’m not actually free on the 24th. I’m flattered though that Katherine reads my blog and I do actually have one question to ask. I’m sure she’s swamped but perhaps you could pass this along and she could just email me back with her answer? Here is my question:
Hi Katherine! Can you please settle an argument that my husband and I are having? In your last movie you call the baby that you have to adopt “Sofie”. I say it’s probably short for “Sofa” but my husband says that’s ridiculous because it would be irrelevant to shorten “Sofa” to “Sofie” since they both take exactly the same amount of time to say. I retorted that maybe her full name is “Sofa-Cushion” and he said that was ludicrous because “real people don’t have hyphens in their first names” because apparently he’s never heard of T-Pain or Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy. He thinks “Sofie” more likely short for “Softball”. Can you please settle this for us?
Then Adrienne informed me that they would do the call another day and tried to get me to put up a widget or giveaway something. I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention at that point because I was drunk. My response to Adrienne:
I might be able to do the 27th but I don’t do giveaways or widgets on my blog so I’d probably just write about the call and put a link to the movie at most. Will I be able to ask my question though or is this one of those calls where you just end up listening and never speaking? Because I think this sofa-softball issue is one that movie-goers are wondering about.
Also, I have a follow-up question for Katherine about leaving my daughter to her in case of my untimely death because I plan on bestowing joint guardianship to Katherine and Oprah. Can you let me know if Katherine and Oprah have any bad blood between them, because if so we need to work that shit before I put anything in writing. Also, Flo from the Progressive commercials will be named as an adopted Aunt because I think she’ll be good at keeping things light-hearted whenever Oprah started taking herself too seriously. And for my daughters adopted uncle I’m choosing Sea-biscuit, because who doesn’t want a pony for an uncle? Fuck. *I* want a pony for an uncle. My husband isn’t totally on board with this yet. Probably because of the hyphen in Sea-Biscuits name. I’m not sure what his problem is.
I never got a clear answer from Adrienne but I went ahead and called in an hour ago to listen to the call AND THEY NEVER EVEN ASKED MY QUESTIONS. Like, not even one, y’all. Because apparently no one cares if my orphaned child is raised in a hostile environment. Or maybe because Katherine Heigl wants to use the name “Sofa-Cushion” for her next child and didn’t want everyone else stealing it.
Conclusion: Katherine Heigl is a little bit selfish and Sportacus needs to find more aggressive PR people.
PS. I’m totally renaming all of my cats “Sofa-cushion” out of sheer spite.
PPS. Katherine Heigl is really very nice and now that I’m thinking about it I’m sure she probably did not intentionally kabosh my questions because that would be fucking insane. More likely Adrienne decided to steal my questions and submit them to Katherine as her own so that Katherine and Oprah would adopt her child. And this is exactly why I never trust PR people.
People keep asking me what my New Year’s resolutions are and I tell them that I don’t have any and then they get all pissy because they assume that I think I don’t need to change but it’s really just that I’m too bored with myself to invest any more time thinking about me, and also because “What are your new year’s resolutions?” is kind of code for “So tell me what you think is wrong with you.”
That’s why my new resolution for 2011 is to get into something so blatantly reprehensible that when 2012 comes I will have an obvious choice for what I need to give up next year and I won’t be sitting here trying to figure out which one of my many vices is the most obvious to everyone else. And then I’ll be all “This year I’m going to shoot up less heroin!” Or stop burning books. Or stop burning kittens. Or stop burning books about kittens. I haven’t really decided yet. Whichever thing seems more likely to have people remark about how brave I am, probably.
PS. You never realize how many terrible life-choices are in front of you until you think about how nice it will be to tell people you’ve given them up. This is probably why so many people are shooting up heroin right now.
PPS. OMG. I GOT IT. This year I vow to start shooting up kittens with heroin. It’s gonna be a brave, brave 2012.
UPDATED: As requested, I drew up some anti-kitten-heroin photocards that you could use to save money on birthday presents but no one bought any…
…so instead I made a whole different set of cards for people who want kittens to be on heroin…
But then it turns out that no one bought any of those either. Conclusion: Heroin-kitten awareness is at an all time low, probably because we don’t have a sexy spokesperson attached. Someone contact Neil Patrick Harris.
Paraphrased email between me and a marketer. The sad thing is that this is only slightly paraphrased:
Them: We would like to buy a text ad on your blog.
me: Ok. It’s $75.
Them: We will write a guest post on your blog with 4 embedded links to our product. We will give you $15.
Them: We will give you $18.
Them: You will put 4 links to our product pages on your blogroll page. We will pay you $2 per 1,000 click-throughs that result in sales.
me: Wow. Does this usually work for you?
Them: You will write a review about our product. We will send you high quality photos of the product if you agree.
me: That sounds great but the electric company just stopped accepting high-quality photos as forms of currency. I will send you a high-quality photo of me saying no to you.
Them: We are not currently paying for marketing but your readers would appreciate learning about our product.
me: Nice try, Obi-Wan. Your Jedi mind-tricks won’t work on me.
Them: This is no trick. We can offer your readers a 10% coupon if they tweet about our product. Your readers will thank you.
me: You will send me $1,000 and I will send you a high-quality photo of me spending it.
Them: This would not benefit us at this time.
me: You will send me a dog as big as a pony and I will send you a high-quality photo of me riding it.
Them: We have many other bloggers interested in being in this exclusive program. If you are not interested in this program please let us know so that we can move on to our next choice.
me: You will send me a cloak of invisibility and I will send you high-quality photos of me being invisible in it.
Them: We are sorry that you are passing on this valuable opportunity to help your readers. We will keep you in mind for future products which meet your requirements.
me: You will send me four dead cats in a shoebox. I will send you high-quality photos of them as marionettes.
them: Thank you for your time. Your blog is not a good fit for us presently.
me: So you aren’t interested in placing your links on my blog?
them: Yes. Please notify us when the links are active.
me: You will send me a large Sasquatch. I will send you high-quality photos of me playing Chinese-Freeze-Tag with it.
So far I have received no response.
UPDATED: After eleventy million (eleventy million = five) of you insisted that I publish this on xtranormal I actually did it. FYI, I’m British in this video because they don’t have a Texan accent and this seems like the next best thing. Also, British people are unable to properly pronounce “sasquatch”. Apparently.
Comment of the day: Sort of reminds me when a telemarketer called to talk to me about some new phone service and I told him I didn’t actually own a phone. He went quiet for a minute and then I gently told him that because I didn’t own a phone, I couldn’t really be having this conversation right now. And then I hung up. ~ Allison
So this weekend I was in the liquor store buying produce and I noticed that on the top of the tequila isle there were these giant bottles of tequila shaped exactly like life-sized rifles.
And I was all “OMG, I MUST HAVE ONE” and Victor was like “Um…no. I’m not buying you a rifle full of tequila” and I was all “But it’s BAD-ASS. And the rim of the bottle is the end of the gun barrel so when I drink it straight from the bottle it’ll look like I’m putting a rifle in my mouth. It’s awesome for parties” and Victor was all “Okay, first of all? No. And secondly, you don’t even drink straight tequila” and I was like “Well, I wouldn’t actually drink it. I’d just walk around with it. I’d be like a symbolic art installation showing the dangers of putting booze in guns” and he was like “You want to buy a rifle-full of tequila that you’re not even going to use?” and then I was all “Well, now you’re just making me sound wasteful” and then the clerk came over and he was all “Honestly, no one ever actually buys the tequila rifles. They’re $150″ and I was like “YOU CAN JUST STAY OUT OF THIS, SIR” and then Victor was all “The fuck? We’re not paying $150 so you can not put a gun full of tequila in your mouth” and then I was all “Well, if you pay cash it’s only $125. So it’s like we’re saving money here”. And then Victor said that we probably shouldn’t even be shopping in the kind of liquor store that gives you a discount for paying cash and then I may have blamed him for the recession and then he was all “And this is why I don’t take you to liquor stores” and I was all “Don’t get all pissy with me just because you don’t understand how performance art works” and then I was like “You know what? Fine. Just pay for the produce” and the clerk just looked at me weird and Victor was all “It’s best to just to agree with her” and the guy nodded and I was all “DON’T HUMOR ME. Apple wine is made of apples. And tequila is made from cactus. So technically tequila is a vegetable. If you mix them together it’s like a grown-up V-8. THIS IS ALL BASIC SCIENCE” and they both just stared at me and no one bought me a tequila gun.
The whole day was like a goddam tragedy.
Hi. I’m about to overstep my boundaries. You might want to back away slowly because I don’t usually do this and I might get blood on you.
Okay, I’m pissed. Legitimately, ridiculously, slightly irrationally pissed.
A few minutes ago I got a pitch from a company who wanted me to write a review for their cereal on my blog. And they would pay me. In cereal. Two boxes of cereal, specifically. Except that the cereal wouldn’t actually go to me. It would be used as a giveaway. To promote their cereal. On my blog. Because as a blogger I’m so desperate for material that I will happily regurgitate any commercial bullshit that anyone puts in front of me. Apparently.
I’m really struggling with writing this because I fully believe that people should be able to write whatever they want but if you as a blogger are accepting a box of cereal as payment for helping to grow a commercial ad campaign then you are undervaluing us all. Companies have advertising budgets and some of those companies spend that money on bloggers. And those companies should be applauded for helping to grow our community and for giving bloggers the same respect that you would give to any other profession. Other companies give their advertising budgets to PR firms who are paid quite well to get bloggers and other outlets to advertise the product in exchange for cereal. I can almost guarantee you that none of the PR people who contact you are working for cereal. In fact, let’s explore that scenario…
Cereal company: Hi! We need a large, professional PR campaign so we’d like you to contact everyone on your mailing list with a pitch about our product, where you can buy it, and also convince them to write all about it on their personal blogs. For cereal. And we’ll pay you! In cereal.
PR Company: What the fuck..?
Cereal company: But you can’t eat the cereal. You have to give it away to someone else.
PR company: Right. Is this a joke?
Cereal company: No! It’s real! You get two boxes of cereal!
PR Company: Um…we don’t work for cereal. We all have mortgages. And…desk payments.
Cereal company: The cereal is worth FIVE DOLLARS!
PR company: Is there something wrong with you? Because we’d like to tell you to fuck off but we’re afraid to because we think you might be mentally unbalanced.
Cereal company: YOU CAN BUY THIS CEREAL AT SAFEWAY!!!
PR Company: Never contact us again.
Look, I’m not saying that there aren’t good PR companies out there or that if you review products you’re a bad blogger or that writing about a product that you honestly love is bad. It’s great, in fact. Write about what you love. Write about who you are. Write things that are worthy of you and of your audience. Because your voice is worth more than a goddamn box of cereal.
And don’t let anyone ever tell you any different.
UPDATED: To answer your questions, yes, this was a totally serious proposal. And no, it wasn’t even for Cap’n Crunch. It was for some obscure, made-from-applesauce, marshmallow-less crap WITH NO PRIZES IN IT.
I might have actually considered doing it for Cap’n Crunch. But not because I eat cereal. Because I support our Navy.
Comment of the day: I got one of these the other day. They want to send me two bags of candy which I would then in turn send to other people. Which just seems like a huge waste of postage. I am letting them send me the candy. And then I’m going to eat it. ~ Abi
First of all, thank you to everyone for being so supportive about Barnaby Jones. You made me cry (in a good way) and I needed to do that. It’s almost Sunday and I’m supposed to be writing my weekly wrap-up but I’m just not myself right now so I’m going to skip it until next week. Instead I’m going to paste the emails I exchanged with my sister today because she made me laugh out loud about something I thought I’d never be able to laugh about and I think we could all use a little bit of levity after the single most douche-canoe of a week ever. Also? Yes, I’m totally phoning it in here. Stop hassling me. I’m grieving, you asshole.
Emails from my sister:
Lisa: Barnaby Jones Pickles dies and I have to find out through facebook?!?! What has this world come to??
Me: It is kind of ridiculous that you found out that my dog is dead through facebook. If you’d been following me on twitter you’d have known days ago. You are a terrible sister.
Lisa: I think that the foxes in your neighborhood were really drug dealers and got him hooked on heroin and then they gave him some bad stuff. All so they can get closer to the house and rob you blind. I mean seriously, did you ever teach him “hugs not drugs”? I bet not. Better teach the cat how to bark. Now at least I won’t feel so bad when Granny kicks the bucket and I tell you over Facebook.
Me: Don’t be ridiculous. You know I never read your facebook updates.
Lisa: Next time instead of a dog, get a pet pig. That way when he overdoses you can have pork chops instead of having to dig a hole in the backyard. The hallucinations from all the heroin he shot up will just be like a bonus. WAIT A MINUTE! You actually buried him yourself and aren’t injured? No missing toes from a not-so-well aimed shovel? No rattlesnake bites? I’m not buying it. Barnaby Jones isn’t even dead, is he? This is all a ploy so you can convince Victor to get you a pig isn’t it? Well played. May I suggest the name ‘Dr. Reverse Kevorkian’, then he can “magically” bring BJP back from the grave. You can call him RV, because within a year he will be the size of a mobile home.
Me: I broke two nails pulling up rocks to make a deep enough grave but the ground is 95% rock and I guess I didn’t dig deep enough because THOSE FUCKING CRACK FOXES DUG HIM UP. Then I spent an hour crying and running around my yard with a machete trying to murder vultures. This is how I spent my Saturday. I called mom and dad to ask what to do and daddy said to dig him back up myself (um…no) and mom said to just let the vultures eat him like some kinda fucked-up circle-of-life Tibetan Air Burial. WTF? Mom is the worst Atheist ever.
Lisa: Now I can’t get The Lion King’s “Circle of Life” out of my head. Thanks for that. You have a freezer you know, just push the Toaster Pastries to the side and toss him in there. The next time Mom and Daddy come down they can take him home with them and Daddy can stuff him. I think he would look super cute in a tiny leather jacket, riding a motorcycle. Oh, or Zombie Barnaby Jones! So there’s my vote. Oh, and now, I totally need some Toaster Pastries.
Me: I just looked up “how to dispose of a corpse” on the internet so now I’m totally fucked if Victor turns up murdered. Hey, did you know that quicklime doesn’t actually destroy a body? Because I do. Now.
I’ve called 10 animal removal/cremation places and none of them work over the weekend. This is like when you can’t find a plumber on a Sunday, except worse because my dog is dead.
Lisa: Evidently you aren’t supposed to off your pet on the weekends. Did you try taking him down to Frank’s Bait and Tacos? I’m sure they would know what to do with him. I’m only 1/2 way joking here.
Me: Oh! And the cat knocked over Hailey’s frog tank and killed them all. So I’ve managed to kill 3 out of 5 pets in 24 hours. That’s like the worst record ever.
Lisa: So did the fish die because the cat knocked over the tank and ate them, or did they just reverse drown? They always say that deaths come in 3’s, so you should be good.
Me: I think they reverse drowned. The cat’s not hungry, just…sort of evil. I found one of the frogs my bathroom and it was desiccated but intact. God knows where the other one is. I’m sure the cat is probably saving it to put on Hailey’s pillow because this week just hasn’t been shitty enough.
PS. Now I’ll never eat toaster pasteries again. Awesome.
Lisa: More Toaster Pastries for meeeeeeeeeeee! Also, without the ‘Pickles’ at the end, his initials were BJ, and I just now figured that out.
me: This is all getting blogged.
Lisa: Cool. It’ll be kind of like an obituary, but with more frozen goodness. (For the record, I’m referring to the Toaster Pastries, not Barnaby Jones.)