“A wretched soul, bruised with adversity,
We bid be quiet when we hear it cry;
But were we burdened with like weight of pain,
As much or more we should ourselves complain.”
- William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors. Act ii. Sc. 1.
One man’s pretzel is another man’s blasphemy. The pretzel pictured here is formed into the word “infidel” in Arabic. The Sub-Sub Baker, who invented this unique combination of food and political statement, calls it The Infidetzel™. It doesn’t smell like anthrax, but rather is as delicious as a regular giant pretzel. In fact, I’m told a batch of freshly-baked Infidetzels exude a pungent fragrance of self-righteous indignation, guaranteed to cure all customers’ righteous indigestion.
Here are the top ten things that annoy me in other peoples’ blogs:
1 Starting overwrought memes about posting, say, your past two grocery lists, your garden journal entry from this day last year, or your descriptions of the best police chase video you’ve ever seen.
2 Stories about boring stuff you did yesterday. (We all had a day yesterday, perhaps just as boring as yours thanks for sharing.)
3 Overuse of a thesaurus, use of exotic and obscure crossword words when simpler words would do, e.g. using the word “meme” when you mean “blogging somebody else’s thought instead of thinking up your own, you lazy bastard”.
4 Unsuccessful attempts to try to make pathetically drab lives interesting that fail even to entertain the smug, let alone rise above the loafers of the listener longing for profound thoughts.
5 Things your mother/father/favorite teacher etc. once solemnly pronounced, and now you totally realize they were SO right. Like, awesome.
6 Pos(t)ing as thoughtful, introspective, wise beyond your years, yet thirsting for blog comments and reassurance from perfect strangers. (Note to self: don’t appear so needy. Nobody likes a complainer, you poor undiscovered artist/struggling writer you.)
7 Describing a visit to/from Dear Old Mom; a cute example of Precocious Toddler grammar; the thing your new kitty did to the ball of yarn - all particularly when accompanied by artless pictures.
8 Explaining how, despite the fact that your hyper-life is bouncing from one hectic crisis to another, you retain a mellow sense of humor and more poise, frankly, than any one person should be allotted in life, you sanctimonious ass. We had a meeting, we sent a memo: self-deprecating head shaking passing for wisdom: it’s no longer cool. Neither is your verbal desperation tarted-up as postmodern angst fooling anybody. Stop embarrassing yourself.
9. Adversity overcome, and illustrated by dumb crap e.g. surviving an acrimonious divorce, the lingering death of a loved one; that horrible haircut at Supercuts; the barely escaped death during a cell phone moment. Remember: at our age, that which does not kill us usually makes us dumber.
10 Lectures on topics I could Google or Wikipede if I wanted, such as iambic pentameter or plant names and epithets, or what the pretty yellow flowers are called. The exercise of initiative is not exclusive to you.
Here are the top ten things I enjoy in other peoples’ blogs:
1 Simple pleasures, articulately described, small beauty beautifully illustrated.
2 Exercises of lively imagination insightfully shared.
3 Life lessons humbly related with a modest sense of irony. Easy on the passive aggression.
4 Descriptions of life in gardens – successes, failures, disasters caused and averted, but make it interesting, dammit! More than: we laughed, we cried, we returned home drunk.
5 Things your mother/father/favorite teacher once solemnly pronounced and you now realize they were SO totally damn wrong.
6 Well-written and exquisitely constructed prose that illustrates an original thought with a drop of daffiness. I also appreciate redundancy (provided its not repetitious) and the creative use of profanity, but that’s a whole ‘nother (sic) story.
7 Adversity, overcome but illustrated by clever metaphors. E.g.: offenses your bridesmaids committed unwittingly at your first wedding, and the scars they left; or, say, why living with your MIL is no longer charming.
8 Lies, dressed up as truth so well that even their own Mother wouldn’t recognize them.
9 Connections magically made between concepts that I thought weren’t related until you connected them. Really? Hummingbirds, Swedish meatballs AND grave robbers?
10 Humor so irreverent it may, at times, seem to stumble across the border into a briar patch of vulgarity - like your old Uncle Andy on St. Patrick’s Day when he started talking about his drunken Pop - but only if you don’t have a grown-up sense of humor, you twit.
BTW, so sorry. Were you offended by the infidel pretzel, aka The Infidetzel™? Then to you I say – Your mama is so fatwa. (How fatwa is she?) When she jihads around the house, she jihads AROUND the fricking House, boy. Were you offended by my list of unpardonable blogging sins, or my list of mad blogging practices that will confer everlasting grace on your blaspheming blog? To you I say, don’t be vain: many are called, but few are chosen.