In Which I Consider a Career as an Advice-Columnist

When I was in junior high we had to fill out these surveys for English class and then our teacher taped them to the back wall. I still don’t know why. But I noticed that my crush wrote that his favorite movie was Austin Powers.

That weekend my friend and I rented it because I wanted to be able to say that it was my favorite movie. I did not tell her that my crush wrote it as his favorite movie. She was a year younger and didn’t know about the surveys. It was my little secret. So we watched it at my house and guys I laughed SO HARD. Like, it hurt how hard I was laughing. Even my friend noticed. She said, “Wow, I’ve never heard you laugh so hard.” And I was like, “I know, right? This movie is so funny!”

Here’s a secret: I didn’t even think it was that funny. I was faking it. I just needed someone to observe me finding it hilarious so that when I went back to school and was like, “I loved Austin Powers. It was soooo good!” I’d have back up. Nobody would be able to say, “Have you even seen it? I bet you didn’t even laugh.”

I learned a lot of lessons from this experience. One, if you do the best fake laugh of all time be sure to follow your dreams straight to stardom. You are destined for the stage, screen, etc. Everything else will be a disappointment. Two, and this is most important, always pretend to like things that you don’t in order to attract a boy (or people in general).

The closest this boy and I ever got to having anything was when we were walking home from school one day (separately – he with his friends and I with mine) he turned and yelled “Hey, sugar nipples!” Another lesson here. If a boy shouts something immature that makes you mildly uncomfortable you should definitely hold on to that crush for at least two years and assume that every time he asks you for gum, which is often, this type of boy never, ever carries his own gum, he is REALLY asking you on a date. You are dating. You and this boy are a couple.


Paranoia, Paranoia, Everybody’s Coming to Get Me

I think a certain amount of paranoia in life is healthy. I do not have a healthy amount of paranoia. Once I went on a date and had been on a couple dates with this guy and on this particular date I was driving. He bent down in the passenger seat, probably to adjust a sock, tie his shoe, whatever, but I spent approximately a week certain that he’d implanted a listening device in my car and whenever I got really into singing along with Taylor Swift I’d get so nervous and embarrassed. Also I talk to myself a lot in the car and had been talking through how to end it with him and was like, “what if he’s listening to me practice breaking up with him?” Sometimes I’d just turn up the radio really loud to drown out the sound of my voice. You might think I’m being funny, but this is legit. This is so embarrassing and ridiculous that there is no possible way I could have made this up.

We only had one date after that and I’m still not convinced there was no listening device. Fortunately that car was totaled so this new car is fresh and free of bugs! Well, not all bugs. I recently saw an albino spider casually walking across my dashboard before climbing into the vents and I’d like to report that I was ridiculously more calm about that than I was about the thought of a bug that spies on you, unless that spider is a military-grade specially-bred mutant spider there to steal all of my secrets, in which case I hope it is venomous because I think I need to die. I work out so many serious personal issues alone in my car, going all the way back to stuff that happened in grade school and also all of the imaginary scenarios that are certain to one day not be imaginary that I have to rehearse for in advance. This spider has so much shit on me.

Things I’ve Heard That I Love


      Podcasts. I’m, like, so incredibly horrifically late to this game due to not knowing when to listen to them. Like, do you sit and do nothing and just listen to people talk at you, like in the old days when kids sat around their radios? (A thing I know from television, not because I am so very old.) Who has time for that? (Actually, I have A LOT of time for that if we’re being totally honest.)
     But I finally figured it out and so I downloaded a bunch. The New Yorker Fiction podcast! TED Talks! This American Life! Comedy Bang! Bang!
     I thought it would be a great opportunity to listen to smart people make me smarter but as it turns out I just like to laugh. So the only one left is Comedy Bang! Bang!, which I listen to on my way to work and my way home from work and sometimes while I’m walking to the mall on my lunch break and then when I had to drive 6 hours to the farm this weekend I listened to it the whole time, both ways, and I’m SORT of obsessed in a way that almost verges on embarrassing.
     Here’s the thing. I love funny people more than I love anybody else. If you’re not funny I have absolutely zero time for you. (Just kidding! That’s a joke! See, this is why I love funny people, because my own jokes are terrible.) So listening to people continually make me laugh is my favorite. Who needs to be intelligent when you can just laugh about everything? The world needs more laughter. I think people lately just LIKE being angry. They want to yell about something and rail about things they can’t control. And, obviously, there are some things that NEED to be yelled about, that need to railed against. But when you scroll through Twitter or blogs and all you see all the time are people being angry, who seem to just be looking for a reason to be mad, it’s tiresome. So I stick with funny. Because you need a break from everything terrible going on in the world. And maybe it seems like I’m turning a blind eye, but there are things I care about, things that make me mad and break my heart, but shouting into a void doesn’t do me any good. Maybe it works for you, so go be angry, take down the patriarchy, etc, etc. But just let me enjoy things, you know?
     The point is, I love funny people and funny things and so I’m super into funny podcasts and if you are too then you should listen to Comedy Bang! Bang! (and also watch the show on IFC unless, like me, you cannot, then catch up when they finally release it on Netflix) because it’s one of the few shows these days that actually makes me laugh out loud. (The other being “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, obvs. And also Mad Men. Ha! No. Just kidding. That show makes me want to drink myself to death. Look at me make jokes! Then go find something ACTUALLY funny.)
     Anyone know other funny podcasts? Is the answer just “basically anything from Earwolf?”