9.16.2010

Life imitates art.

Oh, fuck you, “the cosmos.” To postpone sitting down and writing a post, I was watching a Netflix of a show I’d never seen before, called Spaced. Turns out it’s about two lazy, eccentric 25-year-olds who aspire to be writers but spend most of the time lying around the house reading comic books and having meandering, silly conversations. This embarrassed me enough that I started writing.

A few opening remarks first. Thank you for everyone who wrote or commented offering support for my recent costochondritis flare-up. I’m pleased to report that I’m feeling much better, and planning to add a costochondritis awareness T-shirt to the 2 birds 1 blog shop. It reads “Hug a person with costochondritis (gently.)” I chose this over the more Oprahlike “I have costochondritis, but costochondritis does not have me!”

SORR about the Rosh Hashanah post. I had just gotten some very bad news and was NOT in a funny mood. In my defense, Meg was supposed to write “an introduction” and “her own list of Jew Year’s Resolutions” but posted only my threadbare little list as part of her master plan. (I don’t know what the ultimate goal of the plan is, but it is masterful.) I promise something hilarious for Yom Kippur.*

The general consensus about the vagina dye is that it’s the funniest thing we’ve ever done and I think I agree. If off-label uses of obscure female grooming products are the way to our public’s heart, we’ll take it. If you hear of any other grooming products or activities you want someone else to try for you, drop us a line. (We know about anal bleaching and it’s too expensive for right now, but if we get a sponsor I think I can safely say Meg and I will turn any part of our bodies any color.) We’ve already got another 2Birds Investigates planned and several more taking shape, so stay tuned for further installments in what will undoubtedly come to be called “The Burning Orifice Chronicles.”

Speaking of sponsors and 25-year-old aspiring writers, Meg and I need money. In a happier, sepia-toned, Norman Rockwell America, we could get jobs, but

LOL!!!1

I’ve gotten RULL cynical about the whole “ever having a job” thing. Let’s go over my work history, shall we?

Two winters ago, I got fired from my job SAT tutoring Korean immigrants. Their practice SAT scores were exactly what you’d think: math 800, verbal 17. I got fired for not showing up to work on I day I was scheduled, which happened because I thought I had been fired two weeks earlier. (The boss’s English was substantially worse than the kids’.) So, after this, I applied for a job running the catering operations for an Arab restaurant in grocery store in Austin. They hired me, saying, “Well, it’s not completely set up yet, so you may have to help in the store a little while we get everything finished.” This was Arabic for “You can wash dishes for minimum wage under the table.” I literally walked in expecting to have an office and got handed a paper cap and an acrylic apron. I had this conversation with the other dishwasher:

“How old are you?”

“23.”

“Are you… going to college, or something?”

“Been.”

“Oh, did you drop out because you did too much drugs?”

“Nope. Graduated.”

“Oh. Do you have some kind of… thing… that keeps you from having a real job?”

“Apparently.”

The store was owned by some guy who had hired two RULL recent Palestinian immigrants to run it. They were twins, which I didn’t realize for about two weeks because they didn’t speak enough English (or, in fairness, me enough Arabic) for us to have a detailed enough conversation for this to become clear. I thought it was just one guy who was always there and changed his shirt a lot, but then one day I saw them together and it blew my mind. You could tell them apart because Rajah wore T-shirts and was grouchy, and Raeed wore sweaters and was cheerful. They lived in a huge house in Round Rock WITH THEIR WIVES – wouldn’t you love to have been to that neighborhood block party?

My next job after this was grading standardized high-school exit exams modified for the developmentally disabled. Our supervisor had a severe facial tic:

“Now, remember, these kids aren’t TWITCH graded on the same scale as the others. The passing grade varies depending TWITCH on their personal case, so it’s important that we TWITCH grade them as accurately as we can so their teachers get useful feedback, TWITCH.”

You know how to not NOT want to kill yourself? Miss the first day of a new job to go a funeral, then spend six weeks reading essays written by people with crippling disabilities, then be unemployed again. I basically went to graduate school because it was just barely less effort than drowning myself in the toilet. (It was a low-flow, so…) I’ve also written “yo momma” jokes for the Israeli subsidiary of MTV, written ad copy for a jewelry company in Quebec, and was the legal secretary for the New Zealand Food Safety Administration for six months. My resume not only looks like a lie, but a really unconvincing lie:

“It says here you were the legal secretary for the New Zealand Food Safety Authority? How did you get that job?”

“Oh, well, I worked in the mailroom for a month and then the existing legal secretary quit, so they moved me up there.”

“They had a foreign mailroom worker as the legal secretary for a government ministry?”

“It’s a trusting little country.”

Now that my job-market-postponing degree program is more than half over, I have these options:

1. Go to more school

2. Use my experience working for Koreans, Arabs, Israelis, New Zealanders, and Quebecois to try to find a job in this country (looking back, Meg is one of very few Americans to ever hire me)

3. Try to help Meg get a sponsor for this blog, then continue riding her coattails and feeding off scraps from her table for the rest of my life

So, to any tycoons who might be reading: save me from a productive, independent life. Throw money at Meg so that after she buys her genital dye and Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay, she can keep me supplied with… well, genital dye and Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay. We’re delightful little people. Don’t let us starve.

*I promised no more lists but I didn’t say anything about tangents. Back when I was part of the Jewish-Israeli blogosphere despite being neither, my then-co-blogger found a Jewish “humor” site that used the word “jewlarious,” in all seriousness. The jokes were BAD, along these lines:

“Why did the chicken cross the road?”

“TO GET CHULENT ON SHABBOS, OY GEVALT”

and the timeless knock-knock joke that ends “Orange you glad I didn’t say rugelach?” We made fun of it so much that now I think of all not-funny jokes as being JEWLARIOUS but I can never say it aloud because it’s offensive even by my standards. Jews and the English probably have the same problem where they as a group have a reputation for being funny, and so many of them are, that they all feel compelled to be funny even when they’re not. Hence JEWLARITY.

17 comments:

Anna said...

A+ to KJ Chardonnay. It's the only thing my mother drinks, so when I finally got to go buy it for myself, I totally sadfaced at the price tag. Charles Shaw ain't the same.

Also lists are easy to read and I heartily approve of them:)

Alexa said...

In a strange coincidence, I found this JEWLARIOUS article about off-color children's toys:

http://consumerist.com/2010/09/why-is-there-a-dollar-sign-in-this-jewly-bandz-pack.html

So TC, maybe you can answer the question about why a dollar sign is included in this group of Jewish iconographs? Oy!

kerry a. said...

i can't even think of anything clever or quippy to say. i just loved everything about this post.

Anonymous said...

@Alexa - the dollar sign is to represent gelt, which is given to the golden at Chanukah.

@TC - I thought I was the only one who made Jew Year's resolutions! Yay us. You can be an honorary Jew. Own it. :) Are you posting your Yom Kippur post tomorrow? Please say yes. Remembering the jokes will keep me distracted during the fast :)

Anonymous said...

Edit: given to the children. Damn typing on my phone!

Meredith said...

"It's a trusting little country."

HAHAHAHAHAHA! Awesome.

two0ten said...

Have you or Meg seen this video?

I just felt like I needed to share. I could watch this over and over.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWO7PXhCZ94&feature=player_embedded

Nicki said...

Raeed and Rajah sound like the Palestinian version of Bert & Ernie.

Anonymous said...

haha, Nicki.

Sara P. said...

SPACED is actually pretty amazing once you get into it! It's only one season but it's a fav of mine. Simon Pegg is genius.

KT said...

I can't wait to rep that t-shirt!! I have that too :( Please please please let it be on a t-shirt color OTHER than white though if possible.

Curry said...

You guys should host a telathon one day where you have your readers call in and pledge donations. You could stream the conversations on the internet. That would be so fun! I'd totally support the unemployment cause but I just don't know where to send my check.

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