Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hunchbacks + God = Hilarity

Inspiration.

There’s a word that conjures up images, especially for writers. Inspiration is that magical experience when your ‘muse’ drops a tactical nuke on your brain, and you find yourself staring at a new, amazing idea (that is, until you slowly pick it apart and notice all the holes in it).

Inspiration doesn’t just apply to the creative process either. Hearing a success story can inspire you to work harder for your dream job. You can be inspired to do a nice thing for someone.

However, as Paulius Law #42 States : No matter how pure, good and noble an idea is, there is always someone who will drop trou, squat and give birth to a basketball sized, chocolate mud baby on top of it.

Speaking of basketball sized chocolate mud babies, that’s what lead me to today’s post. I was stuck in the middle of a ‘really have to go, but have no reading material conundrum’. So I picked up the closest magazine, and headed to the bathroom (Now there’s a mental picture for you).
It was only after the festivities commenced that I realized I’d made a critical error. I’d picked up one of Sunny’s ‘Women’s World’ magazines.

Now, I’ve nothing against women’s magazines, some of them can be quite funny (especially the problem pages…I once read a letter from a 40 year old woman who asked, in all seriousness, if masturbation can make you pregnant).

However, Women’s World is not that type of magazine. Sunny buys it just for the recipes (in the same way men buy Playboy just for the articles).

It consists mostly of pictures of babies, recipes, ‘inspirational’ stories, and (shudder) excerpts from ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’.

The inspirational quotes are my favourite. They remind me of when young children start to learn about humor. They learn the format of a joke, IE ‘what did the X say to the Y? Z!’, but don’t understand it actually has to make sense and have a meaning. Leading to ‘What did the elephant say to the kangaroo? Water!”

In that particular edition of ’Woman’s World’ the ‘You deserve a little lift!’ inspirational quote was:

“Give someone the gift of you! What greater gift could there be?”

…err, new car? 80 inch plasma?

Can you imagine the author of that little gem’s house on Christmas morning?

“Here you go, Sweetie! Here’s that 24 carat diamond in the platinum setting you wanted! Where’s my present?”

(Throws arms out wide) : “I’m giving you the GIFT of MEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeee!”
“No, seriously, where’s my present?”

Bet that would be a fun Christmas day. Spending all day at the emergency room waiting to have a 12lb turkey removed from her colon, while her husband points, laughs and mutters “I’ll give you the gift of me, you narcissistic bitch”.

‘Ride a rainbow of your dreams all the way to the stars!’ (The exclamation point shows how important it is).

Here’s an idea, ride the bus of your failing career all the way to a writing class. Learn that things actually have to have some semblance of meaning…you word-raping, language defiling Viking Raider of the literary world.

However, no matter how bad these quotes are, they will never come close to the sheer manipulative, cheap shot, literary vomit that is ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’.

For those that have never heard of these books, let me explain. They’re meant to be sad, bitter sweet or inspirational stories that are meant to teach us to be proud of what we have, and inspire ‘There but for the grace of God, go I’ feeling in all of us.

Basically, they follow a formula. Couple meet, one dies. Couple get married, one is struck by a terrible disease. Homeless girl gets fostered by a loving family, foster parents die.

You see, this is another misunderstanding on the format of the ‘tear jerker‘ genre. Tearjerkers are supposed to be an actual interesting story, that is written very well to the point that you become emotionally invested in the characters. Then, when something bad happens, you feel you know the character and get upset for them.

A good tear jerker is an excellently written essay on the human condition. ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ is the equivalent of someone saying: “Imagine a dead puppy! Isn’t that sad? Oh, and it was a little starving orphan girl’s only friend!”

In other words, they don’t bother writing a story. They just think of incredibly sad things and write them down. Rather than inducing emotional investments from their readers, they just try to be as cheap and manipulative as possible.

Here’s a true example of what a ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ ‘inspirational’ story actually is. I swear I’m not making this up. Here it is in synopsis form:

A man with a hunchback (no shit) falls in love with a beautiful woman. He asks her out. She, being evil and shallow (like all good-looking women are in Chicken Soup) turns him down. He continues asking her, she continues turning him down. Finally, she asks him for one good reason why she should give him a chance…

Hold it there.

What could this reason be? “I’m a good person?”, “I love you, and will never leave you?”, “Please look past my deformity, an you will see that I’m a worthwhile person?” These would be a sickly sweet ending, but at least half way respectable.

No, what the hunchback actually said was:

“Before I was born, I was talking to God. He pointed you out and told me that when I was born on Earth, you would be my wife. But he told me that you would be afflicted by a terrible deformity that would give you a hunchback.

‘No, Lord!’ I said. ‘For it would be wrong to let such a beautiful creature suffer such a deformity. Instead, give it to me, and I will carry it for her”

Of course, the woman swoons, is swept of her feet, and they get married and live happily ever after™

Anyone spot what’s wrong with this picture?

First of all, I pretty certain no one can remember being in heaven with God before they're born, which means the hunchback is lying through his teeth.

This story should be titled “How to Pick Up Hot Women with Pick-Up Lines…Even if You’re
Deformed… Guaranteed!”

That’s not the end. Think of what he’s actually saying:

“Look, this hunch should have been yours. I took it from you. You owe me, bitch! If it wasn’t for you, I’d be good looking and wouldn’t have to spew made up, sickly-sweet pick-up lines to get a hot girl to talk to me. How would you like a hunch, huh? Huh?”

The other title to this story could be: “How to Pick Up Hot Chicks through Emotional Blackmail."
Also, think of this. Even if his story was true, and he did speak to God, here’s the deal. What he’s saying is:

“I’d rather be deformed and be married to a hottie, than be good looking and married to a hunchback.”

Who wouldn’t? Who cares what they look like, if they’re guaranteed a hottie no matter what?
To further illuminate the situation, here’s the Hunchback’s conversation with God. The Complete and Unabridged Version:

(It’s Monday morning in Heaven. The ‘Earth Orientation For New Souls’ Seminar has just ended. Our potential hunchback is talking with God while waiting to be conceived. Just making conversation, God points out Mr. Hunchback’s wife, He also accidentally lets slip about her potential Hunch. Mr Hunchback thinks for a minute before speaking):

“Errr, God? Here’s the thing. No matter what, that girl there is going to be my wife, right? I have no choice?”

“NONE, MY SON. FOR IT IS WHAT I HAVE ARRANGED FOR YOU.” (God always speaks in Caps).

“So, what you’re saying is, despite the fact that I am, in fact, pure, unadulterated beefcake, no matter what, I’m going to end up married to a drooling, Quasimodo lookalike?”

“YES, THIS IS SO.”

“Any chance of some action with a Playboy bunny before our wedding? I mean, I’ll be able to ‘play the field’ and score with some hotties at college, won‘t I? Go on, give me a few years of hot, hottie-filled fornication before my wedding, and you’ve got a deal.”

“I AM SORRY, MY SON, THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE. YOU SEE, WHAT I SAY GOES, AND I SAY NO… YOU KNOW, OMNIPOTENT, OMNIPRESENT UNFATHOMABLE BY THE MIND OF MAN WISDOM AND ALL THAT. I’M CRAZY, MAN, YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT SHIT I’LL GET UP TO NEXT…BUT IT’S ALL PART OF MY PLAN, I ASSURE YOU. ONE OF YOU HAS TO DO A CAMEL IMPRESSION FOR YOU ENTIRE LIFE.”

“Errr, God? Did you just say ‘one of us’ has to have a hump?”

“YES, MY SON. VERY OBSERVANT OF YOU. I GAVE YOU THAT SKILL… DAMN, I’M GOOD.”

“So, let me get this straight. I can be a prime example of Man-beefcake, and only ever get any from a circus freak…or I can be a circus freak, and end up with with an absolute stunner?”

“UHH, YES, I SUPPOSE. BUT THAT WOULDN’T BE VERY NICE OF YOU, AND YOU‘RE MEANT TO BE A PURE AND LUMINOUS BEING, YOU SEE?”

“Ahh-HA! But you created me, right?”

“OF COURSE.”

“And you, what with being God and all, control everything, and everything that happens is your will, and part of your master plan, good or bad?”

“I DON’T LIKE WHERE YOU’RE GOING WITH THIS.”

“So, if I choose to take the hump, and marry the hottie, it’s actually all your doing, nothing to do with me, meaning it’s perfectly ok, and does not jeopardise my return ticket here in any way?”

“GOD DAMN IT!…I MEAN, ‘I’ DAMN IT. I HATE IT WHEN YOU MORTALS POINT OUT THE INCONSISTENCIES AND CONTRADICTIONS IN MY INFAILABLE LOGIC! YES, I SUPPOSE YOU’RE RIGHT…YOU CAN TAKE THE HUMP…YOU ANNOYING LITTLE COCKROACH.”

“Now, now God…Universal love, remember?”

“SIGH. OK, MY SON ANNOYING LITTLE BASTARD. YOU’RE RIGHT.”

“One hump, please!”

(FLASH!)

“THERE YOU GO. GET OUT OF MY SIGHT. SEE YOU IN 74.23 YEARS.”

“Thanks, God, you’re one cool Deity!”

(Hunchback vanishes in a puff of smoke as a college student on earth rolls off the head cheerleader, not realizing his condom has split. As an aside, Mr. Hunchback grows up without a father, as the cheerleader‘s father is an ex-commando with anger management issues.)

“PETER? WHERE ARE YOU?”

“I’m here, my Lord.”

“GET LEGAL ON THE PHONE. SEE IF WE CAN WORK OUT A WAY TO SEND THAT LITTLE SHIT TO HELL, SATAN OWES ME A FAVOUR, BUT WE HAVE TO WORK IT SO THAT THERE’S NO POSSIBLE WAY I JUST LIED. I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE CAPABLE OF THAT, YOU KNOW.”

“At once, Oh Almighty! I‘ll get right on it.”

“OH, AND PETER?”

“Yes, lord?”

“BRING HIS WIFE BACK TO THE SHOP. I NEED TO MAKE SOME…ADJUSTMENTS.”

“We’ll have to be quick, Oh Lord, the frat party is in full swing, and her father has just rounded third base. Oh, and may I ask why, Oh Lord?”

“BECAUSE I’M GOING TO GIVE HER THE MOST ANNOYING PERSONALITY IN THE WORLD, A LAUGH LIKE JANICE FROM ‘FRIENDS’, AND A SEVERE AND PERMANENT CASE OF GENITAL WARTS. THAT‘LL TEACH THE COCKY LITTLE TURD.”

Peter grins.

“Might I also suggest we install ‘Retch inducing farts #23’, Oh Lord?”

“WHICH ONE IS THAT? REMIND ME.”

“The one Satan invented before he fell, Master. Permanent, frequent and capable if making the paint peel off the walls. Iraqi insurgents are currently researching how to bottle it and use it as a chemical weapon. I think it’s scheduled to become a war-crime in 2306, Lord.”

“EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT…ERR, ARE YOU SURE YOU’RE AN ANGEL PETER?”

“You should know, Lord, You created me.”

“OF COURSE I KNOW!…ANYWAY… THAT’LL TEACH HIM! ‘RETCH INDUCING FARTS #23!’, EH? NOW WE’RE COOKING WITH GAS!”

“Ha, ha! Very droll, Almighty Master.”

“WHAT?”

“Cooking with gas? Farts? You just made a funny, Oh Omnipotent Master of the Heavens.”

“HUH?…OH YEAH, I SUPPOSE I DID…. I MEANT TO DO THAT… I WAS JUST TESTING YOU TO SEE IF THE SENSE OF HUMOUR I GAVE YOU IS STILL WORKING.”

“Of course, Oh Lord.”

“OH, AND PETER?”

“Yes, Oh Lord?”

“DON’T FORGET TO UNINSTALL HER SEX DRIVE.”

“At once, Lord.”

Chicken Soup for the Soul? You can kiss my ass.


(Note. The opinions on people with deformities are that of the hunchback alone. The creators and contributors to this blog (namely me), does not condone, glorify or share these opinions. In other words, don’t email or comment to call me prejudiced, a bigot or anything else. I’m not. The hunchback is a bigoted character, that’s all. If you really want to write hate mail, send it to our good friends at ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’.)

6 comments:

Miz S said...

Okay- I must be one stupid woman because I would rather have the gift of one uninterupted day with you than a freaking diamond ring- and especially more than a damn 80 inch plasma TV.

THINGS don't make me happier- only maybe a bit more comfortable- being with the people I love DOES.

EdnaGarrett said...

You fucking rock, dude.
I have always thought "Chicken Soup for the Soul" was worse than a swift kick in the crotch.

Paulius said...

What can I say but, thanks?

Paulius said...

Oh, and sweetie? I wasn't talking about giving someone a gift of a whole day, planned activity or not.

All I'm saying is the next time one of your friends hands over an expensive gift, and you tell them that their gift is that fact that you showed up, and that you see giving them your company for an hour or so is a 'gift'...see how popular you get.

Imagine doing that with secret santa at work!

Lois said...

Ahem ... I'd be the gracious recipient of an hour of Sunny as her gift to me and feel blessed for it, Paulius (who is treading on thin ice here).

All for now. After "a basketball sized, chocolate mud baby," I need a shower.

OzzyC said...

and you said you weren't funny.