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Saturday, May 7, 2011

So Zany It'll Make Your Asshole Hurt For Days

We've all got our little pet peeves now, haven't we?

Some folks carry that no-bread-with-the-crusts-on thing well into adulthood, when it just isn't cute anymore, Goddamnit. And it is hardly prudent, either, for that matter. Just ask anybody over thirty who's tried to eat an Uncrustables in the break room in front of colleagues.

You will surely not be surprised to learn that I have lots of pet peeves.

Some of them are too annoying to mention in this blog, for fear, mostly, that it'll totally turn you off. Some of them are actually too annoying to even remember so, if I wanted to include some or all of them in this blog, I wouldn't be able to. Not completely, at any rate. They're just too damned annoying and, really, there's just too damned many of them. A lot of shit gets on my wick, don't you know, which makes for a rather challenging existence. Not to mention a, frankly, malodorous little wick.

To spare you unending agony (and, let's be honest, to avoid another emotionally-charged un-following) we're only going to chat about one of my pet peeves today. If you're interested in learning what some of the other ones are, drop me a line.

Trust me-- the cornucopia's full up.

Pet Peeve for Today: Zany

"Zany" might just be one of the worst word in the English language. For me, it ranks up there on the Shit List with awful, nasty, buggery little words like "zoster," "elephantitis," "torsion," and "oprah."

The word "zany," along with words like "crazy" and "hot" and "whatever" is a word that has been so train-fucked by common usage and misappropriation that it no longer carries with it any meaning whatsoever. I have no research to back this up (which is true of most things that I say and write-- caveat emptor) but I'm willing to bet that, if research were done on this topic, said research would be likely to prove that the word "zany" can most commonly be found in the paragraph or two of text used on the back of VHS, Laserdiscs, DVD, and Bluray cases describing comedies for the general public.

Not that the general public actually reads the backs of movie cases, but we persist in some traditions without actually thinking about why we do it. Look at the missionary position, for example.

I try my best to not purchase, rent, or view a movie that features the word "zany" in either the synopsis on the back, or any hand-plucked review quotes from "The Washington Post" or some schmendrick working at an ABC affiliate in Atlanta. If some idiot thinks this film is "zany" then, chances are good that I'd rather stick a funnel into my left ear and pour a pot of freshly brewed coffee inside it than watch said "zany" movie.

I might have liked "zany" movies back in... I don't know... 1991. Ironically, that's when "Drop Dead Fred" came out, which I recall enjoying very much when I was eleven. The scene where Phoebe Cates is in the restaurant on a date and the invisible (to the guy) Fred is making Phoebe Cates do Dr. Strangelove-like motions with her hands and then makes her fling a plate of pasta across the room is classic. Well, it was classic. And, probably, zany.


Aw, hell-- I just watched the clip on YouTube. And it's. still. both.

Anyway, I looked up the definition of "zany" and "zaniness" and it just never quite seems to fit the media it supposedly defines.

"Ludicrously or whimsically comical; clownish."

I mean-- does that sound like Monty Python's Flying Circus to you? I don't know-- maybe at times, and I've heard the boys described as "zany" but it just is a word that feels so irrevocably... cheap. And insipid.

One of my favorite films-- maybe my favorite film is called "Funny Bones." It's a little movie that most people have probably never heard of (that makes me sound like a zany fucking little snob-bitch, but I think it's true) that was filmed in Blackpool. A long time ago, a friend of mine showed me the film, and I fell in love. Only after viewing it did he show me the box for the VHS tape. And I saw that word "zany." It wasn't zany at all. It was funny, yes, desperately and painfully so, and that's part of the film's message-- about how dark and twisted and, frankly, sad comedy can be-- but it wasn't at all zany. Even though there were clowns. And pratfalls. And sightgags.

It was... I don't know. Beautiful.

You can call me a lot of things. Just don't call me zany.

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