By staff writer E.E. Southerby
July 11, 2004
“Now 33% More Self-Referential”
Now Playing: “Goodnight Moon” by Shivaree
Week after week, Text-Heavy is here for your entertainment pleasure. How do I manage to write a different article every Sunday, while still maintaining the level of mediocre quality to which you've become accustomed? The answer is formulaic. Every edition of Text-Heavy contains numerous similarities and recurring thematic elements, which I've gone to the trouble of outlining for you so you can write your own Text-Heavy newsletters to share with your friends. Heck, if you follow these guidelines your newsletters will almost certainly end up being funnier than mine. Then you won't need me at all and I'll spiral into a deep depression that will ultimately lead to suicide. Enjoy! Here's what happened:
-The title is the most important part of any Text-Heavy issue. It is the backbone which supports the flesh and various vital organs that make up the rest of the newsletter, at least until those organs are harvested and sold on the black market alongside deadly firearms and bow-legged child labourers. The goal of the column's title is to “draw the reader in” and “make you want to read further,” often through a humorous pun or play on words. Future newsletter titles include: “Things I Hate About Immigrants,” “You Might Be A Dark Jedi If…” and “48-Page Dragonball Z Fan Fiction Extravaganza.”
-Why do I number each volume of Text-Heavy, even long after the idea of numbering a weekly newsletter wore out its welcome (week 2)? Probably the same reason they still number Archie comics (although I'm pretty sure they've moved to scientific notation by now): To compensate for having an unbelievably small penis. And why do I always put myself down for the sake of a joke? Same reason.
-Every good column has a slogan, and Text-Heavy has them in spades. Of course, by spades I mean “one per issue.” The idea for the perpetually-changing newsletter slogan came when I was designing the original Text-Heavy website back in September 2002, when I could code HTML about as well as I could perform neurosurgery. Since then, my neurosurgery skills have improved ever so slightly and now if given the choice between designing a website or performing a lobotomy on a homeless person, I would probably go with the website but it would definitely be close. Someone suggested I include some catchy slogans on the site I was designing, to draw attention away from the spinning skull animated GIFs and MIDI soundtrack. I said “ok” and then went back to snorting lines of cocaine off the chests of Cambodian prostitutes. Since then, the slogan has become a staple of every Text-Heavy issue, and some have even said they can tell how good a column's going to be based on the quality of the slogan. This has made the slogan the most important part of any Text-Heavy issue. Check this week's again if you don't believe me.
-The “Now Playing” section of Text-Heavy is definitely a controversial addition to the newsletter, but is nonetheless, in my opinion, the most important part of any issue. The idea stemmed from my egotistical desire to tell all my friends (who were the only recipients of this newsletter at its inception) what song I was listening to at that very moment. I figured if someone sent ME an email telling me what song THEY were listening to, I would read on with keen interest and purchase/download the album containing that song post-haste. In a way, the “Now Playing” section is something of a service to the Internet community. I generally try to include songs by artists nobody's ever heard of, so as to come off as a pretentious, “high-art” sort of person who appreciates music more than you ever could unless you died and were reincarnated as me. If I listed the song I was ACTUALLY listening to as I wrote each issue then “Toxic” would have been on there at least 17 times and you'd have heard three different songs by Hilary Duff. Fuck you they're catchy.
-Although Text-Heavy has gone through many changes since it's inception, the introductory paragraph has remained throughout the year(s). The introductory paragraph differs from every other paragraph in three (3) ways: First, it is not preceded by a hyphen for some reason. Second, it makes an attempt to prepare you for the 10-15 minutes of your life you're about to waste reading the rest of the newsletter. And third, it ends with the words “Here's What Happened,” even if the contents of that particular column do not involve anything technically having happened. I suppose a fourth difference would be that the introductory paragraph remains, historically, the most important part of the article.
-Off-Topic Corner-Palooza: I recently found out that I'm allergic to Claritin. How the hell can I be allergic to allergy medicine? Nothing cures those itchy eyes, that runny nose or pesky sneezing like 4 hours of projectile vomiting. If they come up with allergy medicine to cure my allergy to Claritin, and I find out I'm allergic to that too, just do the world a favor and kill me.
-Everybody loves quotes. Especially funny quotes. If you don't believe me, just try googling “funny quotes” and see how many results you get. Not yet you moron. Finish reading first. This is why the “Quote of the Moment” is unquestionably the most important part of every newsletter. In addition to being the easiest part of the newsletter to write, since I don't need to make up a joke myself, the “Quote of the Moment” has the added bonus of making it appear as though I have more friends than I really do. Many people are offended having their names attached to a quote that makes them look like a humongous douchebag, so as a rule all Quotes are attributed to aliases. Yes, that's right: I make up names. Sometimes I make up the quotes myself, too. And sometimes I twist the quotes so far out of context that they lose any fragment of reality and become a narcissistic pile of crap that I then pass off as comedy. I am the Michael Moore of humor columns.
-Critics agree, the infrequently-recurring Off-Topic Corner is the most important part of every newsletter. Many of you have enjoyed these non-sequitor tidbits, or even read an entire column composed entirely of these observational comedy nuggets. What you probably didn't know is that these jokes are the most difficult ones to write, due to their sophisticated Jerry Seinfeld-esque nature. This is why I have employed a team of Rhesus monkeys to create these jokes on an infinite number of typewriters, and as you can imagine that takes a while. Usually the Rhesus monkeys will type gibberish. Sometimes they'll type out the words of Shakespeare. And sometimes the little AIDS-ridden bastards will bite my finger when I approach. But the jokes I get out of it make the whole ordeal worthwhile.
-Off-Topic Corner, Quote of the Moment Edition: On an online petition to save his college's only bar from closing, my friend… um… “Jason”… wrote: “A college without alcohol is like a prison without drugs.” Words to live by, if I've ever heard any.
-A lot of people want to know why Text-Heavy is so obsessed with concepts like Arbor Day, wombats, anime nerds, Republicans and that Milkshake song. Don't worry about it. They're not important.