>>> Edited For Content
By staff writer Mike Forest
August 4, 2004


Welcome to the first regular column by the newest member of PIC: me, Mike Forest. Perhaps you saw my front page article a couple weeks ago about beer goggles for women. If you were one of the twelve people who visit the site regularly and read that article, I’m sorry. In my defense, the original version of the piece was funnier. Much funnier. My original brilliance saw the same fate as so many humor columns before it: over-editing.

Nevermind that I spent days and days tweaking it to get it just right in hopes that you, the reader, would get the maximum enjoyment; forget that by the time I was finished, my fingers ached and my vision had faded; don’t think about my soul, my manhood, my art—a greater good had to be served: the humor gods must be appeased.

I’ve noticed that the humor high priests have been working overtime lately, as all of the regular columns on this great site have seemed to be missing a beat. It’s not that Simonne, Amir, Justin, Emmanuel, Nicole and Court the sentient deer aren’t funny anymore; it’s that their brilliant ideas are being hacked apart and sacrificed to the editing gods in return for rain for the small farming village that sustains the columnists’ meager needs. The editing priests take the original column to the editing temple where the gods extract the best jokes and most of the profanity for their own use. They leave just enough so that the peasants (you the reader) have the minimal sustenance to continue living. As time goes on, the gods have become more demanding and thus the rest of us are left with less. It’s all tied in with capitalism, Rush Limbaugh and SpongeBob Squarepants.

If you’re reading this (or what is left of this), I was somehow selected from the pool of fifteen aspiring comedy writers vying for the open spot, desperate for recognition and some validation in their sad pathetic lives. Don’t worry, losers, I’m sure you’ll go on to real careers with real paychecks, health care benefits and stock options. I have a column on a humor website and that more than makes up for it. Plus, the box I live in is close to the library so I can type my column and surf the Internet for free. I win, motherfuckers/jerkwads, I win.

Sigh.

As I tried to decide what my column theme would be, I started by analyzing what was already on PIC:

Amir makes jokes about the news, translating it for the common college knuckle dragger. Congrats, you’re breaking some brand new ground there, genius. It’s not like there is a nightly cable show that does the same thing every night about a million times better.

Nicole spends thirty seconds writing her “column,” which makes fun of lame people who are just trying to get in her pants. Four twenty-word answers to fake emails? Please be careful not to chip a nail. By the way, Nicole is a 300-pound hairy man. His/her picture is of a runaway who was hit by a train.

Simonne makes light of her whoring and alcoholism as a way to cope with her mounting therapy bills. Chin up, girl, you’ve come a long way, baby. Thanks for explaining sorority girls to me. Like, O my god, they’re SO misunderstood.

Emmanuel starts every column with his “Now Playing:” shtick, which is always some band I’ve never heard of. Yes, that makes you deep and cultured. The rest of his column consists of random paragraphs containing half a joke each. He would write a full cohesive article, but ever since his ‘accident’ he has the attention span of a fruit fly. Plus he’s Canadian…‘nuff said.

• I’ve never understood what Justin’s column was about, but he likes the Red Sox. Apparently he hasn’t figured out that no one watches baseball anymore and that baseball is gay. Very, very gay.

• Court was a deer who was, sadly, turned into venison to appease the humor gods.

With all of the major comedic standards taken, what could my column possibly cover that no one else does? A wise man once said, “know thy audience,” but I was drunk and wasn’t really listening. I had to see it the next day on the news. OK, who’s my audience? College kids. Hey, I’m a college kid—been one for four and a half years—I probably know what they like. I just have to be sure to dumb it down and keep frat boy jokes to a minimum. Otherwise anything I write will go way over the readers’ heads. Plus, I wouldn’t want to alienate anyone. That would probably not get me a gig as a humor writer.

But for now, I guess I should tell you all a little bit about myself. I’m a student at Michigan State University studying film. I produce, direct, write and edit—but I mostly do whatever I can do to shirk responsibility, stay inebriated as much as possible and fake my way through work and classes. I’m a Capricorn who loves short walks to the convenience store to buy cigarettes after even shorter “sessions” that stereotypically require a cigarette… ummm afterwards. My favorite restaurant is Taco Bell and I have metal plates in my arm from an accident when I was a junior in high school. I have a cat named Tyler and a two-toned (rust and maroon—mostly rust) Pontiac Grand M (the ‘A’ fell off) that I paid $800 for. I’m a movie buff, but not an elitist cinema nazi and I once got laid after watching SECRETARY. Yeah, the scary movie with James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhall. My best friends call me “The Beech” and my exes don’t call me at all.

So there you have it, a crash course in me, The Beech. Come back next week and every week after that to read my new article which will either be about media conspiracy or the Social Security website’s scary, scary message to kids. In closing I’d like to say that now that I am in the company of misfits, losers and hacks struggling their way through college toward a inevitable quarterlife crisis and just trying to make sense of it all, I’m finally home. If we are the best our generation has than the future is doomed. See you next week. I must now don my ceremonial robe and drink out of the chalice filled with—what the hell is this? Deer blood?

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