By staff writer Nathan DeGraaf
March 7, 2007
Nathan: I’m here to help.
James: No one wants your help.
Nathan: But still, that’s why I’m here.
James: I thought you were here to get drunk and set ashtray fires.
Nathan: Dude, you need to let that go.
Dear Future PIC Columnists:
Hey, how you doing? I hope you’re having a good day/afternoon/night/whatever. I heard that you’ve been thinking about submitting some articles to Points in Case. That is a great idea. PIC is a hilarious website filled with many original comedy pieces written by many hilarious people who use the word “hilarious” repetitively and without any good reason. I mean, how could you not want to be a member of the PIC family?
Anyway, before I thank you in advance for submitting your (hopefully) original comedy piece (I’m looking at you, Chamley), I want to take this opportunity to give you five pieces of advice for working here at PIC (or as I call it, “The Site that Sully Built”). Please understand that I have penned approximately 70 columns, 7 front page articles, and 430 blog entries here on PIC. I think I know what the fuck I’m talking about.
Seriously, asshole. Listen the fuck up. This is good advice.
Fine, don’t listen to me. All you new fuckers are the same. If you think you know how to do this shit better without my help, then print this out and use it to wipe the semi-digested corn from your pompous asshole, cocky sumbitch.
“One of the best ways you can relate to your audience is to express to them that you are a bastard/bitch and that you still love yourself.”
Anyway, to the rest of you would be columnists, here are five pieces of indispensable advice.
Lesson #1: Write What You Know
We’ve all heard this bullshit a million times. We’re supposed to write about what we know. And that is true, to an extent. However, some jackasses always mistake “write what you know” for “write about shit that only you’ve experienced and care about.” The thing is, just because you and your friends once got drunk and fell down some stairs does not mean that anyone wants to read about it. Indeed, the PIC audience prefers not to hear stupid stories that actually make no point. Which brings me to my second tip…
Lesson #2: Know Your Audience
Now, you may not know the PIC audience all that well, so I will tell you a little bit about them. You have four types of readers on PIC. First, you have the Rabid Commenters, who essentially believe that their comments not only make PIC a better site, but that their opinions were solicited. These people are fine until they start taking shit way too seriously. Also, they’re prone to babbling on about stuff that only matters to them (which is why they’re not PIC columnists—they never learned Lesson 1). There’s no way to really please these people, but on the plus side, you can tell you wrote something really funny if they get pissed off. Their pissy comments are like a leading indicator of funny. Oh yeah, they usually leave statements attacking the philosophy of the work involved, which is kind of like doing a critical review of a Wayan’s brothers film.
The second type of reader never comments. You will never know what this reader thinks and that is fine. I have nothing more to say about them because they have nothing more to say about me.
The third type of reader comments only when you do something they consider to be awesome. These readers will motivate you and help carry you (emotionally) from deadline to deadline. Both they and the rabid commenter are the most likely to email you.
The fourth type of reader knows you from real life. They are either supportive or derogatory (in a funny way) and they pretty much only visit the site because they know you (and there’s a chance they’ll show up in a column).
Anyway, you must understand that your average PIC reader is relatively intelligent, drunk, and near college age. Which means they’re just like you, so you should have no problem relating to them—which is a good thing, since that’s the third thing you should be aware of.
Lesson #3: Relate to Your Audience
People relate not only to the simple things that we all have in common (American Idol, eating, fucking, etc.) but also to the feeling of being a complete and utter bastard/bitch. One of the best ways you can relate to your audience is to express to them that you are a bastard/bitch and that you still love yourself. This way, they can go on loving themselves even though they are also bastards/bitches. In this way, your audience not only relates to you, but feels better about themselves as a result. Nothing keeps a reader coming back like a chance to feel better about themselves every week (that sentence is actually one of the many mottos here at Primal Urges, along with “I’m here to help” and, “Dude, please edit this”). Also, for whatever reason, readers also want a lot of jokes that disparage women (even women hate women, so this doesn’t offend as many people as you would think).
Of course, relating to your audience, knowing your audience, and writing what you know don’t mean shit if you ain’t funny—which, conveniently enough, is the point of the next paragraph.
Lesson #4: Be Funny
I don’t know how to direct someone to be funny. But you need to be funny to do this. Even though I don’t know how to be funny, I feel that maybe you can benefit from knowing that people falling down, getting wasted, contracting STDs, beating up children, and just generally behaving like jackasses is hilarious. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be a hit at all the children’s birthday parties I attend (I always beat clowns into near comas with golf clubs—it’s great for a laugh).
Now that you know how to know your audience, relate to your audience, be funny, and write what you know, I have only one piece of advice for you, Mr. Would-Be PIC Columnist.
Lesson #5: Use a Pseudonym
When you’re in college and you have no responsibilities, having a Google presence that ties you to a semi-popular humor website is pretty cool. But the minute you start trying to land mature girls in serious relationships or work in the confines of the corporate world, you will find that having your name linked to articles like “Post 420,” “Why I Get Laid and You Don’t,” and “My Five Best BJs Ever” is more of a detriment than anything else.
Don’t believe me? Just ask JD Boston.
And now you know all there is to know about being a Points in Case columnist. This gig isn’t really all that hard, provided you can meet deadlines and don’t mind random assholes referring to you as a “blogger.”
At any rate, I want to wish you the best of luck as a future columnist here at PIC. Oh, and if you ever have any major problems with Fearless Editor Court Sullivan, don’t worry too much. They can easily solved by sending him a ghetto hooker. Just make sure the bitch ain’t ovulating.