Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Character Defense

This morning I received the following text from my mother: 

"Dear Eli, [Cathie always addresses me in her texts by name in case I'm not sure who she's speaking to] I read the comments some people have said about you online and I don't think you should be concerned because these people look weird. And your family loves you."

This was followed by an equally bothersome, "I won't be reading them anymore! Icky!"

Cathie has earned her "Tellin' It Like It Is" award many times over, which is one of the qualities we love most about her.

Wondering exactly what monstrosities about her precious boy she could have possibly encountered electronically, I ventured onto the www to discover what I feared might exist:
online forums of dozens of people dissecting every word of my previous four blog posts, and beyond. I immediately became both proud and disturbed that something that I did made groups of people who don't know me or each other engage in a philosophical debate about text messages regarding Snuggies, the Queen of Colors, and wood blocks. One person was very concerned about a rocket shaped object in the background of one of my pictures. One claimed to have dated my wife freshman year, to which another responded, "that's weird, since he's single and never been married" (is it that obvious?). And several have publicly declared that they want to have my babies for reasons that are still a mystery to me--but I'm in no position to ignore any options at this point (see the "Contact Us" tab for further stalking options).

Some of my favorite criticisms have included:

1)  One person making fun of a typo in a blog post from two years ago (this caused me to give up my dream of being a writer).

2)  A contention that my stories are "farcical" (this caused me to give up my dream of being a dancer).

3)  And an observation by someone named "Cowardly Chicken" on the last post: "Wow. You a huge jerk. I am sure everyone who read this thinks you are so cute an clever, but actually you are just mean." (I assume Cowardly Chicken is referring to my Queen of Colors references).

But I zoomed my focus in on two main points of criticism. First, that I am a "self indulgent jerk," as one lovingly put it, who is sure that a world full of Janes would be better than a world full of Elis (I totally agree, by the way. Especially if Jane has a better Pogs collection than I do). And second, that I am a blatant hack because I did not create joke texting and subsequently blogging about it (also totally agree). I now hereby address these assertions:

Eli is a Jerk:

The extent to which I'm a jerk, I contend, is not as great as claimed by some of my new online friends who have not taken all of the facts into account. I provide you with the following list of evidence demonstrating my kindness, which should be weighed against my snarkiness in making any overall value judgments:


1)  I have received text messages from approximately 70 people this month. I only harassed one of them (2 if you count my snarky response to Cathie this morning, "you googled me mom?! What did you find!? I was young! I needed the money!").  That is a 1.43% harassment rate, which is almost 4% lower than my "smile at a stranger in public" rate (I admit that this figure is a bit inflated as I count smirks and sneezes as smiles).

2)  I actually do love Snuggies with all of my heart and did my best to help Beth experience them.  This is something I did not have to do.

3)  My 8 year old niece spent the weekend with me and I took her on a self-guided 2 hour historical tour of the State Capitol Building.  I trudged onward even when she began begging me to let us leave after reading 3 dozen tiny print plaques explaining our heritage for 35 minutes. This will one day change her life. Hopefully it will come in handy when she's working there on the far north end of State Street and will not be a waste of brain space when she's working 30 blocks south of that spot in a place with no windows.

4)  I always cry when I see commercials on t.v. about animal abuse (although I admittedly take no further action).

5)  Recently while walking to work a man threw up onto the sidewalk within four feet of me. I cheerfully exclaimed, "So you've seen the new episode of Glee too, huh?!" This good intentioned merry pronouncement was not well received. And I've lost my taste for corn.  

Eli is a hack:

This criticism comes mostly from an argument that contends I stole my ideas from David Thorne, writer of 27bslash6.com, an undeniably hysterical blog full of many humorous posts, including several email exchanges between Thorne and unsuspecting targets. I am neither as funny, nor as cruel, as David Thorne.  And admittedly, I did not invent pranks, humor, the Internet, or blogging about pranks, humor, or the Internet. Because my sense of accomplishment has been completely destroyed by this truthful exploitation, I would like to attempt to restore my credibility by providing for you an exhaustive list of things I have created:

1)  A blue-green ceramic hand print for my mom in the first grade (although to be fair, I did have help).

2)  eligetstobeamommy.blogspot.com, a fine use of a Saturday hour.

3)  Slap Bracelets.

4) Somewhere around 1,300 hand drawn mazes between the years 1993 and 1997, three of which were possible to complete. This activity was intended to fill a loneliness void after the Queen of Color's Colors's Colorseses's death, an activity which has since been replaced by creating fake mom blogs.

5)  Gourmet Mac and Cheese for 400 people earlier this year, which I begrudgingly stirred with my arm as there was no spoon long enough to reach the bottom of a 50 gallon bucket. (This, by the way, could also go in the "Eli is a Jerk" defense list above, both because I prepared the meal for these people and because I confessed the arm-stirring right before everyone started eating it.  Even more points if you consider also that I didn't judge anyone for eating it despite this confession.  I did however judge them for eating Mac and Cheese generally).

For balance, I should also mention something I did not create:

1)  The Queen of Colors story. That one is tragically true, at least inasmuch as the chicken was caught in someone's hair. See my oldest sister on a good day for details.

~It Just Gets Stranger

49 comments:

  1. If there is a rule where a blogger can't do a type of post that was done by someone else, then why are there approximately 87,065,894,213 mommy blogs out there?

    Keep being you. People who criticize you are just jealous.

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  2. So glad that stalking is allowed now. Scott Hodson gave me permission a looooong time ago to begin.. You make my life complete in ways that only you can do. (mostly distracting me from my boring life...)

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  3. ELI,
    people who criticize you ARE just jealous, or criticizers, or have nothing better to do with their lives, or don't know you well enough, or are family(I know from having a twin sister ;p) or really just don't have a better way of getting your attention. I for one think you have such an amazing personality and I admire how candid you are... You have seriously made me laugh out loud and I only found your blog tuesday thanks to a best friend's family member who used to be your neighbor. Keep up the blogs! Ik you will. :)

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  4. Eh. Is it so bad to be called "farcical"? They're certainly hilarious and over the top. :) It's part of the appeal. Don't give up your dreams of being a dancer!

    As for being a hack, that's ridiculous. You have a very unique sense of humor. Sorry to the haters. They're just jealous that they're not as funny and that all the girls want you.

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  5. I want to thank you for making my Thursday night everything I ever wanted and more.

    So happy to have stumbled across this blog. But try and stay away from Mac and Cheese. I happen to like that stuff every six months or so.

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  6. I have a dilemma... you have inspired me to lead a more interesting life, but I'm too busy reading about yours...

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  7. I like that the entire post was sort of a joke and that a lot of the comments here are validating your worth as if you thought it was in question.

    Touchdown on finally spelling "Queen of Colorseses's". Third time is ALWAYS the charm!

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  8. Eli, my new found cyber-friend, worry not about the misguided criticism. Not sure when we stopped celebrating a quick wit and wry (yet without malace) sense of humor. The audience that finds this offensive is probably in need of a little self-esteem building (taking things a bit too personally) or just a big 'ol hug. Please keep up the good and oh-so-funny work.

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  9. If stirring mac and cheese for 400 people makes you a hack, then we are all hacks... right?!?

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  10. You can tell your mom I think you're great,even if you didn't invent humor or the internet.

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  11. You wouldn't be a celebrity without your critics, right?

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  12. You are tormented because you live in Utah. Good luck. Thanks for the laughs. It is nice to know there are others out there who call it like it is.

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  13. i laughed..no..i cried laughed. i loved your snuggie texting..it made my day. on a side note, i know your soulmate..(unless of course..you have one) check her out
    http://lizlemonaries.blogspot.com/

    (shes my niece..who also makes me laugh.)

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  14. Not only are you hilarious, you are cute too!!

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  15. I will also vouch for the Queen of Colors story if the said person with said chicken in her locks last name rhymes with "Tiller". I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't witnessed it with my own two eyes. Still one of my "happy places" that I go to when glum. Not that I had anything against Ms. Tiller but it was hillarious. Good for you Eli! I think the blog is good therapy and you should charge people fees to read it. :) Happy writing!

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  16. I am an optimist and as I direct my attention to the north and slightly to the west and straight on til morning I see the bright side of this. The bright side being those nasty wasty critics called you farcical when they could have called you FARTICAL. My husband, my friends, you know the cool kids, and myself all love your blog, love it so much we want to marry it.

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  17. Eli, I think you are funny and all but I think you should make your blogs more spiritual. In fact, I would enjoy reading some poetry about your love of God's creations (maybe focus on roosters since you love them) and perhaps you could include a video of a dance that helps you get in touch with your inner spirit (perhaps while wearing a Snuggie)--an interpretive dance of sorts. Perhaps you can check out this link for inspiration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKIaMsm7Hlk

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  18. I used to harrass people like you did back in the days of msn messenger and livejournal. It's still funny.

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  19. You complete me. (but in a totally not romantic way, although if I wasn't married...wait what am I saying.) I've never laughed so hard on a Friday morning.

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  20. Omygosh! My friend is a reporter from KSL.com, and she posted the article about your snuggle conversation.... I just have to follow you now! You are hillarious.....Kimberly, Sacramento

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  21. Omygosh! My friend is a reporter from KSL.com, and she posted the article about your snuggle conversation.... I just have to follow you now! You are hillarious.....Kimberly, Sacramento

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  22. U r freaking hilarious!!!!! I myself is a big smartass. Seriously so stalking u now!!! With the info from ur blog, I conclude u live in the general area of Utah? It will only be a matter of time and we will be bestirs! Oh the stories we will share and make. Can't. Wait! Until then stay funny my friend.......

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  23. Dang....was suppose to besties......my bad.

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  24. Hi, Eli. This is Katie, Daniel's friend. Have you ever noticed that 90% of the comments on this post are from women? It looks like you bring a lot of joy to the female population, despite any other deficiencies some may try to find. I wish I had a bunch of hot men assuring me on my blog that everyone loves me and I'm clever and witty. Must be nice...

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  25. Eli, you have an awesome sense of humor. Kudos to you for taking the opportunity to make something funny happen that could brighten so many days. That sounds corny, but seriously... That is a gift, so keep it up.

    The rest of your blog is pretty funny too! It doesn't matter if you get a hundred thousand views or 5 views... you are putting a smile on the faces of those who read it, so that is enough. Great job!

    And Jane, if you are reading this... I would have thought someone thinking word blocks was a good gift would have a better sense of humor. Those are the kind of things that people re-gift to others as white elephants. lol

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  26. Hi Eli. As one of your fellow Utahns, I'd like to encourage you to continue your shenanigans, keep the sabbath holey with a lot of delicious cheese, and keep writing. Middle-aged women are the largest audience of blog-readers, coveted by most, and shunned by many. You must understand that they have very little to do, and often retain levels of intolerable bitterness that spill over comedy blogs like it's Pompeii. The criticism means nothing; they just don't get jokes.

    Thanks for the solid read.

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  27. My vote is for a world full of Eli-esque snark.

    Fo sho

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  28. This (the snuggie convo with Jane) has been about the funniest thing I've read via blogger in the longest time! Eli, your wit and take on life are refreshing, keep it up!

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  30. My Husband and i read your jane text message conversation and just busted out laughing. It's made it's way across emails and facebook. The best part was the Mommy blog. we were laughing until we had tears rolling down our face. You are hilarious! I haven't laughed like that in YEARS! Thanks for the good laugh. It's been a rough year for our family and this brought some serious gut busting laughs. Thanks! Keep it up.

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  31. "So you've seen the new episode of Glee too, huh?" Peeing my pants!!!

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  32. My kids and I have so much fun reading your blogs! I love the fact that my kids can read them and they are clean...and Oh so funny!
    Keep up the good work. We appreciate a break from life!

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  33. Your mom sounds like my mom. Actually, my mom has said that exact same thing to me (only she wasn't talking about Internet criticisms - just criticisms in general). I am new to your blog and find it very amusing. Not only does your family love you, but strangers love you too. Good job on being you, Eli. Good job on being you!

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  34. From one mom blogger to another, thanks for the funny. And the farce. And for being a hack. I, for one, did not invent motherhood, and yet here I am doing it. So maybe I'm a hack, too...

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  35. You make me laugh--my 2nd favorite thing in the world.

    The world needs more snark, and I wish I could be half as funny a writer as you are. (and I'm pretty f'n funny)

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  36. Although I'm nearly certain half the things you say are complete fabrications of your incredibly absurd, yet remarkably hilarious, mind- I would never complain.
    My brother and I literally wept from the pain of laughing for 2.74 hours after reading your original Snuggie post back in Dec.
    Please, keep 'em commin'.

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  37. I'm almost 100% positive we're related.

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  38. I discovered you via the snuggle texts and I died laughing. No really, I posted that exact term as I shared your blog on Facebook!

    You inspired my own mother to find a text buddy who she can share emoticons with (as the rest of the family won't do it).

    My best friend and I firmly believe that life is pretty dull of you can't laugh at all of it, and your blog does a lovely job of bringing that to fruition. I appreciate having this brilliantly funny resource on nights when I'm unable to sleep.

    Everything's been done before; it's what you bring to it that makes it interesting. As an art student in graduate school, I firmly believe just that!

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  39. I call bullsh*t on #3. I invented slap bracelets.

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  40. Hey Eli keep them coming. Too funny. Ty for the laugh.

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  41. Question, how do you stir scalding hot mac and cheese with your arm? And why did no one else ask this? Unless of course, you served it cold. In that case...YUCK! I also died laughing at the snuggle texts. My husband was like, "what is going on in there?" So I had him read it. He also died laughing. Both of us have been coughing madly like we have asthma for about an hour now.
    So thanks for the good laugh, I needed that.

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  42. You seriously kill me. In a good way, of course, otherwise, how would I be typing this?

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  43. So stalking is ok?? so sure of following you. yipee.. please don't call the cops on me. you are hilarious. made my day.

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  45. I'm trying to finish reading all your posts. This one was hilarious!

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