Today, please enjoy truly one of the funniest stories ever produced on Strangerville; a story by the hilarious Rebbie Brassfield. Check out the recording, included in this week's Strangerville, plus the written version for the hearing impaired below. (Also, check out Rebbie's new venture on the Instas, @mormonsinmedia).
This time in Strangerville, Meg and Eli discuss, with some rage, Mormon genre films. Then, a woman takes the Strangerville Live stage to explain how her theory about “hot girls” was put to the test in a high-pressure situation.StoryHot Girls, by Rebbie BrassfieldProduction by Eli McCann & Preg Walter
I want to talk to you about my struggles with hot girls.
I’m not talking about girls like you and me. Most of us can pull something together with enough mascara. I’m talking about girls who are so hot, they post selfies with unrelated captions. Who are super into fitness., because their body is naturally perfect. Girls who are casually modeling, who have no pores. You know the girl I mean.
I have some anger toward these girls, which is problematic as someone who identifies as a feminist, because I’m supposed to have space in my heart for all women. I’m supposed to see past their deceitful exteriors into the essence of who they are.
It’s also unfair because I know they didn’t choose this. Being born hot is every bit as random as having facial warts. I know it’s not their fault they’re trapped in perfect bodies, it’s just that I’m sure hot girls’ lives are easier than mine, and I’m mad at them for that.
The fact you all live here means that you’re well acquainted with the hot girl, since there are more here per capita than anywhere in the world. I grew up in Utah county and went to BYU so I would say I spent a lot of my formative years surrounded by very hot girls. After high school and into college I got to watch them get married, or “snatched” as people liked to say. Like they were being abducted into marriage. Really - if a younger girl was starting to get super hot, people would be like, “watch out, she’s gonna get snatched!” I wanted so badly to be in danger of being snatched! Of being plucked up by some handsome tall guy with an internship at Bane.
But that didn’t happen. College became this pattern where I’d make friends, go to their weddings, make new friends, go to their weddings. So on and so forth. And it was okay, it was really good for my social skills. And also I was super bitter.
It came to a point where I thought, I need to make peace with the hot girl, and the peace I made was, “well, I’m funnier than them.” Forget coming to accept myself for who I was or whatever, that would have been too much work. The peace I made was to simply find a way I was better.
So I graduate college, and I moved to Los Angeles to work in advertising. I moved away from the land of hot girls…and into the land of models and actresses.
I moved to LA to work as a copywriter in an advertising agency. If you’ve seen the TV show Mad Men, it was just like that only different outfits. For about two of those years I worked on Burger King. I’ve never eaten Burger King, at least not on purpose. I’m sure I’ve had it once or twice in some dire road trip situation, but I’ve never driven to Burger King to order a Whopper. I’ve just spent years of my life telling other people they should definitely eat one, because obviously Whoppers are fire-grilled and delicious.
One of my assignments while working on Burger King was to write the kids commercials for their international market.
In the hierarchy of commercials, this assignment ranked very low. Does anyone remember the Burger King commercials with the creepy king? He had that mask and he’d show up in weird places and prank people. It was funny, right? So that’s like top tier, A-list advertising, where it’s funny and memorable and you might admit to having made it. That’s probably 15% of what the ad industry is putting out.
Much more common is what we were doing at my job, which was two for five radio promos, where it’s like, right now at Burger King, get two Whoppers for just five bucks! Super creative, just exactly what I’d dreamed of doing when I was in ad school - good thing I didn’t get snatched.
So the radio promos were bottom of the barrel. These international kids spots were a step up - we did get to shoot a commercial, which is the goal if you’re working in advertising, but they were just the weirdest spots.
They had all these weird client mandates, like each one had to have a Mom, a Dad, a son and a daughter. We were required to feature the kid’s meal toys but we couldn’t show the food. We had to tell a story but couldn’t use dialogue, and we had to make that story work in :30, :20, and :10 second commercial.
I think the thinking was to dumb them down enough that they could play in multiple countries and if there were different languages or foods it would be fine? But the result was these sort of mimed, slapstick-y, silent-film commercials that were just terrible..
But I want to tell you about one of these spots in particular. The premise my partner and I had come up with was: we open on a family eating Burger King around the dinner table (because that happens). Everyone’s super happy! The food we’re not seeing is delicious! The daughter pulls out her Kid’s Meal toy, and there’s this magical bling sound, and we see Mom has transformed into the toy. The son’s like well I wanna try - pulls out his kids meal toy, looks at Dad and sure enough - Dad’s transformed too! I think the Mom was a figure skater and the dad was a superhero. Because gender roles.
So that was the concept. The client signed off on it and we went into casting. We spent days auditioning a lot of good actors, and a lot of beautiful people, and after ignoring our recommendations entirely, the client took one look at the headshots and picked the four most beautiful people and that was our cast.
The woman they picked to play the mom was super hot, but she wasn’t very warm or friendly. You know when Ursula from Little Mermaid turns into a human? That was her vibe. Like sort of standoffish with evil eyebrows. I’m sure a nice person, or a guy, would have been like, “oh she’s probably just shy.” But I was used to the models and actresses I’d worked with at least being gracious for the fact they were being paid to be hot, and she didn’t. And so I was admittedly biased against her from the beginning.
But I kept it professional, and we go to shoot her transformation scene, and it all goes fine technically - the girl pulls out her toy, we whip pan to Mom -- surprise, she’s in a miniskirt! She looks great! So it all worked technically. Except the kids were supposed to giggle when their mom transformed, and they didn’t.
For me, this was great news, because it was proof that she wasn’t funny. The problem was, we had to get their laughter or the spot wouldn’t work. I mean, they’d smiled - they’d tried to laugh - but there wasn’t any audible laughter, and again because Neanderthals had to understand these commercials this was not okay.
So the sound guy turns to me and he’s like, ‘Okay, let’s take the kids and find a room, and we’ll record sound of them laughing. We’ll get the audio separately and put it in in post so it looks like they laughed during the original take.’ I’m like, great, good idea. He grabs me and he grabs the kids, and then he grabs the model, and takes us into another room of the house we were shooting at. And he gets the kids seated and he turns to me and the model and he says okay you guys are gonna take turns trying to make the kids laugh, and I’ll record it.”
It was like the universe engineered a perfect test for my theory that I was funnier than hot girls. Which, I realized in that moment how much I had never wanted to put to the test.
But I had no choice, it was my job. So I’m like, alright I guess I’m going along with this.
Sound guy gets all his equipment set up, he lowers his mic, tells everyone to be really quiet, hits record and then gives me the signal. And I panic. I’m like, kids, I have to make kids laugh, what do kids think is funny? I’m like, farts? Can’t do that on command. I’m racking my brain and nothing is coming, and they’re all standing there staring at me and I didn’t know what to do so I just leaned down at eye level and I just…(made a ridiculous face).
I’m glad you guys think it’s funny. The kids did not think it was funny. They did not laugh. Which was totally justified. It was not funny, in fact it was probably terrifying.
Sound guy is like, okay let’s see what the model has. And she told some knock knock joke or something that wasn’t funny either, thank heaven.
So we’d both gone one round and we’d both failed miserably.
Before I know it, it’s my turn again. And you would think someone whose job it is to come up with ideas would be able to come up with an idea. I would think anyone in their right mind would be able to come up with something. But I was clearly not in my right mind because what I did was I just leaned down and made ANOTHER silly face.
They did not laugh. The silence is deafening. The sound guy gives me a patronizing look, I could tell the kids felt bad for me. Which, if you’ve never experienced, having kids feel bad for you is the peak of shame.
It comes time for the hot girl’s turn again. I should mention here that since she was done shooting, she’d changed into what I assume was her around the house outfit of black v-neck t-shirt and super shiny black spandex pants. I should also mention that after she’d bombed her last round she’d started to look a bit nervous. And I was starting to soften towards her and be like, see! We’re both just trying to hustle, we’re in this together! Girls support girls! The whole thing.
But now as I look at her, I see this glint come into her eye. And her eyebrows go evil again. And somehow I know that this is the moment where our paths diverge. Like this is the moment where her life and my life are on completely different tracks.
She stands up, and turns around with her back to the kids, then looks at them and grins.
And then she goes *shakes butt*. She shakes her butt right in their faces! Except her butt didn’t even shake!
And the kids laughed. They laughed so hard, like it was the funniest joke in the world. Even the sound guy was laughing! He’s like, cut! We got it! That’s a wrap! She was the hero!
And everyone was just overjoyed except me. Because what is left for the rest of us? Not only was she super hot, and being paid to be super hot, she was beloved by children. She had used her hotness to be funny, which is cheating.
I left the set that day really wanting to put it behind me. I thought, that was one time, one girl, that was not like a conclusive test of my theory.
But then I had to spend the next month in the edit bay working on those extra versions of our spot, which meant I had to listen to those kids’ laughing, over, and over, and over.
And it’s weird, but I became strangely grateful for that last experience, because it forced me to accept that this is a losing battle. And that no matter how angry it makes me, or how much I want to change it, no power in the world can stand up to the butt of a hot girl.
~It Just Gets Stranger