The Racquetball Chronicles: What IS It About SNOOPY’s Laugh?

My BFF Marovich and I resumed our racquetball war this morning, after taking several months off. I knew I was at risk of injury when Marovich’s tight headband flew off and landed in the server’s box, in her mad exuberance to whale on the ball. I lost the first game 21 to 3.

Since we hadn’t seen each other in a while, we took a break outside of the court to catch up on news. And that was when she shared this ridiculous tale. Fair warning: This probably won’t be nearly as funny to those of you reading this, but I literally cried my makeup off laughing. This story demonstrates our shared, stupid, juvenile humor. You know, the humor that probably only we think is funny.

SNOOPY laughing himself right out of the library.

SNOOPY laughing himself right out of the library.

So Marovich started out her story by asking me if I’ve ever heard SNOOPY laugh. I had, and I started giggling, straight up. If you have no idea what SNOOPY laughing sounds like, please watch this brief, :25 second clip of SNOOPY laughing in the library:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH9MAhDvNjo

(On a side note, I especially love this clip because SNOOPY gets kicked out of the library for laughing, which is like an animated retelling of Marovich’s and my 7th grade year.)

Marovich and my friend Chrissy were shopping at TARGET and they came across this SNOOPY toy with the laughter sound chip. At that very moment, Chrissy made it her mission to nail the pitch-perfect impression of the SNOOPY laugh. She worked hard on it for many days to get it down, exactly right.

She and Marovich hosted Thanksgiving dinner for Chrissy’s side of the family, and Marovich dared Chrissy to do the SNOOPY laugh every time someone said something even mildly funny. Chrissy did. Several times. No one blinked. No one laughed. No one thought anything was weird. Which, you know, is kind of insulting that someone in her own family–all of them, in fact–actually tuned her out, thinking, “Oh, that’s just Chrissy’s stupid laugh…”

So while we were sitting outside of the racquetball court, I pulled up the YouTube video of SNOOPY laughing, and that’s when we started laughing so hysterically, I cried my makeup off. I had visions of Chrissy doing this stupid laugh at Thanksgiving and everyone sitting around the table deadpan, nonplussed. One of the guys who was taking over our court after us walked in on me howling with laughter, and without even knowing what the hell was up, he started laughing. We went back into the court to play out our remaining 10 minutes. Every time I was about to serve, Marovich would throw her head back in that SNOOPY pose and do the SNOOPY laugh, and I’d lose the strength of my serve. She was Delilah to my Samson. By some miracle, I was still winning 7 – 3 when the clock ran out.

Marovich knows when I am way too deep into one of our conversations, I don’t pay attention to whatever else I’m doing. This has led to many funny stories over the years, like the time I drove up and yelled our coffee order to the garbage can at Dunkin’ Donuts, with Marovich sitting in the passenger’s seat, dying of laughter as I was looking over at her with my WTF puzzled face. (In my defense, the garbage can had this weird lid on it that could have been mistaken for the squawk box.)

So today was no different. I drove us to racquetball. As we exited and hit the parking lot, I pressed my key fob, with Marovich following me towards my black SUV. I couldn’t figure out why the damned door wouldn’t open, and uh-oh, when did I get this new scratch in the paint on my driver’s side? Marovich snorted, “This is a Nissan. This isn’t your truck.” So we walked over to the next black truck, tried to get in, and again, the key fob didn’t work. “This is a Chevy,” she pointed out, exasperated. By now, Marovich took it upon herself to find my Highlander, before I made a career out of attempted breaking and entering into every black vehicle that wasn’t mine in this parking lot. “Third time’s a charm,” she snarked, followed by, “This had better go in your fucking blog.”

I can hear her SNOOPY laugh all of the way from here.

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Yelp: The New Form of American Literary Expression

Any gathering with my crazy, comedic family spurs me into creative thinking mode. Yesterday’s Thanksgiving feast was no exception. Here, courtesy of my Facebook post, is one of the props I loaded into Jack’s pockets:

This Facebook post will give you some idea of our family shenanigans.

This Facebook post gives you some idea of my family culture…

My cousin Greg, who blew in from Ohio to join us yesterday, has made Yelp.com reviews his own loving form of literary expression. Within our family circle, his reviews are a constant source of entertainment. Adding to the hilarity, his daughter told me a recent South Park episode was dedicated to Yelp reviews, which means, you know, Yelp reviews are now officially “a thing.” A pop culture snapshot of 2015. And here’s a link to that episode of South Park that you MUST see: http://southpark.cc.com/full-episodes/s19e04-youre-not-yelping

Cartman, the Yelp Reviewer - South Park Episode "You're Not Yelping"

Cartman, the Yelp Reviewer – South Park Episode “You’re Not Yelping”

My favorite South Park scene? This 50-page review by Gerald…for Applebee’s:

Gerald, the genius behind the epic Applebee's review on South Park.

Gerald, the genius behind the EPIC Applebee’s review on South Park.

“And yet, there is more…in this crisp time as Autumn begins to fade, the chef brines chicken in habanero and even adds habanero powder to the crust…but the heat is restrained. You experience the fruity, delicious flavor of this without any spicy pain. I don’t need any more pain. Hell, does anyone?”

God, these guys are comedy geniuses. Writing scripts for South Park would be the dream job for me, right up there with writing for Mystery Science Theater 3000 #MST3K or Bob’s Burgers.

So for Christmas this year, I’ll be self-publishing this hardcover parody gift book:

“YELP–An Exploration in Modern American Literary Expression: The Greg McDonald Edition.”

If you are interested in having your very own copy of this exclusive, limited edition, Modern American Literature Masterpiece, just shoot me an email and I’ll add you to the list. I’m guessing it will be around $30 + shipping, given my previous experiences with Blurb.com. For an extra $100, I may even score you a signature and stick figure pencil sketch from the original author…the unintentional literary sensation, Greg McDonald!

You  know, I always thought I would be the first in our family to publish a literary masterpiece. Who knew Greg would usurp me?!?

 

On the 75th Anniversary of BUGS BUNNY, Remembering That Time I Met Bugs’ Creator CHUCK JONES

Happy 75th, Bugs!

Happy 75th, Bugs!

I have been blessed many times in my career to be placed in some fairly oddball situations – I’m no stranger to events where there are bizarre mash-ups of iconic personalities in the entertainment and publishing world. One such event was in the early ’90s during my first year as the writer/producer on motorsports TV series THE SUPER CHARGERS. Our production team headed down to the Houston Film Festival for the awards ceremony. My second father figure and–at that time–employer, TV personality Jan Gabriel treated us to an unforgettable dinner and performance at the exclusive Magic Island in Houston. The next night, we attended the Houston Film Festival Awards, where we won a Gold Star Award. Featured guests that year were Chuck Jones, Rod Steiger, and Ginger Rogers. I know, right? What an oddball mashup of entertainment icons!

I walked into the art museum where the event was being held, and I happened to look up at the top of the stairs. There was Jan Gabriel, talking to a tall, thin man in a tuxedo. He had a tuft of white, fluffy hair that hang down on his forehead, and these oversized, too-large-for-his-face, black plastic-framed eyeglasses. In my signature silliness, I quipped to Kenny our cameraman, “Look! Jan’s talking to Bugs Bunny!” having no idea that it was actually Bugs Bunny creator Chuck Jones, the featured guest! D’oh! Mr. Jones really did look a lot like the cartoon character he created, and I never forgot that about him.

At the same event, Ginger Rogers was in the sunset years of her life, getting around in a wheelchair. There were no separate restroom facilities for dignitaries, and while I still feel bad about it, I was full of champagne and I raced past Ms. Rogers’ wheelchair to reach the bathroom ahead of her. I just barely made it. She didn’t have to wait too long for me, but it was a very human moment. I was once again reminded that we all put on our panties one leg at a time.

The Pop Culture Kid Enters 4th Grade

The Pop Culture Kid Enters 4th Grade

The Pop Culture Kid Enters 4th Grade

It’s hard to believe we have a 9-year-old, but time flies, even moreso, when your life is meted out in seasons of pop culture conventions. As you can see by his graphic tee (an Indy Pop Con purchase) and his Adventure Time BMO backpack (a San Diego Comic-Con purchase) young Jack has embraced the world of animation. I remember my 4th grade year. My teacher was an elderly woman well past her expiration date, with little tolerance for my 4th grade sense of humor. That was the year that I discovered I truly hated math, and math hated me right back. To quote my favorite deep thinker, the great Jack Handey:

Instead of having “answers” on a math test, they should just call them “impressions,” and if you got a different “impression,” so what, can’t we all be brothers?

Here’s hoping young Jack continues on his current path of friendly relations with Math, Science, Social Studies and all of the other subjects I’ve rarely if ever used in my adult life.

Happy Father’s Day!

I think our son Jack is the luckiest little boy in the world, because he has Dave Dorman as his father. And that makes me the luckiest co-parent in the world. While Dave is a quiet and gentle soul, he is firm-but-patient with Jack, and the best dad a child could have. Dave is responsible for Jack’s exposure to football, art, animation, science fiction, horror, fantasy, famed artists, writers and cool people — truly unlike any childhood I’ve ever known. Someday maybe Jack will realize his growing up years weren’t “normal,” and here’s hoping that moment won’t occur on Freud’s couch.

This photo was taken at PensaCon in Pensacola, FL this past February 2014 by my photographer friend Fred Turnbow, and I think it says so much. It’s a stolen moment when they are both unaware the camera is on them, but you can just feel the love and tenderness Dave bestows on Jack.

Dave & Jack Dorman, Pensacon, February 2014

Dave & Jack Dorman, Pensacon, February 2014

Groundskeeper Willie: My Not-So-Secret Crush

 

 

Dave Dorman's Gifts to Me: Groundskeeper Willie Action Figures & My Cthulhu Easter Figure

The View from My Desktop: Best Hubs Ever Dave Dorman’s Gifts to Me Include Groundskeeper Willie Action Figures & My Cthulhu Easter Toy

Call me crazy–you won’t be the first or last to do so–but my friends were astounded when I revealed my Peter Dinklage crush (and no, I haven’t even begun binge-watching Game of Thrones yet) so the very idea of my crush on The Simpsons’ Groundskeeper Willie character–an animated cartoon man whose very skin tone denotes impending kidney failure–was one of my more surprising revelations. Yet, I urge you to take a moment to consider that Groundskeeper Willie offers women all of these benefits & more:

#1. Red hair (and the right shade of red hair)

#2. Six pack abs / immense physical strength

#3. A Scottish brogue

#4. The ability to do maintenance work and handle power tools with aplomb

#5. Unharnessed abs flashing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9_jIa2WADc

I remember when I first fell for Groundskeeper Willie. It was The Simpsons’ Season 5 episode called “Radio Bart where Sting and Groundskeeper Willie had to save Timmy O’Toole from the well. Sting, my favorite singer, performed “We’re Sending Our Love Down the Well” to raise awareness. It was episodic perfection. The only thing missing was Peter Dinklage.

I am not alone in my fervor for Groundskeeper Willie. Websites all over the world are dedicated to him. Check out this soundboard, and the first clip of Groundskeeper Willie teaching French: “Bonjourrrr, you cheese-eating surrender monkeys!” http://www.soundboard.com/sb/groundskeeper_simpsons_clips

In a perfect world, an animated version of Dave Dorman would battle Groundskeeper Willie for my hand in marriage, and we’d all live happily ever after in Springfield.