What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

FCN's Last Post Ever of All Time

Farewell according to F

It's that time of year again.

No wait! It's not that time of year. What am I saying? Fine, this isn't a good post anyway. It's a very sad one.

Fact is, our little baby blog here - FCN- it's been having some problems. It's been slowly lounging toward its own ... you know. We did everything we could to ease the burden. We reduced the frequency of posts. We even reduced the funniness of posts. Nothing seemed to work. FCN kept ... you know.

So now, we find ourselves collectively standing at FCN's bedside, listening to a gradually weakening "beep ... beep ... beep ..." I'm clenching my jaw in a manly way, secretly trying to hold back tears. C has his latest future emotional baggage weeping on his shoulder. N has his phone out. Chip couldn't make it but sends his best and promises to be at the funeral (as long as there are crab cakes). Jessica is just standing there. She's just standing there! Ana is in the hall arguing with the orderly. Mommy G is waiting in the lobby with brownies. Uncle Wally is sitting in the corner, asleep.

We've all come to a consensus.

You like that?


And this is what the consensus is: it's time to pull the plug. We can't stand to watch our baby be a vegetable. The doctor promised it'd be painless. Personally I think the doctor is full of it. It won't be painless. This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do - well, hardest ever since I gave my first edition copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul to a homeless guy (in exchange for a back rub).

FCN has always been there for us. She's what - 3 years old now? 4!? She's seen us through some hard times, and we've seen her through some too. And now it's over. We're finally euthanizing her, for real this time.

Goodbye baby. In the immortal words of Wham!:

"Wake me up before you go-go, cause I'm not planning on going solo. Wake me up before you go-go. Take me dancing tonight."

Oh! Just one more thing I really ought to say ...

I am Iron Man.

Farewell according to C

I'm going to be more sentimental than F because I am so confident in my masculinity that a little reflection does not threaten my identity. When Funny Class Notes first started, I was a high school student who was tired of paying attention in class. I succeeded in distracting my friends and decided to go viral with my tomes, essays, satires, doodles and what not. In the last few years, FCN has become my repository. Teachers, classes, cars, relationships, favorite celebrities and, yes, teeth have come and gone but FCN remained constant. This page was a place of comfort, where I could dump my partially censored thoughts into cyber-space with pseudo-anonymity.

Of course, the few people who read these expressive and revealing posts were also the people who mattered. Friends would email me with the subject line "REALLY WORRIED ABOUT YOU" based on FCN content that was, I say with only a little shame, 85% true. Others would speculate about where the tale left the train tracks of veracity and entered the fanciful world of fiction. Still more people would refuse to talk to me again based on their portrayal in an FCN post. I'm sorry Carrie, really. As addictive as comfort food -- and almost as dangerous -- FCN was a bridge that made me almost as many friends as it lost. And it was worth it.

I'm going to reflect on my time as an author with a pleasant grin. I'll probably reread some of our posts and chuckle at their sophomoric creativity -- such is the perspective provided by time. None of this would have been possible without the amazing support of you, the faithful FCN few. I have regularly thanked you for your continued loyalty and supportive comments -- but no expression of gratitude suffices to fully articulate the high esteem in which we hold you. FCN was here because you were here. Thank you for the fun times.

[Note: Hyperlinks in this paragraph direct to a friend's blog, Vague Apprehension. It comes highly recommended without reservation.]

FCN has long been the Lady Gaga of blogs: We're popular, but no one really knows why. We produce content, the critics scratch their heads and we gain social currency. The similarities don't stop there: we also prance around in our underwear, have the musical taste of a baboon and have very public dating lives.

I hope Miss Germanotta (a.k.a. "Lady Gaga") takes the hint and follows our lead. Retirement is, I am told, very comfortable for former pop stars. Just stop releasing new songs and rest on the laurels of such magnificent pieces as "Alejandro" and "Telephone."

Like F, I will close this farewell with a pop culture reference. Mine is to Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton, who put it best when he said: "Good night now!" Good night now, FCN!

Farewell according to N

It's been a long run.

A LONG run.

Not literally of course. In fact, not figuratively either. More like a bumbling walk. But that's how we like it. Slow and stumbling wins the race. Or finishes it at post 865.

When I started writing with C in 2005, I was in 8th grade. I really didn't worry about college. In fact, now that I think of it, I wasn't particularly concerned about high school. But here I am on May 22th, 2010. Yesterday was my last day as a senior of secondary education. It's time to move on to a new part of my life.

No more Life Tips. No more hours on Wikipedia looking for applicable hyper links. No more picking up chicks by telling the ladies I was the one who actually wrote C's posts. (Sorry, F. I promised I'd tell you what my secret was when we shut FCN down.)

I will miss it. But most of all I will miss you. Yes, YOU. Not him, not her. YOU, my most favorite reader of all. Don't tell the others, but I loved you the most. I always have. Sniff.

I bid adieu with the immortal closing words from Nancy Pelosi's statement on Healthcare Reform:

"Thank you, my colleagues. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I thank all of you for bringing us to this moment."

Thank you for the wonderful moments you have brought us.

Farewell according to Chip

Hooey, people. Those tears are going to melt your faces. When I joined FCN I was an obese old splutterer whose only claim to fame was tenth reader status, participation in a short highjacking attempt, and a peculiar facility for producing "tawdry laughs." FCN's extraordinary longevity (both in time and in wordiness) doesn't give me fond tears or fond memories; it just reminds me that one more thing in this world isn't as short as me.

Yes, it's been a good run. Especially after the women got involved (which is exactly when I started running). But all good things must end, and when they do, they have funerals with free refreshments. It's been great to work with you, F, C, N, Jessica, and Ana. You've given me more chuckles than anyone except Marilyn Manson, and you've filled my homework hours with joyful and unproductive laughter. I don't know what I'll do without you. Good bye, dear readers. I have never seen you, but I believe you exist anyway. Farewell, FCN! May your august archives continue to pollute unsuspecting minds for years to come.

Can I have my crab cakes now?

Farewell according to Jessica

10:30pm. Began writing farewell post.

10:31pm. Turned on Pandora to the “Boys Like Girls” station. Skipped 3 songs, changed to the “Explosions in the Sky” station. Serious/solemn times call for serious/solemn music.

10:38pm. Resumed writing farewell post, now armed with copious amounts of ice cream and a box of tissues. Who knew this would be such an emotional turning point? Now I know how Kevin Jonas probably secretly felt when he got married. Happy a new chapter of life was starting, but sad to say farewell to millions of adoring female fans who would gladly date him without commitment. But, unlike C, I’m not looking to date anyone. And I’m not a dude. That analogy is starting to crash. Backpedal. It’s time to reminisce.

10:45pm. Blankly staring at computer screen. Skipped another lame song on Pandora. Finished first pint of ice cream. Logged in to Facebook. Oh, the hours I used to spend reading FCN. I guess now I'll have to turn to Facebook to fill those empty moments.

11:37pm. Still on Facebook. It’s almost like a pain-relieving narcotic. I completely forgot about FCN’s dissolution for nearly an hour.

11:52pm. Decided to face the facts and focus on the good times rather than the saddening reality of FCN’s conclusion. Skipped more songs until Pandora started cursing at me and exploded. Time for silence I guess. But that’s fitting. FCN deserves her moment of silence. Farewell, FCN. I’ve spent more time as a FCN reader than as a FCN writer. And frankly, I’m really sad to see the magic stop. Yes, it’s time. All good things must come to an end, and we just have to let them go. But did that kind of advice lessen the sting of the phase-out of eight-track tapes for Bill Lear? Doubt it.

This is it. Goodbye hijackers. Goodbye Anonymous. Goodbye faithful readers. We're sure you have more important things to do with your time online, like maintaining your farm on Farmville, or compulsively clicking the StumbleUpon button... but if you get the chance, look us up. These posts will be here as a lasting monument to the good ole days of blogging.

Like the Wicked Witch of the West after an accidental shower… I’m meltingggg

Farewell according to Ana

I wish I could say that I'm sad to see FCN go. I wish I could cry a couple crocodile tears. I wish I could pretend to be a fragile female and fall into a faint at the thought of saying "Farewell, FCN." But I can't. Instead, all I can do is breathe a sigh of relief that this phase of my life is over. No longer do I have to dissect every aspect of my life, trying to extract something funny from every occurrence for the amusement of mere strangers somewhere in cyberspace. Instead, I can now simply go through life, laughing at the humorous moments and then promptly forgetting them. Finally, I can stop being a bum student who takes notes on strange things that go on in class, and I can instead take notes on what the professor is actually talking about (I wonder what that will do for my 2.37 GPA?). In short, I'm not really sad to see FCN depart. While it's been a big part of my life for the past 4+ years, I think the time has come to say goodbye. So goodbye, FCN. And goodbye stranger in cyberspace. It's been fun. Ish.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Facebook Status Updates

We give you: The Top Four Most Annoying Facebook Status Update Styles

The Facebookitterer
This is the person who thinks their Facebook status update is supposed to function like a Twit. Updates may include the following:

John Smith is eating lunch.

Jess Smith is glad hubby is home to watch the baby...haven't been able to go to the bathroom all morning!

Elaine Craig is doing laundry.
Elaine Craig is folding laundry.
Elaine Craig is putting away laundry.
Elaine Craig clean laundry smells so nice!!!

The Confused Persons
This is the friend on your list who is a person confused by the concept of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd persons. They consistently write their updates in the first person, causing updates that read very oddly:

Grant Johnson I just had the greatest time ever at the beach!

Lizzy Jones me and my mom are loving this season of Dancing with the Stars!

Jane Victor I'm pregnant! Me and Bill are sooooo happy! Get the shotgun dad, lol

The I-Don't-Have-a-Life-So-I'll-Post-About-My-Family-Instead

The title pretty much says it all.
Elias Jones ' sister just came back from Costco with garlic bread!
Adrianna Ayers someone just pointed a gun at my brothers! YIKES! So glad they're OK!

David Daniels' parents just won a trip to Hawaii...wahoo! Can't wait for my lousy t-shirt!

The Trying Desperately to be Mysterious

This is the melodramatic person in your life who wants everyone to think their life is much more interesting than it actually is. They do this by posting vague, and sometimes worrisome, status updates:

Sarah Grant is trying to catch the rain.

Bryce Buckler sometimes, you have to die before you can live.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Top 40 Break Up


You're such a rude boy.  How low can you go?  You did say you would break my heart, but over the telephone?  So we're over, onto the next one?  What's going on in your head?

I feel like I never even met you!  You said I was your baby, your (very attractive) chick, your american honey.   When we were dancing I never wanted to let you go. I was addicted to your natural, young, glittery smile.  I liked your dad and sister, too.

OMG, you meant everything to me.  Nothing hurts as much as you running and turning your back.  I thought I (made) all the right moves.  Time is ticking;  I need you and hope this is only temporary.   Can we try again?  I'm tired of talking about bad romance.

Imma be sleeping with a broken heart.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Have you considered the Marchioness?

It was Friday afternoon and I was getting ready to quit work and meet a friend for drinks. It had been another tough week at General Mills and was fed up with the wheat dust. I wanted out.

Just as I was pulling my punch card from my pocket and preparing to bid adieu to responsibility for the weekend, the office phone rang. The caller ID said it was Diane, an office supply agent who came by regularly to restock paper and ink and gossip with the secretaries. Since I was the only one in the office, it was up to me to answer the phone. I picked up the hand piece with a memorized "Good afternoon. General Mills. How may I help you?"

"Hey is this C?"

"Yes it is, Diane, what can I do for you?" I hoped she didn't have any emergency that would take hours to resolve, like the time she wanted me to hand-siphon ink out of a broken print cartridge. That project had ruined both my evening and my brand new shoes.

"Can I ask you a personal question?" Uh oh...

"Sure, fire away."

"Okay, I mean you don't have to answer if it's too personal or whatever. I just-"

"Diane, ask me your question. It's Friday afternoon, I'm in a good mood."

"That's what I was hoping...C, are you single? I mean, are you seeing anyone?" For context, note that Diane is a lovely woman in her mid-forties. We joke around when she comes to the office, but we are not good friends. This question came out of left field.

"Blissfully so, Diane. I'm as single as they come. Why?" I never shy away from a question.

"Well the reason I'm asking is my daughter is single. You know Fiona -- she's dropped off office shipments before for me -- she's beautiful and has a great personality. Anyway, tonight I was thinking about her and thought of you. You are such a nice guy and I know you would treat her right. Fiona's been through some rough stuff -- bad relationships -- nothing terrible mind you, just it would be good to see her with a nice guy. Anyway, do you think you'd want to give her a call?"

Diane was trying to set me up with her daughter! This was not my first experience with mothers setting me up with their daughters. If I had half as much luck with girls my own age as I had with their mothers, I would be set. Apparently being a nice guy is a great bonus with mom, but is a negative with girls who like adventure and excitement. To moms, nice = secure. To girls, nice = boring. Girls want a fixer upper. Moms want a mansion. Diane had used the term "nice" twice in the previous paragraph. I felt like she'd called me a heart of gold.

Pitching Fiona's previous rough relationships was not Diane's best play. She needed me to be thinking about how beautiful and smart her daughter was, not that she'd made stupid guy mistakes in the past or had some heavy relationship baggage to carry into any interaction with me. My mental image of a battered girl who's spirit had been broken like a wild stallion's was not going to make me push the ten numbers to have us connected. I gave Diane an "A" for gumption, but a "C" for execution.

For all of Diane's effort, I did not want to go out with her daughter. I'd met Fiona before and there was no spark between us. She was a pretty girl -- a California 7 -- but she wore her baggage on her face. Diane, too, was not the most enticing salesperson. A chain-smoking, overweight double divorcee, Diane's life served as more warning than enticement. Plus, the last few weeks had not availed very good dating experiences. I needed a break. But the fact that we worked together meant I had to turn this down tactfully -- if only to maintain detente.

"Look, Diane, I'm flattered you would call and offer your daughter like this, but there's some complications on my side. I'm getting ready to leave the state -- to move across the country for school -- in a couple months. It wouldn't be right for me to get involved with anyone -- much less your daughter -- knowing that I would soon be leaving." I dropped the clear hint.

"You're moving to New York, right? That's excellent. C, when I dated Fiona's dad, he had to move shortly after we started going out and I followed him to San Francisco. Even though we later divorced, we had a great marriage. I would marry him again today if given the chance. And Fiona was borne of that union. If you guys hit it off, there's nothing to say that Fiona wouldn't go with you to New York."

Diane had failed to make a great impression before, but her current efforts were permanently foreclosing Fiona's chances. I had never seen anyone move so quickly from "give her a call" to "move with you to New York." It was speed that would make Dez Bryant jealous. It made me want to get off the phone.

"Look, Diane, that's super sweet. Why don't you give me her number and I'll think about giving her a call?" It was the best I could do. Diane gave me Fiona's number and I punched out to enjoy my weekend. Just another Friday afternoon at General Mills.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


A few weeks ago, on a farm not too far away, Bessie started her day like any other weekday morning. She walked lazily to the milking machine before the sun rose and sat still as an underpaid dairy hand plugged her in with no regard for her personal privacy or feelings. The teatcups tickled more than normal and Bessie let out a discontented “moo.” The dairy hand slapped Bessie on the rump and moved on about his chores. If Bessie weren't so distracted by the soft suction of the machine, she might have felt put out by the worker's callousness.

Bessie wondered briefly whether producing less milk would make the dairy workers respect her more. None of them appreciated the sacrifice required by a cow of her age to pump out quality milk with such regularity. They ignored her entreaties, verbal and not, choosing instead to joke among themselves or pay attention to Coco, a Holstein with udders so productive, they could support the entire cream division of Bayview Farms.

Coco. That was a heifer. With perfect coloring and minimal muscle, she was a milk machine and the envy of trough nineteen. Worse, she knew it. Coco would prance around the field when she should have been grazing and graze when she should have been sleeping. But she produced. And because she produced the dairy hands let her get away with it.

The worker returned to disconnect Bessie. With a relieved “moo,” she trotted into the cool morning air to graze. Grazing was the best part of Bessie's day. She loved a patch of crabgrass near the south fence and worked with Dairy Queen and Mama Moo to secure it from the others. Together they would partake of the greenery and forget about all their troubles.

By noon, Bessie was chewing her cud. She neither despised nor enjoyed the practice. It was just something she did. She left the south fence area to be alone. She liked to chew her cud in private. Even Coco would go off by herself for this digestive exercise.

That afternoon it was back to grazing. Tonto and Nutless, a couple of steers from next farm over, had jumped the fence and were eating the crabgrass. Everybody regarded the steers as strange and they were ostracized whenever they ventured out. Bessie had had a bad experience with T-Bone a few weeks ago and didn't want to deal with any more steers, so she joined the others eating in a large plot of sown Bermuda. Bermuda grass was the fast food of the milk cow's world, but Bessie would still eat it occasionally.

Darkness came quickly and Bessie joined Mama Moo and the rest of the cows in the trot back to the milking machine. The worker was nicer than the man on the early shift had been and Bessie was happy with her treatment. She thought her day would end with a contented cud chewing session and sleep, when Dairy Queen approached her with an idea.

No. It wasn't right. She couldn't do that. She would get in trouble. When Dairy Queen told her that Coco had done it, Bessie mooed her assent. She was game.

Mr. Cranky Pants was a handsome stud who lived in a well-kept pasture a few miles away. He had been at Bessie's dairy once before and had caught her eye immediately. She had always thought about going to see him. Mama Moo explained that the steers had knocked the fence down when they left that afternoon. This was their chance.

Bessie was surprised at how easy it was to climb the fence. A couple of other cows had caught wind of the mischief and decided to tag along. Bessie was not sure how many cows were in their group, but it was sizable. She was excited about the adventure.

At first Bessie was concerned when the group moved into the middle of the road. It seemed to her that cows should be on grass or dirt, not pavement. But Dairy Queen started making funny trotting noises on the hard surface and Bessie was so caught up in the hilarity of the situation that she surrendered her fears.

They continued this way for a few hundred meters, occasionally making comments about the houses they passed or the other cows they saw sleeping in their pastures. Freedom felt so good until it hurt.

Bessie never saw the car that hit her. It struck her from behind, pushing her forward several feet. She suffered an involuntary and very unladylike reaction to the car's force. Bessie was embarrassed by that and happy that her friends scattered quickly and probably hadn't noticed. The car's owner looked upset and disheveled, but was okay. That made Bessie feel better. She had never wanted to hurt anyone.

Emergency vehicles arrived quickly. A police officer started asking questions and taking measurements, but never thought to ask Bessie how she was doing. Remarkably well, thank you, given the circumstances.

The car was towed away and the driver taken to the hospital for minor injuries, leaving Bessie all alone on the side of the road. With a grunt, she got up and trudged back the way she came, cautious to stay out of the road and clear of traffic. She hopped the fence again and curled up to sleep near the crabgrass. She hadn't met Mr. Cranky Pants, but she couldn't wait to tell her amazing story to the other cows, especially Coco.