Jonny's Top 10 Enemies of 2019
The shit show that was the 2010's is finally behind us and no one is more excited to see it in the rear view mirror than I am. I started making these lists in 2009 and I'm delighted to say that only one person from that original group of ten graces these pages this year, which means either that you people are learning your lessons or I am getting better at unloading the deadwood that weighs me down day after day. But I'm far from completely successful because there's never a shortage of irritating yahoos, losers and yentas to choose from as I pare you people down to the 10 most annoying people in my life. If you're reading this and breathing a sigh of relief that you managed to sneak past my radar this year, rest assured that I have my eye on you so don't get cocky. My justice may not always be swift but it will catch up with you eventually.
At about this time, you're probably asking yourself who I've taken to task since 2009. The complete selections can be found here:
But that's in the past. Today we're talking about 2019, and there no bigger annoyances than these 10 Bozos.
Yenta Sara J. Stuckey makes her first appearance on the list, and I'm frankly surprised that it took her so long. My fans best know Ms. Stuckey for her many appearances on my Hack Werker novel covers, frequently as a virginal young thing who is on the verge of being cruelly deflowered by a villainous brute depicted by myself. The alarming truth is that she could easily kick my sorry ass across the street because not only does Ms. Stuckey possess the instincts of a paid assassin, but she is a trained athlete. Many a Sunday I have woken up at 2:00 in the afternoon to see some Facebook post on her newsfeed announcing that she greeted the sunrise to run back-to-back marathons with a 10k for charity dashed off as an afterthought. This news inevitably fills me with rage because the only way you could get me to run anywhere is if someone was chasing me. This is especially true if the pursuer was Sara J. Stuckey, who would effortlessly catch me and pummel me into a carbon-based powder for depicting her on so many Hack Werker novels. The gods of Karma have a sophisticated sense of irony and they aren't afraid to use it.
The Republican Party returns to the list for the first time since 2013, this time for their overblown and unconvincing histrionics during the House impeachment hearings. There is no greater admirer of the art of acting than I am, so I am offended to the core by bad acting and Devon Nunes & Company's exaggerated outrage during the proceedings investigating Donald Trump were about as convincing as a five year-old denying that he raided the cookie jar while wiping crumbs from his mouth. I get that there is always an element of performance in politics but the members of the GOP don't seem to understand that believable acting contains an element of subtlety, and their hysterical tantrums over the clearly valid charges against Mr. Trump have all the nuance of William Shatner playing Captain Kirk. For die-hard fans of the original Star Trek such as myself, that kinda makes sense because it feels like the country is in the middle of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan's Kobayashi Maru scenario, a no-win situation that's supposed to build character but all it winds up doing is wreaking havoc on the bridge. And if our leaders don't do something about it soon instead of using The Art of Coarse Acting to try and convince their constituents that our problems are always someone else's fault, we're going to wind up with a dead Mr. Spock.
Rosanna De Candia, who makes her debut appearance on my Top 10 Enemies List this year. I only follow hot chicks on Instagram so it was inevitable that I would cyber-ogle Ms. De Candia, who has not one but three Instagram accounts that I subscribe to. One centers around her ability to be a fashion icon on a budget, the second is devoted to her dispensing feel-good philosophy to her online minions so that they can sustain an optimism about life, and the third is about her having a blast despite having reached the decrepit age of 50. I, meanwhile, try to get by with a measly one Instagram account on which I post Hack Werker covers and cute pictures of my pug Boris while I'm wearing dirty sweatpants in order to persuade my followers to hate their existences as much as I do mine so that I can forget that I just turned 58 and most of my time is spent trying to remember if I took my heart medication that morning. Of the two of us, I should clearly be the one who enjoys the privileges of an Instagram "influencer" but it is Ms. De Candia who has legions of followers determined to see what plaid schoolgirl dress or pink wig she's pushing that day while I have only a handful of weirdos who lurk my feed in the hopes of catching a glimpse of Boris' withered pink penis. Maybe I'll take a cue from Ms. De Candia and start another Instagram account devoted to just that.
My beloved surrogate daughter MZ Runyan, another first-timer on these pages. I first met Ms. Runyan when she acted as stage manager for my definitive performance of Shakespeare's tragedy Richard III and despite the fact that she was within the age range of women I date (I will consent to allow them to experience the magnificence that is me starting on their 18th birthday until they begin to circle the drain at 21), I inexplicably felt paternal sentiments towards her and wanted nothing more than to shower her with chaste affection and provide her with the benefit of my hard-won wisdom. She responded to my selfless endearment by viewing me as an embarrassing loser who she would only condescend to spend time with if I was picking up the bill. In other words, she has exactly the same relationship with me that I had with my own father. I couldn't be more proud.
Micah Watterson shared the number 4 spot last year as a member of The "Lord's Brunch" Bunch, but he won a solo entry in 2019 after getting hitched and "honoring" me with a spot as one of his groomsmen. I was secretly stunned at the distinction since I have disliked Mr. Watterson from the moment I met him when he played my arch-enemy Richmond to my definitive performance as Richard III and brutally killed me at the end of every performance, mayhem that he commits on my soul on any occasion that I have spent time with him since. He is quick to point out that I have depicted him on countless Hack Werker covers, inevitably in a sordid homosexual encounter, and I suspect that he wanted me to see him marry an attractive woman in the hopes that I would stop spreading rumors about him. In response, I offer you this faux-cover of The Advocate announcing Mr. Watterson's coming out with his Best Man. It's my little wedding present to him.
Glenn and Megan Simon or as they are known in the tabloids, Megglenn. Mr. Simon (the only holdover from my original Top 10 list of 2009) was supposed to be pressed into service as a groomsman as well, but he had the good fortune to have a family emergency just before the nuptials that made his wife and him unable to attend. I was damned if I was going to let them get off that easily so I brought along an 8"x10" glossy of the couple that was dubbed "Flat Megglenn," which could be photographed throughout the festivities so that I could at least enjoy the fantasy that they were suffering through the nuptials with me. It actually did play out as if they were there: Megan looked lovely while everyone who had Glenn suddenly appear beside them without explanation were confused and annoyed, the same reaction he gets when he shows up in the flesh. It worked out so well that they next time I'm invited anywhere I don't want to go, I'm going to send a headshot of myself instead. They'll still get the thrill of getting to take a selfie with me and I'll get points for making an appearance without ever dragging my ass off the couch. And if Mr. Simon is scheduled to attend, he'll be so freaked out over what I might write about him that he'll pretend to have a family emergency and cancel at the last minute. Everybody wins.
Recording legend Linda Ronstadt. I made a series of Hack Werker covers this year featuring my all-time celebrity crushes and the one who continues to play havoc with my mojo is Ms. Ronstadt, whose poster adorned my wall from my teenage years until my mid-twenties. She's 73 years old now and wheelchair-bound due to Parkinson's Disease so you'd think that a man as attractive as I am would have moved on to a younger fantasy lover. But when she was honored by the Kennedy Center this year, she used the occasion to take Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to task to his face for "enabling Trump," and I realized that my devotion to her transcended mere physical beauty so I rekindled my imaginary love affair with her. Granted, in my brain Ms. Ronstadt still looks like she did on the album cover of Hasten Down the Wind but I don't allow that to get in the way of our relationship. I'm far too mature to allow my head to be turned by anything as superficial as mere looks. My imaginary lovers have to possess a soul.
The great Frances Fisher dropped a couple of slots from being my number one enemy in 2018, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Particularly irksome was her definitive performance as Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine in a stage production of The Lion in Winter. I couldn't figure out how she was so effective in the role until I visited her afterwards and found myself bowing and scraping in her presence, willing and even eager to lay down my life to defend her royal person. It was only then that I realized that Ms. Fisher wasn't just playing a queen; she is a queen who rules over a kingdom with no borders but with a host of minions at her beck and call. I can live with that were it not for my status as the deformed palace outsider with a hump back and googly eye who occasionally gets pressed into service as a court jester but who is really just biding his time until he displeases her majesty to the point where she orders his execution. You can see that I've given a lot of thought to this metaphor and I can't figure out any exit strategy that doesn't climax with my own beheading. It probably sounds grim for me but it's really not that bad. I've got another one where Ms. Fisher is a dynastic empress and I am her eunuch servant boy. I'll write about that one some day if I can ever find the balls.
Donald Trump went from my number three enemy last year to number two in 2019. I seriously considered giving him the top slot but I know how crazy it makes him not to come in first place and I find his reactions to it to be hysterically funny. Case in point when Time Magazine made the excellent selection of climate advocate Greta Thunberg as their Person of the Year and Mr. Trump was so consumed with jealousy that he had his staff Photoshop his orange face over her Time cover. As you all know, I have some experience Photoshopping my head onto other bodies in order to feel better about myself but I typically put my face on the torso of some Adonis body builder. The fact that Mr. Trump took solace in his second-string status by pasting his mug on the body of a slender 16 year-old girl says a lot about the depths of his 73 year-old obese insecurities. But I guess if it makes Mr. Trump feel better about himself to be depicted as a teenage girl, it shouldn't catch anyone by surprise. I mean, he is always saying stupid things in the hopes that boys will like him more.
I first met David Pinion when he played the Duke of Clarence to my definitive Richard III a few years back and my character had his character drowned in a vat of wine every night. If I had any idea what I'd have to put up from him ever since, I would have invested in a few cases of Charles Shaw and had Mr. Pinion knocked off in real time. It's not that he's evil; he actually does his best to be quite nice. It's just that he so annoying while attempting to be nice that everyone around him wants to drown him in a vat of wine. Mr. Pinion and I frequently brunch together because he is anxious to suck up to me and I am anxious for Mr. Pinion to pay the check, and it is during those meals that he displays a litany of quirks that are so irritating that I don't have the bandwidth to even begin to list them all here. I think that the one that grinds my hash the most is his habit of throwing in relatively obscure words into the conversation to make himself sound erudite even though they seem slightly wrong when they come out of his face but he changes the subject with such abandon that there's rarely time to call him on it. I do remember one occasion when he stopped talking long enough to take a breath after using the word "contiguous" in conversation and it occurred to me that I really wasn't sure what it meant. I admitted my ignorance and Mr. Pinion condescendingly provided a definition which sounded completely plausible. It might have ended there except I screwed him over by double-checking him on Google and I discovered (and mockingly pointed out) that his definition was also completely wrong. The moral is to never try to make yourself sound erudite if you're in the presence of someone with an iPhone and a working connection to the Internet unless you want to look like a total moron. There's a word for people who do that, and they're called "Pinions." If you don't believe me, look it up.
Honorable Mention: I don't normally do this but with the decade of the 10's coming to a close and the roaring 20's about to descend on us, a number of people have take the opportunity to point out that the decade actually ends on the 10th year and we shouldn't make a fuss about a new one until 2021. And while I am aware that comedian Louis CK has fallen from grace, I want those people to realize that when he was still considered a righteous dude that he was talking about them in this video:
So we close the book on 2019. I hope my selections will take their inclusions to heart and try to be less annoying people in 2020. And for the rest of you, if you're at a New Year's Eve party tonight and you find yourself preaching that the new decade doesn't actually begin until next year, give it a rest. It just makes you sound like a ... you know.