Pain in the Ass Magazine
You people. I made one of my delightful Facebook cover images of my beloved pug Winston and me edited into a famous movie scene, this time the inevitable picture of us in the scene from Men in Black where Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith are interrogating a pug at a magazine stand. To give the illustration some flavor in its detail, I included magazine covers of the flotsam and jetsam of humanity I associate with pictured on the cover of such wholesome periodicals as Glamour and People. It was only afterwards that I realized that there should be a magazine created to showcase these nimrods, so I'm proud to announce that Jonny Press® is introducing Pain in the Ass Magazine. This is a place where you can find out all the news about the irritants who ruin my life on a regular basis. I can't imagine why anyone would be interested in this kind of crap but I'm hoping that it will be distracting to the jackals who swarm around me on the social network so that I can finally get some peace and quiet. They say that print is dead and this rag will be an excellent indication of why.
Al Hirschfeld, the doyen of theatrical caricaturists who had genius for swirling a series of thin black lines into countless shapes and attitudes. Mr. Hirschfeld died in 2003 at the age of 99, having immortalized almost all of the notable theatrical names of the 20th century on his drawing pad. I saw "almost" because there was one notable exception who was never included in Mr. Hirschfield's sketchbook: I am referring, of course, to myself. It may never be known why the great man shied away from attempting to make a drawing of me. Perhaps he felt that my classic features were too perfect to be sullied in a lowly caricature. Perhaps he feared that my towering performances in productions like The Dancing Dog Theatre Company's Annual Christmas Pageant were too epic to be captured by his pen. But since Mr. Hirschfeld's death, his reputation has gradually declined over the mystery of why he never attempted to draw a theatrical giant like myself. Since I have only respect for Mr. Hirschfeld's work and memory, I finally corrected the slight by culling together an image of me flanked by my beloved pug Winston using pieces of extant Hirschfeld drawings to create an approximation of how he might have viewed me. Regretfully, I had no guide for how he would have drawn a pug so I was forced to rip off a line drawing of one from an online coloring book, adding a couple of Mr. Hirschfeld's trademark "Nina's" (Nina being the name of his daughter that he famously wove into the content of his drawings) to give it authenticity. I have no doubt that Mr. Hirschfeld would have disapproved of me passing off my digital chicanery as his work, but it's his own fault for passing on free tickets to see me in The Dancing Dog Theatre Company's Annual Christmas Pageant when he was alive.
Basil. I attended a social do at the home of my rapidly emerging nemesis Jessicah Neufeld on Tuesday night to christen her new apartment paid for by some discreet millionaire who is keeping her on the side. I brought my beloved pug Winston to the party as a diversion to any of Ms. Neufeld's guests who might be under the mistaken impression that I wanted to talk to them. My strategy was blown when the first partygoer we encountered wasn't any autograph-seeking homo sapien but rather Basil, Ms. Neufeld's genuinely disturbing hairless cat. I had often heard of these hyper-allergenic creatures but this is the first one I had encountered in the flesh. I found Basil to have the same disdainful ice water running through his veins as any other feline I've encountered (and thusly the perfect companion for the man-eating Ms. Neufeld), but his lack of hair allowed me to get my first closeup view of a cat's scornful facial expressions unhidden by a mask of fur. Sadly, Winston didn't pick up on Basil's anti-social vibe and tried bounding up to him like a long-lost buddy. Basil would have none of it and hid in the safety of the kitchen cabinets so that he could study this roly-poly intruder from afar. We saw little of Basil for the rest of the evening as Winston took his place as the Belle of the Ball, being petted and fussed over by all the guests as I held back quietly in the kitchen, siphoning Ms. Neufeld's alcohol into hot water bottles duct-taped to my thighs so that I could enjoy it later that evening in the comfort of my own home. Even the normally reticent Ms. Neufeld delighted over Winston's presence, running her fingers through his thick fur every chance she got. With only Basil around, that's something of a novelty for her.
Ja'Son Fogelson, who dredged up my long-forgotten hatred of hummingbirds by posting on my Facebook wall a video of one of the flying insects endearing itself to some unseen naíve family. It did this by perching on the finger of the most gullible one and pretending not to want to leave their nurturing home even when presented with an open window that had a straight shot to the clan's nearby hummingbird feeder filled with sugar water. What Mr. Fogelson's sappy video didn't show was the horrifying aftermath, when the family had been seduced by the microscopic fowl's apparent devotion and allowed it to become a house pet. After they had gone to sleep that night, the hyperactive housefly doubtlessly fluttered its way into each family member's room and pecked them to death with its razor-sharp beak. The first to go would have been the innocent sucker who allowed the nervous beast to perch on his finger in the first place. The bloody digit would have been all that the authorities found of the victim the next morning, with the rest of the corpse skeletonized after being doused with sugar water and consumed in a hummingbird feeding frenzy. That part was conveniently edited out so that hummingbirds can continue to enjoy their fraudulent reputation as friends of mankind. So go ahead and keep your hummingbird feeders in your balconies and backyards to attract the little bastards. Just don't blame me if you wake up skeletonized after being doused with sugar water.
My college chum Wade Sheeler, who was snubbed by the Emmy Awards for the third time in a row after being nominated as part of the production team for Top Chef. It's well known that once the Emmy voters decide that they like a show, they have a tendency to honor it over and over and over again. Hence, this is the second time that Mr. Sheeler's crew has lost the Best Reality Program Emmy to The Amazing Race, which has won the category a yawn-inducing six times. And when you look at the other winners: Modern Family (Best Comedy Series five years in a row), Breaking Bad (Best Drama Series for the second year in a row), The Colbert Report (Best Variety Series for the second year in a row), Bryan Cranston (6 Emmys), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (5 Emmys), Allison Janney (6 Emmys) and so on, it's clear that the secret to winning an Emmy is to have already won an Emmy. That probably seems like a Catch-22 to most of you, but such are the politics of show business awards. My advice to Mr. Sheeler is to do a "very special episode" of Top Chef to get the voters' attention. I'm thinking something like two of the chefs get married (preferably in a ceremony implausibly performed by all the other chefs); one of the chefs whose sexuality was firmly established as heterosexual early in the series comes out as gay; or perhaps make the main ingredient to a recipe blue methamphetamine, the popularity of which turns the winning chef into an egomaniacal sociopath. After Mr. Sheeler gets that first Emmy under his belt, the members of the Television Academy will keep bestowing honors on him ad nauseum until he's featured in the Emmy broadcast's tedious "In Memoriam" section that they cynically ripped off from the Oscars. By that time, he'll probably get killed from being crushed under the weight of all his Emmys.