Jonny's Top 10 Enemies of 2018
I was finally going to retire the Enemies List completely this year and forego my annual tally of the top 10 most annoying people of my life over the past year. But as the new year approached and I thought of all the irritating people I came into contact with, I realized that it would be nothing short of a crime against humanity not to air my grievances against you people. And believe me, you all have a lot to answer for. So on the last Sunday of the year, when all of you should have been in church praying to whatever God you pray to to make you a better human being, I was typing away on the computer to give the Almighty a list of inviduals who really needed some work done on them. As always, I was frustrated that I only had ten slots to work with but, also as always, I was satisified that the group I ultimately narrowed the list down to were desperately in need of the recognition. If you aren't included, believe me that it doesn't mean that I think you're perfect. It only means that you're marginallly less annoying than the Hall of Fame yahoos who made the cut.
For those of you unfamiliar with this treasured tradition, the top 10 enemies of past years can be seen here:
For the rest of you, anxious to get this nonsense over with so you can get back to buying the alcohol that you need to quiet the demons in your soul for tonight's celebration, here are my top 10 enemies of 2018. Enjoy.
My college chum James “Tree” Cleveland makes his first appearance on the top 10 since 2014, and it was a highlight of the ensuing years to be able to put him out of my mind. But I saw him recently and I realized that I simply couldn't ignore him any longer because Mr. Cleveland’s height has been catalogued as somewhere between 7’4” and a towering 24 feet high. The discrepancy appears to be the result of inflammation and shrinkage due to changes in the temperature (although if interviews from his many celebrity girlfriends are to be believed, the length and width of his genitalia remains surprisingly consistent, measuring at about the size of a smallish green bean when he is in a fully aroused state) but however you gauge it, he makes me look like one of the seven dwarves by comparison and I’ve had enough of it. I met Mr. Cleveland at university and my first words to him were (famously) “You’re James Cleveland. How the hell are you?” In the decades since, I’ve come to realize how Mr. Cleveland is: fucking tall, and he’d better knock it off if he expects to continue our association. I've had enough of him making me feel small.
Tom Ashworth also makes his first appearance on the list since 2014, but his irritation factor has loomed over me like an inflamed hemorrhoid just on the verge of popping the entire time since. Mr. Ashworth inevitably shows up on these pages from time to time due to his eccentric artistic endeavors, be it strumming on a banjo, pumping on an accordion, acting a role in a short film in which he displays full-frontal nudity (despite the fact that the script in no way calls for it) or directing a play with his own personal touch (he once directed me in one-act set during the revolutionary war in which he gave me the direction to “play with Washington’s nipple”). But Mr. Ashworth makes a return to the top 10 because of his output as a painter. He possesses enormous talent with a palette and brush but his work provides insight into a mind so disturbing that one wants to run miles in another direction after seeing it. I recently had occasion to dine at Mr. Ashworth’s home where his paintings covering the walls are so disturbing that I expected Rod Serling to come out at any second to introduce a segment of Night Gallery. That never happened, but an African doll did come to life and try to murder us. I guess most people would consider that the most interesting part of the story but when you’re having dinner with Mr. Ashworth, death is something that becomes welcome.
Jesse Merlin failed to make the list for the past two years but he was my number 1 enemy in both 2013 and 2014 (the only back-to-back recipient) so he was never far out of the running. I do my best to avoid Mr. Merlin whenever possible but I had occasion to watch him play Hannibal Lechter in a musicalization of Silence of the Lambs titled Silence! The Musical and he was nothing short of superb. Mr. Merlin has won a reputation as King of the Science Fiction/Horror musicals here in Los Angeles, and with good reason: anyone who knows him will attest they he seems like a creature that emerged from some radioactive ooze with an uncontrollable desire to destroy humanity. I’ve come to terms with that, but his performance as Hannibal the Cannibal was so uncanny that it caused me to realize that in all the years I’ve known him, I’ve never actually witnessed him eating human food. What's more, he always seems to glare at anyone he’s near with the famished look of a starving animal. This compels me to conclude that Mr. Merlin’s success in Silence! was due to his craving to eat a human liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti and as weird as I’ve known Mr. Merlin to be over the years, I have to draw the line at that. I mean, have you ever actually tasted fava beans? They’re gross!
It may shock you to find my beloved pug Boris on this list since we’re always depicted on the social network in an affectionate embrace at the park or making lovey-dovey at some dog-friendly restaurant so that he just seems like a big bundle of cuteness. But the truth is that the little bastard has a taste for human flesh that surpasses even Jesse Merlin’s. Boris and I share the same bed and I’m sure that it will surprise no one that I consider it a crime to hide my magnificent body with anything as mundane as pajamas. That means that every morning, I am awakened by a bloodthirsty primate planting himself on my bare chest and setting his beefy paws squarely on my larynx, and then clawing at my unexposed flesh to announce that he is ready to be served breakfast. Once I drag my scarred and bloody body out of bed to avoid further attack, I am subjected to Boris’ favorite pastime: “playfully” gnawing on the fingers and toes of anyone around him. And since I live alone and work out of my home office, his preferred extremities to chew on are attached to your truly. In short, I am cohabitating with a modern-day Jabberwock with jaws that bite and claws that catch. I wish that there was something that I could do about it but then he looks up at me with those enormous saucer eyes and I’m rendered helpless by a big bundle of cuteness.
Lacie Harmon and Robin Greenspan came in at number 8 last year after just making the tally at number 10 the year before. Their gradual climb on my Enemies List is indicative how the pair manage to ascend just a little further up my large intestine every year. Labin (as they are known in the tabloids) got bumped up the list after I made the mistake of inviting them to my palatial estate Casa de Jonny to dine with Boris and me. For those of you who don’t know Mrs. Greenspan-Harmon and Mrs. Harmon-Greenspan (they are a married lesbian couple, which I find pretty hot), they are dedicated vegans, which meant that I was forced to serve lawn mower clippings and mashed yeast as I listened to them yammer on about their tree-hugging philosophies. Afterwards, Labin joined Boris in his favorite hobby of chewing on the fingers of anyone who is within a five-foot radius of him with the ultimate objective of devouring their forearms up to the elbows. As they were leaving, my friends congratulated themselves on managing to survive another day without having digested any part of a sentient being. But as I glanced at the greedy eyes of Boris still hungry for the taste of the ladies’ flesh, I realized that the animals that they were so intent on not eating would happily eat them if given half the opportunity. And as I said before, I think that’s pretty damned hot.
Bro Joe, who also came in at number 5 last year. Joe has become famous to my followers on the social network as an elite member of the Junior Rangers, a marketing gimmick cooked up by the national parks to get small children interested in conservation. As Joe makes his inevitable descent into old age, he focuses his denial on hiking, camping, and being generally manly throughout the USA and makes a point of obtaining a Junior Ranger badge at whatever collection of rocks he is conquering at the moment (despite the fact that he is approximate fifty years older than the average Junior Ranger in that chapter). He amassed an impressive collection of the plastic medallions that denote his membership in the various parks' Junior Ranger ranks, pinning them on his “Adventurer Hat” that looks like something worn by somebody who’s a regular customer at a Weed Store who smoked too much ganja. Tragically, Joe left his Adventurer Hat on a bus on which it rode away forever, taking his collection of Junior Ranger badges with it. Joe is philosophical about the loss although he is going to write to the national parks to try and obtain replacement badges. When he does, I suggest that he write the letters in crayon with a lot of backwards R’s and J’s so that they look like they’re from a typical Junior Ranger. Otherise, the parks employees who read them might just think they’re from a regular customer at a Weed Store who smoked too much ganja. And in a way, they’d be right.
The “Lords' Brunch” Bunch, a group of idiots that I frequently brunch with consisting of Amanda James, David Pinion, Glenn Simon and Micah Watterson. Mssrs. Pinion and Simon came in at 6 and 7 on last year’s list but since they primarily annoyed me at the collection of seedy diners that we brunched at in 2018 (in tandem with Ms. James and Mr. Watterson), I thought it only appropriate to loop them together this year. The crew began meeting when they were supporting me in my legendary performance of Shakespeare’s Richard III three years ago (hence the name “The Lords' Brunch,” since every character in the goddamn play is a lord, duke or, in Mr. Simon's case, a strawberry-loving bishop) but things became really complicated when Mr. Simon moved to Seattle and Mr. Watterson moved to Oakland (I suspect with the police not far behind), often joining the group via Skype. And since the diners that we frequent have WiFi that seems to be powered by a hamster running on a wheel in the basement, our conversations are all reminiscent of NASA Mission Control talking to Neil Armstrong. But even when the out-of-towners aren’t in attendance, I am sure to be annoyed by chowing down with Mr. Pinion and Ms. James (who once told me that her mother Bertha discovered that she had a sister who was placed in adoption as an infant, and the family who adopted her also named her Bertha). I’m not sure how such a delightful person as myself got hooked up with such a motley crew, but I’m thinking of attending our future brunches via Skype from the comfort of Casa de Jonny. I won’t be able to understand a word anyone is saying but that’s pretty much how it plays out when I'm in the same room with them.
Donald Trump, who came in at number 3 last and son of a bitch if he isn’t number 3 again this year. I have a Twitter account for one reason and one reason only: to read whatever idiocy this lunatic is spouting and then call him an asshole for spouting it. You all know the nonstop stream of chaos this ridiculous fool has been responsible for since taking the oath of office and I’m not going to try and recount it here. Suffice to say that it seems like every day there is a new scandal or misstep from within his administration that would have been the death knell for any other presidency but for Mr. Trump, it’s just another day at the Oval Office. When he started out, his daily fiascos seemed entertaining, but now it's gotten to the point where I want to hide under the bed with Boris because I'm genuinely scared for the fate of the country. At this writing, the Commander in Chief has shut down the federal government because he lacked the ability to negotiate funding for his pet project, officials are departing his administration like rats fleeing a sinking ship, he can't get anyone to serve as advisors because he refuses to listen to their advice, and our allies are finding out through Twitter posts that he's pulling out US military support from under their feet without even bothering to alert the Pentagon first. I never know who's going to be on this list until just before I write it but I'll just about guarantee that this moron will be near the top again next year, assuming he hasn't blown up the planet by that time. If he has and there are a handful of people to repopulate the earth, I only pray that Twitter is still working. At least they'll be able to logon and call him an asshole.
The lunatic who tried to burn my house down. For those of you who haven’t been paying attention to the Jonny Saga this year, a nutjob who lived in my condominium complex thought it would be a good idea to take revenge on her various enemies in the building (including yours truly) by getting up at 4:00 in the morning, stuffing rags under their doors and lighting said rags on fire, using hairspray as an accelerant. She only managed to set one door on fire and was in the process of lighting a second when she was stopped, but it still resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in smoke damage to the building and a hefty prison sentence for her. This wasn’t a surprise; she had a history of leaving incoherent threatening letters at our doors and dumping garbage and animal (I hope) urine in the hallway, so when we were wakened by the fire alarms and walked into the smoke engulfed hallway, we knew exactly who did it. Bro Joe joked afterwards that he was surprised that I was the first one in our family that someone had tried to murder, although she had once met him and then came pounding on my door the next day insisting that he and I had vandalized her car in the garage. For all I know, in her twisted mind she thought that Joe and I lived together and he was actually the one she was trying to kill. If that’s the case, her scheme suddenly makes sense and I owe her an apology. Maybe I’ll send an incoherent letter written in cat urine to her prison cell.
The legendary actress Frances Fisher tops the list. Anyone who follows me on Facebook has seen Ms. Fisher depicted countless times in my delightful illustrations on the social network, many of them with a quasi-romantic theme. A large number of my followers have leapt to the perfectly logical conclusion that there is something going on between Ms. Fisher and me but I want to take the opportunity to say here that while you can cut the sexual tension between us with a knife when we are in the same room, Ms. Fisher is nothing more than a devoted follower of mine and rumors of anything more are just that: rumors. And while it is true that rumors frequently turn out to be even juicier and more salacious than originally thought (no matter how much the parties in question deny them) I repeat that the same is true of Ms. Fisher and myself. So I am going to say here that no matter how strongly it may appear that she is obsessed with me (and even I must admit that the circumstantial evidence to that effect is virtually insurmountable), Ms. Fisher is an intelligent and strong-willed woman who is free to pursue any man that she wishes and while there may be appearances of a romantic attachment between the two of us, those appearances can be deceiving unless of course they are not, in which case it’s nobody’s business until it becomes so; at which time I’m sure that this unfortunate gossip will turn out to be far less interesting than the truth which can always be contrasting depending on whose truth the truth, in truth, actually is.
And that’s the last time I intend to comment about that, until the next time anybody asks me.
And that's it for 2018. Was it worth giving up my Sunday for? We'll only find out this time next year to see if these nimrods have learned their lesson or if they're still on my list. For the rest of you, I suggest that you behave yourselves. I'll be keeping my eye on you in 2019.