Stabbing, and on a Scale of One to 10, It's a Seven

What is the deal with Rick Moranis?

He's so Rick Moranis-y.

That will make a lot more sense later.  Maybe.

In the course of holiday socializing, the conversation often turns to life and what, in particular, you are doing with yours.  When this happens, I usually try to look like I can't be bothered to contribute because I'm listening so hard.  My gaze burns into the side of Boyfriend's head and I nod and squint my eyes like I was previously unaware of his occupation.  Oh my God!  That's where you go every day? I thought you were out giving blow jobs to support your crack habit... what a relief!

I start to panic because I know I'm next.  After Boyfriend has informed everyone that he is working on curing cancer, using phrases like "retrovirus vector" and "endogenous," someone will turn to me and say  "So Allie, what are you doing for work these days?"

Me:  "Me?  Oh... uh... I'm blogging?" 

I usually say it like I'm asking a question, like I am completely unsure of whether or not it is true.  Blogging?  Maybe.  It depends on how you feel about the subject.  I do know that there aren't any retrovirus vectors involved.

Friend:  "What?"

Me:  "I write a blog? On the internet?"

Friend:  "Oh... what is it called?"

In this moment, I frantically try to determine whether the people around me are the type to be easily offended by the word "fuck."  I try to think of some way I could test it.  Like maybe I could say "it's fucking called Hyperbole and a Half, motherfucker!!" But that might come off as rude.  I could lie.  I could tell them that I write a blog called "The Awesome Charity for Cancer and AIDS and Diabetes and Ebola and Other Deadly Things That Need Awareness Too Blog," but they'd find me out sooner or later and then I would never be able to see them again without having some long, awkward discussion about how they tried to check out my website but, for some reason, Google didn't show any results for "The Awesome Charity for Cancer and AIDS and Diabetes and Ebola and Other Deadly Things That Need Awareness Too Blog."  At that point, I'd pretty much have to bank on the fact that maybe they don't understand the internet and make up something about Google boycotting AIDS awareness.   No.  I have to tell the truth.

Me:  "Hypermehehshs nnd a Hsss...."

I try to say it really fast out of the corner of my mouth.

Friend:  "What?"

Me:  "Hyperbole and a smfl."

Friend:  "Hyperbole and a what?"

Me:  "and a Half?"

Friend:  "Oh!  What's it about?"

Me:  "Humor?"

Friend:  "Like what kind of humor?"

This part kind of feels like when you're in the doctor's office because your whole body hurts and you are pretty sure that you have ebola, but you don't want to offend the doctor by diagnosing yourself, so you just say "I'm in pain" and the doctor says "describe the pain..." and you say "it's pain-y" and the doctor says "okay... but where?"  And you say "Everywhere" and the doctor says "On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is the pain?"  And you say "Eight?" because you have no idea where the scale starts or ends, but you've never given birth, so you're pretty sure it isn't a 10, and maybe that one time you shut your fingers in the door was a nine and the time you got kicked in the arm by a horse was a seven, and eights sound reasonable, so you just blurt it out - but with a question mark in case you're wrong.  Then the doctor says "Is it a throbbing pain or a stabbing pain?" and you want to shout "IT FEELS EXACTLY LIKE AN EBOLA PAIN AND WE CAN'T WASTE ANY MORE TIME DISCUSSING IT BECAUSE I'M GOING TO BLEED OUT AND TURN INTO A ZOMBIE IN LIKE, FIVE SECONDS!!!!" Then the doctor says "Ebola doesn't turn you into a zombie..." and you say "What the hell kind of medical school did you go to??  They didn't even prepare you for a zombie massacre??"

But instead of trying to lead a doctor to the conclusion that I have ebola, I'm trying to lead my friends to the conclusion that I am funny.  Only I can't just tell them that I am "stabbing funny and on a scale of one to 10, it's a seven."  Because that doesn't make sense.

I usually end up saying something like "observational humor" and my friend says "Like Seinfeld?"

And then the conversation derails and suddenly we're talking about how I should start every post by saying "What is the deal with ________??" And I didn't even get to convince them that I'm funny and they are going to visit my blog expecting Seinfeld, but they aren't going to get Seinfeld.  They are going to get clown AIDS and Wolverine and Rick Moranis.

So I've decided that I need to come up with a good description.  Something that says "I'm funny, but that's just what other people think and I would never say that about myself because I'm modest.  And if you are terribly offended by Jesus jokes and the word 'fuck,' you may be disappointed with me, but can we still be friends?"  It needs to sound as cool as "retrovirus vector," but not quite as serious.  Like if you were to put a little hat on it and make it dance around to Ragtime.  Something that lets people know that I am not really at all like Seinfeld, but I appreciate his comedy and I hope to one day be famous like him which will definitely happen so they should watch their backs because pretty soon I'll be rich enough to hire my own mafia and then I won't need to explain my blog.


Veronica M. D. said...

Okay, I don't think you can boil it down to one word like the boyfriend. Humor is not science (thank god).

I vote for "I'm as fucking funny as clown AIDS, motherfucker" or "I'm a stabbing funny, and on a scale of one to 10, I'm a fucking seven."

Only you are being modest, and I would increase the seven to as high as you can without feeling uncomfortable. Maybe an 8.75?

Una LaMarche said...

First of all, I love your blog and find you hilarious.

Secondly, it's impossible to describe a blog to anyone, unless it's some sort of blog that tries to be, like, useful to society, which I think is actually really not the point.

Finally, the deal with Rick Moranis is that he is the KEY MASTER. Also I find him sexy in a way that makes me question my own taste.

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

You are now the first and only entry in google for "The Awesome Charity for Cancer and AIDS and Diabetes and Ebola and Other Deadly Things That Need Awareness Too Blog". Nice try, they'll find you no matter what now.

I go with the denial route. Like:
Person: Oh, I heard you have a blog.
Me: Nope.
Person: Oh, weird, Cause I heard your friend say...
Me: You heard wrong, mister. Move along.

Maybe tell them your blog is called "Hyperbole and 1,162 over 2,324" then scream "REDUCE, AND THERE YOU WILL FIND ME!" then swoop your cape over your eyes and jump behind a bush. Only the coolest people will understand and find you here. It's a filtering system, like natural selection, only more better. It would be best if you were wearing Bruce at the time.

Chelsea said...

1) Thank you for mentioning Rick Moranis! It makes me glad.

2) How dare you worry what these strangers think of your blog. Be proud!

3) Stranger: So, Allie, what are you doing these days?
Allie: Writing a blog.
Stranger: Oh... what about?
Allie: I make humorous commentary about pop culture, social issues, and what-not. Just google "sexy lion" and you'll find me. If they're not afraid of sexy lions, it's likely the word "fuck" won't bother them.

Auntie A said...


Laughter is the BEST medicine, therefore, you rate a 10 and you win.

JD at I Do Things said...

My blog is called I Do Things So You Don't Have To.

When I tell people the name of my blog, they get all interested.

"Oh, what kind of things do you do?"

"Uh . . . well, I bought a door. Watched a porno. Ummm . . . Oh! I ate some sardines. And videotaped me eating them."

By this time they've pretty much tuned out.

Happy New Year!

Alyson said...

You should definitely go the mysterious route like Steamy suggested.

I try not to bring up blogging in conversation, in case they go looking and turn me in to child services, but I've had the occasional awkward moment.

Person: "What are you doing?"
Me: "Typing."
Person: "What are you typing?"
Me: "Nothing."
Person: "It looks like something. Let me see."
Me: "I suggest you start backing up before I throw dem bows."
Person: Looks offended and slightly scared.
Me: Gangster back up chest thrusting move.

The end.

Anonymous said...

Like Dooce, with more mental illness.

Ed said...

I'll have to ponder this and see if I can propely describe your witty awesomeness in two words or less.

Or even better, one word or less.

Blaise said...

Steamy's idea is definitely the route to go. Perfect!

Tony said...

Person: Oh, so you write blogs?

You: Yes.

Person: What do you write about?

You: I would tell you but I don't want to hurt your feelings.

Person: Why would you hurt my feelings?

You: Because after reading my blog, you'll realize that you'll never be as cool as me.

Stylez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stylez said...

If laughter is the best medicine,( it's not, heroine is), then you are equally adept at curing AIDS, cancer, or the equally horrific acute uncontrollable diarrhea with rectal leakage as any doctor.

The Jules said...

On a scale of one to Rick Moranis, Rick Moranis is at Rick Moranis, that's how Rick Moranis-y he is.

You should get business cards with your blog address printed out on them, and then a mission statement which is all vague and businesslike and ignorable, then people can make up their own minds.

"Hyperbole and a Half - Striving Towards The Future, Because We Care"


"Corporate Dialectics In Modern Logistics."

That'll keep 'em out.

Anonymous said...

are you seriously supporting yourself with proceeds from your blog? cuz if so, I kinda hate you. sorry :)

linlah said...

Steamy's right, especially the part that involves the cape and Bruce.

Sarah said...


Put on uberhip, toocoolforschool attitude. Think Danny Zuko. Imply the word "bitch" at the end of every sentence.

Questioner: Seeeeewwww, Allie, what dear little career have you carved out for yourself?

Allie: *shrug, half roll eyes* I'm a blogger.

Questioner: OHHH! I loooooove blogs. I read this weight loss blog that is JUST darling. And that one about the miscarriages. So poignant. I don't read that one, you know. I just read about it on the Times Web site.

Allie: *reaches for another cucumber sandwich*

Questioner: Anyway, Allie. What is your blog? I'd love to read it.

Allie: *polishes off champagne, grabs Boyfriend's drink* Yeah. Not sure you'd get it.

Questioner: Oh, dear. EVERY blogger thinks that at first. Have you seen "Julie & Julia"? You should. You'd find it inspirational.

Allie: *shaking head* No. I mean, it's a humor blog. I don't think you'd get it.

Questioner: OHHHH! A HUMOR blog! I LOVE humor! Have you seen that forward about 24 different kinds of poop! Harharhar LOLZies. Tooooo risque. Just can't help it. I love the off-color humor.

Allie: Yeeeeah.

Questioner: So, out with it! What's the blog? Can't wait to read it.

Allie: Hyperbole and a Half.

Questioner: * pause * What?

Allie: Hyperbole and a Half

Questioner: Hyperbole and a Half?

Allie: Yep.

Questioner: Wha-What does it mean?

Allie: Yeah. If you don't get it, you don't get it.

Boyfriend: *chuckle, chuckle, pat Allie's leg* Questioner, just go rent Season 1 of "Becker."

Questioner: Well ... that was ... rude.

Boyfriend: She uses "fuck" and has commenters who spend 20 minutes on major holidays leaving weird scripts for imaginary conversations. Also, she sends people to a separate blog to click on ads. That one is about cats, mostly. And sometimes our rats.
Also, we live together in sin, and Dane Cook isn't funny. Merry Christmas.

Allie: I'll send you the link. Oh - and by the way - I win.

Boyd said...

"retrovirus vector" looks like "velociraptor" when you're tired and reading in the dark.

ShineForLife said...

I am relieved to realize that my firstborn is safe. I was tempted by the drawing. But if you made another post instead of sending me a drawing, you would benefit the entire world. Thus I choose to be amazingly altruistic. ;)

Saadi said...

Awesome post!! N yeah, it's so bad explaining blogging to ppl who hav absolutely no idea about it!!

N ur scale of pain is kewl! ;D

Happy New Yearr!!!

Sorcerer said...

great post Allie.
Happy and fantastic new year to you

you rwak!!

Chl said...

Duh. You've already summed up the blog quite nicely, "Indescribable Awesomness." And if they don't get that well that's your natural selection right there.

Anonymous said...

"You know that stuff that you think, but think it's too weird and neurotic to say out loud? It's that."

They'll either like neurotic and check it out, or they won't.

Simone said...

that's a tough one, when people get all up in your business and you have to be polite because you don't want to embarrass the boyfriend, or give them ammunition so they can talk him into leaving you when you go to the bathroom. i usually explain my writing in ways that will make people feel stupid for not getting it. like, 'oh, it'd be like if william shatner and dolly parton drank a bunch of pucker and got into a kiss-off with some leprechauns'. i mean, what the fuck does that even mean. i like to leave them guessing, but intrigue them enough to get off of their lazy asses and go find out for themselves. happy new year, and thanks for the laughs.

Hannibal Tabu, The Operative said...

Sarah P. had the right idea. Also, she's hilarious. In short, brazen it out.

Writers often forget it's actually two jobs: doing the work, and talking about the work (hopefully so people will give you money). In Sarah's spirit, even on my less-than-awesome temp phone, I'll illustrate.

JERK: So, what do you do, Hannibal?

HT: I work on websites for [MAJOR NON-PROFIT THAT MIGHT NOT WANNA KNOW HOW WEIRD I AM], and do some writing on the side.


HT: I have a weekly column reviewing comic books on, I'm a published poet and there's my novel on Amazon ...

JERK: Oh, my, that's a lot. What is your novel about?

HT: It's magical realism, speculative fiction stuff. Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, girl turns out to be 8,500 years old, much hilarity ensues.


HT: Then there's my blogs and Twitter, where I talk music, futurism, movies, us

Hannibal Tabu, The Operative said...

Crap, stupid Samsung Behold cut me off. Stupid new phone.

I was saying ...

"... where I talk futurism, music, using yams as weapons, movies, the merits of G.I. Joe, music, culture and make jokes about pie."

Then the jerk either walks away or becomes useful. I either practiced my shpiel or nailed it. All around awesome.

You're welcome."

Or something like that.

LimaraDevon said...

hey ... you are wonderful :)

Jovial Connoisseur said...

omg i literally LOL while reading this specifically the middle part of it... this is splendiferously written!!!!!!

katieleigh said...

oh god, i just read this out to my boyfriend and now i'm wiping the tears of laughter out of the corner of my eye. you are hilarious, this whole situation is hilarious. i love you!

dogimo said...

Tell them you are a writer, working in experimental forms of self-criticism.