Thursday, March 31, 2005

Commentary on Writings in "As the Saying Goes"

"As the Saying Goes" was the title of my yearbook junior year of High School, 1999. Therefore, in this post, I will repeat word-for-word every single note people left me in my junior yearbook and respond to them. Actually, I left a few of the more boring posts out towards the end because I was getting bored. I think it's a shame we never get to respond to these kind words, so I will take that opportunity now. I will leave out their names, but other than that, I’m reprinting word for word.

"Eonaf Yrogerg,
I'm not a pacifist, you are, pacifist. I'm going to vote for you, Future Senior Class President."

“Tsificap Raed,
I'm assuming this is some kind of a reference to an inside joke we used to have. However, I must say your characterization of me as a pacifist is only somewhat correct. After all, I do support war under certain circumstances (and therefore I also support abortion). Also, although it's true I ran for Senior Class President, the elections had already been held by the time the yearbooks were signed. Therefore, I must assume you are lying, or worse. I'm glad we didn't keep in touch because you obviously didn't care enough about me to note the date of the senior class elections. Thanks for nothing,

It was fun in lunch this year. Hope to see you next year. Have a great summer,"

"Dear Lunchmate Numero Uno,
Thank you for your completely-devoid-of-content writing. It really means a lot to me. My summer of 1999 was not great, however it was quite good. I'm sorry I let you down. We did see each other though our senior year. Not very often, but a few times. Therefore, I am glad I was able to redeem part of your hope. However, I understand if you don't wanna be friends any more.
Your thoughtful words always inspire me,

You are too legit to quit.
MC Hammer"

"Dear MC,
Well, I'm sorry to say this, but after an exhaustive handwriting analysis, I have determined with 80% confidence, that this was in fact written by none other than the fellow who wrote the pacifist message above...I'll call him Joey to protect his identity. At first I thought he was trying to take down my presidential campaign through forged yearbook signings. Since this signing was after the election, this might seem unlikely. However, Joey makes it clear in his (non-forged) entry that he, in fact, was unaware that the election had ended. Therefore, I must make the sad conclusion that this was an attempt to derail my already failed presidential campaign. Bonus points for cleverly fooling me into thinking a celebrity had signed my yearbook.
I still blame my loss on you,

‘Excuse me, but you’re doing it again! I turn on a movie and your mouth starts!” Mrs. Rogers has just yelled at you as I was writing this. Just remember: “Your mother would be ashamed if she sat behind you!” The ironic thing is that I was the one talking to you.
Maybe you will look back at US History and remember the wonderful feeling of exhiliration you felt after listening to Mrs. Rogers. Then again, maybe not.
Best of luck to you next year, I hope you have fun not listening in classes.
‘Mad Dog’
PS Araby was a great story!
PPS Litotis!”

“Dear Mad Dog,
Thanks for the note, and a special thanks for getting me in trouble for writing m yearbook note. That is pretty difficult to accomplish, but you manage to pull it off (no doubt with your mad dogging skills). By the way, Elaine Benes would be very proud of your exclamation point usage in this note.
Now that I have some perspective, I can honestly say that I look back on Mrs. Rogers as my least favorite teacher of all time. So I’m sad to say that your prediction was wrong. I discussed this with my mother though, and she agreed she would feel ashamed of me if she sat behind me.
I’ve always enjoyed not listening in class, so that last expression of hope is meaningless. Also, I have no idea what Araby is (apparently it’s a story), but I’ll take your word for it on the quality. Thanks for the recommendation.
Lots o’ Love,

Mrs. Rogers doesn’t hate you. You just have the magical talent of being in the wrong place doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. Thanks for keeping lunch interesting. When Mirror Man attacks, I hope that you manage to find shelter. The law of “A’s” and “Michaels” are so true. Have a great summer, and good luck next year.”

“Dear Lunchmate Numero Dos,
My feelings on Mrs. Rogers are summarized above, in my note to Mad Dog, so read that if you need to know.
Special thanks to you for making references to no fewer than 3 (three) inside jokes that no longer hold any meaning to me. Mirror Man I do vaguely remember as some archvillian we invented, although I don’t remember the context or anything. The laws of “A’s” and “Michaels” make no sense to me whatsoever, but if you say they are true, that’s good enough for me.
As I said earlier, my summer was merely very good, and my luck in the following year was average at best. I’m sorry for not living up to my potential.
Ashamedly and Confusedly,
PS – You didn’t leave a last name but I’m pretty sure I remember who you are.”

Although you are not as attractive as Andy, I have enjoyed being in classes with you (you certainly made them more interesting). I’ll see you next year”

SPECIAL NOTE Second semester junior year, my pal Andy and I went around asking all our mutual female friends who was more attractive and he outscored me by a ratio of about 5:1, so this became on ongoing joke. Also it’s a really awkward question to ask girls, so it was funny. This is the first of a few notes that reference this

“Dear Mocker,
Your comments on me being less attractive than Andy are hurtful. I just wanted you to know that. If you ever go through AA, you gotta go to me in that one step where you apologize to people. As for making classes more interesting, I’m glad that I was able to positively influence your academic experience. Let me know if you need anything else spiced up in the future, if you know what I mean.
I like the positive declarative statement ‘I’ll see you next year.’ Not ‘I hope to see you’ or ‘I look forward to seeing you’, but ‘I will see you’. That signals to me resignation. Come on, it’s my yearbook, you are supposed to at least pretend that you like the person. Just a little note like ‘You crack me up, don’t ever change’ is sufficient, even if it’s false. No need to thank me, I’m glad to give you the belated lesson in yearbook etiquette.
Sorry that you felt you had to mock me, but I hope you have learned something from the experience, Gentle Reader
Feeling scholarly,
Greg Fanoe aka Mr. Manners”

Yes, I know the way to your house. But what is a house anyways? A house of Commons. You are common. I know I have some common stock in some company, but I would not take stock in you. You, my friend, are no yearbook owner—that’s of my stock and thus I will colonize the yearbook for my sovereign country, Buduffia.
PS I will never buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee
PPS The revolution will not be televised, but it will be a major motion picture
PPPS Beat up my brother next year.”

“Dear consulate of Buduffia—
Not sure what your official title is, no meaning of offending though. I have to say, this is the most half-assed and pointless yearbook message I’ve ever gotten. At least with someone like Lunchmate Numero Uno you know what you are getting. They don’t even pretend to try. This though is shameful.
That said, I would like to thank you for referencing the CD of black nationalist poetry that Ed brought with us on one of our academic bowl trips. That CD was hilarious, and I have not thought about it for a long time. This partially redeems your message.
I don’t know how to say this, so I’ll just say it outright. I did not beat up your brother the following year or, indeed, ever at all. I wanted to let you down easy, but I don’t know how. I’m more of a lover than a fighter, so I would never beat a man up. However, I also did not make love to him. Sorry to disappoint.
From my country to your country,

“Dear Greg,
If there’s a problem yo I’ll solve it, check out my hook while my DJ revolves it. Ice Ice Ice Baby. Salud, amor, dinero, y tiempo para disfrutarlos!!
‘Tigre’ "

“Dear Iceman,
Thank you for the highly personalized note. A line from ‘Ice, Ice, Baby’ followed by the closing line from a Spanish soap opera. Really makes a guy feel special. On the inside.
Honestly, I don’t know about you but I at least pretend to care about the people I was writing yearbook messages when I wrote them, even if I didn’t know them very well. Then years later people can look at it and pretend we were friends, long after they’ve forgotten that we barely know each other. Then they can feel popular. That’s the real point of yearbooks. The only thing this message is missing is a KATS, or a GLTS. This kind of stuff stings, man.

“Oh, for a gopher which, running wild, jowls dripping with rabies juice, flies across the morning sky and lands, softly, in the bowl of jello that I give to you today.”

“You get no greeting, because you didn’t give me one.
I don’t really know how to comment to this message. Congrats, you’ve left me speechless. The weird this is, you and I really did know each other pretty well. My first instinct was that perhaps this was a reference to an inside joke we had. But I can’t really imagine an inside joke whose end result is you writing this in my yearbook. Three duds in a row, man my yearbook sucks.
Rabies juice IS a pretty funny sounding phrase.
Rethinking my high school friendships,

You’re one of the craziest and funniest people I know. Your campaign posters rule…Next year will rule even more than this year has…AB Trips were awesome. Have a great summer, and I’ll see you around, Mr. Vice Pres.”

“Dear Mr. Co-Pres,
Thanks for referencing my victory in the academic bowl elections. It kind of counteracts your reference to my horrible defeat in the SGA elections. I would have to say that overall, senior year did rule more than junior year. So you do get some prediction points for that one.
I hope that when you say I’m crazy you are being figurative. I think if you had honest concerns for my mental health, you would have confronted me about them. At least I hope so.
Thanks for the kind words,

You are a funny kid. I’m glad I had classes with you this year. I voted for you for president. I think the election must have been rigged since you lost. Have a good summer – Doug”

“Dear Doug,
I don’t know who you are or why you signed my yearbook, and you didn’t leave a last name so I can’t look you up. But this here is the very template for a good yearbook message.
Start with a couple compliments. Put a witty comment in the middle. End with a benediction. Also this one was just to have a “good” summer, which is a much more realistic benediction than to have a “great” summer. A lot less pressure. Everybody else who wrote a message should read this and take notes. Now years down the road, when I’ve forgotten who most everybody who signed the yearbook is, I’ll assume you and I must have been pretty good friends. Perfection.
If you are still reading this Joey (aka pacifist), notice that every single other person references the election in the past tense. Just a note.
Your good friend,

You are the grand master of “punk”tuation! Get a dictionary this summer and look “punk”tiliously for more words that begin with “punk”. Get to work on your Eagle project, too. Let me know if you need help,”

“Dear Scoutmate,
As I’m sure you know by now, I did not get to work on my eagle project. Nor did I let you know that I needed help. Let’s face it—I blew it big time. I do remember though, how we used to call each other punks. And then from there we graduated into called them “punk”tilious, “punk”tual, etc. This message wasn’t very funny, but that’s okay, I guess

I say this with all love…you’re the weirdest guy ever! You crack me up though! This summer take my advice on dating (he he he)…You will become president one of these days…a real president of the US and we’ll all be living in randomness. (Female student)”

“Dear Female,
Now this here is another damn fine yearbook message. Just reading this over, makes my heart smile. Okay, partially smile. Taking the three segments of this one by one:
Glad I could make you laugh. It’s just a small repayment for the joy you brought me through the years.
I did not take your dating advice over the summer. Given how that relationship turned out, though, it probably would have been a good idea to take your advice. Unfortunately though I don't remember your excellent advice. How about this, next time I get into a relationship, I’ll call you up and get the lowdown.
Thanks for the reference to my presidential campaign. I’m sure reading this was a real booster after my crushing defeat.
I guess it might seem weird to you for me to flirt with you via a blogpost, especially since we didn’t really know each other that well in high school, but I liked your message and I’m desperate for female companionship. Give me an email sometime.
Hope to talk to you soon,
PS As unlikely as it may be, in case you seriously do read this and somehow figure out that I’m talking about you, I just wanted you to know that I am joking.”

Just remember this. No matter where you are or how pathetic you feel, just remember that at this very moment Mike Tyson is tossing some poor bastard’s salad. Take that with you.
PS Moceanu. Slash. Gordon. DZ’s P. Blyleven. Tabler. My Sex Life. If the Mike Tyson thing doesn’t cheer you up, just remember, Lick my Sack!”

“Dear Mr. Muresan,
Actually I still can name most of these inside jokes. For example, Gordon is a reference to Joe Gordon who jobbed Ted Williams out of the 1942 AL MVP. Lick My Sack is a reference to the notion that it is hilarious if you read Candide, but wherever you see the phrase “All is for the best in this best of all possible worlds” replace mentally with the phrase “lick my sack”. I just checked, and it really is. Thanks for making me remember the hilarious times we had in Psychology B. Not a ton of content to comment on in this one.
Don’t forget about Tonya Harding,

Well you finally got a chick. Good work. See you are not the most helpless non-attractive person. Quiz Bowl has rocked this year, and Nationals will be great! I can’t wait for next year and QB trips. Have a good summer.
PS Franklin Pierce was much better looking than Calvin Coolidge”

“Dear Mr. Pierce,
Wow, that has to be the most backhanded compliment I have ever received in my life. Seriously, why would you even say that somebody was “not the most helpless non-attractive person.” Man, that hurts. Nationals WERE great, by the way, so some predictive points go to you.
Actually reading this message has made me feel more pathetic than ever. Good Work.
It’s interesting to note the split of people who say Have a Good Summer vs. Have a Great Summer. I prefer the Have a Good Summer variety, as I’ve noted above, because I feel it puts on less pressure.
PS I gotta go with Silent Cal myself.”

Chem was fun. HAHAHA. Yeah History was great too. Sure. We have really boring classes together. If you were not in Chem, I would fall asleep every day.”

“Dear Chem-lover,
Well, I gotta admire your honesty here. Unlike most people, you didn’t lie and pretend that we had fun in classes together. Classes blow, and you really hit to that in this here. I was honestly moved. Glad I could keep you awake in Chem, I hope your grade reflected that. I like that you find the notion of Dr. Knapek’s class being fun laughable, which it honestly is. I hope you had very few chemistry classes in your future.
Hope your future classes were more interesting on their own merits,

“You have to become president, that way the Ebola monkeys will finally reign. New World Order!”

“Dear N W O Fan,
I guess this has to be some kind of reference too, but I really don’t know what to. This message is completely devoid of content so I don’t know what to say. I haven’t become president yet, but I do hope to fulfill your and (Female Student)’s expectations some time. Don’t wanna let random yearbook signers down, after all.
Politically aspiring,

“Good luck!
--Dolph Lundgren”

Glad you could take time out of your busy schedule of barely speaking English and making crappy movies to write me.
I must break you,

You are way more intelligent and almost as attractive as Andy. I think you’re cool. English was fun. <3 [Note by Greg: that's a heart]”

“Dear Hearter,
I got the heart treatment, maybe this was a blown opportunity, who knows. I give her a slide on this one because the English class I had with this particular student really was fun. We didn’t pay attention at all and messed around the whole class. Again, if you are reading this and manage to piece out that you are the one who wrote this, drop me a line. I think you are cool too, for whatever that’s worth. Probably not much given that we haven’t said a single word to each other since graduation

“Hello, Mr. Carnival supplier,
I’d like to order 12 cotton candy machines, one rodeo clown, and a fleet of white donkeys”

“Dear Valued Customer,
No problem, I can ship that order immediately.
As you know, I detest yearbook messages that consist entirely of an inside joke. Just because in this case I remember the time my friend and I prank called a carnival supplier doesn’t make it any better.
Actually I shouldn’t be so critical of other people’s messages, mine were probably just as bad. Any readers whose yearbooks I signed, feel free to comment. Again, not much to comment on with this message.

“Spanish 4 is so hard. I wish I had taken a slack class, not this, because it is so very hard. If you were a girl, you’d have a better grade. Oh well, Don Mario’s was fun.”

“Mi Amigo,
I have used an advanced computer formula to determine that this message was written in sarcasm, and that Spanish 4 was in fact an easy class. By the way, Don Mario’s class blew, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m becoming much more critical of these messages as I go on…these messages are so damned repetitive. Be creative people. We need more people like (Female Student) and Doug above, real message writers with a clear focus and battle plan.
This blogpost is pissing me off. What a horrible idea this was.
Sorry for being so snippy. I appreciate the kind words, and hope to talk to you again in the future.

It’s not a bad thing being less attractive than me, join most of the world. You are a quiz bowl beast and surprisingly the vice president. Don’t be surprised if your house spontaneously catches on fire one day. – Andy”

“Dear Andy,
Sounding pretty smug for someone who closes a yearbook message with threats of arson, are we. I’d like to note that according to at least one of the poll’s participants, I’m way more intelligent and only a little less attractive. I wonder if she gave YOU a heart. Yeah, I thought not.
Now I sound a little smug for somebody who lost the competition by a 5-1 ratio. I gotta say you beat me fair and square and do deserve props for that. Luckily, Andy never burned my house down, so I narrowly avoided that. Phew.
Thanks for the victory congratulations.
Feeling defensive for my unattractiveness,

Kelly Gruber and Jeff Treadway say hi! Lemke is a [unintelligible] pitcher! Don’t let doyle write too much poetry”

“Dear Doyle,
Glad to hear that you have kept contact with all these mildly prominent baseball players. Say hello to them back from me. I have let Doyle write many a verse of poetry since this note, so I have let you down as well. I feel like such a huge disappointment after reading all these messages.
Sorry to let you down,

“In Calculus next year, I will challenge you to many a game of Russian Roulette, and possibly we will start a “I hate Calc” Club”

"Dear Calc-hater,
Apparently our math classes were a bit more like The Deer Hunter than I care to remember. Looks like there’s a good bit of repression going on up in this piece (UITP).
As far as I can remember, we started no such club, but to be fair, you only said it was possible we would. Therefore your prediction points go neither up nor down. Apparently lucky to be alive,

Nobody even signed in the crack or upside down or in a spiral. What a boring yearbook this was.
I ran out of stuff to say at the end, as should be obvious. I just realized as I was writing this post that I hate yearbooks. I’m gonna burn this yearbook when I get done. You live, you learn (then get Luvs, am I rite?)

I learned a lot though, and I would recommend my readers try this exercise themselves.

Talk to you cats and kittens later