emmaoverton

I'm a comedy writer based out of my couch in Montreal, QC.

Month: January, 2015

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Hangover Needs

Note: This triangle first appeared on the now-defunct website Nearly Robots in 2012.

MaslowsHierarchy

Apocalyptic Rhymes

Note: This first appeared on the now-defunct comedy website, Nearly Robots in 2012.

In his 17th century poem “To His Coy Mistress,” Metaphysical Poet, Andrew Marvell wrote a beautiful passage about seizing the moment with a lover:

“The grave’s a fine and private place,

But none, I think, do there embrace.

Now therefore, while the youthful hue

Sits on thy skin like morning dew,

And while thy willing soul transpires

At every pore with instant fires,

Now let us sport us while we may,

And now, like amorous birds of prey,

Rather at once our time devour

Than languish in his slow-chapt power.

Let us roll all our strength and all

Our sweetness up into one ball,

And tear our pleasures with rough strife

Thorough the iron gates of life:

Thus, though we cannot make our sun

Stand still, yet we will make him run. “

The fleeting nature of time and our duty to celebrate the moment in harmonious rapture was never so elegantly expressed. That is, until Pitbull rehashed it in 2012:

“For all we know we might not get tomorrow

Let’s do it tonight.”

Truer words never spoken, Pitbull. The Metaphysical poets and Pitbull have something in common. Hundreds of years later and dudes are still trying to coerce girls into doing it by telling them that they might die the next day. Not only that, but it took Marvell forty-six lines to get to the point. Pitbull made his version short enough to Tweet with space left over for a #MrWorldwide hashtag.

This is far from the only song on the radio with this “let’s do it before we die” message. However, for the Metaphysical poets, I think the impending doom they were imagining was something like the Bubonic Plague or getting eaten by rats whereas the worm that has crawled into the head of contemporary pop music writers seems to be the Mayan calendar-predicted apocalypse. Pitbull is not the only one worried about getting it in before the rapture, Ke$ha takes a depressingly morbid spin on the theme:

“Let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young

We’re gonna die young

We’re gonna die young”

She literally just chants “we’re gonna die young” for the chorus. It makes it very unsettling to watch children sing along to it.

The most literal of them all, and my personal favourite, is Jesse LaBelle’s “One Last Night.” Jesse does not mince words on this one. He is here to get that Apocalypse ass: “If the Mayans are right, at least we’ll have one last night.”

He clearly establishes to his lady that she has two options: die a horrific death tomorrow or die a horrific death tomorrow having been banged by Jesse Labelle.

The theme is steadfastly maintained throughout the song:

“Before we all perish, I’m taking you to Paris.”

Jesse LaBelle’s girlfriend: “Paris! Wow! Wait, what was that first thing you said?”

He reassures her that, if this apocalypse thing is going down, he’s got her back: “If the stars fell down, you wouldn’t miss them, I could move ’em, paint a picture like a Vincent.” Vincent who? There’s no time for the whole name of the painter! It’s the rapture!

Then he cuts right to the chase. However, like a white man uncomfortably grinding up on some girl in the club, he has a rapper do the dirty talking for him:

“So if the Earth got to rocking’ and the planet was doomed

Would you ride upon my rocket

And get off on the moon.”

Jesse’s girlfriend: “I’m concerned about the stability of this aircraft.”

Finally, Jesse reminds us that if it’s the evening before the Apocalypse, why not go for the gold and ask for that one thing you really want. What do you have to lose, right?

“And if the world ends by a meteor right

You could bring your girlfriend

Then we’ll make it our night

Tell her it’s alright

Let’s get into some trouble

Drive a double double

I’ma keep you up all night”

I wonder if Marvell ever tried to throw a loose allusion to a threesome in any of his poems…

10 Things I Should Have Known by 10

Note: This first appeared on the now-defunct comedy website, Nearly Robots in 2012.

(Inspired by: 20 Things I Should Have Known by 20)

http://theburiedlife.tumblr.com/post/24011465597/20-things-i-should-have-known-at-20

  1. Watch TV and Eat Junk Food. Your parents may tell you not to watch upwards of five hours of TV an evening or not to eat stacks of Oreos covered in peanut butter, but THIS is the only time in your life you will ever be able to do these things without feeling like a pathetic waste of human existence. Live it up! Plus, most intelligent people will tell you that they learned everything they know from The Simpsons.
  2. Do Not Expect People to Keep Secrets. If you tell your new best friend Sally that you still wet your bed, you better believe everyone is going to know that shit by recess. Gossiping about other people’s secrets is one of the purest human joys. This does not change as you get older.
  3. Avoid Getting a Nickname. What may seem like a passing joke can often result in you being referred to as “Scooter” for the rest of your adult life.
  4. Those Weird Feelings You’re Having About Boys/Girls Will Only Get Weirder. Enjoy the simplicity of this time before you begin to view your sexuality as a spectrum and realize that every potential romantic partner you get involved with is an ersatz version of either your mother or father.
  5. Your Teachers Are Not Necessarily Smarter Than You. Yes, they are older, and have more life experience, but you should still question the things that don’t seem to make sense. For example, that time when 5th period Geography became “put your head down on your desk and close your eyes” period.
  6. Puberty is Going to Suck. You’re going to do a lot of stupid things like shave your eyebrows, wear terrible cologne to cover up your B.O., wear terrible makeup to cover up your acne, and maybe wear a lot of fleece for some reason. There’s no advice that can help. You’ll just have to go on autopilot and get through it. It’s like the dark ages of your youth, but if you’re lucky, you’ll emerge from it with minimal trauma and some sweet secondary sexual characteristics.
  7. Keep a Diary, But Only the Good Kind of Diary. By this I mean, don’t just write angsty emotional things. Reading that stuff later feels like the equivalent of reading the manual for a refrigerator. You’re always going to be confused, sad, and angsty, that won’t change. What will change is who you’re friends with, where you hang out, your hobbies, who you have a crush on, the things you want to do, etc. Write factual accounts of your days, then read it when you’re in your 30s, and be shocked that there was a time when your days didn’t consist of working, running errands, cooking, and watching re-runs of the Big Bang Theory while essentially comatose.
  8. Get Really Good at the Computer. Forget about going outside and getting fresh air. Do you think the guy who invented Twitter spent his evenings in the park playing tetherball?? Hell no. Like learning a second language, if you want to be a computer wiz and invent the next Facebook, you have to start young. And like learning a second language, you will probably drink all that knowledge into oblivion in your first year of university.
  9. Have Lots of Sleepovers! Sleepovers are just fun. And when you get older, the only sleepovers you get to have are sexy sleepovers or Puke-And-Pass-Out-Somewhere-You-Don’t-Live sleepovers.
  10. Don’t Worry About Anything. Unless you want to be rich, famous, or successful in any way. Then worry, a lot.

Same Damn Time

Note: This first appeared on the now-defunct comedy website, Nearly Robots in 2013.

Nayvadius Wilburn Cash, better know by his stage name, Future, was signed to Epic Records in September 2011 and has made huge waves in the rap scene ever since. Many have heard Future’s 2012 hit “Same Damn Time,” however few know the dramatic story behind the writing of the song. Our journalists unearthed the inside story on the pain-staking re-writes of “Same Damn Time.”

Here are the lyrics of the first verse as they are now:

I wear Gucci I wear Prada at the same damn time

On the phone cooking dope at the same damn time

Selling white selling mid at the same damn time

Fucking two bad bitches at the same damn time

At the same damn time, at the same damn time

At the same damn time, at the same damn time

I’m at Pluto I’m at Mars at the same damn time

On the sofa popping bottles at the same damn time

However, back in 2010, when Future was first conceiving of the song. It was a different story. Here’s what the rapper had to say about his first draft of the song: “It’s a dangerous world out there. Future knows that better than anyone. When I was growing up, my Mom gave me a lot of pretty serious talks about being safe and prudent. Actually, my rap name was originally going to be Prudency. Did you know that you can get a third degree burn from just forty-five minutes of direct exposure to UV rays? This was the first version of the song I wrote in 2010”:

I wear shinguards, I wear kneepads at the same damn time

On the beach, wearing sunscreen at the same damn time

Drinking water, playing sports at the same damn time

Helping two old ladies at the same damn time

at the same damn time at the same damn time

at the same damn time at the same damn time

I’ve got vision, I’ve got dental at the same damn time

On vacation, careful spending at the same damn time

Unfortunately, the top executives at Epic Records were less than enthused with the tone of the original draft of the song. They wanted something harder, edgier. So, Future came back with a second draft. He explained, “I learned about the concept of mutual exclusivity in a physics course I was taking at Stanford at the time and it really influenced my writing. The producers wanted something edgier, so I figured, what could be edgier than sticking it to mutual exclusivity? There are no two things that Future can’t do at the same damn time.” Here are a few lines of the second draft of “Same Damn Time” from later in 2010:

Turning left, turning right at the same damn time

Getting heads, getting tails at the same damn time

Rolling six, rolling five at the same damn time

The song was yet again rejected by the record label execs. C.E.O., L.A. Reid, commented, “I really had no idea what was going on. When I signed him, I thought he was a drug dealer, not an aspiring physicist.” Future had one last chance to impress the label execs. He commented, “I was under a lot of pressure at the time, and so I turned to spirituality. I started getting into Eastern religion and philosophy. In particular, I spent a lot of time reading the Tao de Ching, the most important text in Daoism. It really put things into perspective for me. I finally understood the duality of existence and it was liberating. I came back to the execs with this third and final draft of the song:”

I am living, I am dying at the same damn time

One is whole, one is fragments at the same damn time

Time is ceaseless, time is finite at the same damn time

Life is order, life is chaos at the same damn time

I am one, I am all at the same damn time

Sources close to him said that L.A. Reid literally vomited on himself after reading this draft. Reid commented, “I had no choice, I had to cut him from the label. The problem was, we already had half an album recorded and finished under the name Future. We needed a track. I’ll be perfectly honest with you: we offered Gucci Mane $50 and a club sandwich to come up with three verses and that is the song as you know it today.” Future was not available for comment at the time of press. Sources close to him say he is seeking spiritual enlightenment at the Jokhang monastery in Tibet.

What Your Monopoly-Playing Piece Says About You

Note: This first appeared on the now-defunct comedy website, Nearly Robots in 2012.

The Top Hat: You know your way around the board. Boardwalk Avenue, Park Place, it ain’t no thang. While your Mom and little sister are scrapping together funds to buy Mediterranean Ave., you’re locking down the railroads and utilities, borrowing money to build houses, and let’s be honest, probably cheating a little bit too. The monopoly man didn’t get to where he was by playing by the rules. You know your way around the board, and you probably know your way around a lady too. If you wanted to be a jazz musician, or a fat guy on a beach, you would wear a fedora. But you’re going for capitalist domination and The Top Hat knows what’s up.

The Thimble or The Iron: You are someone’s Mom or little sister and most likely picked the thimble because you wanted to see if it would fit on your pinky finger or the iron because you wanted to pretend to iron things. You have not paid attention to 75% of the game and, feeling as though you’ve just awoken from an opiate-induced dream, are now being told that you owe $26,000 to your Grandma. Monopoly is not your thing and you should probably avoid the business world in general. Unless it’s the business world of jarred preserves, in which case, you’re a shoe-in.

The Scottish Terrier Dog: You are either someone’s uncle or neighbour and you definitely have a moustache. You may or may not also have a scottish terrier, however, no one at the table wants to know about it. You are most likely also drinking a tumbler of root beer and giggling your secret plan to do nothing but pass Go in the hopes that you’ll come out on top after everyone else has spent all their money. No one is entirely sure who invited you. You may have let yourself into the house during a bathroom break.

The Car or The Boat: You are someone’s Dad or Grandpa and picked the car or the boat because it reminded you of either your first car or of the war. You play Monopoly purely based on strategy. As a patriarch, you’ve managed the assets of your own family for years, and there is no reason those methods should not work in Monopoly too, god damnit. You are the only one trustworthy enough to be the banker because you once held a man in your arms as he died.

The Wheelbarrow: You are someone’s unmarried or divorced aunt and writing about the reasons why you are playing Monopoly would be too depressing, so let’s just move on.

The Shoe or the Cannon: You are a teenage boy who got convinced into playing Monopoly because you saw several bowls of chips at the table and were too high to realize it was because there was a board game being played. You have been in jail for the past hour, but your main concern is trying not to zone out for too long on your grandpa’s ear hairs.

The Dagger: You are playing Clue and playing it wrong.

Google Search Poetry

Note: This first appeared on the now-defunct comedy website, Nearly Robots in 2011.

Google Search Poetry

By: Emma Overton

Writer’s Note: This poem was composed with my blood, sweat, tears, and by typing in the letter “I” into my google search field and copying down what came up.

i am in mourning

i am only awake in what i love to the point of terror

i am Sasha Fierce

i could be nothing

i could see for miles and miles

i dance like i fuck

i don’t know why i feel so tongue-tied

i don’t want my pussy to taste like rain

i get around

i have a cat named stevens

i have five clocks in my life

i knew him, Horatio

i wandered lonely as a cloud

i want a blackberry

i’m still an animal

i’m stuck here waiting for a passing feeling

i’ve fallen and i can’t get up

ice cream man dreams

ice dancing canadians

if the moon were made of spare ribs, would you eat it?

if you want to call me baby, just go ahead now

inner ear infections

into the wild

invoking pathos

ipod clones

is nutella healthy?

is stealing wrong?

is styrofoam recyclable?

is there a way to see who views your facebook profile?

Bucket List

Note: This first appeared on the now-defunct comedy website, Nearly Robots in 2012.

When my editor asked me to come up with a personal Bucket List for 2013, I have to admit; I didn’t think I was up to the challenge. It was a topic on which I had minimal pre-existing knowledge. However, thanks to some tough investigative research, I think I’ve compiled a pretty detailed list. Not only that, but I learned a hell of a lot along the way too.

“Open-ended containers with flat bottoms have existed since ancient times.” – The Internet

“The one similarity that all types of buckets share is their ability to store and/or move liquid and earth or debris.” – The Internet, Again

Metal Bucket: This is the classic bucket, although it’s not as prevalent anymore due to the cost of plastic being cheaper. A metal bucket can really take a beating, so they’re a favourite for construction workers, janitors, fishermen, and poo-shovelers. If you have a heavy duty job, this is your bucket.

Plastic Bucket: This is the tried and true bucket. Whether you’re mopping the floor or hand-washing your dainties, the plastic bucket is in it for the long haul. Much like people, the plastic bucket comes in different shapes, sizes, and colours and, much like people, you can cram a fistful of dirty rags into it. All in all, a really solid bucket.

Wooden Bucket: First of all, I know what you’re thinking. “A wooden bucket? What is this, Medieval Germany?” but hold your horses. For potable liquids, like milk and wine, a wooden bucket is ideal because it won’t negatively affect the flavour. However, if you’re transporting a hot liquid, like cider or lava, best to use an iron bucket. A timeless bucket, to be sure.

Decorative Bucket: This is a bucket that makes no false pretences to functionality. In the Middle Ages, ancient ceremonial buckets were known by their Latin name, situla. In the contemporary Midwestern United States, a ceremonial or decorative bucket is known by the title “Fancy Bucket.” A decorative bucket can be used to hold seasonal gourds, cacti, or a selection of varying conifer cones. A bucket with a rich and compelling history.

That’s my Bucket List for 2013. If the world makes it through another year, I’ll be back with another one next year; bigger, badder, and bucketier.

Why Nice Girls Love Dirty Hip Hop

Note: This first appeared on the now-defunct comedy website, Nearly Robots in 2012.

It is no secret that many conservatively raised, suburban, white girls love them some dirty, nasty, hip hop; the type that would make ODB cringe. The weird part is, a lot of the music involves some pretty degrading lyrics regarding women. So what’s going on here? The last time I checked, my self-respect was hovering somewhere in the 70th to 75th percentile – a full 100 percent being Beyonce in a pant-suit sitting in the control hub of a Transformer robot made of emasculated men. In short, my self esteem is low enough that I’ll eat food that fell on the ground, but high enough that I doubt I’d respond consensually if someone yelled at me to “bend over hoe and show me what you’re working with!” But when Mystikal yells it at me in the song “Shake Ya Ass,” I do shake my ass, willingly! Further, I bike rode home yesterday while loudly singing, “GOT A MAIN BITCH, GOT A MISTRESS, COUPLE GIRLFRIENDS, I’M SO HOOD RICH!” What is going through a girl’s head when she yells these horrible things with proud conviction?

The question came to me while listening to Ludacris’ “Move Bitch.” My favourite part of the song is the second verse, which happens to be Mystikal’s verse (that man just has a gritty, violently offensive place in my heart). I remembered once rapping along with Mystikal in front of a boy. I believe the section that I chose went a little something like this:

“I fuck the crowd up – that’s what I do
Young and successful – a sex symbol
Now bitches want me to fuck em- true, true
Hold up wait up, shorty
Oh wazzzupp, get my dick sucked, what are yoouu doin’?”

The last two lines are spoken in the grimiest, sleaziest voice that you will ever hear and I passionately imitate it every time. The boy I was with told me that I liked it because “it turned me on.” I had to think about that for a minute. After all these years of what I thought was genuine hip hop adoration, did I really just subconsciously want to “get took home” by Mystikal? Was it turning me on? The possibility lingered in my mind until about the last “move bitch get out the way” of the song, which I yelled with violent revelry. Immediately I realized that there was no way in hell that I wanted to get took home by Mystikal – this music just makes me feel like a fucking badass.  It fills me with a healthy aggressive energy that is then channeled entirely into dutty wining, the only true productive outlet for such energy.  It’s like a windmill of rage.

If “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” comes on and I’m telling you “ooh baby I like it raw,” look into my eyes. I am not turned on. I am ODB, I am fucking crazy, and I might set your house on fire. It has nothing to do with gender; you put “Ante Up” on and suddenly everyone feels like a felon. That’s just science. The only reason it’s weird for girls is because most of the time, the really aggressive lyrics involve talking about your dick or having sex with women. But even that’s starting to change. Thanks to female rappers like Azealia Banks and Amanda Blank, who rap with a Mystikal level of indiscretion.

Shouting out filthy lyrics is just a healthy way to release aggression, and that shit will kill you if you keep it all bottled up inside. We’ve got a lot of animal in us still, and I don’t mean the tasty kind like cow or chicken, but the wild kind like a tiger or an elephant on meth. In the end, it’s not really about gender, or sex, or disrespect. It’s about the cathartic release of aggression. That, and nerdy White people pretending to be cool Black people.

5 Hipster Boy Fashions

Note: This first appeared on the now-defunct comedy website, Nearly Robots in 2012.

“The Little Rascal”: The Little Rascal is one of the most confusing hipster boy fashions of the moment. It’s the easiest of the styles to spot because it is a grown man who is dressed like a seven year-old. His attire is characterized by either being comically too big or too small for him. The Little Rascal look is as follows: he is wearing a flat brim, elasticized baseball cap from the 80s that was meant for the head of a toddler. His glasses are at least three times too big for his face as is his loose oversized t-shirt, the sleeves of which are parachute-esque in relation to his tiny arms. His pants are of course a fraction of a size away from just being painted on and are for some reason cuffed at the ankle. He may or may not be wearing suspenders, but you can be sure that they are serving no functional purpose as it would take the vacuuming force of the universe’s deepest black hole to make his pants fall down. If you’re unsure whether or not you’ve encountered a Little Rascal Hipster Boy, imagine placing a paddleball or a bag of marbles in his hand. If the image fits, you’re in business. The Little Rascal Hipster Boy has not had sex from exactly the beginning of the period of time that he began dressing like the Little Rascal Hipster Boy because no sound-minded woman would have sex with someone who looked like a seven year-old.

The “My Girlfriend Shops at Vintage Stores”: This is the hipster boy who looks good. …A little too good. His style appears effortless. Things are matching, but not matching too much; he’s wearing the appropriate colours and styles for the season; the materials and fabrics are of good quality; his clothes are clean and without holes. Girls are checking him out left and right, but he can do nothing about it because he was dressed this morning, like a Ken doll, by his obsessive, albeit extremely stylish girlfriend.

“Fat Beard Cowboy”: This is exactly what it sounds like. You’ve got yourself a chubby man who has taken it upon himself to bring forth unto the world a beardo of seismic proportions. Thus, already looking as though he has been lost in the woods for weeks, he compliments his rustic features with a plaid shirt, pants that just plain do not fit, and some kind of fancy shoe that ends up looking like a cowboy boot in the context of the rest of the outfit. Show him you appreciate the effort by telling him to, “Broke-Back Dat Ass Up!”

The “Prop Personality”: This is the type of hipster boy whose style is largely determined by a series of props he runs through as he tires from one to the next. He may go through a period where he smokes a pipe all the time and compliments the pipe with a tweed blazer and leather elbow patches. He may go through a period where he decides to drink out of a leather water bag and pairs it accordingly with a vaguely native American headband. He can be talked into any prop as long as it is either vintage or from a minority community. This means you could persuade him to carry around an old vacuum while dressing like a Hasidic Jew.

“Hip Hop Hipster”: This is pretty simple. Flat-brimmed baseball caps, hoodies, and tight pants in colours and patterns that you didn’t even know existed. And a lot of crazy huge jewellery, like things your bubby would wear. Type in “Cool Kids” on Google image search for reference. Also, thanks to Pharrell, Spongebob Squarepants is prominently featured in this look for reasons that someone is probably already writing their thesis on.

10 Cosmo Relationship Tips

Note: This first appeared on the now-defunct comedy website, Nearly Robots in 2012.

How to keep things fiery in a chilled-out long-term relationship!

 

Writer’s Note: A few of these relationship tips were taken verbatim from a real Cosmopolitan magazine. Guess which ones! Answers at the bottom of the page.

 

  1. Compromise on TV shows. If he wants to watch the big game, try to get into it, even if you don’t know which teams are being played is or what sport is being played. The latest episode of The Biggest Loser can wait.
  1. Make sure to laugh at his jokes, even if you don’t get them. Don’t worry, you can just Google it later!
  1. Have sex during your period. Remember when you were so horny, you just didn’t give a shiz?
  1. Always keep the bush groomed and in tip-top shape.
  1. Find out which one of your friends he finds the hottest and let him call out her name during sex. This shows him that you’re laid-back and confident.
  1. Don’t overlook the little things like your eyelashes or cuticles. Nothing sends a guy running the other way like clumpy lashes and ragged nailbeds! If you tend to sleep in your mascara, avoid that early morning racoon eye by using a magic fibre mascara. We love FruityBooty Magic Lashtastic™ and Splooge Ultralash™.
  1. Wear cute lounge clothes on Sundays. C’mon, yoga pants are just as comfy as sweats…and they won’t shrink his boner!
  1. Talk him up—about his job, his music, his gun show—to anyone you meet.
  1. When you’re out together just running errands, wear a low-cut shirt to remind him of what’s coming later!
  1. Withhold most of your girl drama from him. Someone is not interested in the fact that Jill had the audacity to wear a cream-coloured dress to Jen’s wedding! Similarly, see the Twilight movies with your friends and not him. Refrain from discussing why you’re soooo Team Edward after.

Real Cosmopolitan Magazine Tips: 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10. Thanks, Cosmo, for assuming that I don’t understand sports, love Twilight and The Biggest Loser, refer to muscles as “guns shows,” and am primarily concerned, on a Sunday no less, with the increasing and decreasing of boners.