I’m not going to lie to you. After shutting down my wildly successful Hate By Numbers tm series, I wasn’t coming back. My self-imposed indefinite sabbatical was going really well, and I thought Cracked was humming along just fine without me. But last week I got a call that changed everything. I knew it was my former editor Jack O’Brien before even answering; I’d assigned Madonna’s Vogue as his ring tone. No song better captured Jack’s fluid sexual identity and processed faux chic posturing.“Hey,” I answered with all the ease of a free man. After all, Jack was no longer my boss – just some dude who loved Cracked.com and the sexy pop disco beats of a certain middle aged Diva from Detroit. I settled into my rich leather couch and poured myself two fingers of scotch, enjoying my newfound status. But just then something broke the mood. Something functionally illiterate: “Call him ‘Jack-o-roni & Cheese,’” shouted Dan O’Brien from my opposing love seat. Dan was back on the East coast for Christmas, and crashing at my place after his parents kicked him out for doing something “unholy” to his family Priest with the church’s nativity baby Jesus. Apparently, no one was impressed with Dan’s defense that he was just trying to figure out what Jesus would “do.” (And yes, Dan made the little quote fingers on “do” when he explained the story to me.) “Call him ‘Jack-o-roni & Cheese,’” Dan repeated. “Because, y’know, it rhymes with macaroni & cheese, and his name is Jack.” “Yeah, I get it,” I replied. “Now finish your bag of ketamine and go to sleep like a good boy.” “G-Stone, you there?” Jack asked. I hadn’t heard him so anxious since he lost all his glow sticks and pacifiers in one night. “I need you to come back, G-Stone. Please. I’ll do anything.” “Will you pay me market rates for my freelancing?” “Oooh, no can do,” Jack said, “but I will totally let you have my first edition, autographed cassette single of Madonna’s
HOW G-STONE IS SPENDING HIS SABBATICAL (or Suggestions For A Great 2009) As all the papers have reported, I recently underwent a significant life-changing event by imposing a sabbatical on HBN. My silly little three minute videos, lampooning pop culture news, TV, and music did more for my comedy career in a few months than all my preceding years of comedy writing combined. Strong proof that either my dreamy bedroom eyes are simply irresistible or that people can’t actually read anymore. I’m going with the latter. And as shocking and significant as my decision was, it occurs to me that, perhaps, important stuff has happened to other people in the last couple of months too. Maybe YOU are also at a transition. Perhaps, you’re preparing to enter high school or college. (School starts in January, right? I forget.) Or maybe you’re about to graduate high school or college. (That’s slightly less likely if you’re a Cracked reader). Or maybe you’re one of the record number of people who’ve just been laid off as a result of the increasingly bad global economy? In any event, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one doing some reflecting and soul-searching during this Holiday season. What will 2009 bring? And more importantly, what should you do now to make sure 2009 brings what you want? Well, for one… 1. Do What You’re Supposed to Do. I went on sabbatical to write comedy screenplays. How’s that going? It’s going, but I’m behind schedule. I’m halfway done with the first screenplay, but I wanted to be all done by now and on to the second. And I still have to make some dicey Act III decisions. In my defense, I’ve suffered certain setbacks in my personal life recently that may have had a subtle affect on my writing as indicated by this excerpt from a scene I was working on last week:
Bambi (sexy flight attendant)
Excuse me, sir, but are you Layne Wadstone? I love your hilarious video series and your dreamy bedroom eyes.
Why hello. Yes. Yes I am.
Do you think you could help me with something in the airplane bathroom? (giggles and points to her lady parts)
I’m sorry, Miss, but no. You see, I’ve recently contracted chlamydia.In any event, you don’t want to be like me. I don’t care what it is. Getting a new job; curing your acne in time for prom; studying for your finals now so that C- you just got on your mid-terms doesn’t sink your whole GPA; you’ve got stuff that needs doing. Do it. And so will I. Promise. And take comfort knowing that while you’re studying in your dorm room at 3 am, I am fast asleep having rewarded myself with a nap after coming up with a knee-slapping sight gag for my screenplay. (Spoiler alert: The vicious dog bit WHAT part of the bad guy’s anatomy? Oh, that’s rich.)