Internet Joke Makes Headlines, Is Reported as Real News
WARNING: You won’t understand this unless you look at this.
A popular internet joke that is apparently called “Bust-a-tea,” has been scooped as actual news. You might have seen it; it’s on the front page of the newspaper you’re holding right now. Unless you’re holding a Kindle, in which case you may notice that Kindles are made of suck.
The “BustedTee” joke that spawned the news revolution we are now witnessing was spawned out of a man named Streeter Seidell, who works for a company called “CollegeHumor.” When we interviewed him, he also said “Bust-a-tea,” several times. When we asked for clarification, he said, “The joke is a Bust-a-tea.”
Hence the name of the joke. Now, some more quotations from Mr. Seidell, who was adamant throughout our questioning that he did not have a brother named “Roader,” nor a sister named “Laney,” which we found odd, because Laney was the name of the chick in that movie with Freddie Prinze Junior where he makes a bet with that blond guy from Varsity Blues, wasn’t it? So it’s not that weird of a name.
So, was the “bust-a-tea,” newsworthy?
"I mean, probably not," Seidell said, as he conjured up a white mask from seemingly his underpants. "Nobody thinks my character the Phantom of the Office is newsworthy," He proceeded to show us his portrayal of the Phantom, whom he brings to life by hiding his face and deepening his voice. It’s a chilling thing. At least one of his coworkers agree. Amir Blumenfeld, a coworker of Seidell’s, lingered near us as we gathered soundbites.
"It’s true," Blumenfeld cut in, "I thought he was a real dead guy or whatever for like three months. When I found out it was all just a fakeout, I got revenge by having him parachute onto a tarp of my face."
We still don’t know what Blumenfeld meant by, “It’s true.”
We asked Seidell if “Bust-a-tea,” was his rapping name, which he denied, because his rapping name is the Street-Tang-Clan. Why he admitted that, being only one man, is beyond us, although my personal inclination is that he’s harboring a rhyme-smithing baby-genius in his belly like that mutant guy wearing the trench-coat in Total Recall.
Seidell clumsily explained that he wasn’t excited for the Super Bowl, so why would he be excited for the Winter Olympics?
"I guess I’m just lucky my Bust-a-tea friends let me print the joke as a shirt."
Blumenfeld chimed in. “I helped vote it in because I’m just so glad he’s alive, you know?”
In future news, this article will make the first segment of a television newscast, in which the title of the piece will be, “Newspaper columnists make news by satirizing news based off of satire.”
I remember I made a drawing on a napkin once, of a baseball player with a mitt, kneeling, arms outstretched.
"What ball through yonder window breaks?" he asked.
There was a creative meeting at work (well, it was billed a creative meeting, but ended up being the weekly Jobs meeting instead.) I did my remembering of this napkin during the meeting, while watching my boss doodle on a profile of a face. He removed the nose first. Then, above the head he inked a perfect circle. Then, below the chin he did the same. Then he left to get a haircut.
By the time he came back, we were still in the meeting. And yes, his ears did look lower.
I played poker tonight - I won’t often write about poker. I know nobody cares about it. It was fairly early in my tenure at the table (about twenty minutes) and the woman across from me who I’d been watching fairly closely (not because of any particular beauty - she was just very interesting looking) went all in with 6. The action came around to me, without any callers. I finally looked at my cards, fully expecting to fold. Pocket aces, black. I raised to 12, because there’s only one way to play pocket aces before the flop. The next guy sighed and folded. One other player called, and then folded when I bet the raggedy 8 5 3 flop. The turn came a 3, and I threw my aces in the middle for the strange supine lady (she even held her nose up like that when she was thinking, like she was a pig) to show hers. I didn’t see her cards, but she must have had Q3 because when the river came Queen she was all “Thank you!” My aces were busted.
I got her back, however. Two pair to drown her pocket kings, some ten minutes later. And that’s when she left. I finished up twenty bucks.
I don’t often write about poker because I don’t often win. I’ve decided that I’m maybe just not that good at it. The next time you’ll read any words about it is when I win a bonus hand. I promise - until then, nothing.
In other news, I watched a movie made in 2003 by a kid who died in 2006. He was 23, as old as I am now. His name was Derek Lake, and the film was called “To Know a Jedi.” It was very well done. You can find it on YouTube, under a search for the title or Derek Lake. It’s an hour-and-a-half long.
I did some searching on the subject once I found out the kid had died, because it was interesting to me. I found this, a letter from one of his friends to a newspaper:
A good friend of mine (who happened to be working for my husband) was killed today on Houston and LaGuardia while he was riding his bicycle to work. He was not an avid cyclist, and apparently tried to maneuver between a truck and a van and was thrown from his bike and run over by a truck and pronounced dead at the scene.
As I am sure you can imagine, we are absolutely devastated. Derek was only 23 and graduated from SVA film school last year. He completed his first short film Sans Pertinence, which is absolutely amazing. His film was recently accepted into a film festival (I don’t know which one).
Derek lived in Brooklyn and was, as I mentioned above, also working for my husband full-time and very happy to have a job where he could use his talents and work with a small and tight-knit team of people. He told me he was thrilled to be in such a great position right out of college. He was a really inspirational director and a talented artist. He was also a very sweet and kind person. This is a horrible tragedy and we are completely emotionally destroyed. It is incredible that someone who was so endlessly talented and brilliant could be gone in an instant. He was very driven and always intensely professional.
We’d like to spread the word about his films if at all possible. This is such a great loss and he will be missed.
To Know a Jedi has been on YouTube for more than three years, has been seen 22,000 times, and has a rating of not-quite-five.
Do I have anything original to talk about? Yes. What is it? I don't know.
Gee, fellas. I remember when I used to have a BONE to pick and it was PICKED ON MY BLOG. Every few days I’d have something original to say.
So, what happened?
Maybe I just turned boring. Got a job, moved across the country, turned boring. BORING. My job isn’t boring, and that’s what I’d be writing about if I were writing about anything, but I’m conflicted about writing about work outside of work even if it’s the good, interesting things I’m writing about.
Okay, listen. Adapting to a new situation is always hard. Learning how to live on your own, buy your own stuff, pay your own bills, eat your own food (instead of driving through it), manage your own time, run your own errands - it’s tough. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve thought I was capable of living on my own for quite a while now. But it’s something more than I thought it would be. I feel like I’m thirty.
Or like I’ll be thirty by the next time I look up and realize I haven’t been focusing on my life goals in my spare time. And that’s not a feeling I’m looking forward to.
Do I feel less creative after I get home from a full day of thinking creatively - in a direction I’d rarely utilize if I weren’t being paid for it? Yes. And perhaps that is why I take issue with John Scalzi’s “Day Job is a (not-yet-disgustingly-successful) creative person’s best friend,” perspective. He goes on to say, “Very few people are insanely creative 24 hours a day (and those that are often have more emphasis on the insane than the creative), so why not fill those hours in which you’d otherwise be agonizing over your personal sense of self-worth with cash-generating busywork?”
Well for one, I guess because it’s not busywork - I have to use the same part of my brain I use when I’m coming up with stories or editing them. For two, most peoples’, “personal sense of self-worth,” comes from their jobs. How many people do you know who have any kind of extra ambition besides getting the job they want? Sure, we’d all like to stay home all day and have a TV camera follow us around (okay, maybe that’s just me) without worrying about having a job at all - maybe we’d still work, but we’d do it just to quit in really fun ways - but we work because we have bills that need to be paid. In that way, even if the job is fun, even if you’re getting paid well - it’s like reading a book for school. You do it because you’re being told. (Or you don’t do it for that reason - that’s always how I was. I never read the books I was supposed to.)
I know what anyone with any kind of advice-giving prowess would say to me right now - “Learn how to better manage your time. You’ll be able to write. You’ll be able to fit everything in.” I agree with this. I do. That’s why I’m spending so much time thinking about it.
For anyone else, in any other situation, the complete reversal of all conceptual reality would have been an event traumatic enough to trigger and sustain indefinite lunacy. Dodge, hungover and possessing a brain that never been truly impressed with its own conceptualized view of the world, took it all pretty well.
I have: not done anything interesting. I never make resolutions, but I do have goals. This years’ goals were something I thought I’d be able to do, but now more than half of my brain-functioning time is taken up by something I won’t have my name on.
What I wanted to do: Write three novels this year.
I might still. But the goal seems a lot harder to achieve now than it did when I was looking at it from a homeless/jobless funk. Weird, right?
I hadn't planned on doing any editing or rewriting of stories from my last book, but I added a few words to this one and changed some things that have been bothering me since February. Enjoy.
When I came upon the For Sale By Owner sign in the middle of the forest, I thought someone had played a joke, had taken it from someone’s front lawn to give it a new home and snap a few pictures. I hopped toward it, wanting to pull it out, turn it over. Take it with me so that when I got back I could tell Sheila and use it as a prop for my recounting. “Right there, in the middle of it all, someone left this sign,” I might have said, “As if the world itself were up for grabs.”
I was so occupied with the sign that I nearly took a header down a bottomless pit.