Readers’ Expectations 8: The Biological Chicken, Sweaty Dexter, and Tyler Perry with a Hickey

Sometimes I feel like Dear Abby, except that the questions and comments people type into search engines to get to Scenic Route Snapshots are a bit on the incoherent side.  Here’s the newest batch:

“I haven’t failed; I’ve had 10,000 ideas”- Right.  You’ve had 10,000 bad ideas.  Or another way of looking at it is this: The glass is half full.  Yeah, full of bad ideas!  Zing!  Next…

“biological chicken”- We live in a time where most chickens are no longer biological.  Ever since the Droid Empire took over our planet, most of our food is simply projected figments of our imagination, linked in to the Droid scanners.  Even still, tastes like chicken.

“They’re always sweaty in Dexter”- That’s because the show takes place in Miami.  Similarly, they’re also always sweaty in most reality dating shows on VH1, but that’s for a different reason.

“bacon egg sandwich, grapes, chocolate”- What are you, a ten year-old boy?  Does your mommy know you’re playing on the Internet?  Admittedly, I could see how that could make for mouth-watering breakfast on the right kind of morning.

“beer scripture fellowship”- Jesus and His disciples drank wine.  But that was so like 2,000 years ago.  It’s time for Christian men in Bible studies to switch to beer.  Nothing like reading through Habakkuk with a Heineken in hand, I always say.  Fat Tire and Phillipians, anyone?

“what to do to bad people”- Sarcastic remarks and physical injury only fuel the fire, so I’ve learned from the past.  My new thing is to sincerely pray that they enter into an authentic relationship with Jesus as their Savior.  Then they may end up on my side and fight Satan with their negative vibes.  It’s a win-win.

“how to compliment a classic song”- Man, that’s a tough one.  Just a shot in the dark, but you could try this: “Hey it’s ‘More Than a Feeling’ by Boston…  I love this song!  This song rocks!”  Change the title of the song and the name of the band as needed.

“Can black people get hickeys?”- Good question, but I’ve got a better one: Can black people “get” camping or Monty Python movies?  Even better question: Can white people “get” stomping or Tyler Perry movies?

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Nick Shell vs. Ben Wilder: The Facebook Frenemy Wall Battle of Belittlement

Finally, after over two months, the inside joke is turned inside-out.

Within two weeks of me moving to Nashville (September 11, 2005), I was befriended by a guy named Ben Wilder.  He told me about the Green Hills Mall reopening and giving away $50 gift cards for the first 100 people who showed up to the front door.  So we camped out in the parking lot the night before the Grand Re-Opening (sleeping in our cars) until a few hours before the doors opened.  Ben brought with him a TV and DVD player on a stand and showed the movie Hitch to all of us waiting there at the front of the mall.  It’s possible that the off-beat “hey, I just met you” activity defined my future friendship with him.  And that our matched quirkyness makes for a good duo.

October 2005/Green Hills Mall parking lot: Pictured from left- myself, Ben Wilder, and Kyle Benn (though he was not crucial to this story, he did help facilitate my wife and I to start dating)

Ben and I have a lot in common: We are both from the South (he’s from northern FL; I’m from northern AL).  We both graduated high school in the late ‘90’s (1997 for him and 1999 for me).  We are both 5’ 9”.  And we both have a type of journaling website.  Realizing that we are so well-matched, I decided to call him up a few months ago from the Stoney River parking lot in Franklin, TN with a challenge: To see which of us could get more hits on our websites per week.

Turns out, that wasn’t really a fair challenge because I had my website for a few months longer than he did and the snowball effect of readers I had was a major advantage for me.  So I tried a new challenge.  I dared him to incorporate Yanni’s album name Optimystique into one of his post and have it still make sense.  He succeeded (http://benwilder.wordpress.com/2010/04/14/will-you-accept-this-prose/).  Then he challenged me to incorporate Joey Lawrence, Taylor Hicks, Lady Gaga, Will Smith as Hitch, and Tim Hightower into my mine.  I succeeded: America’s Got Talent But That Doesn’t Mean They Have Fans.

The only next logical move was to begin publicly belittling each other through each other’s facebook walls with open-ended, sarcastic and subtle insults about our frenemy’s personal tastes, amount of common sense, knowledge of social cues, and questionable sexuality.  Of course none of these assumptions were true, but the objective was to attempt to get the opponent’s facebook friends to think the comments were real.  Surprisingly, I personally only had a few of my facebook friends question me about it or comment on our comments.

I’m not officially saying that our facebook wall battle is over, but we did recently decide to stop and explain to the general public what has been going on this whole time and recap our progress.  So yes, this may be the obvious “jump the shark” moment that jinxes and therefore ends the campaign.  But that’s a risk that both Ben Wilder and I recognize and are willing to take.  In reverse chronological order, here is the recap of our insults.

The Facebook Frenemy Wall Battle of Belittlement

Nick ShellBen Wilder: I read your Tweet. Twice in the same day? That’s too bad you had to learn the hard way, as an adult. From now on, just remember to do a little research first by asking around and looking for context clues before asking when the baby’s due. Too bad it was your boss at work and also the preacher’s wife that you said that to. Good luck on that.

Ben WilderNick Shell: Nick, I’m sure I’m the last person you want to hear from right now. I didn’t know the cops were going to take action immediately after I called you in as a stalker. Honestly, I thought you and I could’ve worked it out privately, but last night when I caught you staring in my window–again–I had to call the authorities. I hope you understand (given the circumstances) that lunch on Wednesday is off.

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: You know, I have to admit, I’ve never heard of a guy selling Mary Kay, but if anyone could pull it off, it’s you. Just think, you do enough Mary Kay parties and you can have that pink Hummer in about 7 years. But I know that’s cool with you anyway since pink is your favorite color- because you constantly write about it on your website. I’m like, “I get it, I get it”, you like pink.

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: No, don’t stop writing him letters! Just because he’s going to get the final rose tonight doesn’t mean you have to discontinue writing to Roberto. He’d probably appreciate maintaining your friendship. Just my two cents.

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: : That is a pretty good deal- that you bought a year’s worth of tanning bed visits and got a month’s worth of visits for a friend as a bonus. What a generous offer, but I think I’m gonna have to pass on the free month of tanning, this time around.

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: I must admit, you’re the first person I’ve ever known to buy a sidecar for your motorcycle. I’m just surprised you bought it so you could ride in it while I drive the bike. And yes, I saw the pictures you tweeted of the t-shirts you had made for us when we go driving tomorrow. The one for me that says “The Boss” and the one for you that says “Santa’s Little Helper”. And you said your t-shirt is Bedazzled?

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: I didn’t know it mattered. Sorry. Next time I’ll walk with you to the men’s room. Usually girls go to the bathroom in groups, sorry.

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: Thanks for the tip! I did what you said. Good news: I was able to get your Taylor Swift lunch box autographed for you. Bad news: I sold it on Ebay for profit. Good news: I used some of the money to buy you a plane ticket to “crash” at The Bachelor Pad. And yes, I made sure, both Wes and The Weatherman are going to be there.

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: Hey sorry I missed your call last night. And no I couldn’t get her autograph for you. Try commenting on her myspace page, I think its myspace.com/taylorswift.

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder:  What can I say? Of course I feel honored that you so highly live by the teachings of my writings- in particular: “How to Wear Pink, If You’re a Guy”. I just think for your own safety, though, it’s not the best idea to go around ripping off the shirts of guys you see wearing pink with khaki pants, declaring, “You’ve been Nicked!”

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Pam Price Williams: You boys are funny, and I’m glad I know you…both of you!

David Stanley: I think we have a new saying…how many people have you “Nicked” today?

Nick Shell: I think we should incorporate “Bunny Bucks” into the system somehow.

David Stanley: for every 2 people you “Nick”, you earn 1 bunny buck.

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: Nick, I can’t make it to your instructional seminar tonight. Actually I didn’t even know you had a “Crochet Certificate for Instructors.” Makes sense though, because your crocheted scarf patterns last year were the talk of the retirement community. Glad your sharing your skills now. I’ll be at the Hard Rock tonight.

Flood Benefit feat. Creed | Hard Rock Cafe | Rock | Nashville Scene

http://www.nashvillescene.com

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder:  That’s a good question. I’m not really sure what all it takes to get licensed to drive an ice cream truck. I mean, officially, at least. I know you’ve been practicing the last couple of weeks just for fun, but, yeah, I don’t know. Good question. Good luck with that, though.

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: Did you win your eBay bid? If you end up winning, congrats! I know much you’ve always wanted Bob Saget’s autograph. Now once you get Uncle Jesse’s you’ll finally have autographs for the whole cast of Full House. Awesome.

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Nick Shell: Hey… Cut, it, out!.. How rude!

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: : I would never have said “it’s as easy as taking candy from a baby” if I would have known you would make it a game to see how much candy you could literally take from babies (mainly in grocery stores and church picnics) then brag about it in your blog. Wait… do you have any Three Musketeers in your stash?

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: Nick, I know. You don’t have to explain it in detail, and actually I’d prefer it if you didn’t. But use the cream the doctor gave you. That’ll dry up the rash.

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: Well, I know, but just because it’s something you do in the “Internet world and not the real world”, you can still actually be arrested for it. I agree, acting like you were from England to get people to send you money through their hotmail accounts may have been an easy way to make a few easy bucks, but it’s still actually illegal. Don’t worry though, I won’t say anything about it to anyone.

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: you’re kidding me right? If you’re telling the truth, I think it’s kinda cool you used to be a choreographer. Do a lot of people know this video is a dance you choreographed? 00:58-1:00 the dancers in the background definitely look like your work.

Arsenio Hall Show – Color Me Badd – All For Love (1992 Live)

http://www.youtube.com

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Nick Shell: Yes, it’s true. I’m that talented. The most impressive part of this: I turned eleven years old in 1992.

Ben Wilder: You were Justin Bieber before Justin Bieber was cool.

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: : I’m really interested to learn more about how you ended up teaching yourself to spay and neuter animals while you were in college. You kinda left things vague where you mentioned it under “info” on your facebook profile. Like was it part of an elective course or just a hobby?

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: I am a Droid.

I find Nick Shell’s pocket and hide there.

Every time he hears “droooiiiiiid” he says, “what? where!?”

Because the noise was either me in the front pocket,

or in his underwear, a droid droplet.

Droid.

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder: No, not really. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily “wrong” or even illegal to marry your 2nd cousin. You might even be able to keep that part a secret since you both have different last names. But like you said, maybe it’s just a crush.

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: That’s hilarious! I thought you would’ve got Slater, but the quiz said you have a Screech personality? Wow. Do you think they’re right?

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder:  Hey thanks for returning my hair clippers so quickly- you know, the ones you borrowed last week… Though I’m a little confused why they’re all jammed up and smell funny now. That never happened before when I used them to cut my hair…

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: Did you ever catch the train? Ohh, did you mean you were buying a training bra? I thought you said you were buying a train ticket. Sorry.

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder:  I’m no specialist, but I would say that eventually your 8 year-old nephew will grow out of his bedwetting stage. But it may help if you… oh, I mean… if he doesn’t drink as much soda pop while playing Dungeons and Dragons after dinner. That’s really the best advice I can give you. Oh… I mean him.

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: you WOULD join “Team Jacob”. Come on, Nick. This whole time you had me believing you were siding with Edward.

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Rhonda Walsh Hendricks: I knew it. Traitor.

Ben Wilder: You had us all fooled, didn’t you, Nick? If that’s even your real name.

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder:  So look, I appreciate you dropping off the box of Amway cleaning products at my house. They were indeed successful in getting out the stains in my carpet which you made in your demonstration, though I’m still not quite sure what that brown stuff was in that jar you poured out. Nonetheless, I’m gonna pass on becoming an Amway sales rep with you. Sorry, but good luck on that. Maybe you should use your facebook status update to try and recruit more Amway salespeople. No?

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: Hey Nick!! Dude, I can’t believe I found you on Facebook. Last February I randomly saw your name scribbled in a bathroom stall at the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama so I wrote a note to myself to try to find you on here. Four months later, I found the square of toilet paper in my jeans pocket and remembered to look for you! Gosh, man, what have you been up to all these years???

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder:  Well I must say again it was really wonderful having your parents visit church this past Sunday. And no matter what funny looks your mom thinks she may have received, we are very accepting, no matter how a person comes dressed. Though I will say, it may be the first time a woman has ever worn combat boots to our church.

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: Nick, I need to send you a private message about something. I’m pretty upset about it. Remember that poem you submitted a few years ago to the “Nashville Has Poets and Knows Its!” competition? Did they ever find out you plagerized? I had no idea till this morning when I read the lyrics to Red, Red Wine (by UB40) and low and behold, the verses are the same as your poem. Not cool, man. You shouldn’t have submitted a poem anyway; it was for elementary-age kids. But I’ll send you a private message about all this.

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Nick Shell: No, they never found out it was “plagerized”. But they did find out it was plagiarized.

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder:  I feel kinda awkward about bringing this up, but my niece is starting to ask me where her DVD is. You know the one- Hannah Montana: The Movie. Are you finished burning it to your collection yet? If not, I might be able to delay, but just for a few more days. Also, I hate to be a nag, but… do the words “Justin Bieber” mean anything to you? Yeah, you’ve had that CD for a while now. I need to return that to the public library. Overdue fees are adding up…

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: well, that’s why she called the book Pride AND Prejudice, because Elizabeth struggled with prejudice and Darcy struggled with pride. So they both had to work through their issues before a relationship could work. It’s funny what you said about Mr. Collins though, how if you were a girl, you would have been a cougar on the hunt for him.

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder:  I kinda feel bad about my initial reaction. The truth is, I’m really happy for you. It’s just that I’ve never known anyone that has done the whole mail order bride thing from Russia. Really though, it’s cool. Have you and Henka set a date for the wedding? P.S. Does she speak any English?

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Britney Grayson: ummm I am a hysterically laughing member of your studio audience! These things crack me up!!!

Jennifer Moore: I agree with Britney! …totally just laughed out loud!!

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: got your message. Can’t make it out to the “Lecture On Skid Marks: On The Road and On Your Undies” today but have fun. I hope there’s no scratch & sniff exhibits there.

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder:  So I read Chris N.’s Twitter about your trip to Orlando last week. You two were college roommates? Why didn’t you say something sooner?! Anyway, that’s cool that you finally got to check out his favorite “guilty pleasure” Mexican restaurant that he mentioned on the show. And… Congrats on getting to try out for the next season of The Bachelorette. I hope they pick you! Maybe you can be “Rated G”?

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: I can’t believe you went through with it! When you said,”I want to be a man, I want to be a man for that woman,” I didn’t know that meant you were getting a tattoo on your lower back! Can’t wait to see it!

Joe Hendricks likes this.

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder:  So listen, I won’t be able to make it to the Captain Planet party you’re hosting tomorrow night at your house. I wish I could see you dressed up in costume. If anyone can pull off a blue mullet, red underwear, and an exposed midriff, it’s definitely you. I’m really impressed how you take “going green” to a whole other level!

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: hey, I have an answer for your question. Turns out IBS medicine is supposed to be taken orally, not rubbing it into your skin. Hopefully this problem clears up for you soon, though.

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder:  So look, the pink My Lil Pony bedspread you ordered is actually only available in purple right now. Is that okay? Or is that too masculine? Anyway, just me me know…

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Joe Hendricks likes this.

Ben Wilder: I’m more upset at Joe than Nick. How could you like this Joe, how could you?

Joe Hendricks: It brought back memories of me beating up My lil pony’s with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But, I know how you feel…. My sister wanted the pink…. purple sucks.

Ben Wilder > Nick Shell: I saw you filling up your “green” car with gas at BP. Not cool, Nick, not cool.

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder:  Oh man, I heard what happened. That must have been so embarrassing. I’m of course referring to when you showed up to host the dinner theatre show “The Merlot Murders” and you learned halfway through from an audience member that you had dog droid all over your pants. Ouch.

Nick Shell > Ben Wilder:  Your face is a Droid.

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Ben Wilder: I’m gonna droid in a bag, light it on fire, and put it by your front door around 7pm. Cool?

Mr. Daydream’s Personality Pyramid: Humorous, Philosophical, Analytical, Dramatic

It’s always funny to joke about other people having split personalities.  But the truth is, we have all split personalities.  It’d be kinda weird if we didn’t.

I’ve said before that I tend to “pull an Andy Bernard” in that I mirror personalities in order to better relate to people, which is found in the fundamental teachings of Dale Carnegie, the author of the famous book How to Win Friends and Influence People.  But that’s different than the idea of having split personalities because mimicking another person’s manner of speech and body movement doesn’t reflect my own true split personalities.

We all have at least a few different “default mode” personalities we fall back on, which direct and guide our choices of words and actions.  After a little bit of self-analysis, I have narrowed my own collection of personalities down to four main selections:

Humorous

Philosophical

Analytical

Dramatic

Humorous: I am starting with the one at the bottom of my “personality pyramid”, the one the general public sees the most.  The most unguarded.  It’s my surface personality that is appropriate for most situations which is found in everything I do, even serious tasks.  But not “Jim Carrey/get hit in the head with a frying pan” kind of humor, though.

A more subtle type usually delivered in “dead pan” style, where I don’t laugh at my own attempts at humor.  I don’t tell jokes; I translate real life situations into jokes by sliding in sarcastic commentary about them, adding in nostalgic and pop culture references whenever I can.

Right now one of my major comedic icons is actually Alec Baldwin, a man who used to specialize in drama.  To me, that’s the funniest kind of humor out there.  Like the stand-up styles of Conan O’Brien, Joe Rogan, Zach Galifianakis, and Doug Benson.  But not so dry to the point of David Letterman.

Philosophical: For a guy who has never smoked pot, the conversation topics I come up with would reflect otherwise.  There’s a theory out there that whenever a person is exposed to the psychoactive elements found in marijuana, their “third eye” opens up, causing them to see the world in a different perspective.  But I think I was born with my third eye open.  That would explain a lot, actually.

When a person asks me, “What’s up?” or “What’s new?” or “What’s going on?” or “Whatch ya think?”, they will most definitely get an answer.  Not, “oh, not much” or “same ole, same ole”.  Instead, they will hear that I am currently debating whether or not I would be able to carry out capital punishment myself or whether Batman or Superman is the better superhero.  My third eye absolutely effects what I say, therefore coming across as my “philosophical personality”.

Analytical: Despite seeing the world through an abstract lens, I actually see everything in terms of black and white, cut and dry, “either it is or it isn’t”.  There is a formula for everything.   There is definite right and wrong.  That’s the teacher side of me.  I like explaining things to people.

My analytical personality is the one that will spend countless hours searching which celebrities are Jewish or learning how to solve a Rubik’s Cube.  It’s my necessary inner dork.  It’s the part of me that has an elaborate system for keeping shoes looking new, despite being 8 years old, but I’ll have to get into that in a different post.

Dramatic: At the top of my personality pyramid is the one I reserve mainly just for close family and friends, because it is my personality that is engrained into my emotions.  This is not a personality that needs to be seen by the general public.  Its function is to manage the aspects of my life which are the most important to me.

My dramatic personality allows me to display necessary emotions where love is involved.  I do my best to confine my emotions to just the people I am closest to.  Otherwise, I could end up an emotional guy who wears my heart on my sleeve.  I am not afraid to be vulnerable enough to show my emotions, but I think it’s important to save them for the right situations and the right people.

So that’s how it works.  We are wired with different personalities equipped to suite the right situations and the right people.  The main four personalities that I named most likely do not correspond to hardly anyone else.  Everyone else in the world has their own combination of split personalities which they must decipher in order to better understand who they are.

We’re not crazy.  We just have split personalities.  Isn’t that crazy?