I Hate Everyone...Starting With Me, page 1
I HATE EVERYONE…
I HATE EVERYONE…STARTING WITH ME
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This book is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.
I HATE EVERYONE… STARTING WITH ME
Copyright © 2012 by CCF Productions, Inc.
All interior photographs are provided courtesy of Joan Rivers unless otherwise indicated. Joan Live in Las Vegas (page 35) photo courtesy of Las Vegas News Bureau. Rabbit Test (page 163) photo courtesy of the Everett Collection. Wizard of Oz (page 209) photo and makeup by Mark Sanchez. Joan on the Bar (page 225) photo courtesy of Patrick McMullan.
Interior text design by Pauline Neuwirth.
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FIRST EDITION: June 2012
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
I hate everyone…starting with me / Joan Rivers.
1. Misanthropy—Humor. I. Title.
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
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The suits at Penguin have asked/suggested/demanded that I point out to everyone (especially litigious crackpots and humorless celebrities) that I’m a comedian and this is a humor book and if you’re too dumb/stupid/feebleminded to figure that out, then that’s your problem.
Why they asked/suggested/demanded that I do this, I don’t know; nothing in this book is actionable because (like politicians, clergymen and Mel Gibson) every word of it was spoken to me directly by God.
FYI: God called collect. What a cheapo.
The Son of Sam, David Berkowitz.
O.J. Simpson, who deserves another chance.
Maybe the lippy ex-wife had it coming.*
* I’ll bet you thought I was going to dedicate this to Melissa and Cooper. Well, you thought wrong.
I hate authors who thank, honor or acknowledge everyone they’ve ever met for “helping me, in some big or small way, to travel on this journey I call life, and have made me the person—and author—I am today.”
Fuck them! Since the day my mother bought me at the auction, I’ve had nobody to thank or acknowledge. And if anyone says I do, I especially hate them.
I Hate Everyone…
For the Children
Death Be Not Proud
Location. Location. Location…
The Name Game
Screw Mother Nature…
I Hate Show Business…It’s a Cruel Mistress
I HATE EVERYONE…
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
—ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING, 1850
How do I hate thee?
How much time do you have?
—JOAN RIVERS, TODAY, ABOUT TWO-ISH
Love may be a many-splendored thing, but hate makes the world go round. If you think I’m kidding, just watch the six o’clock news. The first twenty-nine minutes are all about dictators and murderers and terrorists and maniacs and, worst of all, real housewives. And then, at the very end of the show, there’s a thirty second human-interest story about some schmuck who married his cat. I rest my case.
Some things I’ve hated forever, some are new acquisitions and some are just passing fancies. Today I hate: happy TV weathermen, feminists who believe Gloria Steinem’s great looks hurt her, Gloria Steinem herself, people who mispronounce the word ask, studio apartments, guidance counselors, first ladies, old people. So if any of this offends you, or you happen to love puppies and kittens and the infirm… well… I’m impressed. I hate you, but I’m impressed…
I know what you’re thinking: “Joan, hate is a very strong word.” You’re right, it is, but I use it as an umbrella term, the way mental-health professionals use the word schizophrenia as a catchall for any particular brand of crazy they can’t identify. So when I say hate, I don’t necessarily mean hate. I could also mean loathe, detest, abhor, dislike, despise or resent. See, isn’t that kinder and gentler? If you think this makes you a better person than I am, good. You’re the idiot that actually paid for this book.
For those of you thinking, Geez, Joan seems a little angry, you’re half right. I am angry. I’m also fed up. I’m fed up with the morons and losers and cretins who are cluttering up the planet. Emma Lazarus wrote, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” I didn’t know she meant on my block. But being fed up and angry is better than being depressed. Psychologists tell us that depression is just anger turned inward, but I say, why waste your time? It is what it is and quite frankly I’d rather be angry than depressed. Why? Because antidepressants like Prozac, Wellbutrin and Zoloft can cause bloating—and I hate bloating!!! (I need to go back and add bloating to the list of things I hate. Is there anything worse than not being able to fit into a size two Valentino? I think not. Talk about depressing.)
I’m tired of people saying to me, “Joan, could you please try to be nice to Harry? He’s depressed.” No! Why should I have to work like a pack animal trying to be nice to Harry because that asshole’s having a bad day?
Depression is a buzz kill for everyone involved except, of course, for the person who is actually depressed. That moody sourpuss gets all the attention, which only feeds their narcissism. I believe the great Russian Italian Greek Polish… philosopher Descartes said it best when he said, “I whine, therefore, I am.” (Ah, he was Jewish.) But who really cares what Descartes said? You know where Descartes is today? Dead. So much for honesty bei
Before I move on, can I just say, I hate the French. (Note to self: Please put this on the list.) Why? Because those morons still think Jerry Lewis is fabulous, that’s why.
For the few of you who are still reading this, I’ll tell you what else I hate. I hate it when people say, “Let’s invite Jane to the party. She’s going through a difficult time.” I say, “Fuck Jane. I’m paying top dollar for a caterer. Let Jane slash her wrists in her house.” Introverted, depressed people suck the life out of a good party; angry, hateful people liven things up. You give me one person who is still angry the Third Reich was toppled, and I’ll give you a great dinner party.
Did you ever walk into an amazing party, and you’re strolling around, going from room to room, making small talk and slipping the nice serving spoons into your purse, when all of a sudden you run into a sweaty, angry guy in the library who looks like the Unabomber with better fashion sense? You know, the kind of guy who tells you that he doesn’t care if the glass is half full or half empty, he only hopes it’s broken and that Kenny G drinks from it and cuts his lips off and ruins his career. That’s a good guest and he’ll make it a great party.
Being with haters is much more entertaining than being with depressives, because haters are always, always willing to make a scene, God love them. And they’ll make it anytime and anywhere: church, synagogue, Walmart—doesn’t matter; they don’t give a shit. Those are my kind of people.
Maybe this attitude can be attributed to my childhood. When I was a kid, making a scene was the worst, most egregiously horrible thing I could do. My parents hated that. If I had clubbed my grandmother to death like a baby seal with her walker, all my mother would have said was, “Joan! The neighbors can hear. Stop it. Don’t make a scene!”
Watching a guest make a scene at a party is more fun than watching a blind man at a mime show. Everything at the party is going swimmingly—the piano player is noodling a Gershwin medley, martini glasses are clinking, people are chatting and then—BOOM!—from out of nowhere, for no apparent reason, and in less time than it takes Aretha Franklin to knock off a cheesecake, the guest goes from “Hello, hello,” to shouting across the room at the hostess, “You’re nothing more than a murdering, moneygrubbing whore, Mother!” I dare you to tell me that’s not worth the price of a lovely, handwritten thank-you note?
As the title clearly states, I hate everyone and, like any self-respecting hater, I hate myself the most. All great haters do. I’ve been told that to this day, Charles Manson can’t pass a mirror without going, “Bleghh.” I know just how he feels.
And let me tell you why. It all goes back to my childhood. I was not a pretty girl. You know how some people comment on a person’s appearance by saying things like, “She looks like her father”? Well, I actually looked like my father: mustache, man boobs, big thighs, hunched shoulders, sideburns.… All I needed was an enlarged prostate and you wouldn’t have been able to tell us apart.
Right from the get-go, my parents didn’t like me. When I was born, my mother asked, “Will she live?” The doctor said, “Only if you take your foot off her throat.” I was the only baby in the maternity ward who had to take a bus home. My earliest childhood memory was watching my parents loosen the wheels on my stroller. For school lunch they’d make me peanut butter and strychnine sandwiches. Instead of a library card I had to carry a DNR warning. In seventh grade, I had a bad hair day and my mother went to court to fight for my right to die. My parents used to give me advice like “Take candy from strangers” and “Ask the guy in the raincoat if he owns a van.”
When I was a tween—which is just a teen who hasn’t given a blow job yet—I was fat. Fat, fat, fat. In spite of dieting, gagging, purging and drinking ipecac for lunch, I was a chubby girl. But rather than get angry or depressed I lived in a constant state of denial. I thought that being the only girl on the sumo team simply meant I was ahead of my time. In the hallway in our house my parents had this huge mirror and every time I walked by I thought, Where’d those fuckers get the money to buy a Rubens? And they won’t get me a new Barbie? Selfish pricks…
Fat wasn’t a condition, it was a way of life. In Girl Scouts, they had to let out my tent. I made Amos famous. I considered M&M’s one of the food groups. On my first day of summer camp I said, “Where should I put my trunk?” The counselor said, “Wrap it around your tusks.” A rapist grabbed me, took a look and said, “Maybe we could just be friends.” My boyfriend needed a Sherpa to climb on top of me. I was the only person who ran with the bulls carrying a bottle of A.1. Steak Sauce. My husband used to dress me with his eyes. I sat shiva when my neighborhood Arby’s closed.
And you wonder why I’m bitter?
Things are no better now that I’m in my decrepitude. Everything is falling apart…except for my face, which I’ve had lifted so many times I wear my earrings on my kneecaps. But my body has had it. I have chicken skin. I get “Wish You Were Here” cards from Perdue. Everything is sagging, and I hate me! My boobs are so low I had to put curb feelers on my nipples.
Getting old sucks! Everything is confusing. Sometimes late at night I wake up with this hot, moist feeling and I’m not sure if I’m having an orgasm or a stroke.
Look, I could go on and on and on telling you why I hate myself, but it’s so self-centered… and I’m not like that. I’m a giver. So I’d rather branch out and start giving it to everyone else.
Forget the list at the top of the chapter. You want to know who and what I really hate!?! Then keep going…
FOR THE CHILDREN
The one thing I want to leave my children is an honorable name.
Children make your life important.
Get in the car, you’re going swimming.
I hate children. Okay, it’s not actually the children so much as it is the people who surround them. For example…
I hate people who think I’m interested in their children. I am not interested in their children. I’m barely interested in Melissa and What’s-his-name, even though they say she’s my child and he’s my grandson.
Last week I was sitting on a plane and the guy next to me pulls out his wallet and says, “Wanna see pictures of my children?” What I wanted to say was, “Of course I do. When I woke up this morning I said to myself, ‘Joan, what would make your day?… Hitting the lottery?… Winning an Oscar?… The unexpected death of any slightly younger comedian? No! Sitting on a cross-country flight looking at photos of some fat tire salesman’s children? Why, yes, that would make my day. In fact, it would make my life worth living!’”
But I smiled and said to him, “Sure! I’d love to see pictures of your children! And you know what? I’d like to show you pictures of my colonoscopy. You have kids and I have polyps—let’s swap!” Sometimes I’m too fucking nice.
I can’t stand women who think that giving birth is some unique achievement that no one else has ever accomplished; that if it were not for their dropping Billy and Jimmy and Susie out of their wombs, the entire world would be an empty, desolate place—like a library in Alabama or a dentist’s office in England.
Giving birth is not a new phenomenon; it’s been happening since the beginning of time. Female dinosaurs were giving birth to baby dinosaurs long before female humans began giving birth to children. Except maybe in Wasilla, Alaska, where apparently they roamed the earth at the same time.
I hate people who make videos of their children’s births. I’m aware of the fact that reality TV has blurred the lines between public and private behaviors, but there are some things that people really should keep private. For example, Woody Allen shouldn’t order Chinese at a PTA luncheon. And nobody should have the cameras rolling when delivering a baby. But if you absolutely have to show people your childbirth movie, then at least have the decency to run the film backward and make the kid and all the gunk it comes out with disappear.
I’ve seen this sort of
Unless you’re giving birth to the Christ child or a Minotaur, I can wait until the kid’s cleaned up to say hello. If I hear, “Do you want to see the head and shoulders?” you’d better be talking about shampoo.
I hate ugly children. When I see an ugly baby I feel enormous pressure to lie and be nice to the parents. I’ll look at little Quasimodo in the bassinet and say things like, “His face has such character” or “He’s going to be quite the lady-killer someday” or “She already has such personality.” But if the kid is really, really, really ugly, I’ll think What the hell? and just give up and say, “Where’d you buy the crib?”
And since we’re all adults here, let’s be brutally honest—most babies are not actually attractive. In fact, they’re weird and freakish looking. A large percentage of them are squinty-eyed and bald and their faces are all mushed together, kind of like Renée Zellweger pushed up against a glass window.
I live next door to a single mother and she’s got the ugliest baby in the entire world. This kid could frighten Wes Craven. This baby is so hairy it looks like Sasquatch in a bib. Thank God for small things—at least the hair on his head matches his tail. No one knows who the father is, but I think she must’ve screwed everyone in the Village of the Damned. When the kid was born and she brought him home (probably from the zoo) I didn’t know what to say. All I came up with was, “At least he’s not a twin.”