I Hate Everyone...Starting With Me, page 15
I hate people who try to one up you when discussing tragedies. “My husband died in Tower One on 9/11.” “You think that’s bad? We had reservations at Windows on the World that night. It was horrible; we had to eat in.” “My daughter was just diagnosed with juvenile diabetes; she’ll have to be in treatment for the rest of her life.” “Did you know that my conjoined twins were just separated but because we didn’t have insurance we had to separate them with a spatula? One didn’t make it but since they were identical we don’t know which one.”
I hate famous stroke victims who don’t realize it’s time to get out of the public eye. Case in point, Kirk Douglas or Dick Clark. Who wants to see Spartacus dragging a foot or hear Dick Clark counting down New Year’s, “fiy faaww fwee doo wum”? If I want to see stroke victims on TV, I’ll produce a show called Drooling with the Stars.
I hate supermarket cashiers who carefully examine fifty-dollar bills to make sure they’re not fakes. Let me get this straight: Vonette is a junior high school dropout with a drug habit and a sloped forehead, yet suddenly she’s a trained expert in the exciting field of counterfeiting?
I hate people who have little teeth and giant gums, like my neighbor in apartment 8C. She has eight inches of pink gums and then tiny ivory pegs at the bottom. Her smile looks like an elephant’s foot. Even worse, she’s always smiling. She comes down the hall with this giant grin, “Hi, Joan. Hi, Joan.” I look around for Sabu or the Ringling Brothers. She’s the one person in the world who should be depressed and she’s happier than Melissa McCarthy at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
I hate people who expect me to put a positive spin on things. It’s just not me—I’ve tried. A hirsute, toothless woman once came backstage to meet me after a show. She said, “Joan, I’m a big fan of yours.” I tried to be Penny Positive so I said, “Who needs teeth? Just think, what you save on toothpaste you can spend on electrolysis, which you need desperately!”
I hate copycat killers. Stealing another maniac’s MO is not only wrong, it’s lazy. If you have the time and wherewithal to take out a family of five, then you can certainly work a little harder and create your own signature MO. I know, I know, “There are no new ideas and everything’s already been done, blah blah blah.…” I disagree. Putting body parts in a bag or a severed head in the freezer have been done to death. Why not attempt a variation on the theme? After you decapitate somebody, rather than cluttering up the Frigidaire, why not hide the head in a toaster cozy so the grieving survivors can at least play America’s new party game, “Has Anyone Seen Grandpa?”
Charles Manson was one of a kind! Ted Bundy? Classic. Aileen Wournos? Can you name another female serial killer? Be original! Leave a funny hat at the crime scene or put your victims in a bathtub full of homemade borscht, or if there are two murder victims side by side put an “I’m with stupid’” T-shirt on one of them, or, best of all, switch out the heads so when the CSIs say, “She has her mother’s eyes,” they’re not kidding.
I hate nose pickers who are unprepared. If you have allergies or sinus problems or suffer nasal dryness then for God’s sake carry a handkerchief or Kleenex or, during cold and flu season, industrial-strength wipes. Others don’t need to vomit because you have a finger full of snot. When Sir Isaac Newton said, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction,” he must’ve been at a stoplight and saw the guy in the car next to him picking his nose, and then threw up all over his rented Buick LeSabre.
I hate women who play coy forty years too late. Batting your eyes at a rich, handsome man or glancing at him over your shoulder like Rita Hayworth in Gilda is fine when you’re twenty-five and in heat. But when you’re sixty-five and in Huggies, it’s pathetic.
I hate having to be patient with people who have early onset Alzheimer’s. It’s exhausting. How many times can I say, “Yes, we ate lunch already, Ruthie,” or “No, it’s me, Joan. Uncle Bernie’s been dead since 1964.” I find it much easier to simply agree with whatever it is they’re doing or saying. If I walk into the room and Doris Dementia thinks I’m Marvin Gaye, I’ll play right along and croon a quick chorus of “Sexual Healing” and then fuck a white woman. It’s so much easier than explaining that I’m not a man, I’m not black, I’m not dead and I can’t sing.
I hate whistlers. Whistling is not an art form or a music genre, it’s an annoyance. You know the only person who enjoys whistling? The Whistler. I even hated it on The Andy Griffith Show, when Andy and Opie are going fishing or digging a shallow grave. In the 1944 film To Have and Have Not, Lauren Bacall says to Humphrey Bogart, “You know how to whistle, don’t ya? You just put your lips together and blow.” Obviously she knew how to blow because a few days later she and Bogie got engaged and married. And in 1957, Bogie blew his last breath. Maybe he should have saved his strength and stopped whistling—who knows, he might still be alive and blowing today.
I hate Whistler’s mother. Whistler spent all that time studying art—he went from pencils to ink to Cray-Pas to oil to acrylics. He studied brushstrokes and depth and proportion and then, after all those years of schooling, when it came time to pose, this bitch couldn’t be bothered to smile. That’s one lazy mother.
I hate Mona Lisa, another arrogant supermodel doing us favor by just showing up. This ungrateful shrew sat for the great artist, Leonardo da Vinci, yet just like Whistler’s mother, she found it beneath her to put on a happy face for the historic session. She just sat there, grumbling, with a sour, put-upon look on her puss. Come on—you’re about to become the most popular art image in history. Generations upon generations will wait hours to stand before your image in the Louvre and whisper in awe, “I thought it would be bigger.” Art historians describe Mona Lisa’s smile as “enigmatic.” I call it “cunty.” And in spite of the fact that Mona Lisa is a dour sad sack, she is beautifully hung in the Louvre. Ironically, the statue of David is not nearly as well hung.
I hate gays who pretend they’re straight and expect me to pretend along with them. If you have ball marks on your chin, don’t expect me not to say anything or act as though you got them in a freak golf accident.
I hate interracial couples who pretend not to notice that they’re different races. If I throw a fabulous white party in the Hamptons and one guest shows up wearing black, I’ll notice. And I assure you I’ll say something. I wouldn’t say anything like, “So, is your family horrified?” or “Have you been cut out of the will?” No, I’ll say something subtle but on point, like, “That jacket will look beautiful during Kwanzaa, no?” Or “Didn’t I see you in a film with Kim Kardashian?”
Lastly, I hate people who write a book and talk about its “arc” and have a real ending. I’m out of ideas so this is all you’re going to get. This is it. If you want more, wait for the paperback. It’s in my contract that I have to add more pages. (Oh yeah? Let’s see if they can catch me.)
My lawyers have advised me that it’s a good idea if not to acknowledge, then at least to express a shred of gratitude that this book has been published and will hopefully sell a million copies so I can send my grandson to college so he doesn’t have to do button work in a sweatshop for a dollar-eighty a week (less taxes, kickbacks and money for smokes).
So, as per counsel: I’m grateful to all of you who helped with this book and you know who you are…because I certainly don’t. What I am grateful about is that the people of the world are getting dumber and stupider and ruder and louder and sloppier and whorier because it gives me a whole new generation of idiots to hate. And I’m grateful that I’m in good health so that in ten years I can write a sequel to this shitty book that will sell another million copies so I can put my grandson through rehab, or at least post his bail.
Joan Rivers, I Hate Everyone...Starting With Me