Five More Ways to Pretend Your Smart

Long ago I wrote about five incredibly effective ways to make you look smart. However, my teachings are not yet complete, my young Padawans. Here are five more timeless principles of the Smarti Knighthood. Learn them well:


1. Practice “Smart” hand language.
There are many multiplied forms of this. The tip to tip fingers, the beard stroking, the hair twisting, leaning on the fist, the list is long and possibilities multitudinous. All are important, and all can be smartized if effectively used. While all are imperative and must be practiced faithfully, my personal favorite may be the tip-to-tip. One performs this smart hand motion by placing his or her two hands together, fingers touching tip to tip. It is no coincidence that all of history’s world great conquerors were enabled to do so in large part because they mastered the tip-to-tip.

2. Stare Pensively and Ever So Silently into the Distance.
One of the most imperative things you should know about pretending to be smart is that being mostly silent and very brooding is key. This must necessarily be paired with a very pensive gaze into the distance. People will be awed—awed!—because they will assume you are thinking about earth-shatteringly profound idea or revolutionary concept when in reality you are just deciding between Hardee’s and Wendy’s.

3. Make a Habit of Almost Always Talking About Grammar on Social Media.
One of the chief things I absolutely love about social media is that people will let you know when you have made some sort of grammatical blunder. That, my friends, is an excellent way to bolster your smart profile in the eyes of the world. To cap it off perfectly it helps to go ahead and call them a “bloviating ignoramus” and/or an “odious pachyderm.” Indeed, make a practice of constantly talking commas and there, their, and they’re. All will love you and despair.

4. In All Conversations Consistently Remind Everyone with An Ear to Hear that You Possess Encyclopedic Knowledge of all Things from the Foundations of the World to the Present.
This is another of life’s great joys to be found in abundant use on both Twitter and Facebook. When these very gifted and learned people speak their vast knowledge, people listen. They soak it up. In reality, this is a very simple thing to do. Very is actually very little knowledge out there so just pretend like you know all the answers to everything.

This works for real-world conversations as well. In this case, you should be sure to do so only if you’re in at least decent shape. Such is the case since after you regurgitate a “fact” you should run away and hide as quickly as possible while they check your “facts” on Wikipedia.

5. Wear a Cape.
In my last article on pretending to be smart, I mentioned that a wizard’s staff is an excellent clothing item to complement your pretended smartness. While that is an ancient and very respected smart accessory, it is certainly not the only helpful one. There is also the cape. Edna Mode will not tell you that yet another reason that she has the “No Capes!” rule is that she has found that the cape makes her superhero clients look smarter than herself. Imagine Superman or Dr. Strange or Batman without capes. Superdorks, that’s what you would get. Nothing but superdorks.

To utilize a cape to maximum efficiency walk into the wind so that it furls dramatically behind you as you walk. If possible, walk in slow motion.




Five Possible Ways to Look a Person in the Face During a Conversation

So someone is talking to you and/or you are talking to them. Where do you look? We have all heard the term “looking into their eyes.” That’s plural. Both of their eyes at the same time? Is that even possible? Some people do say looking them in the eye. Well, which eye and how do you look in that eye. Commit to one way and be done with it! Here are five possible ways to look at someone in an eye.

Looking them in the right eye – Good choice. My favorite eye. All good things bask in the depths of this eye. You know that all-seeing eye on the top of that pyramid? Right eye. The right eye is known to gird itself with integrity. This is why you should never, ever trust a person who has an eyepatch over their right eye. Their integrity is obviously gone. Conversely, this is why you should absolutely trust a person with an eyepatch over his left eye. This is why I cotton to Nick Fury. I wish it weren’t the case that Jeff Bridge’s Rooster Cogburn wore his eyepatch over his right eye. Well…I’m giving him a pass cause he’s such a likable crusty curmudgeon.

Looking them in Left eye – This is the proverbial evil eye. Some say it is the one eye of Sauron, lidless and wreathed in flame. It is an ill wind that knows no good. Kidding. There are good things about it, unless it’s quivering. Although this eye is probably inferior to the right, if you start out with it, commit to it like there’s no tomorrow. But be careful with that left eye, it leadeth unto the right side of the brain and its creative crafty ways. Yes, my friends, very crafty that one.

Going Back and Forth Betwixt the Twain – Okay, so technically you can look them in both eyes at the same time if you use the back and forth technique. You have to take turns, though. Anyway, it’s an irritating option. This is a technique most often used by people who like to patronize. I’m not sure what it is but this is a good non-verbal way to make the individual feel two feet tall. If the left side of their head doesn’t understand your high and lofty ways, maybe the right side will get it.

Personally, I like to think that these pretentious back-and-forthers just can’t make up their feeble minds. They simply can’t commit.

Staring Between the eyes – This may get a little awkward if the ridge of their nose has a wart or continues a unibrow. It may also get a little weird if you are standing close enough that the speaker can tell you aren’t looking in their eye or eyes. And this begs the question, what in the world are you doing that close to them anyway? That’s the truly weird thing here. Just back off. And here we are back to the eyes. The vast majority of the time your best just sticking with an eye, preferably directly into the pupil.

Homing in on the mustard on their chin – In a land called Nowhere-Ever-At-Any-Time it is polite to not say anything at all about food on someone else’s face. It sure is fun, though. Not really. Sometimes depending on the person and situations it’s just too awkward to tell them. And once you know it’s there, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else they say–or anything else in the world, really.

But I’ll go ahead and be self-righteous and say that here in the real world of mature, mannered adults unless you’re like the notoriously rude Seinfeld gang who spurn all such Good Samaritan Laws, you will save them from the tragic embarrassment. So don’t be an Elaine or Kramer or Jerry or George and get back to what really matters here, the deep, dark well of the soul that is an eye.




The Time-Traveling Spaniard Bigfoot Bernardino Big and the Continuing Quest for Dr. Pepper

In Five Grossly Inaccurate Recollections of Important Big Family Dates and What Actually Happened I related some historical Big tales as they are inaccurately known among the public at large. All of that was information given to me by Bill Big. Well, new information has come to light about the Spaniard Bernardino Big. I recently discovered his diary and found that before settling down he was indeed a time traveler. During his journey in Texas, he stumbled upon a strange time traveling device, a glowing orb, which changed his life forever. In the course of his travels he tried out all manner of popular merchandise of the individual times like felt top hats, bell bottoms, and Dr. Pepper. This last would quickly find a place in his heart, a memory to be cherished forever. After a time, however, all the time and space gadding about got old and he went back to his native space-time continuum. Only he made a mistake with the controls and when he returned was a few weeks after he left rather than just a few minutes. By that time, all of his countrymen had long gone, giving him up for dead. So that is the state we first found him, a long-lost traveler in a caffeine withdrawal rage. His diary tells us that shortly after this event he had had it with wandering about aimlessly and began a five-visit quest to relive Dr. Pepper glory. Sadly, though, he had quite forgotten which timeline possessed this carbonated nectar of life. That meant he was going to have to do more moving about in time here and there and everywhere. So off he went.

Visit One: 986 A.D. – Old Leif Erikson and his merry band of Vikings reported sighting sighting a big old monster who they described as an ugly, hairy beast with big black eyes. In his diary, Bernardino took great umbrage at this horrific description but admits it was probably accurate at the time. He had just left his Texan visit (which was his ninth visit since the very beginning) and was still on the caffeine withdrawal quest for the refreshing taste of Dr. Pepper. By this time he was veritably aquiver with this withdrawal. Leif, who actually chatted with him for a bit, informed Bernard that he knew not of this strange, mythical substance. So after after the Vikings sailed off home, he pouted for a bit then jumped again.

Visit Two: 1828-1829 – One of Bernard’s longest visits was in Georgia’s Okenfenokee Swamp throughout an unusually dry winter. He stayed so long because he cottoned to the solitude of swamp life. “Cottoned to” was a phrase he picked up from the various hunters and explorers who ventured through the swamp now and again. Although he didn’t know it, he was a regular old Yoda on Dagobah, he was, and managed to elude detection until some guys discovered his footprints he had carelessly left behind. Next thing you know all hell breaks loose and Bernard’s little piece of paradise comes to an end. Those dudes all hauled back and brought back a bunch of fired up Bigfoot hunters. Well, they found old Bernard, but their recollections of the event were vastly exaggerated. The only true part of their recollection is that just as many others in the Big line, Bernard was very tall. Other than that, bogus. Although it is true that they did eventually find the “monster,” they claim it viciously attacked them in a mad fury. In reality, Bernard was just standing there, kind of embarrassed since he had just taken a mud bath and wasn’t dressed and cleaned to receive visitors. The hunters, on the other hand, weren’t embarrassed at all, just scared and very, very nervous. When a cone dropped from a nearby cypress tree, the skittish hunters unloaded their guns into the poor, defenseless bulb. Bernard took the chaotic moment to leave this timeline. He grabbed the nearby time traveling device and said sayonara to his beloved swamp home before skedaddling into space and time.

Visit Three: 7856 – Here Bernardino landed in an alternate universe, which he had seldom done before. It was usually in his own homegrown universe. Anyway, in this far distant time and in this universe, Bernardino blended into the crowd since it was inhabited by all manner of Bigfoot civilizations. There were also races of flying unicorns and talking geraniums. Despite his being entirely covered in mud, within minutes of his arrival he was inundated with applications to join any one of at least a dozen different Bigfoot tribes. It was all quite fascinating and Bernardino was sorely tempted to stay, but alas, he longed for Dr. Pepper and the loving comfort of his native timeline so he pushed the button and off he went.

Visit Four: 1973 – This is the year the public started going crazy with Bigfoot and UFO sightings. Only two of these touted sightings (one of bigfoot, the other of a UFO) are actually true. And what is even crazier is that both of these happened on the same night and in the same location. Here is what is claimed to have happened that fateful night in Pennsylvania: A couple of teenage girls were out in front of their friends house waiting for a ride home when all of a sudden a nine-foot-tall Bigfoot with white fur emerged from the woods across the street. They claimed the beast was also carrying a glowing orb. The two ran back inside to tell their friend’s dad. He went to investigate and reported that while in the woods he saw a UFO. Here’s what actually happened: After arriving in 1973, the nude, still mud-covered Bernardino found himself in an empty house. It took him a couple of hours, but he somehow managed to figure out how the new-fangled inside bathroom stuff worked. He basically knew how these things worked thanks to his earlier visits to the 20th century. So he took a shower and cleaned off the mud. Afterwards, he covered his nakedness with the only thing he could find that even remotely fit: A pair of white long johns. Anyway that’s what his description sounds like. Bernard just figured clothes is clothes, you know. Afterwards he traipsed through the surrounding woods with the glowing orb to figure out where and in what time he had ventured. In the darkness he crossed a strange gray pathway and in the process scared off two girls. In the woods beyond a strange light beamed down on him. That is when the alien craft alighted beside him. Berbard stated that indescribably hideous beings came out. He said every one bore striking resemblances to Justin Bieber who he had actually encountered on an earlier visit. The Bieber beings told Bernard that they had been searching for precious time-travel device and had been stuck in 1973, the worst year ever, until they found it again. Bernard agreed to graciously return it to them on the condition that they return him to his original time and space.

Visit Five: 1519 – Yeah, that’s right. Bernardino was born and raised right in the timeline where we first met him. He had jumped from 1519 already two times. The very first time was at his home in Bilbao, Spain where he was part of a crew that set off for the new world. After a months-long sea voyage, they began to pave a path of death and destruction through Mexico. It was during the journey through what we now call Texas that Bernardino found the glowing orb in the sand. The orb, it had all manner of dials and numbering on its surface. When he accidentally made his first jump he wasn’t sure how to operate the blasted thing. After a few jumps he got a hang of it and eventually figured out how everything worked. Now at the end, sadly not having achieved his greatest desire, the alien Bieber beings, per his request, delivered him to his Balbao home. But seeing his great sadness and being filled with great pity, the Bieber beings graciously bestowed upon him a parting gift of a bottle of Dr. Pepper, a sacred liquid to their kind and their most valued possession.




The Five Funniest Women of Television

Introduction by Phill Lytle

On January 25, 2017, we lost Mary Tyler Moore. Immediately after her death, the REO staff wanted to do something in her honor. After some thought, we chose to honor her as well as a handful of other iconic and hilarious women of television. As opposed to our Top Ten lists, this list was not voted on or deliberated for months. We settled on the first four very quickly – you should be able to guess which ones they are. We finally landed on the final name and then started writing. On a personal note, I wanted to write for Mary Tyler Moore but Ben Plunkett beat me to it. I used to watch The Dick Van Dyke Show with my grandparents and I was a little bit in love with Laura Petrie. I guess it’s better for all involved that Ben got that one. We hope you enjoy this celebration of five very funny ladies.

 

Lucille Ball by Ben Plunkett

Lucille Ball is almost universally accepted as one of the funniest women in T.V. history. And after watching most of the episodes of I Love Lucy (my sister and I are one the sixth and final season via Hulu Plus), she deserves that status for I Love Lucy alone. In fact, if this list were about the funniest women of all time, she would most likely still be on it. She is primarily known as the star of I Love Lucy, which she co-created and starred in along with her then husband, Desi Arnaz. In doing so, the two became the inventors of the modern situational comedy. Their characters were joined in their wild escapades (mainly Lucy inspired) by their neighbors and best friends, Fred and Ethel Mertz, portrayed by real life arch-enemies Walter Farley and Vivian Vance. Her three costars highlighted her funniness. That Lucy, she was the embodiment of funny in New York, Hollywood, Europe, and Florida. Ball went on to do several other shows, but she will always be known as one of the funniest women on TV mainly thanks to her stint on I Love Lucy.

P.S. – Quick shout out to Vivian Vance. She was a perfect comedic sidekick for Lucy, being dragged into most of Lucy’s mad schemes.  In my opinion she is only slightly less funny than Ball and very, very underrated.

 

Amy Poehler by Mike Lytle

Amy Poehler first rose to national prominence on Saturday Night Live. She was one of the few female performers in the history of the show who would get as many sketches written for her as many of the top male cast members. The writers found her to be funny and versatile enough to trust her with much of their best material. Not only that, but she co-hosted the Weekend Update segment for several of its strongest years and more than held her own, first opposite Tina Fey and later Seth Meyers. Her movie career has been hit and miss, but I have a special place in my heart for her roles in Baby Mamma and Blades of Glory. What we will remember Poehler most for is her role as Leslie Knope on the third greatest sitcom of all time Park and Recreation. She took a character that was originally written to be a female version of Michael Scott from The Office and made it so much more than that. She wasn’t always the funniest character on Parks and Rec, but there was never any doubt that she WAS the show. Leslie Knope’s unbridled optimism is the defining characteristic of the show and I have to believe that much of that came from Amy Poehler herself.

 

Mary Tyler Moore by Ben Plunkett

The recently deceased comedic icon is known in pop culture history as a primary ingredient of two unforgettable sitcoms: The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I am coming from the point of view of someone who has only mostly seen the former. (I have watched various episodes of The Mary Tyler Moor Show.) My sister and I just had the honor of watching the show on Netflix, finishing last month. The Dick Van Dyke Show started in 1961. I imagine they had planned Laurie Petrie to be a relatively minor side character, showing up every other episode or so for two or three minutes. She was almost not cast on the show at all. From what I have read, it sounds like she almost missed out on a role of a lifetime. In fact, the entire cast did. The pilot of the show was called Head of the Family and starred an entirely different cast, including creator Carl Reiner as Rob Petrie. But in the revised version, everyone obviously expected Van Dyke to take the house down. After all, he had already become known on radio, TV, and stage and had even won a Tony. Moore smashed all their low expectations to smithereens. She ended up being the show’s secret weapon, not only matching Dyke’s comedic finesse, not only doing pretty well, but perfectly matching her TV show husband in comedic time, acting, dancing, and just flat out amazing, all-around talent. I don’t think TV history has ever seen two actors with better chemistry. The show finalized in 1966, but Moore wasn’t finished yet. She went on to be the main of star of one of the most famous shows ever, The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

One last thing: Moore would still be on this list if we were doing the five best looking funny women. At least, I would fight hard for it. That Laura Petrie, one great looking gal, she was.

 

Carol Burnett by Phill Lytle

Actress and comedienne, Carol Burnett is best known for The Carol Burnett Show, which ran from 1967 through 1978. Needless to say, I did not watch the show as it aired, seeing as how it ended its run a few months after my birth. I did get to see the show on reruns with my grandparents though, and I was always impressed and entertained. Watching her perform with her costars, it was clear how gifted, tireless and committed she was to making the show as funny as possible. She was also incredibly graceful in her ability to allow one of her costars to get the biggest laughs in a skit, or to take center stage if their performance warranted it. That kind of generosity of spirit is as rare today as it was then. But most of all, she was funny.

A few years ago, I was watching an awards show and either she was being honored or she was presenting an award – my memory fails me on that count. Regardless what her specific role was, she got up on stage and she talked and made a few jokes and had the crowd laughing – genuinely laughing. Not the feigned laughter you see at many of those shows when a legend is speaking. She was surprising and sharp and funny. It was great to watch and it only solidified in my mind how singular of a talent she has always been.

 

Julia Louis-Dreyfus by Gowdy Cannon

I’ve watched a lot of Seinfeld over the last 25 years but I am not so pompous to think I can’t see new things and change my mind on opinions about it. Just last summer as my wife and I went through it I was, more than ever, blown away by how much Elaine added to the show. Performing next to a comedic legend superstar and two of probably the Top 5 greatest sitcom characters ever, I am sure I had not appreciated her as she deserved. She had her moments:  “You want germs? I’ll give you germs.”  “We don’t have to name names…or point fingers…or name names!”   “YOU’RE BALD!”  Her GET OUT push is as iconic as anything in the show’s pantheon of icon.  But until this last time through I am sure I didn’t see her the way I saw the other three. I do now. With time I can see how Elaine wasn’t eclipsed even slightly by the legends around her because she was far too bright.  She was audacious in a way TV women often weren’t and it was hilarious. In hindsight it’s hard to believe Jerry and Larry David didn’t have a woman written in at first and NBC had to demand it.  She could not have fit in better in the well oiled comedy machine that was Seinfeld.

She continued her success with The New Adventures of Old Christine, adding another Emmy to the one she won in Seinfeld. And while I have not seen it, she continues to rack up the awards in her new series Veep as well. But she’ll always be Elaine to me. The woman who cedes ground to no man. The woman who dropped Frank Costanza like a bag of dirt, who went toe to toe with the Soup Nazi and scored a KO, who dominated karate champ Kramer . It took a special actress to share a screen with Alexander, Richards and Seinfeld. She is their equal and that may be the highest compliment I can pay her.

 

So, what do you think? Does our list meet your approval? Let us know what you think in the comment section below. We would love to talk about these and other hilarious women of television.

 




Top Five Reason We Don’t Have A Five Today – Part Three

We’ve done it again folks! Friday rolled around and we were caught with our hands in the cookie jar. Or our pants down. Or is it our pants in the cookie jar? Or cookies in our pants? We have no idea what we are talking about.

Fridays on REO are when we roll out The Five. “What is The Five?” you ask. Unfortunately, no one can be…told what The Five is. You have to see it for yourself. Actually, we can tell you, but we choose not to because the whole point of this edition of The Five is that we are lazy and didn’t actually have one ready to go. So, you can go here to see what The Five is all about.

The point we are trying to make, and rather poorly we would add, is that we didn’t get anything together for today. We messed up. We failed. But, as the great song by Babyface says, “Sometimes a man is gonna be a man. It’s not an excuse, It’s just how it is.” And if we learned anything from Hollywood, “love means never having to say you’re sorry” so we are not about to apologize. Not even close.

All things considered, this could have turned out much worse. So without any more delay, here are the top five reasons we do not have a Five today.

 

Reason Number One: There I was just minding my own business, walking along as happy as you please. Big old Balrog dude, flaming idiot, red and flaming, doesn’t say a thing just roars like a moron, pulls out this yellow whippy thing. We fought and all for, like, a really long time. We made up, though. We’re bros, now, pals. But anyway.

Reason Number Two: I was too busy doing nothing.

Reason Number Three: I refuse to be a part of something so discriminatory and offensive. When did “five” become better and more important than four or seven? I find it to be unconscionable to grant this much numerical privilege to any single number. From this moment on, I will stand in opposition to “The Five” until we have a special feature for every number.

Reason Number Four: We were busy fighting three separate Twitter battles for the SALVATION OF THE UNIVERSE! You probably didn’t realize that Twitter is that powerful. It is. Nothing is better at clearly articulating an intelligent and well-reasoned point of view than 140 characters. I take that back. Memes are really good at that sort of thing as well. Twitter and memes are tied. Use them often and we can save our country and the world.

Reason Number Five: We were busy watching Groundhog Day 16 times.  We didn’t realize until later we were rewatching the same movie over and over.

 

About the picture… We used that picture because it’s awesome. I mean, look at that guy! He is adorable and he is playing a tiny trumpet. That alone invalidates any criticisms of this article and our lack of effort. You say something negative and we simply point at the little guy playing a little trumpet. End of discussion.




Five Reasons You Should Bookmark This Website

It was recently reported that 17 new web pages are published every second [1. http://www.editorandpublisher.com/feature/as-digital-fatigue-sets-in-readers-are-waking-up-to-newspapers/]. As a society we have access to more content than ever before. Unfortunately there are still only 24 hours in a day so it is important to be selective with our time spent online. Here are five reasons we think you should spend some of your time here:

 

1. We have variety.

If you are looking for all sports all the time we are not the place for you. If all you want to read about is TV and movies then you might want to keep looking, but if you want to go somewhere where you never know exactly what to expect then check us out. Much like the chef’s daily specials at a great restaurant, you don’t know exactly what surprises are headed your way, but chances are it’s going to be delicious.[2. In the chef analogy, Gowdy’s article about Seinfeld is the Lobster Bisque.]

 

2. We offer a break from the hot button issues of the day.

You may read the occasional political article or social commentary piece on here, but as a general rule we try to stay away from that stuff. You get enough of that on your Facebook or Twitter feed. So if you are tired of reading about who should be allowed in which bathroom[3. For our take on bathroom etiquette check out this article.] then welcome to Rambling Ever On, it’s good to have you.

 

3. We make top ten lists.

David Letterman went off the air last year so somebody had to take up the Top Ten List mantle. Not only do we provide informative and entertaining rankings of some of our favorite things, we also have the entire list on one page so you don’t have to click multiple times to read it or slog your way through some ridiculous slide show to see what finished number 1. You are welcome America.

 

4. We generally[4. I say generally because I can’t predict what my brother David will come up with next. Just kidding, Dave!] don’t promote heresy.

We have a decent number of articles about Biblical and theological topics. The guys who write them take it seriously and even if you don’t agree on every minor (or even major) point please realize that they come from a place that values Biblical orthodoxy and sound interpretation. Hopefully you will be challenged and encouraged by what they write.

 

5. We write about whatever we want to.

Nobody is paying us (yet!)[5. If you are interested in paying us and providing us with a specific agenda to write about we are all ears!] so all our content comes from the heart and covers subjects that we are passionate about. We don’t have any specific agenda to promote or particular topics we are told to cover. We hope you enjoy reading our content as much as we enjoy writing it.

Footnotes: