Monday, January 28, 2008

St. Louis Magazine story is out!

My long-awaited profile in St. Louis Magazine is all done and printed and is ready for you to read. If you don't feel like buying a copy of the magazine, or are too impatient to dash out to the nearest store, you can read it online here. Even if you read it online, I highly recommend picking up a copy of the real mag. It's good stuff. There's a really entertaining story in there about a dude who cuts people's hair the way he wants, not the way the customer wants. The mere thought of doing that makes my soul want to implode. If I do a thing, and it makes a woman cry, I not only stop doing whatever I was doing, I also attempt to erase any evidence that I did the thing in the first place. Anyway, yeah, go buy the magazine. It's good.

What's really freaky to me is that the editors of this magazine think I'm interesting enough to make people want to buy a copy. Well, me and the impervious-to-sobbing hair stylist and a bunch of other people and places that are discussed in this month's issue. Fortunately it's not an all-Bob issue. That, I suspect, would be an unmitigated, large-nostriled disaster.

I thought the article turned out really well. Matt Halverson, the editor who wrote the piece, is pretty good and accurately insightful. A couple of his observations struck me as being so spot-on that I laughed out loud while reading them, even though they weren't necessarily intended to be funny.

Among the tastier nuggets:

"You only have to talk to him a couple times to understand why the acting thing didn’t work out and why he never tried stand-up, despite having an interest in it: He speaks in a monotone that would put most audiences to sleep. The interesting thing, though, was that when I went back and read the transcripts of our conversations, I found myself laughing at a lot of what he’d said. He’s so dry and unassuming in person that if you’re not paying attention, you’d never even know he had a sense of humor."

This was my favorite paragraph. I've always thought that I'm funnier on paper than I am out loud, but I never really noticed the monotone issue. But once I read that line, I realized how right Matt was. I have since resolved to raise the tone of my voice on every seventh word, every time I spoke, just to break up the monotony. It's incredibly irritating, and I'm always losing count, so obviously I have a few bugs I need to work out.

For the record, I'd still like to try stand-up. I don't think I ever will, but I'd like to.

I also liked this part:

"Beneath all the stories about bodily functions and 'manscaping' and Halloween costumes for pets, there’s the unmistakable subtext—by design or not—of a guy who, even though he may have one day thought he was meant for bigger and better things, has decided that the only way to make a middle-of-the-road life livable is by making fun of it. Go ahead and roll your eyes, but if you go back and look at six months’ worth of his writing, you’ll actually see a common theme start to emerge: 'regular' guy finds himself put in an uncomfortable situation by someone or something else; he complains—impotently—about the effects this situation has on him; he resigns himself to the situation and pokes fun at himself for landing in this predicament in the first place."

Again, I think Matt nailed it pretty accurately. But dang, I didn't realize I'd become so predictable. Next week I'm going to write about the tragedy of the human condition. Or maybe a column about farts. I haven't decided.

Anyway, it's a good article, and I'm proud of it, and if you're a fan of the column, you should read it. In the meantime, I'm going to go back to obsessing about how weird it is to see my name on the cover of a magazine.


Bob said...

Good article about you. I agree that your writing is funny. That's why I signed up for FringeMail. As far as speaking in monotone...there may some advantage to that as well. I don't know what, but it may be there.

Keep goin, dude. We count on you.

Jeannette E. Spaghetti said...

I vote for the Column About Farts.

Anonymous said...

Very nice article. I found it fun to compare that one to the hair stylist article. You should get your hair cut by Donnal, he may do it free (which would be nice) since you two are the featured St. Louis residents this month. Then you could write an article about a haircut. The zen-cut may improve your mood in a holistic kind of way. At least, you could test that theory for the rest of us. My fave article is the one where the person in front of you at the drive thru paid for your lunch, and you didn't know what to do about it. That, or the winery article that got the wineries mad at you - they didn't understand the concept of 'humor' I guess.

kbl said...

Wow! I haven't gotten a chance to read the article yet, but the comments clued me in as to who the ninja haircutter is. I'm sure this is the same guy (unusual spelling of the name) that had the chair next to my hairstylist 10+ years ago. I'll never forget him because while I was having my hair cut a beautiful Asian girl with long, long, silky black hair came in for her appointment with Donnal. She wasn't sure what she wanted and by the time he was finished her hair was about an inch long all over her head and she was sobbing. My stylist and I were both horrified.

Anyway......can't wait to read the article.