I had planned to write about the strange eating habits of our new pet lizard for this week’s blog but Kate reminded me –after I asked her to pose with the lizard for a series of blog photos—that I’ve got that “little cliffhanger” from the last blog to address. It was nice of her to call it a ‘cliffhanger’ as cliffhanging almost always involves some degree of drama and anticipation. But we both knew it was meant to be condescending. That’s what a good marriage is all about, being able to read each other like that.
I had done quite a bit of online research on leopard geckos by this point and had come up with quite a few fun facts so I was inclined to find ways to blend this material into this, the ‘resolution’ half of the cliffhanger blog. I was on a roll with lizard/juice jokes when Nat called to suggest, again, that I write about my visit two weeks ago to his new warehouse in South San Francisco. We had talked about this before and I had told him it was a nice visit but I really couldn’t see how to do a blog about it. He was calling to try again.
Nat: Just write down how it went, meeting Tim, touring the place…
Ben: But there’s really nothing funny there.
Nat: Why does it need to be funny?
Ben: …Because…that’s what I’m trying to do with the blog.
Nat: Hm. Really? Well, I’m sure you can make it funny.
Ben: Have you been to your warehouse?
Nat: Yeah. What about Tim? He’s nice, right?
Ben: Yeah. Super nice. And virtually un-make-fun-able.
Nat: I’m sure you could come up with something.
Ben: I can’t. Seriously. How would you make fun of Tim.
Nat: I don’t know. His beard?
Ben: His beard is perfect. I’ve never seen a beard like that.
Nat: You’ll come up with something.
Ben: I really won’t.
Nat: Well, maybe I’m paying you too much then.
The front page of the blog has the words “Speak Your Truth” in bold at the top. So I’ll tell you, Nat pays me $50 per blog. That comes out to about $.025 a word (making the “my two cents” saying quite literal) or, if we go hourly, I make roughly $3 an hour.
Without further ado, here are the photos from my visit to the warehouse:
Here’s the warehouse.
This is the main office.
This is where the important files and electronics are kept.
This is Tim.
The view from the street to the right.
The view from the street to the left.
So, back to the little cliffhanger… Nat and I hatched a plan for Noonetime 2.Oh that went like this: Each week I would post little stories about people that, if successful, would embarrass them and entertain the rest of us. Nat would then choose his favorite and take it to a group of film school students he knows (I have no idea how) to turn into a short movie to be then put up on the site.
The idea made sense in terms of moving this whole “truth” (True Fruit Soda) marketing angle forward. Embarrassment is a kind of truth. Sort of. Plus, I’d always dreamed of having my writing adapted to the big screen, or a screen. And Nat, as far as can tell, has always dreamed of having my writing adapted for a screen.
The plan then was to entice blog readers to share their own stories. From there, obviously, it would go viral. Because, as far as I can tell, that’s what videos do on the web.
The idea is a win/win. Nat gets more readers, er, watchers, and I get to increase my hourly wage from $3 to roughly $6, which means I’ll be able to keep buying our lizard those expensive Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies he loves so much.
The first short film is actually already in production. It’s the scene of my brother, Justin, with his inscribed bench press bar. Nat really loved that one, more than anyone else. He spent a good portion of his childhood being tormented by his own big brother so I suspect the revenge aspect was very appealing to him.
Then I shared the idea with my wife, a marketing person by trade.
Kate: It sounds kind of Jackass-y.
Ben: What do you mean?
Kate: It’s just very dude-y.
Apparently, that’s what marketing people do –just add a “y” at the end of a noun and leave it at that.
Ben: Can you explain that a little better?
Kate: It’s just very male. Women don’t really do that. They don’t knock other people down, not for laughs anyway. There’s an anger to it I guess.
Kate knows I don’t have a lot of anger. She wishes I did so she wouldn’t be the only one who beat our kids (no, not really) (but sort of). My strategy has always been to turn my anger inward where it gets converted to depression, thereby making me ineffective and thus less likely to get into a situation that would make me angry. It’s a sad loop.
But it dawns on me that this might just be the thing that’s keeping the man in me alive (see last week’s blog)–my ability to laugh at other’s misfortunes.
I tell Kate that I’ve found what it is that separates me from other women and that if she has any interest at all in not being a lesbian anymore, we need to nurture this asap.
She begins throwing out ideas –booby traps to catch someone tripping on camera, the old (she knows it’s one of my favorites) ‘you’ve got something on your cheek’ gag where you go to wipe it off and just put something gross on their face, pulling down people’s pants in public…
Side Note: It occurs to me that ‘pantsing’, as it’s known in pantsing circles, really is very much just a guy thing. You hardly ever see women pantsing each other. You don’t even see lesbians doing it that often. Is it because there’s not much to see with women and so they just don’t think it’s worth their efforts? But they don’t even do it to guys. So is it the anger thing? A latent gay thing? Or are women just not as funny as men and this sophisticated level of humor just goes right over their heads?
So, I talked to Nat again and told him that Kate thought the idea was dude-y and jackass-y. I knew he w
ould be a little concerned with this critique because Nat has put a fair amount of energy into making sure Noonetime Naturals is appealing to women. Right down to getting all his own teeth capped and polished (he looks a bit like Mike Shanahan now, but even sexier)…
Nat: How about this, we do the video thing and your blog. The dudiness of the video will cancel out the girliness of your blog. We’ll come out even, unisex.
So, in the ongoing effort to get some reader participation going here …I’ll put this question to you: Why does ‘unisex’ mean both sexes when ‘uni’ means one? Best answer gets a free Noonetime mug.