Tag Archives: old people

Top Ten “Top 10” Lists of 2011

  • 10. Top 10 Underreported Stories of the Year I think this is an interesting Top 10 list idea to tackle, because “underreported” — aka not popular, not top — indicates that these stories are anything but Top 10. So I commend Time for making an intrinsically hypocritical Top 10 list that is actually surprisingly informative and insightful.
  • 9. Top 10 Ways to Make People Believe You Are Not Drunk. Also known as “Top 10 Ways to Ineffectually Attempt to Mask All Signs of Alcoholism,” this list tries really hard to insist that no one will ever notice, despite the fact that its overall recommendation for hiding the effects of alcohol is just to sit there and do nothing for the entire night (which in turn kind of defeats the purpose of social drinking).
  • 8. Top 10 Sweatiest Movies. It’s about time someone compiled a list like this. I commend author Kate Witteman for her gall in even making this pitch to her editor. It’s an absurd concept that actually hooks on to our collective cultural curiosity.
  • 7. 2011 Top 10 Movies for Grownups. This one makes the list strictly because it was compiled by the AARP. And let’s face it, that’s funny. It’s not even that all of these movies focus on characters over 60 years old; they’re just “movies for grownups,” which is an incredibly absurd and ridiculously vague criterium. Even Hugo and We Bought a Zoo make the list.
    Bonus: 2011 Top 10 Albums for Grownups, a list that is much more in line with “Stuff Only Mom and Dad Like.”
  • 6. Top 10 Secretly Badass Animals. I’d never seen a Mantis Shrimp before I saw this list, let alone heard of one, but I can say with great confidence that my quality of life has vastly improved now that I have. Also, wombats. Who doesn’t love a wombat? Neither wom, nor bat, yet somehow, still incredibly — and, apparently, badass.
  • 5. Top 10 Topical Sesame Street Characters. The fact there have been enough topical Sesame Street characters to justify the creation of Top 10 list of said characters is proof alone that despite all threats of economic collapse and nuclear fallout, the future is inherently a good thing, and we’re all going to be okay in the end.
  • 4. Top 10 Short-Lived Celebrity Marriages. Obviously topped off by the whole Kardashian fiasco, this list is especially notable because it is indicative of the world in which we live. Future historians would be well served to examine this list to gain a better understanding of our celebrity-obsessed culture in which there have actually been enough short-lived publicity stunt marriages to garner such a list. And yet gay marriage is still such a hot-button topic…
  • 3.Top 10 Memes. Another impressive cultural indicator. The irony here, of course, is that “Arbitrary Year-End Top 10 Lists” did not make the list of Top 10 Memes. In an even greater tragedy, neither did Admiral Ackbar.
  • 2. Facebook’s Top Status Trends in the US. Another major hallmark by which Future Historians will judge our lives. What really gets me is that despite the fact that I pride myself as being someone whose finger remains on the pulse of Internet trends, I have no idea what “lms” or “tbh” means, even though they were apparently the most popular Facebook status trends of the year. (mumble mumble god damn kids mumble mumble off my lawn)
  • 1. Google Zeitgeist 2011 Top 10 Google Searches. A worldwide ranking of our most popular Google searches, this is a prime cut cross section of our modern culture. Hell, it’s even hard to be disappointed that Rebecca Black tops off the list. But I’m especially impressed that the non-existent iPhone 5 made the top 10. What does it say about our culture when fictional science (science fiction?) permeates the heights of our news and obsessions? I’ll leave that one to the Future Historians.

  • Honorable Mention: Top 10 People Not Running for President, because neither Michelle Bachmann, Mitt Romney, or Newt Gingrich is included.

    For Lenny

    I’m a terrible person.  I must be.  Lenny is devastated, and I’m just twiddling my arthritic thumbs until lunch.  He’s not even crying, just sitting in the front row, staring at Alexandra’s casket.  Alexandra’s ten-thousand-dollar casket.  I think the budget for the funeral was fifteen—that’s what Millie said—and they bought their neighboring plots decades ago.  When Lenny told me how much he spent on the box, I nearly crapped my Depends.  Not to be insensitive, but that’s just impractical.  A guy like Lenny could live on that much money for months, maybe even a year.  He’s not thinking, doesn’t have any kids to think for him or talk some sense through that thick skull.

    I should be sad.  Everyone who walks up to that podium starts out saying what a beautiful, kind creature she was.  Creature?  She wasn’t a bug under a microscope; she was someone’s wife.  People may just be walking sacks of meat, but they matter to other sacks of meat, like Lenny.

    Thinking about meat makes me hungry—more proof that I’m a terrible person.  I don’t know why thinking about meat makes me hungry; I can’t even digest the stuff anymore.  It makes my stomach hurt so much, I think I’m crapping out my spleen. Alexandra used to make pretty fair fig bars for bridge night, before her eyes started going.  Before her memory turned into a glitching time machine and her hands tremored like it was always thirty below.

    I feel bad for Lenny, I really do, but how long do I have to sit in this place to show that?  Sitting in the car like some forgotten toddler would be a welcome change over this.  At least the car seats are cushioned.  These folding chairs are bringing out every crick in my back that ever was and ever will be.  You know those metal chairs with the plastic seats so cheap that they bend under a bony ass?  They’re that kind.

    My stomach keeps gurgling, but no one notices because everyone’s body has been making ugly noises for the past hour.  They should call us the Orchestra of Elderly Emissions.

    I hope he doesn’t ask me to go up.  I’ll shake Lenny’s hand, share a beer or nutri-shake or whatever else our pitiful intestines can take, but I can’t talk.  Not like all these “creature” people.  I played bridge with her.  That’s it.  Millie and I went there once a week to play cards with Lenny and Alexandra, and Lenny and I only did it so we could pour a couple cold ones after while the girls gossiped about the other old folks in the home.  We never gave a crap about the game.  I’ll tell Millie we should keep going every week, keep him company.  I think he’d like that.

    Everyone’s standing.  I must have missed the cue.  I hope we file straight out of here to some reception.  The non-casket money must have been enough for some finger food, too.