The Art of Beating a Dead Horse

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Princess Beatrice and her ridiculous royal wedding hat (www.vanityfair.com)

Have you ever known someone who takes a pop culture joke or reference and just beats it to death? Seriously – to the point where it’s almost painful?  I have something I’d like to confess to you today: I fear that I might be one of those people. When I find something funny, I get totally, completely, obsessed with it. I beat it to death and then I’m on the hunt for the next funny thing. Every once in a while, I like to pay homage to the previous jokes by providing a throwback reference.

Let me give you a few examples to demonstrate what I am talking about:

1) Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift’s VMA speech:  I occasionally slip, “Imma let you finish” into a conversation or refer to something as, “Best (fill in the blank) of all time, all time!” I even made a pom-pom rabbit version of Kanye West at an arts and crafts night at a local bar, Lux, after it happened.

2) Keenan Cahill doing whatever the heck he does in his room on YouTube:  Sometimes I like to do his creepy little heart-made-of-fingers-dance in public, complete with eyebrow raising and head tosses. If this happens, you might not want to be seen with me because I look like I have escaped the psychiatric ward.

3) Antoine Dodson’s Bed Intruder song and the prerequisite interview:  Yes, I bought the song a couple of years ago and played it a solid 15-20 times on my birthday heading down to the Finger Lakes wineries.  There’s nothing quite like rolling up to a classy establishment blasting, “Hide yo’ kids, Hide yo’ wife…We gon’ find you! We gon’ find you!” I made a pom-pom version of him as well. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find him. So you can run and tell that.

"Pom-toine Dodson"

4) Anything that pokes fun at Justin Bieber:  Justin was also pom-pommed, hoodie and all. My distaste for him eventually led me to one of my latest obsessions, Jenna Mourey. She is another YouTuber, originally from Rochester, NY, who goes by Jenna Marbles. While she is most famous for her video about tricking people into thinking you’re really good-looking, my favorite one features Jenna as Bieber, instructing viewers how to pick up ladies.

"Pom-Pom Bieber"

5) Sassy Gay Friend:  You know, before he got his big Mio advertising deal that infiltrates every current video. Look at your life, Sassy, look at your choices. Sassy was enjoyed so much that he was incorporated into this past year’s birthday invitation by my two lovely friends who hosted a party for me.

6) Finally, the gift that keeps on giving long after its demise, Princess Beatrice’s ridiculous royal wedding hat:  Yes. That one.  I have beaten that joke to death. It started at my friend’s annual Kentucky Derby party, which took place the weekend after the Royal Wedding. I needed a hat to wear, and the guests were all following the wedding so I thought to myself, “I’m going to make that hat.” I promptly ran to JoAnn Fabrics and picked up a hodge-podge of crafting materials to create this (some wiseguy stuck the bird in it at the party):

Princess Beatrice hat knock-off

Success! This hat made several appearances at local fundraisers before I sadly had to retire it (the chin strap finally gave out).  I wish I could say I stopped there, but unfortunately, I did not. I’m rather obsessed with this joke. When I was invited to an ornament exchange this past Christmas, I created a very special treat out of polymer clay, complete with a custom box: Princess Beatrice’s Ridiculous Royal Tannenbaum.

Princess Beatrice's Ridiculous Royal Tannenbaum

If you haven’t been to an ornament exchange before, it’s kind of like a white elephant party where everyone brings a wrapped ornament, draws numbers, and then either picks from the unwrapped pile, or takes someone else’s. It gets competitive and all sorts of crazy. My ornament was one of the last ones picked and sadly wound up in the hands of the one person who didn’t get it. The humor was completely lost on her: she didn’t know Beatrice, didn’t know about the hat, didn’t get the jokes about the Royal Family on the box, didn’t even know what a Tannenbaum was and thus, didn’t get the clever play on words. Having to explain it made it all the more awkward and even funnier to the other guests who started laughing so hard that they had to leave the room. A person who got the joke (we’ll call her “Oprah”), and really wanted the Tannenbaum tried to bribe her and offered to buy it off of her. Despite the fact that the joke was over her head, she just wouldn’t budge. “It’s really special to me, you know? Someone made it and I’ll always remember this night.”  Right. Yet, something tells me I could place bets on her not remembering her own name on a regular basis. Oh well.

So when “Oprah’s”  birthday party rolled around, I just had to beat the dead horse again, complete with a personalized card. What can I say? She loved it.

Princess Beatrice's Ridiculous Royal Birthday Cake

The point that I’m trying to make here is that one can successfully beat a dead horse if one uses a creative, thoughtful and well-timed approach.  I like to laugh and I’m fortunate to have people in my life that acknowledge and appreciate my droll little sense of humor. As Ella Wheeler Wilcox said, “Laugh and the world laughs with you.” And really, what’s better than a shared bad joke among good friends?

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