Monday, August 21, 2006

Crate And Barrel Catalog Descriptions Which Resulted In My Firing From Crate And Barrel's Copywriting Department

Athens Occasional Table - 249.00

Sharp and chic with a solid crafted base and bold clean lines. Available in both a birch and an ash veneer, this table is equally at home under simple magazines or your finest objet d' art. What is an occasional table anyway, you might wonder? Isn't being a table pretty much a full time job? Tables need breaks now? They get vacation? On those occasions when a table is not a table, is it drinking somewhere and dialing the phone numbers of ex-girlfriends who married lawyers and listening to them breathe before getting stoned and staring at old calendars while trying to pinpoint the exact day that it's life turned to total shit? Because if so, sign me up, I can hold an objet d' art occasionally.

Mortise and tenon joinery, Lower display shelf, Made in Canada

Bayside Sleeper - 5599.00

Life in the balance: home and work, utility and style, form and function. That's the strength of this microsuede wonder with deep cushions and a relaxed attitude. It's the perfect spot to unwind after a long day of writing catalog copy about furniture and trinkets that you probably can't afford. Pull out the sleeper bed and the inlaws will have a comfy place to crash next time they're in town, assuming that they stop pointing out that your apartment is too small to have a guest room long enough to get any sleep. Park it in front of a big screen HDTV and you'll forget all about the nagging dreams and ambitions that might haunt you on lesser seating and be filled with a harmonious numbness we call: balance. Can a sofa really do all that? It's almost six grand. It damn well better do something.

Coil and air mattress, Kiln dried frame, Matching throw pillows included

Kleiner Table Lamp - 199.00

Marbled glass with beveled edges combined with a white translucent shade to offer soft illumination to your darkest places. Well, not your darkest places. That would take one of those lights like they have in the top of the Luxor, you know, one of those lights that can be seen from space. And you'd probably want to have like a whole team of psychiatrists and possibly law enforcement on hand because, seriously, who knows what's buried down there. Remember when your cousin peed on you in front of Sally Metzger in like third grade? Thought about that lately? Wanna shine some light over in that area and see what's doin? Maybe it's best to just make do with a minimal amount of illumination, soft light as they say. Use it to read a self help book or two.

Poly-cotton shade, Clear cord, Three way switch

Professional 600 Stand Mixer - 499.00

Commercial grade power and style for the home. Don't let the elegant pearl metallic finish fool you, this monster is ready to work. 24 Cup capacity mixing bowl means you can knead dough for eight loaves of bread at once! 18 speeds allow you to do everything from whip to stir. Of course we both know that you don't know how to cook anything that doesn't come out of the freezer and go into the microwave, that you'll just park this little number on the counter where it will collect dust and never live up to it's bread kneading, hyper-whipping potential. No, if you want fresh bread, you eat out. Honestly, turn this on, you'd probably lose a finger. But you've still got to have it because without it no one will be able to look at your counter and whisper to their friends, 'holy shit, that's one of those 500 dollar mixers'. Screw making bread. With this, you don't even have to plug it in and your friends will be too sick with envy to eat anything anyway. Bunch of anorexic morons.

All steel construction, Direct drive gears and transmission, 600 watt motor

Spiral Carved Bowl - 89.95

Freeform lines and top notch craftsmanship combine to bring you this hypnotizing item that will not only fill that empty space on the table, but the one in your life. That's right, you probably didn't realize how unfulfilled you were until you saw this catalog and realized that your problem is not that you hate your job and are dissatisfied with your familial situation, it's just that your shit doesn't match! You just need a cohesive design scheme! What you need, is this motherfucking bowl! This bowl is going to love you like your parent's couldn't, like your wife no longer does, and like those ungrateful hooligans who sprang from your loins never will. This bowl doesn't want anything from you except 90 dollars, and in return it will sit on your table and it will tell people that you are not a failure who spends weekends watching E True Hollywood Stories and drinking wine from a Gatorade bottle. It will say that you have a worldly appeal and an international pedigree! It will scream that you are sophisticated and wise! It will lie for you, and it will never stop, and probably that will go along way towards making you whole again. Isn't that worth 90 measly dollars you cheap bastard?

Hand wash, Black stain, Foodsafe

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Notes On Improving Your Sit Com After Our Test Screening

Just some things we think will really hone the comedy and help this thing be a break out hit for both you and the network:

More misunderstandings.

Communication is the opposite of comedy. We saw countless places in the pilot where one character answered another character's questions in a straightforward manner that left nothing to the imagination. Questions and answers should always leave wiggle room. We suggest reworking the middle scene where John is talking about the death of his dog so that the other characters think that he is admitting to being gay. Misunderstandings about being gay have tested very well in the past.

Less characters / more characters with nametags.
Either way on this one, but the audience really got lost after about four individuals hit the screen. The studio would prefer you just cut characters for obvious cost benefit reasons, but if you want to just have them wear nametags, that's probably workable. But how about instead of names, their tags just have descriptions? For instance: The Wacky Neighbor, The Overbearing Boss, The Sexy Sister. We see this as just eliminating the middle man. That way, instead of having to remember two things, the character name and their role, the audience gets to cut right to the chase.

At least one reference to cooking abilities of a mother in law.
This one's kind of a staple, so we're sure it was just an oversight on your part. Try to work in the word Meatloaf.

More references to the diminished frequency of sexual activity after marriage.
Test audiences love these as many audience members are married and having less sex. Seeing your characters reference this makes them feel better about watching your show from one side of a king size bed with two dogs, a child, and some leftovers between them and their former object of sexual desire. Try to use the phrase, "decade long headache".

At least one moment where the audience (or the sound effects simulating an audience) go Awwwww.
Again, hard to believe you overlooked this. Try working in the phrase, "but I made it for you, mommy."

Not a single person fell down
What, are all your characters gymnasts? They don't trip? They've never gotten tangled up in the curtains? They don't get shoelaces stuck in revolving doors? Come on. This is a sit com we're talking about, not a documentary about Olympians or something.

Less clothing on the female cast members, more on male cast members
As a rule, cleavage is more important than anything else in retaining viewers. We'd didn't cast a bunch of hot, desperate, insecure girls in their mid twenties so you could dress them up like Quakers. We recognize that the show is set in a Quaker community, but maybe it's a progressive Quaker community where the girls dress like they want their show to get decent ratings. And unless you're really running with the gay thing, we'd prefer not to have the males in anything that's cut above the knee. Unless you're doing the gay thing. Gay is gold.

In short, what you have here is a very interesting, fresh, and original piece of work. That really doesn't give us much to work with. But if you can take these notes to heart and learn from your mistakes (quit watching those Arrested Development DVD's and maybe watch some Three's Company reruns) we think we can figure out how to market this thing.

Remember the mantra and everything will be okay.

Meatloaf and cleavage.

And gay jokes.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Product Reviews

Lemon-Lime Pledge

When my new can of Lemon-Lime Pledge arrived I was very excited. The first thing I did was take it out to dinner. Sadly, Lemon-Lime Pledge performed very poorly on our date, hardly saying a word and barely moving when we went dancing afterwards. On the upside, Lemon-Lime Pledge did not order much and so it was one of the cheaper dates I've been on in some time. In short, if you're looking for a relationship Pledge, I'd have to say that Lemon-Lime is just a lemon (not to be confused with actual Lemon Pledge which I've had lots of good times with).

Oscar Meyer Bologna

I've found that Oscar Meyer Bologna is an incredibly ineffective form of sun protection. First of all, it's hard to apply. Second, once I'd layered the exposed parts of my body with Bologna and attached them with rubber bands, I found that I began to attract a large number of insects and small animals. I went for a jog in the park and ended up fleeing from a pack of chipmunks and small dogs. Numerous areas ended up unprotected because the various animals chewed right through the protective meat layer. Further, when I caught the subway home it was clear that the Bologna had begun to smell from exposure and people tended to move away from me or vomit in my area. I have found it more effective as a window shade for my car, but overall, I'd have to give this product a thumbs down.

Phil Collins Greatest Hits

Phil Collins Greatest Hits is an excellent CD. I can't speak for all of his CD's, but the edges of this one are exceptionally sharp. I've used it to slice tomatoes, carpet, and a would be mugger. I brought this CD to a holiday gathering and everyone went wild. Gift wrap need cutting? Phil Collins Greatest Hits. Got a tag on that new sweater? Phil Collins Greatest Hits. Time to cut the ham? Phil Collins Greatest Hits. Before I got this CD I cut most things Karate style with the sides of my hands which was really inconvenient and not that effective (ever try carving a turkey with karate chops?). Since getting this master work I've not only saved a lot of wear and tear on my hands, but I met a girl named Karen who fell in love with my utility and married me and who also thinks that Phil Collins Greatest Hits is the absolute best. We now have a baby on the way and I bet you can guess what we're naming it... that's right, Phil Collins Greatest Hits. Do yourself a favor and get this CD today!