Do you remember a time when you weren’t on the internet? I sure don’t, or at least the special version they gave us at gifted school so we did not become Troubled.
But sometimes I wonder if it’s healthy to scrape every organic second of my day and deposit it into my computer’s protein tray in exchange for my Mandatory Web Hours. I do my little media job on the internet. I write my little stupid fiction stories and my very funny and well regarded Tinyletter here. I know if my ancestors could see me they would hoot angrily on their bone-trumpets and fill my T-shirt with the semi-poison berries. Sometimes, I dream I’m tilling the land with my 10 identical sons and daughters – cultivating, I don’t know, silverbeet, who gives a shit – but the dream always falters when I get to the part where I must clean myself up for supper and realise I don’t know how to use a non-wifi tap.
Every morning I sit down at my little desk at home, asthma medication coursing through my veins, and wait for the computer to turn on. I feel like a little clay pigeon at Christ’s shooting range, tense and hopeful in my catapult, unaware that as soon as I am flung into the light the lord or one of his business school buddies will annihilate me with a shotgun, just as I’ve started to fly.
Anyway. Here are the t10en funniest things I’ve ever seen online, to the best of my memory.
1. Big Mouth Billy Bass is in agony
Time has not been kind to Big Mouth Billy Bass. It was never going to be. He traded a short and honourable river life for eternal life in the gift outlets of struggling malls. He has watched everybody he knows grow old and die. And as we see here, he now longs only for the grave. What is he trying to tell us? I have no battery and yet I must scat? That the old world is dead and the new one is struggling to be born? A memory: when I was young my mother brought home a singing Santa statuette from a trip to Japan which slowly declined in a similarly sinister way – imperceptibly at first, making us think that we, the watchers, were the ones falling apart, then abruptly entering a thrilling Apocalypse Mode before finally beefing it one morning in December. Was this really how my mother wanted my brother and I to first learn of mortality? (We were 16 and 19, respectively.)
2. The desert grandma spins for us all
I heard from a previous columnist that this entry may be rejected for a list of funniest things. On what grounds, I have no idea. Is the grandma spinning too fast as she is airlifted (for an injured ankle) from the Arizona desert? Or perhaps she’s not spinning fast enough for the sadistic readers of Guardian Australia. “Faster!” they bay, “Faster! More spinny!” They want to see that grandma become the kind of human pinwheel some pigs would be standing around in a Hieronymus Bosch painting. Either way, I beg my esteemed editors to allow me to include it here (I am mousing over to the “increase donation dramatically” button and rapidly moving my eyebrows as I say this).
3. Baby Cakes
Brad Neely is an American genius. There’s no two ways about it. I feel strongly that the world would be much further down the waterslide-with-razor blades-in-it part of history were it not for the light his work brings. There’s nobody as funny as him, nobody who can write a story that doesn’t need to be told in a way that makes it seem vital. This manifests nowhere better than in Baby Cakes’ diaries. The Adult Swim shows like China, IL that Neely eventually produced out of this universe never quite met the promise of the original material here, which is extraordinary.
4. Wizard People, Dear Reader
Don’t be mad at me. I’m well aware spoofs are just one more thing that should have been left in the Obama era — and Harry Potter spoofs doubly so. Wizard People, Dear Reader (another Brad Neely opus) is more than that. It’s one of the funniest things ever made. A deranged live re-narration of The Philosopher’s Stone designed to be played in concert with the movie. People love it when you make them watch it at a party (don’t do this).
5. Fatal Farm’s alternative TV intros which I watched a lot in the mid 2000s for some reason
Christ, who knows.
6. The only vine I am capable of remembering
I drank too much pool water a couple years ago and my monastic devotion to Vine compilations (which I’ll point out is NOT a depressing sentence) was wound back to almost nothing. Vale.
7. Neil Cicierega’s paperback cover edits (language warning)
8. Limmy’s Show – Dee Dee: Yoker
Of all the comedy that Limmy has produced for his shows (past and present) nothing was quite so penetrating as Dee Dee’s trip to Yoker — the tale of one brave man’s journey on a bus to places unknown. It’s astonishing, operatic. I used to make every woman I dated watch it, and for that I can only apologise, and remind you once again that I am only as God built me in the less than ideal conditions in the sweatshop of heaven.
9. ‘Evil’ paraglider flying low over Sussex seafront and shouting abuse at people, police say
The story of the “evil” paraglider flying low over Sussex seafront and shouting abuse at people is the only good thing to ever come out of the UK.
10. Kraic’s Bacardi
“I take down guys half your size … My dad’s a five-star general, yours is a coward sucking his thumb.”
God, who knows. Who knows! What is there to be gleaned from this? I watched this in 2015 and have thought about it every few months since. A couple of grown men improvising an argument about stolen Bacardi in a high school with which they are apparently not associated. I used to be obsessed with this video – God in heaven, why? There was some connection, some vital context lost now. What were my dreams back then? I can’t imagine anyone will find it particularly funny; it’s hard to believe I still would. And is that so wrong? Does it make me an animal to have forgotten what was apparently a vital part of me? Oh I’m so sorry I’m not a little 27-year-old baby any more. I’m so sorry that having to learn about compound interest and international time zones damaged my brain irreparably and now I need a Korean app to tell me when to go to bed. Grow up.
Jack Vening is a writer from Canberra. He is currently finishing his first book of stories, and his fiction newsletter, Small Town Grievances, goes out to about a thousand mainly European strangers every month or so.