Because it sure is surreal sometimes

Because it sure is surreal sometimes

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Top Ten Lists, Deconstructed

I hate top ten lists. Mainly, I hate them because at best, only two or maybe three entries are actually funny. Typically, it’s the first one on the list, (#10) because that gets the ball rolling and sucks you in; #8 is usually funny because if there were two duds in a row that soon, the listener or reader would bail. Then comes the lull, or several barely amusing entries that keep you hoping for a funny finale, #1. If it's good, you're happy about hanging in there for numbers 7 - 2. If it's not good, you're sort of numb, wondering what went wrong. The list started so cleverly, had so much promise.

Why can't people just stop when they're ahead? Why is our society obsessed with more, more, more? In my opinion, Top Ten lists are about three times as long as they should be.

The reason I like the idea of Top Two lists is because there is a fifty-fifty chance of actually laughing, given that even a moron can come up with at least one funny thing to say about nearly any topic.

For example, here is the Top Two Ways to Know You Are an Italian Woman:

#2: You wear a sweater instead of a bathrobe over your pajamas in the morning.
#1: When your hands start moving during a tense conversation, people leave the room.

I have friends who are more Italian than me who could probably come up with several more, but that’s about it for me right now. I could add one more (#3: Your Thanksgiving table features a platter of homemade ravioli in the center, and a sad turkey off to the side) but that’s only slightly amusing. Better to quit while you’re ahead, I always say.

I sometimes think of funny lists while I’m taking a shower. Anything to keep my mind off the obvious. For example, one morning, I thought of The Top Two Reasons Not to Take a Shower While Drunk. The entries were easy and obvious. In fact, it was one list where I could have gone on and on; but I didn't. I kept it brief, witty and real. So, here they are, The Top Two Reasons Not to Take a Shower While Drunk:

#2: You might spill your drink.
#1: Alcohol and razors don't mix.

While Top Two lists pop into my head at normal times, like when I’m showering, there are other times when it seems inappropriate, or at least odd, to have one occur to me. Example: At exactly the time we were supposed to be pulling away from the house and driving to school the other morning, I found myself in the middle of a pointless argument with my twelve year old son about whose fault it was, his or mine, that most of his socks were missing. I was so inspired that on the spot I came up with The Top Three Reasons Why I Should Run Away From Home:

#3: It’s finally time to find the lucky woman who went home from the hospital with my baby
#2: I’d have a six hour head start, since that’s when the next meal is and they’ll notice I’m not in the kitchen cooking it
#1: On any given day, SEVEN dust-ridden socks are living under my son’s bed

Feel free to leave your own Top Two, or at the most, Top Three lists under ‘comments’, but please, don’t bore me with numbers 7 – 2.


BECKY said...

Hi Lisa! What a great idea. I particularly like your top reasons to not drink in the shower, and to run away! Now....I have to come up with something for this...hhmmm..I wasn't prepared for this. I think I'll have to stop by later!

Ladyluck said...

Give it time. A "list" will pop into your head soon enough...

BECKY said...

Thanks, Lisa!

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Okay, well, here goes:

The top two reasons to order margaritas in a Mexican restaurant -
#2 To show support for a minority owned establishment.
#1 To prove I'm bilingual.

Hey...this is kinda fun...

Ladyluck said...

A friend of mine said she'd add to the list of How to Know You are an Italian Female:
1. Your mom used the "fat stick" to cover her gray roots
2. Your mom pulled out the comb on the way into church to wrangle those last few wild hairs on your head into place.

I have no experience with either, but I do have vivid memories of my Italian mom plastering my eyebrows into submission by licking her thumbs and pressing them against my brows...