A Bit About Me

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Along with my daily duties as founder and head writer of HumorMeOnline.com, in 2003, I took the Grand Prize in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (also known as the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" competition). I've also been a contributor to "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" and the web's "The Late Show with David Letterman". I also occupy my time writing three blogs, "Blogged Down at the Moment", "Brit Word of the Day" and "Production Numbers"...and my off-time is spent contemplating in an "on again/off again" fashion...my feable attempts at writing any one of a dozen books. I would love to write professionally one day...and by that I mean "actually get a paycheck".

30 August 2009

Potato Farmers - the New Vampires?

Nosferatu, Count Dracula, Lestat, those "Twilight" books, BBC's "Being Human"...and countless other books/films/shows...are all about vampires. Now, while the allure of the vampire is quite compelling...and makes for a good story...I sat here and wondered, "Well, anyone can create a vampire story...it's like just a "continuation" of something which has been done before...a rehash of sorts. It's like taking a story like "Alice in Wonderland" and embellishing it a bit. I mean, it's been done by Lewis Carroll...but if I take it one step further or change it up a bit...it's okay? It's now mine? Well, that's too darn easy. Let's do something which hasn't been done before...but everything has been done before, right?

Yes...everything but a book/film about a potato farmer.

Oh, I checked - "Of Mice and Men" didn't specifically have potatoes...and the film had a lot of hay in it. "Witness" had a lot of hayfields, too. Movies about farmers have been done...but the really hot, lurid goings-on - on a potato farm? Especially if you start it out back in the time of the potato famine...and work it forward. The whole history of "PotatoMan".

C'mon, Will Smith did "Hancock" - I saw "Hancock". "Hancock" was horrid...not even "PotatoMan" could possibly be that bad. Hear me out here...

...the potato has had a very illustrious and compelling history. First you had the famine. (Well, I'm sure there was something before then - but you have to start somewhere.) Sure, the famine was not fun...but if you take a very hot guy with an Irish accent, put him in a well-fitted, slightly worn and rugged shirt and pants...think of a cross between Daniel Day-Lewis and Bryan Brown and throw in a dash of Hugh Jackman...well, you already got your movie right there. All you need is a few words of dialogue. Face it...I'd watch a movie with Hugh Jackman just reading the dictionary...for me, it doesn't need to be Shakespeare here for it to work. Then if you have Hugh Jackman with a ripped shirt reading the dictionary...it could even be a "Serbian to Dutch" dictionary...and, well...I'm going to watch it MORE than once.

Then for some effect - some silly thing happens...like he gets bitten by a potato borer infected with blight and has an allergic reaction (think "Spiderman") - and he gets immortality. He doesn't have to possess superhuman strength or anything...and giving him "borer-power" would be plain idiotic...so let's stick with "everlasting life".

Segue years later...we see him wiping the sweat from his brow while he rests on his pitchfork...a 1940s tractor slowly meandering in the background...similar to the wheat field scene from "Gladiator" - only there's a tractor and a guy picking potatoes instead. With a nice sepia tone to it...really artsy...and sepia always goes very nicely with a moist bronze tan glistening in the sunlight. Yep...Hugh Jackman half-naked basking in the sunlight. Yep. Hmmmm...okay...where was I?

Oh, yeah...okay, there he is...toiling away in the field when, "Eureka!"...a "light-bulb" moment...comes into his head. You see the camera panning in quickly - so you know something super-inspirational has just occurred. It's one of those "epiphany" moments...and it's a definitive turning point in the film. (Yes...I decided to scrap the book idea - and go straight to the big screen on this puppy.)

"PotatoMan" gets this vision...this astonishingly "Nostradamus-clear as a bell" revelation...which will change history as we know it: Mr. Potato Head.

Oh, sure, scoff at Mr. Potato Head...but many lives were virtually changed because of him. And lest us not forget this...how many toys do you know were that famous enough to have a counterpart...other than Barbie...and her and Ken never did tie the knot...the harlot. But, Mr. Potato Head indeed made a respectable woman out of Mrs. Potato Head...and was willing to share not only the limelight with her...but also his very being. His parts...they fit on Mrs. Potato Head; both are willing to see things out of the eyes of the other...literally. This IS the way a marriage should be. We should learn from them...these are compromises...not who gets the car on Wednesday and who gets to control the remote...but when Mr. Potato Head lends a hand to the Missus....he honestly lends her one. I am near tears here, people...theirs is such...such...a giving relationship.

And don't forget how Mr. Potato Head saved Disney. Without him showing up to lend a hand...or eyes...to Woody in "Toy Story"...Pixar would have been yet another dream; with him...it was a full-fledged realization. Potatoes can be the glue to hold a film industry together...and they can even make and break people. History recounts, with much (and then even much more) snickering, the events of 15 June 1992, when our very own Vice-President sat down in Trenton, New Jersey, and matched wits against William Figueroa, 12, a sixth-grader from the Mott School...who bested Mr. Quayle "e"asily. Yes, I'm talking about the great "potato(e)" debaucle which metaphorically whipped the American public into a frenzy - and cut VP Quayle down more than a few slices...and because of the gaffe he couldn't shake...his career quickly went to pieces after that.

"PotatoMan", of course, in his prescience of mind years before...knew these happenings were going to transpire...but, being less the super hero and more just a "thinking man's potato farmer" [who is also immortal]...oh, he knows all. Well, all things potato-related.

When Spuds MacKenzie had to go into rehab in the 1980s...who do you think was there for him? When kids used to decide things by going "One potato, two potato..." it was not merely a nonsensical schoolyard game...but an homage to the great man himself. Yes...even the long ago-played game of "Hot Potato", shortened from its little-known original title of "Hot PotatoMan"...is proof positive that he has fielded and handled all manner of ridicule...and, not being someone who was ever thin-skinned - he has persevered. He has persevered throughout the centuries and never came across as half-baked. He stands resolute in his determination to do good all the days he has on Earth...until that fateful end of days when everything will be consumed by fire. And such is this man - known only as "PotatoMan"...who, even through the inevitable consuming conflagration...before he gets charred to an infinitesimal cinder, will, for one brief, shining moment...smell absolutely wonderful.

End Note: Yes...this was a silly blog. I thought it would be fun to take two totally unconnected items - in this case "Vampires" and "potatoes"...and attempt to give potatoes something which countless couch potatoes could eat up.

So, in closing, I'd like to point one fact out: Face it - potatoes are great. Without potatoes there would be no vodka. Without vodka there would be no Vodka Martinis. Without Vodka Martinis, there would be no James Bond. Without James Bond, Sean Connery's greatest role would have been the guy singing in "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" (oh, don't believe me - go look up the trivia in the IMDb). Without Sean Connery, Craig Ferguson wouldn't get any laughs when he does Connery's Scottish accent...and without Craig Ferguson...I wouldn't get hired next month to be one of his writers...thereby propelling me into the annals of film-writing stardom with my insanely riotous and insightful look into the oft-overlooked and tragically only taken for granted...lowly potato...

...man, what a roundabout way to not only validate this silly blog...but also to beg for a writing job from Craig. (Feel free to forward this on to Craig Ferguson...the least he could do is not laugh.)


  1. Holy Potato this was a great blog Mariann!! Very EYEopening,sMASHing and at times aPEELing (yes, puns intended)

    And let us not forget the infamous 'couch potato" in the history of famous potato references

  2. What a great blog loved reading it :)


  3. Have you read the Chicago Naturalistic Classic, "Spuds Lonigan?"

  4. If you hold two potatos in front of your chest they will look like boobies. Ok, not very good ones. Especially if they've got those little irregular dents in them or those outgrowing pore looking things. Unless you think of those pore things as potato nipples.

  5. I think you've just changed the way I've always looked at the potato. I will now see Hugh Jackman every time I lower the sliced potato into my deep fryer. That should burn a few calories dreaming about him whilst eating ;) I have something for you over at my blog if you want to stop by some time.

  6. Wait, you're forgetting "Attack of the Killer Potatoes". Um, never mind. That was tomatoes. How 'bout "Children of the Spuds"? Now, wait, that was corn.

    Okay, go for it.

  7. Nan: There was a "couch potato" reference in there. I didn't want it to start out as a pun-piece on potatoes - but towards the end there the Ambien really kicked in. ;)
    Pat: No, I have not read that...is it about potatoes? Dammit, do I have potato competition already before I even start?
    Anon: No, silly - potatoes are for men putting down their pants...don't you remember that old joke?
    Lady: I'll go there in a minute. :) Thanks in advance.
    Chris: Sure, everyone has an homage to the tomato - the only thing for the potato is that "you say po-tah-to and I say po-TAY-to...let's call the whole thing off". That's it. How totally senseless, right? ;) Oh...wait...never mind.

  8. Oh...and not to leave you out - "Thank you, Vanessa!" :)

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