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July 05, 2008


Dear America’s Funniest Home Videos (or AFV, as I have fondly referred to you for quite a while),


That man is drunk; he should not be dancing around with that big lady in his arms. It can only end in disaster. Yes, I was right. That looked like it hurt. You are predictable, AFV. I can count on you to please me.


Hey—no, I would not have guessed that little Asian kid would get kicked in the face. I thought he was going to fall off the curb on his own accord.


It’s when I think I know your route, AFV, I think I know your plan, and then you bowl me over with your small Asian child getting kicked in the face, your tiny middle-America children terrified of the Easter bunny in the window, your skier in his pink snowsuit falling down the hill—oh god, it’s a mountain—oh god it’s a really big mountain. He’s still falling. Jesus.


Thanks, AFV. It’s those kinds of fun little surprises you spring when we’re in bed together that really throw me for a loop.


I’ve come to know you so well that when you play a montage in reverse so it looks like the demolished birthday cake is sucked back from the floor onto the chef’s platter—well, AFV, I record you on my TiVo, and I watch your backwards videos backwards so that I can watch the hilarity forwards, to observe your naked form, before you spun your fancy reverse-video tricks.


Your greatest beauty, though, the kind I see late at night while you are asleep, when I am smoothing back the hair from your sweaty forehead after a long day of punching old people in the face with basketballs, knocking kids in middle school play productions off the stage, and—I know this was a hard day—pushing the one Mickey Mouse man on stilts onto another Mickey Mouse on stilts… and then another… and another, until the whole Disney parade was ruined (for the record, I’m on your side on this. He got too proud, he should know he shouldn’t dance on stilts. You only gave him what he deserved; you pushed him off his stilts to spite his face. I’m on your side, baby).


I watched the stilts video so many times in a row that I lost a friend over it. He stood between us, AFV, and I was willing to make that sacrifice. What? No, no, I’m not trying to make you feel guilty, I’m just saying.


I had your dinner ready for you on the table when you came home that night, ready for you to wait until I was looking the other way and then fling it in my face. It took me an hour to get the mashed potatoes out of my hair, but I smiled good-naturedly, knowing that you were only keeping it real. You don't pretend to be anything you're not, and that's what I love about you. That greatest beauty I spoke of refers to how you keep going, all night and all day, for seventeen years, going since I was but a lone babe in the woods.


You are endless. People will be doing stupid shit for as long as we live. You, AFV, have taught me to play it smart. Because of you, I don’t do things anymore. Like dive. And jump on trampolines. And dance on a table in my wedding dress near a menorah. You have made me wise with your timelessness, with your people getting bitten to classical music.


As Coolio said when he guest-judged on you (I contained my jealous fervor), “This is funniest home videos.”


Picabo Street argued, “But the can one was funny.”


“No, that one was dumb,” Coolio gently explained. “The chimp one was funny.”


It was a chimp scratching his butt so hard that he fell out of a tree.


You were right, Coolio, but you don’t know my sweetheart as well as I. I know you, darling, and I know you are with Bob right now. He left you back in 1997, and still you can’t let him go. It’s 2006. You have that guy Tom hosting you who also hosts Hollywood Squares AND Dancing With The Stars. He’s three-timing you, don’t you see?


I sit at home, waiting, though I know you’re a slut, though I know you’d pick babies projectile vomiting over me any day. I guess I just can’t compete.


    I love you still,


    Broken-hearted* Jenny



*because you tear me apart inside and because of the time you flipped over in your desk chair and landed on my chest