When I was a cook at Pizza Hut, the creative forces behind the Employee Incentives programs came up with a brilliant idea: C.H.A.M.P.S.
CHAMPS stood for Cleanliness, Hospitality, and… I don’t know what else, because it was about six years ago. Each store received a massive board with pockets where all of the employees could collect CHAMPS cards. CHAMPS cards were earned by demonstrating one of the six keywords of the program, and being recognized by a peer for your good efforts.
Oh, there was also a cheer: two slaps on the counter, two claps, two snaps of the fingers, then point Buddy Christ fingers while yelling “CHAMPS!”
Needless to say, it was super lame, and it took about a day and a half before my manager Mark (who was the coolest boss ever) started turning all of the CHAMPS cards into CHUMPS cards.
CHUMPS cards were earned for everything from “Calling in sick when we all saw how drunk you were last night” to “Officially striking out with every girl at the Hut” to “Nice haircut, yo.”
And so, in the fine tradition of the Hut (and also because I currently have both pizza and writers block) I present to you my personal CHAMPS and CHUMPS cards in full effect:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: My biggest complaint with the Harry Potter movies is that they usually leave out my favorite parts of the book or major details of the story that make the books so enchanting. However, my biggest complaint about this movie was just a tiny little detail about the battle between Harry and Voldermort, and I can live with that. The Goblet of Fire was my favorite book of the six, so I’m really happy that it turned out so well.
We really lucked out getting tickets for the Moolah (thanks, Jen and Ron!!) and getting there early enough to snag a few couches, load up on booze and candy, and relax and watch Mr. Potter in full effect. This was definitely the best film of the bunch so far, and the first that I can recommend to the poor souls who haven’t read the books. The only downside, however, is that you will definitely cry at the end, and considering what happens at the end of books five and six, well… just get used to it.
Phil: For single-handedly ushering the interjection “Un!” into the New Millennium.
Madonna: For giving me the best CD to run to since the Scissor Sisters. And, as Track 3 proves, for stealing my diary and writing a song about it.
Rolling Stone: Elitists get off on making fun of it, and everyone else just kind of forgets that it exists, but it’s the only magazine that takes me more than 20 minutes to finish and doesn’t make me feel dumber after doing so. The articles are always in-depth and informative, the interviews are creative, and the magazine has always featured some of my favorite writers, from Cameron Crowe to Rob Sheffield.
And where else would I find out that Jarvis Cocker’s new album is tentatively titled “Cunts Are Still Running the World”? How else could I start getting excited about the Beastie Boys’ new movie, Awesome I Fuckin’ Shot This Movie, a year in advance? And most importantly, who else would refer to Leonardo DiCaprio as “The Nard”? C’mon! Rolling Stone is chock-full of shit that just makes my day, and a subscription costs 1/5 as much as People.
Ron: For the fantastic R. Kelly impersonation that he treats me with every time I call his house to talk to Jen: “I was just standin’ here… standin’ in the closet… Jen was on the phone with Steph-a-nie… and so I PULLED OUT MY GUUUUUUN!!!!…”
Junior Senior: For making me dance in my office, and because yes, you ARE the handclaps.
Smoke Breaks: Don’t get me wrong, I hate the fact that I smoke, but when you’re at work, smoke breaks are like recess. And it gives you a chance to talk one-on-one with people you’d never get to talk to. I met my last 4 boyfriends through smoke breaks. Most recently, they’ve given me lots of alone time with Conor, because we’re the only two P Funk All-Stars of the group. Smoke breaks have become a lot more fun since Conor’s been home, because I love Conor.
Kurt Vonnegut: My favorite author in the history of the world, for finally putting out a new book, A Man Without A Country:
Here is a lesson in creative writing.
First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.
And I realize some of you may be having trouble deciding whether I am kidding or not. So from now on I will tell you when I’m kidding.
For instance, join the National Guard or the Marines and teach democracy.
Where the HELL have you been, man? I missed you!!
Donna: For asking me if I’d like to decorate the company Christmas Tree after describing how fun it is, and also for failing to inform me that said Christmas Tree is 15 feet tall.
My Ex: Because if you’re going to break up with me to record your masterwork and move to France, then you should, you know, record your masterwork and fucking move to fucking France, or at least admit that you’re a lying douche. I thoroughly enjoy the time we spend living on separate continents. And once the Trapped in the Closet jokes start getting stale, I’m going to need a new CD to make fun of.
The mall: Because I’m a size six, so I should not be self conscious at all. But no, there’s always the effing mall in all it’s Body Dysmorphia glory, ready to remind me why I should hate myself and break out the Trim-Spa. I wasn’t sitting in on any positioning meetings for Urban Outfitters, but I’m pretty sure “Completely Boobless” wasn’t a bullet on the Power Point presentation of their target market. Sarah and I went the other day, and while she was trying to figure out how she could simultaneously wear size four pants and be too small for an XL T-Shirt, I was incredulous over the fact that, at 5’2, anything marked “large” could be too short for my torso. We spent a half hour doing our very best Incredible Hulk impersonations in the dressing room before calling it a bust and hitting up Auntie Annies.
Pickle Juice: Because it looks just like water and also vodka, and it would be very easy for someone with a stuffy nose to fall for the “Have some water/ take a shot” routine. If you do this to someone else in my presence: funny. If you do it to me, you’re a jerk.
Ginger’s iTunes: Because I was rocking out to “Shine” by The Newsboys, which I haven’t heard since eighth grade, and with no warning, out comes “Too Close” by Next. In case you’ve never had the pleasure of hearing this joyous ode to The Freak, here’s a sample of the lyrics:
Baby when we’re grinding
I get so excited
(You know what you’re doing, don’t you)
You’re making it hard for me
All the songs on you requested
You’re dancing like you’re naked
Oh, it’s almost like we’re sexin’ (oh yeah)
And my personal favorite:
The way that you shake it on me-ee
Makes me want you so bad sex-u-a-lly
I fucking hate this song. I would rather crash my car than hear this song. I would rather show love to the Fox network than hear this song. And iTunes just informed me that, in addition to these rousing and classy lyrics, the song officially begins with the lead singer asking the audience, “I wonder if she can tell I’m hard right now? Hmm.” Which was a part that, until now, I was blessed to have never heard.
And although I’ve already given Next enough CHUMPS cards to last a lifetime, I should dole out one more because it’s a stupid question to ask, considering that you’re about to actually compose an entire fucking song about your boner, including a bridge where your dance partner requests that you please “step back” and stop poking her with your junk because you’re nasty. As Phil would say. “Un!”