It started like this. Years ago I used to forget to put the new toilet paper on the roll. You know, you get in a hurry, you just balance the new roll on the empty cardboard thingy and go on with your life. Maybe you get it next time, whatever. Apparently this laze-faire attitude towards TP replacement *cough* annoyed my husband. Actually, he wasn’t even my husband back then, just by guy, my main squeeze, my live-in-dude-who-wanted-the-toilet-paper-just-so-nazi. Anyway, he used to complain about it, a little bit, a lot, and gradually I realized that I had shifted from “occasionally forgetting” and “putting it off to later” to “actively not doing it in stubborn revenge against the last time when Paul gave me yet another lecture on proper toilet paper management.” As in, “there is no way in hell I will ever, EVER, put a new toilet paper on the roll. EVER. I’m just saying.” Ahem.
I’m childish like that.
Paul’s response to this lack of TP cooperation was to escalate the outrage. Only now it morphed into a rather mocking version of the previously fairly serious complaint. Things got ugly. Until one day, said escalation culminated with what we now call “The Video.”
That’s right, Paul, with Luc’s help, made a “how to” video for me on replacing the TP. Luc was camera crew (he ran the ipad) while Paul helpfully demonstrated the entire technique, along with commentary like, “you turn the roll this way, this, not that, don’t worry, I know it it’s confusing for beginners, it’s a common mistake, but with practice…”
Cue the onslaught of family-made videos. How to pick your underwear up off the floor. How to put your shoes back in the shoe bin. How to hang a wet towel after using it. How to properly screw the lid back on the peanut butter. Paul, me, the kids, everyone got in on it, all of us voicing our opinions using Daily Show-style fake how-to helpfulness. Ah, the condescension! Oh, the patronizing head patting! Back-handed insults cloaked as helpful hints! Seething annoyance gilded in golden smiles and “ha ha isn’t this funny-ness”! “Don’t worry, everyone makes that mistake at first….”
Would the fake-how-to madness never end?
Maybe. Because today Luc filmed the ultimate “helpful video,” with Sophie as camera crew (giggling in the background). Luc faces the camera and proceeds to boldly give this meta-video message: “This is a video explaining how it is not nice to make videos about how other people do things. It’s rude. This is Luc, signing off. Good-bye.”
HAHAHAHA!!! He really said this!
The irony of the video was absolutely the message, as the kids explained to me repeatedly amidst fits of giggles. “See, we’re making a video about how it’s bad to make videos! Get it? Get it?”
I get it.
Then they left it out for Paul to find. I’m surprised he didn’t sprain his face with all the eye-rolling.
It’s the ipad version of “this is not a pen.”
What can possibly be next? Videos on being polite and kind? Personality improvement videos? Or maybe it will come all the way around and people will start making videos on how to be an obnoxious ass? Irony gone so far it’s straight again?
I’ll leave you with another version of this story, “Please Stop!” from the amazing and fabulous Allie at Hyperbole and a Half. Hilarious and dark and wonderful. I adore this blog so much. I’m very sad that she hasn’t been updating for a while. I hope she’s all right. Totally go read “Please Stop!” if you haven’t already. And while you’re at it, read “God of Cake” too, because it is awesome.