Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wicked Not Awesome

Wicked Not Awesome
by Rob Cottignies

            Recently, I made a bet. But first, some back story…
            My friend Mike loves almost everything. He gets giddy at the very mention of Sasquatch, shakes with excitement over ordering martinis even though he hates them, and buys endless memorabilia of orange-colored sports teams. He's a special guy, this Mike.
            Now, I said Mike loves almost everything because there is a song he absolutely detests. You, dear reader, are most-certainly familiar with this tune and probably downright love it because it is wonderful. The song loved by everyone which is hated by the guy who loves everything else is Love Shack by The B-52's. What a feel-good song. And what a video! A dance party where everyone is handsomely-dressed, a great big car, some woman in a bathtub watching indentured servants work in the yard- I mean, can you watch that and not smile? I know Mike sure can.
            And now, another back story…
            Some years ago, Mike decided it would be a great idea to discuss Broadway during a football tailgate. This went on for hours, days, years. And it was all about Wicked. Apparently this is the biggest play ever and even more apparently, everyone we were tailgating with was horribly interested in its story.
            SPOILER ALERT: Do I really even have to put this here? Has anyone actually not seen The Wizard Of Oz?
            Anyway, The Wizard Of Oz is probably the most popular movie in film's great history and Wicked is its prequel.
            But wait a second
            How can there be a prequel to The Wizard Of Oz? Oh I know, it must be a documentary-style film about farm life in rural Kansas. Perhaps it shows the three guys getting hired at the farm or where the Gales got that little jerk Toto. Or maybe it portrays how Uncle Henry and Auntie Em met. Why is Dorothy living with her aunt and uncle instead of her parents? Whoa, can't wait to find out!!! What's that, it's about the wicked witch? You mean Miss Gulch? Alright, I've always wondered why she was so cranky. Let's have it…
            Nope. Wicked tells the story of how Glinda, the good witch, and the wicked witch (supposedly named Elphaba, though that has changed throughout the years) grew up together. But how could there be a prequel to a teen-aged girl's dream? Exactly. This was and still is my argument.
            Back to the tailgate, Mike and I debated furiously over Wicked being a worthy addition to the story and its storyline being completely illogical, respectively. Much to the amusement of those in our company, the contest went on and on with no mutually agreeable conclusion. That storm still rages today, and we've been best friends since first grade.
            Long story short…
            Mike and I both like hockey. The Pittsburgh Penguins are my team while his affinity for sub-par orange teams has led him to be a New York Islanders fan. So these teams played each other and we decided to bet on the game. Oh, did I tell you about how we bet on the NFL's Raiders/Broncos games???? I like the Raiders and he the Broncos. (I told you he likes orange teams. They are one of his three equally favorite NFL teams. Don't get me started on that.) So we wager one dollar every time they play but it's just in fun because neither of us pays the other. This has worked in my financial favor because the Raiders are terrible. But one time while in college the Raiders lost and I sent Mike a check for $1, which he framed instead of cashing.
            Long story short…
            Mike and I grew weary of wagering pretend money on games so he suggested that if the Islanders won, I would have to see the Wicked movie with him. Confident in the Penguins' abilities, I accepted and countered that if his Islanders lost, he would have to sing and dance to Love Shack at karaoke one night. We shook hands and our fate was left up to athletic strangers. The game in question started out great but ended horribly when the Penguins decided to stop trying. So they lost and therefore I lost. I am doomed to see Wicked.
            I've never seen the play nor do I remember its details from Mike's ramblings but from what I hear, it's quite lovely. That's not the point. My point is that Wicked, along with Return To Oz, Oz The Great And Powerful, The Wiz, and whatever other additions to the story exist are all bogus. The Wizard Of Oz explained what happened perfectly- Dorothy got knocked out, visited a bizarre fantasy world which included likenesses of people she knew, and woke up after she had gotten the point of the dream. That's right- dream. Imaginary. No start, no end; just what she and only she saw in her head. I did a crossword puzzle on January 23rd and the clue for 36-down was this: 'Dorothy's visit to Oz, e.g.' The answer was five letters long. Get me?
            The only way for Wicked to exist would be if Dorothy dreamt it up, but according to Mike there is no mention of her in this story.
            I'm furious. My team lost, I lost a bet, and now I have to angrily sit through a movie which already makes absolutely no sense to me. I also realized too late that I bet a five-minute song against a full-length movie. On the bright side, the release date keeps getting pushed back so hopefully it will never come out.
            And, yeah, that's all…
            (Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don't they?)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Uncommon Scents

Uncommon Scents
by Rob Cottignies

Say, friends, do you enjoy smelling things? Do you also have an affinity for fire? If you like both, you've probably tried candles before. If you don't, keep reading anyway because this will hopefully start to get funny.

We here at the Yankee Candle Company figured out a way to get everyday scents into wax form and put them into over-priced glass jars! Hopefully you are already familiar with regulars such as Apple Cider, Edelweiss, and Banana Nut Bread. But did you know we carry an entire line of completely nonsensical fragrances, like Drift Away and Moonlight?

If you've ever said, 'I wonder what a magical frosted forest would smell like', have I got some great news. Thanks to us, you can now find out! Happening upon magical forests can be tricky and often quite completely out of the question because they don't exist. And a frosted one!? Phew, lots of luck. But no need to search vast wastelands simply for a scent- just buy our Magical Frosted Forest candle! It smells just like a forest that's been frosted, with a little drop of magic.

Want more? That's why I'm here! We've got a scented candle for everybody:
Like rock 'n' roll? November Rain smells just like a shrill voice mixed with cigarettes!
Like beer? On Tap has a distinct sort-of beer odor which should never ever ever be present in any beer ever!
Like laundry? We've got several aromas to appease your need to smell chores even when you're done with them. They're all part of our (get this…) Laundry Line! Country Linen, Soft Blanket, and Fluffy Towels should help get you through your exciting to-do list. If you prefer your laundry with a side of intangibility, Fresh Comfort and Soft And Cozy will be sure to please, in whatever way they smell.

A while back, our founder, Michael Kittredge, came across a teenage girl weeping in a field. Why he was looking for a teenage girl weeping in a field is irrelevant. This young lass was crying and holding the stem of a petal-less flower. Mister Kittredge asked the gal what was wrong and she replied that she'd just been playing He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not and sadly ended on a Not petal. Instead of doing something useless like consoling the sobbing teenager, Michael bravely bottled her tears with a healthy dose of her insecurity to make what would become our Loves Me, Loves Me Not candle. It smells exactly like heartbreak! Try it!

Do you enjoy the sky? Of course you do! We all love the sky! Excuse me while I kiss it. For those of you who look up, we have Blue Summer Sky, Midnight Sky, and Turquoise Sky. You know, because the sky is an actual entity that produces not just one but several natural scents.

Here are some more random scent names followed by exactly what they smell like:
Beautiful Day- fresh air and trees with a hint of Irish smugness.
Wedding Day- drunk uncles and horrible music.
Storm Watch- waiting... for a storm.
Camouflage- sweat and shrapnel.
Early Sunrise- the direct opposite of the all-too-familiar aroma of a late sunrise.

Also, because I like you, I'm going to let you in on a special candle secret- If you light both Over The River and Under The Palms at the same time, you get Limbo followed by confusion and an aroma of utter nothingness!!!

At this point, you might be saying, 'But what about America? Doesn't the Yankee Candle Company care about the troops?'

Well, friends, apparently you missed our Camouflage candles. One entire thousandth of one whole percent of the profit from each candle sold goes directly to Soldiers Who Sneeze, a for-profit organization that pretends to help veterans with the rare post-traumatic disorder that constantly makes them seek out and sniff black pepper. But of course one candle isn't enough scentiment for this great nation. From our Rah Rah America Collection, we bring you Stars And Stripes, Let Freedom Ring, and of course, God Bless America. These candles bring to life actual smells from The Great Depression, The Civil War, Watergate, and many other memorable American standards.

Along these lines, we know if there's one thing Americans love, it's Christmas. That is precisely why we created our inane line of Christmas-scented candles. Christmas can be a time of over-indulgence, so we've limited our scents to just these select few: Build A Snowman, Candy Cane Lane, Celebrate Christmas, Christmas Candy, Christmas Cookie, Christmas Eve, Christmas Tree, Christmas Wreath, Gingerbread, Holiday Garland, Holiday Home Sweet Home, Holiday Homecoming, Home For The Holidays, Jack Frost, Let It Snow, Merry Marshmallow, Mistletoe, North Pole, Season Of Peace, Sleigh Bells Ring, Welcome Christmas, White Christmas, and Yuletide Spice. Now, please don't confuse Holiday Homecoming with Home For The Holidays. The first one smells just like traffic and Grandma while the latter has the distinct scent Grandma and traffic. Throw in the essence of greedy children and you've got a veritable cornucopia of Yuletide delight! It's these subtle differences that make our holiday candles truly wondrous. As a fair and totally unbiased company, don't think we don't want to make money off of our Jewish friends. For Hanukkah, we made one and only one candle called Festival Of Lights (thanks, Adam!), which smells like wooden spinning tops and not pork and whatever else you people like to do.

Speaking of magic, did you know that 77% of Americans believe in angels? Our Angel's Wings candle has the heavenly aroma of actual Heaven while Sparkling Angel reminds you of just how stupid you really are.

In the grand tradition of grand traditions, we have saved the best for last. A few years back, Yankee Candle was challenged to create a candle that smelled of hasenpfeffer. Without boasting too much, it should come as no surprise that we completely nailed it in every sense possible. Rabbit, onions, potatoes, green beans- our candle had them all. Some of us even ate the wax with limited success and maximum bowel irritation. Anyway, we marketed our Hasenpfeffer candle with a picture of a screaming young rabbit being boiled alive on the jar. While the scent was spot-on, our Hasenpfeffer candles did not sell well because evidently the sight of a screaming young rabbit being boiled alive bothered a few people. So we formed a think tank to determine how to market our newest product and it came up with two conclusions: 1) The word 'bunny' is much friendlier than 'rabbit' or 'hasen', which is German for 'hare'; and 2) Everyone likes cake! Voila! So after thousands of hours and millions of dollars, the Yankee Candle Company is proud to present Bunny Cake to the masses. The new picture selected was a delicious-looking cake shaped in the form of an adorable cartoonish bunny. Fret not though, friends, for the scent of the candle will always be able to remind you of a screaming young rabbit being boiled alive.

In the near-future, please be sure to look for our new fragranced candles, such as Terrifying Basement, Awkward Laughter, Bubonic Plague, and Elevator Fart.

Thank you for your time and keep on smelling!

***Because I probably should include this, I am in no way affiliated with the Yankee Candle Company. Also, I completely (but cleverly) made up the stories about the girl in the field and the rabbit. So there. Leave me alone.***