Our memories are notoriously flawed, rendering even the most unforgettable events into a melange of gaps, manipulations, and, frankly, shit that never even happened. But we often fancy ourselves immune from misremembering those moments we share over and over again, our enthusiasm for these tales spurring our certainty. It’s why I’m humbled to discover that one of my favorite stories to tell—the time a Tumblr anon got mad at me years ago for saying actor-turned-deadbeat-dad-turned-bad-musician-turned-bad-app-creator-turned-violent-asshole Jeremy Renner looked like a portobello mushroom—isn’t entirely accurate.
When I brought up this story in Slack, I was implored to blog about it sometime, most recently by Jezebel editor-in-chief Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, who warned, “i am NOT going to let u not do this blog.” So today, I got to work, looking through my old emails and largely dormant Tumblr account in search of the exact time the Renner Incident occurred. But what I found was something a little different, but equally stupid and fungus-related.
I made a post on Tumblr saying, “wait wut did this jeremy guy do?” I used the following tag: “all i know about him is that he’s rly unattractive.”
Apparently Renner was making the rounds on my Tumblr dashboard thanks to someone digging up some old receipts of him using the n-word in an interview, clumsily defending a neo-nazi character he portrayed in a movie role, and using transphobic slurs. Awful stuff that has nothing to do with how he looks.
I was 21 and deeply immature for calling Renner unattractive. Do I stand by it? Yes, because I’m a cunt. But let’s move on.
Approximately 15 minutes later, I received a direct message that read, “You think that the guy’s unattractive? Look in the mirror.”
I replied to the anon with what I thought was a scathing comeback (again, I was 21).
I really should have picked a hotter photo than this, but I made my position clear: “Anon plz he looks like a crimini mushroom.”
So my mushroom comparison came after the anon got mad. The anon didn’t get mad because of my mushroom comparison. Alas.
I reblogged the following Tumblr post: “jeremy renner looks like a baby that is also a grandfather.” True.
That same day, I wrote, “remember when that anon said that jeremy renner was better looking than me? that was funny.” It really wasn’t that funny, but no matter. Someone replied, “Who’s hotter? Jeremy Renner or Benedick Cumberjasdjasjdasd?” I refused to answer and said, “I’m gonna let y’all debate this among yourselves.”
The general consensus was that Renner wins that battle handily. My favorite responses were “jeremy renner because he has a nice ass, at least” and “A super dark room and Renner because he has nice arms.” Hmmm.
I reminisced about the anon while liveblogging the 2013 Golden Globes, which I assume was attended by Mushroom Man. I used the tag “this portobello old man baby.”
I didn’t forget.
On Slack, I shared the Renner saga. Somehow, this tale of one anon getting mad at my Renner post transformed into a crew of stans attacking me for calling Renner a mushroom.
But I will never apologize for saying that Jeremy Renner looks like a portobello mushroom, because, frankly, that guy is an asshole.