The best thing about celebrity encounters is that they often make good stories even when the meeting itself goes terribly. Did Tom Hanks cut you in line? Did Julia Roberts wear a mean shirt with your name on it? Has George Clooney ever pranked you in a way that you didn’t appreciate? Tell us about it here!
A brief poll of our staff unearthed uncomfortable and bad encounters with, among others, Usher, Louis C.K., Jane Lynch, Oliver Stone, Aziz Ansari, Kanye West, [redacted], [redacted], and [redacted]. One staffer started to share a story about Penn Badgley, but it turns out that she thought we were just telling celebrity stories of all kinds and this was a tale about how Penn Badgley was cool. Too bad for Penn Badgley, because there’s no room for positivity here.
Last week’s Pissing Contest was our very special Mother’s Day edition and guess what? All of your moms are great! Or scary! Or crazy! Anyway, beautiful work in the comments, everyone. Here are our winners for best mom stories.
“FRANCOIS, ZEN POET” by gatorades:
My mom is a transplanted Midwestern lady living in a small island town in south Texas. There are a lot of great stories I could tell about her (she was briefly Mormon because the only church within walking distance of her family’s farm was a Mormon temple and then she got a scholarship to BYU and, as she likes to tell it, “they don’t tell you about the weird stuff until you’re in it for awhile.”) but my favorite was her long friendship with this odd quasi-homeless dude in our town named Francois. My mom is a nurse and the kind of lady who will make friends with anyone. I found this completely mortifying as a kid because she was constantly chatting up people in grocery lines, elevators, you name it. Francois was an oddball, a kind of unwashed dude with a mysterious past and a gnarly, waist-length beard who bummed around town on a bicycle and lived in a sunken houseboat that he’d kind of half-assedly repaired himself on the outskirts of town and probably the kind of person most middle-class mothers like mine would avoid looking at and scoot their children away from. But my mom just saw another human being and another potential friend in him. His houseboat was on her way to work and she’d give him rides if the weather was bad and she was always trying to give him help and medical advise because he was older and lived so rough. I wanted to be a writer, and his hobby was to write odd letters to the editor in verse to our small weekly town newspaper criticizing local politics and rhapsodizing on the beauty of the beaches, signing them FRANCOIS ZEN POET OF (town name). She’d give him copies of my stuff in the high school newspaper and talk proudly to him about my writing until he saw me as a kind of surrogate child himself. Sad to say, I was a sulky teen and never saw his and my mom’s relationship as anything more than evidence of her extreme lameness and lack of understanding about all that was good and cultured in the world.
Well, he died alone one night of a heart condition while riding his bicycle along the route my mom used to pick him up. After trying to get him into the doctor for so long, knowing he was having problems, she took it really hard. And she was so sad, like she’d lost her best friend. At first I didn’t understand, he was just the town bum or whatever, but then I had this sudden realization that she had been friends with him for almost my entire life. I’d only ever seen him as this weirdo who bummed around town on his bicycle. She’d seen past his scraggly beard and bicycle and dilapidated house boat and off-beat lifestyle and gotten to know him and loved him for who he was. For the first time in my little teenage life, I looked at my mom’s outgoing personality and openness to everyone that annoyed me so much and I saw the grace and honest love in it.
“Grammar Trumps All” by robinmbrown.
My little sister came home one day sobbing and said “my friend hung himself.” My mom patted her on the shoulder and said, “hanged.”
Grammar > everything!
“Keep an Eye Out for the Cops” by Hinderance:
My mom is a spitfire. She’s a tiny, fierce, mean, Irish lady. She had 6 kids in 6 1/2 years. I have a ton of great stories about her, like the time she bought a huge crystal chandelier at an estate sale several hours from our home. Lacking anything to wrap it in for the ride home, she stripped down to bra and panties, wrapped her clothes around the chandelier and drove home, waving and smiling to all the honks she got.
But my favorite story is the time she packed all 6 of us kids in the station wagon for a Christmas shopping trip to the mall. I’m the youngest and I was about 6. We circled the lot for about 40 minutes looking for a space, and finally saw someone about to pull out. We waited another 10 minutes or so while the person packed their shopping in the car. Finally they pulled out, and my mom started to pull in to the space when a woman pulled in from the other side.
My mom rolled down her window when the woman got out of her car, and explained that she’d been waiting for the space for 10 minutes. “I don’t give a shit,” the woman snarled before heading into a store. At that point, my mom’s Irish came out. She yelled “And a merry Christmas to you, too!” She idled the car in the lane until she couldn’t see the woman anymore, and then turned it off and got out of the car, telling us kids to “Keep an eye out for the cops.” And then she let the air out of all 4 of that lady’s tires.
Not just one. Because she’s mean Irish. All 4.
And then she scrawled ‘Happy holidays!!’ on the windshield with her lipstick. Because she’s mean Irish.
Happy pissing, one and all!
Image via Empire Records/Warner Bros.
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