Monday, March 07, 2005

Behind the Scenes

It might look easy, but content this mediocre doesn't exactly write itself. Sure, the finished product makes you convulse with laughter or pause to think for a moment. You might even find yourself crying hysterically sometimes - though that generally happens only when you realize that you've wasted several minutes reading material this poorly written. But you probably aren't aware of the hours of hard work that we put into preparing these essays for your reading pleasure. Well, all of that is about to change because today we're going on a trip "behind the scenes" to show you how we make our special brand of magic.

It begins every morning at sunrise, when a team of creative writing specialists consisting of the brightest minds in comedy today meets for a brainstorming session at a local Starbucks. The brilliant - and hilarious - ideas they come up with often leave the people around them doubled over with laughter and holding their stomachs while gasping for breath. Unfortunately, none of those writers work for this blog and I just can't seem to get myself up at sunrise to go and eavesdrop on them. Instead, I talk to the person next to me about ideas I have for this blog. At least I used to. For some reason, I sit alone a lot these days.

After the brainstorming is done, all of the ideas are listed, and each is assigned a number. Then the best idea is chosen via a complex, scientific process. The confidentiality clause in my contract prevents me from giving out too many details, but if you're thinking "velcro dartboard" you're pretty close.

Next, we sit down to draft the day's entry. It's a grueling process that requires a lot of editing, some baby oil, and a few farm animals. Er, now that I think about it, it might be best to avoid going into too much detail about that part, too.

Once the initial draft is completed, the content is sent to Marketing, where our media experts refine the message to position it for that all important 18-to-35 year old demographic. Focus groups are convened and valuable feedback is gathered. Unfortunately, we rarely get people from our target demographic to participate, so we tend to use 80-to-90 year old volunteers. We're always thinking "outside of the box," so we combat this disparity by asking the volunteers to remember what it was like when they were young. Admittedly, this method has a few drawbacks, like our frequent dated pop culture references to stars like Bob Hope, Clark Gable, Rita Hayworth, and Jayne Mansfield, and our tendency to use "hip" phrases like "23 skidoo" and "va va va voom." It also explains that embarrassing incident in which we named Tallulah Bankhead as our "Sexiest Woman Alive - 2004."

From Marketing, the entry is sent to our Legal department, where it is sanitized for your protection. Our crack legal staff is the best that money can buy, and our annual legal costs run well into the double digits. Based on the quality of their work, you'd never know that they've each failed the bar exam at least six times.

Wait a minute, what do you mean you thought I asked for an "on-crack" legal staff? Uh...let's just move along to our next stop.

Finally, our IT department publishes the material for your reading pleasure. The best part is that despite the staggering expenses we incur each day, we provide all of this free of charge - and without any annoying ads - just for you, our loyal readers.

By now you must be wondering how we can possibly turn a profit. I'll answer that in one word - volume!

Oh, and just a little creative accounting...