2019 – A Year in Review

December 24, 2019 11:58 p.m. 

Dear friends, family members, strangers, strange family members, Baby Yoda, and Baby Shark doo doo doodoo doo doodoo doo doo doo doo,

Soooooooo that happened… 

What adventures and experiences filled my calendar in 2019, you ask? I take your question, but would much rather you ask the president of Finland a question. Nonetheless, Alexa, please recap the year for us as, like viewers of the most recent Peloton ad, I’m far too traumatized to recount it myself. In a year that took slightly longer to complete than a viewing of The Irishman, it will be remembered as one when the winner lost the Kentucky Derby, New York City lost power, Puerto Rico lost two governors in a week, everyone won the Spelling Bee, Popeye ran out of fried chicken, ASAP Rocky will uncharacteristically no longer be as prompt as his name suggests, Skywalker rose, Winter fell, and ET returned. In the end, however, I did manage to take the Iron Throne. 

I made a concerted effort this year to reconnect with my masculine side… for which I was sentenced to four weeks of court-ordered counseling. For starters, I added to my diet more brofu (processed soy in between two quarter-pound hamberders) wrapped in a leaf of Bromaine lettuce (the kind without the E. Coli) and a side of brogurt (milk fermented by bad decisions). And I began a regular practice of broga (standing pose next to the bench press with twice my body weight loaded on the plate, known as headupmyasana). And I am not ashamed to admit I had a couple of brotox sessions (where they Sharpied my eyebrows to resemble Jason Momoa’s). Next summer, I’m ramping up to climb Mt. Kilimanjarbro (which is actually the bunny slope at the Blue Hills Mountains.)

Financially speaking, I immersed myself into the world of investments with the Dow Jones reaching new levels. To help guide me, I snagged a copy of Antonio Brown’s book How to Turn $30 Million into $10 Million in No Time off the Bargain Shelf (which already saved me money), and began to play the market. Of course, not all my investments were winners as I mainly focused on high-risk, no-reward companies such as Theranos. I also bet a bundle on Thanos to win. So unfortunately, this left me only with enough money to buy a nice thermos. But I’m predicting the new Alliance of American Football league will be very profitable and so I’ve put a bid in on one of the teams. Always the charitable chap, I did manage to make a donation to a charity which gives spacesuits to female astronauts. 

While awaiting my purchase offer on Greenland to be accepted, I made my annual diurnal 

equinox travel plans. This year, my plan was to storm Area 51, but they were unceremoniously halted when someone blew the whistle on us and I had to hastily make other arrangements. I considered visiting all three Mexican countries instead, but ultimately decided for a more low-key sojourn. To that end, I took my horse to the Old Town Road then I rode until I couldn’t no more. When my horse had grown tired, we found ourselves in a small town where a neighborhood boy promised us entertainment. For just $20, he said that he had a baby goat that he painted a non-toxic chemiluminescence that lip-synced to Ariana Grande songs. Sounded good to me, but after I paid him, he denied ever telling me that. In fact, he claimed there was never any Kid Glow Show. 

After its final issue, people have been asking me if, as a comedian, I was ever a big fan of MAD Magazine and its hilarious features such as “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions.” Well, the answer to that is… Not at all. I only read MAD for their culinary tips… The stacks of MAD Magazine books I have in my bedroom are only there to hide behind in the event of a zombie apocalypse… MAD? I’ve never heard of it or Don Martin or Al Jaffe or Spy v. Spy or anything they’ve ever done. Seriously, what a stupid question that is. It will be missed.

All in all, this moment of calm reflection has allowed me to review not just the last 365, but an entire decade. Thinking back to those halcyon pre-Malone days when we paid far too much for our cable package to these post-Malone days when we have been able to scrap our expensive cables plans in order to pay far more for a variety of subscription services. I’m sure I’ve aged, but using the Face App to see how I will look at the end of these upcoming 20s, I think I’m gonna be a-okay Boomer. 

Now, as I sink back on my orthopedic lounge chair, bathed in CBD oil, the residue from my vape pen now but a flavored memory, I realize it is most certainly a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. And with that, I say…

May peace and joy trigger you to a meltdown of health and prosperity throughout 2020. 

Yours Truly,

Andy Wasif 

My Year in Review for 2018

December 24, 2018 6:14 p.m. 

Ready Player One? Let’s get to this year’s recap!: 

Dear Evan Hansen, friends, family, unindicted co-conspirators, David Dennison, Individual-1, Bart O’Kavanagh, Scott Free, the Marvelous Ms. Maisel, and old acquaintances Murphy, Will, Grace, Miss Poppins, and most of the Connor family, 

First of all, let me give a very gracious thank you to those of you who sent friend requests to my inbox this holiday season. I will respond to you as soon as I’ve managed to quarantine the viruses and restore all functionality to my computer.

Dilly Dilly! What a crazy year it has been, the craziest we’ve ever seen from a standpoint of craziness. This particular revolution around the sun flew by faster than a Davidson/Grande union. While everyone was hearing Laurel or Yanny, I spent a fortnite flossing and tidying, hyping and orange justicing. Tide Pod Challenge? Defeated it!. . . Bowling Ball Test? Scored 100%!. . . Ballistic inbound missile? Marked myself safe!. . . Playing the market? Yeah, okay, that’s one I wish I had back. But overall, I was winning like a Bichon Frise at Westminster where every other pet was flying United. In short, 2018 was legit bougie on the daily.

This was an especially exceptional year for my self-improvement, which began with an overhaul of my typical diet which wasn’t easy. No longer could I subsist on sweets from Dunkin’ Donuts, I now had to find my nourishment elsewhere such as at establishments like Dunkin’. I also adopted a flexible vegan diet where I ate all the meat I wanted, but my definition of “vegan” was not as rigid. But the magic elixir was ultimately found in eating nothing but Romaine lettuce and raw cookie dough for two weeks. You wouldn’t know to look at me, but my tapeworm has gained ten pounds. 

I also decided to make strides in my fitness and so signed up for my first Toyotathon. I trained for it by going to a President’s Day mattress sale, battling it out for an afternoon at Build a Bear, and for my final warm up, spent two hours with Kanye. I was ready! Sadly, it did not go well as I ended up pulling my clutch early on then spent the rest of the -thon favoring my gear box. Never the Discouraged Dickey, though next year, I plan on signing up for a Macy’s Labor Day Spectacular.

Of which I may be most proud this year is finally becoming “woke” and realizing that Benecio and Guillermo Del Toro are two separate people. . . and neither is a bullfighter. Who knew?

But DO NOT CONGRATULATE! I also had my share of tribunals and tabulations, such as the time I mispronounced trials and tribulations a moment ago. However, I plead the fifth, invoke attorney/client privilege, refer you to my NDA (unsigned, of course), and revoke your security clearance as you’re on a need to know basis, but the kerfuffle stemmed from my job making robocalls for an infinity stones company which, to my surprise turned out to be a money laundering scheme. When the ****hole country hit the fan, I denied it, but Lordy, there are tapes!

What I can tell you is that it was the night of the blood moon when what happened was [redacted] videos of Bigfoot [redacted] which quickly became [redacted] leading to the end of Moviepass that, in turn, caused [redacted] a $130,000 payout that required me to [redacted] all but ruining my chance of hosting the Oscars. It was unquestionably a fiasco, though [redacted] an “Alf” reboot. 

I know you’re screaming, “We call BS!” But truth isn’t truth! It you want the full story, you’ll have to talk to my lawyer’s lawyer.

Through it all, I managed to sneak some traveling into my schedule, spending two weeks in Paradise, mostly raking the forest, but the real adventure began on my trip home when a problem with passenger nudity (not mine) caused a delay on the runway. The airline said they could put me on another flight right away, but with a layover in Devil’s Triangle which, understandably, I turned down. The alternative was a caravan which slowly made its way back toward home and included a detour through Marwen where everyone was an absolute doll.

At this point, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to remember my dear friend Geoffrey, one of youthful spirit, gentle hospitality, and the best for less so you could really flip your lid. I’ll always remember him from our time together at Toys Were Us. 

Now, as I put the winter classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside, but You Can’t Stay Here Because People Will Get the Wrong Idea” on the hi-fi and snuggle up in my living room in front of a smocking fire wearing my Yeezys and Lululemon pants, drinking a Ketogenic prime rib smoothie through the last of the plastic straws, I’m reminded of the fact that, well, I don’t have a fireplace. It was my understanding that my neighbor would pay for it, but apparently I boofed. Womp womp! Please forgive me as I cut this letter short to look for an extinguisher.

May your health and success in the new year be genetically cloned to produce superfortune impervious to sickness and failure!

Scooby doo pa-pa! 

Yours truly,

Andy Wasif   

2017 – My Year in Review

December 24, 2017 8:53 p.m.

Dearest friends, family, good people on both sides, Irma, Harvey, Jose, Maria, Reality Winner, Young Sheldon, Jayden K Smith, Lord Buckethead, and all you dotards out there. And to those Russian bots scanning this transmission, С Рождеством!

Before I begin, I must send my thoughts and prayers to those who have lost loved ones in the Bowling Green Massacre, the Sweden Attacks, the Panem Hunger Games, the “La La Land” Best Picture mishap, and the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl collapse. We grieve bigly.

And now on with the only fake news that is really fake. Please take a knee!. . . NO! . . .Wait! Stand! . . . Aw, heck, do as you want, it’s a free country. . . at least for now. . . But leave your pants ON, for God’s sake! 

Where did the year go? (Asking for a friend.) 280 characters flew by like it was only 140. It certainly was a year of stranger things, messed up AF, straight savage, garbage fasho! But I’m done throwing shade on it, so I’ll just take the L. (And that was all before I earned my certificate in Millennial Speech: 101 at an online community college. Sorry, not sorry.) Let us think back upon a year of leaks, leakers, leeks (delicious in soups), wildfires, “You’re fired!”, and the Fyre Festival. But so. . . much. . . winning that it’s made me wanna do the Salt Bae Dance.

Overall, my time out west was eventful as I’m sure you know it was a year of scandal in Hollywood. The town got Fifty Shades Darker when The Star was told to Get Out. Yup, he was unceremoniously booted from the Glass Castle. After all, he was the Boss, Baby! Though it certainly was Beauty and the Beast. It’s a Wonder it took this long to expose The Big Sick sleaze ball. What a Disaster Artist he was! From there, It was one big Justice League on all these culprits. Such is Life. 

Unfortunately, I too did not escape unscathed due to the actions I took during my younger days. Back then, I attended a lot of music concerts and was frequently stuck sitting on the lawn with the rest of the less affluent masses. So I thought it would be a good idea to sign up for a fan club or two to have access to better seats. In hindsight, I realize I probably should not have become a “humper,” but I will never regret my love of Englebert Humperdink though I have since let my fan club membership lapse. Even with my most sincere apology, however, I still got fired from my new job after only ten days, two days before my official start date.

On the bright side, that left me with ample time to pursue several entrepreneurial ventures, including: a line of clothes for pet birds, the condiment combination ketchrelstard, and various Uber knockoffs such as Gluber (in classroom adhesive delivery for kids); Suber (instant lawsuits); Muber (dairy products when you need them); and Hans Gruberuber (Alan Rickman comes to your house in 24 hours or less to recite lines from “Die Hard”). I even found time to upload an audiobook version of my nonfiction work “Why People Don’t Listen” on Audible, but . . . at present, it has yet to register its first sale on the platform. 

I also made a concerted effort this year to improve my health by focusing on weight loss, my “skinny repeal” so to speak. I thrived on a steady diet of nothing burgers (medium rare) and covfefe smoothies while drenching everything else in gorgonzola and feta (which kept me from eating it because I hate that stuff). After two weeks, I’m proud to report that I lost almost 20 I.Q. points. I’m now completely vegan, eating only those animals that abstain from meat.  

When it comes to travel, sadly, the year was not an abundant as I had hoped. I planned to visit Puerto Rico, which a lot of people don’t know is an island with a lot of water around it and that makes it very difficult to get to, a very big island… but I have booked another trip for the coming days. I leave to Nambia in mid-January, which I’m excited about. I’ve even begun learning Nambian!

And so as “winter is coming,” and the stockings are stuffed with fidget spinners, dog whistles, and unusable World Cup tickets, I sit by the brilliant glow of my Tiki torches, engaged in a little light reading (an unabridged copy of the Steele Dossier), a refreshing Mueller High Life in hand, and the knowledge that my bank account is bursting with bitcoins keeping me as safe and secure as a passenger on United Airlines. I bid you all a most wonderful evening. 

May the fruits of hope and prosperity be cross bred to bring you a 2018 filled with hoperity!

Bye Felicia!

Hugs, 

Andy Wasif

Happy Anniversary!

The ticking of the miniature grandfather clock centered on the mantel seemed to grow louder, each pass from the pendulum a hatchet to the silence of the living room, which itself spoke loudly as a docent, guiding us through a family’s history.  The clock, a wedding present from Aunt Mabel, purchased in 1940 during a train trip to Chicago and kept on her own mantel before passing it along.  The azure-colored chair with the black trim, a 1960s-era beauty, still in good shape, virtually untouched, seemed out of place set aside from the more modern Macy’s sofa with black cushions you could get lost in that framed the white lacquered coffee table peppered with aging Readers Digest magazines.

Hanging on the walls and displayed next to the clock, this exhibition’s depth was captured by discount store frames highlighting the family through the decades — that trip to Paris where he proposed; the formal bride and groom pose at the Spring Valley Country Club; a portrait of her holding a rosy-faced newborn; their eldest in his Little League baseball uniform; a portrait of the entire nuclear family, now totaling four, from Sears with a backdrop of green, brown, and yellow, defined by polyester pants and pointed collars; and finally, one similar, this in high definition, showing an aged couple with their expanded family — three generations of Mitchells, the couple from the start flashing a smile in direct opposition to the pair that now sits across the room at the dining room table.

The present versions of themselves, Hy and Sylvia, now in their 70s, stare at each other with passion.  That is, a passionate distaste.  Hy’s forehead creases angrily driving his eyes downward, his breath escaping through his deviated septum steadily with a slight wheeze between every third tock of the clock as he sits hunched over his dinner plate.

Equally, Sylvia’s mouth clenched, her back molars locked in a struggle for supremacy.  Her head angled away, she glares through the corners of her wrinkled eyes, suspicious and skeptical of his very existence.

Finally, after an inordinate amount of time when even the cooling meal in front of them felt uncomfortable, Hy speaks.

“Hag,” he says, with purpose, as if he’d prepared just the right word for the occasion.

“Bastard,” Sylvia counters as a tennis pro would effortlessly volley from inside the service boxes.

And again, they fall prey to the clock’s syncopated rhythm, the tea vapor visibly dissipating into the atmosphere.

And then. . .

“I know what you’re doing to me,” Hy says in a “J’accuse!” moment.

Unswayed, “Sylvia replies, “What am I doing to you?  I made you a nice meal with potatoes, brisket, green beans…”  Each food a pointed indictment of his tone.

Hy interrupts, “Nuts!”

She rolls her eyes at his paranoia — those gray-blue eyes with specs of brown that he used to write poetry about, albeit bad poetry.  “There are no nuts!”

Gaining confidence, Hy says, “There are nuts!  Pine nuts, walnuts…”

Sylvia nods.  Ah, so this is how we’re gonna play it, she thinks.  “So what if there are?”

“You know it wreaks havoc with my colitis.”

“You don’t. . . have. . . colitis,” she says for the umpteenth time.  If she didn’t know any better, she’d swear smoke was coming from her molars.

“I don’t need a doctor to tell me what I have,” Hy claims for the umpteenth-plus-one time, clenching his fist. He’s sure her constant argumentative state is the cause of his arthritis.  “My father had it, my brother had it, I have it.”

Sylvia doesn’t dare continue.  What’s the point?  She reaffixes her gaze at him, as if they’d invented a surgery that replaced her retina with disintegration lasers.  And Hy focuses all his energy on her, boring a hole in her with his mind.

Sylvia breaks the silence this time.  “Sonuvabitch.”

“Shrew.”

Sylvia leans in, launching her offensive.  “Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doing either.”

Hy’s eyes grow wide and innocent.  Oh, really?  My hands are nowhere near the cookie jar, he thinks.  Her claims are but baseless speculation.  “I’m doing nothing.”

“Flirting with your tai chi instructor is nothing?” Sylvia’s eyes narrow.

“What flirting?  She helps me to touch my toes.”

“Does she have to stand so close?”

“It’s the nature of the beast.”

Sylvia throws her hands up in the air.  “50 years, I’ve never known what that means.”

“It means just what it says,” Hy says, a favorite response of his and distant relation to his trite parenting phrase “Because I said so.”

“Well, that doesn’t help.”

Hy’s stomach begins to churn, like large vats of cream at a Dreyer’s factory.  “You’re giving me indigestion.”

A little giddy at the thought, Sylvia snaps, “You deserve indigestion.”

Hy sits up sharply and says, “And you deserve–” His mind races to come upon any witty and pointed rejoinder for several beats before losing interest with a disinterested wave of his hand.  “Meh!”

They reposition themselves in silence, shorter in duration this time as Sylvia senses her husband wearing down.

“Gasbag!”

“Hygenially-challenged fussbucket!” Hy says, surprising even himself with such a gem.  He sits back proudly and crosses his arms.

The woman he had for many years sweetly called “Syl” flicks a snap over her head.  “You’ve got nothing to complain about in the wife department,” she says.

This plays right into Hy’s hands.  He reaches past his faded argyle vest and into  the breast pocket of his one-size too large department store shirt.  “I’ll show you nothing to complain about… I’ve got a list.”  And with that, he pulls out a piece of paper, folded into credit card size, fraying around the edges.  Clearly, it’s been his companion for a while.

The reveal doesn’t seem to surprise Sylvia who waits in anticipation of Hy’s grand production as he retrieves his bifocals from his vest pocket and tries to flick them open with the flick of a wrist.  They don’t budge.  After four attempts, he grabs one earpiece and opens them manually.  Sylvia lets out a heavy, impatient sigh.  “Yeah, put your cheaters on.”  Hy ignores her comment, instead focusing on the matter at hand.

“Number One,” he says, pausing for suspense, “– the first fifteen years. . .   Number Two – Paris.”

Sylvia shakes her head, almost feeling sorry for him.  “Still with the Paris!”

“I should have left you at the Eiffel Tower.”

“I should have jumped.”  Sylvia one-ups him again.

Hy puts his list aside and leans against the table, his sleeve catching a bit of mashed potatoes, “You think you got it so bad?

“You bet your trick knee, I do.  I got a list!”  And with that she reaches down her housecoat to pull out a note card from deep in her bosom.

Hy throws his head back and lets out a guffaw, the sudden movement causing a sharp crick, a sensation radiates through his neck.  He grabs it, hoping Sylvia doesn’t see.  “This should be rich,” he says.

She takes the bifocals from around her neck and puts them on.  From the front of the card, she reads,” Number One – You never listen to me!”

Hy’s taken aback by this.  “Never listen to you?!  I hear you in my sleep!!”

Undeterred, Sylvia flips the card over, “Number Two – Paris.”

“You stole “Paris” from me!”

Sylvia says, “I should have never gotten in your car.”

“I should have kept on driving.”  He feels his sweater start to irritate his skin as his temperature rises.  He and his wife of fifty years settle back into their default positions, nostrils flaring, until the intermission ends quickly, Sylvia now just toying with the timing to catch Hy off-guard.

“Loser.”

“Witch.”

“Faggot!”

Hy gasps.  “That was one time!” he says, hurt that she would dredge up the drunken collegiate costume party when he asked out a fair-skinned football player in a cheerleader’s outfit, a mistake he has regretted twice — the night of the party, and the time he told her about it.

Having him on the ropes, Sylvia indicts him.  “You promised me a house…”

He looks around at their comfortable surroundings.  “What, are we living in a box?”

Sylvia continues, “…on a hill, a house on a hill.”

Hy squares up his body to the table.  “Oh, I see.  You want a hill?  I’ll give you a hill.”  He picks up his fork and slices the tines through the pile of mashed potatoes, now cold among the green beans and brisket in front of him.  He scoops some of the potato onto the fork.  He always loved that Sylvia makes it with lumps, but never more than he does at this moment as the starchy side dish doesn’t run through the fork.  He turns the fork back to him like it’s a miniature Jai Alai basket and without any pretense, spikes the food right into her water glass.

Sylvia cowers for a moment, but her fear quickly returns to anger, with double the intensity, twice the fury.  “How dare you?!  She picks up the glass of mashed potato water, her fingers gripping it so tightly her age spots seem to whiten, and she flicks the glass so the water sails out toward him, though wide left of his head.

He whips his head around to see it land harmlessly on the carpet behind him, sinking into the microfibers.  Now seething as well, he turns back to her.

“I’m glad you did that!”  Hy pushes his chair back, its legs sputtering along the Persian rug beneath the dining room set.  He stands, steadies himself, and then lifts a leg toward 30 degrees as if to take a step before placing it back down in front of him.  Then he makes a controlled swipe forward with his left arm, and bringing that back, he swipes forward identically with his right arm, as if swimming in molasses in a Tai Chi movement called, “Working the Pulley.”  Then both arms over head before releasing them to his sides.  Hy finally begins to feel comfortable after six weeks of practice.

“I’ve wanted to do this for fifty years.”

“If you want a fight, you’ve got it, buster.”  Sylvia tries to extricate herself from the table, but has trouble, her knee banging into the table leg as her chair catches on the rug she now regrets purchasing.  She continues to struggle as Hy repeats his taolu across the table.

“Prepare to get the beating of your life.”

“I’m gonna tear you apart,” she says, still struggling.  After a moment of trying to figure out why her chair won’t move, she looks up at him.  “Help me up.”

Hy puts his tai chi behind him and shuffles over to her.  He lifts the corner of the table, just enough for the rug to give way and for Sylvia’s leg to gain its freedom.  He leans over her.  She puts her arms around his neck and he grabs around her back.  “On three, we’re gonna stand.  One, two. . .” and on “three,” he shifts his weight back as Sylvia springs up, her foot catching on the table leg which sends her stumbling into his arms.  When she regains her balance, she looks up to see Hy’s eyes a nose away from hers.  They stare at each other, their hot breath crashing against each other’s mouths like waves at the base of a stately lighthouse, stirring the memories of a thousand caring moments forged over five decades of love.

Sylvia smiles.  “You know what this reminds me of?” a warm tone of pumpkin spice awash in autumn colors that has always had the ability to melt Hy’s heart.

Hy nods and whispers, “Paris,” as he tilts his head to kiss her ever so gently on her lips.

2016 – My Year In Review

This annual end of the year note is gonna be YUGE! Believe me! It’s gonna tell you tremendous things, things that are really great. Those who say it won’t are wrong. They’re liars and disgusting people. Sad. . . Now I know there are a lot of these notes out there that are spreading real anecdotes, but you can trust that my anecdotes are really and truly 100% real fake.

It goes out to all those dearest friends, family members, bad hombres, nasty women, Berners, Twitter trolls, killer clowns, elves on shelves, Pokemon Goers, and David S. Pumpkins who populated my timeline during the past 12 months. (And to those comrades hacking this transmission, a very heartfelt ?????????? ?????????? to you.)

So take a knee and we’ll get right to it!

I know a lot of you were not thrilled with 2016, but I’m a glass half-filled guy even if this year’s glass was filled with an Arnold Palmer-like concoction of water from Flint, Michigan and Guaranama Bay in Rio de Janeiro. In a year when we endured the loss of Prince, David Bowie, Glenn Frey, logic, Mohammed Ali, civil discourse, Gene Wilder, intelligent foresight, the Billy Goat curse, hope, Ryan Lochte’s integrity, real news, and Harambe, hey . . .  at least we found Richard Simmons!!!

So far, the holiday season is off to a great start as I wound up with a gift basket of deplorables at the Office Christmas Party (in theaters now) elephant swap.

From there, the year started off bigly. I’m putting you all on blast that I was like a fleekalaur on fleek mode going fleek trappin’ during Fleek Week, and overall representing the Urban Dictionary I received last holiday season.

Though I hit a funk as spring uncoiled and I felt a feeling I hadn’t felt in a long time, a longing I hadn’t longed for in a felt time. I sat in solitude and took stock of my life. At that point, I came to the conclusion that I had to sell off my life stock before my portfolio went bankrupt. I was frustrated and wanted escape, to travel back to a time when life was simpler. I looked for a way to time travel, but couldn’t find a time machine, so I opted for a time staycation instead and remained right in March of 2016.

It was then I decided to do something really challenging, to venture out of my comfort zone. Should I be climbing mountains, running marathons, Standing Rock? Just the consideration seemed impossible so I ultimately opted for a staycation in my comfort zone instead. With my Phelps face on, I bottle flipped a mannequin while someone dumped an ice bucket on me as I performed 22 push ups with a mouth full of cinnamon, all to create an awareness for viral videos. We mustn’t let them die out.

With my soul replenished, I resolved to expand my horizons. Why, I learned so many life hacks this year, I started hacking life like a pro — I learned how to boycott a Broadway musical I couldn’t afford anyway, leak Wikis to the world, sell drug medicine to those who need it for prices they can’t afford while simultaneously giving myself a pay raise, all while reaching my Fitbit goal of “70% AWESOME”. (I didn’t want to overexert myself by doing too much too soon.)

Then this summer, I took up competitive eating. It was more on a whim, as I saw a bowl of oreos and Swedish fish and just started chowing down. They are addictive. Well, one thing led to another and against all odds, I won one contest, then another. Eaters with more of a pedigree of swallowing crap than I were swiftly eliminated. My rise was unpresidented. I reached the semis and then the Finals. I had to get serious.

I replaced my entire prep team and gave it my best shot. Well, wouldn’t you know it, I ate MORE Swedish fish oreos than my opponent. . . good enough for second place. (They have an arcane scoring system in these contests.) And here I am, back to private life. 

Though I recovered emotionally, my loss drove a wedge between me and my girlfriend Alexa. She left me, choosing to do it by writing a note on my 3rd Century replica manuscript book. The worst thing is that she took my collection of classic guitar players’ memorabilia, though I’ll also miss her cooking as she had a real flair for chile con carne and fajitas. Yep, I experienced a true Alexit-codexit-Jeff Beckzit-TexMexit. (Mom used to warn me it happens to all of us at one time or another.)

But now as 2016 mercifully becomes a dim ember in the rear view mirror, let us raise our glasses and scream, “YAHOO!” er, I mean, “VERIZON!” to toast to new adventures.

May you all grab 2017 by the click bait!

Yours Truly,

Andy Wasif

2015 – My Year in Review

To all my dearest friends from Jon to Trevor, Stephen to Larry, Dave to Stephen, and Bruce to Caitlyn…oh, and, of course, Mr. Nutz (Deez, you know I can’t forget youz),

Hello! How are you? It’s so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry. . . But Adele lyrics aside, according to my FitBit, I’m “Kill’nit!” even in the face of this tumultuous, turbulent, truculent transitioning of the times which glided by like a hoverboard along the crumbling infrastructure of society. That said, whereas the rest of the world saw a black dress, I saw a gold one!

It was a year of self-realizing who I was. . . and then self-identifying with someone else. This allowed me to park in handicapped spaces, accept a Tony Award, and step on the GOP debate stage to spout random stuff off the top of my head. But in the end, I showed up everyday and worked hard, sometimes 22, 23 hours a day. Such is the price to pay when you’re a part-time employee for Amazon. Hey, I do my job, even if I don’t believe in it. I mean, who am I, Kim Davis? BOOM!

[Mic Drop]

I spent much of the early part. . .

[Mic Retrieval]

My bad! I realize you can’t hear me without the mic. As I was saying. . . I spent much of the early part of the year preparing my place for a special visitor as my friend B-Dub told me he was “tight with Pope Frankie” and could get me a personal meeting. So after dumping the Chipotle in the toilet, erasing the hashtags from all my Starbucks cups, and hiding the Subway sandwiches in a box way back in the closet, His Holiness never showed! Turns out Brian didn’t know him at all; he didn’t even follow him on Periscope! (Way to get my hopes up, Williams!)

As a consolation, I did get to sit down for tea with another representative from the religious community. You know what they say, the only thing that rectifies our problems is a good chai with a nun.

Lest not ye think it was a year devoid of hardship, an incident thrust me into controversy. Well, the kerfuffle began when I purchased a piñata for my nephew’s birthday, stored it at his house, and upon hoisting it over the ol’ oak branch for him and his friends to whack open, we found far less candy inside than piñata regulations stipulate.

Don’t you know, this earned me a suspension from my nephew’s next four birthdays, which I thought was exorbitant considering it was the same penalty given his cousin for licking all the pretzels and putting them back in the bowl. After some investigation, it became clear his brother was the culprit as it is common for one sibling to steal candy from the other — The Natural Law of Relation — in what will forever be known heretofore throughout my family as Relategate.

But that ordeal was nothing compared to the water my proverbial ship (H.M.S. Measles Outbreak) took on when I penned that seemingly harmless magazine piece suggesting the work of three guitars in a band wasn’t necessary. I commented that a lead and rhythm guitarist were plenty. Oh, the heat I took! It was completely unfounded, I believe. I mean, you all know me! I certainly am no bassist. In fact, I can’t be a bassist. I have a friend who plays the bass. But alas, I was ordered to attend sensitivity training, mandatory listening to Sly & the Family Stone, and a meeting with the likes of Sting and Flea.

File Under: It Wasn’t All Bad. I did manage to do quite a fair bit of traveling, mostly to fan festival destinations as they have become very popular recently. To all you cosplayers, no, I couldn’t make Comic-Con, but in the span of a summer fortnight, I attended everything from Connick-Con, a celebration of jazz musician/actors from New Orleans, to the wonderful weekend of events centered around the character of “Frenchy” from the original “Grease” movie that was Didi Conn-Con, to the Rockettes own fan convention, Cancan-Con, to a week of eating all sorts of delicious pork products at Bacon-Con (which is not to be confused with the Kevin Bacon festival named after his role in “Hollow Man,” Sebastian Caine-con), to getting my sweet tooth on at Bonbon-Con. I even found time this year to participate in a useful four-hour workshop on decision-making — Pro/Con.

And finally, professionally, I achieved some good fortune. You may have heard that Daniel Craig’s days as James Bond are coming to a close and for his successor, the production company sought an actor outside the suave, dapper archetype we’ve grown used to. Well, after several rounds of auditioning and tense callbacks. . . I was chosen to be the next James Bond!  . . . and then I was told I wasn’t. At first, I was upset with Steve Harvey Casting but realize it was an honest mistake which they attempted to make up for by promising me a shot at another role, that of “008,” a spy with a license to sell jewelry at a mall kiosk, for the upcoming “Moonraker” big screen remake to air on television as a live musical. Fingers crossed!

May the force awaken inside you leaving you refreshed and inspired for a great 2016!

Yours Truly,

Andy Wasif

P.S. If anyone on my list is still having difficulty keeping their e-mail server from getting wiped clean, I’m happy to send a hard copy of this to you.

“Introduction to Adult Puberty”

You know those videos they used to show us in high school about adolescent boys going through puberty? Well, this is the adult version of those about full-grown males entering middle age. No one ever told you about adult puberty in school so you had to look elsewhere for guidance — like this video, for example.

Starring:
Barry Bostwick as Bob
Bennie Arthur as Mike

Click here to watch

2014 – My Year in Review

December 24, 2014

Festive holiday greetings to you, my dearest friends, future McConaghey, Adell Dazeem, the sons of both Mumford and Anarchy, past McConaghey, and all my bros, brahs, boos, and baes,

I found myself rushing to finish ye annual note as I’ve been otherwise preoccupied with cleaning all the Jell-O pudding pops from my freezer.  In fact, I almost pulled it altogether due to the biting references I included to Kim Jung Un, but as we’re past them now, I decided it would be acceptable to send.

For ‘tis the season to Keep Calm and Open Carry On as we vape the residue of 2014 precipitating upon us.  Where did the time go? December has shown up unannounced not unlike a U2 album in our iPods.  In fact, the whole year stings of surreality.  Did the Ferguson Police dump an ice bucket on top of Joan Rivers and then launch her into Gaza or was that just a vivid dream I had that night I went heavy on the sriracha sauce? It’s safe to say, my 32nd year on this planet (of course, my time spent aboard the space station is another note for another time) was a time to remember.

It was a year of discovery as I found out which “Gilligan’s Island” character I am (“Ginger”), which spice I most resembled (also ginger), what’s the best city for me (Atlantis), and what my birthstone says about my personality (“supreme jackass”);

a year of conclusion as my lawsuit against the Golden Panda Chinese restaurant finally reached a settlement — I received no money up front, but they did promise in writing that a short stranger will soon enter my life bringing joy;

and a year of accomplishment as I completed my latest script, a remake of the comedy classic “9 to 5,” entitled “8 to 7-ish and Every Other Saturday.”  [smiley face]

But mostly, my experiences were as scattered as the choreography in One Direction’s act.  Early in February, as the Polar Vortex smacked me around like Solange Knowles in an elevator, I ventured to Sochi for the XXII Olympic Winter Games where I lucked out by securing a room with a working roof, but the thrill of victory soon dissipated as I could not help but notice all the stray dogs walking around. The only event that interested me was the tug-of-war on my heart strings, and I gave in to magnanimity.

I rescued one pooch whom I named Vlad and took him home with me. And the new living arrangement appealed to him. . . for about 24 hours at which point he invaded my neighbor’s apartment, and peed in the crock pot filled with her famous Chicken Kiev.  Needless to say, it has made our regular Cards Against Humanity game nights in my building quite awkward.

With spring now sprung, my concerns turned from chicken stock to my portfolio of stocks as the NYSE, that fickle foe, shifted along with public favor and suddenly, it was all about the bass, ‘bout the bass, when here I was, betting the farm on treble.  I foolishly ignored the first rule of shrewd investment and did not diversify, thus causing a conscious uncoupling with my savings. [frowny face]

But as Taylor Swift reminds me every day, I chose to “Shake It Off” by turning my bankruptcy into a bankruptunity!  And I took time for some domestic travel, hopping in my classic 1994 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera and heading east where I got to see my friends in New York City . . . from the George Washington Bridge on which I was stuck in a governor-sized traffic jam.  (Cars for days, son!) Fortunately, traffic was alleviated when all the GM cars were recalled and I, a hundred feet from the off-ramp, was forced to walk the final stretch of road.

The adversity awakened the force inside me and I resolved to run my first marathon.  It was quite the undertaking; I had to hire the volunteers, solicit sponsors, find a 26.2-mile course that was both challenging and appealing — why, just filling out the license forms from the city was a Herculean task in itself — and it would have gone off without a hitch too had I remembered to market it to the runners.  But has it not been said many times that failure is merely the Secret Service of success?  [winky face]

And now, looking ahead to next year, I’m primed to take my career to new heights by optimizing my search engine, reshaping my sustainable organizational structure, branding my synergistic solutions, and, most importantly, downloading emojis so I won’t have to type out words in brackets any more.  Baby steps, baby steps.

To all of you and all of yours (whoever and whatever they may be and however they may have found their ways into your possession), may your Internet be hacked and infected with the cyber virus of prosperity and happiness for 2015.

Yours patiently awaiting Saint Nicholas,

Andy Wasif (a.k.a. Adlee Waifish to Mr. Travolta)

My New Year Recap of 2013

December 24, 2013 11:53 p.m.

Knock Knock.

Who’s th–

POW!  You’ve been punched out with holiday cheer and good will!

To all my dearest, old friends (both tenured and vintage) and new acquaintances including Carlos Danger, Pope Francis, George Louis Alexander, and of course, the NSA (who are not on my mailing list, but are reading this anyway),

I wish you a secular and nondenominational, inoffensive greeting during this most hallowed and joyous time of year (should you choose to find it hallowed and joyous).

As I sit here on this yuletide, stoking a yule log in my hearth and simultaneously noshing on the culinary yule log while nestled comfortably underneath my framed photo of Yul Brenner, it dawned upon me that this is my tenth annual holiday note to the masses.  The swift passage of time has left me at a loss for — what do you call that? — unit of language which functions as a principal carrier of meaning composed of one or more morphemes.  I took at it as an opportunity to partake of the quiche of nostalgia and, via my TARDIS (I rented one as an outright purchase seemed obtuse), I engaged in “Throwback Thursday” (though it is only Tuesday), reviewing the swath of memories a decade has provided.  It was like binge-watching my life.

I chortled at 2004, the year I had my name legally changed to Wa$if, bellowed at 2006, which was adapted into the movie “A Madea Holiday Note,” guffawed at 2009 which was actually penned by another scribe as I was embroiled in a contract dispute, and cackled at my 2010 appearance on the popular reality program “So You Think You Can Dance With the Stars” and my attempt to sidle up to Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn only to get leveled by her bodyguards.  (My neck still hurts when there are sharknado conditions which happen more often than any self-respecting film major would care for.)

As for the past 365, I can only imagine what synonym for “laugh” they will conjure.  It certainly has seemed quite the roller coaster what with the smaug desolation and constant candy crushing, though we did manage to avoid the widely-predicted zombie apocalypse, which was quite a relief for me particularly, as I have a history of undead in my family (though book sales for my travel tome “101 Places to See After You Die” were predictably lackluster.  Such is the price of writing for a specific demographic.)

June, in particular, was quite challenging for me due to an ill-advised twerking accident.   The pain came to me like a wrecking ball and I yelped. . . giving it only two stars as it should have a warning label listing potential physical harm and an attack on good taste.  (Unfortunately, I had to pay for therapy out-of-pocket due to a pre-existing condition from last year’s planking accident. Had I only waited a few months for Obamacare to kick in. . .)  Fully recovered now, I am ready to enter BEAST MODE!!!. . . or beauty mode, whichever is less strenuous.

Creatively, it was a banner year for writing as I came up with such pithy fare as “Everything Must Go” for outside of mattress stores and “Come to Happy Hour for Drink Specials,” tailing airplanes over beaches.

Alas, I was forced to shut down all business for a time.  Apparently, my inability to come up with a budget left me unable to reconcile my meager earnings with my exorbitant spendings.  Fortunately, my insolvency was not terribly noticeable as I borrowed enough to live on.  I’ll let my children and my children’s children deal with it as I have greater issues on my plate such as why are children allowed to have children of their own?!  The very notion of it sickens me, though that could be the recalled poultry I bought on sale for Thanksgivikkah as part of their Duck Dynasty promotion.

I still managed my annual sojourn abroad this year as the Living Social travel deal I came upon was simply too good to pass up (without reading the “terms and conditions” to which I readily agreed).  I spent 39 glorious days in the transit zone of Moscow’s airport where I immersed myself thoroughly in the culture indulging on their authentic cuisine of vodka lattes at the Starbucks and the mcgoulash patty from their McDonald’s.

Upon my return, October featured some very heavy emotional times as I learned somewhat auspiciously that I was not, in fact, Woody Allen’s son.  The bombshell came as somewhat of a shock to me, but not nearly as much as it did to my parents who have been telling me I was for years, in spite of their names on my birth certificate.

All in all, if I’ve taken anything away from 2013, it was the teachings of Rob Ford, the great Mayor of the great state of Toronto, who showed that no matter how unqualified you are, to remain steadfast in your beliefs, even in the face of fierce resistance and common sense.  And conversely, if things are going great, you should voluntarily and without reason change them up, just to mess with people, like Yahoo! mail.

May unmanned drones rain down upon you in targeted strikes of happiness and health, inflicting unspeakable prosperity.

Yours truly,

Andy Wa$if

Recapping My 2012

December 24, 2012

@Dearest friends, hobbits, Big Bird, Honey Badger, homophobic chickens, and the 47% of you I know are going to read this no matter what,

#Whatayear!  I refuse to concede that it’s over.  It went by in an instagram, just a flickr.  So much transpired, much of it incredibly pinteresting, such as the *asterisk* replacing italics.  In fact, 140 characters cannot even begin to describe the meme that was 2012, an affair that I attended clothed magnificently in Gangnam style dress of just more than four dozen shades of grey.

And assuming you are reading this now — SPOILER ALERT! – we are still alive!  The Mayans proved their prognostications to be more skewed than those of a Romney pollster, a predicament that proved both bitter *and* sweet, for I chose to engage in carpe diem — a spicy Argentine fish dish I came upon through Epicurious — and hence chose to max out my credit cards.  Boy, is my face red. . . matching my bank account.

The new resolve did however spur me to attack my bucket list, first moving to curb my hoarderism by cleaning my apartment.  Oh, the things I came upon, including six of the ten buckets on said list, my binder of women, my bayonets, the decade-old prototype for a “Touch Me Elmo” doll, and a cache of mislabeled “Livestrong” bracelets.  (The “v” was missing so, as luck would have it, I will be able to use them after all.)

When I reminisce on the year, the visions dance about with tapouts, copouts, knockouts, brownouts, obnoxious louts, acrimonious shouts, and bailouts.  Bailouts especially in Europe, as for much of year, Greece was the word, the word that we heard.  From the blue moon into the summer nights all the way to one evening I spent stranded at the drive-in followed by tears on my pillow straight up until Sandy showed up much different than we expected, the Old World home of democracy kept me engrossed with their economic discord.  The whole ordeal felt so cinematic, and made me want to sing for some reason.

A defining moment of my activity came early summer when I fell prey to the proverbial June swoon, captivated by one lady’s bottomless charm and nonrefundable grace.  Yes, I finally redneckonized what was already gospel — Honey Boo Boo was, indeed, a national treasure.  So I became a redneckluse to devote my time to watching her on television until my friends intervened, getting me to redneckonsider my admiration.  It was then I redneckoned the entire display was nothing more than a pain in the rednecktum.  I came away from the experience a better person, if not more brain dead.

Shortly thereafter, I embarked upon a spiritual awakening, eschewing the hustle and esswallowing the bustle in favor of calmness and serenity, discovering the Zen buried deep inside me (during a routine outpatient surgical procedure).  I took to meditation, walks in nature, and soothing soaks, even utilizing bath salts to relieve my troubles. . .  until I was booked for assault on my neighbors which caused me more trouble.  Admittedly, I was negligent for not reading the label on the bath salts that warned against eating them.

As reparations to my reputation, I volunteered to join the neighborhood watch committee and was quite the vigilant provider of security. . . that is, until the incident.  I believed, erroneously, as it turns out, that all clothes dryers had a protection mechanism that would allow them to shut down in the case of a legitimate fire, but alas, I was wrong.  And on one of my bimonthly trips to the laundry, the act of leaving my clothes in the dryer (having lost track of time as I frolicked in the fields), needless to say, caused me to burn many britches.

Though I was removed forcibly from all future meetings, I was impressed to learn the committee head Mr. Eastwood kept addressing my empty chair which curiously managed to sway his opinion on several key proposals.

As autumn arrived, and I in need of a respite, I did manage to squeeze in my annual sojourn (how journ was it?!).  Though short in duration, I managed to visit such historic sites as the Fiscal Cliffs and the Petraeus Falls, even spending one day in Pennsylvania along the Jersey Shore, its waters lapping the banks of Philadelphia.

Of course, the election cycle played a major role in my focus as it drew more confrontational than a cross-country flight with Alec Baldwin.  Taking my naturalized voting rights seriously, I made a difficult choice after much rumination, eventually casting my ballot for the one candidate I felt best represented my equanimity and sagacious thought — Team Edward.  Though I know not all of you would agree with me, remember, it is our difference of opinions on such important matters that makes this country great.

And so as we go “All In” to the new year, with the passion that Paula Broadwell conducts a no-holds-barred biographical interview, I conclude my primly proper prose whilst enjoying the one-of-a-kind vocal stylings of Michael Buble emulating Harry Connick Jr. covering a Frank Sinatra yuletide classic by wishing each and every one of you a 2013 unlike any other 2013s.  May your Ding Dongs and Ho Hos be abundant leaving your Twinkie and Sno Balls full of happiness.

Sincerely yours,

Andy Wasif

 

Featured Image by: Stuart Miles