Saturday, July 11, 2009

Average is Number One!

I’m always trying. Sometimes (maybe often) I try too hard. There’s something refreshing about humor that barely tries at all. It dares you to find it funny. Jim’s Journal, for instance, did exactly that. Jim was a two-dimensional character – in every sense of that word – who revisited his life with the same enthusiasm and nuance you’d find in shampoo instructions.

Jim’s Journal out-Seinfelded Seinfeld by sticking faithfully to the most basic and mediocre life experiences. Jim mowed his mom’s lawn; Jim fed his roommate’s cat; Jim watched TV. The author of Jim’s Journal, Scott Dikkers, has gone onto bigger things (namely, The Onion), but the digital age has welcomed a replacement that Jim might think was pretty good.

At, contributors submit a few lines about their humdrum days, and in doing so, move the comedy ball ever so slightly forward. The site describes itself as “a place to share your everyday mediocrity. It is a place to post the mundane things in your life, and read about what makes life normal for other people.” Rather than explain why it’s funny, I’ll let a few examples do the trick (note that MLIA stands for “my life is average”):

- Today I saw a crunchy looking leaf in the street. I went substantially out of my way in order to step on it. MLIA.

- Today, instead of emptying my cat's litterbox, I sprayed it with Febreeze. I felt like I decieved my entire family. MLIA

- Today, I realized the word bed actually looks like a bed. MLIA

- A fortnight ago I finally solved my rubiks cube. I waited two weeks to post this so that I could use the word fortnight.

- Today, I ironed my shirt that said "NO IRON" in the care instructions. It's perfectly fine. MLIA.

I loved Jim’s Journal, and I’m equally fond of the idea that in the digital age, we get to reinvent it together online. Detractors say it celebrates mediocrity, but I always try (maybe too hard) to find cause for celebration.

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