Blogging would be nothing without obsessive listmaking, and as Orson at EDSBS has pointed out, "you inevitably dislike more than you like." Talking about stuff that sucks is quite often a lot more fun than praising stuff that's good, and LD at Gunslingers served up a doozy of an opportunity for doing just that -- a meme about the worst experiences you've had at the movies, a restaurant, a bunch of things. Yep, I do love a good chance to let the ol' bile duct rip . . . so away we go:
1. What is the worst DVD/video you own?
You know, I don't have anything on my shelf that I'm vomit-inducingly ashamed of, although it's never a fun moment when I bring a girl over, she's hunting around for a movie for us to watch, and she turns around holding my copy of "Bring It On" with a "Care to explain this?" look on her face. But the selection with the least cinematic merit is probably "I Know What You Did Last Summer," all the more embarrassing because I think I taped it off of University cable back during my Sarah Michelle Gellar phase in 1997 and still haven't gotten rid of it.
I wish I knew how to quit you.
2. What is the worst concert you've ever seen in person?
I've been to an embarrassingly low number of concerts in my life, partly because it's rare for me to go to a show unless I'm a huge fan of the band and at least 95-percent sure it's going to be an awesome show. Out of the very limited experience I have in this regard, probably the worst show I've seen was Luscious Jackson -- a band I actually like a lot -- opening for R.E.M. at the Omni in Atlanta in 1995. It wasn't that their music stunk, it was just that they didn't really seem to have it that night and there was practically zero emotion or energy coming off the stage. By the end of their set, the assembled R.E.M. fans -- a pretty passive, easygoing lot by most standards -- were grumbling about when they were gonna get off the stage already. This was before Luscious Jackson really got big on their own, though, so I'd imagine their live performances have improved dramatically since then.
3. What is the worst experience you've ever had at a restaurant?
This would probably have to be the very first place we ate at when I went to Europe with a group of kids from my high school the summer after my freshman year. We'd flown from Atlanta to London Gatwick, rode a bus to Heathrow, flew from Heathrow to CDG, and got into our hotel in Paris jet-lagged and feeling generally lousy. After a quick nap we went to this restaurant near the Champs-Elysees and sat there for a good hour and a half at least before getting so much as a basket of bread; by the time we actually got any food, it was after 10:00 p.m. And what we got were hockey-puck-consistency slabs of meat that had to have been sitting in the back of someone's freezer since the Louis Quatorze regime, along with curly fries that were almost exactly like what we got in my junior-high cafeteria. I've got nothing against curly fries, but this was our first night in Paris, for Christ's sake. And it was all served, of course, with every bit of the surliness and indifference you'd probably expect from a Parisian wait staff. I can only guess that our tour company called beforehand and told them that 20 American high-school students were on their way, and the restaurant decided they had nothing to lose by treating us to the worst experience possible. Thankfully, things only went up from there and the rest of the trip was great.
Pretty sure this guy was our waiter.
4. What is the worst movie you've ever seen in the theatre? Self-explanatory.
My first instinct is to say "The Stupids," which my friend Jon and I went to see years ago (and dragged at least two other people along to) solely because we'd heard Jenny McCarthy was in it. She was, for a total of about 120 seconds, not one of them spent naked. And even if she had been, I'm not sure it would've been enough to redeem the rest of the film, which was monumentally inane. However, that really may have been more of a kids' film, in which case I was probably just 10 or 12 years too old to appreciate it -- so the second-worst movie I've seen in a theatre is "Destiny Turns On the Radio." Johnny Destiny was played by Quentin Tarantino, who at that point was riding at probably the highest point of his post-"Pulp Fiction" adulation, so me and my slacker friends all thought it was going to be the shiznit. Unfortunately, it had a virtually nonexistent plot, impenetrable characters, and a script that was as bad as "Pulp Fiction" was good. To give you an idea of what we sat through, James Belushi's character had a habit of constantly holding his nuts throughout the film; no explanation was ever given for why he did this, yet it was probably the funniest thing about the movie.
5. What is the worst book you've actually finished? You can't say "I read a few pages and it sucked so bad I put it down . . . " You have to have finished the book.
I generally have a pretty keen sense of when a book's going to suck and know enough to get out early, but the problem with John Grisham's The Brethren was that it kept leading, leading, leading like something big was going to happen, and then it never did. The story just ends, the bad guys get away with it, not that there are really any good guys worth rooting for. A very close runner-up has to be Great Expectations -- this book was singlehandedly responsible for preventing me from getting all As the semester we read it in English class my freshman year of high school, and I still hold a little bit of a grudge against Dickens for that.
6. Who is the worst looking or least appealing celebrity you would have intimate relations with "just to tell the story"? Assume marital or other obligations did not exist. Assume no consequences arise therefrom. Here's where we find out just how disgusting my readers are. The person must be a celebrity though -- as in needs no introduction or explanation. The opposite gender is not required.
I was hoping I'd be able to come up with a more surprising choice than this, but y'all saw it coming before you were even done reading the question -- it'd have to be Ann Coulter. I really can't think of anyone more repellant than that, either politically or physically. And I really hope that one day we'd end up opposite each other on "Hardball" or something like that, just to see if it would be awkward enough to throw her off her game.
Now that the thought of bagging Ann Coulter has made me throw up in my mouth a little, it's time for some Melissa Theuriau to cleanse the palate.