1st Annual (Ever?) Jonathan Ames Write-Alike Contest

ames1.jpgIn honor of Jonathan Ames‘ week-long diary of his trip to Club Med on, we here at low culture would like to announce our First Annual (Ever?) Jonathan Ames Write-Alike Contest.
Please use our comments area to post your entries. Extra points awarded for use of Yiddish, references to Scott Fitzgerald, detailed descriptions of bodily functions, and in-depth questioning of your sexuality. All entries not in the first-person will be automatically disqualified.
Winning entry will be printed out and hand delivered to Ames who lives two blocks away from me. (Or his mailbox: see nonexistant rules for further information.) All entries must be submitted…whenever. Must be 18 years or older to enter; only one winner per state, sorry Tennessee.

14 replies on “1st Annual (Ever?) Jonathan Ames Write-Alike Contest”

I enjoy Brian’s entry thematically speaking, but it’s missing the deft precision/concision. (He does have a slight New York lilt to it that Jonathan has, which is impressive.)
But check out the foam section of the story on McSweeney’s. Classic Amesian Amesness; short and tight like a penguin on Saturday night.
That was gratuitous, which is why I said it.
I’d enter but I’m a terrible mimic. I don’t even do bird calls.

I wish i could write like someone other than myself. I know when people tell me they read my stuff it’s because they feel sorry for me. I don’t know whether to qvetch or fart and tell them it’s a medical condition.
My mother always told me we’re the chosen people, chosen to suffer and then she’d try and fix me up with her friend’s daughter. All in the same breath. I’d rather die. Maybe I’m gay. No I can’t be gay, I don’t like the idea of even being in the same room with the person I’m having sex with. And my penis is crooked from too many years of taking matters into my own hands. Mabye I could use that as a pick-up line. Maybe I should call a doctor. Argh, it must be a sign of prostrate cancer.
There’s that girl in the buffet line again. SHe keeps looking at me. Did I spill something on me or is she worried I noticed it’s her 3rd time at the desserts. She’s clearly looking at me. Now I’m nervous. I have this habit when I’m nervous of opening and closing my hands. So i stick them in my pockets. I can’t stop my fingers from opening and closing while my hands are in my pockets and now more people are looking at me.
OK i’m leaving. I think I need some tea and bayer aspirin.

How embarrassing! My new novel, which I’ve just finished, has all the aforementioned qualities — use of Yiddish, allusions to Fitzgerald, questioning of sexuality, and a first-person narrator. I’m terribly predictable.
One of the Yiddish moments isn’t bad, though, I think. The narrator mentions that a Jewish deli was filled with ‘alter kockers’ (I’m not sure if that’s the correct phonetic spelling), and then he directly addresses the reader by saying something like, “That’s ‘old codgers’ for those of you who speak Gentile.” Well, maybe that’s not so good, but ‘speaking Gentile’ is sort of funny.
Pressing on.
I wish I had as much hair as depicted in the photo above. Back then I had enough in the front to just about comb-over the hole in the middle. Now I have to shave the whole thing and it’s a pain in the ass and I don’t like the shaved-head look. I keep hoping my hair will come back, like some sort of mistake has been made.
Interestingly enough that picture was taken during my first trip to a Club Med, which occurred in 1999. The occasion of that visit was a bizarre writer’s conference. I don’t know where that picture was located on the web. I wonder if the proprietors of this website googled my name with Club Med and found that picture. I’ll have to try it myself.
Just tried it and didn’t find the picture. Strange.
Anyway, I guess that’s the best I can do as an imitation of myself. I have to say, I felt more self-conscious than usual while writing. But I hope I win.

Well, the nonexistant rules said nothing about Jonathan Ames himself being barred from entering the First Annual (Ever?) Jonathan Ames Write-Alike Contest. Welcome to the party, Jonathan.
Also, according to this site (which I don’t like so much), it’s alter kakher. Best to ask someone’s Yiddisher Kop Grandfather.

Wait. Are you going to have to print out Jonathan’s entry and deliver it to him when he wins?
There’s something a little… kooky in that. (BTW, the person calling himself “loser” is not me… eerily enough.)

This is very odd! The Jewish deli referred to in my novel — see the anecdote mentioned above — is based on the Kosher Nosh, which I have visited a number of times. So it’s very strange that the Yiddish dictionary you should find on the internet is part of the website of the deli in question. Very odd!!!!
Well, thank you for welcoming me to the party, and if it was a real party we could get the Kosher Nosh to cater it.

Actually, as someone whose first language is Yiddish, they’re wrong. If you pronounce the word that way, it sounds like the “khet” sound that makes pronouncing Chanukah oh so much fun. Since you want a hard sounding “k” it’s usually written as alter kacker. But I’m too lazy to check with the authorities on the matter.

I’m sorry if I reopened a wound with the Amy Sohn topic … I noticed it remained unanswered by our hero of the moment. But I’d still like an answer. (And I genuinely enjoyed The Extra Man, btw. Not sure why one would bother writing a whole ‘nother book when that one is good enough.)

It’s always the same, right Crabby? I see a beautiful woman standing in the surf, I become…oh what is that word…Yes, that’s it; excited. I get excited. My penis is beginning to strain against my chromium cup — you can never be too careful you know; an errant barracuda and with one nip I could become persona non testes — when she’s hit by a great wave that slaps her down and in the same motion strips her of her top. Then, sans merci (but I don’t have to tell you, Mr. Sand crab), as nature is, the same cruel wave deposits the liberated garment at my feet.
Inside is the stuff that excited me, when in my foolishness I took it for the real thing. I should have known. I mean just look around. It’s all a fake, right from the blue water (massive amounts of food coloring, or so I’ve heard) to the dancing natives (from Secaucus originally).
I know you are real, little crab, though many would mock me for addressing you as my friend. But look at Lindbergh; he engaged a fly in conversation as he crossed the Atlantic alone but for a little winged pest. I’m sure the fly felt good in that there was no windshield in the plane. What a reminder of the death of your pals. And they didn’t have any of that blue squirty cleanser back then, so there would be plenty of body parts: half a wing here, a splattered eye (all its little fly-eye mirrors shattered to bits) there. Right, Crab?
Ah, you burrow into your hiding place beneath the sand now. Often, I wish I could do the same. I mean, who would miss me? I could look up at all the pretty post yuppie toes temporarily invading my space as they carry their owners (with an assist from the foot of course) to fun and frolic in the Popsicle-blue water.
I would be tempted to reach up and grab one of them (toes) and sing a little “catch a yuppie by the toe” thing, but being under the sand it would sound like Mmmmnnpphhh umph jummmmffff fffrrrraffffff nnnnngggg ffrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Or something like that. I figure I’ll probably find out: I fully expect a bully to kick some sand into my face/mouth before this seaside ordeal is over.
It’ll be just like the ads in the back of the old comic books, except I won’t go off to get Charles Atlas muscles, so I can stand up to him next year when I’m buff. It will be better for me to try to sing with sand in my mouth. I mean when he sees that he’ll leave me alone, right. Wouldn’t you? Leave me alone, that is. Crabby?

I couldn’t get out of going to the UES for brunch, to say goodbye to my friend who had flown in for the weekend from L.A. At the diner, I was cut off by the waiter, who insisted “three!” every time I tried object and request a two-egg omelette, “three! three!” I couldn’t figure out what was so difficult to leave out an egg, but went along, intent on leaving 1/3 of the food on my plate, more out of spite than lack of hunger. When we stepped out, we caught a cab in front of Nussbaum & Wu. I wondered if the store had once been owned by an elderly Jewish man whose children had sold a share to a Korean family. I didn’t have time to go in and ask. Maybe next year, when I’m around there again, if I remember, I’ll try to find out. I missed my yoga class because my friend had to get her luggage from the W. I wonder if I’ll ever have the lifestyle to fly around and crash at the W. Maybe I can go into Aveda and pretend that I received the shampoo at the hotel instead of buying it in bulk. Then I can pretend that I have someone who will bury their nose into my hair and say I smell great. But that’s for another day. Right now, I’d be happy if I had a cat who would come by and say hello as I watched Law & Order. Plus all that yoga does is temporarily calm my nerves, but I would probably be better off with my own medicine supply. I must make more friends.

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